The House Intelligence Committee’s report accuses President Trump of official misconduct in Ukraine — but also devotes an entire section to allegations that he also obstructed justice by refusing to turn over documents and blocking key witnesses from testifying.
“Donald Trump is the first President in the history of the United States to seek to completely obstruct an impeachment inquiry undertaken by the House of Representatives under Article I of the Constitution, which vests the House with the ‘sole Power of Impeachment,” the report released Tuesday asserted.
“He has publicly and repeatedly rejected the authority of Congress to conduct oversight of his actions and has directly challenged the authority of the House to conduct an impeachment inquiry into his actions regarding Ukraine,” the report continued.
“President Trump ordered federal agencies and officials to disregard all voluntary requests for documents and defy all duly authorized subpoenas for records. He also directed all federal officials in the Executive Branch not to testify—even when compelled.”
The report added that President Richard Nixon accepted the legitimacy of Congress to conduct an impeachment inquiry and allowed his aides and advisors to produce documents and testify to Congressional committees.
Trump also publicly disputed Congress power to investigate the Executive Branch, the report stated.
“We’re fighting all the subpoenas. I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president,” Trump declared after the impeachment proceedings were announced, according to the report.
He also said on Sept. 26, that Congress should not be “allowed” to impeach him under the Constitution and that there “should be a way of stopping it — maybe legally, through the courts,” a sentiment he repeated on Twitter as he landed in the UK for the NATO meeting.
“Just landed in the United Kingdom, heading to London for NATO meetings tomorrow. Prior to landing I read the Republicans Report on the Impeachment Hoax. Great job! Radical Left has NO CASE. Read the Transcripts. Shouldn’t even be allowed. Can we go to Supreme Court to stop?” he wrote, referring to a House GOP report issued Monday rebutting the charges against him.
The report also stated that the administration refused to turn over documents despite lawful subpoenas.
“Following President Trump’s categorical order, not a single document has been produced by the White House, the Office of the Vice President, the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of State, the Department of Defense, or the Department of Energy in response to 71 specific, individualized requests or demands for records in their possession, custody, or control. These subpoenas remain in full force and effect,” according to the House report.
And he also blocked aides from testifying, and allegedly tried to intimidate those who did, including former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council official, the report said.
Both testified about the White House efforts to link the release of $391 million in security aid and a White House meeting to Ukraine President Voldymyr Zelensky announcing investigations that could benefit him politically.
Trump in a July 25 phone call with Zelensky asked that he “do us a favor” and announce probes into Joe and Hunter Biden and Ukraine’s role in the 2016 election.
Those prevented from testifying included Sec. of State Mike Pompeo, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
The president also attacked the whistleblower whose concerns about the call sparked the probe, the report said.
“In more than 100 public statements about the whistleblower over a period of just two months, the President publicly questioned the whistleblower’s motives, disputed the accuracy of the whistleblower’s account, and encouraged others to reveal the whistleblower’s identity,” the report said.
“Most chillingly, the President issued a threat against the whistleblower and those who provided information to the whistleblower regarding the President’s misconduct, suggesting that they could face the death penalty for treason.“