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House report makes forceful impeachment case against Trump

'Overwhelming evidence', say Democrats; White House dismisses it

WASHINGTON: US Democrats presented a forceful case for impeaching and removing President Donald Trump from office on Tuesday in a report detailing "overwhelming evidence" of misconduct and obstruction.

Immediately dismissed by the White House as the product of a "one-sided sham process", the House Intelligence Committee report accused Mr Trump of subverting national security as he pressured Ukraine for dirt on a Democratic election rival.

On Tuesday, the Democratic-led panel voted to officially adopt and issue the report to the House Judiciary Committee.

"The President placed his personal political interests above the national interests of the US, sought to undermine the integrity of the US presidential election process and endangered US national security," said the final report on the Intelligence Committee's probe.

"President Trump and his senior officials may see nothing wrong with using the power of the office of the president to pressure a foreign country to help the president's reelection campaign. However, the founding fathers prescribed a remedy for a chief executive who places his personal interests above those of the country: impeachment."

The report mapped out a months-long scheme by Mr Trump, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and senior diplomats to pressure Ukraine's President into investigating former vice-president Joe Biden.

Mr Trump also pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate a "conspiracy theory" that it was Ukraine that interfered in the 2016 US election to benefit the Democrats.

In both cases, the report said, Mr Trump conditioned nearly US$400 million(S$545 million) in US military aid and a high-profile summit with Mr Zelensky on Kiev opening the investigations.

Head of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff said the demands left Ukraine, which is under constant threat from Russia-backed rebels, vulnerable as Mr Trump sought help for his 2020 reelection.

Secondly, the report said, Mr Trump sought to obstruct the probe, refusing to provide documents, preventing witnesses from appearing and threatening those who did appear. - AFP

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