Dec. 3 (UPI) — House Republicans released a report on Monday pre-emptively countering a Democratic report expected to present charges forming the basis of potential articles of impeachment.
The 123-page report authored by Reps. Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan and Michael McCaul, all ranking members on the House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, states Democrats’ investigation did not produce evidence of “bribery, extortion, or any high crime or misdemeanor” in Trump’s interactions with Ukraine.
“The fundamental disagreement apparent in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is a difference of world views and a discomfort with President Trump’s policy decisions,” the report states.
During the two weeks of public hearings, Democrats assembled that Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden by withholding military aid, including a July 25 phone call that was the center of a whistle-blower complaint prompting the inquiry.
The Republican report states that Trump holds a “deep-seated, genuine and reasonable skepticism” of Ukraine, citing a history of corruption, and adding that Trump was also wary of providing foreign aid due to a belief European allies should bear more of the cost for regional defense.
“Understood in this proper context, the president’s initial hesitation to meet with President Zelensky or to provide U.S. taxpayer-funded security assistance to Ukraine without thoughtful review is entirely prudent,” the report states.
The report also states that Trump’s concerns about the Bidens were valid, citing the State Department noted concerns about Hunter Biden’s work with Ukrainian energy firm Burisma under President Barack Obama.
House intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff stood by the Democratic findings in a response to the report on Twitter.
“The GOP report ignores voluminous evidence Trump used his office to press Ukraine into investigating Biden by withholding military aid and a White House meeting,” Schiff wrote. “They say this is just Trump’s ‘outside the beltway’ thinking. It’s more accurately outside the law and Constitution.”
Democrats are set to approve the findings of their own report on Tuesday and the House judiciary committee will hold its first impeachment hearing featuring testimony from a panel of constitutional experts that will seek to explain what constitutes an impeachable offense and define “high crime and misdemeanor” as included in the Constitution.