Democrats accuse Trump of criminal bribery and wire fraud in a 658-page report released early Monday that explains the two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — that the full House is scheduled to consider on Wednesday.
The report argues that Trump’s solicitation of investigations from Zelensky at a time when military aid was being withheld meets the definition of both constitutional and criminal bribery — terms that are not made explicit in the articles of impeachment drafted by the House Judiciary Committee.
Trump’s July call with Zelensky also meets the standard of federal wire fraud, the report argues.
“The first Article of Impeachment charged President Trump with an abuse of power as that constitutional offense has long been understood,” the report says. “While there is no need for a crime to be proven in order for impeachment to be warranted, here, President Trump’s scheme or course of conduct also encompassed other offenses, both constitutional and criminal in character, and it is appropriate for the Committee to recognize such offenses in assessing the question of impeachment.”
“Applying the constitutional definition of ‘Bribery’ here, there can be little doubt that it is satisfied,” it continues. “President Trump solicited President Zelensky for a ‘favor’ of great personal value to him; he did so corruptly; and he did so in a scheme to influence his own official actions respecting the release of military and security assistance and the offer of a White House meeting. Although President Trump’s actions need not rise to the level of a criminal violation to justify impeachment, his conduct here was criminal.”
The report also details the article of impeachment for obstruction of Congress, accusing Trump of having directed executive branch agencies and officials not to comply with subpoenas issued during the impeachment inquiry “without lawful cause or excuse.”
“Taken together, the articles charge that President Trump has placed his personal, political interests above our national security, our free and fair elections, and our system of checks and balances,” the report says. “He has engaged in a pattern of misconduct that will continue if left unchecked. Accordingly, President Trump should be impeached and removed from office.”
The report also includes a dissent written by Rep. Douglas A. Collins (Ga.), the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee.
“To these Articles, the minority dissents,” Collins says. “The majority’s actions are unprecedented, unjustifiable and will only dilute the significance of the dire recourse that is impeachment. The ramifications for future presidents are not difficult to surmise.”