The Democrat leading The House impeachment inquiry into US President Donald Trump said on Monday he would send a report of the findings thus far to the Judiciary Committee shortly after Congress returned to Washington, DC on December 3.
In a letter to fellow members of Congress, Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the intelligence committee wrote: “This is an urgent matter that cannot wait if we are to protect the nation’s security and the integrity of our elections”.
The Judiciary Committee, after receiving the report, is expected to conduct hearings to determine what, if any, articles of impeachment to bring against the president. That process is expected to take about two weeks.
If the committee votes in favour of one or more articles, they will be brought to the House floor, where it will be considered for a full vote. If the articles of impeachment are approved, the Senate, controlled by Republicans, would then hold a trial on whether to convict Trump and remove him from office.
The announcement comes days after the intelligence committee concluded two weeks of public testimony.
Legislators are trying to determine if the president sought the help of a foreign government, Ukraine, for his own political gain. The House is specifically looking into whether Trump withheld a White House meeting and $400m in military aid from Ukraine in a campaign to pressure the country’s newly elected leader to launch an investigation into a gas company linked to the son of 2020 hopeful Joe Biden.
Schiff has said that the committees investigating the president’s dealings have uncovered a significant amount of evidence.
“The testimony and documents we have succeeded in acquiring reveal a fact pattern that is overwhelming, unchallenged, and damning,” Schiff said in the letter.
He added that the report would also catalogue any subpoena non-compliance by the Trump administration, which could lead to obstruction of justice being included in the articles of impeachment.
The White House has not cooperated in the investigation thus far, calling it a partisan proceeding that denies the president due process. Several White House and State Department officials have ignored subpoenas to appear.
Trump has also denied any wrongdoing, labelling the impeachment inquiry a “witch-hunt”.
Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union programme on Sunday, Schiff said that the filing of the report would not stop the intelligence committee from conducting more investigative work. The committee may still call more witnesses to testify if needed, he added.
“The investigation isn’t going to end,” Schiff said.
Schiff added that if the intelligence committee furthers their investigations, they will file addendums to the Judiciary Committee with their findings.
Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies