A landmark report released by the US House of Representatives has accused President Donald Trump of betraying the country’s national security.
Within the 658 pages, the Democratic-led House explains its decision to charge Mr Trump with two articles of impeachment –abuse of power and obstruction of congress – by detailing how he allegedly put his personal political interests above those of the country.
House leaders on the judiciary committee are expected to vote to impeach the president on Wednesday but this may not necessarily mean he will be removed from office.
The impeachment report said Mr Trump “betrayed the nation by abusing his high office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections”.
He “has demonstrated he will remain a threat to national security and the constitution if allowed to remain in office”, it continued.
Mr Trump is accused of committing constitutional and criminal bribery by withholding military aid in an attempt to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, as well the 2016 presidential election.
“When the president demands that a foreign government announce investigations targeting his domestic political rival, he corrupts our elections,” the report stated.
Wednesday’s vote is all but certain to result in Mr Trump’s impeachment though he is expected to be acquitted in a Senate trial.
The report also accused Mr Trump of violating the constitution’s system of checks and balances by refusing to co-operate with the House impeachment inquiry.
Mr Trump has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, saying impeachment is nothing but an effort to overturn the results of the 2016 election.
Doug Collins was one of many Republicans on the panel to denounce the report.
“The paltry record on which the majority relies is an affront to the constitutional process of impeachment and will have grave consequences for future presidents,” Mr Collins said.
“The quicker the majority report and the majority’s actions are forgotten, the better.”
The White House press secretary tweeted on Monday that the release of the report “in the middle of the night” underscored that impeachment effort was a “partisan sham”.
“Let us hope that fairness will prevail” a laughable quote from @SenSchumer this AM….after the dems release an “impeachment report” in the middle of the night. Thankfully the people of this country continue to see the partisan sham that this is.
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) December 16, 2019
Already attention is turning to the Senate trial, where the Republicans are expected to acquit Trump in January.
“There ought to be a fair trial where the whole truth comes out,” Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said on Sunday. “And I’m going to work to get that done.”
Mr Trump has expressed interest in a robust trial that would not only clear him of the charges in the senate but also vindicate him, but his desire for a lengthy proceeding is something senate Republicans are hoping to avoid.
Democrats expect support for impeachment from all but a few of their members; no Republicans are expected to join them.