The House of Representatives has released its impeachment report into Donald Trump, NBC News reports. The report will likely be the basis for a draft of articles of impeachment that will be voted on by the full House, possibly by Christmas.
Following weeks of testimony, both behind closed doors and in contentious public hearings, the House has compiled the report and released it to the public. It can be read in its entirety on the House’s website.
“The impeachment inquiry into Donald J. Trump… uncovered a months-long effort by President Trump to use the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election,” the report’s opening statement reads.
The 300-page report constructs a timeline, based on witness testimony, of the events leading up to and following Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During that phone call, Trump purportedly asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars of military aid that had been withheld — a quid pro quo, as Trump’s adversaries are calling it.
The meat of the report, however, focuses on two alleged impeachable offenses — withholding military aid from Ukraine on condition of investigating a political rival, and obstruction of justice for refusing to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry and ordering potential witnesses not to testify.
Indeed, the report specifically mentioned that at least some individuals defied Trump’s orders and testified anyway.
“The House gathered overwhelming evidence of his misconduct from courageous individuals who were willing to follow the law,” the report says.
The report also goes on to chastise Trump, described in the report as “naïve,” for apparently failing to grasp, or respect, the constitutional limits of his own power.
“President Trump does not appear to believe there is any such limitation on his power to use White House meetings, military aid or other official acts to procure foreign help in his reelection,” the report reads.
The release of the report is just the latest step in a multi-step process that has already taken months and may take another month or more to complete.
As for the next steps, the House Intelligence Committee will debate the report and take a vote — almost certainly along party lines — on whether or not to adopt it. From there, assuming it’s adopted, the report will be sent to the House Judiciary Committee, which is now handling the impeachment inquiry.
This week, public impeachment inquiry testimony is scheduled to continue. The Intelligence Committee has invited constitutional scholars to explain the constitutional case — or lack thereof — for impeaching Trump.
The House may vote on a full draft of articles of impeachment by Christmas. If it passes, Trump would go on trial in the Senate.