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Nation & World

GOP report finds no impeachable offenses, just ‘disagreements’

WASHINGTON – A 110-page report from GOP lawmakers concludes the Democratic-led House investigation of Donald Trump failed to establish any impeachable offenses and instead paints a picture of “unelected bureaucrats” disagreeing with the president’s style, world view and foreign policy decisions.

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released their conclusions Monday as the panel’s Democrats are letting members review the majority report after 2 months of gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses to understand Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine. Democrats are expected to release their findings this week before the Judiciary Committee’s first public hearing Wednesday.

The Republican lawmakers say the evidence gathered during the inquiry doesn’t establish that Trump withheld U.S. security assistance to pressure Ukraine to investigate the president’s political rivals for the purpose of benefiting him in the 2020 election campaign, or that he sought to obstruct the House’s investigation of those charges.

The GOP findings will be sent along with the Democratic report to the Judiciary Committee, which will begin hearings this week to determine whether to bring articles of impeachment against Trump. The Republican document asserts the Democrats’ impeachment case rests “almost entirely on hearsay, presumption and emotion” to arrive at a “predetermined outcome.”

The report says Trump’s request that Ukraine announce an investigation of Joe Biden and his son’s involvement with a Ukrainian energy company was not part of a quid pro quo, bribery or extortion. Republicans also argue that Trump was justified in citing corruption as a reason to hesitate meeting with Ukraine’s president and to withhold security assistance that had already been approved by Congress.

“Where there are ambiguous facts, the Democrats interpret them in a light most unfavorable to the President,” Republicans wrote. “The Democrats also flatly disregard any perception of potential wrongdoing with respect to Hunter Biden’s presence on the board of Burisma Holdings or Ukrainian influence in the 2016 election.”

Republicans in the document criticize the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry as relying heavily on career public servants who they describe as opposing Trump’s approach to foreign policy. The document also criticizes the whistleblower complaint that kicked off the impeachment inquiry in September, even though White House officials, impeachment witnesses and Trump himself have since corroborated the fundamental facts in that complaint.

“Their disagreements with President Trump’s policies and their discomfort with President Trump’s actions set in motion the anonymous, secondhand whistleblower complaint,” the report says. “For Democrats, impeachment is a tool for settling political scores and re-litigating election results with which they disagreed.”

The report was put out by the ranking Republicans on the three committees leading the impeachment inquiry: Devin Nunes, of the Intelligence Committee; Jim Jordan, of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee; and Michael McCaul, of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

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