House Democrats released a 300-page report on their impeachment investigation into President Trump’s exchanges with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Tuesday, Dec. 3.
The document claims that President Trump “engaged in this course of conduct for the benefit of his own presidential reelection, to harm the election prospects of a political rival and to influence our nation’s upcoming presidential election to his advantage.”
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff held a press conference earlier on Tuesday, Dec. 3, to address the case against President Trump.
During the press conference, Schiff refered to President Trump’s decision to freeze military aid to the Ukraine as a “scheme” to benefit him in the upcoming election, at the cost of sending the wrong message to governments across the globe.
“Withholding of that aid, even for a period of time, sends a disastrous message to friend and foe alike that the United States does not have the back of its ally,” said Schiff during the conference.
With the first House Judiciary impeachment hearing quickly approaching on Wednesday, Dec. 4, both President Trump and President Zelenskiy have been vocal about the accusations that led them here.
President Trump publicly condemned Democrats for hosting the hearing while he is abroad, according to the Washington Post. The President left for a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in London on Monday, Dec. 2, and will be absent for the inquiry scheduled for Wednesday, also according to the Washington Post.
Along with reprimanding the chosen date of the hearing, while departing for the summit, Trump also stated that Zelenskiy had absolved him of wrongdoing in an article published earlier that day, according to NBC News.
In the interview to which Trump was referring to, Zelenskiy spoke with reporters from Time and three European publications about the accusations against the American president. Zelenskiy denied there having been a political barter concerning American military aid, but criticized the decision to freeze it, according to Time.
In the article, Time quoted Zelenskiy: “If you’re our strategic partner, then you can’t go blocking anything for us. I think that’s just about fairness. It’s not about a quid pro quo.”
As for the first impeachment hearing, the White House informed House Democrats that it will not be participating. In a five-page letter addressed to Democratic Congressman Jerrold Nadler, who is scheduled to chair the impeachment hearing, referred to the upcoming hearing’s purpose as vague and having a “complete lack of due process.”
In the letter, signed by Counsel to the President Pat Cipollone, Cipollone echoed Trump’s earlier remarks, stating that the hearing was “no doubt” intentionally scheduled for a time that the president would be out of the country. The letter also declared, as the White House has done before, that the President is innocent.
“Despite the fundamental unfairness of those hearings, the facts that emerged even from Chairman Schiffs carefully controlled and blatantly unfair process served only to further confirm that the President has done nothing wrong and that there is no basis for continuing your inquiry,” stated the letter.
The letter was written in response to Nadler requesting President Trump provide a decision by Sunday, Dec. 1, to the House on whether himself or a White House representative would attend the hearing, according to Politico.
The identities of the witnesses to be present at Wednesday’s hearing have yet to be released but, according to Politico, it was requested by Republican Rep. Doug Collins that the panel be made up of "an equal number of Democratic- and GOP-selected scholars."