WASHINGTON – While President Donald Trump was meeting with NATO leaders across the pond in London, the impeachment inquiry into him in Washington was moving full-steam ahead Tuesday.
Here’s what happened in the world of impeachment:
House Intel Committee votes to send impeachment report to Judiciary Committee
The House committees investigating Trump uncovered a months-long effort “to use the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election,” according to their report released Tuesday.
The House Intelligence Committee then voted 13-9, along party lines, Tuesday night to adopt the impeachment report.
It will now go to the House Judiciary Committee, clearing the way for that committee to consider whether to draft articles of impeachment. The Judiciary Committee is expected to hold its first hearing in the formal impeachment inquiry on Wednesday to explore how the Constitution applies to the allegations of misconduct.
The witnesses who gave sworn testimony in both private and public settings described Trump withholding a White House meeting and then military aid from Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky unless he announced investigations of Trump’s political rival, Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter.
“President Trump and his senior officials may see nothing wrong with using the power of the Office of the President to pressure a foreign country to help the President’s reelection campaign,” said the report from the Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Oversight and Reform committees.
Report connects Giuliani, White House, and GOP Congressman Devin Nunes
Phone records within the report detailed previously unreported contacts between Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer who is a central figure in the impeachment inquiry, The Hill columnist John Solomon, the White House, and Rep. Devin Nunes, the top House Republican on the Intelligence Committee.
The Committees obtained records showing phone calls and texts between Giuliani and Nunes on April 10. Giuliani associate Lev Parnas and Nunes also spoke on the phone several times on April 12.
Other phone calls seemingly add new information to the timeline of Giuliani’s involvement. Some include Trump’s lawyer having phone calls the same day he went on Fox and Friends to discuss the Mueller report and theories of Ukranian 2016 interference with numbers associated with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which eventually took steps to put a hold on the security assistance to Ukraine.
White House responds to report
Trump’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, criticized the report and the process that yielded it.
“At the end of a one-sided sham process, Chairman Schiff and the Democrats utterly failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing by President Trump,” Grisham said. “This report reflects nothing more than their frustrations. Chairman Schiff’s report reads like the ramblings of a basement blogger straining to prove something when there is evidence of nothing.”
The White House previously said over the weekend that they will not be participating in the hearing on Wednesday.
Deutsche Bank, Trump’s longtime lender, must turn over financial records, appeals court rules
Trump’s longtime lender, Deutsche Bank, must turn over a broad range of financial records to Congress, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled 3-2 that public interest favors disclosing records regarding Trump’s private business, as well as those of his family members and related entities.
House committees’ “interest in pursuing their constitutional legislative function is a far more significant public interest than whatever public interest inheres in avoiding the risk of a Chief Executive’s distraction arising from disclosure of documents reflecting his private financial transactions,” the court said in a 108-page ruling.
Unlike his predecessors, Trump has refused to disclose his tax returns.
Trump at NATO called the inquiry a ‘disgrace’ and Democrats ‘unpatriotic’
Trump called the impeachment inquiry a “disgrace” to reporters during a meeting in London with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg,
“I did nothing wrong … You don’t censure somebody when they did nothing wrong,” he stated.
Trump also said Democrats are “unpatriotic” for the way they are conducting the inquiry.
Later the President called Schiff a “deranged human being.”
Contributing: Christal Hayes, Bart Jansen, Nicholas Wu, David Jackson, Kristine Phillips