Schiff Impeachment Report Expected Tuesday After Republicans' Defense Of Trump

'Getting, But Waiving, Due Process': Despite Cries of Unfairness, Trump Refuses Impeachment Hearing Invite

Lawyers for Trump won't participate in House Judiciary Committee's first public impeachment hearing

The Democratic majority on the House intelligence committee says the report, compiled after weeks of testimony, will speak for itself in laying out what Democratic Chairman Adam Schiff called the evidence of "wrongdoing and misconduct" by the Republican president over his actions toward Ukraine.

As they did in the hearings, Republicans also argue that the evidence does not support claims that Trump used US security assistance and a White House meeting as leverage to get Zelenskiy to open an investigation into his potential 2020 rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter.

Responding to a report that the inspector general concluded that the probe was properly founded, Trump said he was more focused on a separate report being prepared by U.S. Attorney John Durham, who was tapped by Attorney General Bill Barr to launch his own investigation. "The President placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the United States, sought to undermine the integrity of the US presidential election process, and endangered USA national security".

Basically, Trump is now saying that he won't participate because he doesn't believe he'll be treated fairly, and rather than give the House Democrats the opportunity to prove him wrong (or right), he's doing the presidential equivalent of taking his ball and going home-except these committees are going to keep moving ahead, with or without his cooperation.

But when asked if the proceedings weaken his position as he meets with other leaders, the Trump said, "I don't think so".

Trump has repeatedly criticized Schiff for the move.

He predicted Republicans would actually benefit from the impeachment effort against him.

The Republican report says the president has a, quote, "deep-seated, genuine and reasonable skepticism of Ukraine due to its history of pervasive corruption" and that concerns about Hunter Biden are valid.

Mike Pompeo, Trump's top diplomat, further echoed the president's criticism regarding the timing of the Judiciary Committee's hearing telling Fox News that the Democratic-run House of Representatives is seeking "to distract America's president from his important mission overseas".

Cipollone's letter of nonparticipation applied only to the Wednesday hearing, and he demanded more information from Democrats on how they meant to conduct further hearings before Trump would decide whether to participate.

But newsreports indicated Democrats are considering expanding the grounds for impeachment beyond Ukraine.

More importantly, it's historic because this is the first time impeachment is based on absolutely no evidence, only feelings and suppositions. At the time, Trump was withholding $400 million in military aid, jeopardizing key support as Ukraine faces an aggressive Russian Federation at its border. They point out Ukraine received the security assistance and Trump met with Zelenskiy without the country launching an investigation into the Bidens.

"No one is above the law", he wrote. Republican defenders argue that the totality of events shows there was no improper exchange and the president shouldn't be impeached.

Asked why neither he nor his lawyer will attend the hearing, Trump told reporters at the White House shortly before he departed for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders summit in London that he made the decision "because the whole thing is a hoax".

"If the president thinks [his call with Zelenskiy] was "perfect" and there is nothing to hide, then he would turn over the thousands of pages of documents requested by Congress, allow witnesses to testify instead of blocking testimony with baseless privilege claims, and provide any exculpatory information that refutes the overwhelming evidence of his abuse of power".

"We're certainly hoping that the president - his counsel- will take advantage of that opportunity if he has not done anything wrong", Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., a member of both the Intelligence and Judiciary Committee said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" before the White House issued the letter.

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