Trump Declines to Participate in House Impeachment Hearing
Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has argued that he did not feel pressured by Trump, although he told reporters in an interview released Monday that it was not right for one strategic partner to "go blocking anything" for another partner - particularly when one is at war, as Ukraine is with Russian Federation.
'The evidence does not support the accusation that President Trump pressured President Zelensky to initiate investigations for the objective of benefiting the President in the 2020 election, ' they write.
Speaking to reporters at the White House before departing Monday, Trump says the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation trip is "one of the most important journeys we make as president" and the summit date was established a year ago.
"I think it would be to the president's advantage to have his attorneys there". Both the majority and minority reports will be voted on by the Intelligence Committee Tuesday, and then forwarded to the Judiciary Committee for further action.
The dueling versions of the case against the president follow two weeks of House Intelligence Committee hearings during which witnesses - mainly diplomats and administration officials - testified about whether $391 million in security aid to Ukraine and a White House visit for the country's president were held up until he announced investigations into Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Hearings before the committee, which has responsibility for crafting any formal charges against Mr Trump, are a major step toward possible charges.
He predicted Republicans would actually benefit from the impeachment effort against him.
"The evidence does not support the accusation that President Trump pressured President Zelensky to initiate investigations for the objective of benefiting the President in the 2020 election", the 110 page report states.
Speaking to reporters at an worldwide climate conference in Madrid, Pelosi declined to engage with impeachment questions.
The one thing Team Trump said it wanted most - a chance to participate and present a defense - now appears to be the thing Team Trump won't accept. "We save that for home".
The New York Democrat also said they will discuss whether Trump's alleged actions "warrant the House's exercising its authority to adopt articles of impeachment".
All indications are that the House Judiciary Committee will continue with the narrowly focused impeachment proposed by Pelosi and Schiff and resist adding counts that reflect actual attacks by Trump on democratic rights, or personal corruption such as violations of the emoluments clause of the Constitution.
Republicans pushed back on Monday ahead of release of the Schiff report, saying in their own review of the testimony that there was no evidence of wrongdoing.
"The president had a lot to unload on them", before introducing the clip. "You just can't go around making statements like that about NATO It is very disrespectful".
Representative Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, called the White House's decision "unfortunate" and said that allowing Trump to participate had been a priority from the outset of the impeachment probe.
"The Do Nothing Democrats get 3 Constitutional lawyers for their Impeachment hoax (they will need them!), the Republicans get one", the president tweeted Monday morning. Devin Nunes of California, Jim Jordan of OH and Michael McCaul of Texas.
Republicans on the committee, led by Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, plan to use procedural moves to stall the process and portray the inquiry as unfair to the president.
Trump's White House counsel Pat Cipollone has refused an offer to take part, calling the inquiry "baseless and highly partisan" and violating "fundamental fairness".