'Even President Richard Nixon...': 10 important lines from Democrats' impeachment report

The 300-page report contains several new conclusions.
Image: House Intelligence Committee Continues Open Impeachment Hearings
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff talks to the media on Capitol Hill on Nov. 20, 2019.Alex Edelman / Getty Images file

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By Adam Edelman

The Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee released its report Tuesday summarizing the evidence it has collected in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

The report cited two instances of improper conduct: obstruction of the House inquiry and withholding the aid from Ukraine on the condition of investigating a Trump political rival.

Here are the 10 most important lines from the report:

1. Worse than Nixon?

"No other President has flouted the Constitution and power of Congress to conduct oversight to this extent. No President has claimed for himself the right to deny the House's authority to conduct an impeachment proceeding, control the scope of a power exclusively vested in the House, and forbid any and all cooperation from the Executive Branch. Even President Richard Nixon — who obstructed Congress by refusing to turn over key evidence — accepted the authority of Congress to conduct an impeachment inquiry and permitted his aides and advisors to produce documents and testify to Congressional committees."

2. "Grave harm"

"If left unanswered, President Trump's ongoing effort to thwart Congress' impeachment power risks doing grave harm to the institution of Congress, the balance of power between our branches of government, and the Constitutional order that the President and every Member of Congress have sworn to protect and defend."

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3. The "active participants"

"Our investigation determined that this telephone call [between Trump and the Ukrainian president on July] was neither the start nor the end of President Trump’s efforts to bend U.S. foreign policy for his personal gain. Rather, it was a dramatic crescendo within a months-long campaign driven by President Trump in which senior U.S. officials, including the Vice President, the Secretary of State, the Acting Chief of Staff, the Secretary of Energy, and others were either knowledgeable of or active participants in an effort to extract from a foreign nation the personal political benefits sought by the President."

4. "Not an isolated occurrence"

"In making the decision to move forward, we were struck by the fact that the President’s misconduct was not an isolated occurrence, nor was it the product of a naïve president. Instead, the efforts to involve Ukraine in our 2020 presidential election were undertaken by a President who himself was elected in 2016 with the benefit of an unprecedented and sweeping campaign of election interference undertaken by Russia in his favor, and which the President welcomed and utilized."

5. A summary of Trump's misconduct

"The impeachment inquiry has found that President Trump, personally and acting through agents within and outside of the U.S. government, solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, to benefit his reelection. In furtherance of this scheme, President Trump conditioned official acts on a public announcement by the new Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, of politically-motivated investigations, including one into President Trump’s domestic political opponent. In pressuring President Zelensky to carry out his demand, President Trump withheld a White House meeting desperately sought by the Ukrainian President, and critical U.S. military assistance to fight Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine."

6. And evidence is "overwhelming"

"The evidence of the President’s misconduct is overwhelming, and so too is the evidence of his obstruction of Congress. Indeed, it would be hard to imagine a stronger or more complete case of obstruction than that demonstrated by the President since the inquiry began."

7. Damage "will be long-lasting"

"The damage to our system of checks and balances, and to the balance of power within our three branches of government, will be long-lasting and potentially irrevocable if the President’s ability to stonewall Congress goes unchecked. Any future President will feel empowered to resist an investigation into their own wrongdoing, malfeasance, or corruption, and the result will be a nation at far greater risk of all three."

8. Calling out attacks on facts

"Today, we may be witnessing a collision between the power of a remedy meant to curb presidential misconduct and the power of faction determined to defend against the use of that remedy on a president of the same party. But perhaps even more corrosive to our democratic system of governance, the President and his allies are making a comprehensive attack on the very idea of fact and truth. How can a democracy survive without acceptance of a common set of experiences?"

9. Giuliani in touch with OMB

"Later that day [April 24], Mr. Giuliani had three phone calls with a number associated with OMB, and eight calls with a White House number. One of the calls with the White House was four minutes, 53 seconds, and another was three minutes, 15 seconds. Later that evening, the State Department phoned Ambassador Yovanovitch and abruptly called her home because of 'concerns' from 'up the street' at the White House."

10. Clear "quid pro quo"

"President Trump demanded the public announcement by President Zelensky of investigations into President Trump's political rival and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election in exchange for an Oval Office meeting. The President’s representatives made that quid pro quo clear to Ukrainian officials."