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116th Congress   }                                      {      Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session     }                                      {     116-346
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     



                     IMPEACHMENT OF DONALD J. TRUMP
                     PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                               ----------                              

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                       COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                              TO ACCOMPANY

                              H. Res. 755






              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]








 December 15, 2019.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed























116th Congress   }                                      {      Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session     }                                      {     116-346
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     



                     IMPEACHMENT OF DONALD J. TRUMP

                     PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                       COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                              to accompany

                              H. Res. 755








              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]















 December 15, 2019.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed 
                               __________

                      U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE
                      
* 38-640                     WASHINGTON : 2019 
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                       COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

                   Jerrold Nadler, New York, Chairman
ZOE LOFGREN, California              DOUG COLLINS, Georgia,
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas              Ranking Member
STEVE COHEN, Tennessee               F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. 
HENRY C. ``HANK'' JOHNSON, JR.,          Wisconsin
    Georgia                          STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
THEODORE E. DEUTCH, Florida          LOUIE GOHMERT, Texas
KAREN BASS, California               JIM JORDAN, Ohio
CEDRIC L. RICHMOND, Louisiana        KEN BUCK, Colorado
HAKEEM S. JEFFRIES, New York         JOHN RATCLIFFE, Texas
DAVID N. CICILLINE, Rhode Island     MARTHA ROBY, Alabama
ERIC SWALWELL, California            MATT GAETZ, Florida
TED LIEU, California                 MIKE JOHNSON, Louisiana
JAMIE RASKIN, Maryland               ANDY BIGGS, Arizona
PRAMILA JAYAPAL, Washington          TOM MCCLINTOCK, California
VAL BUTLER DEMINGS, Florida          DEBBIE LESKO, Arizona
J. LUIS CORREA, California           GUY RESCHENTHALER, Pennsylvania
MARY GAY SCANLON, Pennsylvania,      BEN CLINE, Virginia
  Vice-Chair                         KELLY ARMSTRONG, North Dakota
SYLVIA R. GARCIA, Texas              W. GREGORY STEUBE, Florida
JOE NEGUSE, Colorado
LUCY McBATH, Georgia
GREG STANTON, Arizona
MADELEINE DEAN, Pennsylvania
DEBBIE MUCARSEL-POWELL, Florida
VERONICA ESCOBAR, Texas

                             Majority Staff

                       Amy Rutkin, Chief of Staff
            Perry Apelbaum, Staff Director and Chief Counsel
                       John Doty, Senior Advisor
     Aaron Hiller, Deputy Chief Counsel and Chief Oversight Counsel
             Shadawn Reddick-Smith, Communications Director
          Daniel Schwarz, Director of Strategic Communications
Moh Sharma, Director of Member Services and Outreach and Policy Advisor
                    David Greengrass, Senior Counsel
           John Williams, Parliamentarian and Senior Counsel
             Arya Hariharan, Deputy Chief Oversight Counsel
                      Barry Berke, Special Counsel
                     Norman Eisen, Special Counsel
                       Ted Kalo, Special Counsel
         James Park, Chief Counsel of Constitution Subcommittee

                         Sophia Brill, Counsel
                       Milagros Cisneros, Counsel
                         Charles Gayle, Counsel
                       Maggie Goodlander, Counsel
                   Benjamin Hernandez-Stern, Counsel
                          Sarah Istel, Counsel
                       Danielle Johnson, Counsel
                          Joshua Matz, Counsel
                        Matthew Morgan, Counsel
                      Matthew N. Robinson, Counsel
                         Kerry Tirrell, Counsel

                     Madeline Strasser, Chief Clerk
                   Rachel Calanni, Professional Staff
                   Jordan Dashow, Professional Staff
                 William S. Emmons, Professional Staff
                   Julian Gerson, Professional Staff
                   Priyanka Mara, Professional Staff

             Jessica Presley, Director of Digital Strategy
                  Kayla Hamedi, Deputy Press Secretary

                             Minority Staff

                Brendan Belair, Staff Director, Counsel
          Bobby Parmiter, Deputy Staff Director, Chief Counsel
                 Ashley Callen, Chief Oversight Counsel
                    Danny Johnson, Oversight Counsel
                   Jake Greenberg, Oversight Counsel
         Paul Taylor, Chief Counsel, Constitution Subcommittee
                         Daniel Flores, Counsel
                       Ryan Breitenbach, Counsel
                  Jon Ferro, Parliamentarian, Counsel

                  Erica Barker, Deputy Parliamentarian
                  Ella Yates, Member Services Director
               Andrea Woodard, Professional Staff Member
                 Jess Andrews, Communications Director
                     Amy Hasenberg, Press Secretary
                   Annie Richardson, Digital Director 
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              
                                                                   Page
Introduction.....................................................     3
The Impeachment Inquiry..........................................     6
Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment..............    28
Article I: Abuse of Power........................................    75
Article II: Obstruction of Congress..............................   132
Hearings.........................................................   162
Committee Consideration..........................................   162
Committee Votes..................................................   162
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................   179
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures and Congressional 
  Budget Office Cost Estimate....................................   179
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................   179
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................   179
Advisory on Earmarks.............................................   179
Dissenting Views.................................................   181
Appendix.........................................................   631










116th Congress   }                                      {      Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session     }                                      {     116-346
======================================================================



 
    IMPEACHMENT OF DONALD JOHN TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                                _______
                                

 December 15, 2019.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Nadler, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                       [To accompany H. Res. 755]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
resolution (H. Res. 755) impeaching Donald John Trump, 
President of the United States, for high crimes and 
misdemeanors, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon pursuant to H. Res. 660 with an amendment and recommend 
that the resolution as amended be agreed to.
    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all that follows after the resolving clause and insert 
the following:

That Donald John Trump, President of the United States, is impeached 
for high crimes and misdemeanors and that the following articles of 
impeachment be exhibited to the United States Senate:
  Articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives of 
the United States of America in the name of itself and of the people of 
the United States of America, against Donald John Trump, President of 
the United States of America, in maintenance and support of its 
impeachment against him for high crimes and misdemeanors.
                       article i: abuse of power 
  The Constitution provides that the House of Representatives ``shall 
have the sole Power of Impeachment'' and that the President ``shall be 
removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, 
Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors''. In his conduct of the 
office of President of the United States--and in violation of his 
constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of 
the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, 
and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of 
his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully 
executed--Donald J. Trump has abused the powers of the Presidency, in 
that:
  Using the powers of his high office, President Trump solicited the 
interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United 
States Presidential election. He did so through a scheme or course of 
conduct that included soliciting the Government of Ukraine to publicly 
announce investigations that would benefit his reelection, harm the 
election prospects of a political opponent, and influence the 2020 
United States Presidential election to his advantage. President Trump 
also sought to pressure the Government of Ukraine to take these steps 
by conditioning official United States Government acts of significant 
value to Ukraine on its public announcement of the investigations. 
President Trump engaged in this scheme or course of conduct for corrupt 
purposes in pursuit of personal political benefit. In so doing, 
President Trump used the powers of the Presidency in a manner that 
compromised the national security of the United States and undermined 
the integrity of the United States democratic process. He thus ignored 
and injured the interests of the Nation.
  President Trump engaged in this scheme or course of conduct through 
the following means:
          (1) President Trump--acting both directly and through his 
        agents within and outside the United States Government--
        corruptly solicited the Government of Ukraine to publicly 
        announce investigations into--
                  (A) a political opponent, former Vice President 
                Joseph R. Biden, Jr.; and
                  (B) a discredited theory promoted by Russia alleging 
                that Ukraine--rather than Russia--interfered in the 
                2016 United States Presidential election.
          (2) With the same corrupt motives, President Trump--acting 
        both directly and through his agents within and outside the 
        United States Government--conditioned two official acts on the 
        public announcements that he had requested--
                  (A) the release of $391 million of United States 
                taxpayer funds that Congress had appropriated on a 
                bipartisan basis for the purpose of providing vital 
                military and security assistance to Ukraine to oppose 
                Russian aggression and which President Trump had 
                ordered suspended; and
                  (B) a head of state meeting at the White House, which 
                the President of Ukraine sought to demonstrate 
                continued United States support for the Government of 
                Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression.
          (3) Faced with the public revelation of his actions, 
        President Trump ultimately released the military and security 
        assistance to the Government of Ukraine, but has persisted in 
        openly and corruptly urging and soliciting Ukraine to undertake 
        investigations for his personal political benefit.
  These actions were consistent with President Trump's previous 
invitations of foreign interference in United States elections.
  In all of this, President Trump abused the powers of the Presidency 
by ignoring and injuring national security and other vital national 
interests to obtain an improper personal political benefit. He has also 
betrayed the Nation by abusing his high office to enlist a foreign 
power in corrupting democratic elections.
  Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he 
will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if 
allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly 
incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. President Trump 
thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and 
disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or 
profit under the United States.
                  article ii: obstruction of congress 
  The Constitution provides that the House of Representatives ``shall 
have the sole Power of Impeachment'' and that the President ``shall be 
removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, 
Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors''. In his conduct of the 
office of President of the United States--and in violation of his 
constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of 
the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, 
and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of 
his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully 
executed--Donald J. Trump has directed the unprecedented, categorical, 
and indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas issued by the House of 
Representatives pursuant to its ``sole Power of Impeachment''. 
President Trump has abused the powers of the Presidency in a manner 
offensive to, and subversive of, the Constitution, in that:
  The House of Representatives has engaged in an impeachment inquiry 
focused on President Trump's corrupt solicitation of the Government of 
Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 United States Presidential election. 
As part of this impeachment inquiry, the Committees undertaking the 
investigation served subpoenas seeking documents and testimony deemed 
vital to the inquiry from various Executive Branch agencies and 
offices, and current and former officials.
  In response, without lawful cause or excuse, President Trump directed 
Executive Branch agencies, offices, and officials not to comply with 
those subpoenas. President Trump thus interposed the powers of the 
Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of 
Representatives, and assumed to himself functions and judgments 
necessary to the exercise of the ``sole Power of Impeachment'' vested 
by the Constitution in the House of Representatives.
  President Trump abused the powers of his high office through the 
following means:
          (1) Directing the White House to defy a lawful subpoena by 
        withholding the production of documents sought therein by the 
        Committees.
          (2) Directing other Executive Branch agencies and offices to 
        defy lawful subpoenas and withhold the production of documents 
        and records from the Committees--in response to which the 
        Department of State, Office of Management and Budget, 
        Department of Energy, and Department of Defense refused to 
        produce a single document or record.
          (3) Directing current and former Executive Branch officials 
        not to cooperate with the Committees--in response to which nine 
        Administration officials defied subpoenas for testimony, namely 
        John Michael ``Mick'' Mulvaney, Robert B. Blair, John A. 
        Eisenberg, Michael Ellis, Preston Wells Griffith, Russell T. 
        Vought, Michael Duffey, Brian McCormack, and T. Ulrich 
        Brechbuhl.
  These actions were consistent with President Trump's previous efforts 
to undermine United States Government investigations into foreign 
interference in United States elections.
  Through these actions, President Trump sought to arrogate to himself 
the right to determine the propriety, scope, and nature of an 
impeachment inquiry into his own conduct, as well as the unilateral 
prerogative to deny any and all information to the House of 
Representatives in the exercise of its ``sole Power of Impeachment''. 
In the history of the Republic, no President has ever ordered the 
complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and 
impede so comprehensively the ability of the House of Representatives 
to investigate ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors''. This abuse of office 
served to cover up the President's own repeated misconduct and to seize 
and control the power of impeachment--and thus to nullify a vital 
constitutional safeguard vested solely in the House of Representatives.
  In all of this, President Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his 
trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the 
great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest 
injury of the people of the United States.
  Wherefore, President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he 
will remain a threat to the Constitution if allowed to remain in 
office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-
governance and the rule of law. President Trump thus warrants 
impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to 
hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United 
States.

                             Introduction 

    The House Committee on the Judiciary has completed the 
consideration of two articles of impeachment against President 
Donald J. Trump. The first article charges that the President 
used the powers of his office to solicit and pressure a foreign 
government, Ukraine, to investigate his domestic political 
rival and interfere in the upcoming United States Presidential 
elections. The second article charges that the President 
categorically obstructed the Congressional impeachment inquiry 
into his conduct. Taken together, the articles charge that 
President Trump has placed his personal, political interests 
above our national security, our free and fair elections, and 
our system of checks and balances. He has engaged in a pattern 
of misconduct that will continue if left unchecked. 
Accordingly, President Trump should be impeached and removed 
from office.
    This report proceeds in four parts.
    First, it describes the process by which the Committee came 
to recommend that the House impeach the President of the United 
States. From start to finish, the House conducted its inquiry 
with a commitment to transparency, efficiency, and fairness. 
The Minority was present and able to participate at every 
stage. From September to November of this year, the House 
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in coordination 
with the Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Committee on 
Foreign Affairs, collected evidence related to the charges 
against President Trump. The House Permanent Select Committee 
on Intelligence held public hearings to develop the evidence 
and share it with the American people. The committees then 
transmitted their evidence to the Judiciary Committee, together 
with a nearly 300-page public report and 123 pages of Minority 
views.
    Consistent with House precedent, after the evidence arrived 
at the Judiciary Committee, the Committee invited President 
Trump and his counsel to participate in the process. Notably, 
and unlike past Presidents, President Trump declined to attend 
any hearings, question any witnesses, or recommend that the 
Committee call additional witnesses in his defense.
    Second, the report discusses the standard for impeachment 
under the Constitution. The Framers were careful students of 
history and knew that threats to democracy could take many 
forms. Therefore, they adopted a standard for impeachment that 
captured a range of misconduct: ``Treason, Bribery, or other 
high Crimes and Misdemeanors.'' A clear theme unified these 
constitutional wrongs: officials who abused, abandoned, or 
sought personal benefit from their public trust--and who 
threatened the rule of law if left in power--faced impeachment 
and removal. The Framers principally intended ``other high 
Crimes and Misdemeanors'' to include three forms of 
Presidential wrongdoing: (1) abuse of power, (2) betrayal of 
the national interest through foreign entanglements, and (3) 
corruption of office and elections. Any one of these violations 
of the public trust justifies impeachment. When combined in a 
single course of conduct, as is the case here, they state a 
powerful case for impeachment and removal from office.
    Third, the report examines the facts underlying the first 
charge against President Trump: abuse of power. On July 25, 
2019, when he spoke by telephone to President Zelensky of 
Ukraine, President Trump had the upper hand. President Zelensky 
had been recently elected. Ukraine was locked in an existential 
battle with Russia, which had invaded and illegally occupied 
eastern Ukraine more than five years earlier. The conflict was 
continuing and Ukraine needed our help--both in the form of 
vital military aid, which had already been appropriated by 
Congress because of our security interests in the region, and 
also in the form of an Oval Office meeting, to show the world 
that the United States continues to stand with our ally in 
resisting the aggression of our adversary.
    On that July 25 call, President Zelensky expressed 
gratitude for past American defense support and indicated that 
he was ready to buy more anti-tank weapons from the United 
States. In response, President Trump immediately asked 
President Zelensky to ``do us a favor, though.'' He asked 
Ukraine to announce two bogus investigations: one into former 
Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., then his leading opponent 
in the 2020 election, and another to advance a conspiracy 
theory that Ukraine, not Russia, attacked our elections in 
2016. One investigation was designed to help him gain an 
advantage in the 2020 election. The other was intended to help 
President Trump conceal the truth about the 2016 election. 
Neither investigation was supported by the evidence or premised 
on any legitimate national security or foreign policy interest.
    After the call with President Zelensky, President Trump 
ratcheted up the pressure. He continued to dangle the offer of 
the Oval Office meeting and to withhold the $391 million in 
military aid. The evidence shows that, on the same day that the 
call took place, Ukrainian officials became aware that funding 
had been withheld. The President also deployed his private 
attorney and other agents, some acting outside the official and 
regular channels of diplomacy, to make his desires known.
    These facts establish impeachable abuse of power. To the 
founding generation, abuse of power was a specific, well-
defined offense. It occurs when a President exercises the 
powers of his office to obtain an improper personal benefit 
while injuring and ignoring the national interest. The evidence 
shows that President Trump leveraged his office to solicit and 
pressure Ukraine for a personal favor.
    This unquestionably constitutes an impeachable offense, but 
the first article of impeachment also identifies two 
aggravating factors. When President Trump asked President 
Zelensky for a favor, he did so at the expense of both our 
national security and the integrity of our elections. As to the 
first, America has a vital national security interest in 
countering Russian aggression, and our strategic partner 
Ukraine is quite literally at the front line of resisting that 
aggression. When the President weakens a partner who advances 
American security interests, the President weakens America. As 
to election integrity, American democracy above all rests upon 
elections that are free and fair. When the President demands 
that a foreign government announce investigations targeting his 
domestic political rival, he corrupts our elections. To the 
Founders, this kind of corruption was especially pernicious, 
and plainly merited impeachment. American elections should be 
for Americans only.
    Fourth and finally, the report describes the second charge 
against President Trump: obstruction of Congress. President 
Trump did everything in his power to obstruct the House's 
impeachment inquiry. Following his direction not to cooperate 
with the inquiry, the White House and other agencies refused to 
produce a single document in response to Congressional 
subpoenas. President Trump also attempted to muzzle witnesses, 
threatening to damage their careers if they agreed to testify, 
and even attacked one witness during her live testimony before 
Congress. To their great credit, many witnesses from across 
government--including from the National Security Council, the 
Department of State, and the Department of Defense--ignored the 
President's unlawful orders and cooperated with the inquiry. In 
the end, however, nine senior officials followed President 
Trump's direction and continue to defy duly authorized 
Congressional subpoenas. Other Presidents have recognized their 
obligation to provide information to Congress under these 
circumstances. President Trump's stonewall, by contrast, was 
categorical, indiscriminate, and without precedent in American 
history.
    The Constitution grants the ``sole Power of Impeachment'' 
to the House of Representatives. Within our system of checks 
and balances, the President may not decide what constitutes a 
valid impeachment inquiry. Nor may he ignore lawful subpoenas 
for evidence and testimony or direct others to do so. If a 
President had such authority, he could block Congress from 
learning facts bearing upon impeachment in the House or trial 
in the Senate and could thus control a power that exists to 
restrain his own abuses. The evidence shows clearly that 
President Trump has assumed this power for himself and, left 
unchecked, the President will continue to obstruct Congress 
through unlawful means.
    Although the 2020 election is less than a year away, 
Congress cannot wait for the next election to address the 
President's misconduct. President Trump has fallen into a 
pattern of behavior: this is not the first time he has 
solicited foreign interference in an election, been exposed, 
and attempted to obstruct the resulting investigation. He will 
almost certainly continue on this course. Indeed, in the same 
week that the Committee considered these articles of 
impeachment, the President's private attorney was back in 
Ukraine to promote the same sham investigations into the 
President's political rivals and, upon returning to the United 
States, rapidly made his way to the White House. We cannot rely 
on the next election as a remedy for presidential misconduct 
when the President is seeking to threaten the very integrity of 
that election. We must act immediately.
    The Committee now transmits these articles of impeachment 
to the full House. By his actions, President Trump betrayed his 
office. His high crimes and misdemeanors undermine the 
Constitution. His conduct continues to jeopardize our national 
security and the integrity of our elections, presenting great 
urgency for the House to act. His actions warrant his 
impeachment and trial, his removal from office, and his 
disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, 
or profit under the United States.

                        The Impeachment Inquiry


                            I. Introduction

    The House of Representatives conducted a fair, thorough, 
and transparent impeachment inquiry under extraordinary 
circumstances. For the first time in modern history, committees 
of the House acted as original factfinders in a Presidential 
impeachment. Unlike in the previous impeachment inquiries into 
Presidents Richard M. Nixon and William J. Clinton, the House 
did not significantly rely on evidence obtained from other 
investigative bodies. Rather, committees of the House gathered 
evidence themselves. They did so fairly and efficiently, 
despite President Trump's concerted efforts to obstruct their 
work.
    From September through November of this year, the House 
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), together 
with the Committees on Oversight and Reform and Foreign Affairs 
(collectively, ``the Investigating Committees''), collected 
evidence that President Trump abused his office in soliciting 
and inducing foreign interference in the 2020 United States 
Presidential election. Despite the President's efforts to 
obstruct the Congressional investigation that followed, the 
Investigating Committees questioned seventeen current and 
former Trump Administration officials. In addition, although 
Executive Branch agencies, offices, and officials continue to 
defy subpoenas for documents at President Trump's direction, 
the Investigating Committees obtained from certain witnesses 
hundreds of text messages in their personal possession that 
corroborated their testimony, as well as reproductions of 
contemporaneous emails exchanged as the President's offenses 
were unfolding. Minority Members and their counsel participated 
equally in witness questioning, and the Investigating 
Committees released public transcripts of every deposition and 
interview, as well as significant documentary evidence upon 
which they relied. HPSCI then transmitted that evidence to the 
Judiciary Committee, together with a nearly 300-page public 
report documenting the Investigating Committees' findings, and 
a 123-page report containing the Minority's views.
    The Judiciary Committee, consistent with House precedent, 
afforded ample opportunities for President Trump and his 
attorneys to participate as it considered articles of 
impeachment. Those opportunities were offered not as a matter 
of right, but as privileges typically afforded to Presidents 
pursuant to House practice. Article I of the Constitution vests 
the House with full discretion to structure impeachment 
proceedings, assigning to it both the ``sole Power of 
Impeachment'' and the authority to ``determine the Rules of its 
Proceedings.''\1\ The purpose of such proceedings is not to 
conduct a full trial of offenses; it is ``to gather evidence to 
determine whether the president may have committed an 
impeachable offense'' and whether he ought to stand trial for 
that offense in the Senate.\2\ In accordance with that purpose 
and House practice, President Trump was offered procedural 
privileges that were equivalent to or exceeded those afforded 
to Presidents Nixon and Clinton.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 2, cl. 5; Sec. 5, cl. 2.
    \2\Directing Certain Committees to Continue Their Ongoing 
Investigations as Part of the Existing House of Representatives Inquiry 
Into Whether Sufficient Grounds Exist for the House of Representatives 
to Exercise its Constitutional Power to Impeach Donald John Trump, 
President of the United States of America, and for Other Purposes, H. 
Rep. No. 116-266 at 4 (2019) (hereinafter ``Rules Committee Report''); 
see also Staff of H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 116th Cong., 
Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment 39 (Comm. Print 
2019) (hereinafter ``Constitutional Grounds for Impeachment (2019)'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Background: Conduct of the House's Inquiry and Privileges Afforded 
                           to President Trump


       A. PROCEEDINGS LEADING TO ADOPTION OF HOUSE RESOLUTION 660

    In early 2019, the Judiciary Committee began investigating 
potential abuses of office by President Trump, including 
obstruction of law enforcement investigations relating to 
Russia's interference in the 2016 United States Presidential 
election.\3\ That investigation, which came to include 
consideration of whether to recommend articles of impeachment, 
was conducted in full public view and through public hearings. 
To the extent the Committee reviewed or obtained materials that 
it did not make available to the public, it did so in order to 
accommodate specific requests by the Executive Branch. The 
Committee also obtained responses to written questions from one 
fact witness and made those responses available to the 
public;\4\ and it conducted one closed-door transcribed 
interview of a fact witness during which White House attorneys 
were present, then released a transcript of the interview the 
following day.\5\ During this period, HPSCI also continued to 
investigate foreign intelligence and counterintelligence risks 
arising from efforts by Russia and other foreign powers to 
influence the United States political process during and since 
the 2016 election.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\See, e.g., Resolution Recommending that the House of 
Representatives Find William P. Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Department 
of Justice, in Contempt of Congress for Refusal to Comply with a 
Subpoena Duly Issued by the Committee on the Judiciary, H. Rep. No. 
116-105, at 13 (June 6, 2019).
    \4\See Responses by Ann Donaldson to Questions from the Committee 
on the Judiciary of the U.S. House of Representatives (July 5, 2019).
    \5\See Interview of Hope Hicks Before the H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, 116th Cong. (June 19, 2019).
    \6\See App. of the Comm. on the Judiciary at 14 n.8, In re App. of 
the Comm. on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Reps., for an Order 
Authorizing the Release of Certain Grand Jury Materials,--F. Supp. 3d--
, 2019 WL 5485221 (D.D.C. Oct. 25, 2019) (hereinafter ``In re Rule 6(e) 
Application''), appeal pending, No. 19-5288 (D.C. Cir.). In addition, 
in August 2019, Chairman Nadler requested that the chairs of five other 
committees investigating potential misconduct by President Trump share 
any materials with the Judiciary Committee that would be relevant to 
its consideration of impeachment. Letter from Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, 
H. Comm. on the Judiciary, to Adam Schiff, Chairman, H. Perm. Select 
Comm. on Intelligence, Maxine Waters, Chairwoman, H. Comm. on Financial 
Services, Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight and 
Reform, and Eliot L. Engel, Chairman, H. Comm. on Foreign Affairs (Aug. 
22, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Beginning in the spring and summer of 2019, evidence came 
to light that President Trump and his associates might have 
been seeking the assistance of another foreign government, 
Ukraine, to influence the upcoming 2020 election.\7\ On 
September 9, 2019, the Investigating Committees announced they 
were launching a joint investigation and requested documents 
and records from the White House and the Department of State. 
In parallel, evidence emerged that the President may have 
attempted to cover up his actions and prevent the transmission 
of information to which HPSCI was entitled by law.\8\ Given the 
gravity of these allegations and the immediacy of the threat to 
the next Presidential election, Speaker Nancy P. Pelosi 
announced on September 24, 2019 that the House would proceed 
with ``an official impeachment inquiry,'' under which the 
Investigating Committees, the Judiciary Committee, and the 
Committees on Financial Services and Ways and Means would 
continue their investigations of Presidential misconduct.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\See Kenneth P. Vogel, Rudy Giuliani Plans Ukraine Trip to Push 
for Inquiries That Could Help Trump, N.Y. Times, May 9, 2019.
    \8\See, e.g., Letter from Adam B. Schiff, Chairman, H. Perm. Select 
Comm. on Intelligence, to Joseph Maguire, Acting Dir. of Nat'l 
Intelligence (Sept. 10, 2019).
    \9\Press Release, Pelosi Remarks Announcing Impeachment Inquiry 
(Sept. 24, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Following that announcement, the Investigating Committees 
issued additional requests and subpoenas for witness interviews 
and depositions and for documents in the possession of the 
Executive Branch.\10\ The three committees ``made clear that 
this information would be `collected as part of the House's 
impeachment inquiry and shared among the Committees, as well as 
with the Committee on the Judiciary as appropriate.'''\11\ 
However, as detailed further in the portion of this Report 
discussing obstruction of Congress, White House Counsel Pat A. 
Cipollone sent a letter on October 8, 2019 to Speaker Pelosi 
and Chairmen Adam B. Schiff, Eliot L. Engel, and Elijah E. 
Cummings stating that ``President Trump and his Administration 
cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional 
inquiry.''\12\ As a result, the Administration refused--and 
continues to refuse--to produce any documents subpoenaed by the 
Investigating Committees as part of the impeachment inquiry, 
and nine current or former Administration officials remain in 
defiance of subpoenas for their testimony.\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\See The Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report: Report for 
the H. Perm. Select Comm. on Intelligence Pursuant to H. Res. 660 in 
Consultation with the H. Comm. on Oversight and Reform and the H. Comm. 
on Foreign Affairs at 208, 116th Cong. (2019) (hereinafter ``Ukraine 
Report'').
    \11\Id. (quoting Letter from Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, 
H. Comm. on Oversight and Reform, Adam B. Schiff, Chairman, H. Perm. 
Select Comm. on Intelligence, and Eliot L. Engel, H. Comm. on Foreign 
Affairs, to Mick Mulvaney, Acting Chief of Staff, The White House (Oct. 
4, 2019)).
    \12\Letter from Pat A. Cipollone, Counsel to the President, to 
Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, Adam B. Schiff, Chairman, H. Perm. 
Select Comm. on Intelligence, Eliot L. Engel, Chairman, H. Comm. on 
Foreign Affairs, and Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on 
Oversight and Reform (Oct. 8, 2019) (hereinafter ``Oct. 8 Cipollone 
Letter'').
    \13\Ukraine Report at 30-31. Ten witnesses defied subpoenas for 
testimony, but the Investigating Committees subsequently withdrew their 
subpoena to one of the officials. Id. at 236.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nevertheless, many other current and former officials 
complied with their legal obligations to appear for testimony, 
and the Investigating Committees conducted depositions or 
transcribed interviews of seventeen witnesses.\14\ These 
depositions and interviews were conducted consistent with the 
Rules of the House and with longstanding procedures governing 
investigations by HPSCI and the other committees.\15\ Members 
of the Minority previously advocated expanding these 
authorities, explaining that ``[t]he ability to interview 
witnesses in private allows committees to gather information 
confidentially and in more depth than is possible under the 
five-minute rule governing committee hearings. This ability is 
often critical to conducting an effective and thorough 
investigation.''\16\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \14\Depositions of four of the witnesses postdated the House's 
approval of H. Res. 660 on October 31.
    \15\Rules governing the use of deposition authorities were issued 
at the beginning of the current Congress, just as they have been during 
previous Congresses. See H. Res. 6 Sec. 103(a), 116th Cong. (2019) 
(providing authority for chairs of standing committees and chair of 
HPSCI to order the taking of depositions); Regulations for Use of 
Deposition Authority, 165 Cong. Rec. H1216-17 (daily ed. Jan. 25, 2019) 
(setting forth regulations pursuant to this provision).
    \16\Final Report of the H. Select Comm. on the Events Surrounding 
the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi, H. Rep. No. 114-848 at 404-05 
(2016) (footnote omitted).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    All Members of the Investigating Committees were permitted 
to attend these depositions and interviews, along with Majority 
and Minority staff. Members and counsel for both the Majority 
and Minority were permitted equal time for questioning 
witnesses. Transcripts of all depositions and interviews were 
publicly released and made available through HPSCI's website on 
a rolling basis, subject to minimal redactions to protect 
classified or sensitive information.

           B. HOUSE RESOLUTION 660 AND SUBSEQUENT PROCEEDINGS

    On October 31, 2019, the House voted to approve H. Res. 
660, which directed the Judiciary Committee as well as HPSCI 
and the Committees on Oversight and Reform, Foreign Affairs, 
Financial Services, and Ways and Means to ``continue their 
ongoing investigations as part of the existing . . . inquiry 
into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of 
Representatives to exercise its Constitutional power to impeach 
Donald John Trump.''\17\ As the accompanying report by the 
Committee on Rules explained, HPSCI, in coordination with the 
Committees on Oversight and Reform and Foreign Affairs, was 
conducting an investigation that focused on three interrelated 
questions:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \17\H. Res. 660, 116th Cong. (2019).

          1. Did the President request that a foreign leader 
        and government initiate investigations to benefit the 
        President's personal political interests in the United 
        States, including an investigation related to the 
        President's political rival and potential opponent in 
        the 2020 U.S. presidential election?
          2. Did the President--directly or through agents--
        seek to use the power of the Office of the President 
        and other instruments of the federal government in 
        other ways to apply pressure on the head of state and 
        government of Ukraine to advance the President's 
        personal political interests, including by leveraging 
        an Oval Office meeting desired by the President of 
        Ukraine or by withholding U.S. military assistance to 
        Ukraine?
          3. Did the President and his Administration seek to 
        obstruct, suppress or cover up information to conceal 
        from the Congress and the American people evidence 
        about the President's actions and conduct?\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \18\Rules Committee Report at 2.

    The report explained that although a full House vote was by 
no means legally necessary, H. Res. 660 ``provides a further 
framework for the House's ongoing impeachment inquiry.''\19\ 
That framework would be ``commensurate with the inquiry process 
followed in the cases of President Nixon and President 
Clinton''--during which the House undertook various 
investigatory steps before voting to authorize and structure 
proceedings for an impeachment inquiry.\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \19\Id. at 7.
    \20\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    One significant difference, however, was that in this 
instance the House was conducting and would continue to conduct 
its own factfinding and collection of evidence through its 
investigative committees. As HPSCI has explained, ``[u]nlike in 
the cases of Presidents Nixon and Clinton, the House conducted 
a significant portion of the factual investigation itself 
because no independent prosecutor was appointed to investigate 
President Trump's conduct.''\21\ Nevertheless, H. Res. 660 set 
forth detailed procedures that resulted in maximal transparency 
during the ongoing factfinding stage of the investigation and 
provided numerous privileges for President Trump and his 
counsel. The procedures entailed two stages for the public-
facing phase of the impeachment inquiry: the first before HPSCI 
and the second before the Judiciary Committee.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \21\Ukraine Report at 212-13.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    First, HPSCI was authorized to conduct open hearings during 
which the Chairman and Ranking Member had extended equal time 
to question witnesses or permit their counsels to do so.\22\ 
The Ranking Member was also permitted to identify and request 
witnesses and to issue subpoenas for documents and witness 
testimony with the concurrence of the Chairman, with the option 
to refer subpoena requests for a vote before the full Committee 
if the Chairman declined to concur.\23\ H. Res. 660 further 
directed HPSCI to issue a report describing its findings and to 
make that report available to the public, and to transmit that 
report along with any supplemental materials and Minority views 
to the Judiciary Committee.\24\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \22\H. Res. 660 Sec. 2(2).
    \23\Id. Sec. 2(4). In addition, the House's standing rules entitle 
committees of the House to issue subpoenas and to delegate subpoena 
authority to Committee chairs. See House Rule XI.2(m).
    \24\H. Res. 660 Sec. 2(6).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pursuant to H. Res. 660, HPSCI held five days of public 
hearings during which twelve current or former Trump 
Administration officials testified. These witnesses spoke in 
extensive detail about President Trump's repeated and prolonged 
efforts to pressure Ukraine into announcing and conducting 
baseless investigations into the President's political rival 
and into a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not 
Russia, interfered in the 2016 election. They also testified 
regarding United States policy interests regarding Ukraine, the 
value and strategic importance of the military and security 
assistance and the diplomatic visit to the White House that the 
President withheld from Ukraine, and the actions taken by 
individuals on the President's behalf in aid of his misconduct. 
In addition, the Investigating Committees received from certain 
witnesses hundreds of text messages as well as contemporaneous 
emails corroborating their testimony. The majority of witnesses 
maintained, however, that because they were government 
employees their documents and communications remained the 
property of Executive Branch offices and agencies. These 
offices and agencies, based on the President's direction, 
instructed officials not to provide any materials pursuant to 
the Investigating Committees' subpoenas.
    Three of the witnesses who testified during the public 
hearings--Ambassador Kurt D. Volker, Undersecretary of State 
David M. Hale, and former National Security Council official 
Timothy A. Morrison--did so at the request of the Minority. As 
Chairman Schiff explained, however, the impeachment inquiry 
would not be permitted to serve as a means for conducting ``the 
same sham investigations . . . that President Trump pressed 
Ukraine to conduct for his personal political benefit.''\25\ 
Chairman Schiff likewise made clear that he would not 
``facilitate efforts by President Trump and his allies in 
Congress to threaten, intimidate, and retaliate against the 
whistleblower who courageously raised the initial alarm.''\26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \25\Letter from Adam B. Schiff, Chairman, H. Perm. Select Comm. on 
Intelligence, to Devin Nunes, Ranking Member, H. Perm. Select Comm. on 
Intelligence (Nov. 9, 2019).
    \26\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    HPSCI's public hearings concluded on November 21, 2019. On 
December 3, 2019, in consultation with the Committees on 
Oversight and Reform and Foreign Affairs, HPSCI released and 
voted to adopt a report of nearly 300 pages detailing its 
extensive findings about the President's abuse of his office 
and obstruction of Congress. Chairman Schiff noted that 
although the investigation would continue, ``[t]he evidence of 
the President's misconduct is overwhelming,'' and the need to 
submit an impeachment referral was too urgent to delay.\27\ On 
December 6, 2019, and pursuant to H. Res. 660, the 
Investigating Committees transmitted a final version of that 
report, together with a report documenting the Minority's views 
and evidence upon which the report relied, to the Judiciary 
Committee.\28\ The Committees on the Budget and Foreign Affairs 
transmitted certain materials to the Judiciary Committee as 
well.\29\ In addition, HPSCI subsequently made a classified 
supplemental submission provided by one of its witnesses 
available for Judiciary Committee Members to review in a secure 
facility.\30\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \27\Ukraine Report at 9 (preface from Chairman Schiff).
    \28\Letter from Adam B. Schiff, Chairman, H. Perm. Select Comm. on 
Intelligence, Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman, H. Comm. on Oversight and 
Reform, and Eliot L. Engel, Chairman, H. Comm. on Foreign Affairs, to 
Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary (Dec. 6, 2019); see 
H. Res. 660 Sec. Sec. 2(6), 3.
    \29\Letter from John Yarmuth, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Budget, to 
Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary (Dec. 6, 2019); 
Letter from Eliot L. Engel, Chairman, H. Comm. on Foreign Affairs, to 
Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary (Dec. 6, 2019).
    \30\See Letter from Adam B. Schiff, Chairman, H. Perm. Select Comm. 
on Intelligence, to Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary 
(Dec. 11, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    With respect to proceedings before the Judiciary Committee, 
pursuant to H. Res. 660, the Rules Committee established 
``Impeachment Inquiry Procedures in the Committee on the 
Judiciary'' that provided a host of procedural privileges for 
President Trump.\31\ Those procedures required that President 
Trump's counsel be furnished with copies of all materials 
transferred to the Judiciary Committee by HPSCI and the other 
committees investigating the President's misconduct.\32\ They 
afforded President Trump numerous opportunities to participate 
in the Judiciary Committee's proceedings through counsel. Those 
opportunities included the ability to present evidence orally 
or in writing; to question committee counsels presenting 
evidence; to attend all hearings of the Judiciary Committee, 
including those held in executive session; to raise objections 
during examinations of witnesses; to cross-examine any witness 
called before the Committee; and to request that additional 
witnesses be called.\33\ In addition, as was the case for 
HPSCI, H. Res. 660 permitted the Ranking Member of the 
Judiciary Committee to issue subpoenas for documents and 
witness testimony with the concurrence of the Chairman, or to 
refer any such decision for a vote by the full Committee.\34\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \31\Impeachment Inquiry Procedures in the Committee on the 
Judiciary, submitted for printing in the Congressional Record, 165 
Cong. Rec. E1357 (daily ed. October 29, 2019) (hereinafter 
``Impeachment Inquiry Procedures'').
    \32\Accordingly, after receiving these materials from the 
Investigating Committees, the Judiciary Committee transmitted them to 
the President on December 8, 2019, with limited exceptions for 
materials containing sensitive information. The Committee has made the 
materials containing sensitive information available for the 
President's counsel's review in a secure facility. See Letter from 
Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary, to Pat A. 
Cipollone, Counsel to the President (Dec. 8, 2019).
    \33\Impeachment Inquiry Procedures at (A)(3), (B)(2)-(3), (C)(1)-
(2), (4).
    \34\H. Res. 660 Sec. 4(c)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On November 26, 2019, Chairman Nadler wrote to President 
Trump informing him of these procedures and the Committee's 
intention to hold a hearing the following week, on December 4, 
regarding constitutional grounds for impeachment. Chairman 
Nadler explained the purpose of the hearing and requested that 
President Trump indicate whether he and his counsel wished to 
participate and question the witness panel.\35\ On November 29, 
2019, Chairman Nadler wrote to President Trump further 
requesting that his counsel indicate whether he planned to 
participate in any of the Committee's upcoming proceedings and, 
if so, which privileges his counsel would seek to exercise.\36\ 
On December 1, 2019, Mr. Cipollone responded that counsel for 
the President would not participate in the December 4 hearing, 
characterizing that process as ``an after-the-fact 
constitutional law seminar.''\37\ On December 6, 2019, Mr. 
Cipollone sent Chairman Nadler another letter indicating the 
President would not avail himself of any other opportunities to 
participate in the Committee's proceedings, urging the 
Committee to ``end this inquiry now and not waste even more 
time with additional hearings.''\38\ Mr. Cipollone quoted 
President Trump's recent statement that ``if you are going to 
impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the 
Senate.''\39\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \35\Letter from Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, to Donald J. Trump, President of the United States (Nov. 26, 
2019).
    \36\Letter from Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, to Donald J. Trump, President of the United States (Nov. 29, 
2019).
    \37\Letter from Pat A. Cipollone, Counsel to the President, to 
Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary (Dec. 1, 2019).
    \38\Letter from Pat A. Cipollone, Counsel to the President, to 
Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary (Dec. 6, 2019).
    \39\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On December 4, 2019, the Judiciary Committee held its 
public hearing on Constitutional Grounds for Presidential 
Impeachment and heard testimony from four constitutional 
experts, including one called by the Minority.\40\ Consistent 
with the Judiciary Committee's proceedings during the 
impeachment of President Clinton, these experts discussed the 
kinds of conduct that amounts to ``high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors''' under the Constitution and whether the 
President's conduct met that standard.\41\ The Chairman and 
Ranking Member were allotted equal periods of extended time for 
questioning, along with Majority and Minority counsel. On 
December 7, 2019, the Committee Majority staff released its 
report on this topic, outlining the grounds for impeachment as 
contemplated by the Founders and addressing certain arguments 
raised by the President.\42\ The Minority staff published its 
own views as well, including the written testimony of its 
witness during the December 4 hearing.\43\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \40\The Impeachment Inquiry Into President Donald J. Trump: 
Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment Before the H. Comm. 
on the Judiciary, 116th Cong. (Dec. 4, 2019) (hereafter 
``Constitutional Grounds Hearing (2019)''). This ratio of one Minority 
witness for every three Majority witnesses is consistent with other 
hearings conducted in the Judiciary Committee and in other committees.
    \41\Cf. Background and History of Impeachment: Hearing Before the 
Subcomm. on the Constitution, H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 105th Cong. 
(1998).
    \42\See Constitutional Grounds for Impeachment (2019).
    \43\See id. at 53 (Minority Views).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On December 9, 2019, in accordance with the ``Impeachment 
Inquiry Procedures''' promulgated pursuant to H. Res. 660, the 
Judiciary Committee conducted another public hearing to 
evaluate the evidence gathered by HPSCI.\44\ Majority and 
Minority counsel for the Judiciary Committee presented opening 
statements, followed by presentations of the evidence from 
Majority and Minority counsel for HPSCI. The Chairman and 
Ranking Member were again allotted equal periods of extended 
time for questioning, with the ability to yield time for 
questioning by Majority and Minority counsels. The Majority 
counsel for HPSCI presented HPSCI's findings in detail and was 
subject to extensive questioning throughout the hearing's nine-
hour duration. Minority counsel for HPSCI presented the 
Minority's views and was subject to questioning as well.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \44\The Impeachment Inquiry Into President Donald J. Trump: 
Presentations from H. Perm. Select Comm. on Intelligence and H. Comm. 
on the Judiciary, 116th Cong. (Dec. 9, 2019) (hereinafter 
``Presentation of Evidence Hearing (2019)'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On December 10, 2019, Chairman Nadler introduced a 
resolution containing two articles of impeachment against 
President Trump for abuse of office and obstruction of 
Congress.\45\ The Committee began debate the following evening 
and resumed debate throughout the day of December 12. On 
December 13, 2019, the Committee voted to report both articles 
of impeachment favorably to the House.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \45\H. Res. 755, 116th Cong. (2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

   III. The House's Inquiry Was Fully Authorized by House Rules and 
                               Precedent 

    The House's conduct of its impeachment inquiry--through 
which Committees of the House began investigating facts prior 
to a formal vote by the House--was fully consistent with the 
Constitution, the Rules of the House, and House precedent. The 
House's autonomy to structure its own proceedings for an 
impeachment inquiry is rooted in two provisions of Article I of 
the Constitution. First, Article I vests the House with the 
``sole Power of Impeachment.''\46\ It contains no other 
requirements as to how the House must carry out that 
responsibility. Second, Article I further states that the House 
is empowered to ``determine the Rules of its Proceedings.''\47\ 
Taken together, these provisions give the House sole discretion 
to determine the manner in which it will investigate, 
deliberate, and vote upon grounds for impeachment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \46\U.S. Const. art I, Sec. 2, cl. 5.
    \47\U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 5, cl. 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Rules of the House do not prescribe any particular 
manner in which the House or any of its committees must conduct 
impeachment inquiries. Although the Judiciary Committee has 
traditionally been ``responsible for considering and 
potentially recommending articles of impeachment to the full 
House,''\48\ it is not the exclusive factfinding body through 
which all evidence bearing on impeachment must be collected. To 
the contrary, as discussed further below, in the last two 
modern Presidential impeachments the Judiciary Committee relied 
on evidence obtained through prosecutors, grand juries, and (in 
the case of President Nixon) a committee of the Senate. In 
addition, the House Rules provide HPSCI and the standing 
committees with robust investigative authorities, including the 
power to issue subpoenas and take depositions.\49\ Each of the 
three committees indisputably has oversight jurisdiction to 
investigate these matters.\50\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \48\Rules Committee Report at 7.
    \49\House Rule XI.2(m); H. Res. 6 Sec. 102(a).
    \50\See House Rule X.1(i)(1), (10) (Committee on Foreign Affairs 
has jurisdiction regarding ``[r]elations of the United States with 
foreign nations generally'' and ``[d]iplomatic service''); House Rule 
X.3(i), X.4(c)(2) (Committee on Oversight and Reform ``shall review and 
study on a continuing basis the operation of Government activities at 
all levels, including the Executive Office of the President,'' and 
``may at any time conduct investigations of any matter'' before other 
committees of the House); House Rule X.11(b)(1)(B) (HPSCI has 
jurisdiction regarding ``[i]ntelligence and intelligence-related 
activities'' of all ``departments and agencies of the government'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Throughout 2019, HPSCI continued to investigate Russia's 
interference in the 2016 election as well as ongoing efforts by 
Russia and other adversaries to interfere in upcoming 
elections. As allegations emerged that President Trump and his 
personal attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, were acting to solicit and 
pressure Ukraine to launch politically motivated 
investigations, the Investigating Committees announced publicly 
on September 9, 2019, that they were conducting a joint 
investigation of the President's conduct toward Ukraine.\51\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \51\Press Release, Three House Committees Launch Wide-Ranging 
Investigations into Trump-Giuliani Ukraine Scheme (Sept. 9, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The principal objection by the President has consisted of a 
claim that no committee of the House was permitted to 
investigate Presidential misconduct for impeachment purposes 
unless or until the House enacted a resolution fully 
``authorizing'' the impeachment inquiry.\52\ That claim has no 
basis in the Constitution, any statutes, the House Rules, or 
House precedent. As already noted, the Constitution says 
nothing whatsoever about any processes or prerequisites 
governing the House's exercise of its ``sole Power of 
Impeachment.'' To the contrary, the Constitution's Impeachment 
and Rulemaking Clauses indicate that it is only for the House 
itself to structure its impeachment investigations and 
proceedings. Yet the House Rules do not preclude committees 
from inquiring into potential grounds for impeachment. As a 
federal district court recently confirmed, the notion that a 
full House vote is required to authorize an impeachment inquiry 
``has no textual support in the U.S. Constitution [or] the 
governing rules of the House.''\53\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \52\See Oct. 8 Cipollone Letter.
    \53\In re Rule 6(e) Application, 2019 WL 5485221, at *26.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Furthermore, House precedent makes manifestly clear that 
the House need not adopt a resolution authorizing or 
structuring an impeachment inquiry before such an inquiry can 
proceed. As Jefferson's Manual notes, ``[i]n the House various 
events have been credited with setting an impeachment in 
motion,'' including charges made on the floor, resolutions 
introduced by members, or ``facts developed and reported by an 
investigating committee of the House.''\54\ As Chief Judge 
Howell explained, the House has ``[i]ndisputably initiated 
impeachment inquiries of federal judges without a House 
resolution `authorizing' the inquiry.''\55\ One such inquiry 
involved a lengthy investigation of a sitting Supreme Court 
Justice.\56\ Indeed, several ``federal judges have been 
impeached by the House without a House resolution `authorizing' 
an inquiry.''\57\ For example, the Judiciary Committee 
investigated grounds for the impeachment of Judge Walter Nixon 
following a referral by the United States Judicial Conference 
and the introduction of a resolution for his impeachment.\58\ 
The Committee--without any direct authorization or instruction 
from the full House--subsequently adopted articles of 
impeachment, which were approved by a vote of the full House. 
The Senate later voted to convict Judge Nixon and remove him 
from office.\59\ Similar proceedings occurred in impeachments 
of two other judges.\60\ Indeed, as recently as the 114th 
Congress, the Judiciary Committee considered impeachment of the 
Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service following a 
referral from another committee and absent a full vote of the 
House for an impeachment inquiry.\61\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \54\Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, Rules of the House of 
Representatives of the United States, H. Doc. No. 115-177 Sec. 603 
(2019 ed.) (hereinafter ``Jefferson's Manual'').
    \55\In re Rule 6(e) Application, 2019 WL 5485221 at *26 (providing 
four examples).
    \56\Id. (citing 3 Deschler's Precedents of the United States House 
of Representatives ch. 14 Sec. 5 (1994) (hereinafter ``Deschler'').
    \57\In re Rule 6(e) Application, 2019 WL 5485221 at *26 (emphasis 
in original).
    \58\Report of the Committee on the Judiciary, Impeachment of Walter 
L. Nixon, Jr., H. Rep. No. 101-36, at 13-16 (1989).
    \59\See Nixon v. United States, 506 U.S. 224, 227-28 (1993).
    \60\See In re Rule 6(e) Application, 2019 WL 5485221 at *26.
    \61\See Examining the Allegations of Misconduct Against IRS 
Commissioner John Koskinen (Part I): Hearing Before the H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, 114th Cong. 3 (2016) (statement by Rep. Darrell Issa 
describing the hearing as ``an inquiry into the recommendation of 
impeachment'' made by another committee).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition, in many prior instances in which the full 
House adopted resolutions authorizing and directing the 
Judiciary Committee to undertake impeachment inquiries, the 
resolutions served in part to provide the Committee with 
authorities it did not already have. For example, the 1974 
resolution authorizing and directing the impeachment inquiry 
into President Nixon served to clarify the scope of the 
Committee's subpoena authority and authorized the Committee and 
its counsel to take depositions.\62\ Today, the House Rules for 
standing committees and for HPSCI already provide these 
authorities.\63\ Thus, as a practical matter, a full vote of 
the House is no longer needed to provide investigating 
committees with the kinds of authorities needed to conduct 
their investigations. Here, of course, the House did ultimately 
adopt H. Res. 660, which explicitly directed HPSCI and the 
Committees on the Judiciary, Oversight and Reform, Foreign 
Affairs, Financial Services, and Ways and Means to ``continue 
their ongoing investigations''' as part of the House's 
``existing'' impeachment inquiry. Although the House was not 
obligated to enact such a resolution, H. Res. 660 affirmed the 
authority of the House and these committees to continue their 
investigations and provided further structure to govern the 
inquiry moving forward.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \62\H. Res. 803 Sec. 2(a)(1); see 3 Deschler ch. 14 Sec. 6.2.
    \63\See H. Res 6, 116th Cong. Sec. 103(a), (2019); Jefferson's 
Manual Sec. 805 (describing gradual expansion of these authorities).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This sequence of events in the House's impeachment inquiry 
into President Trump bears substantial resemblance to the 
development of the House's impeachment inquiry into President 
Nixon. The Judiciary Committee's consideration of impeachment 
resolutions against President Nixon began in October 1973, when 
various resolutions calling for President Nixon's impeachment 
were introduced in the House and referred to the Judiciary 
Committee.\64\ Over the next several months, the Committee 
investigated the Watergate break-in and coverup (among other 
matters) using its existing investigatory authorities.\65\ The 
Committee also hired a special counsel and other attorneys to 
assist in these efforts, and the House adopted a resolution in 
November 1973 to fund the Committee's investigations.\66\ As 
the Committee explained in a February 1974 staff report, its 
work up through that time included forming multiple task forces 
within the staff to gather evidence organized around various 
subjects of interest.\67\ All of this occurred before the House 
approved a resolution directing the Judiciary Committee to 
investigate whether sufficient grounds existed to impeach 
President Nixon.\68\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \64\3 Deschler ch. 14 Sec. 15.1.
    \65\See id. ch. 14 Sec. 15.2 (Parliamentarian's Note); Report of 
the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, Impeachment of Richard M. Nixon, 
President of the United States, H. Rep. No. 93-1305 at 6 (1974) 
(hereinafter ``Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment 
(1974)'').
    \66\Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 6.
    \67\Work of the Impeachment Inquiry Staff As of February 5, 1974: 
Report by the Staff of the H. Comm. on the Judiciary at 2-3, 93d Cong. 
(1974) (hereinafter ``February 5, 1974 Progress Report'').
    \68\H. Res. 803 Sec. 1, 93d Cong. (1974).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So too here, committees of the House began investigating 
allegations of misconduct by President Trump before the House 
voted to approve H. Res. 660. That course of events is 
consistent not only with the House's impeachment inquiry 
against President Nixon but with common sense. After all, 
before voting to conduct an impeachment inquiry, the House must 
have some means of ascertaining the nature and seriousness of 
the allegations and the scope of the inquiry that may follow. 
It defies logic to suggest that House committees have no 
authority to begin examining the President's potentially 
impeachable misconduct unless or until the full House votes to 
conduct an impeachment inquiry.

       IV. President Trump Received Ample Procedural Protections


                         A. GENERAL PRINCIPLES

    As Chairman Rodino observed during this Committee's 
impeachment proceedings against President Nixon, ``it is not a 
right but a privilege or a courtesy'' for the President to 
participate through counsel in House impeachment 
proceedings.\69\ An impeachment inquiry is not a trial; rather, 
it entails a collection and evaluation of facts before a trial 
occurs in the Senate. In that respect, the House acts 
analogously to a grand jury or prosecutor, investigating and 
considering the evidence to determine whether charges are 
warranted. Federal grand juries and prosecutors, of course, 
conduct their investigations in secret and afford little or no 
procedural rights to targets of investigations.\70\ This type 
of confidentiality is necessary to (among other things) ensure 
freedom in deliberations, ``prevent subornation of perjury or 
tampering with the witnesses who may testify,'' and ``encourage 
free and untrammeled disclosures by persons who have [relevant] 
information.''\71\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \69\Impeachment Inquiry: Hearings Before the H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, 93d Cong. 497 (1974) (hereinafter ``Nixon Impeachment 
Hearings'').
    \70\See Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e).
    \71\United States v. Procter & Gamble Co., 356 U.S. 677, 681 n.6 
(1958).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nonetheless, in light of the gravity of the decision to 
impeach the President and the ramifications that such a 
decision has for the Nation as a whole, the House has typically 
provided a level of transparency in impeachment inquiries and 
has afforded the President certain procedural privileges. 
Although President Trump has at times invoked the notion of 
``due process,'' ``an impeachment inquiry is not a criminal 
trial and should not be confused with one.''\72\ Rather, the 
task of the House--as part of the responsible exercise of its 
``sole Power of Impeachment''--is to adopt procedures that 
balance the need to protect the integrity of its 
investigations, the public interest in a full and fair inquiry, 
and the President's interest in telling his side of the story.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \72\Rules Committee Report at 8.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As discussed below, in past impeachment inquiries this has 
typically meant that the principal evidence relied upon by the 
Judiciary Committee is disclosed to the President and to the 
public--though some evidence in past proceedings has remained 
confidential. The President has also typically been afforded an 
opportunity to participate in the proceedings at a stage when 
evidence has been fully gathered and is presented to the 
Judiciary Committee. In addition, the President has been 
entitled to present his own evidence and to request that 
witnesses be called. He has not, however, been entitled to have 
counsel present during all interviews of witnesses. The 
procedures employed by the House here were tailored to these 
considerations and provided ample protections for President 
Trump.

         B. PROCESSES USED IN MODERN PRESIDENTIAL IMPEACHMENTS

    The processes used in the House's impeachment inquiries 
into Presidents Nixon and Clinton shared certain common 
features that informed the House's consideration of how to 
structure its proceedings with respect to President Trump. In 
both the Nixon and Clinton impeachments, the House relied 
substantially on factual evidence collected through prior 
investigations. These prior investigations did not afford the 
President any particular procedural rights, such as the 
opportunity to cross-examine witnesses, and many portions were 
conducted outside public view. At a later stage, when evidence 
was formally presented to the Judiciary Committee, the 
President's counsel was permitted to attend, present evidence 
and call witnesses, and cross-examine witnesses before the 
Committee.

1. President Nixon

    Impeachment proceedings in the House against President 
Nixon were conducted almost entirely behind closed doors, with 
the President's counsel afforded certain procedural privileges 
in later stages of the inquiry. As noted above, the Judiciary 
Committee began considering impeachment resolutions against 
President Nixon in October 1973, including by examining 
evidence in the public domain obtained from other 
investigations.\73\ On February 6, 1974, the House adopted H. 
Res. 803, which authorized and directed the Committee to 
investigate ``whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of 
Representatives to exercise its constitutional power to impeach 
Richard M. Nixon.''\74\ H. Res. 803 gave the Committee 
authority to subpoena documents and witnesses, to take 
depositions, and to issue interrogatories. This authority could 
be exercised by the Chairman or the Ranking Member, with each 
having the right to refer disagreements to the full 
Committee.\75\ The Committee subsequently adopted procedures 
imposing tight restrictions on access to materials gathered 
during the course of its investigation, restricting access to 
the Chairman, the Ranking Member, and authorized staff.\76\ In 
February and March 1974, the Committee met three times in 
closed executive sessions--without President Nixon's counsel in 
attendance--to hear updates from Committee staff.\77\ In 
addition to reviewing information produced in other 
investigations, Committee staff conducted private interviews of 
fact witnesses.\78\
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    \73\February 5, 1974 Progress Report at 2.
    \74\H. Res. 803 Sec. 1, 93d Cong. (1974).
    \75\Id. Sec. 2(b)(1).
    \76\Procedures for Handling Impeachment Inquiry Material: H. Comm. 
on the Judiciary, 93d Cong. (Comm. Print 1974); see Committee Report on 
Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 8.
    \77\Nixon Impeachment Hearings at 53-78 (Feb. 5, 1974 briefing by 
staff); id. at 79-100 (Feb. 14, 1974 briefing by staff); id. at 131-59 
(Mar. 5, 1974 briefing by staff).
    \78\See id. at 96, 105, 206.
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    Much of the evidence relied upon by the Committee and 
gathered by staff was obtained through other investigations, 
including the investigation by the Senate Select Committee on 
Presidential Campaign Activities. Indeed, the Senate Select 
Committee's televised hearings are what typically come to mind 
when one thinks of Congress's investigation of Watergate. The 
Senate, of course, does not conduct impeachment inquiries; its 
constitutional function is ``to try all Impeachments'' if an 
officer of the United States is impeached by the House.\79\ The 
Senate Select Committee was instead established pursuant to the 
Senate's general oversight and legislative authorities.\80\ In 
the spring of 1973--before those televised hearings occurred--
Select Committee staff interviewed hundreds of witnesses in 
informal private settings or closed-door executive sessions of 
the Committee.\81\ The Select Committee also met in numerous 
executive sessions to receive progress updates from staff.\82\ 
Only later, beginning in May 1973 and lasting through the 
summer, did the Select Committee call witnesses to testify in 
public hearings.\83\ Those hearings were not impeachment 
proceedings, President Nixon was not afforded any procedural 
privileges, such as the right to have counsel present and to 
question witnesses.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \79\U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 3, cl. 6.
    \80\See Final Report of the S. Select Comm. on Presidential 
Campaign Activities, S. Rep. No. 93-981, xxiii-xxiv (1974) (hereinafter 
``Senate Select Committee Report'').
    \81\Id. at xxx.
    \82\Id. at xviii.
    \83\Id. at xxix.
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    On February 7, 1974--the day after the House adopted its 
resolution directing an impeachment inquiry--the Senate Select 
Committee voted to transmit all of its files, including 
voluminous non-public files, to the House Judiciary 
Committee.\84\ The Judiciary Committee relied on those non-
public materials as it gathered evidence. For example, a March 
1, 1974 progress report by Judiciary Committee staff noted that 
its ``basic sources'' included ``the closed files of the 
[Senate Select Committee], including executive session 
testimony.''\85\ In March 1974, the Judiciary Committee also 
famously received the Watergate grand jury's ``roadmap'' 
describing evidence of potential offenses committed by 
President Nixon.\86\ That report--which was not disclosed to 
the public until nearly 45 years later--described and appended 
evidence gathered through months of secret grand jury 
proceedings, during which counsel for defendants were not 
permitted to appear or question witnesses.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \84\Nixon Impeachment Hearings at 95; see also Senate Select 
Committee Report at xxx.
    \85\Work of the Impeachment Inquiry Staff as of March 1, 1974 at 4, 
93d Cong. (Comm. Print 1974).
    \86\See Haldeman v. Sirica, 501 F.2d 714 (D.C. Cir. 1974).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the course of the Judiciary Committee's investigation, 
Committee staff also conducted interviews of witnesses in 
private settings in which no counsel for President Nixon was 
present. During a closed-door briefing in February 1974, 
Special Counsel John A. Doar made clear to members that counsel 
for the Minority would not necessarily be present for all 
interviews either, depending upon the circumstances.\87\ In an 
effort to develop appropriate procedures governing the inquiry, 
Committee staff reviewed in detail the proceedings used in 
prior impeachment inquiries dating back to the eighteenth 
century. In a memorandum describing their findings, Committee 
staff noted they had found ``[n]o record . . . of any 
impeachment inquiry in which the official under investigation 
participated in the investigation stage preceding commencement 
of Committee hearings.''\88\ Nor had Committee staff found any 
instance in which ``the official underinvestigation . . . was 
granted access to the Committee's evidence before it was 
offered at a hearing.''\89\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \87\Nixon Impeachment Hearings at 96.
    \88\Impeachment Inquiry Staff, H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 
Memorandum: Presentation Procedures for the Impeachment Inquiry at 11, 
93d Cong. (Apr. 3, 1974).
    \89\Id. at 18.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Later in the spring and early summer of 1974, the Committee 
held a series of closed-door meetings for formal presentations 
of evidence by Committee counsel. As relevant here, the 
procedures it adopted for those presentations allowed the 
President's counsel to attend strictly as an observer, to be 
provided with evidence as it was presented, and to present 
evidence orally or in writing afterward.\90\ It was only in the 
final stages of the Judiciary Committee's inquiry--in late June 
and July 1974--that President Nixon's counsel was permitted to 
present evidence and to call and question witnesses.\91\ These 
proceedings also occurred in closed executive sessions of the 
Committee, as did the questioning of additional witnesses 
called by the Committee.\92\ In total, the Committee heard 
testimony from nine witnesses in these closed-door hearings, 
with the transcripts made available to the public 
afterward.\93\ The sole public portions of the Committee's 
proceedings in which it considered the evidence were several 
days of debate between members about whether to recommend 
articles of impeachment.\94\ The Committee ultimately voted on 
July 27, July 29, and July 30, 1974 to adopt three articles of 
impeachment,\95\ and President Nixon resigned from office 
shortly afterward.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \90\See Nixon Impeachment Hearings App. VI, ``Impeachment Inquiry 
Procedures''; e.g., id. at 1189 (Chairman prohibited President Nixon's 
counsel from introducing a response to Committee's presentations at 
this stage).
    \91\Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 9.
    \92\See Nixon Impeachment Hearings at 1719-1866 (presentations by 
President Nixon's counsel); id. at 1867-79 (voting to conduct witness 
testimony in executive session).
    \93\See generally Testimony of Witnesses: Hearings Before the H. 
Comm. on the Judiciary, 93d Cong. (1974).
    \94\Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 9-
10.
    \95\Id. at 10.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. President Clinton

    The Judiciary Committee's impeachment inquiry concerning 
President Clinton occurred over a relatively brief period in 
late 1998 and relied almost entirely upon evidence collected by 
Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr. On September 9, 1998, 
Independent Counsel Starr notified the Speaker and Minority 
Leader of the House that his office had transmitted an 
impeachment referral and 36 sealed boxes of evidence to the 
Sergeant-at-Arms.\96\ Two days later, the House approved H. 
Res. 525, requiring the Committee to review these materials and 
determine whether to recommend that the House proceed with an 
impeachment inquiry.\97\ H. Res. 525 further directed that 
Independent Counsel Starr's report be published as a House 
document and called for all supporting documents and evidence 
to be released in the coming weeks, unless determined otherwise 
by the Committee.\98\ Many of those materials, including grand 
jury materials, were released publicly on September 18 and 28, 
1998; some, however, were withheld from the public and the 
President.\99\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \96\See Impeachment of William J. Clinton, President of the United 
States: Report of the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, H. Rep. No. 105-830, 
at 123 (hereinafter ``Committee Report on Clinton Articles of 
Impeachment (1998)''). Independent Counsel Starr submitted this 
referral pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Sec. 595(c), a provision of the now-
expired Independent Counsel Act that required independent counsels to 
``advise the House of Representatives of any substantial and credible 
information . . . that may constitute grounds for an impeachment.'' See 
id. at 123-24.
    \97\Committee Report on Clinton Articles of Impeachment (1998) at 
125; see H. Res. 525, 105th Cong. (1998).
    \98\H. Res. 525 Sec. 2, 105th Cong. (1998).
    \99\Committee Report on Clinton Articles of Impeachment (1998) at 
125-26.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On October 8, 1998, the House adopted H. Res. 581, which 
authorized and directed the Judiciary Committee to investigate 
``whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of 
Representatives to exercise its constitutional power to impeach 
William Jefferson Clinton.''\100\ H. Res. 581 contained express 
authorization for the Committee to subpoena documents and 
witnesses and to issue interrogatories. As with the resolution 
governing the Nixon impeachment inquiry, H. Res. 581 specified 
that this authority could be exercised by the Chairman or 
Ranking Member, with each having the right to refer 
disagreements to the full Committee.\101\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \100\H. Res. 581, 105th Cong. (1974).
    \101\Id. Sec. Sec. 2(b).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee's proceedings unfolded rapidly afterward. As 
in the Nixon impeachment proceedings, the Committee relied 
substantially during its investigation of President Clinton on 
evidence gathered from a prior investigation--that conducted by 
Independent Counsel Starr. Committee staff also conducted a 
limited number of depositions during which counsel for 
President Clinton was not present; additionally, Committee 
Majority staff conducted interviews which neither Minority 
staff nor counsel for the President attended. On two occasions 
in October and November 1998, White House attorneys wrote to 
Chairman Hyde and Committee Majority counsel expressing concern 
about their lack of an opportunity to participate in these 
depositions and interviews.\102\ Majority counsel for the 
Committee responded by pointing to the Nixon-era staff 
memorandum as proof that counsel for the President has no right 
to attend depositions or interviews of witnesses. The 
President's contrary view, Committee counsel stated, was ``on 
the wrong side of history.''\103\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \102\Letter from Charles F.C. Ruff, Counsel to the President, 
Gregory B. Craig, Special Counsel to the President, and David E. 
Kendall, Special Counsel to the President, to Henry Hyde, Chairman, H. 
Comm. on the Judiciary (Oct. 23, 1998); Letter from Charles F.C. Ruff, 
Counsel to the President, to Thomas E. Mooney, Chief of Staff--General 
Counsel, H. Comm. on the Judiciary, and David P. Schippers, Chief 
Investigative Counsel, H. Comm. on the Judiciary (Nov. 20, 1998).
    \103\Letter from Thomas E. Mooney, Chief of Staff--General Counsel, 
H. Comm. on the Judiciary, and David P. Schippers, Chief Investigative 
Counsel, H. Comm. on the Judiciary, to Charles F.C. Ruff, Counsel to 
the President, Gregory B. Craig, Special Counsel to the President, and 
David E. Kendall, Special Counsel to the President, at 2-3 (Nov. 9, 
1998) (hereinafter ``Mooney Letter'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On November 19, 1998, Independent Counsel Starr testified 
in a public hearing before the Committee. He was the sole 
witness who presented factual evidence before the Committee, 
and his testimony consisted primarily of descriptions of 
evidence his office had gathered in the course of its 
investigation.\104\ That evidence included tens of thousands of 
pages of grand jury testimony,\105\ which by definition was 
taken in secret and without the opportunity for adversarial 
questioning. In addition, in November and December 1998, the 
Subcommittee on the Constitution and the full Committee, 
respectively, held open hearings on the background and history 
of impeachment and on the offense of perjury.\106\ Finally, on 
December 8 and 9, 1998, President Clinton's legal counsel 
called multiple panels of outside legal experts and elicited 
testimony primarily on whether the President's alleged conduct 
rose to the level of impeachable offenses.\107\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \104\See generally Impeachment Inquiry: William Jefferson Clinton, 
President of the United States: Hearing Before the H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, 105th Cong. (Nov. 19, 1998) (hereinafter ``Starr Hearing''). 
President Clinton's counsel was permitted to question Independent 
Counsel Starr following questioning by Committee counsel and Members. 
Id. at 170-89.
    \105\See Committee Report on Clinton Articles of Impeachment (1998) 
at 200 (Minority Views); see also Starr Hearing at 170.
    \106\See Background and History of Impeachment: Hearing Before the 
H. Comm. on the Judiciary, Subcomm. on the Constitution, 105th Cong. 
(Nov. 9, 1998); The Consequences of Perjury and Related Crimes: Hearing 
Before the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 105th Cong. (Dec. 1, 1998).
    \107\Impeachment Inquiry: William Jefferson Clinton, President of 
the United States: Presentation on Behalf of the President: Hearing 
Before the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 105th Cong. (1998). President 
Clinton's counsel also called White House Counsel Charles F.C. Ruff to 
testify. Id. at 405-58.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Between December 10 to 12, 1998, the Committee debated and 
voted to adopt four articles of impeachment.\108\ The following 
week, the articles were debated on the floor of the House over 
the course of two days. On December 19, 1998, the House voted 
to approve two of the articles and voted against two 
others.\109\ Shortly after that vote, Ranking Member Conyers 
wrote to Chairman Hyde expressing concerns that Majority staff 
had conducted witness interviews without informing the Minority 
and provided summaries of those interviews to certain members 
while withholding them from the Minority. Chairman Conyers also 
raised concerns that members of the Majority had encouraged 
Members whose votes were still undecided to review certain 
evidence that had been withheld from the President and the 
public in an effort to sway those Members' decision-
making.\110\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \108\Committee Report on Clinton Articles of Impeachment (1998) at 
128.
    \109\144 Cong. Rec. 28, 110-12 (1998).
    \110\Letter from John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, to Henry J. Hyde, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary (Dec. 
22, 1998).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

   C. THE PROCEDURAL PROTECTIONS AFFORDED TO PRESIDENT TRUMP MET OR 
   EXCEEDED THOSE AFFORDED IN PAST PRESIDENTIAL IMPEACHMENT INQUIRIES

    The House's impeachment inquiry provided President Trump 
procedural protections that were consistent with or in some 
instances exceeded those afforded to Presidents Nixon and 
Clinton. The House's inquiry was conducted with maximal 
transparency: transcripts of all interviews and depositions 
were made public, and HPSCI and the Judiciary Committee held 
seven days of public hearings. All documentary evidence relied 
on in HPSCI's report has been made available to President 
Trump, and much of it has been made public. Furthermore, during 
proceedings before the Judiciary Committee, President Trump was 
offered numerous opportunities to have his counsel participate, 
including by cross-examining witnesses and presenting evidence. 
The President's decision to reject these opportunities to 
participate affirms that his principal objective was to 
obstruct the House's inquiry rather than assist in its full 
consideration of all relevant evidence.

1. The House's Inquiry Was Conducted With Maximal Transparency

    The House's impeachment inquiry against President Trump was 
unique in its lack of reliance on the work of another 
investigative body. Instead, the Investigating Committees 
performed their own extensive investigative work--and they did 
so with abundant transparency. Twelve key witnesses critical to 
the Committees' investigation testified in publicly televised 
hearings. All transcripts for each of the seventeen witnesses 
interviewed or deposed have been made public and posted on 
HPSCI's website, subject to minimal redactions to protect 
classified or sensitive information. All documentary evidence 
relied on in HPSCI's report has been made available to the 
President and to the Judiciary Committee, and significant 
portions have been released to the public as well.
    Those facts alone render this inquiry more transparent than 
those against Presidents Nixon and Clinton. As noted 
previously, during the House's impeachment inquiry into 
President Nixon, not a single evidentiary hearing took place in 
public. And although transcripts of closed-door witness 
hearings were subsequently released, notes or transcripts from 
private witness interviews were not. In addition, the Judiciary 
Committee relied on voluminous evidence that was obtained 
through other investigations, including investigations by 
prosecutors, a grand jury, and the Senate Select Committee. The 
Judiciary Committee amassed a collection of files from those 
investigations and maintained them under strict confidentiality 
procedures. With respect to President Clinton, the Judiciary 
Committee's impeachment inquiry was based almost solely upon 
evidence transmitted by Independent Counsel Starr. That 
evidence was collected in secret grand jury proceedings or 
through other law enforcement mechanisms. Even after the 
evidence was transmitted to the Judiciary Committee, not all of 
it was disclosed publicly. Furthermore, Committee staff 
conducted non-public depositions and interviews.
    As the Majority counsel for HPSCI explained in his 
presentation to the Judiciary Committee, conducting witness 
interviews in a manner that does not allow witnesses to ``line 
up their stories''' is a ``[b]est investigative 
practice.''\111\ Closed-door depositions in the present inquiry 
were necessary during earlier stages of the investigation to 
prevent witnesses from reviewing one another's testimony and 
tailoring their statements accordingly.\112\ Indeed, the 
Judiciary Committee is unaware of any factfinding process--
whether in criminal investigations or administrative 
proceedings--in which all witnesses are interviewed in full 
view of each other and of the person under investigation. 
Nevertheless, HPSCI released transcripts of the depositions it 
conducted on a rolling basis within weeks of their occurrence. 
In addition, the Judiciary Committee's proceedings were 
conducted in full public view.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \111\The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: 
Presentations from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence 
and House Judiciary Committee: Hearing Before the H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, 116th Cong. (2019) (testimony by Daniel Goldman).
    \112\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. The President Was Afforded Meaningful Opportunities to Participate

    At the investigative stage before HPSCI and the Committees 
on Oversight and Reform and Foreign Affairs, President Trump 
made concerted efforts to ensure that his closest advisors 
would not be heard from, including by ordering an across-the-
board blockade of the House's inquiry and by directing multiple 
White House and other Executive Branch officials not to appear. 
Nonetheless, President Trump was offered--but declined--
numerous opportunities to participate in the House's 
proceedings when they reached the Judiciary Committee.
    Pursuant to the ``Impeachment Inquiry Procedures in the 
Committee on the Judiciary'' described above, the President was 
given the opportunity to: have counsel attend any presentations 
of evidence before the Committee; have counsel ask questions 
during those presentations; respond orally or in writing to any 
evidence presented; request that additional witnesses be 
called; have counsel attend all other hearings in which 
witnesses were called; have counsel raise objections during 
those hearings; have counsel question any such witnesses; and 
have counsel provide a concluding presentation. For example, 
President Trump's counsel could have questioned counsel for 
HPSCI during his detailed presentation of evidence at the 
Committee's December 9 hearing. The President's counsel could 
also have questioned any of the four legal scholars who 
appeared during the Committee's December 4 hearing. The 
President could have submitted a statement in writing 
explaining his account of events--or he could have had his 
counsel make a presentation of evidence or request that other 
witnesses be called. President Trump did none of those things.
    These privileges were equivalent to or exceeded those 
afforded to Presidents Nixon and Clinton. As noted previously, 
the Judiciary Committee conducted numerous closed-door 
briefings and took substantial investigative steps before 
affording any opportunities for President Nixon's counsel to 
participate, including conducting private interviews of 
witnesses. In addition, when President Nixon's counsel was 
later granted permission to attend closed-door presentations of 
evidence by Committee counsel, he could do so only as a passive 
observer. President Trump, by contrast, could have had his 
attorney cross-examine HPSCI's counsel during his presentation 
of evidence. That opportunity was also equivalent to the 
opportunity afforded to President Clinton to have his counsel 
cross-examine Independent Counsel Starr--which he did, at 
length.\113\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \113\Starr Hearing at 170-89.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Furthermore, although President Trump has complained that 
his counsel was not afforded the opportunity to participate 
during HPSCI's proceedings, the proceedings against Presidents 
Nixon and Clinton demonstrate that in neither case was the 
President permitted to have counsel participate in the initial 
fact-gathering stages of the impeachment inquiry. As Committee 
staff explained during the Nixon impeachment inquiry--and then 
reiterated during the Clinton impeachment inquiry--there were 
no records from any prior impeachment inquiry of an ``official 
under investigation participat[ing] in the investigation stage 
preceding commencement of committee hearings''' or being 
offered access to Committee evidence ``before it was offered at 
a hearing.''\114\ That is doubly true for the investigative 
proceedings that took place before the House began its 
impeachment inquiries against Presidents Nixon and Clinton. 
President Nixon certainly had no attorney present when 
prosecutors and grand juries began collecting evidence about 
Watergate and related matters, nor did he have an attorney 
present when the Senate Select Committee began interviewing 
witnesses and holding public hearings. Nor did President 
Clinton have an attorney present when prosecutors from the 
Office of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr deposed witnesses 
and elicited their testimony before a grand jury.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \114\Mooney Letter at 3 (quoting Memorandum from Impeachment 
Inquiry Staff at 11, H. Comm. on the Judiciary (Apr. 3, 1974)); 
Memorandum from Impeachment Inquiry Staff, H. Comm. on the Judiciary at 
18 (Apr. 3, 1974).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Indeed, the proceedings before the Investigating Committees 
can be most closely analogized to the Senate Select Committee 
proceedings during Watergate. In both instances, Congressional 
bodies other than the House Judiciary Committee engaged in 
fact-finding investigations of grave Presidential misconduct. 
Those investigations included private interviews and 
depositions followed by public hearings--after which all 
investigative files were provided to the House Judiciary 
Committee. The only difference is that in this case, 
transcripts of all interviews and depositions have been made 
public; all documentary evidence relied on by HPSCI in its 
report has been made available to the President; and the 
President's counsel could have participated and raised 
questions during presentations of evidence but chose not to.

3. The President Was Not Entitled to Additional Procedural Rights

    White House Counsel Pat A. Cipollone suggested in his 
October 8 letter on behalf of President Trump that the 
President was entitled to a host of additional due process 
rights during the House's impeachment inquiry, including ``the 
right to see all evidence, to present evidence, to call 
witnesses, to have counsel present at all hearings, to cross-
examine all witnesses, to make objections . . . , and to 
respond to evidence and testimony.''\115\ He also indicated 
that the President was entitled to review all favorable 
evidence and all evidence bearing on the credibility of 
witnesses.\116\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \115\Oct. 8 Cipollone Letter.
    \116\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    These are the types of procedural protections, however, 
typically afforded in criminal trials--not during preliminary 
investigative stages.\117\ As HPSCI explained in its report, 
``there is no requirement that the House provide these 
procedures during an impeachment inquiry.''\118\ Rather, as 
Chairman Rodino stated during the Nixon impeachment inquiry, 
the President's participation ``is not a right but a privilege 
or a courtesy.''\119\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \117\Cf., e.g., United States v. Calandra, 414 U.S. 338, 350 (1974) 
(rejecting procedural protections that would ``saddle a grand jury with 
minitrials and . . . assuredly impede its investigation'').
    \118\Ukraine Report at 212.
    \119\Nixon Impeachment Hearings at 497.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In any event, the core privileges described in Mr. 
Cipollone's letter were in fact offered to President Trump as 
courtesies during the Judiciary Committee's proceedings. The 
President was able to review ``all evidence'' relied on by the 
Investigating Committees, including evidence that the 
Minority's public report identified as favorable to him. During 
the Judiciary Committee's proceedings, the President had 
opportunities to present evidence, call witnesses, have counsel 
present to raise objections and cross-examine witnesses, and 
respond to the evidence raised against him. As the Rules 
Committee report accompanying H. Res. 660 noted, these 
privileges are ``commensurate with the inquiry process followed 
in the cases of President Nixon and President Clinton.''\120\ 
President Trump simply chose not to avail himself of the 
procedural opportunities afforded to him.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \120\Rules Committee Report at 7.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    D. THE MINORITY WAS AFFORDED FULL AND ADEQUATE PROCEDURAL RIGHTS

    Members of the Minority have also contended that they were 
not afforded the full procedural rights provided to the 
Minority in prior impeachment inquiries and have raised a host 
of related objections to the proceedings. These claims lack 
merit.
    First, the Minority has contended that it was deprived of 
the ability to subpoena witnesses and documentary evidence. 
However, the rules governing both the Nixon and Clinton 
impeachment inquiries rendered the Minority's subpoena 
authority equally contingent on the Majority. Under H. Res. 803 
(governing the Nixon proceedings) and H. Res. 581 (governing 
the Clinton proceedings), the Chairman could refer a subpoena 
request by the Ranking Member for a vote by the full Committee 
if the Chairman disagreed with such a request.\121\ So too 
here, H. Res. 660 authorized the Ranking Member to issue 
subpoenas with the Chairman's concurrence, or to refer such 
requests for a vote by the full Committee if the Chairman 
declined to concur.\122\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \121\H. Res. 803 Sec. 2(b), 93d Cong. (1974); H. Res. 581 
Sec. 2(b), 105th Cong. (1998).
    \122\H. Res. 660 Sec. 4(c). The only distinction is that H. Res. 
660 did not reciprocally allow the Ranking Member to refer subpoena 
requests by the Chairman for a full Committee vote. But that is because 
contemporary House Rules already permit the Judiciary Committee and 
other committees to delegate their subpoena authority to their chairs. 
House Rule XI.2(m)(3)(A)(i). It makes little sense to suggest that the 
subpoena authority of the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee should be 
reduced during an impeachment inquiry.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Second, the Minority has contended that the Committee 
should have heard testimony from additional witnesses they 
requested, including the whistleblower, various individuals 
with whom the whistleblower spoke, and even Chairman 
Schiff.\123\ As an initial matter, during HPSCI's proceedings, 
the Minority called three witnesses of its choosing--Ambassador 
Volker, Undersecretary Hale, and Mr. Morrison. Ambassador 
Volker and Mr. Morrison testified on their own panel at length; 
and their testimony only served to corroborate other witnesses' 
accounts of the President's misconduct.\124\ As to proceedings 
before the Judiciary Committee, the Minority called a witness 
of its choosing to present views during the Committee's 
December 4 hearing on Constitutional Grounds for Presidential 
Impeachment. Furthermore, Minority counsel had equal time to 
present arguments and evidence during the Committee's December 
9 hearing. However, as Chairman Schiff stated and as Chairman 
Nadler reiterated, Congress has an imperative interest in 
protecting whistleblowers. And in this particular instance, 
Congress has an especially critical need to prevent the House's 
impeachment inquiry from being used to ``facilitate the 
President's effort to threaten, intimidate, and retaliate 
against the whistleblower,'' which placed his or her personal 
safety at grave risk.\125\ Furthermore, the whistleblower's 
allegations were not relied upon by HPSCI or the Judiciary 
Committee in reaching their conclusions, making his or her 
testimony ``redundant and unnecessary.''\126\ Rather, HPSCI 
adduced independent and more direct evidence.\127\
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    \123\See Letter from Doug Collins, Ranking Member, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, to Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary (Dec. 
6, 2019).
    \124\Impeachment Inquiry: Ambassador Kurt Volker and Timothy 
Morrison: Hearing Before the H. Perm. Select Comm. on Intelligence, 
116th Cong. (2019); see, e.g., Ukraine Report at 123 (Ambassador Volker 
testified that Department of Justice did not make an official request 
for Ukraine's assistance in law enforcement investigations).
    \125\Letter from Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, to Doug Collins, Ranking Member, H. Comm. on the Judiciary 
(Dec. 9, 2019).
    \126\Letter from Adam B. Schiff, Chairman, H. Perm. Select Comm. on 
Intelligence, to Devin Nunes, Ranking Member, H. Perm. Select Comm. on 
Intelligence (Nov. 9, 2019).
    \127\Id.
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    In addition, the Ranking Member and all other Committee 
Members had the full opportunity to question HPSCI's lead 
investigative counsel during the Committee's December 9 
hearing. Presentation of evidence by Committee counsel is 
consistent with the procedures followed during the Nixon 
impeachment inquiry--and in no impeachment inquiry has the 
House relied upon evidentiary presentations from another 
Member. Finally, the Ranking Member's request to hear testimony 
from other witnesses such as Hunter Biden was well outside the 
scope of the impeachment inquiry and would have allowed the 
President and his allies in Congress to propagate exactly the 
same kinds of misinformation that President Trump corruptly 
pressured Ukraine to propagate for his own political benefit. 
Such witnesses were entirely irrelevant to the question of 
whether President Trump abused his power for his personal gain.
    Third, the Minority requested that it be entitled to a day 
of hearings pursuant to House Rule XI.2(j)(1), which entitles 
the Minority, upon request, to call witnesses to testify 
regarding any ``measure or matter'' considered in a committee 
hearing ``during at least one day of hearing thereon.'' The 
Minority requested a hearing day on the subject of 
constitutional grounds for impeachment, as discussed at the 
Committee's December 4 hearing. However, as Chairman Nadler 
explained in ruling against the Ranking Member's point of 
order, this Rule does not require the Chairman ``to schedule a 
hearing on a particular day,'' nor is the Chairman required 
``to schedule the hearing as a condition precedent to taking 
any specific legislative action.''\128\ Indeed, a report 
accompanying this provision when it was first promulgated 
stated that its purpose was not ``an authorization for delaying 
tactics.''\129\ Chairman Nadler further explained that the 
Minority had been afforded the opportunity to have its views 
represented through its witness during the December 4 hearing, 
who testified at length. Additionally, the Chairman said he was 
willing to work with the Minority to schedule a Minority day 
for a hearing at an appropriate time.\130\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \128\H. Res. 755, Articles of Impeachment Against President Donald 
J. Trump: Markup Before H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 116th Cong. (Dec. 
11, 2019) (ruling on point of order by Chairman Nadler) (hereinafter 
``H. Res. 755 Markup'').
    \129\Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970, H. Rep. No. 91-1215, 
at 6 (1970).
    \130\H. Res. 755 Markup (ruling on point of order by Chairman 
Nadler).
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    Fourth, the Minority has contended that the proceedings 
before the Judiciary Committee were inadequate because the 
Committee did not hear from ``fact witnesses.'' The evidence in 
the House's impeachment inquiry consists of more than one 
hundred hours of deposition or interview testimony by seventeen 
witnesses, followed by five days of live televised hearings 
with twelve fact witnesses.\131\ At bottom, the Minority's 
objection instead amounts to a claim that fact hearings do not 
count unless they occur before this Committee. That notion is 
inconsistent with both the Nixon and Clinton impeachment 
inquiries, in which the Judiciary Committee relied on, inter 
alia, public and private testimony before the Senate Select 
Committee in the case of President Nixon, and transcripts of 
grand jury proceedings in the case of President Clinton. In 
this instance, HPSCI and the Committees on Oversight and Reform 
and Foreign Affairs conducted their witness examinations ably 
and transparently, working within their subject matter areas of 
expertise. Furthermore, to the extent Judiciary Committee 
members wished to probe the evidentiary record, they had 
opportunities to do so when HPSCI's Majority and Minority 
counsels presented evidence before the Committee.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \131\Ukraine Report at 7.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, the Minority has repeatedly suggested that the 
House's impeachment inquiry has been rushed. The House's 
investigation of the President's conduct regarding Ukraine 
began in early September and has proceeded for more than three 
months. In addition, that investigation followed extensive 
investigations into the President's having welcomed foreign 
assistance from Russia during the 2016 United States 
Presidential election and then obstructing the law enforcement 
investigation that ensued. President Trump's efforts to enlist 
the assistance of another foreign government for the 2020 
United States Presidential election therefore raised immediate 
alarm and required prompt action. As HPSCI's report states, 
``[w]ith this backdrop, the solicitation of new foreign 
intervention was the act of a president unbound.''\132\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \132\Id. at 10.
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    The House's investigation of President Trump's misconduct--
which occupied a time frame commensurate with that for the 
impeachment inquiry against President Clinton--was fair and 
thorough. The Investigating Committees assembled a 
comprehensive record that was more than sufficient to provide 
them with a thorough picture of the facts. To the extent gaps 
remained, they resulted from President Trump's obstruction of 
Congress. The urgency posed by the President's abuse of his 
office, his invitation of foreign interference in the 2020 
United States Presidential election, and his disregard for any 
mechanisms of accountability required concerted action by the 
House, not further delay.

                             V. Conclusion

    The House conducted a thorough and fair inquiry regarding 
President Trump's misconduct, notwithstanding the unique and 
extraordinary challenges posed by the President's obstruction. 
The Investigating Committees amassed thorough and irrefutable 
evidence that the President abused his office by pressuring a 
foreign government to interfere in the next election. When 
committees of the House--rather than a grand jury, a Senate 
committee, or an Independent Counsel--must serve as primary 
investigators in an impeachment inquiry, they have an 
obligation to balance investigative needs and best practices 
for collecting evidence with the President's interest in 
telling his story and the public interest in transparency. But 
that does not entitle the President to inject himself at each 
and every stage of the proceedings, thus confounding the 
House's inquiry.
    Here, consistent with historical practice, the House 
divided its impeachment inquiry into two phases, first 
collecting evidence and then bringing that evidence before the 
Judiciary Committee for its consideration of articles of 
impeachment. The Judiciary Committee then evaluated the 
evidence in a process that afforded President Trump the same or 
more privileges of his predecessors who have faced impeachment 
inquiries. The President's refusal to comply with or 
participate in these proceedings only confirmed his intent to 
obstruct Congress in the performance of its essential 
constitutional functions.

          Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment


                            I. Introduction

    Our President holds the ultimate public trust. He is vested 
with powers so great that they frightened the Framers of our 
Constitution; in exchange, he swears an oath to faithfully 
execute the laws that hold those powers in check. This oath is 
no formality. The Framers foresaw that a faithless President 
could destroy their experiment in democracy. As George Mason 
warned at the Constitutional Convention, held in Philadelphia 
in 1787, ``if we do not provide against corruption, our 
government will soon be at an end.''\133\ Mason evoked a well-
known historical truth: when corrupt motives take root, they 
drive an endless thirst for power and contempt for checks and 
balances. It is then only the smallest of steps toward acts of 
oppression and assaults on free and fair elections. A President 
faithful only to himself--who will sell out democracy and 
national security for his own personal advantage--is a danger 
to every American. Indeed, he threatens America itself.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \133\1 Max Farrand, ed., The Records of the Federal Convention of 
1787, 392 (1911) (hereinafter, ``Records of the Federal Convention'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Impeachment is the Constitution's final answer to a 
President who mistakes himself for a monarch. Aware that power 
corrupts, our Framers built other guardrails against that 
error. The Constitution thus separates governmental powers, 
imposes an oath of faithful execution, prohibits profiting from 
office, and guarantees accountability through regular 
elections. But the Framers were not naa ve. They knew, and 
feared, that someday a corrupt executive might claim he could 
do anything he wanted as President. Determined to protect our 
democracy, the Framers built a safety valve into the 
Constitution: A President can be removed from office if the 
House of Representatives approves articles of impeachment 
charging him with ``Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors,'' and if two-thirds of the Senate votes to find 
the President guilty of such misconduct after a trial.\134\
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    \134\U.S. Const. art. II, Sec. 4; id. art. I, Sec. 5, cl. 5; id. 
art. I, Sec. 3, cl. 6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As Justice Joseph Story recognized, ``the power of 
impeachment is not one expected in any government to be in 
constant or frequent exercise.''\135\ When faced with credible 
evidence of extraordinary wrongdoing, however, it is incumbent 
on the House to investigate and determine whether impeachment 
is warranted. On October 31, 2019, the House approved H. Res. 
660, which, among other things, confirmed the preexisting 
inquiry ``into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House 
of Representatives to exercise its Constitutional power to 
impeach Donald John Trump, President of the United States of 
America.''\136\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \135\2 Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United 
States, 221 (1833).
    \136\H. Res. 660, 116th Cong. (2019).
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    The Judiciary Committee now faces questions of 
extraordinary importance. In prior impeachment inquiries 
addressing allegations of Presidential misconduct, the staff of 
the Judiciary Committee has prepared reports addressing 
relevant principles of constitutional law.\137\ Consistent with 
that practice, and to assist the Committee and the House in 
working toward a resolution of the questions before them, the 
majority staff prepared the following report to explore the 
meaning of the words in the Constitution's Impeachment Clause: 
``Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.'' 
The report also describes the impeachment process and addresses 
several mistaken claims about impeachment that have recently 
drawn public notice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \137\Staff of H. Comm. on the Judiciary, Constitutional Grounds for 
Presidential Impeachment 93d Cong.,4 (Comm. Print 1974) (hereinafter 
``Staff Report on Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment 
(1974)''); Staff of H. Comm. on the Judiciary, Constitutional Grounds 
for Presidential Impeachment: Modern Precedents, 105th Cong. (Comm. 
Print 1998) (hereinafter ``Staff Report on Constitutional Grounds for 
Presidential Impeachment: Modern Precedents (1998)'').
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                  II. Summary of Principal Conclusions

    Our principal conclusions are as follows.
    The purpose of impeachment. As the Framers deliberated in 
Philadelphia, Mason posed a profound question: ``Shall any man 
be above justice?''\138\ By authorizing Congress to remove 
Presidents for egregious misconduct, the Framers offered a 
resounding answer. As Mason elaborated, ``some mode of 
displacing an unfit magistrate is rendered indispensable by the 
fallibility of those who choose, as well as by the 
corruptibility of the man chosen.''\139\ Unlike Britain's 
monarch, the President would answer personally--to Congress and 
thus to the Nation--if he engaged in serious wrongdoing. 
Alexander Hamilton explained that the President would have no 
more resemblance to the British king than to ``the Grand 
Seignior, to the khan of Tartary, [or] to the Man of the Seven 
Mountains.''\140\ Whereas ``the person of the king of Great 
Britain is sacred and inviolable,'' the President of the United 
States could be ``impeached, tried, and upon conviction . . . 
removed from office.''\141\ Critically, though, impeachment 
goes no further. It results only in loss of political power. 
This speaks to the nature of impeachment: it exists not to 
inflict punishment for past wrongdoing, but rather to save the 
Nation from misconduct that endangers democracy and the rule of 
law. Thus, the ultimate question in an impeachment is whether 
leaving the President in our highest office imperils the 
Constitution.\142\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \138\2 Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention at 65.
    \139\1 Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention at 86.
    \140\Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 69, 444 (Benjamin Fletcher 
Wright ed., 2004).
    \141\Id.
    \142\See Laurence H. Tribe, American Constitutional Law 155 (3d ed. 
2000).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Impeachable offenses. The Framers were careful students of 
history and knew that threats to democracy can take many forms. 
They feared would-be monarchs, but also warned against fake 
populists, charismatic demagogues, and corrupt kleptocrats. The 
Framers thus intended impeachment to reach the full spectrum of 
Presidential misconduct that menaced the Constitution. Because 
they could not anticipate and prohibit every threat a President 
might someday pose, the Framers adopted a standard sufficiently 
general and flexible to meet unknown future circumstances: 
``Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.'' 
This standard was proposed by Mason and was meant, in his 
words, to capture all manner of ``great and dangerous 
offenses'' against the Constitution.\143\
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    \143\2 Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention at 550.
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    Treason and bribery. Applying traditional tools of 
interpretation puts a sharper point on this definition of 
``high Crimes and Misdemeanors.'' For starters, it is useful to 
consider the two impeachable offenses that the Framers 
identified for us. ``Treason'' is an unforgiveable betrayal of 
the Nation and its security. A President who levies war against 
the government, or lends aid and comfort to our enemies, cannot 
persist in office; a President who betrays the Nation once will 
most certainly do so again. ``Bribery,'' in turn, sounds in 
abuse of power. Impeachable bribery occurs when the President 
offers, solicits, or accepts something of personal value to 
influence his own official actions. By rendering such bribery 
impeachable, the Framers sought to ensure that the Nation could 
expel a leader who would sell out the interests of ``We the 
People'' for his own personal gain.
    In identifying ``other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,'' we 
are guided by the text and structure of the Constitution, the 
records of the Constitutional Convention and state ratifying 
debates, and the history of impeachment practice. These sources 
demonstrate that the Framers principally intended impeachment 
for three overlapping forms of Presidential wrongdoing: (1) 
abuse of power, (2) betrayal of the nation through foreign 
entanglements, and (3) corruption of office and elections. Any 
one of these violations of the public trust justifies 
impeachment; when combined in a single course of conduct, they 
state the strongest possible case for impeachment and removal 
from office.
    Abuse of power. There are at least as many ways to abuse 
power as there are powers vested in the President. It would 
thus be an exercise in futility to attempt a list of every 
abuse of power constituting ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors.'' 
That said, impeachable abuse of power can be roughly divided 
into two categories: engaging in official acts forbidden by law 
and engaging in official action with motives forbidden by law. 
As James Iredell explained, ``the president would be liable to 
impeachments [if] he . . . had acted from some corrupt motive 
or other.''\144\ This warning echoed Edmund Randolph's teaching 
that impeachment must be allowed because ``the Executive will 
have great opportunitys of abusing his power.''\145\ President 
Richard Nixon's conduct has come to exemplify impeachable abuse 
of power: he acted with corrupt motives in obstructing justice 
and using official power to target his political opponents, and 
his decision to unlawfully defy subpoenas issued by the House 
impeachment inquiry was unconstitutional on its face.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \144\Quoted in Background and History of Impeachment: Hearing 
before the Subcomm. On the Constitution of the H. Comm on the 
Judiciary, 105th Cong. 49 (1999) (hereinafter ``1998 Background and 
History of Impeachment Hearing'').
    \145\2 Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention at 67.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Betrayal involving foreign powers. As much as the Framers 
feared abuse, they feared betrayal still more. That anxiety is 
shot through their discussion of impeachment--and explains why 
``Treason'' heads the Constitution's list of impeachable 
offenses. James Madison put it simply: the President ``might 
betray his trust to foreign powers.''\146\ Although the Framers 
did not intend impeachment for good faith disagreements on 
matters of diplomacy, they were explicit that betrayal of the 
Nation through schemes with foreign powers justified that 
remedy. Indeed, foreign interference in the American political 
system was among the gravest dangers feared by the Founders of 
our Nation and the Framers of our Constitution. In his farewell 
address, George Washington thus warned Americans ``to be 
constantly awake, since history and experience prove that 
foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican 
government.''\147\ And in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, John 
Adams wrote: ``You are apprehensive of foreign Interference, 
Intrigue, Influence. So am I.--But, as often as Elections 
happen, the danger of foreign Influence recurs.''\148\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \146\Id. at 65-66.
    \147\George Washington Farewell Address (1796), George Washington 
Papers, Series 2, Letterbooks 1754-1799: Letterbook 24, April 3, 1793--
March 3, 1797, Library of Congress.
    \148\To Thomas Jefferson from John Adams, 6 December 1787, Founders 
Online, National Archives.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Corruption. Lurking beneath the Framers' discussion of 
impeachment was the most ancient and implacable foe of 
democracy: corruption. The Framers saw no shortage of threats 
to the Republic, and sought to guard against them, ``but the 
big fear underlying all the small fears was whether they'd be 
able to control corruption.''\149\ As Madison put it, 
corruption ``might be fatal to the Republic.''\150\ This was 
not just a matter of thwarting bribes; it was a far more 
expansive challenge. The Framers celebrated civic virtue and 
love of country; they wrote rules to ensure officials would not 
use public power for private gain.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \149\Zephyr Teachout, Corruption in America: From Benjamin 
Franklin's Snuff Box to Citizens United 57 (2014).
    \150\2 Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention at 66.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Impeachment was seen as especially necessary for 
Presidential conduct corrupting our system of political self-
government. That concern arose in multiple contexts as the 
Framers debated the Constitution. The most important was the 
risk that Presidents would place their personal interest in re-
election above our bedrock national commitment to democracy. 
The Framers knew that corrupt leaders concentrate power by 
manipulating elections and undercutting adversaries. They 
despised King George III, who ``resorted to influencing the 
electoral process and the representatives in Parliament in 
order to gain [his] treacherous ends.''\151\ That is why the 
Framers deemed electoral treachery a central ground for 
impeachment. The very premise of the Constitution is that the 
American people govern themselves, and choose their leaders, 
through free and fair elections. When the President concludes 
that elections might threaten his grasp on power and abuses his 
office to sabotage opponents or invite inference, he rejects 
democracy itself and must be removed.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \151\Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-
1787 33 (1998).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Conclusions regarding the nature of impeachable offenses. 
In sum, history teaches that ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors''' 
referred mainly to acts committed by public officials, using 
their power or privileges, that inflicted grave harm on our 
political order. Such great and dangerous offenses included 
treason, bribery, serious abuse of power, betrayal of the 
national interest through foreign entanglements, and corruption 
of office and elections. They were unified by a clear theme: 
officials who abused, abandoned, or sought personal benefit 
from their public trust--and who threatened the rule of law if 
left in power--faced impeachment. Each of these acts, moreover, 
should be plainly wrong to reasonable officials and persons of 
honor. When a political official uses political power in ways 
that substantially harm our political system, Congress can 
strip them of that power.
    Within these parameters, and guided by fidelity to the 
Constitution, the House must judge whether the President's 
misconduct is grave enough to require impeachment. That step 
must never be taken lightly. It is a momentous act, justified 
only when the President's full course of conduct, assessed 
without favor or prejudice, is ``seriously incompatible with 
either the constitutional form and principles of our government 
or the proper performance of constitutional duties of the 
presidential office.''\152\ But when that high standard is met, 
the Constitution calls the House to action--and the House, in 
turn, must rise to the occasion. In such cases, a decision not 
to impeach can harm democracy and set an ominous precedent.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \152\Report of the Committee on the Judiciary, Impeachment of 
Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States, H.. Rep. No. 93-1305 
8 (1974) (hereinafter ``Committee Report on Nixon Articles of 
Impeachment (1974)'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The criminality issue. It is occasionally suggested that 
Presidents can be impeached only if they have committed crimes. 
That position was rejected in President Nixon's case, and then 
rejected again in President Clinton's, and should be rejected 
once more. Offenses against the Constitution are different than 
offenses against the criminal code. Some crimes, like 
jaywalking, are not impeachable. And some forms of misconduct 
may offend both the Constitution and the criminal law. 
Impeachment and criminality must therefore be assessed 
separately--even though the President's commission of 
indictable crimes may further support a case for impeachment 
and removal. Ultimately, the House must judge whether a 
President's conduct offends and endangers the Constitution 
itself.
    Fallacies about impeachment. In the final section, we 
briefly address six falsehoods about impeachment that have 
recently drawn public notice.
    First, contrary to mistaken claims otherwise, we 
demonstrate that the current impeachment inquiry has complied 
in every respect with the Constitution, the Rules of the House, 
and historic practice and precedent of the House.
    Second, we address several evidentiary matters. The House 
impeachment inquiry has compiled substantial direct and 
circumstantial evidence bearing on the issues at hand. 
Nonetheless, President Trump has objected that some of the 
evidence gathered by the House comes from witnesses lacking 
first-hand knowledge of his conduct. But in the same breath, he 
has unlawfully ordered many witnesses with first-hand knowledge 
to defy House subpoenas. As we show, President Trump's 
assertions regarding the evidence before the House are 
misplaced as a matter of constitutional law and common sense.
    Third, we consider President Trump's claim that his actions 
are protected because of his right under Article II of the 
Constitution ``to do whatever I want as president.''\153\ This 
claim is wrong, and profoundly so, because our Constitution 
rejects pretensions to monarchy and binds Presidents with law. 
That is true even of powers vested exclusively in the chief 
executive. If those powers are invoked for corrupt reasons, or 
wielded in an abusive manner harming the constitutional system, 
the President is subject to impeachment for ``high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors.'' This is a core premise of the impeachment 
power.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \153\Remarks by President Trump at Turning Point USA's Teen Student 
Action Summit 2019, July 23, 2019, The White House.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Fourth, we address whether the House must accept at face 
value President Trump's claim that his motives were not 
corrupt. In short, no. When the House probes a President's 
state of mind, its mandate is to find the facts. That means 
evaluating the President's account of his motives to see if it 
rings true. The question is not whether the President's conduct 
could have resulted from permissible motives. It is whether the 
President's real reasons, the ones in his mind at the time, 
were legitimate. Where the House discovers persuasive evidence 
of corrupt wrongdoing, it is entitled to rely upon that 
evidence to impeach.
    Fifth, we explain that attempted Presidential wrongdoing is 
impeachable. Mason himself said so at the Constitutional 
Convention, where he described ``attempts to subvert the 
Constitution'' as a core example of ``great and dangerous 
offenses.''\154\ Moreover, the Judiciary Committee reached the 
same conclusion in President Nixon's case. Historical precedent 
thus confirms that ineptitude and insubordination do not afford 
the President a defense to impeachment. A President cannot 
escape impeachment just because his scheme to abuse power, 
betray the nation, or corrupt elections was discovered and 
abandoned.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \154\Cass R. Sunstein, Impeachment: A Citizen's Guide 47 (2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, we consider whether impeachment ``nullifies'' the 
last election or denies voters their voice in the next one. The 
Framers themselves weighed this question. They considered 
relying solely on elections--rather than impeachment--to remove 
wayward Presidents. That position was firmly rejected. No 
President is entitled to persist in office after committing 
``high Crimes and Misdemeanors,'' and no one who voted for him 
in the last election is entitled to expect he will do so. Where 
the President's misconduct is aimed at corrupting elections, 
relying on elections to solve the problem is no safeguard at 
all.

                    III. The Purpose of Impeachment

    Freedom must not be taken for granted. It demands constant 
protection from leaders whose taste of power sparks a voracious 
need for more. Time and again, republics have fallen to 
officials who care little for the law and use the public trust 
for private gain.
    The Framers of the Constitution knew this well. They saw 
corruption erode the British constitution from within. They 
heard kings boast of their own excellence while conspiring with 
foreign powers and consorting with shady figures. As talk of 
revolution spread, they objected as King George III used favors 
and party politics to control Parliament, aided by men who sold 
their souls and welcomed oppression.
    The Framers risked their freedom, and their lives, to 
escape that monarchy. So did their families and many of their 
friends. Together, they resolved to build a nation committed to 
democracy and the rule of law--a beacon to the world in an age 
of aristocracy. In the United States of America, ``We the 
People'' would be sovereign. We would choose our own leaders 
and hold them accountable for how they exercised power.
    As they designed our government at the Constitutional 
Convention, however, the Framers faced a dilemma. On the one 
hand, many of them embraced the need for a powerful chief 
executive. This had been cast into stark relief by the failure 
of the Nation's very first constitution, the Articles of 
Confederation, which put Congress in charge at the federal 
level. The ensuing discord led James Madison to warn, ``it is 
not possible that a government can last long under these 
circumstances.''\155\ The Framers therefore created the 
Presidency. A single official could lead the Nation with 
integrity, energy, and dispatch--and would be held personally 
responsible for honoring that immense public trust.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \155\Quoted in id. at 27.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Power, though, is a double-edged sword. ``The power to do 
good meant also the power to do harm, the power to serve the 
republic also meant the power to demean and defile it.''\156\ 
The President would be vested with breathtaking authority. If 
corrupt motives took root in his mind, displacing civic virtue 
and love of country, he could sabotage the Constitution. That 
was clear to the Framers, who saw corruption as ``the great 
force that had undermined republics throughout history.''\157\ 
Obsessed with the fall of Rome, they knew that corruption 
marked a leader's path to abuse and betrayal. Mason thus 
emphasized, ``if we do not provide against corruption, our 
government will soon be at an end.'' This warning against 
corruption--echoed no fewer than 54 times by 15 delegates at 
the Convention--extended far beyond bribes and presents. To the 
Framers, corruption was fundamentally about the misuse of a 
position of public trust for any improper private benefit. It 
thus went to the heart of their conception of public service. 
As a leading historian recounts, ``a corrupt political actor 
would either purposely ignore or forget the public good as he 
used the reins of power.''\158\ Because men and women are not 
angels, corruption could not be fully eradicated, even in 
virtuous officials, but ``its power can be subdued with the 
right combination of culture and political rules.''\159\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \156\Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Imperial Presidency 415 
(1973).
    \157\Elizabeth B. Wydra & Brianne J. Gorod, The First Magistrate in 
Foreign Pay, The New Republic, Nov. 11, 2019.
    \158\Teachout, Corruption in America at 48.
    \159\Id. at 47.
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    The Framers therefore erected safeguards against 
Presidential abuse. Most famously, they divided power among 
three branches of government that had the means and motive to 
balance each other. ``Ambition,'' Madison reasoned, ``must be 
made to counteract ambition.''\160\ In addition, the Framers 
subjected the President to election every four years and 
established the Electoral College (which, they hoped, would 
select virtuous, capable leaders and refuse to re-elect corrupt 
or unpopular ones). Finally, the Framers imposed on the 
President a duty to faithfully execute the laws--and required 
him to accept that duty in a solemn oath.\161\ To the Framers, 
the concept of faithful execution was profoundly important. It 
prohibited the President from taking official acts in bad faith 
or with corrupt intent, as well as acts beyond what the law 
authorized.\162\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \160\James Madison, Federalist No. 51 at 356.
    \161\U.S. Const. art. II, Sec. 1, cl. 8.
    \162\See Andrew Kent, Ethan J. Leib & Jed Handelsman Shugerman, 
Faithful Execution and Article II, 132 Harv. L. Rev. 2111-2121 (2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A few Framers would have stopped there. This minority 
feared vesting any branch of government with the power to end a 
Presidency; as they saw it, even extreme Presidential 
wrongdoing could be managed in the normal course (mainly by 
periodic elections).
    That view was decisively rejected. As Professor Raoul 
Berger writes, ``the Framers were steeped in English history; 
the shades of despotic kings and conniving ministers marched 
before them.''\163\ Haunted by those lessons, and convening in 
the shadow of revolution, the Framers would not deny the Nation 
an escape from Presidents who deemed themselves above the law. 
So they turned to a mighty constitutional power, one that 
offered a peaceful and politically accountable method for 
ending an oppressive Presidency.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \163\Raoul Berger, Impeachment: The Constitutional Problems 4 
(1974).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This was impeachment, a legal relic from the British past 
that over the preceding century had found a new lease on life 
in the North American colonies. First deployed in 1376--and 
wielded in fits and starts over the following 400 years--
impeachment allowed Parliament to charge royal ministers with 
abuse, remove them from office, and imprison them. Over time, 
impeachment helped Parliament shift power away from royal 
absolutism and encouraged more politically accountable 
administration. In 1679, it was thus proclaimed in the House of 
Commons that impeachment was ``the chief institution for the 
preservation of government.''\164\ That sentiment was echoed in 
the New World. Even as Parliamentary impeachment fell into 
disuse by the early 1700s, colonists in Maryland, Pennsylvania, 
and Massachusetts laid claim to this prerogative as part of 
their English birthright. During the revolution, ten states 
ratified constitutions allowing the impeachment of executive 
officials--and put that power to use in cases of corruption and 
abuse of power.\165\ Unlike in Britain, though, American 
impeachment did not result in fines or jailtime. It simply 
removed officials from political power when their conduct 
required it.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \164\Id. at 1 n.2.
    \165\Frank O. Bowman, III, High Crimes and Misdemeanors: A History 
of Impeachment for the Age of Trump 72 (2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Familiar with the use of impeachment to address lawless 
officials, the Framers offered a clear answer to Mason's 
question at the Constitutional Convention, ``Shall any man be 
above justice''?\166\ As Mason himself explained, ``some mode 
of displacing an unfit magistrate is rendered indispensable by 
the fallibility of those who choose, as well as by the 
corruptibility of the man chosen.''\167\ Future Vice President 
Elbridge Gerry agreed, adding that impeachment repudiates the 
fallacy that our ``chief magistrate could do no wrong.''\168\ 
Benjamin Franklin, in turn, made the case that impeachment is 
``the best way'' to assess claims of serious wrongdoing by a 
President; without it, those accusations would fester 
unresolved and invite enduring conflict over Presidential 
malfeasance.\169\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \166\2 Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention at 65-67.
    \167\1 Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention at 66.
    \168\2 Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention at 66.
    \169\James Madison, Notes on Debates in the Federal Convention of 
1787 332 (1987).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Unlike in Britain, the President would answer personally--
to Congress and thus to the Nation--for any serious wrongdoing. 
For that reason, as Hamilton later explained, the President 
would have no more resemblance to the British king than to 
``the Grand Seignior, to the khan of Tartary, [or] to the Man 
of the Seven Mountains.''\170\ Whereas ``the person of the king 
of Great Britain is sacred and inviolable,'' the President 
could be ``impeached, tried, and upon conviction . . . removed 
from office.''\171\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \170\Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 69 at 444.
    \171\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Of course, the decision to subject the President to 
impeachment was not the end of the story. The Framers also had 
to specify how this would work in practice. After long and 
searching debate they made three crucial decisions, each of 
which sheds light on their understanding of impeachment's 
proper role in our constitutional system.
    First, they limited the consequences of impeachment to 
``removal from Office'' and ``disqualification'' from future 
officeholding.\172\ To the extent the President's wrongful 
conduct also breaks the law, the Constitution expressly 
reserves criminal punishment for the ordinary processes of 
criminal law. In that respect, ``the consequences of 
impeachment and conviction go just far enough, and no further 
than, to remove the threat posed to the Republic by an unfit 
official.''\173\ This speaks to the very nature of impeachment: 
it exists not to inflict personal punishment for past 
wrongdoing, but rather to protect against future Presidential 
misconduct that would endanger democracy and the rule of 
law.\174\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \172\U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 43, cl. 7.
    \173\John O. McGinnis, Impeachment: The Structural Understanding, 
67 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 650, 650 (1999).
    \174\See Tribe, American Constitutional Law at 155.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Second, the Framers vested the House with ``the sole Power 
of Impeachment.''\175\ The House thus serves in a role 
analogous to a grand jury and prosecutor: it investigates the 
President's misconduct and decides whether to formally accuse 
him of impeachable acts. As James Iredell explained during 
debates over whether to ratify the Constitution, ``this power 
is lodged in those who represent the great body of the people, 
because the occasion for its exercise will arise from acts of 
great injury to the community.''\176\ The Senate, in turn, 
holds ``the sole Power to try all Impeachments.''\177\ When the 
Senate sits as a court of impeachment for the President, each 
Senator must swear a special oath, the Chief Justice of the 
United States presides, and conviction requires ``the 
concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.''\178\ By 
designating Congress to accuse the President and conduct his 
trial, the Framers confirmed--in Hamilton's words--that 
impeachment concerns an ``abuse or violation of some public 
trust'' with ``injuries done immediately to the society 
itself.''\179\ Impeachment is reserved for offenses against our 
political system. It is therefore prosecuted and judged by 
Congress, speaking for the Nation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \175\U.S. Const. tart. I, Sec. 2, cl. 5.
    \176\4 Jonathan Elliot, ed., The Debates in the Several State 
Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution 113 (1861) 
(hereinafter ``Debates in the Several State Conventions'').
    \177\U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 3, cl. 6.
    \178\Id.
    \179\Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 65 at 426.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last, but not least, the Framers imposed a rule of 
wrongdoing. The President cannot be removed based on poor 
management, general incompetence, or unpopular policies. 
Instead, the question in any impeachment inquiry is whether the 
President has engaged in misconduct justifying an early end to 
his term in office: ``Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes 
and Misdemeanors.''\180\ This phrase had a particular legal 
meaning to the Framers. It is to that understanding, and to its 
application in prior Presidential impeachments, that we now 
turn.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \180\U.S. Const. art. II, Sec. 4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        IV. Impeachable Offenses

    As careful students of history, the Framers knew that 
threats to democracy can take many forms. They feared would-be 
monarchs, but also warned against fake populists, charismatic 
demagogues, and corrupt kleptocrats. In describing the kind of 
leader who might menace the Nation, Hamilton offered an 
especially striking portrait:

    When a man unprincipled in private life[,] desperate in his 
fortune, bold in his temper . . . known to have scoffed in 
private at the principles of liberty--when such a man is seen 
to mount the hobby horse of popularity--to join in the cry of 
danger to liberty--to take every opportunity of embarrassing 
the General Government & bringing it under suspicion--to 
flatter and fall in with all the non sense [sic] of the zealots 
of the day--It may justly be suspected that his object is to 
throw things into confusion that he may ride the storm and 
direct the whirlwind.\181\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \181\Alexander Hamilton, ``Objections and Answers respecting the 
Administration of the Government,'' Founders Online, National Archives.

    This prophesy echoed Hamilton's warning, in Federalist No. 
1, that ``of those men who have overturned the liberties of 
republics, the greatest number have begun their career by 
paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing 
demagogues, and ending tyrants.''\182\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \182\Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 1 at 91.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Framers thus intended impeachment to reach the full 
spectrum of Presidential misconduct that threatened the 
Constitution. They also intended our Constitution to endure for 
the ages. Because they could not anticipate and specifically 
prohibit every threat a President might someday pose, the 
Framers adopted a standard sufficiently general and flexible to 
meet unknown future circumstances. This standard was meant--as 
Mason put it--to capture all manner of ``great and dangerous 
offenses'' incompatible with the Constitution. When the 
President uses the powers of his high office to benefit 
himself, while injuring or ignoring the American people he is 
oath-bound to serve, he has committed an impeachable offense.
    Applying the tools of legal interpretation, as we do below, 
puts a sharper point on this definition of ``high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors.'' It also confirms that the Framers principally 
aimed the impeachment power at a few core evils, each grounded 
in a unifying fear that a President might abandon his duty to 
faithfully execute the laws. Where the President engages in 
serious abuse of power, betrays the national interest through 
foreign entanglements, or corrupts his office or elections, he 
has undoubtedly committed ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors'' as 
understood by the Framers. Any one of these violations of the 
public trust is impeachable. When combined in a scheme to 
advance the President's personal interests while ignoring or 
injuring the Constitution, they state the strongest possible 
case for impeachment and removal from office.

           A. LESSONS FROM BRITISH AND EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY

    As Hamilton recounted, Britain afforded ``[t]he model from 
which the idea of [impeachment] has been borrowed.''\183\ That 
was manifestly true of the phrase ``high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors.'' The Framers could have authorized impeachment 
for ``crimes'' or ``serious crimes.'' Or they could have 
followed the practice of many American state constitutions and 
permitted impeachment for ``maladministration'' or 
``malpractice.''\184\ But they instead selected a ``unique 
phrase used for centuries in English parliamentary 
impeachments.''\185\ To understand their choice requires a 
quick tour through history.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \183\Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 65 at 427.
    \184\Bowman, High Crimes and Misdemeanors at 65-72.
    \185\Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment (1974) at 
4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    That tour offers two lessons. The first is that the phrase 
``high Crimes and Misdemeanors'' was used only for 
parliamentary impeachments; it was never used in the ordinary 
criminal law.\186\ Moreover, in the 400-year history of British 
impeachments, the House of Commons impeached many officials on 
grounds that did not involve any discernibly criminal conduct. 
Indeed, the House of Commons did so yet again just as the 
Framers gathered in Philadelphia. That same month, Edmund 
Burke--the celebrated champion of American liberty--brought 
twenty-two articles of impeachment against Warren Hastings, the 
Governor General of India. Burke charged Hastings with offenses 
including abuse of power, corruption, disregarding treaty 
obligations, and misconduct of local wars. Historians have 
confirmed that ``none of the charges could fairly be classed as 
criminal conduct in any technical sense.''\187\ Aware of that 
fact, Burke accused Hastings of ``[c]rimes, not against forms, 
but against those eternal laws of justice, which are our rule 
and our birthright: his offenses are not in formal, technical 
language, but in reality, in substance and effect, High Crimes 
and High Misdemeanors.''\188\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \186\See id.
    \187\Bowman, High Crimes and Misdemeanors at 41.
    \188\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Burke's denunciation of Hastings points to the second 
lesson from British history: ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors'' 
were understood as offenses against the constitutional system 
itself. This is confirmed by use of the word ``high,'' as well 
as Parliamentary practice. From 1376 to 1787, the House of 
Commons impeached officials on seven general grounds: (1) abuse 
of power; (2) betrayal of the nation's security and foreign 
policy; (3) corruption; (4) armed rebellion [a.k.a. treason]; 
(5) bribery; (6) neglect of duty; and (7) violating 
Parliament's constitutional prerogatives.\189\ To the Framers 
and their contemporaries learned in the law, the phrase ``high 
Crimes and Misdemeanors'' would have called to mind these 
offenses against the body politic.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \189\Id. at 46; Berger, Impeachment at 70.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The same understanding prevailed on this side of the 
Atlantic. In the colonial period and under newly-ratified state 
constitutions, most impeachments targeted abuse of power, 
betrayal of the revolutionary cause, corruption, treason, and 
bribery.\190\ Many Framers at the Constitutional Convention had 
participated in drafting their state constitutions, or in 
colonial and state removal proceedings, and were steeped in 
this outlook on impeachment. Further, the Framers knew well the 
Declaration of Independence, ``whose bill of particulars 
against King George III modeled what [we would] now view as 
articles of impeachment.''\191\ That bill of particulars did 
not dwell on technicalities of criminal law, but rather charged 
the king with a ``long train of abuses and usurpations,'' 
including misuse of power, efforts to obstruct and undermine 
elections, and violating individual rights.\192\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \190\See Peter Charles Hoffer & N. E. H. Hull, Impeachment in 
America, 1635-1805 1-106 (1984).
    \191\Laurence H. Tribe & Joshua Matz, To End a Presidency: The 
Power of Impeachment 7 (2018).
    \192\The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, et al, July 
4, 1776, Copy of Declaration of Independence, Library of Congress.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    History thus teaches that ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors'' 
referred mainly to acts committed by public officials, using 
their power or privileges, that inflicted grave harm on society 
itself. Such great and dangerous offenses included treason, 
bribery, abuse of power, betrayal of the nation, and corruption 
of office. They were unified by a clear theme: officials who 
abused, abandoned, or sought personal benefit from their public 
trust--and who threatened the rule of law if left in power--
faced impeachment and removal.

                         B. TREASON AND BRIBERY

    For the briefest of moments at the Constitutional 
Convention, it appeared as though Presidential impeachment 
might be restricted to ``treason, or bribery.''\193\ But when 
this suggestion reached the floor, Mason revolted. With 
undisguised alarm, he warned that such limited grounds for 
impeachment would miss ``attempts to subvert the 
Constitution,'' as well as ``many great and dangerous 
offenses.''\194\ Here he invoked the charges pending in 
Parliament against Hastings as a case warranting impeachment 
for reasons other than treason. To ``extend the power of 
impeachments,'' Mason initially suggested adding ``or 
maladministration'' after ``treason, or bribery.''\195\ 
Madison, however, objected that ``so vague a term will be 
equivalent to a tenure during the pleasure of the 
Senate.''\196\ In response, Mason substituted ``other high 
Crimes and Misdemeanors.''\197\ Apparently pleased with Mason's 
compromise, the Convention accepted his proposal and moved on.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \193\2 Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention at 550.
    \194\Id.
    \195\Id.
    \196\Id.
    \197\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This discussion confirms that Presidential impeachment is 
warranted for all manner of great and dangerous offenses that 
subvert the Constitution. It also sheds helpful light on the 
nature of impeachable offenses: in identifying ``other high 
Crimes and Misdemeanors,'' we can start with two that the 
Framers identified for us, ``Treason'' and ``Bribery.''

1. Impeachable Treason

    Under Article III of the Constitution, ``treason against 
the United States, shall consist only in levying War against 
them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and 
Comfort.''\198\ In other words, a person commits treason if he 
uses armed force in an attempt to overthrow the government, or 
if he knowingly gives aid and comfort to nations (or 
organizations) with which the United States is in a state of 
declared or open war. At the very heart of ``Treason'' is 
deliberate betrayal of the nation and its security. Such 
betrayal would not only be unforgivable, but would also confirm 
that the President remains a threat if allowed to remain in 
office. A President who has knowingly betrayed national 
security is a President who will do so again. He endangers our 
lives and those of our allies.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \198\U.S. Const. art. III, Sec. 3, cl. 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Impeachable Bribery

    The essence of impeachable bribery is a government 
official's exploitation of his or her public duties for 
personal gain. To the Framers, it was received wisdom that 
nothing can be ``a greater Temptation to Officers [than] to 
abuse their Power by Bribery and Extortion.''\199\ To guard 
against that risk, the Framers authorized the impeachment of a 
President who offers, solicits, or accepts something of 
personal value to influence his own official actions. By 
rendering such ``Bribery'' impeachable, the Framers sought to 
ensure that the Nation could expel a leader who would sell out 
the interests of ``We the People'' to achieve his own personal 
gain.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \199\William Hawkins, A Treatise of Pleas to the Crown, ch. 67, 
Sec. 3 (1716).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Unlike ``Treason,'' which is defined in Article III, 
``Bribery'' is not given an express definition in the 
Constitution. But as Justice Joseph Story explained, a ``proper 
exposition of the nature and limits of this offense'' can be 
found in the Anglo-American common law tradition known well to 
our Framers.\200\ That understanding, in turn, can be refined 
by reference to the Constitution's text and the records of the 
Constitutional Convention.\201\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \200\2 Story, Commentaries at 263; see also H. Rep. No. 946 at 19 
(1912).
    \201\For example, while the English common law tradition 
principally addressed itself to judicial bribery, the Framers 
repeatedly made clear at the Constitutional Convention that they 
intended to subject the President to impeachment for bribery. They 
confirmed this intention in the Impeachment Clause, which authorizes 
the impeachment of ``[t]he President, Vice President and all civil 
Officers of the United States'' for ``Treason, Bribery, or other high 
Crimes and Misdemeanors.'' U.S. Const., art. 2, Sec. 4. It is therefore 
proper to draw upon common law principles and to apply them to the 
office of the Presidency.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To start with common law: At the time of the Constitutional 
Convention, bribery was well understood in Anglo-American law 
to encompass offering, soliciting, or accepting bribes. In 
1716, for example, William Hawkins defined bribery in an 
influential treatise as ``the receiving or offering of any 
undue reward, by or to any person whatsoever . . . in order to 
incline him to do a thing against the known rules of honesty 
and integrity.''\202\ This description of the offense was 
echoed many times over the following decades. In a renowned 
bribery case involving the alleged solicitation of bribes, Lord 
Mansfield agreed that ``[w]herever it is a crime to take, it is 
a crime to give: they are reciprocal.''\203\ Two years later, 
William Blackstone confirmed that ``taking bribes is 
punished,'' just as bribery is punishable for ``those who offer 
a bribe, though not taken.''\204\ Soliciting a bribe--even if 
it is not accepted--thus qualified as bribery at common law. 
Indeed, it was clear under the common law that ``the attempt is 
a crime; it is complete on his side who offers it.''\205\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \202\Hawkins, A Treatise of Pleas to the Crown, ch. 67, Sec. 2 
(1716).
    \203\Rex v. Vaughan, 98 Eng. Rep. 308, 311 (K.B. 1769).
    \204\William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, Vol. 
2, Book 4, Ch. 10, Sec. 17 (1771).
    \205\Rex v. Vaughan, 98 Eng. Rep. 308, 311 (K.B. 1769). American 
courts have subsequently repeated this precise formulation. See, e.g., 
State v. Ellis, 33 N.J.L. 102, 104 (N.J. Sup. Ct. 1868) (``The offence 
is complete when an offer or reward is made to influence the vote or 
action of the official.''); see also William O. Russell, A Treatise on 
Crimes and Misdemeanors 239-240 (1st American Ed) (1824) (``The law 
abhors the least tendency to corruption; and up on the principle which 
has been already mentioned, of an attempt to commit even a misdemeanor, 
being itself a misdemeanor, (f) attempts to bribe, though unsuccessful, 
have in several cases been held to be criminal.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Framers adopted that principle into the Constitution. 
As Judge John Noonan explains, the drafting history of the 
Impeachment Clause demonstrates that ```Bribery' was read both 
actively and passively, including the chief magistrate bribing 
someone and being bribed.''\206\ Many scholars of Presidential 
impeachment have reached the same conclusion.\207\ Impeachable 
``Bribery'' thus covers--inter alia--the offer, solicitation, 
or acceptance of something of personal value by the President 
to influence his own official actions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \206\John T. Noonan, Jr., Bribes: The Intellectual History of a 
Moral Idea 430 (1984).
    \207\As Professor Bowman writes, bribery was ``a common law crime 
that developed from a narrow beginning'' to reach ``giving, and 
offering to give, [any] improper rewards.'' Bowman, High Crimes & 
Misdemeanors at 243; see also, e.g., Tribe & Matz, To End A Presidency 
at 33 (``The corrupt exercise of power in exchange for a personal 
benefit defines impeachable bribery. That's self-evidently true 
whenever the president receives bribes to act a certain way. But it's 
also true when the president offers bribes to other officials--for 
example, to a federal judge, a legislator, or a member of the Electoral 
College . . . In either case, the president is fully complicit in a 
grave degradation of power, and he can never again be trusted to act as 
a faithful public servant.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This conclusion draws still more support from a closely 
related part of the common law. In the late-17th century, 
``bribery'' was a relatively new offense, and was understood as 
overlapping with the more ancient common law crime of 
``extortion.''\208\ ``Extortion,'' in turn, was defined as the 
``abuse of public justice, which consists in any officer's 
unlawfully taking, by colour of his office, from any man, any 
money or thing of value, that is not due to him, or more than 
is due, or before it is due.''\209\ Under this definition, both 
bribery and extortion occurred when an official used his public 
position to obtain private benefits to which he was not 
entitled. Conduct which qualified as bribery was therefore 
``routinely punished as common law extortion.''\210\ To the 
Framers, who would have seen bribery and extortion as virtually 
coextensive, when a President acted in his official capacity to 
offer, solicit, or accept an improper personal benefit, he 
committed ``Bribery.''\211\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \208\See James Lindgren, The Elusive Distinction Between Bribery 
and Extortion: From the Common Law to the Hobbs Act, 35 UCLA L. Rev. 
815, 839 (1988).
    \209\Blackstone, Commentaries, Vol. 2, Book 4, Ch. 10, Sec. 22 
(1771) (citing 1 Hawk. P. C. 170); accord Giles Jacob, A New Law-
Dictionary 102 (1782) (defining ``Extortion'' as ``an unlawful taking 
by an officer, &c. by colour of his office, of any money, or valuable 
thing, from a person where none at all is due, or not so much is due, 
or before it is due'').
    \210\Lindgren, The Elusive Distinction, 35 UCLA L. Rev. at 839.
    \211\For all the reasons given below in our discussion of the 
criminality issue, impeachable ``Bribery'' does not refer to the 
meaning of bribery under modern federal criminal statutes. See also 
Bowman, High Crimes & Misdemeanors at 243-44; Tribe & Matz, To End A 
Presidency at 31-33.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Turning to the nature of the improper personal benefit: 
because officials can be corrupted in many ways, the benefit at 
issue in a bribe can be anything of subjective personal value 
to the President. This is not limited to money. Indeed, given 
their purposes, it would have made no sense for the Framers to 
confine ``Bribery'' to the offer, solicitation, or acceptance 
of money, and they expressed no desire to impose that 
restriction. To the contrary, in guarding against foreign 
efforts to subvert American officials, they confirmed their 
broad view of benefits that might cause corruption: a person 
who holds ``any Office of Profit or Trust,'' such as the 
President, is forbidden from accepting ``any present, Office or 
Tile, of any kind whatever, from . . . a foreign State.''\212\ 
An equally pragmatic (and capacious) view applies to the 
impeachable offense of ``Bribery.'' This view is further 
anchored in the very same 17th and 18th century common law 
treatises that were well known to the Framers. Those 
authorities used broad language in defining what qualifies as a 
``thing of value'' in the context of bribery: ``any undue 
reward'' or any ``valuable consideration.''\213\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \212\U.S. Const, art. I, Sec. 9, cl.8.
    \213\Hawkins, A Treatise of Pleas to the Crown, ch. 67, Sec. 2 
(1716).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To summarize, impeachable ``Bribery'' occurs when a 
President offers, solicits, or accepts something of personal 
value to influence his own official actions. Bribery is thus an 
especially egregious and specific example of a President 
abusing his power for private gain. As Blackstone explained, 
bribery is ``the genius of despotic countries where the true 
principles of government are never understood''--and where ``it 
is imagined that there is no obligation from the superior to 
the inferior, no relative duty owing from the governor to the 
governed.''\214\ In our democracy, the Framers understood that 
there is no place for Presidents who would abuse their power 
and betray the public trust through bribery.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \214\Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, Book 4, ch. 
10 ``Of Offenses Against Public Justice'' (1765-1770).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Like ``Treason,'' the offense of ``Bribery'' is thus aimed 
at a President who is a continuing threat to the Constitution. 
Someone who would willingly assist our enemies, or trade public 
power for personal favors, is the kind of person likely to 
break the rules again if they remain in office. But there is 
more: both ``Treason'' and ``Bribery'' are serious offenses 
with the capacity to corrupt constitutional governance and harm 
the Nation itself; both involve wrongdoing that reveals the 
President as a continuing threat if left in power; and both 
offenses are ``plainly wrong in themselves to a person of 
honor, or to a good citizen, regardless of words on the statute 
books.''\215\ Looking to the Constitution's text and history--
including the British, colonial, and early American traditions 
discussed earlier--these characteristics also define ``other 
high Crimes and Misdemeanors.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \215\Charles L. Black Jr. & Philip Bobbitt, Impeachment: A 
Handbook, New Edition 34 (2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                    C. ABUSE, BETRAYAL & CORRUPTION

    With that understanding in place, the records of the 
Constitutional Convention offer even greater clarity. They 
demonstrate that the Framers principally intended impeachment 
for three forms of Presidential wrongdoing: serious abuse of 
power, betrayal of the national interest through foreign 
entanglements, and corruption of office and elections. When the 
President engages in such misconduct, and does so in ways that 
are recognizably wrong and injurious to our political system, 
impeachment is warranted. That is proven not only by debates 
surrounding adoption of the Constitution, but also by the 
historical practice of the House in exercising the impeachment 
power.

1. Abuse of Power

    As Justice Robert Jackson wisely observed, ``the purpose of 
the Constitution was not only to grant power, but to keep it 
from getting out of hand.''\216\ Nowhere is that truer than in 
the Presidency. As the Framers created a formidable chief 
executive, they made clear that impeachment is justified for 
serious abuse of power. Edmund Randolph was explicit on this 
point. In explaining why the Constitution must authorize 
Presidential impeachment, he warned that ``the Executive will 
have great opportunitys of abusing his power.''\217\ Madison, 
too, stated that impeachment is necessary because the President 
``might pervert his administration into a scheme of . . . 
oppression.''\218\ This theme echoed through the state 
ratifying conventions. Advocating that New York ratify the 
Constitution, Hamilton set the standard for impeachment at an 
``abuse or violation of some public trust.''\219\ In South 
Carolina, Charles Pinckney agreed that Presidents must be 
removed who ``behave amiss or betray their public trust.''\220\ 
In Massachusetts, Reverend Samuel Stillman asked, ``With such a 
prospect [of impeachment], who will dare to abuse the powers 
vested in him by the people.''\221\ Time and again, Americans 
who wrote and ratified the Constitution confirmed that 
Presidents may be impeached for abusing the power entrusted to 
them.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \216\Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579, 640 
(Jackson, J., concurring).
    \217\2 Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention at 67.
    \218\Id. at 65-66.
    \219\Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 65 at 426.
    \220\Berger, Impeachment at 94.
    \221\2 Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions at 169.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There are at least as many ways to abuse power as there are 
powers vested in the President. It would thus be an exercise in 
futility to attempt a list of every conceivable abuse 
constituting ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors.'' That said, abuse 
of power was no vague notion to the Framers and their 
contemporaries. It had a very particular meaning to them. 
Impeachable abuse of power can take two basic forms: (1) the 
exercise of official power in a way that, on its very face, 
grossly exceeds the President's constitutional authority or 
violates legal limits on that authority; and (2) the exercise 
of official power to obtain an improper personal benefit, while 
ignoring or injuring the national interest. In other words, the 
President may commit an impeachable abuse of power in two 
different ways: by engaging in forbidden acts, or by engaging 
in potentially permissible acts but for forbidden reasons 
(e.g., with the corrupt motive of obtaining a personal 
political benefit).
    The first category involves conduct that is inherently and 
sharply inconsistent with the law--and that amounts to claims 
of monarchical prerogative. The generation that rebelled 
against King George III knew what absolute power looked like. 
The Framers had other ideas when they organized our government, 
and so they placed the chief executive within the bounds of 
law. That means the President may exercise only the powers 
expressly or impliedly vested in him by the Constitution, and 
he must also respect legal limits on the exercise of those 
powers (including the rights of Americans citizens). A 
President who refuses to abide these restrictions, thereby 
causing injury to society itself and engaging in recognizably 
wrongful conduct, may be subjected to impeachment for abuse of 
power.
    That principle also covers conduct grossly inconsistent 
with and subversive of the separation of powers. The Framers 
knew that ``[t]he accumulation of all powers, legislative, 
executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, . . . may justly 
be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.''\222\ To protect 
liberty, they wrote a Constitution that creates a system of 
checks and balances within the federal government. Some of 
those rules are expressly enumerated in our founding charter; 
others are implied from its structure or from the history of 
inter-branch relations.\223\ When a President wields executive 
power in ways that usurp and destroy the prerogatives of 
Congress or the Judiciary, he exceeds the scope of his 
constitutional authority and violates limits on permissible 
conduct. Such abuses of power are therefore impeachable. That 
conclusion is further supported by the British origins of the 
phrase ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors'': Parliament repeatedly 
impeached ministers for ``subvert[ing] its conception of proper 
constitutional order in favor of the `arbitrary and tyrannical' 
government of ambitious monarchs and their grasping 
minions.''\224\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \222\James Madison, Federalist No. 47 at 336.
    \223\See generally National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, 
et al., 573 U.S. 513 (2014).
    \224\Bowman, High Crimes and Misdemeanors at 109.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Supreme Court advanced similar logic in Ex Parte 
Grossman, which held the President can pardon officials who 
defy judicial orders and are held in criminal contempt of 
court.\225\ This holding raised an obvious concern: what if the 
President used ``successive pardons''' to ``deprive a court of 
power to enforce its orders''?\226\ That could fatally weaken 
the Judiciary's role under Article III of the Constitution. On 
behalf of a unanimous Court, Chief Justice William Howard 
Taft--who had previously served as President--explained that 
``exceptional cases like this would suggest a resort to 
impeachment.''\227\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \225\Ex Parte Grossman, 267 U.S. 87 (1925).
    \226\Id. at 121.
    \227\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Two impeachment inquiries have involved claims that a 
President grossly violated the Constitution's separation of 
powers. The first was in 1868, when the House impeached 
President Andrew Johnson, who had succeeded President Abraham 
Lincoln following his assassination at Ford's Theatre. There, 
the articles approved by the House charged President Johnson 
with conduct forbidden by law: in firing the Secretary of War, 
he had allegedly violated the Tenure of Office Act, which 
restricted the President's power to remove cabinet members 
during the term of the President who had appointed them.\228\ 
President Johnson was thus accused of a facial abuse of power. 
In the Senate, though, he was acquitted by a single vote--
largely because the Tenure of Office Act was viewed by many 
Senators as likely unconstitutional (a conclusion later adopted 
by the Supreme Court in an opinion by Chief Justice Taft, who 
described the Act as ``invalid''\229\).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \228\Articles of Impeachment Exhibited By The House Of 
Representatives Against Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, 
40th Cong. (1868).
    \229\Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52, 108 (1926).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Just over 100 years later, this Committee accused a second 
chief executive of abusing his power. In a departure from prior 
Presidential practice--and in contravention of Article I of the 
Constitution--President Nixon had invoked specious claims of 
executive privilege to defy Congressional subpoenas served as 
part of an impeachment inquiry. His obstruction centered on 
tape recordings, papers, and memoranda relating to the 
Watergate break-in and its aftermath. As the House Judiciary 
Committee found, he had interposed ``the powers of the 
presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of 
Representatives, thereby assuming to himself functions and 
judgments necessary to exercise the sole power of impeachment 
vested by the Constitution in the House of 
Representatives.''\230\ Put simply, President Nixon purported 
to control the exercise of powers that belonged solely to the 
House and not to him--including the power of inquiry that is 
vital to any Congressional judgments about impeachment. In so 
doing, President Nixon injured the constitutional plan: 
``Unless the defiance of the Committee's subpoenas under these 
circumstances is considered grounds for impeachment, it is 
difficult to conceive of any President acknowledging that he 
obligated to supply the relevant evidence necessary for 
Congress to exercise its constitutional responsibility in an 
impeachment proceeding.''\231\ The House Judiciary Committee 
therefore approved an article of impeachment against President 
Nixon for abuse of power in obstructing the House impeachment 
inquiry.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \230\Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 
188.
    \231\Id. at 213.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    But that was only part of President Nixon's impeachable 
wrongdoing. The House Judiciary Committee also approved two 
additional articles of impeachment against him for abuse of 
power, one for obstruction of justice and the other for using 
Presidential power to target, harass, and surveil his political 
opponents. These articles demonstrate the second way in which a 
President can abuse power: by acting with improper motives.
    This understanding of impeachable abuse of power is rooted 
in the Constitution's text, which commands the President to 
``faithfully execute'' the law. At minimum, that duty requires 
Presidents ``to exercise their power only when it is motivated 
in the public interest rather than in their private self-
interest.''\232\ A President can thus be removed for exercising 
power with a corrupt purpose, even if his action would 
otherwise be permissible. As Iredell explained at the North 
Carolina ratifying convention, ``the president would be liable 
to impeachments [if] he had . . . acted from some corrupt 
motive or other,'' or if he was ``willfully abusing his 
trust.''\233\ Madison made a similar point at Virginia's 
ratifying convention. There, he observed that the President 
could be impeached for abuse of the pardon power if there are 
``grounds to believe'' he has used it to ``shelter'' persons 
with whom he is connected ``in any suspicious manner.''\234\ 
Such a pardon would technically be within the President's 
authority under Article II of the Constitution, but it would 
rank as an impeachable abuse of power because it arose from the 
forbidden purpose of obstructing justice. To the Framers, it 
was dangerous for officials to exceed their constitutional 
power, or to transgress legal limits, but it was equally 
dangerous (perhaps more so) for officials to conceal corrupt or 
illegitimate objectives behind superficially valid acts.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \232\Kent et al., Faithful Execution at 2120, 2179.
    \233\1998 Background and History of Impeachment Hearing at 49.
    \234\3 Elliott, Debates in the Several State Conventions at 497-98.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Again, President Nixon's case is instructive. After 
individuals associated with his campaign committee committed 
crimes to promote his reelection, he used the full powers of 
his office as part of a scheme to obstruct justice. Among many 
other wrongful acts, President Nixon dangled pardons to 
influence key witnesses, told a senior aide to have the CIA 
stop an FBI investigation into Watergate, meddled with Justice 
Department immunity decisions, and conveyed secret law 
enforcement information to suspects. Even if some of this 
conduct was formally within the scope of President Nixon's 
authority as head of the Executive Branch, it was undertaken 
with illegitimate motives. The House Judiciary Committee 
therefore included it within an article of impeachment charging 
him with obstruction of justice. Indeed, following President 
Nixon's resignation and the discovery of additional evidence 
concerning obstruction, all eleven members of the Committee who 
had originally voted against that article joined a statement 
affirming that ``we were prepared to vote for his impeachment 
on proposed Article I had he not resigned his office.''\235\ Of 
course, several decades later, obstruction of justice was also 
the basis for an article of impeachment against President 
Clinton, though his conduct did not involve official acts.\236\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \235\ Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 
361.
    \236\ In President Clinton's case, the House approved the article 
of impeachment for obstruction of justice. There was virtually no 
disagreement in those proceedings over whether obstructing justice can 
be impeachable; scholars, lawyers, and legislators on all sides of the 
dispute recognized that it can be. See Daniel J. Hemel & Eric A. 
Posner, Presidential Obstruction of Justice, 106 Cal. L. Rev 1277, 
1305-1307 (2018). Publicly available evidence does not suggest that the 
Senate's acquittal of President Clinton was based on the view that 
obstruction of justice is not impeachable. Rather, Senators who voted 
for acquittal appear to have concluded that some of the factual charges 
were not supported and that, even if Presidential perjury and 
obstruction of justice might in some cases justify removal, the nature 
and circumstances of the conduct at issue (including its predominantly 
private character) rendered it insufficiently grave to warrant that 
remedy.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yet obstruction of justice did not exhaust President 
Nixon's corrupt abuse of power. He was also accused of 
manipulating federal agencies to injure his opponents, aid his 
friends, gain personal political benefits, and violate the 
constitutional rights of American citizens. For instance, 
President Nixon improperly attempted to cause income tax audits 
of his perceived political adversaries; directed the FBI and 
Secret Service to engage in targeted (and unlawful) 
surveillance; and formed a secret investigative unit within the 
White House--financed with campaign contributions--that 
utilized CIA resources in its illegal covert activities. In 
explaining this additional article of impeachment, the House 
Judiciary Committee stated that President Nixon's conduct was 
``undertaken for his personal political advantage and not in 
furtherance of any valid national policy objective.''\237\ His 
abuses of executive power were thus ``seriously incompatible 
with our system of constitutional government'' and warranted 
removal from office.\238\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \237\Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 
139.
    \238\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    With the benefit of hindsight, the House's decision to 
impeach President Johnson is best understood in a similar 
frame. Scholars now largely agree that President Johnson's 
impeachment was motivated not by violations of the Tenure of 
Office Act, but on his illegitimate use of power to undermine 
Reconstruction and subordinate African-Americans following the 
Civil War.\239\ In that period, fundamental questions about the 
nature and future of the Union stood unanswered. Congress 
therefore passed a series of laws to ``reconstruct the former 
Confederate states into political entities in which black 
Americans enjoyed constitutional protections.''\240\ This 
program, however, faced an unyielding enemy in President 
Johnson, who declared that ``white men alone must manage the 
south.''\241\ Convinced that political control by African-
Americans would cause a ``relapse into barbarism,'' President 
Johnson vetoed civil rights laws; when Congress overrode him, 
he refused to enforce those laws.\242\ The results were 
disastrous. As Annette Gordon-Reed writes, ``it would be 
impossible to exaggerate how devastating it was to have a man 
who affirmatively hated black people in charge of the program 
that was designed to settle the terms of their existence in 
post-Civil War America.''\243\ Congress tried to compromise 
with the President, but to no avail. A majority of the House 
finally determined that President Johnson posed a clear and 
present danger to the Nation if allowed to remain in office.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \239\See generally Michael Les Benedict, The Impeachment and Trial 
of Andrew Johnson (1999).
    \240\Jeffrey A. Engel, Jon Meacham, Timothy Naftali, & Peter Baker, 
Impeachment: An American History 48 (2018).
    \241\Id. at 49.
    \242\Id.
    \243\See Annette Gordon-Reed, Andrew Johnson: The American 
Presidents Series: the 17th President, 1865-1869 12 (2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Rather than directly target President Johnson's faithless 
execution of the laws, and his illegitimate motives in wielding 
power, the House resorted to charges based on the Tenure of 
Office Act. But in reality, ``the shaky claims prosecuted by 
[the House] obscured a far more compelling basis for removal: 
that Johnson's virulent use of executive power to sabotage 
Reconstruction posed a mortal threat to the nation--and to 
civil and political rights--as reconstituted after the Civil 
War . . . [T]he country was in the throes of a second founding. 
Yet Johnson abused the powers of his office and violated the 
Constitution to preserve institutions and practices that had 
nearly killed the Union. He could not be allowed to salt the 
earth as the Republic made itself anew.''\244\ Viewed from that 
perspective, the case for impeaching President Johnson rested 
on his use of power with illegitimate motives.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \244\Tribe & Matzo, To End a Presidency at 55.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pulling this all together, the Framers repeatedly confirmed 
that Presidents can be impeached for grave abuse of power. 
Where the President engages in acts forbidden by law, or acts 
with an improper motive, he has committed an abuse of power 
under the Constitution. Where those abuses inflict substantial 
harm on our political system and are recognizably wrong, they 
warrant his impeachment and removal.\245\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \245\In President Clinton's case, it was debated whether Presidents 
can be impeached for acts that do not involve their official powers. 
See Staff Report on Constitutional Grounds for Presidential 
Impeachment: Modern Precedents (1998) at 6-7; Minority Staff of H. 
Comm. on the Judiciary, 105th Cong., Constitutional Grounds for 
Presidential Impeachment: Modern Precedents Minority Views 3-4, 8-9, 
13-16 (Comm. Print 1998). Many scholars have taken the view that such 
private conduct may be impeachable in extraordinary circumstances, such 
as where it renders the President unviable as the leader of a 
democratic nation committed to the rule of law. See, e.g., Tribe & 
Matzo, To End A Presidency at 10, 51; Black & Babbitt, Impeachment at 
35. It also bears mention that some authority supports the view that 
Presidents might be subject to impeachment not for abusing their 
official powers, but by failing to use them and thus engaging in gross 
dereliction of official duty. See, e.g., Tribe & Matzo, To End A 
Presidency at 50; Akhil Reed Amar, America's Constitution: A Biography 
200 (2006); Black & Babbitt, Impeachment at 34.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Betrayal of the National Interest Through Foreign Entanglements

    It is not a coincidence that the Framers started with 
``Treason'' in defining impeachable offenses. Betrayal was no 
abstraction to them. They had recently waged a war for 
independence in which some of their fellow citizens remained 
loyal to the enemy. The infamous traitor, Benedict Arnold, had 
defected to Britain less than a decade earlier. As they looked 
outward, the Framers saw kings scheming for power, promising 
fabulous wealth to spies and deserters. The United States could 
be enmeshed in such conspiracies: ``Foreign powers,'' warned 
Elbridge Gerry, ``will intermeddle in our affairs, and spare no 
expense to influence them.''\246\ The young Republic might not 
survive a President who schemed with other nations, entangling 
himself in secret deals that harmed our democracy.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \246\Wydra & Gorod, The First Magistrate in Foreign Pay.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    That reality loomed over the impeachment debate in 
Philadelphia. Explaining why the Constitution required an 
impeachment option, Madison argued that a President ``might 
betray his trust to foreign powers.''\247\Gouverneur Morris, 
who had initially opposed allowing impeachment, was convinced: 
``no one would say that we ought to expose ourselves to the 
danger of seeing the first Magistrate in foreign pay, without 
being able to guard against it by displacing him.''\248\ In the 
same vein, Franklin noted ``the case of the Prince of Orange 
during the late war,'' in which a Dutch prince reneged on a 
military treaty with France.\249\ Because there was no 
impeachment power or other method of inquiry, the prince's 
motives were secret and untested, drastically destabilizing 
Dutch politics and giving ``birth to the most violent 
animosities and contentions.''\250\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \247\2 Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention at 65.
    \248\Id. at 68.
    \249\Id. at 67-68.
    \250\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Impeachment for betrayal of the Nation's interest--and 
especially for betrayal of national security and foreign 
policy--was hardly exotic to the Framers. ``The history of 
impeachment over the centuries shows an abiding awareness of 
how vulnerable the practice of foreign policy is to the 
misconduct of its makers.''\251\ Indeed, ``impeachments on this 
ground were a constant of parliamentary practice,'' and ``a 
string of British ministers and royal advisors were impeached 
for using their official powers contrary to the country's vital 
foreign interests.''\252\ Although the Framers did not intend 
impeachment for genuine, good faith disagreements between the 
President and Congress over matters of diplomacy, they were 
explicit that betrayal of the Nation through plots with foreign 
powers justified removal.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \251\Frank O. Bowman, III, Foreign Policy Has Always Been at the 
Heart of Impeachment, Foreign Affairs (Nov. 2019).
    \252\Bowman, High Crimes & Misdemeanors at 48, 106.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In particular, foreign interference in the American 
political system was among the gravest dangers feared by the 
Founders of our Nation and the Framers of our Constitution. For 
example, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, John Adams wrote: 
``You are apprehensive of foreign Interference, Intrigue, 
Influence. So am I.--But, as often as Elections happen, the 
danger of foreign Influence recurs.''\253\ And in Federalist 
No. 68, Hamilton cautioned that the ``most deadly adversaries 
of republican government'' may come ``chiefly from the desire 
in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our 
councils.\254\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \253\To Thomas Jefferson from John Adams, 6 December 1787, Founders 
Online, National Archives.
    \254\Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 68 at 441.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The President's important role in foreign affairs does not 
disable the House from evaluating whether he committed 
impeachable offenses in that field. This conclusion follows 
from the Impeachment Clause itself but is also supported by the 
Constitution's many grants of power to Congress addressing 
foreign affairs. Congress is empowered to ``declare War,'' 
``regulate Commerce with foreign Nations,'' ``establish an 
uniform Rule of Naturalization,'' ``define and punish Piracies 
and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against 
the Law of Nations,'' ``grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal,'' 
and ``make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land 
and naval Forces.''\255\ Congress also has the power to set 
policy, define law, undertake oversight and investigations, 
create executive departments, and authorize government funding 
for a slew of national security matters.\256\ In addition, the 
President cannot make a treaty or appoint an ambassador without 
the approval of the Senate.\257\ In those respects and many 
others, constitutional authority over the ``conduct of the 
foreign relations of our Government'' is shared between ``the 
Executive and Legislative [branches].''\258\ Stated simply, 
``the Executive is not free from the ordinary controls and 
checks of Congress merely because foreign affairs are at 
issue.''\259\ In these realms, as in many others, the 
Constitution ``enjoins upon its branches separateness but 
interdependence, autonomy but reciprocity.''\260\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \255\U.S. Const., art. I, Sec. 8.
    \256\See Lawrence Friedman & Victor Hansen, There Is No 
Constitutional Impediment to an Impeachment Inquiry that Concerns 
National Security, Just Security, Oct. 1, 2019.
    \257\U.S. Const., art. II, Sec. 2, cl. 2.
    \258\Medellin v. Texas, 552 U.S. 491, 511 (2008).
    \259\Zivotofsky v. Kerry, 135 S. Ct. 2076 (2015).
    \260\Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579, 635 
(1952) (Jackson, J., concurring).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Accordingly, where the President uses his foreign affairs 
power in ways that betray the national interest for his own 
benefit, or harm national security for equally corrupt reasons, 
he is subject to impeachment by the House. Any claims to the 
contrary would horrify the Framers. A President who perverts 
his role as chief diplomat to serve private rather than public 
ends has unquestionably engaged in ``high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors''--especially if he invited, rather than opposed, 
foreign interference in our politics.

3. Corruption of Office or Elections

    As should now be clear, the Framers feared corruption most 
of all, in its many and shifting manifestations. It was 
corruption that led to abuse of power and betrayal of the 
Nation. It was corruption that ruined empires, debased Britain, 
and menaced American freedom. The Framers saw no shortage of 
threats to the Republic, and fought valiantly to guard against 
them, ``but the big fear underlying all the small fears was 
whether they'd be able to control corruption.''\261\ This was 
not just a matter of thwarting bribes and extortion; it was a 
far greater challenge. The Framers aimed to build a country in 
which officials would not use public power for personal 
benefits, disregarding the public good in pursuit of their own 
advancement. This virtuous principle applied with special force 
to the Presidency. As Madison emphasized, because the 
Presidency ``was to be administered by a single man,'' his 
corruption ``might be fatal to the Republic.''\262\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \261\Teachout, Corruption in America at 57.
    \262\Jonathan Elliot ed., Debates on the Adoption of the Federal 
Constitution in the Convention Held at Philadelphia, in 1787 341 (1861) 
(hereinafter ``Debates on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Framers therefore sought to ensure that ``corruption 
was more effectually guarded against, in the manner this 
government was constituted, than in any other that had ever 
been formed.''\263\ Impeachment was central to that plan. At 
one point the Convention even provisionally adopted ``treason, 
bribery, or corruption'' as the standard for impeaching a 
President. And no fewer than four delegates--Morris, Madison, 
Mason, and Randolph--listed corruption as a reason why 
Presidents must be subject to removal. That understanding 
followed from history: ``One invariable theme in [centuries] of 
Anglo-American impeachment practice has been corruption.''\264\ 
Treason posed a threat of swift national extinction, but the 
steady rot of corruption could destroy us from within. 
Presidents who succumbed to that instinct, serving themselves 
at the Nation's expense, forfeited the public trust.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \263\4 Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions at 302.
    \264\Bowman, High Crimes & Misdemeanors at 277.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Impeachment was seen as especially necessary for 
Presidential conduct corrupting our system of political self-
government. That concern arose in two contexts: the risk that 
Presidents would be swayed to prioritize foreign over domestic 
interests, and the risk that they would place their personal 
interest in re-election above our abiding commitment to 
democracy. The need for impeachment peaks where both threats 
converge at once.
    First was the risk that foreign royals would use wealth, 
power, and titles to seduce American officials. This was not a 
hypothetical problem. Just a few years earlier, and consistent 
with European custom, King Louis XVI of France had bestowed on 
Benjamin Franklin (in his capacity as American emissary) a 
snuff box decorated with 408 diamonds ``of a beautiful 
water.''\265\ Magnificent gifts like this one could 
unconsciously shape how American officials carried out their 
duties. To guard against that peril, the Framers adopted the 
Foreign Emoluments Clause, which prohibits Presidents--among 
other federal officials--from accepting ``any present, 
Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any 
King, Prince, or foreign State'' unless Congress affirmatively 
consents.\266\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \265\Teachout, Corruption in America at 1.
    \266\U.S. Const., art. I, Sec. 9, cl. 8.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The theory of the Foreign Emoluments Clause, based in 
history and the Framers' lived experience, ``is that a federal 
officeholder who receives something of value from a foreign 
power can be imperceptibly induced to compromise what the 
Constitution insists be his exclusive loyalty: the best 
interest of the United States of America.''\267\ Rather than 
scrutinize every exchange for potential bribery, the Framers 
simply banned officials from receiving anything of value from 
foreign powers. Although this rule sweeps broadly, the Framers 
deemed it central to American self-governance. Speaking in 
Philadelphia, Charles Pinckney ``urged the necessity of 
preserving foreign ministers, and other officers of the United 
States, independent of external influence.''\268\ At Virginia's 
convention, Randolph elaborated that ``[i]t was thought proper, 
in order to exclude corruption and foreign influence, to 
prohibit any one in office from receiving or holding any 
emoluments from foreign states.''\269\ Randolph added that if 
the President violated the Clause, ``he may be 
impeached.''\270\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \267\Norman L. Eisen, Richard Painter & Laurence H. Tribe, The 
Emoluments Clause: Its Text, Meaning, And Application To Donald J. 
Trump, Brookings, Dec. 16, 2016.
    \268\Elliot, Debates on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution at 
467.
    \269\3 Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions at 465.
    \270\Id. at 201.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Framers also anticipated impeachment if a President 
placed his own interest in retaining power above the national 
interest in free and fair elections. Several delegates were 
explicit on this point when the topic arose at the 
Constitutional Convention. By then, the Framers had created the 
Electoral College. They were ``satisfied with it as a tool for 
picking presidents but feared that individual electors might be 
intimidated or corrupted.''\271\ Impeachment was their answer. 
William Davie led off the discussion, warning that a President 
who abused his office might seek to escape accountability by 
interfering with elections, sparing ``no efforts or means 
whatever to get himself re-elected.''\272\ Rendering the 
President ``impeachable whilst in office'' was thus ``an 
essential security for the good behaviour of the 
Executive.''\273\ The Constitution thereby ensured that corrupt 
Presidents could not avoid justice by subverting elections and 
remaining in office.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \271\Tribe & Matz, To End A Presidency at 4.
    \272\2 Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention at 64.
    \273\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    George Mason built on Davie's position, directing attention 
to the Electoral College: ``One objection agst. Electors was 
the danger of their being corrupted by the Candidates; & this 
furnished a peculiar reason in favor of impeachments whilst in 
office. Shall the man who has practised corruption & by that 
means procured his appointment in the first instance, be 
suffered to escape punishment, by repeating his guilt?''\274\ 
Mason's concern was straightforward. He feared that Presidents 
would win election by improperly influencing members of the 
Electoral College (e.g., by offering them bribes). If evidence 
of such wrongdoing came to light, it would be unthinkable to 
leave the President in office--especially given that he might 
seek to avoid punishment by corrupting the next election. In 
that circumstance, Mason concluded, the President should face 
impeachment and removal under the Constitution. Notably, Mason 
was not alone in this view. Speaking just a short while later, 
Gouverneur Morris emphatically agreed that ``the Executive 
ought therefore to be impeachable for . . . Corrupting his 
electors.''\275\ Although not articulated expressly, it is 
reasonable to infer that the concerns raised by Davie, Mason, 
and Morris were especially salient because the Constitution--
until ratification of the Twenty-Second Amendment in 1951--did 
not limit the number of terms a President could serve in 
office.\276\ A President who twisted or sabotaged the electoral 
process could rule for life, much like a king.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \274\Id. at 65.
    \275\Id. at 69.
    \276\U.S. Const. Amend. XXII.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This commitment to impeaching Presidents who corruptly 
interfered with elections was anchored in lessons from British 
rule. As historian Gordon Wood writes, ``[t]hroughout the 
eighteenth century the Crown had slyly avoided the blunt and 
clumsy instrument of prerogative, and instead had resorted to 
influencing the electoral process and the representatives in 
Parliament in order to gain its treacherous ends.''\277\ In his 
influential Second Treatise on Civil Government, John Locke 
blasted such manipulation, warning that it serves to ``cut up 
the government by the roots, and poison the very fountain of 
public security.''\278\ Channeling Locke, American 
revolutionaries vehemently objected to King George III's 
electoral shenanigans; ultimately, they listed several 
election-related charges in the Declaration of Independence. 
Those who wrote our Constitution knew, and feared, that the 
chief executive could threaten their plan of government by 
corrupting elections.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \277\Wood, The Creation of the American Republic at 33.
    \278\John Locke, Second Treatise of Government 112 (C.B. Macpherson 
ed. 1980).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The true nature of this threat is its rejection of 
government by ``We the People,'' who would ``ordain and 
establish'' the Constitution.\279\ The beating heart of the 
Framers' project was a commitment to popular sovereignty. At a 
time when ``democratic self-government existed almost nowhere 
on earth,''\280\ the Framers imagined a society ``where the 
true principles of representation are understood and practised, 
and where all authority flows from, and returns at stated 
periods to, the people.''\281\ That would be possible only if 
``those entrusted with [power] should be kept in dependence on 
the people.''\282\ This is why the President, and Members of 
Congress, must stand before the public for re-election on fixed 
terms. It is through free and fair elections that the American 
people protect their right to self-government, a right 
unforgivably denied to many as the Constitution was ratified in 
1788 but now extended to all American citizens over the age of 
18. When the President concludes that elections threaten his 
continued grasp on power, and therefore seeks to corrupt or 
interfere with them, he denies the very premise of our 
constitutional system. The American people choose their 
leaders; a President who wields power to destroy opponents or 
manipulate elections is a President who rejects democracy 
itself.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \279\U.S. Const. Pmbl.
    \280\Amar, America's Constitution at 8.
    \281\4 Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions at 331; see 
also James Madison, Federalist No. 14.
    \282\James Madison, Federalist No. 37 at 268.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In sum, the Framers discussed the risk that Presidents 
would improperly conspire with foreign nations; they also 
discussed the risk that Presidents would place their interest 
in retaining power above the integrity of our elections. Both 
offenses, in their view, called for impeachment. That is doubly 
true where a President conspires with a foreign power to 
manipulate elections to his benefit--conduct that betrays 
American self-governance and joins the Framers' worst 
nightmares into a single impeachable offense.\283\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \283\In fact, the Framers were so concerned about improper foreign 
influence in the Presidency that they restricted that position to 
natural born citizens. U.S. Const. art. II, Sec. 1. As one commentator 
observed, ``Considering the greatness of the trust, and that this 
department is the ultimately efficient power in government, these 
restrictions will not appear altogether useless or unimportant. As the 
President is required to be a native citizen of the United States, 
ambitious foreigners cannot intrigue for the office, and the 
qualification of birth cuts off all those inducements from abroad to 
corruption, negotiation, and war, which have frequently and fatally 
harassed the elective monarchies of Germany and Poland, as well as the 
pontificate at Rome.'' 1 James Kent, Commentaries on American Law 255 
(1826).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                             D. CONCLUSION

    Writing in 1833, Justice Joseph Story remarked that 
impeachable offenses ``are of so various and complex a 
character'' that it would be ``almost absurd'' to attempt a 
comprehensive list.\284\ Consistent with Justice Story's 
wisdom, ``the House has never, in any impeachment inquiry or 
proceeding, adopted either a comprehensive definition of `high 
Crimes and Misdemeanors' or a catalog of offenses that are 
impeachable.''\285\ Rather than engage in abstract, advisory or 
hypothetical debates about the precise nature of conduct that 
calls for the exercise of its constitutional powers, the House 
has awaited a ``full development of the facts.''\286\ Only then 
has it weighed articles of impeachment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \284\2 Story, Commentaries at 264.
    \285\1998 Background and History of Impeachment Hearing at 2.
    \286\Staff Report on Constitutional Grounds for Presidential 
Impeachment (1974) at 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In making such judgments, however, each Member of the House 
has sworn an oath to follow the Constitution, which sets forth 
a legal standard governing when Presidential conduct warrants 
impeachment. That standard has three main parts.
    First, as Mason explained just before proposing ``high 
Crimes and Misdemeanors'' as the basis for impeachment, the 
President's conduct must constitute a ``great and dangerous 
offense'' against the Nation. The Constitution itself offers us 
two examples: ``Treason'' and ``Bribery.'' In identifying 
``other'' offenses of the same kind, we are guided by 
Parliamentary and early American practice, records from the 
Constitutional Convention and state ratifying conventions, and 
insights from the Constitution's text and structure. These 
sources prove that ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors'' involve 
misconduct that subverts and injures constitutional governance. 
Core instances of such misconduct by the President are serious 
abuse of power, betrayal of the national interest through 
foreign entanglements, and corruption of office and elections. 
The Framers included an impeachment power in the Constitution 
specifically to protect the Nation against these forms of 
wrongdoing.
    Past practice of the House further illuminates the idea of 
a ``great and dangerous offense.'' President Nixon's case is 
most helpful. There, as explained above, the House Judiciary 
Committee approved articles of impeachment on three grounds: 
(1) obstruction of an ongoing law enforcement investigation 
into unlawful acts by his presidential re-election campaign; 
(2) abuse of power in targeting his perceived political 
opponents; and (3) improper obstruction of a Congressional 
impeachment inquiry into his obstruction of justice and abuse 
of power. These articles of impeachment, moreover, were not 
confined to discrete acts. Each of them accused President Nixon 
of undertaking a course of conduct or scheme, and each of them 
supported that accusation with a list of discrete acts alleged 
to comprise and demonstrate the overarching impeachable 
offense.\287\ Thus, where a President engages in a course of 
conduct involving serious abuse of power, betrayal of the 
national interest through foreign entanglements, or corruption 
of office and elections, impeachment is justified.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \287\Consistent with that understanding, one scholar remarks that 
it is the ``repetition, pattern, [and] coherence'' of official 
misconduct that ``tend to establish the requisite degree of seriousness 
warranting the removal of a president from office.'' John Labovitz, 
Presidential Impeachment 129-130 (1978); see also, e.g., McGinnis, 
Impeachment at 659 (``[I]t has been well understood that the official's 
course of conduct as a whole should be the subject of judgment.''); 
Debate On Articles Of Impeachment: Hearing before the H. Comm. On the 
Judiciary, 93rd Cong. (1974) (hereinafter ``Debate on Nixon Articles of 
Impeachment (1974)'') (addressing the issue repeatedly from July 24, 
1974 to July 30, 1974).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Second, impeachable offenses involve wrongdoing that reveal 
the President as a continuing threat to the constitutional 
system if he is allowed to remain in a position of political 
power. As Iredell remarked, impeachment does not exist for a 
``mistake.''\288\ That is why the Framers rejected 
``maladministration'' as a basis for impeachment, and it is why 
``high Crimes and Misdemeanors'' are not simply unwise, 
unpopular, or unconsidered acts. Like ``Treason'' and 
``Bribery,'' they reflect decisions by the President to embark 
on a course of conduct--or to act with motives--inconsistent 
with our plan of government. Where the President makes such a 
decision, Congress may remove him to protect the Constitution, 
especially if there is reason to think that he will commit 
additional offenses if left in office (e.g., statements by the 
President that he did nothing wrong and would do it all again). 
This forward-looking perspective follows from the limited 
consequences of impeachment. The question is not whether to 
punish the President; that decision is left to the criminal 
justice system. Instead, the ultimate question is whether to 
bring an early end to his four-year electoral term. In his 
analysis of the Constitution, Alexis de Tocqueville thus saw 
impeachment as ``a preventive measure'' which exists ``to 
deprive the ill-disposed citizen of an authority which he has 
used amiss, and to prevent him from ever acquiring it 
again.''\289\ That is particularly true when the President 
injures the Nation's interests as part of a scheme to obtain 
personal benefits; someone so corrupt will again act corruptly.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \288\Sunstein, Impeachment at 59.
    \289\Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America and Two Essays on 
America 124-30 (2003).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors'' involve conduct 
that is recognizably wrong to a reasonable person. This 
principle resolves a potential tension in the Constitution. On 
the one hand, the Framers adopted a standard for impeachment 
that could stand the test of time. On the other hand, the 
structure of the Constitution--including its prohibition on 
bills of attainder and the Ex Post Facto Clause--implies that 
impeachable offenses should not come as a surprise.\290\ 
Impeachment is aimed at Presidents who believe they are above 
the law, and who believe their own interests transcend those of 
the country and Constitution. Of course, as President Nixon 
proved, Presidents who have committed impeachable offenses may 
seek to confuse the public through manufactured ambiguity and 
crafty pretexts. That does not shield their misconduct from 
impeachment. The principle of a plainly wrong act is not about 
academic technicalities; it simply focuses impeachment on 
conduct that any person of honor would recognize as wrong under 
the Constitution.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \290\See Black & Bobbitt, Impeachment at 29-30.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To summarize: Like ``Treason'' and ``Bribery,'' and 
consistent with the offenses historically considered by 
Parliament to warrant impeachment, ``high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors'' are great and dangerous offenses that injure the 
constitutional system. Such offenses are defined mainly by 
abuse of power, betrayal of the national interest through 
foreign entanglements, and corruption of office and elections. 
In addition, impeachable offenses arise from wrongdoing that 
reveals the President as a continuing threat to the 
constitutional system if allowed to remain in a position of 
power. Finally, they involve conduct that reasonable officials 
would consider to be wrong in our democracy.
    Within these parameters, and guided by fidelity to the 
Constitution, the House must judge whether the President's 
misconduct is grave enough to require impeachment. That step 
must never be taken lightly. It is a momentous act, justified 
only when the President's full course of conduct, assessed 
without favor or prejudice, is ``seriously incompatible with 
either the constitutional form and principles of our government 
or the proper performance of constitutional duties of the 
presidential office.''\291\ When that standard is met, however, 
the Constitution calls the House to action. In such cases, a 
decision not to impeach has grave consequences and sets an 
ominous precedent. As Representative William Cohen remarked in 
President Nixon's case, ``It also has been said to me that even 
if Mr. Nixon did commit these offenses, every other President . 
. . has engaged in some of the same conduct, at least to some 
degree, but the answer I think is that democracy, that solid 
rock of our system, may be eroded away by degree and its 
survival will be determined by the degree to which we will 
tolerate those silent and subtle subversions that absorb it 
slowly into the rule of a few.''\292\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \291\Staff Report on Constitutional Grounds for Presidential 
Impeachment (1974) at 27.
    \292\Debate on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 79.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        V. The Criminality Issue

    It is occasionally suggested that Presidents can be 
impeached only if they have committed crimes. That position was 
rejected in President Nixon's case, and then rejected again in 
President Clinton's, and should be rejected once more.\293\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \293\Impeachment of William J. Clinton, President of the United 
States: Report of the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, H. Rep. No. 105-830 at 
64 (1998) (hereinafter ``Committee Report on Clinton Articles of 
Impeachment (1998)'') Committee Report on Clinton Articles of 
Impeachment (1998) at 64 (``Although, the actions of President Clinton 
do not have to rise to the level of violating the federal statute 
regarding obstruction of justice in order to justify impeachment.''); 
Staff Report on Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment 
(1974) at 22-26.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Offenses against the Constitution are different in kind 
than offenses against the criminal code. Some crimes, like 
jaywalking, are not impeachable. Some impeachable offenses, 
like abuse of power, are not crimes. Some misconduct may offend 
both the Constitution and the criminal law. Impeachment and 
criminality must therefore be assessed separately--even though 
the commission of crimes may strengthen a case for removal.
    A ``great preponderance of authority'' confirms that 
impeachable offenses are ``not confined to criminal 
conduct.''\294\ This authority includes nearly every legal 
scholar to have studied the issue, as well as multiple Supreme 
Court justices who addressed it in public remarks.\295\ More 
important, the House itself has long treated ``high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors'' as distinct from crimes subject to indictment. 
That understanding follows from the Constitution's history, 
text, and structure, and reflects the absurdities and practical 
difficulties that would result were the impeachment power 
confined to indictable crimes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \294\Berger, Impeachment at 58.
    \295\See, e.g., Black & Bobbitt, Impeachment at 33-37, 559-565; 
Bowman, High Crimes and Misdemeanors at 244-252; Tribe & Matz, To End A 
Presidency at 43-53; Sunstein, Impeachment at 117-134; Amar, America's 
Constitution at 200-20; Charles J. Cooper, A Perjurer in the White 
House?: The Constitutional Case for Perjury and Obstruction of Justice 
as High Crimes and Misdemeanors, 22 Harv. J. L. & Pub. Pol'y 619, 620 
(1998-1999); Michael J. Gerhardt, The Federal Impeachment Process: A 
Constitutional and Historical Analysis 105-113 (2019); Berger, 
Impeachment at 58 (collecting sources); Merrill Otis, A Proposed 
Tribunal: Is It Constitutional?, 7 Kan. City. L. Rev. 3, 22 (1938) 
(quoting Chief Justice Taft); Charles E. Hughes, The Supreme Court of 
the United States 19 (1928); 2 Henry Adams, History of the United 
States of America 223 (1962).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                               A. HISTORY

    ``If there is one point established by . . . Anglo-American 
impeachment practice, it is that the phrase `high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors'' is not limited to indictable crimes.''\296\ As 
recounted above, impeachment was conceived in Parliament as a 
method for controlling abusive royal ministers. Consistent with 
that purpose, it was not confined to accusations of criminal 
wrongdoing. Instead, it was applied to ``many offenses, not 
easily definable by law,'' such as abuse of power, betrayal of 
national security, corruption, neglect of duty, and violating 
Parliament's constitutional prerogatives.\297\ Many officials 
were impeached for non-criminal wrongs against the British 
system of government; notable examples include the Duke of 
Buckingham (1626), the Earl of Strafford (1640), the Lord Mayor 
of London (1642), the Earl of Orford and others (1701), and 
Governor General Warren Hastings (1787).\298\ Across centuries 
of use, the phrase ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors'' thus 
assumed a ``special historical meaning different from the 
ordinary meaning of the terms `crimes' and 
`misdemeanors.'''\299\ It became a term of art confined to 
impeachments, without ``relation to whether an indictment would 
lie in the particular circumstances.''\300\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \296\Bowman, High Crimes and Misdemeanors at 44.
    \297\2 Story, Commentaries at 268.
    \298\See Bowman, High Crimes and Misdemeanors at 44-47.
    \299\Staff Report on Constitutional Grounds for Presidential 
Impeachment (1974) at 22.
    \300\Berger, Impeachment at 62.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    That understanding extended to North America. Here, the 
impeachment process was used to address diverse misconduct by 
public officials, ranging from abuse of power and corruption to 
bribery and betrayal of the revolutionary cause.\301\ As one 
scholar reports, ``American colonists before the Revolution, 
and American states after the Revolution but before 1787, all 
impeached officials for non-criminal conduct.''\302\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \301\Hoffer & Hull, Impeachment in America at 1-95.
    \302\Bowman, High Crimes and Misdemeanors at 244.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    At the Constitutional Convention itself, no delegate linked 
impeachment to the technicalities of criminal law. On the 
contrary, the Framers invoked an array of broad, adaptable 
terms as grounds for removal--and when the standard was 
temporarily narrowed to ``treason, or bribery,'' Mason objected 
that it must reach ``great and dangerous'' offenses against the 
Constitution. Here he cited Burke's call to impeach Hastings, 
whose acts were not crimes, but instead violated ``those 
eternal laws of justice, which are our rule and our 
birthright.''\303\ To the Framers, impeachment was about abuse 
of power, betrayal of nation, and corruption of office and 
elections. It was meant to guard against these threats in every 
manifestation--known and unknown--that might someday afflict 
the Republic.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \303\Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France and 
Other Writings 409 (2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    That view appeared repeatedly in the state ratifying 
debates. Delegates opined that the President could be impeached 
if he ``deviates from his duty'' or ``dare[s] to abuse the 
power vested in him by the people.''\304\ In North Carolina, 
Iredell noted that ``the person convicted [in an impeachment 
proceeding] is further liable to a trial at common law, and may 
receive such common-law punishment . . . if it be punishable by 
that law'' (emphasis added).\305\ Similarly, in Virginia, 
George Nicholas declared that the President ``will be 
absolutely disqualified [by impeachment] to hold any place of 
profit, honor, or trust, and liable to further punishment if he 
has committed such high crimes as are punishable at common 
law'' (emphasis added).\306\ The premise underlying this 
statement--and Iredell's--is that some Presidential ``high 
Crimes and Misdemeanors'' were not punishable by common law.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \304\Quoted in Michael J. Gerhardt, Impeachment: What Everyone 
Needs to Know 60 (2018).
    \305\Staff Report on Constitutional Grounds for Presidential 
Impeachment (1974) at 23.
    \306\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Leading minds echoed that position through the Nation's 
early years. In Federalist No. 65, Hamilton argued that 
impeachable offenses are defined by ``the abuse or violation of 
some public trust.''\307\ In that sense, he reasoned, ``they 
are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be 
denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done 
immediately to the society itself.''\308\ A few years later, 
Constitutional Convention delegate James Wilson reiterated 
Hamilton's point: ``Impeachments, and offences and offenders 
impeachable, come not . . . within the sphere of ordinary 
jurisprudence. They are founded on different principles, are 
governed by different maxims, and are directed to different 
objects.''\309\ Writing in 1829, William Rawle described 
impeachment as reserved for ``men whose treachery to their 
country might be productive of the most serious 
disasters.''\310\ Four years later, Justice Story emphasized 
that impeachable offenses ordinarily ``must be examined upon 
very broad and comprehensive principles of public policy and 
duty.''\311\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \307\Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 65 at 426.
    \308\Id.
    \309\James Wilson, Collected Works of James Wilson 736 (Kermit L. 
Hall and Mark David Hall ed. 2007).
    \310\William Rawle, A View of the Constitution of the United States 
of America 218 (1829).
    \311\2 Story, Commentaries at 234.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The American experience with impeachment confirms that 
lesson. A strong majority of the impeachments voted by the 
House since 1789 have included ``one or more allegations that 
did not charge a violation of criminal law.''\312\ Several 
officials, moreover, have subsequently been convicted on non-
criminal articles of impeachment. For example, Judge Robert 
Archbald was removed in 1912 for non-criminal speculation in 
coal properties, and Judge Halsted Ritter was removed in 1936 
for the non-criminal offense of bringing his court ``into 
scandal and disrepute.''\313\ As House Judiciary Committee 
Chairman Hatton Sumners stated explicitly during Judge Ritter's 
case, ``We do not assume the responsibility . . . of proving 
that the respondent is guilty of a crime as that term is known 
to criminal jurisprudence.''\314\ The House has also applied 
that principle in Presidential impeachments. Although President 
Nixon resigned before the House could consider the articles of 
impeachment against him, the Judiciary Committee's allegations 
encompassed many non-criminal acts.\315\ And in President 
Clinton's case, the Judiciary Committee report accompanying 
articles of impeachment to the House floor stated that ``the 
actions of President Clinton do not have to rise to the level 
of violating the federal statute regarding obstruction of 
justice in order to justify impeachment.''\316\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \312\Staff Report on Constitutional Grounds for Presidential 
Impeachment (1974) at 24.
    \313\Report of the Committee on the Judiciary, Robert W. Archbald, 
Judge of the United States Commerce Court, H. Rep. No. 62-946 (1912); 
H. Res. 422, 74th Cong. (1936).
    \314\Berger, Impeachment at 60.
    \315\See generally Committee Report on Nixon Articles of 
Impeachment (1974).
    \316\Committee Report on Clinton Articles of Impeachment (1998) at 
66.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    History thus affords exceptionally clear and consistent 
evidence that impeachable ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors'' are 
not limited to violations of the criminal code.

                  B. CONSTITUTIONAL TEXT AND STRUCTURE

    That historical conclusion is bolstered by the text and 
structure of the Constitution. Starting with the text, we must 
assign weight to use of the word ``high.'' That is true not 
only because ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors'' was a term of art 
with its own history, but also because ``high'' connotes an 
offense against the State itself. Thus, ``high'' treason in 
Britain was an offense against the Crown, whereas ``petit'' 
treason was the betrayal of a superior by a subordinate. The 
Framers were aware of this when they incorporated ``high'' as a 
limitation on impeachable offenses, signifying only 
constitutional wrongs.
    That choice is particularly noteworthy because the Framers 
elsewhere referred to ``crimes,'' ``offenses,'' and 
``punishment'' without using this modifier--and so we know 
``the Framers knew how to denote ordinary crimes when they 
wanted to do so.''\317\ For example, the Fifth Amendment 
requires a grand jury indictment in cases of a ``capital, or 
otherwise infamous crime.''\318\ The Currency Clause, in turn, 
empowers Congress to ``provide for the Punishment of 
counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United 
States.''\319\ The Law of Nations Clause authorizes Congress to 
``define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high 
Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations.''\320\ And the 
Interstate Extradition Clause provides that ``[a] Person 
charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime'' who 
flees from one state to another shall be returned upon 
request.\321\ Only in the Impeachment Clause did the Framers 
refer to ``high'' crimes. By adding ``high'' in this one 
provision, while excluding it everywhere else, the Framers 
plainly sought to capture a distinct category of offenses 
against the state.\322\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \317\Tribe & Matz, To End a Presidency at 40.
    \318\U.S. Const. amend. V, Sec. 1.
    \319\U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 6.
    \320\U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 10.
    \321\U.S. Const. art. IV, Sec. 2, cl. 2.
    \322\One might object that since ``Treason'' and ``Bribery'' are 
indictable crimes, the same must be true of ``other high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors.'' But this argument would fail. Although it is true that 
``other high Crimes and Misdemeanors'' share certain characteristics 
with ``Treason'' and ``Bribery,'' the key question is which 
characteristics unify them. And for all the reasons given here, it is 
wrong to conclude that criminality is the unifying principle of 
impeachable offenses. Moreover, if the Framers' goal was to limit 
impeachment to violations of the criminal law, it is passing strange 
that the Impeachment Clause uses a term of art--``high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors''--that appears neither in the criminal law itself nor 
anywhere else in the Constitution (which does elsewhere refer both to 
``crimes'' and ``offenses''). It would have been easy to write a 
provision limiting the impeachment power to serious crimes, and yet the 
Framers pointedly did not do so.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    That interpretation is also most consistent with the 
structure of the Constitution. This is true in three respects.
    First, as explained above, the Impeachment Clause restricts 
the consequences of impeachment to removal from office and 
disqualification from future federal officeholding. That speaks 
to the fundamental character of impeachment. In Justice Story's 
words, it is ``a proceeding purely of a political nature. It is 
not so much designed to punish an offender, as to secure the 
state against gross official misdemeanors. It touches neither 
his person, nor his property; but simply divests him of his 
political capacity.''\323\ Given that impeachment exists to 
address threats to the political system, applies only to 
political officials, and responds only by stripping political 
power, it makes sense to infer that ``high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors'' are offenses against the political system rather 
than indictable crimes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \323\2 Story, Commentaries at 272.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Second, if impeachment were restricted to crimes, 
impeachment proceedings would be restricted to deciding whether 
the President had committed a specific crime. Such a view would 
create tension between the Impeachment Clause and other 
provisions of the Constitution. For example, the Double 
Jeopardy Clause protects against being tried twice for the same 
crime. Yet the Impeachment Clause contemplates that an 
official, once removed, can still face ``Indictment, Trial, 
Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.'' It would be 
strange if the Framers forbade double jeopardy, yet allowed the 
President to be tried in court for crimes after Congress 
convicted him in a proceeding that necessarily (and 
exclusively) decided whether he was guilty of those very same 
crimes.\324\ That oddity is avoided only if impeachment 
proceedings are seen ``in noncriminal terms,'' which occurs if 
impeachable offenses are understood as distinct from indictable 
crimes.\325\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \324\See Berger, Impeachment at 80.
    \325\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, the Constitution was originally understood as 
limiting Congress's power to create a federal law of crimes. It 
would therefore be strange if the Framers restricted 
impeachment to criminal offenses, while denying Congress the 
ability to criminalize many forms of Presidential wrongdoing 
that they repeatedly described as requiring impeachment.
    To set this point in context, the Constitution expressly 
authorizes Congress to criminalize only a handful of wrongful 
acts: ``counterfeiting, piracy, `offenses against the law of 
nations,' and crimes that occur within the military.''\326\ 
Early Congresses did not tread far beyond that core category of 
crimes, and the Supreme Court took a narrow view of federal 
power to pass criminal statutes. It was not until much later--
in the twentieth century--that the Supreme Court came to 
recognize that Congress could enact a broader criminal code. As 
a result, early federal criminal statutes ``covered relatively 
few categories of offenses.''\327\ Many federal offenses were 
punishable only when committed ``in special places, and within 
peculiar jurisdictions, as, for instance, on the high seas, or 
in forts, navy-yards, and arsenals ceded to the United 
States.''\328\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \326\William J. Stuntz, The Collapse of American Criminal Justice 
99 (2011).
    \327\Tribe & Matz, To End a Presidency at 48.
    \328\2 Story, Commentaries at 264.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Framers were not fools. They authorized impeachment for 
a reason, and that reason would have been gutted if impeachment 
were limited to crimes. It is possible, of course, that the 
Framers thought the common law, rather than federal statutes, 
would define criminal offenses. That is undeniably true of 
``Bribery'': the Framers saw this impeachable offense as 
defined by the common law of bribery as it was understood at 
the time. But it is hard to believe that the Framers saw common 
law as the sole measure of impeachment. For one thing, the 
common law did not address itself to many wrongs that could be 
committed uniquely by the President in our republican system. 
The common law would thus have been an extremely ineffective 
tool for achieving the Framers' stated purposes in authorizing 
impeachment. Moreover, the Supreme Court held in 1812 that 
there is no federal common law of crimes.\329\ If the Framers 
thought only crimes could be impeachable offenses, and hoped 
common law would describe the relevant crimes, then they made a 
tragic mistake--and the Supreme Court's 1812 decision ruined 
their plans for the impeachment power.\330\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \329\United States v. Hudson and Goodwin, 11 U.S. 32 (1812).
    \330\In the alternative, one might say that ``high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors'' occur when the president violates state criminal law. 
But that turns federalism upside down: invoking state criminal codes to 
supply the content of the federal Impeachment Clause would grant states 
a bizarre and incongruous primacy in the constitutional system. 
Especially given that impeachment is crucial to checks and balances 
within the federal government, it would be nonsensical for states to 
effectively control when this power may be wielded by Congress.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Rather than assume the Framers wrote a Constitution full of 
empty words and internal contradictions, it makes far more 
sense to agree with Hamilton that impeachment is not about 
crimes. The better view, which the House itself has long 
embraced, confirms that impeachment targets offenses against 
the Constitution that threaten democracy.\331\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \331\Article III of the Constitution provides that ``the Trial of 
all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury.'' Article 
III, Sec. 2. This provision recognizes that impeachable conduct may 
entail criminal conduct--and clarifies that in such cases, the trial of 
an impeachment still occurs in the Senate, not by jury.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                     C. THE PURPOSE OF IMPEACHMENT

    The distinction between impeachable offenses and crimes 
also follows from the fundamentally different purposes that 
impeachment and the criminal law serve. At bottom, the 
impeachment power is ``the first step in a remedial process--
removal from office and possible disqualification from holding 
future office.''\332\ It exists ``primarily to maintain 
constitutional government'' and is addressed exclusively to 
abuses perpetrated by federal officeholders.\333\ It is through 
impeachment proceedings that ``a President is called to account 
for abusing powers that only a President possesses.''\334\ The 
criminal law, in contrast, ``sets a general standard of conduct 
that all must follow.''\335\ It applies to all persons within 
its compass and ordinarily defines acts forbidden to everyone; 
in our legal tradition, the criminal code ``does not address 
itself [expressly] to the abuses of presidential power.''\336\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \332\Staff Report on Constitutional Grounds for Presidential 
Impeachment (1974) at 24.
    \333\Id.
    \334\Id.
    \335\Id.
    \336\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Indeed, ``the early Congresses--filled with Framers--didn't 
even try to create a body of criminal law addressing many of 
the specific abuses that motivated adoption of the Impeachment 
Clause in the first place.''\337\ This partly reflects ``a 
tacit judgment that it [did] not deem such a code 
necessary.''\338\ But that is not the only explanation. The 
Constitution vests ``the sole Power of Impeachment'' in the 
House; it is therefore doubtful that a statute enacted by one 
Congress (and signed by the President) could bind the House at 
a later date.\339\ Moreover, any such effort to define and 
criminalize all impeachable offenses would quickly run aground. 
As Justice Story cautioned, impeachable offenses ``are of so 
various and complex a character, so utterly incapable of being 
defined, or classified, that the task of positive legislation 
would be impracticable, if it were not almost absurd to attempt 
it.''\340\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \337\Tribe & Matz, To End a Presidency at 48-49.
    \338\Berger, Impeachment at 78.
    \339\Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 
25.
    \340\2 Story, Commentaries at 264.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There are also general characteristics of the criminal law 
that make criminality inappropriate as an essential element of 
impeachable conduct. For example, criminal law traditionally 
forbids acts, rather than failures to act, yet impeachable 
conduct ``may include the serious failure to discharge the 
affirmative duties imposed on the President by the 
Constitution.''\341\ In addition, unlike a criminal case 
focused on very specific conduct and nothing else, a 
Congressional impeachment proceeding may properly consider a 
broader course of conduct or scheme that tends to subvert 
constitutional government.\342\ Finally, the application of 
general criminal statutes to the President may raise 
constitutional issues that have no bearing on an impeachment 
proceeding, the whole point of which is to assess whether the 
President has abused power in ways requiring his removal from 
office.\343\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \341\Staff Report on Constitutional Grounds for Presidential 
Impeachment (1974) at 24.
    \342\Id. at 24-25.
    \343\Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III, Report On The 
Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential 
Election, Vol. II at 170-181 (March 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For all these reasons, ``[a] requirement of criminality 
would be incompatible with the intent of the framers to provide 
a mechanism broad enough to maintain the integrity of 
constitutional government. Impeachment is a constitutional 
safety valve; to fulfill this function, it must be flexible 
enough to cope with exigencies not now foreseeable.''\344\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \344\Staff Report on Constitutional Grounds for Presidential 
Impeachment (1974), at 25.
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                D. THE LIMITED RELEVANCE OF CRIMINALITY

    As demonstrated, the President can commit ``high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors'' without violating federal criminal law. ``To 
conclude otherwise would be to ignore the original meaning, 
purpose and history of the impeachment power; to subvert the 
constitutional design of a system of checks and balances; and 
to leave the nation unnecessarily vulnerable to abusive 
government officials.''\345\ Yet the criminal law is not 
irrelevant. ``Our criminal codes identify many terrible acts 
that would surely warrant removal if committed by the chief 
executive.''\346\ Moreover, the President is sworn to uphold 
the law. If he violates it while grossly abusing power, 
betraying the national interest through foreign entanglements, 
or corrupting his office or elections, that weighs in favor of 
impeaching him.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \345\Keith E. Whittington, Must Impeachable Offenses Be Violations 
of the Criminal Code?, Lawfare, Nov. 19, 2019.
    \346\Tribe & Matz, To End a Presidency at 51.
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               VI. Addressing Fallacies About Impeachment

    Since the House began its impeachment inquiry, a number of 
inaccurate claims have circulated about how impeachment works 
under the Constitution. To assist the Committee in its 
deliberations, we address six issues of potential relevance: 
(1) the law that governs House procedures for impeachment; (2) 
the law that governs the evaluation of evidence, including 
where the President orders defiance of House subpoenas; (3) 
whether the President can be impeached for the abuse of his 
executive powers; (4) whether the President's claims regarding 
his motives must be accepted at face value; (5) whether the 
President is immune from impeachment if he attempts an 
impeachable offense but is caught before he completes it; and 
(6) whether it is preferable to await the next election when a 
President has sought to corrupt that very same election.

                       A. THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS

    It has been argued that the House has not followed proper 
procedure in its ongoing impeachment inquiry. We have 
considered those arguments and find that they lack merit.
    To start with first principles, the Constitution vests the 
House with the ``sole Power of Impeachment.''\347\ It also 
vests the House with the sole power to ``determine the Rules of 
its Proceedings.''\348\ These provisions authorize the House to 
investigate potential ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors,'' to 
draft and debate articles of impeachment, and to establish 
whatever rules and procedures it deems proper for those 
proceedings.\349\
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    \347\U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 2, cl. 5.
    \348\U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 5, cl. 2.
    \349\See David Pozen, Risk-Risk Tradeoffs in Presidential 
Impeachment, Take Care, Jun. 6, 2018 (``Both chambers of Congress enjoy 
vast discretion in how they run impeachment proceedings.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When the House wields its constitutional impeachment power, 
it functions like a grand jury or prosecutor: its job is to 
figure out what the President did and why he did it, and then 
to decide whether the President should be charged with 
impeachable offenses. If the House approves any articles of 
impeachment, the President is entitled to present a full 
defense at trial in the Senate. It is thus in the Senate, and 
not in the House, where the President might properly raise 
certain protections associated with trials.\350\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \350\Contra Letter from Pat A. Cipollone, Counsel to the President, 
to Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, Adam B. Schiff, Chairman, H. 
Perm. Select Comm. on Intelligence, Eliot L. Engel, Chairman, H. Comm. 
on Foreign Affairs, and Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on 
Oversight and Reform (Oct. 8, 2019); Leader McCarthy Speech Against the 
Sham Impeachment Vote, Kevin McCarthy, Republican Leader, Oct. 31, 
2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Starting in May 2019, the Judiciary Committee undertook an 
inquiry to determine whether to recommend articles of 
impeachment against President Trump. The Committee subsequently 
confirmed, many times, that it was engaged in an impeachment 
investigation. On June 11, 2019, the full House approved a 
resolution confirming that the Judiciary Committee possessed 
``any and all necessary authority under Article I of the 
Constitution'' to continue its investigation; an accompanying 
Rules Committee Report emphasized that the ``purposes''' of the 
inquiry included ``whether to approve `articles of impeachment 
with respect to the President.'''\351\ As the Judiciary 
Committee continued with its investigation, evidence came to 
light that President Trump may have grossly abused the power of 
his office in dealings with Ukraine. At that point, the House 
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the House 
Oversight and Foreign Affairs Committees, began investigating 
potential offenses relating to Ukraine. On September 24, 2019, 
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi directed these committees, as well 
as the House Judiciary, Financial Services and Ways and Means 
Committees, to ``proceed with their investigations under that 
umbrella of [an] impeachment inquiry.''\352\ Finally, on 
October 31, 2019, the full House approved H. Res. 660, which 
directed the six committees ``to continue their ongoing 
investigations as part of the existing House of Representatives 
inquiry into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of 
Representatives to exercise its Constitutional power to impeach 
Donald John Trump, President of the United States of 
America.''\353\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \351\H. Res. 430, 116th Cong. (2019); Authorizing the Committee on 
the Judiciary to Initiate or Intervene in Judicial Proceedings to 
Enforce Certain Subpoenas and for Other Purposes To Accompany H. Res. 
430, H. Rep. 116-108 at 21 (2019).
    \352\Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, Pelosi Remarks Announcing 
Impeachment Inquiry, Sep. 24 2019.
    \353\H. Res. 660, 116th Cong. (2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This approach to investigating potential impeachable 
offenses adheres to the Constitution, the Rules of the House, 
and historical practice.\354\ House Committees have frequently 
initiated and made substantial progress in impeachment 
inquiries before the full House considered a resolution 
formalizing their efforts. That is what happened in the cases 
of Presidents Johnson and Nixon, as well as in many judicial 
impeachments (which are subject to the same constitutional 
provisions).\355\ Indeed, numerous judges have been impeached 
without any prior vote of the full House authorizing a formal 
inquiry.\356\ It is both customary and sensible for 
committees--particularly the Judiciary Committee--to 
investigate evidence of serious wrongdoing before decisions are 
made by the full House.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \354\See generally H. Rep. No. 116-108.
    \355\See 3 Hinds Ch. 75 Sec. 2400 (President Johnson); 3 Deschler 
Ch. 14, Sec. 15 (President Nixon); H. Rep. No. 101-36, at 13-16 (1988) 
(Judge Walter Nixon); H. Res. 320, 100th Cong. (Judge Alcee Hastings); 
H. Rep. No. 99-688, at 3-7 (1986) (Judge Harry Claiborne); 3 Deschler 
Ch. 14 Sec. 5 (Justice William O. Douglas).
    \356\See H. Res. 87, 101st Cong. (1989) (impeaching Judge Nixon); 
H. Res. 499, 100th Cong. (1988) (impeaching Judge Hastings); H. Res. 
461, 99th Cong. (1986) (impeaching Judge Claiborne).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In such investigations, the House's initial task is to 
gather evidence. As is true of virtually any competent 
investigation, whether governmental or private, the House has 
historically conducted substantial parts of the initial fact-
finding process out of public view to ensure more accurate and 
complete testimony.\357\ In President Nixon's case, for 
instance, only the Judiciary Committee Chairman, Ranking 
Member, and Committee staff had access to material gathered by 
the impeachment inquiry in its first several months.\358\ There 
was no need for similar secrecy in President Clinton's case, 
but only because the House did not engage in a substantial 
investigation of its own; it largely adopted the facts set 
forth in a report by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, who had 
spent years investigating behind closed doors.\359\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \357\See Tribe & Matz, To End A Presidency at 92 (``Historically, 
the House and Senate have investigated through their committees . . . 
Critically, although they may involve occasional public hearings, most 
investigatory activities must be kept secret until they have nearly 
reached an end.'').
    \358\Debate on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 86.
    \359\Committee Report on Clinton Articles of Impeachment (1998) at 
300.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When grand juries and prosecutors investigate wrongdoing by 
private citizens and public officials, the person under 
investigation has no right to participate in the examination of 
witnesses and evidence that precedes a decision on whether to 
file charges. That is black letter law under the Constitution, 
even in serious criminal cases that threaten loss of life or 
liberty. The same is true in impeachment proceedings, which 
threaten only loss of public office. Accordingly, even if the 
full panoply of rights held by criminal defendants 
hypothetically were to apply in the non-criminal setting of 
impeachment, the President has no ``due process right'' to 
interfere with, or inject himself into, the House's fact-
finding efforts. If the House ultimately approves articles of 
impeachment, any rights that the President might hold are 
properly secured at trial in the Senate, where he may be 
afforded an opportunity to present an evidentiary defense and 
test the strength of the House's case.
    Although under no constitutional or other legal obligation 
to do so, but consistent with historical practice, the full 
House approved a resolution--H. Res. 660--that ensures 
transparency, allows effective public hearings, and provides 
the President with opportunities to participate. The privileges 
afforded under H. Res. 660 are even greater than those provided 
to Presidents Nixon and Clinton. They allow the President or 
his counsel to participate in House Judiciary Committee 
proceedings by presenting their case, responding to evidence, 
submitting requests for additional evidence, attending hearings 
(including non-public hearings), objecting to testimony, and 
cross-examining witnesses. In addition, H. Res. 660 gave the 
minority the same rights to question witnesses that the 
majority has, as has been true at every step of this 
impeachment proceeding.
    The impeachment inquiry concerning President Trump has thus 
complied in every respect with the Constitution, the Rules of 
the House, and historic practice of the House.

       B. EVIDENTIARY CONSIDERATIONS AND PRESIDENTIAL OBSTRUCTION

    The House impeachment inquiry has compiled substantial 
direct and circumstantial evidence bearing on the question 
whether President Trump may have committed impeachable 
offenses. President Trump has objected that some of this 
evidence comes from witnesses lacking first-hand knowledge of 
his conduct. In the same breath, though, he has ordered 
witnesses with first-hand knowledge to defy House subpoenas for 
testimony and documents--and has done so in a categorical, 
unqualified manner. President Trump's evidentiary challenges 
are misplaced as a matter of constitutional law and common 
sense.
    The Constitution does not prescribe rules of evidence for 
impeachment proceedings in the House or Senate. Consistent with 
its sole powers to impeach and to determine the rules of its 
proceedings, the House is constitutionally authorized to 
consider any evidence that it believes may illuminate the 
issues before it. At this fact-finding stage, ``no technical 
`rules of evidence' apply,'' and ``[e]vidence may come from 
investigations by committee staff, from grand jury matter made 
available to the committee, or from any other source.''\360\ 
The House may thus ``subpoena documents, call witnesses, hold 
hearings, make legal determinations, and undertake any other 
activities necessary to fulfill [its] mandate.''\361\ When 
deciding whether to bring charges against the President, the 
House is not restricted by the Constitution in deciding which 
evidence to consider or how much weight to afford it.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \360\Black & Bobbitt, Impeachment at 9.
    \361\Tribe & Matz, To End a Presidency at 129.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Indeed, were rules of evidence to apply anywhere, it would 
be in the Senate, where impeachments are tried. Yet the Senate 
does not treat the law of evidence as controlling at such 
trials.\362\ As one scholar explains, ``rules of evidence were 
elaborated primarily to hold juries within narrow limits. They 
have no place in the impeachment process. Both the House and 
the Senate ought to hear and consider all evidence which seems 
relevant, without regard to technical rules. Senators are in 
any case continually exposed to `hearsay' evidence; they cannot 
be sequestered and kept away from newspapers, like a 
jury.''\363\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \362\Gerhardt, The Federal Impeachment Process at 42 (``[E]ven if 
the Senate could agree on such rules for impeachment trials, they would 
not be enforceable against or binding on individual senators, each of 
whom traditionally has had the discretion in an impeachment trial to 
follow any evidentiary standards he or she sees fit.'').
    \363\Black & Bobbitt, Impeachment at 18. see also Gerhardt, The 
Federal Impeachment Process at 117 (``Both state and federal courts 
require special rules of evidence to make trials more efficient and 
fair or to keep certain evidence away from a jury, whose members might 
not understand or appreciate its reliability, credibility, or 
potentially prejudicial effect.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Instead of adopting abstract or inflexible rules, the House 
and Senate have long relied on their common sense and good 
judgment to assess evidence in impeachments. When evidence is 
relevant but there is reason to question its reliability, those 
considerations affect how much weight the evidence is given, 
not whether it can be considered at all.
    Here, the factual record is formidable and includes many 
forms of highly reliable evidence. It goes without saying, 
however, that the record might be more expansive if the House 
had full access to the documents and testimony it has lawfully 
subpoenaed from government officials. The reason the House 
lacks such access is an unprecedented decision by President 
Trump to order a total blockade of the House impeachment 
inquiry.
    In contrast, the conduct of prior chief executives 
illustrates the lengths to which they complied with impeachment 
inquiries. As President James Polk conceded, the ``power of the 
House'' in cases of impeachment ``would penetrate into the most 
secret recesses of the Executive Departments,'' and ``could 
command the attendance of any and every agent of the 
Government, and compel them to produce all papers, public or 
private, official or unofficial, and to testify on oath to all 
facts within their knowledge.''\364\ Decades later, when the 
House conducted an impeachment inquiry into President Johnson, 
it interviewed cabinet officials and Presidential aides, 
obtained extensive records, and heard testimony about 
conversations with Presidential advisors.\365\ Presidents 
Grover Cleveland, Ulysses S. Grant, and Theodore Roosevelt each 
confirmed that Congress could obtain otherwise-shielded 
executive branch documents in an impeachment inquiry.\366\ And 
in President Nixon's case--where the President's refusal to 
turn over tapes led to an article of impeachment--the House 
Judiciary Committee still heard testimony from his chief of 
staff (H.R. Haldeman), special counsel (Charles Colson), 
personal attorney (Herbert Kalmbach), and deputy assistant 
(Alexander Butterfield). Indeed, with respect to the Senate 
Watergate investigation, President Nixon stated: ``All members 
of the White House Staff will appear voluntarily when requested 
by the committee. They will testify under oath, and they will 
answer fully all proper questions.''\367\ President Trump's 
categorical blockade of the House impeachment inquiry has no 
analogue in the history of the Republic.\368\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \364\H.R. Jour., 29th Cong., 1st Sess. 693 (1846); 4 James D. 
Richardson ed., Messages and Papers of Presidents 434-35 (1896).
    \365\See generally Reports of Committees, Impeachment 
Investigation, 40th Cong., 1st Sess. 183-578 (1867).
    \366\See Jonathan David Shaub, The Executive's Privilege: 
Rethinking the President's Power to Withhold Information, Lawfare (Oct. 
31, 2019).
    \367\The White House, Remarks by President Nixon (Apr. 17, 1973) 
President Nixon initially stated that members of his ``personal staff'' 
would ``decline a request for a formal appearance before a committee of 
the Congress,'' but reversed course approximately one month later., The 
White House, Statement by the President, Executive Privilege (Mar. 12, 
1973).
    \368\See Tribe & Matz, To End A Presidency at 129 (``Congress's 
investigatory powers are at their zenith in the realm of impeachment. 
They should ordinarily overcome almost any claim of executive privilege 
asserted by the president.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As a matter of constitutional law, the House may properly 
conclude that a President's obstruction of Congress is relevant 
to assessing the evidentiary record in an impeachment inquiry. 
For centuries, courts have recognized that ``when a party has 
relevant evidence within his control which he fails to produce, 
that failure gives rise to an inference that the evidence is 
unfavorable to him.''\369\ Moreover, it is routine for courts 
to draw adverse inferences where a party acts in bad faith to 
conceal or destroy evidence or preclude witnesses from 
testifying.\370\ Although those judicial rules do not control 
here, they are instructive in confirming that parties who 
interfere with fact-finding processes can suffer an evidentiary 
sanction. Consistent with that commonsense principle, the House 
has informed the administration that defiance of subpoenas at 
the direction or behest of the President or the White House 
could justify an adverse inference against the President. In 
light of President Trump's unlawful and unqualified direction 
that governmental officials violate their legal 
responsibilities to Congress, as well as his pattern of witness 
intimidation, the House may reasonably infer that their 
testimony would be harmful to the President--or at least not 
exculpatory. If this evidence were helpful to the President, he 
would not break the law to keep it hidden, nor would he engage 
in public acts of harassment to scare other witnesses who might 
consider coming forward.\371\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \369\Int'l Union, United Auto., Aerospace & Agr. Implement Workers 
of Am. (UAW) v. N. L. R. B., 459 F.2d 1329, 1336 (D.C. Cir. 1972); see 
also Interstate Circuit v. United States, 306 U.S. 208, 225-26 (1939); 
Rossi v. United States, 289 U.S. 89, 91-92 (1933); Mammoth Oil Co. v. 
United States, 275 U.S. 13, 51-53 (1927); Burdine v. Johnson, 262 F.3d 
336, 366 (5th Cir. 2001) (collecting cases); United States v. Pitts, 
918 F.2d 197, 199 (D.C. Cir. 1990) (holding that, where a missing 
witness has ``so much to offer that one would expect [him] to take the 
stand,'' and where ``one of the parties had some special ability to 
produce him,'' the law allows an inference ``that the missing witness 
would have given testimony damaging to that party'').
    \370\See, e.g., Bracey v. Grondin, 712 F.3d 1012, 1018 (7th Cir. 
2013); Residential Funding Corp. v. DeGeorge Fin. Corp., 306 F.3d 99, 
107 (2d Cir. 2002); Nation-Wide Check Corp. v. Forest Hills 
Distributors, Inc., 692 F.2d 214, 217 (1st Cir. 1982); see also 2 Jones 
on Evidence Sec. 13:12 & Sec. 13:15 (7th ed. 2019 update).
    \371\If the President could order all Executive Branch agencies and 
officials to defy House impeachment inquiries, and if the House were 
unable to draw any inferences from that order with respect to the 
President's alleged misconduct, the impeachment power would be a 
nullity in many cases where it plainly should apply.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    One noteworthy result of President Trump's obstruction is 
that the House has been improperly denied testimony by certain 
government officials who could have offered first-hand accounts 
of relevant events. That does not leave the House at sea: there 
is still robust evidence, both documentary and testimonial, 
bearing directly on his conduct and motives. But especially 
given the President's obstruction of Congress, the House is 
free under the Constitution to consider reliable testimony from 
officials who overheard--or later learned about--statements by 
the President to witnesses whose testimony he has blocked.\372\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \372\Under the Federal Rules of Evidence--which, again, are not 
applicable in Congressional impeachment proceedings--judges sometimes 
limit witnesses from offering testimony about someone else's out-of-
court statements. They do so for reasons respecting reliability and 
with an eye to the unique risks presented by unsophisticated juries 
that may not properly evaluate evidence. But because hearsay evidence 
can in fact be highly reliable, and because it is ``often relevant,'' 
Tome v. United States, 513 U.S. 150, 163 (1995), there are many 
circumstances in which such testimony is admissible in federal judicial 
proceedings. Those circumstances include, but are by no means limited 
to, recorded recollections, records of regularly conducted activity, 
records of a public office, excited utterances, and statements against 
penal or other interest. Moreover, where hearsay evidence bears indicia 
of reliability, it is regularly used in many other profoundly important 
contexts, including federal sentencing and immigration proceedings. 
See, e.g., Arrazabal v. Barr, 929 F.3d 451, 462 (7th Cir. 2019); United 
States v. Mitrovic, 890 F.3d 1217, 1222 (11th Cir. 2018); United States 
v. Woods, 596 F.3d 445, 448 (8th Cir. 2010). Ironically, although some 
have complained that hearings related to the Ukraine affair initially 
occurred out of public sight, one reason for that measure was to ensure 
the integrity of witness testimony. Where multiple witnesses testified 
to the same point in separate, confidential hearings, that factual 
conclusion may be seen as corroborated and more highly reliable.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To summarize: just like grand jurors and prosecutors, the 
House is not subject to rigid evidentiary rules in deciding 
whether to approve articles. Members of the House are trusted 
to fairly weigh evidence in an impeachment inquiry. Where the 
President illegally seeks to obstruct such an inquiry, the 
House is free to infer that evidence blocked from its view is 
harmful to the President's position. It is also free to rely on 
other relevant, reliable evidence that illuminates the ultimate 
factual issues. The President has no right to defy an 
impeachment inquiry and then demand that the House turn back 
because it lacks the very evidence he unlawfully concealed. If 
anything, such conduct confirms that the President sees himself 
as above the law and may therefore bear on the question of 
impeachment.\373\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \373\The President has advanced numerous arguments to justify his 
across-the-board defiance of the House impeachment inquiry. These 
arguments lack merit. As this Committee recognized when it impeached 
President Nixon for obstruction of Congress, the impeachment power 
includes a corresponding power of inquiry that allows the House to 
investigate the Executive Branch and compel compliance with its 
subpoenas.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

             C. ABUSE OF PRESIDENTIAL POWER IS IMPEACHABLE

    The powers of the President are immense, but they are not 
absolute. That principle applies to the current President just 
as it applied to his predecessors. President Nixon erred in 
asserting that ``when the President does it, that means it is 
not illegal.''\374\ And President Trump was equally mistaken 
when he declared he had ``the right to do whatever I want as 
president.''\375\ The Constitution always matches power with 
constraint. That is true even of powers vested exclusively in 
the chief executive. If those powers are invoked for corrupt 
reasons, or in an abusive manner that threatens harm to 
constitutional governance, the President is subject to 
impeachment for ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \374\Document: Transcript of David Frost's Interview with Richard 
Nixon, Teaching American History. (1977).
    \375\ Michael Brice-Saddler, While Bemoaning Mueller Probe, Trump 
Falsely Says the Constitution Gives Him `The Right To Do Whatever I 
Want'', The Washington Post, July 23, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This conclusion follows from the Constitution's history and 
structure. As explained above, the Framers created a formidable 
Presidency, which they entrusted with ``the executive Power'' 
and a host of additional authorities. For example, the 
President alone can confer pardons, sign or veto legislation, 
recognize foreign nations, serve as Commander in Chief of the 
armed forces, and appoint or remove principal officers. The 
President also plays a significant (though not exclusive) role 
in conducting diplomacy, supervising law enforcement, and 
protecting national security. These are daunting powers for any 
one person to wield. If put to nefarious ends, they could wreak 
havoc on our democracy.
    The Framers knew this. Fearful of tyranny in all its forms, 
they saw impeachment as a necessary guarantee that Presidents 
could be held accountable for how they exercised executive 
power. Many delegates at the Constitutional Convention and 
state ratifying conventions made this point, including Madison, 
Randolph, Pinckney, Stillman, and Iredell. Their view was 
widely shared. As James Wilson observed in Pennsylvania, ``we 
have a responsibility in the person of our President''--who is 
``possessed of power''--since ``far from being above the 
laws,'' he is ``amenable to them . . . by impeachment.''\376\ 
Hamilton struck the same note. In Federalist No. 70, he 
remarked that the Constitution affords Americans the ``greatest 
securities they can have for the faithful exercise of any 
delegated power,'' including the power to discover ``with 
facility and clearness''' any misconduct requiring ``removal 
from office.''\377\ Impeachment and executive power were thus 
closely intertwined in the Framers' constitutional plan: the 
President could be vested with awesome power, but only because 
he faced removal from office for grave abuses.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \376\2 Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions at 480.
    \377\Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 70 at 456.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The architects of checks and balances meant no exceptions 
to this rule. There is no power in the Constitution that a 
President can exercise immune from legal consequence. The 
existence of any such unchecked and uncheckable authority in 
the federal government would offend the bedrock principle that 
nobody is above the law. It would also upend the reasons why 
our Framers wrote impeachment into the Constitution: the exact 
forms of Presidential wrongdoing that they discussed in 
Philadelphia could be committed through use of executive 
powers, and it is unthinkable that the Framers left the Nation 
defenseless in such cases. In fact, when questioned by Mason in 
Virginia, Madison expressly stated that the President could be 
impeached for abuse of his exclusive pardon power--a view that 
the Supreme Court later echoed in Ex Parte Grossman.\378\ By 
the same token, a President could surely be impeached for 
treason if he fired the Attorney General to thwart the 
unmasking of an enemy spy in wartime; he could impeached for 
bribery if he offered to divulge state secrets to a foreign 
nation, conditioned on regulatory exemptions for his family 
business.\379\ Simply put, ``the fact that a power is exclusive 
to the executive--that is, the president alone may exercise 
it--does not mean the power cannot be exercised in clear bad 
faith, and that Congress cannot look into or act upon knowledge 
of that abuse.''\380\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \378\3 Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions at 497-98; 
Ex Parte Grossman, 267 U.S. at 121. Madison adhered to this 
understanding after the Constitution was ratified. In 1789, he 
explained to his colleagues in the House that the President would be 
subject to impeachment for abuse of the removal power--which is held by 
the President alone--``if he suffers [his appointees] to perpetrate 
with impunity High crimes or misdemeanors against the United States, or 
neglects to superintend their conduct, so as to check their excesses.'' 
1 Annals of Congress 387 (1789).
    \379\Scholars have offered many examples and hypotheticals that 
they see as illustrative of this point. See Bowman, High Crimes and 
Misdemeanors at 258; Black & Bobbitt, Impeachment at 115; Hemel & 
Posner, Presidential Obstruction of Justice at 1297; Tribe & Matz, To 
End a Presidency at 61.
    \380\Jane Chong, Impeachment-Proof? The President's 
Unconstitutional Abuse of His Constitutional Powers, Lawfare, Jan. 2, 
2018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The rule that abuse of power can lead to removal 
encompasses all three branches. The Impeachment Clause applies 
to ``The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of 
the United States,'' including Article III judges.\381\ There 
is no exception to impeachment for misconduct by federal judges 
involving the exercise of their official powers. In fact, the 
opposite is true: ``If in the exercise of the powers with which 
they are clothed as ministers of justice, [judges] act with 
partiality, or maliciously, or corruptly, or arbitrarily, or 
oppressively, they may be called to an account by 
impeachment.''\382\ Similarly, if Members of Congress exercise 
legislative power abusively or with corrupt purposes, they may 
be removed pursuant to the Expulsion Clause, which permits each 
house of Congress to expel a member ``with the Concurrence of 
two thirds.''\383\ Nobody is entitled to wield power under the 
Constitution if they ignore or betray the Nation's interests to 
advance their own.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \381\U.S. Const. art. II, Sec. 4.
    \382\Bradley v. Fisher 80 U.S. 335, 350 (1871).
    \383\U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 5, cl. 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This is confirmed by past practice of the House. President 
Nixon's case directly illustrates the point. As head of the 
Executive Branch, he had the power to appoint and remove law 
enforcement officials, to issue pardons, and to oversee the 
White House, IRS, CIA, and FBI. But he did not have any warrant 
to exercise these Presidential powers abusively or corruptly. 
When he did so, the House Judiciary Committee properly approved 
multiple articles of impeachment against him. Several decades 
later, the House impeached President Clinton. There, the House 
witnessed substantial disagreement over whether the President 
could be impeached for obstruction of justice that did not 
involve using the powers of his office. But it was universally 
presumed--and never seriously questioned--that the President 
could be impeached for obstruction of justice that did involve 
abuse of those powers.\384\ That view rested firmly on a 
correct understanding of the Constitution.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \384\See generally 1998 Background and History of Impeachment 
Hearing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Our Constitution rejects pretensions to monarchy and binds 
Presidents with law. A President who sees no limit on his power 
manifestly threatens the Republic.

      D. PRESIDENTIAL PRETEXTS NEED NOT BE ACCEPTED AT FACE VALUE

    Impeachable offenses are often defined by corrupt intent. 
To repeat Iredell, ``the president would be liable to 
impeachments [if] he had . . . acted from some corrupt motive 
or other,'' or if he was ``willfully abusing his trust.''\385\ 
Consistent with that teaching, both ``Treason'' and ``Bribery'' 
require proof that the President acted with an improper state 
of mind, as would many other offenses described as impeachable 
at the Constitutional Convention. Contrary to occasional 
suggestions that the House may not examine the President's 
intent, an impeachment inquiry may therefore require the House 
to determine why the President acted the way he did. 
Understanding the President's motives may clarify whether he 
used power in forbidden ways, whether he was faithless in 
executing the laws, and whether he poses a continuing danger to 
the Nation if allowed to remain in office.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \385\Id. at 49.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When the House probes a President's state of mind, its 
mandate is to find the facts. There is no room for legal 
fictions or lawyerly tricks that distort a clear assessment of 
the President's thinking. That means evaluating the President's 
explanations to see if they ring true. The question is not 
whether the President's conduct could have resulted from 
innocent motives. It is whether the President's real reasons--
the ones actually in his mind as he exercised power--were 
legitimate. The Framers designed impeachment to root out abuse 
and corruption, even when a President masks improper intent 
with cover stories.
    Accordingly, where the President's explanation of his 
motives defies common sense, or is otherwise unbelievable, the 
House is free to reject the pretextual explanation and to 
conclude that the President's false account of his thinking is 
itself evidence that he acted with corrupt motives. The 
President's honesty in an impeachment inquiry, or his lack 
thereof, can thus shed light on the underlying issue.\386\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \386\See Tribe & Matz, To End A Presidency at 92 (``Does the 
president admit error, apologize, and clean house? Does he prove his 
innocence, or at least his reasonable good faith? Or does he lie and 
obstruct until the bitter end? Maybe he fires investigators and 
stonewalls prosecutors? . . . These data points are invaluable when 
Congress asks whether leaving the president in office would pose a 
continuing threat to the nation.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    President Nixon's case highlights the point. In its 
discussion of an article of impeachment for abuse of power, the 
House Judiciary Committee concluded that he had ``falsely used 
a national security pretext'' to direct executive agencies to 
engage in unlawful electronic surveillance investigations, thus 
violating ``the constitutional rights of citizens.''\387\ In 
its discussion of the same article, the Committee also found 
that President Nixon had interfered with the Justice Department 
by ordering it to cease investigating a crime ``on the pretext 
that it involved national security.''\388\ President Nixon's 
repeated claim that he had acted to protect national security 
could not be squared with the facts, and so the Committee 
rejected it in approving articles of impeachment against him 
for targeting political opponents.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \387\Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 
146.
    \388\Id. at 179.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Testing whether someone has falsely characterized their 
motives requires careful attention to the facts. In rare cases, 
``some implausible, fantastic, and silly explanations could be 
found to be pretextual without any further evidence.''\389\ 
Sifting truth from fiction, though, usually demands a thorough 
review of the record--and a healthy dose of common sense. The 
question is whether ``the evidence tells a story that does not 
match the explanation.''\390\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \389\Purkett v. Elem, 514 U.S. 765, 776-77 (1995) (Stevens, J., 
dissenting).
    \390\Dep't of Commerce v. N.Y., No. 18-966, at 27 (U.S. Jun. 27, 
2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Because courts assess motive all the time, they have 
identified warning signs that an explanation may be 
untrustworthy. Those red flags include the following:
    First, lack of fit between conduct and explanation. This 
exists when someone claims they were trying to achieve a 
specific goal but then engaged in conduct poorly tailored to 
achieving it.\391\ For instance, imagine the President claims 
that he wants to solve a particular problem--but then he 
ignores many clear examples of that problem, weakens rules 
meant to stop it from occurring, acts in ways unlikely to 
address it, and seeks to punish only two alleged violators 
(both of whom happen to be his competitors). The lack of fit 
between his punitive conduct and his explanation for it 
strongly suggests that the explanation is false, and that he 
invented it as a pretext for corruptly targeting his 
competitors.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \391\See Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620, 632 (1996); Albemarle Paper 
Co. v. Moody, 422 U.S. 405, 425 (1975); Miller-El v. Dretke, 545 U.S. 
231, 260 (2005).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Second, arbitrary discrimination. When someone claims they 
were acting for a particular reason, look to see if they 
treated similarly-situated individuals the same.\392\ For 
example, if a President says that people doing business abroad 
should not engage in specific practices, does he punish 
everyone who breaks that rule, or does he pick and choose? If 
he picks and chooses, is there a good reason why he targets 
some people and not others, or does he appear to be targeting 
people for reasons unrelated to his stated motive? Where 
similarly-situated people are treated differently, the 
President should be able to explain why; if no such explanation 
exists, it follows that hidden motives are in play.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \392\Flowers v. Mississippi, 139 S. Ct. 2228, 2249 (2019); Miller-
El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 345 (2003).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Third, shifting explanations. When someone repeatedly 
changes their story, it makes sense to infer that they began 
with a lie and may still be lying.\393\ That is true in daily 
life and it is true in impeachments. The House may therefore 
doubt the President's account of his motives when he first 
denies that something occurred; then admits that it occurred 
but denies key facts; then admits those facts and tries to 
explain them away; and then changes his explanation as more 
evidence comes to light. Simply stated, the House is ``not 
required to exhibit a naivete from which ordinary citizens are 
free.''\394\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \393\See Foster v. Chatman, 136 S. Ct. 1737, 1754 (2016); Evans v. 
Sebelius, 716 F.3d 617, 620-21 (D.C. Cir. 2013); Geleta v. Gray, 645 
F.3d 408, 413-14 (D.C. Cir. 2011); EEOC v. Sears Roebuck & Co., 243 
F.3d 846, 853 (4th Cir.2001); Dominguez-Cruz v. Suttle Caribe, Inc., 
202 F.3d 424, 432 (1st Cir. 2000); Thurman v. Yellow Freight Sys., 
Inc., 90 F.3d 1160, 1167 (6th Cir. 1996).
    \394\United States v. Stanchich, 550 F.2d 1294, 1300 (2nd Cir. 
1977) (Friendly, J.) (making a similar point about federal judges).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Fourth, irregular decisionmaking. When someone breaks from 
the normal method of making decisions, and instead acts 
covertly or strangely, there is cause for suspicion. As the 
Supreme Court has reasoned, ``[t]he specific sequence of events 
leading up the challenged decision'' may ``shed some light on 
the decisionmaker's purposes''--and ``[d]epartures from the 
normal procedural sequence'' might ``afford evidence that 
improper purposes are playing a role.''\395\ There are many 
personnel and procedures in place to ensure sound 
decisionmaking in the Executive Branch. When they are ignored, 
or replaced by secretive irregular channels, the House must 
closely scrutinize Presidential conduct.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \395\See Vill. of Arlington Heights v. Metro. Hous. Dev. Corp., 429 
U.S. 252, 267 (1977).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, explanations based on falsehoods. Where someone 
explains why they acted a certain way, but the explanation 
depends on demonstrably false facts, then their explanation is 
suspect.\396\ For example, if a President publicly states that 
he withheld funds from a foreign nation due to its failure to 
meet certain conditions, but the federal agencies responsible 
for monitoring those conditions certify that they were 
satisfied, the House may conclude that the President's 
explanation is only a distraction from the truth.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \396\See, e.g., Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Products, 530 U.S. 
133, 147 (2000); Geleta v. Gray, 645 F.3d 408, 414 (D.C. Cir. 2011); 
Czekalski v. Peters, 475 F.3d 360, 366 (D.C. Cir. 2007); Murray v. 
Gilmore, 406 F.3d 708, 716 (D.C. Cir. 2005); Salazar v. Wash. Metro. 
Transit Auth., 401 F.3d 504, 511-12 (D.C. Cir. 2005); Anderson v. 
Zubieta, 180 F.3d 329, 348 (D.C. Cir. 1999).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When one or more of these red flags is present, there is 
reason to doubt that the President's account of his motives is 
accurate. When they are all present simultaneously, that 
conclusion is virtually unavoidable. Thus, in examining the 
President's motives as part of an impeachment inquiry, the 
House must test his story against the evidence to see if it 
holds water. If it does not, the House may find that he acted 
with corrupt motives--and that he has made false statements as 
part of an effort to stymie the impeachment inquiry.

          E. ATTEMPTED PRESIDENTIAL MISCONDUCT IS IMPEACHABLE 

    As a matter of settled constitutional law, and contrary to 
recent suggestions otherwise, attempted Presidential wrongdoing 
can be impeachable. This is clear from the records of the 
Constitutional Convention. In the momentous exchange that led 
to adoption of the ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors''' standard, 
Mason championed impeaching Presidents for any ``great and 
dangerous offenses.'' It was therefore necessary, he argued, to 
avoid a narrow standard that would prevent impeachment for 
``attempts to subvert the Constitution'' (emphasis added). 
Then, only minutes later, it was Mason himself who suggested 
``high Crimes and Misdemeanors'' as the test for Presidential 
impeachment. The very author of the relevant constitutional 
text thus made clear it must cover ``attempts.''
    The House Judiciary Committee reached this conclusion in 
President Nixon's case. Its analysis is compelling and 
consistent with Mason's reasoning:

          In some of the instances in which Richard M. Nixon 
        abused the powers of his office, his unlawful or 
        improper objective was not achieved. But this does not 
        make the abuse of power any less serious, nor diminish 
        the applicability of the impeachment remedy. The 
        principle was stated by Supreme Court Justice William 
        Johnson in 1808: ``If an officer attempt[s] an act 
        inconsistent with the duties of his station, it is 
        presumed that the failure of the attempt would not 
        exempt him from liability to impeachment. Should a 
        President head a conspiracy for the usurpation of 
        absolute power, it is hoped that no one will contend 
        that defeating his machinations would restore him to 
        innocence.'' Gilchrist v. Collector of Charleston, 10 
        F. Cas. 355, 365 (No. 5, 420) (C.C.D.S.C. 1808).

Adhering to this legal analysis, the Committee approved 
articles of impeachment against President Nixon that 
encompassed acts of attempted wrongdoing that went nowhere or 
were thwarted. That includes President Nixon's attempt to block 
an investigation by the Patman Committee into the Watergate 
break-ins,\397\ his attempt to block testimony by former 
aides,\398\ his attempt to ``narrow and divert'' the Senate 
Select Committee's investigation,\399\ and his attempt to have 
the IRS open tax audits of 575 members of George McGovern's 
staff and contributors to his campaign, at a time when McGovern 
was President Nixon's political opponent in the upcoming 1972 
presidential election.\400\ Moreover, the article of 
impeachment against President Nixon for abuse of power charged 
that he ``attempted to prejudice the constitutional right of an 
accused to a fair trial.''\401\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \397\Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 
64.
    \398\Id. at 120.
    \399\Id.
    \400\Id. at 143.
    \401\Id. at 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    History thus confirms that defiance by his own aides do not 
afford the President a defense to impeachment. The Nation is 
not required to cross its fingers and hope White House staff 
will persist in ignoring or sidelining a President who orders 
them to execute ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors.'' Nor can a 
President escape impeachment just because his corrupt plan to 
abuse power or manipulate elections was discovered and 
abandoned. It is inconceivable that our Framers authorized the 
removal of Presidents who engage in treason or bribery, but 
disallowed the removal of Presidents who attempt such offenses 
and are caught before they succeed. Moreover, a President who 
takes concrete steps toward engaging in impeachable conduct is 
not entitled to any benefit of the doubt. As one scholar 
remarks in the context of attempts to manipulate elections, 
``when a substantial attempt is made by a candidate to procure 
the presidency by corrupt means, we may presume that he at 
least thought this would make a difference in the outcome, and 
thus we should resolve any doubts as to the effects of his 
efforts against him.''\402\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \402\Black & Bobbitt, Impeachment at 93.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Common sense confirms what the law provides: a President 
may be impeached where he attempts a grave abuse of power, is 
caught along the way, abandons his plan, and subsequently seeks 
to conceal his wrongdoing. A President who attempts impeachable 
offenses will surely attempt them again. The impeachment power 
exists so that the Nation can remove such Presidents from power 
before their attempts finally succeed.

            F. IMPEACHMENT IS PART OF DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE

    As House Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino 
emphasized in 1974, ``it is under our Constitution, the supreme 
law of our land, that we proceed through the sole power of 
impeachment.''\403\ Impeachment is part of democratic 
constitutional governance, not an exception to it. It results 
in the President's removal from office only when a majority of 
the House, and then a super-majority of the Senate, conclude 
that he has engaged in sufficiently grave misconduct that his 
term in office must be brought to an early end. This process 
does not ``nullify'' the last election. No President is 
entitled to persist in office after committing ``high Crimes 
and Misdemeanors,'' and no voter is entitled to expect that 
their preferred candidate will do so. Under the Constitution, 
when a President engages in great and dangerous offenses 
against the Nation--thus betraying their Oath of Office--
impeachment and removal by Congress may be necessary to protect 
our democracy.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \403\Debate on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Framers considered relying solely on elections, rather 
than impeachment, to remove wayward Presidents. But they 
overwhelmingly rejected that position. As Madison warned, 
waiting so long ``might be fatal to the Republic.''\404\ 
Particularly where the President's misconduct is aimed at 
corrupting our democracy, relying on elections to solve the 
problem is insufficient: it makes no sense to wait for the 
ballot box when a President stands accused of interfering with 
elections and is poised to do so again. Numerous Framers spoke 
directly to this point at the Constitutional Convention. 
Impeachment is the remedy for a President who will do anything, 
legal or not, to remain in office. Allowing the President a 
free pass is thus the wrong move when he is caught trying to 
corrupt elections in the final year of his first four-year 
term--just as he prepares to face the voters.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \404\Elliot, Debates on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution at 
341.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Holding the President accountable for ``high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors'' not only upholds democracy, but also vindicates 
the separation of powers. Representative Robert Kastenmeier 
explained this well in 1974: ``The power of impeachment is not 
intended to obstruct or weaken the office of the Presidency. It 
is intended as a final remedy against executive excess . . . 
[a]nd it is the obligation of the Congress to defend a 
democratic society against a Chief Executive who might be 
corrupt.''\405\ The impeachment power thus restores balance and 
order when Presidential misconduct threatens constitutional 
governance.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \405\Debate on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 16.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            VII. Conclusion

    As Madison recognized, ``In framing a government which is 
to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies 
in this: You must first enable the government to control the 
governed; and in the next place oblige it control 
itself.''\406\ Impeachment is the House's last and most 
extraordinary resort when faced with a President who threatens 
our constitutional system. It is a terrible power, but only 
``because it was forged to counter a terrible power: the despot 
who deems himself to be above the law.''\407\ The consideration 
of articles of impeachment is always a sad and solemn 
undertaking. In the end, it is the House--speaking for the 
Nation as a whole--that must decide whether the President's 
conduct rises to the level of ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors'' 
warranting impeachment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \406\James Madison, Federalist No. 51 at 356.
    \407\Jill Lepore, The Invention--And Reinvention--Of Impeachment, 
The New Yorker Oct. 21, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                       Article I: Abuse of Power


                  I. The First Article of Impeachment

    The Constitution provides that the House of Representatives 
``shall have the sole Power of Impeachment'' and that the 
President ``shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, 
and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors'''. In his conduct of the office of President of 
the United States--and in violation of his constitutional oath 
faithfully to execute the office of President of the United 
States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and 
defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation 
of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be 
faithfully executed--Donald J. Trump has abused the powers of 
the Presidency, in that:
    Using the powers of his high office, President Trump 
solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in 
the 2020 United States Presidential election. He did so through 
a scheme or course of conduct that included soliciting the 
Government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations that 
would benefit his reelection, harm the election prospects of a 
political opponent, and influence the 2020 United States 
Presidential election to his advantage. President Trump also 
sought to pressure the Government of Ukraine to take these 
steps by conditioning official United States Government acts of 
significant value to Ukraine on its public announcement of the 
investigations. President Trump engaged in this scheme or 
course of conduct for corrupt purposes in pursuit of personal 
political benefit. In so doing, President Trump used the powers 
of the Presidency in a manner that compromised the national 
security of the United States and undermined the integrity of 
the United States democratic process. He thus ignored and 
injured the interests of the Nation.
    President Trump engaged in this scheme or course of conduct 
through the following means:
          (1) President Trump--acting both directly and through 
        his agents within and outside the United States 
        Government--corruptly solicited the Government of 
        Ukraine to publicly announce investigations into--
                  (A) a political opponent, former Vice 
                President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.; and
                  (B) a discredited theory promoted by Russia 
                alleging that Ukraine--rather than Russia--
                interfered in the 2016 United States 
                Presidential election.
          (2) With the same corrupt motives, President Trump--
        acting both directly and through his agents within and 
        outside the United States Government--conditioned two 
        official acts on the public announcements that he had 
        requested--
                  (A) the release of $391 million of United 
                States taxpayer funds that Congress had 
                appropriated on a bipartisan basis for the 
                purpose of providing vital military and 
                security assistance to Ukraine to oppose 
                Russian aggression and which President Trump 
                had ordered suspended; and
                  (B) a head of state meeting at the White 
                House, which the President of Ukraine sought to 
                demonstrate continued United States support for 
                the Government of Ukraine in the face of 
                Russian aggression.
          (3) Faced with the public revelation of his actions, 
        President Trump ultimately released the military and 
        security assistance to the Government of Ukraine, but 
        has persisted in openly and corruptly urging and 
        soliciting Ukraine to undertake investigations for his 
        personal political benefit.
    These actions were consistent with President Trump's 
previous invitations of foreign interference in United States 
elections.
    In all of this, President Trump abused the powers of the 
Presidency by ignoring and injuring national security and other 
vital national interests to obtain an improper personal 
political benefit. He has also betrayed the Nation by abusing 
his high office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting 
democratic elections.
    Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has 
demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security 
and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has 
acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and 
the rule of law. President Trump thus warrants impeachment and 
trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and 
enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United 
States.

                            II. Introduction

    The President is entrusted with extraordinary power and 
commanded to ``take Care that the Laws be faithfully 
executed.'' At minimum, that means the President must use his 
office to serve and protect the American people. It is thus a 
grave violation of the Constitution for a President to betray 
the public by exercising power for his own personal gain while 
injuring and ignoring vital national interests. As the Framers 
confirmed, such abuse of power warrants impeachment.
    President Donald J. Trump used the power of his office to 
solicit and pressure a foreign nation to interfere in the 2020 
United States Presidential election. He did so not for any 
legitimate United States policy objective, but to obtain a 
personal political advantage and to harm a political opponent. 
His scheme involved directly soliciting the announcement of 
investigations related to former Vice President Joseph Biden 
and the 2016 United States Presidential election. It also 
involved leveraging military and security assistance to a 
fragile foreign ally, as well as a valuable White House 
meeting, as part of a pressure campaign to induce that sought-
after announcement.
    These corrupt efforts by President Trump to manipulate the 
next election in his favor harmed the national security of the 
United States and imperiled the integrity of our democratic 
system. But when President Trump was caught, he did not 
apologize or cease his misconduct. He instead persisted in 
urging foreign nations to investigate an American citizen who 
dared to oppose him politically. If President Trump is allowed 
to remain in office, he will unquestionably continue to pursue 
personal political benefits at the direct expense of our 
security and self-governance.
    This conduct, and the risk posed by President Trump's 
pattern of misconduct, is the very definition of an impeachable 
offense. It captures the Framers' worst fears about how 
Presidents might someday abuse the powers of their office. To 
protect democracy and safeguard national security, the 
Committee on the Judiciary has no choice but to recommend that 
President Trump be impeached.

  III. President Trump Committed ``High Crimes and Misdemeanors''' by 
                    Abusing the Powers of His Office


   A. ABUSE OF POWER IS AN IMPEACHABLE ``HIGH CRIME AND MISDEMEANOR''

    ``[A]buse of power was no vague notion to the Framers and 
their contemporaries. It had a very particular meaning to 
them.''\408\ This meaning encompassed the use of official 
powers in a way that ``on its very face grossly exceeds the 
President's constitutional authority or violates legal limits 
on that authority.''\409\ As relevant here, it also included 
``the exercise of official power to obtain an improper personal 
benefit, while ignoring or injuring the national 
interest.''\410\ This understanding is rooted in the 
Constitution's Take Care Clause, which commands the President 
to ``faithfully execute'' the law.\411\ That duty requires 
Presidents ``to exercise their power only when it is motivated 
in the public interest rather than in their private self-
interest.''\412\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \408\See Staff of H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 116th Cong., 
Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment 18 (Comm. Print 
2019) (hereinafter ``Constitutional Grounds for Impeachment (2019)'').
    \409\Id.
    \410\Id. at 8.
    \411\U.S. Const., art. II, Sec. 3, cl. 5.
    \412\Andrew Kent et al., Faithful Execution and Article II, 132 
Harv. L. Rev. 2111, 2120, 2179 (2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Numerous Framers confirmed that a President can be 
impeached for exercising power with a corrupt purpose. As James 
Iredell explained, ``the president would be liable to 
impeachments [if] he had . . . acted from some corrupt motive 
or other,'' or if he was ``willfully abusing his trust.''\413\ 
Alexander Hamilton deemed impeachment proper for ``offenses 
which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other 
words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust.''\414\ 
In a similar vein, James Madison reasoned that the President 
could be impeached if there were ``grounds to believe'' he used 
his pardon power for the corrupt purpose of obstructing justice 
by ``shelter[ing]'' persons with whom he is connected ``in any 
suspicious manner.''\415\ As these and many other historical 
authorities show, ``to the Framers, it was dangerous for 
officials to exceed their constitutional power, or to 
transgress legal limits, but it was equally dangerous (perhaps 
more so) for officials to conceal corrupt or illegitimate 
objectives behind superficially valid acts.''\416\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \413\Background and History of Impeachment: Hearing Before the 
Subcomm. On the Constitution of the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 105th 
Cong. 49 (1999) (statement of Michael J. Gerhardt).
    \414\The Federalist No. 65, at 426 (Alexander Hamilton) (Benjamin 
Fletcher Wright ed., 2004).
    \415\3 Jonathan Elliot, ed., The Debates in the Several State 
Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution 497-98 (1861) 
(hereinafter ``Debates in the Several State Conventions'').
    \416\Constitutional Grounds for Impeachment (2019), at 20. Many 
other Framers agreed that abuse of power is an impeachable offense. In 
explaining why the Constitution must authorize Presidential 
impeachment, Edmund Randolph warned that ``the Executive will have 
great opportunit[ies] of abusing his power.'' 2 Max Farrand, ed., The 
Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, 67 (1911). Charles Pinckney 
agreed that Presidents must be removed who ``behave amiss or betray 
their public trust.'' 4 Debates in the Several State Conventions, at 
281. Reverend Samuel Stillman asked, ``With such a prospect [of 
impeachment], who will dare to abuse the powers vested in him by the 
people?'' 2 Debates in the Several State Conventions, at 169.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The proceedings against President Nixon confirm and 
exemplify the point. Two of the three articles against him--
Article I (obstruction of justice) and Article II (abuse of 
power)--accused President Nixon of using his executive power 
for corrupt ends.\417\ The second article principally addressed 
President Nixon's use of power, including powers vested solely 
in the Presidency, to aid political allies, harm political 
opponents, and gain improper personal political advantages. In 
explaining this article of impeachment, the House Committee on 
the Judiciary (the ``Committee'') stated that President Nixon's 
conduct was ``undertaken for his personal political advantage 
and not in furtherance of any valid national policy 
objective.''\418\ His abuses of Presidential power were 
therefore ``seriously incompatible with our system of 
constitutional government'' and warranted removal from 
office.\419\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \417\Report of the Committee on the Judiciary, Impeachment of 
Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States, H. Rep. No. 93-1305, 
at 1-4 (1974) (hereinafter ``Committee Report on Nixon Articles of 
Impeachment (1974)''). Obstruction of justice was also the basis for an 
article of impeachment against President Clinton, though his conduct 
did not involve official acts. See H. Res. 611, 105th Cong. (1998).
    \418\Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 
139.
    \419\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It is occasionally suggested that a President cannot be 
impeached for the use (or abuse) of powers vested in him by the 
Constitution. As the Framers made clear, and as President 
Nixon's case proves, that interpretation is plainly incorrect 
and, moreover, would eviscerate our system of checks and 
balances. The fact that a President is vested with powers does 
not mean he can exercise them with impunity. Nor does it mean 
he is free to set his own personal gain as the de facto policy 
of the United States. To the contrary, when the President 
wields power entrusted to him by the people of this Nation, he 
must honor and serve that public trust. Where a President 
betrays that obligation by corrupting his office, he is subject 
to impeachment.

  B. THE FRAMERS FEARED PRESIDENTS WOULD ABUSE THEIR POWER TO BETRAY 
    NATIONAL INTERESTS THROUGH FOREIGN ENTANGLEMENTS AND TO CORRUPT 
                               ELECTIONS

    In warning against abuse of power, the Framers repeatedly 
returned to two very specific risks: betrayal of the national 
interest and corruption of elections. Informed by history, the 
Framers perceived these abuses as existential threats to the 
Republic. The United States could not survive if Presidents 
used their high office to conspire with foreign nations in 
pursuit of personal gain. And democracy would be in grave 
danger if Presidents used their powers to subvert elections. As 
John Adams warned in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, these risks 
were unavoidable and might sometimes overlap: ``You are 
apprehensive of foreign Interference, Intrigue, Influence. So 
am I . . . . [A]s often as Elections happen, the danger of 
foreign Influence recurs.''\420\ In Federalist No. 68, Hamilton 
cautioned that the ``most deadly adversaries of republican 
government'' may come ``chiefly from the desire in foreign 
powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.''\421\ 
The Framers sought to guard against this threat in the 
Impeachment Clause. If a President succumbed to temptation, 
placing his own personal interests above our national security 
and commitment to domestic self-governance, he faced 
impeachment and removal from his position of power.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \420\Papers of Thomas Jefferson, To Thomas Jefferson from John 
Adams, 6 December 1787, National Archives, Founders Online.
    \421\The Federalist No. 68, at 441 (Alexander Hamilton).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Betrayal of national security was not an abstraction to the 
Framers, who had just waged a war for independence and knew the 
peril of corrupt foreign entanglements. ``Foreign powers,'' 
warned Elbridge Gerry, ``will intermeddle in our affairs, and 
spare no expense to influence them.''\422\ In explaining why 
the Constitution required an impeachment option, Madison argued 
that a President ``might betray his trust to foreign 
powers.''\423\ Benjamin Franklin, in turn, referenced the 
Prince of Orange, who had reneged on a military treaty with 
France under suspicious circumstances, inciting ``the most 
violent animosities and contentions''' in Dutch politics.\424\ 
These and other Framers made clear that impeachment was a 
safeguard against Presidents who betrayed vital national 
interests through plots with foreign powers. The President's 
broad authority in conducting foreign affairs makes it more 
important, not less, that he display unswerving loyalty to the 
United States.\425\ ``Accordingly, where the President uses his 
foreign affairs power in ways that betray the national interest 
for his own benefit, or harm national security for equally 
corrupt reasons, he is subject to impeachment by the House . . 
. A President who perverts his role as chief diplomat to serve 
private rather than public ends has unquestionably engaged in 
`high Crimes and Misdemeanors'--especially if he invited, 
rather than opposed, foreign interference in our 
politics.''\426\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \422\Brianne Gorod & Elizabeth Wydra, The First Magistrate in 
Foreign Pay, The New Republic, Nov. 11, 2019.
    \423\ 2 Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention, at 66.
    \424\Id. at 68.
    \425\Constitutional Grounds for Impeachment (2019), at 45.
    \426\Id. at 24. Thus, ``[a]lthough the Framers did not intend 
impeachment for genuine, good faith disagreements between the President 
and Congress over matters of diplomacy, they were explicit that 
betrayal of the Nation through plots with foreign powers justified 
removal.'' Id. at 23.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This last point speaks to a distinct but related fear: that 
Presidents would improperly use the vast power of their office 
to ensure their own re-election. William Davie saw impeachment 
as ``an essential security for the good behaviour of the 
Executive,'' who might otherwise spare ``no efforts or means 
whatever to get himself re-elected.''\427\ George Mason agreed 
that the threat of electoral treachery ``furnished a peculiar 
reason in favor of impeachments whilst in office'': ``Shall the 
man who has practised corruption & by that means procured his 
appointment in the first instance, be suffered to escape 
punishment, by repeating his guilt?''\428\ Gouverneur Morris 
later added that ``the Executive ought therefore to be 
impeachable for . . . Corrupting his electors.''\429\ Based in 
their own experience under King George III, as well as the 
writings of John Locke and other luminaries, ``those who wrote 
our Constitution knew, and feared, that the chief executive 
could threaten their plan of government by corrupting 
elections.''\430\ They included impeachment in the Constitution 
largely to thwart such treachery. As explained above, ``The 
true nature of this threat is its rejection of government by 
`We the People,' who would `ordain and establish' the 
Constitution . . . When the President concludes that elections 
threaten his continued grasp on power, and therefore seeks to 
corrupt or interfere with them, he denies the very premise of 
our constitutional system. The American people choose their 
leaders; a President who wields power to destroy opponents or 
manipulate elections is a President who rejects democracy 
itself.''\431\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \427\2 Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention, at 64.
    \428\Id. at 65.
    \429\Id. at 69.
    \430\See Constitutional Grounds for Impeachment (2019), at 27.
    \431\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    These authorities make clear that a President commits 
``high Crimes and Misdemeanors''' where he exercises official 
power to obtain an improper personal benefit, while ignoring or 
injuring the national interest. Such an abuse is especially 
abhorrent where it involves a betrayal of the national interest 
through foreign entanglements or an effort to corrupt our 
democracy. ``Any one of these violations of the public trust 
justifies impeachment; when combined in a single course of 
conduct, they state the strongest possible case for impeachment 
and removal from office.''\432\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \432\Id. at 11.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        C. KEY FINDINGS OF FACT

    The complete evidentiary record bearing on President 
Trump's abuse of power is set forth in the Trump-Ukraine 
Impeachment Inquiry Report, (the ``Ukraine Report''), and we 
rely on that Report and its findings here. Because we do not 
restate all of the facts contained in that Report which support 
the Committee's conclusions, we fully incorporate the Ukraine 
Report by reference here.\433\. On the basis of that full 
record, it is indisputable that President Trump engaged in 
abuse of power. The essential facts bearing on that judgment 
include the following:\434\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \433\The Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report: Report for the 
H. Perm. Select Comm. on Intelligence Pursuant to H. Res. 660 in 
Consultation with the H. Comm. on Oversight and Reform and the H. Comm. 
on Foreign Affairs at 208, 116th Cong. (2019) (hereinafter ``Ukraine 
Report'').
    \434\The facts that follow constitute the ``key findings of fact'' 
set forth in the Ukraine Report. Id. at 34-36.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United 
States--acting personally and through his agents within and 
outside of the U.S. government--solicited the interference of a 
foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 U.S. presidential 
election. The President engaged in this course of conduct for 
the benefit of his reelection, to harm the election prospects 
of a political opponent, and to influence our nation's upcoming 
presidential election to his advantage. In so doing, the 
President placed his personal political interests above the 
national interests of the United States, sought to undermine 
the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process, and 
endangered U.S. national security.
     In furtherance of this scheme, President Trump--
directly and acting through his agents within and outside the 
U.S. government--sought to pressure and induce Ukraine's newly-
elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to publicly announce 
unfounded investigations that would benefit President Trump's 
personal political interests and reelection effort. To advance 
his personal political objectives, President Trump encouraged 
the President of Ukraine to work with his personal attorney, 
Rudolph Giuliani.
     As part of this scheme, President Trump, acting in 
his official capacity and using his position of public trust, 
personally and directly requested from the President of Ukraine 
that the government of Ukraine publicly announce investigations 
into (1) the President's political opponent, former Vice 
President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and his son, Hunter Biden, and 
(2) a baseless theory promoted by Russia alleging that 
Ukraine--rather than Russia--interfered in the 2016 U.S. 
election. These investigations were intended to harm a 
potential political opponent of President Trump and benefit the 
President's domestic political standing.
     To create additional leverage against Ukraine and 
force them to open these investigations, President Trump 
ordered the suspension of $391 million in vital military 
assistance urgently needed by Ukraine, a strategic partner, to 
resist Russian aggression. Because the aid was appropriated by 
Congress, on a bipartisan basis, and signed into law by the 
President, its expenditure was required by law. Acting directly 
and through his subordinates within the U.S. government, the 
President withheld from Ukraine this military assistance 
without any legitimate foreign policy, national security, or 
anticorruption justification. The President did so despite the 
longstanding bipartisan support of Congress, uniform support 
across federal departments and agencies for the provision to 
Ukraine of the military assistance, and his obligations under 
the Impoundment Control Act.
     President Trump used the power of the Office of 
the President and exercised his authority over the Executive 
Branch, including his control of the instruments of the federal 
government, to apply increasing pressure on the President of 
Ukraine and the Ukrainian government to announce the 
politically-motivated investigations desired by President 
Trump. Specifically, to advance and promote his scheme, the 
President withheld official acts of value to Ukraine and 
conditioned their fulfillment on actions by Ukraine that would 
benefit his personal political interests:
          D President Trump--acting through agents within and 
        outside the U.S. government--conditioned a head of 
        state meeting at the White House, which the President 
        of Ukraine desperately sought to demonstrate continued 
        United States support for Ukraine in the face of 
        Russian aggression, on Ukraine publicly announcing the 
        investigations that President Trump believed would aid 
        his reelection campaign.
          D To increase leverage over the President of Ukraine, 
        President Trump, acting through his agents and 
        subordinates, conditioned release of the vital military 
        assistance he had suspended to Ukraine on the President 
        of Ukraine's public announcement of the investigations 
        that President Trump sought.
          D President Trump's closest subordinates and advisors 
        within the Executive Branch, including Acting Chief of 
        Staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, 
        Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and other senior White 
        House and Executive Branch officials had knowledge of, 
        in some cases facilitated and furthered the President's 
        scheme, and withheld information about the scheme from 
        the Congress and the American public.
     In directing and orchestrating this scheme to 
advance his personal political interests, President Trump did 
not implement, promote, or advance U.S. anti-corruption 
policies. In fact, the President sought to pressure and induce 
the government of Ukraine to announce politically-motivated 
investigations lacking legitimate predication that the U.S. 
government otherwise discourages and opposes as a matter of 
policy in that country and around the world. In so doing, the 
President undermined U.S. support of anticorruption reform and 
the rule of law in Ukraine, and undermined U.S. national 
security.
     By withholding vital military assistance and 
diplomatic support from a strategic foreign partner government 
engaged in an ongoing military conflict illegally instigated by 
Russia, President Trump compromised national security to 
advance his personal political interests.
     Faced with the revelation of his actions, 
President Trump publicly and repeatedly persisted in urging 
foreign governments, including Ukraine and China, to 
investigate his political opponent. This continued solicitation 
of foreign interference in a U.S. election, as well as 
President Trump's other actions, present a clear and present 
danger that the President will continue to use the power of his 
office for his personal political gain.

   D. PRESIDENT TRUMP'S CONDUCT MEETS EACH ELEMENT OF ABUSE OF POWER

    The conduct set forth in the First Article of Impeachment 
unquestionably constitutes an ``abuse of power'' as that term 
was understood by the Framers. Indeed, it is falls within the 
heartland of the concerns raised at the Constitutional 
Convention as necessitating Presidential impeachment. It is the 
judgment of the Committee that President Trump has therefore 
committed ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors.''

1. President Trump Exercised Official Power in Soliciting and 
        Pressuring the Government of Ukraine to Publicly Announce Two 
        Investigations

    As explained above, a President commits an impeachable 
abuse of power where he exercises official power to obtain an 
improper personal benefit, while ignoring or injuring the 
national interest. The first requirement is satisfied here: 
President Trump exercised official power, entrusted to him by 
the Constitution, in soliciting and pressuring the Government 
of Ukraine to announce investigations that would benefit his 
reelection, harm the election prospects of a political 
opponent, and influence the 2020 United States Presidential 
election to his advantage.
    This conclusion is straightforward. On his July 25, 2019 
call with President Zelensky, President Trump was acting as our 
Nation's head of state and chief diplomat.\435\ The call was 
itself an official act rooted in President Trump's powers under 
Article II of the Constitution. So, too, were many of the 
President's other acts throughout this scheme. It was only by 
virtue of his supervisory powers over the Executive Branch, as 
well as his power to appoint and remove certain officials,\436\ 
that President Trump could order the Office of Management and 
Budget to block or allow the release of Congressionally-
appropriated military and security assistance to Ukraine. 
Similarly, it was only by virtue of his executive powers--
including his authority to ``receive Ambassadors and other 
public Ministers'''\437\--that President Trump could offer and 
then withhold a White House meeting (as well as the many other 
official governmental acts involved in such a high-stakes 
diplomatic visit). And it was only by virtue of his executive 
authority that President Trump could fire U.S. Ambassador to 
Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch (whom he knew would have stood in the 
way of his corrupt scheme), direct other administration 
officials in the execution of his agenda relating to Ukraine, 
and instruct United States officials to cooperate with his 
private attorney, Rudy Giuliani. The scheme or course of 
conduct described in the first Article of Impeachment is shot 
through with official acts.\438\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \435\See, e.g., Zivotofsky ex rel. Zivotofsky v. Kerry, 135 S. Ct. 
2076, 2086 (2015); see also id. at 2099 (finding that the ``[e]arly 
practice of the founding generation also supports th[e] understanding 
of the President's ``role of chief diplomat'').
    \436\See id. art. II, Sec. 2 (``The President shall . . . appoint 
Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme 
Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments 
are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established 
by Law.'').
    \437\U.S. Const. art. II, Sec. 3.
    \438\Those official acts include the President's public statements 
openly and corruptly urging and soliciting Ukraine to undertake 
investigations for his personal political benefit (which were made in 
his capacity as President and expressly directed to a foreign nation), 
as well as conduct undertaken by Mr. Giuliani while acting as the 
President's agent and facilitated by the President's implied or express 
direction that United States officials facilitate Mr. Giuliani's 
efforts.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The official acts comprising the First Article of 
Impeachment, moreover, had the natural and foreseeable effect 
of obtaining a personal political benefit for President Trump. 
On January 20, 2017, President Trump filed initial paperwork to 
launch his re-election campaign with the Federal Election 
Commission.\439\ On April 25, 2019, former Vice President Biden 
publicly announced his campaign for the Democratic nomination 
for President of the United States and launched his effort to 
unseat President Trump in the 2020 election.\440\ President 
Trump and former Vice President Biden were widely recognized as 
political opponents for the 2020 United States Presidential 
election. In using the powers of his office to solicit and 
pressure the Government of Ukraine to publicly announce an 
investigation related to former Vice President Biden and his 
son--and into a discredited theory that Ukraine, not Russia, 
interfered with the 2016 United States Presidential election--
President Trump sought an announcement that would help him 
politically. By its very nature, and on its face, the 
President's conduct thus involved an exercise of power to 
obtain a personal political benefit.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \439\Donald J. Trump, FEC Form 99 Miscellaneous Text, Image No. 
201701209041436569, filed January 20, 2017.
    \440\Alexander Burns & Jonathan Martin, Joe Biden Announces 2020 
Run for President, After Months of Hesitation, N.Y. Times, Apr. 25, 
2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Although there can be no doubt that the abuse of power set 
forth in Article I involved the exercise of official power, it 
is helpful to closely consider the scheme at issue, as well as 
two of the means by which President Trump pursued it: 
specifically, his solicitation and pressuring of the Government 
of Ukraine to announce investigations that would result in a 
personal political benefit.

a. The Scheme

    Beginning in the Spring of 2019, President Trump and his 
agents undertook a scheme to pressure the newly-elected 
President of Ukraine to announce politically-motivated 
investigations related to former Vice President Joe Biden and 
the 2016 United States Presidential election. That scheme 
included extensive efforts by the President's personal attorney 
Mr. Giuliani, who sought to tarnish former Vice President Biden 
and pressed Ukrainian officials to initiate the investigations. 
Mr. Giuliani publicly confirmed that the President was aware of 
his efforts, which were undertaken not as part of official U.S. 
foreign policy but to help the President personally.\441\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \441\Kenneth P. Vogel, Rudy Giuliani Plans Ukraine Trip to Push for 
Inquiries That Could Help Trump, N.Y. Times, May 9, 2019 (hereinafter 
``Vogel Giuliani'') (reporting on interview with Giuliani) (``Somebody 
could say it's improper. And this isn't foreign policy--I'm asking them 
to do an investigation that they're doing already and that other people 
are telling them to stop. And I'm going to give them reasons why they 
shouldn't stop it because that information will be very, very helpful 
to my client, and may turn out to be helpful to my government.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    But the task of carrying out this scheme was not limited to 
the President's personal attorney. On May 23, 2019, following 
the inauguration of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, the 
President met with United States officials, including 
Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, Special 
Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Ambassador Kurt Volker, 
and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.\442\ These three officials, 
who would later dub themselves the ``Three Amigos,'' reported 
their favorable impressions of Ukraine's new president, who had 
been elected on an anti-corruption platform, and recommended 
that President Trump invite President Zelensky to the White 
House.\443\ President Trump reacted negatively. He expressed 
the view that Ukraine ``tried to take [him] down'' in 2016, and 
told the Three Amigos to ``Talk to Rudy''--not U.S. diplomats 
and experts--about Ukraine.\444\ Ambassador Sondland testified 
that ``he understood the President's instruction to be a 
directive to work with Mr. Giuliani if [the delegation] hoped 
to advance relations with Ukraine.''\445\ Following that May 23 
meeting, Mr. Giuliani made clear to Ambassadors Sondland and 
Volker, ``who were directly communicating with the Ukrainians, 
that a White House meeting would not occur until Ukraine 
announced its pursuit of the two political 
investigations.''\446\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \442\Ukraine Report at 16-17.
    \443\Id.
    \444\Id.
    \445\Id. at 17.
    \446\Id. at 19.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    With these directives in mind, Ambassadors Sondland and 
Volker ``worked to obtain the necessary assurance from 
President Zelensky that he would personally commit to initiate 
the investigations in order to secure both'' the White House 
call and meeting.\447\ On July 10, for example, ``Ambassador 
Bolton hosted a meeting in the White House with two senior 
Ukrainian officials, several American officials, including 
Ambassadors Sondland and Volker, Secretary Perry, Dr. Fiona 
Hill, Senior Director for Europe and Russia at the NSC, and Lt. 
Col. Vindman.''\448\ When, as had become customary, the 
Ukrainians asked about the ``long-delayed White House 
meeting,'' Ambassador Sondland revealed ``an arrangement with 
Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to schedule the White House 
visit after Ukraine initiated the `investigations.'''\449\ 
Despite Ambassador Bolton ending that meeting, Ambassador 
Sondland ``ushered many of the attendees to the Ward Room 
downstairs to continue their discussion'' and, at that meeting, 
Ambassador Sondland explained again ``that he had an agreement 
with Mr. Mulvaney that the White House visit would come only 
after Ukraine announced the Burisma/Biden and 2016 Ukraine 
election interference investigations.''\450\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \447\Id. at 19.
    \448\Id.
    \449\Id.
    \450\Id. ``Following these discussions, Dr. Hill reported back to 
Ambassador Bolton, who told her to `go and tell [the NSC Legal Advisor] 
that I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are 
cooking up on this.' Both Dr. Hill and Lt. Col. Vindman separately 
reported the incident to the NSC Legal Advisor.'' Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Over the next two weeks, ``Ambassadors Sondland and Volker 
worked closely with Mr. Giuliani and senior Ukrainian and 
American officials to ensure that,'' on the telephone call 
between President Trump and President Zelensky, President 
Zelensky would promise to undertake the investigations that Mr. 
Giuliani had been pushing on the President's behalf.\451\ As 
Ambassador Sondland testified, ``Mr. Giuliani was expressing 
the desires of the President of the United States, and we knew 
these investigations were important to the President.''\452\ 
The Ukrainians were reluctant to get involved, noting that they 
did not want to be ``an instrument in Washington domestic, 
reelection politics.''\453\ Mr. Giuliani and the American 
officials made clear, however, that there would be no White 
House meeting without the investigations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \451\Id. at 18-20.
    \452\Sondland Hearing Tr. at 18.
    \453\Ukraine Report at 94.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

b. The Solicitation

    President Trump's official act of soliciting the 
investigations is apparent on the face of the transcript of his 
July 25 call with President Zelensky.\454\ On that call, he 
requested that President Zelensky investigate the widely 
debunked conspiracy theory that the Ukrainian government--and 
not Russia--was behind the hack of Democratic National 
Committee (DNC) computer network in 2016. According to this 
conspiracy theory, the American cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike 
moved a DNC server to Ukraine to prevent United States law 
enforcement from examining them. Here is how President Trump 
presented his solicitation:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \454\The White House, Memorandum of Telephone Conversation: 
Telephone Conversation with President Zelenskyy of Ukraine 3 (July 25, 
2019) (hereinafter ``July 25 Call Record''). That said, President 
Trump's solicitation was not confined to the July 25 call, but rather 
was reiterated and conveyed continuously by his agents within and 
outside the United States Government (including Mr. Giuliani). See, 
e.g., Ukraine Report at 34-35, 147-49.

          I would like you to find out what happened with this 
        whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike . . 
        . I guess you have one of your wealthy people . . . The 
        server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of 
        things that went on, the whole situation. I think 
        you're surrounding yourself with some of the same 
        people. I would like to have the Attorney General call 
        you or your people and I would like you to get to the 
        bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense 
        ended with a very poor performance by a man named 
        Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they 
        say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can 
        do, it's very important that you do it if that's 
        possible.\455\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \455\July 25 Call Record at 3.

Shortly thereafter, on the same phone call, President Trump 
expressly solicited an investigation into former Vice President 
Biden and his son. In so doing, he referenced former Vice 
President's Biden involvement in the removal of a corrupt 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
former Ukrainian prosecutor:

          The other thing, There's a lot of talk about Biden's 
        son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of 
        people want to find out about that so whatever you can 
        do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went 
        around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if 
        you can look into it . . . It sounds horrible to 
        me.\456\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \456\Id. at 4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

c. The Pressure Campaign

    As set forth in the First Article of Impeachment, 
``President Trump--acting both directly and through his agents 
within and outside the United States Government--conditioned 
two official acts on the public announcements that he had 
requested.''\457\ These two official acts were: (1) the release 
of vital military and security assistance to Ukraine that 
President Trump had ordered suspended; and (2) a valuable, 
strategically important head of state meeting with President 
Trump at the White House.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \457\H. Res. 755, 116th Cong. (2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There is overwhelming evidence that President Trump made 
these official acts conditional on his sought-after 
announcements in order to pressure Ukraine. It is also clear 
that Ukrainian officials came to understand that they were 
being pressured in this manner. That evidence is 
comprehensively explained in the Ukraine Report; we will 
briefly summarize it here.
            i. The Military and Security Assistance
    On July 18, 2019, OMB notified the agencies that President 
Trump had directed a hold on military and security assistance 
funding for Ukraine. No explanation was provided for that 
hold.\458\ This was exceedingly irregular, given that the 
assistance had bipartisan Congressional support, was supported 
by the President's national security agencies and advisors 
(including the State Department, Department of Defense, and 
National Security Council), and was widely perceived as crucial 
to both Ukrainian and American security. Moreover, there were 
substantial concerns about the legality of the hold under the 
Impoundment Control Act.\459\ Adding to the irregularity, a 
career civil servant at OMB with decades of experience in this 
arena (Mark Sandy) was deprived of sign off authority, which 
was shifted to a political appointee of President Trump 
(Michael Duffey) who had virtually no relevant experience or 
expertise and no history or stated interest in managing such 
issues.\460\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \458\Ukraine Report at 72.
    \459\Id. at 67-70.
    \460\Id. at 78-80.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As early as July 25--the day that President Trump spoke by 
phone to President Zelensky--Ukrainian officials recognized and 
grew nervous about the delay in receiving their military and 
security assistance. That same day, Ukrainian officials 
contacted their American counterparts in Washington, D.C. to 
express those concerns.\461\ Specifically, the Department of 
Defense received two e-mails from the State Department 
revealing that the Ukrainian Embassy was ``asking about the 
security assistance'' and knew about the ``[security 
assistance] situation to an extent.''\462\ Former Ukrainian 
Deputy Foreign Minister, Olena Zerkal, also reported that her 
office, and the Ukrainian Presidential Administration, received 
a diplomatic cable from Ukrainian officials in Washington the 
week of the July 25 call, stating that the Trump administration 
had frozen military aid for Ukraine; she elaborated: ``We had 
this information. . . . It was definitely mentioned there were 
some issues.''\463\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \461\Id. at 22.
    \462\Id. at 81, 173 n.451.
    \463\Andrew E. Kramer, Ukraine Knew of Aid Freeze in July, Says Ex-
Top Official in Kyiv, N.Y. Times, Dec. 3, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the weeks that followed, President Trump's top officials 
came to understand and communicated to Ukrainian officials that 
release of the assistance was in fact conditioned on President 
Zelensky publicly announcing the two investigations that 
President Trump had requested on his July 25 call. For example, 
on August 22, Ambassador Sondland e-mailed Secretary Pompeo, 
copying the State Department's Executive Secretary, Lisa Kenna, 
that to break the ``logjam'' on the assistance, President 
Zelensky should ``look [President Trump] in the eye'' and tell 
him he would ``move forward publicly and with confidence on 
those issues of importance to Potus and to the U.S.''\464\ 
Ambassador Sondland testified that the ``issues of importance 
to Potus''' were the two investigations.\465\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \464\Ukraine Report at 127, 190 n.843 (quoting from written 
statement of Ambassador Sondland in Impeachment Inquiry: Gordon 
Sonland: Hearing Before the H. Perm. Select Comm. on Intelligence, 
116th Cong. (Nov. 20, 2019)).
    \465\Id. at 127; see also Sondland Hearing Tr. at 104.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Around this time, according to his testimony, Lt. Col. 
Vindman ``was getting questions from Ukrainians about the 
status of the hold on security assistance.''\466\ By August 28, 
after Politico ``first reported that President Trump had 
implemented a hold on nearly $400 million of U.S. military 
assistance to Ukraine that had been appropriated by 
Congress,''\467\ Ukrainian officials ``expressed alarm to their 
American counterparts.''\468\ Ambassador Taylor states that the 
Ukrainians were ``just desperate'' to receive the assistance, 
and that ``American officials could provide little 
reassurance.''\469\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \466\Ukraine Report at 82.
    \467\Caitlin Emma & Connor O'Brien, Trump Holds Up Ukraine Military 
Aid Meant to Confront Russia, Politico, Aug. 28, 2019.
    \468\Ukraine Report at 129.
    \469\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On September 1, Ambassador Sondland stated to President 
Zelensky's aide, Mr. Yermak, that ``the resumption of U.S. aid 
would likely not occur until Ukraine took some kind of action 
on the public statement that we had been discussing for many 
weeks.''\470\ National Security Council senior director Timothy 
Morrison also testified that he recalled this interaction. 
According to Mr. Morrison, he saw Ambassador Sondland and Mr. 
Yermak have a private conversation and, immediately after their 
conversation ended, Ambassador Sondland walked over to Mr. 
Morrison and reported that he had communicated to Mr. Yermak 
that a statement about the investigations was needed ``to 
obtain release of the aid.''\471\ That same day, Ambassador 
Taylor texted Ambassador Sondland: ``Are we now saying that 
security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on 
investigations?'' Ambassador Sondland then confirmed to 
Ambassador Taylor over the phone that President Trump wanted 
President Zelensky ``in a public box,'' making a ``public 
statement'' about the investigations that President Trump had 
requested on July 25. Ambassador Sondland agreed that the 
United States position was that if President Zelensky did not 
announce those investigations, Ukraine was not ``going to get'' 
the assistance.\472\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \470\Id. at 132.
    \471\Id. at 180-81.
    \472\Id. at 133-34.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On September 5, the Washington Post published an editorial 
exposing President Trump's scheme, entitled ``Trump Tries to 
Force Ukraine to Meddle in the 2020 Election.''\473\ Two days 
later, on September 7, Ambassador Sondland called Mr. Morrison 
to report on a call he had just concluded with President Trump. 
Ambassador Sondland told Mr. Morrison that ``there was no quid 
pro quo, but President Zelensky must announce the opening of 
the investigations and he should want to do it.''\474\ The 
following day, on September 8, Ambassador Sondland conveyed via 
text message to Ambassadors Volker and Taylor, too, that he had 
spoken with President Trump: ``Guys multiple convos with Ze, 
Potus. Lets talk.''\475\ On the phone with Ambassador Taylor, 
Ambassador Sondland then ``confirmed that he had talked to 
President Trump'' and that ``President Trump was adamant that 
President Zelensky himself had to clear things up and do it in 
public. President Trump said it was not a quid pro quo.''\476\ 
Ambassador Sondland added that, following his call with 
President Trump, he had told President Zelensky and Mr. Yermak 
that, ``although this was not a quid pro quo, if President 
Zelensky did not clear things up in public, we would be at a 
stalemate.'' In response, President Zelensky agreed to make a 
public statement announcing the investigations in an interview 
on CNN.\477\ Both Ambassadors Taylor and Sondland confirmed 
that the term ``stalemate'' referred to the hold on the 
security assistance to Ukraine.\478\ Early the next morning on 
September 9, Ambassador Taylor texted Ambassadors Sondland and 
Volker: ``As I said on the phone, I think it's crazy to 
withhold security assistance for help with a political 
campaign.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \473\Editorial, Trump Tries to Force Ukraine to Meddle in the 2020 
Election, Wash. Post, Sept. 5, 2019.
    \474\Ukraine Report at 134.
    \475\Id. at 135.
    \476\Id. at 135. Ambassador Sondland's recitation of his call with 
President Trump is the only evidence that President Trump suggested 
this was ``not a quid pro quo.'' Moreover, Ambassador Sondland 
testified that President Trump made that statement, unprompted, on 
September 7--only after the White House had learned of a whistleblower 
complaint regarding the July 25 call and President Trump's efforts to 
pressure Ukraine, and the Washington Post had reported about the 
President's pressure campaign on Ukraine. In addition, President Trump 
immediately followed his stated denial of a quid pro quo by demanding 
that President Zelensky still make a public announcement, while the 
military assistance remained on an unexplained hold. For these reasons, 
and those detailed in the Ukraine Report, President Trump's self-
serving denial of conditionality after he had been caught is not 
credible.
    \477\Id. at 135.
    \478\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ultimately, the connection between the assistance and the 
announcements was apparent to the relevant parties--including 
United States officials working with Ukraine and senior 
Ukrainian officials. Ambassador Sondland and Mr. Holmes both 
testified that President Trump's use of military and security 
assistance to secure his sought-after announcements became as 
clear as ``two plus two equals four.''\479\ Moreover, at a 
press conference on October 17, Acting White House Chief of 
Staff Mick Mulvaney confirmed this equation. According to Mr. 
Mulvaney, President Trump ``[a]bsolutely'' mentioned 
``corruption related to the DNC server'' in connection with the 
security assistance. Mr. Mulvaney also stated that the server 
was part of ``why we held up the money.'' After a reporter 
attempted to clarify this explicit acknowledgement of a quid 
pro quo, Mr. Mulvaney replied: ``We do that all the time with 
foreign policy.'' He added, ``I have news for everybody: get 
over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign 
policy.''\480\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \479\Ukraine Report at 23; Sondland Hearing Tr. at 58.
    \480\Ukraine Report at 139; The White House, Press Briefing by 
Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney (Oct. 17, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
            ii. The White House Visit
    Turning to the White House visit, documentary evidence and 
testimony from multiple witnesses confirms that this official 
act--like the release of assistance--was conditional on Ukraine 
announcing investigations into former Vice President Biden and 
interference in the 2016 election.
    As discussed above, prior to the July 25 call, President 
Trump's personal attorney repeatedly urged Ukraine to pursue 
investigations into ``two matters of intense interest'' to his 
client, President Trump: the ``involvement of the former Vice 
President Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s son'' on the board of a 
Ukrainian gas company and 2016 election interference.\481\ In 
those statements, Mr. Giuliani clarified that ``my only client 
is the President of the United States,'' and that this wasn't 
``foreign policy,'' but rather ``information that will be very, 
very helpful'' to President Trump.\482\ Ambassadors Sondland 
and Volker were also enlisted by President Trump to work with 
Mr. Giuliani and ``obtain the necessary assurance from 
President Zelensky that he would personally commit to initiate 
the investigations,''\483\ and each had delivered their 
messages to the Ukrainians prior to the call. On July 2 in 
Toronto, Ambassador Volker ``conveyed the message directly to 
President Zelensky, specifically referencing the `Giuliani 
factor.'''\484\ On July 19, Ambassador Sondland emailed several 
top Administration officials, confirming that Ambassador 
Sondland had ``talked to Zelensky just now,'' and that 
President Zelensky was ``prepared to receive Potus'' call'' and 
``assure [President Trump] that he intends to run a fully 
transparent investigation and will `turn over every 
stone.'''\485\ On the morning of the July 25 call, Ambassador 
Volker texted President Zelensky's aide: ``Heard from White 
House--assuming President Z convinces trump he will 
investigate/`get to the bottom of what happened' in 2016, we 
will nail down date for visit to Washington. Good luck!''\486\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \481\Vogel Giuliani
    \482\Id.
    \483\Id. at 18.
    \484\Id. at 19.
    \485\Sondland Opening Statement at 21, Ex. 4.
    \486\Ukraine Report at 20.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On the July 25 call itself, when President Zelensky thanked 
President Trump for ``great support in the area of defense'' 
and raised the matter of purchasing anti-tank missiles from the 
United States, President Trump responded, ``I would like you to 
do us a favor though.'' That ``favor,'' President Trump then 
made clear, was for Ukraine to investigate the 2016 United 
States Presidential election, as well as former Vice President 
Biden and his son. These were the same two investigations that 
Mr. Giuliani had repeatedly, publicly stated in the preceding 
months were of ``intense interest'' to President Trump. 
President Zelensky understood what President Trump meant about 
the connection between a meeting and these investigations: ``I 
also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the 
United States, specifically Washington D.C. On the other hand, 
I also want to ensure [sic] you that we will be very serious 
about the case and will work on the investigation.''\487\ 
President Zelensky also confirmed that his staff assistant had 
spoken to Mr. Giuliani, and President Trump reaffirmed that Mr. 
Giuliani ``very much knows what's going on.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \487\July 25 Call Record at 5.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The pressure for the investigations continued after the 
call, as well. Several weeks later, on August 9, when 
discussing possible dates for a White House visit, Ambassador 
Sondland wrote to Ambassador Volker: ``I think potus really 
wants the deliverable.'' The next day, President Zelensky's 
aide texted Ambassador Volker about setting a date for the 
meeting before making a statement announcing the 
investigations, stating: ``I think it's possible to make this 
declaration and mention all these things. Which we discussed 
yesterday. But it will be logic [sic] to do after we receive a 
confirmation of date. We inform about date of visit and about 
our expectations and our guarantees for future visit.'' 
Ambassador Volker replied: ``Let's iron out statement and use 
that to get date and then PreZ [Zelensky] can go forward with 
it?'' President Zelensky's aide responded, ``[o]nce we have a 
date, will call for a press briefing, announcing upcoming visit 
and outlining vision for the reboot of US-UKRAINE relationship, 
including among other things Burisma and election meddling in 
investigations.''\488\ The day after that, Ambassador Sondland 
emailed Secretary of State Pompeo: ``Kurt & I negotiated a 
statement from Ze [Zelensky] to be delivered for our review in 
a day or two. The contents will hopefully make the boss [i.e., 
President Trump] happy enough to authorize an 
invitation.''\489\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \488\Text Message from Yermak to Ambassador Volker (Aug. 10, 2019, 
5:42 PM).
    \489\E-mail from Ambassador Sondland to Thomas Brechbuhl and Lisa 
Kenna (Aug. 11, 2019, 10:31 AM) (forwarded to Secretary of State 
Pompeo).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Based on this and other evidence, it is clear that 
Ambassador Sondland spoke truthfully when he stated: ``Was 
there a quid pro quo? As I testified previously with regard to 
the requested White House call and the White House meeting, the 
answer is yes.''\490\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \490\ Sondland Hearing Tr. at 26. While President Trump and 
President Zelensky met at the U.N. General Assembly on September 25, no 
White House visit date has been set. The fact of the White House visit, 
as confirmed in the Ukraine Report, is ``critical'' to President 
Zelensky, to show ``U.S. support at the highest levels.'' Ukraine 
Report at 84 & n.456 (quoting Holmes Dep. Tr. at 18).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    By making military and security assistance and a White 
House meeting conditional on announcing investigations that 
would benefit him politically, President Trump used official 
power to pressure Ukraine to make those announcements. Ukraine 
is at war with Russia and more than 13,000 Ukrainians have died 
in that conflict.\491\ Ukraine relies heavily on the United 
States for military and security assistance and support on the 
global stage.\492\ But as Ambassador Taylor described in his 
deposition, Ukraine is also ``a young nation struggling to 
break free of its past, hopeful their new government will 
finally usher in a new Ukraine, proud of independence from 
Russia eager to join Western institutions and enjoy a more 
secure and prosperous life.''\493\ That is why, for weeks, 
Ukrainian officials expressed concern about President Trump's 
demands, advising United States officials that they did not 
want to be an ``instrument in Washington domestic, reelection 
politics.''\494\ As Ukrainian Prosecutor General Ruslan 
Ryaboshapka stated, in an apparent reference to President 
Trump's demand for Ukrainian interference in United States 
elections, ``[i]t's critically important for the west not to 
pull us into some conflicts between their ruling elites, but to 
continue to support so that we can cross the point of no 
return.''\495\ Nonetheless, as President Trump's pressure 
campaign continued, and as Ukraine contemplated the loss of 
military and security assistance necessary to defend itself in 
active hostilities with Russia, the Ukrainians became 
desperate.\496\ So desperate, in fact, that, as Ambassador 
Sondland told the President, President Zelensky was willing to 
do anything that President Trump asked of him.\497\ And, as set 
forth above, President Zelensky capitulated, and ultimately 
agreed to publicly announce the investigations in an interview 
on CNN.\498\ President Zelensky canceled that interview only 
after President Trump's scheme was exposed and the assistance 
was released.\499\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \491\John M. Donnelly, Ukrainian Lives Hung in Balance as Trump 
Held Up Aid, Roll Call, Oct. 24, 2019.
    \492\See id.
    \493\Taylor Dep. Tr. at 42-43.
    \494\See Text Message from Ambassador William Taylor to Ambassador 
Sondland (July 20, 2019, 1:45 AM).
    \495\Roman Olearchyk, Cleaning Up Ukraine in the Shadow of Trump, 
Fin. Times, Nov. 27, 2019 (interview with Ruslan Ryaboshapka) 
(hereinafter ``Olearchyk'').
    \496\See Taylor Dep. Tr. at 137-38 (``Mr. Yermak and others were 
trying to figure out why this was . . . . They thought that there must 
be some rational reason for this being held up, and they just didn't--
and maybe Washington they didn't understand how important this 
assistance was to their fight and to their armed forces. And so maybe 
they could figure--so they were just desperate.'').
    \497\Hill-Holmes Hearing Tr. 24, 54.
    \498\Impeachment Inquiry: Ambassador William Taylor and Mr. George 
Kent: Hearing Before the H. Perm. Select Comm. on Intelligence, 116th 
Cong. 41 (Nov. 13, 2019).
    \499\Andrew E. Kramer, Ukraine's Zelensky Bowed to Trump's Demands, 
Until Luck Spared Him, N.Y. Times, Nov. 7, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To be sure, President Zelensky has subsequently denied that 
President Trump pressured him.\500\ But although President 
Zelensky did not publicly announce the investigations, the 
power disparity between the United States and Ukraine remains 
unchanged, and President Zelensky thus remains under pressure 
from President Trump to this day. As Mr. Holmes testified, 
there are still things the Ukrainians want and need from 
President Trump, including a meeting with the President in the 
Oval Office; for these reasons, Mr. Holmes explained,
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \500\Tara Law, ``Nobody Pushed Me.'' Ukrainian President Denies 
Trump Pressured Him to Investigate Biden's Son, Time, Sept. 25, 2019.

        I think [the Ukrainians are] being very careful. They 
        still need us now going forward. In fact, right now, 
        President Zelensky is trying to arrange a summit 
        meeting with President Putin in the coming weeks, his 
        first face to face meeting with him to try to advance 
        the peace process. He needs our support. He needs 
        President Putin to understand that America supports 
        Zelensky at the highest levels. So this doesn't end 
        with the lifting of the security assistance hold. 
        Ukraine still needs us, and as I said, still fighting 
        this war this very day.\501\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \501\Ukraine Report at 146-47.

    Ambassador Taylor likewise confirmed that, as President 
Zelensky is currently engaging in negotiations with President 
Putin concerning the war on their border, Russia is ``watching 
closely to gauge the level of American support'' for 
Ukraine.\502\ The United States' public and unwavering support 
is therefore critical to Ukraine in approaching those 
negotiations from a position of strength. Indeed, just last 
week on December 9, President Zelensky met with President Putin 
to discuss and negotiate an end to the war. President 
Zelensky's team was ``discouraged by the absence of expected 
support'' from President Trump in advance of that meeting, ``as 
well as the lack of follow-through from the White House on a 
promised Oval Office meeting.\503\ Moreover, the next day, on 
December 10, President Trump hosted the Russian foreign 
minister in the Oval Office.\504\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \502\Id. at 129.
    \503\Kenneth P. Vogel & Andrew E. Kramer, Ukraine's Leader, Wiser 
to Washington, Seeks New Outreach to Trump, N.Y. Times (Dec. 13, 2019).
    \504\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition, although the majority of the military and 
security assistance was ultimately released, certain of the 
funds to Ukraine remain unobligated,\505\ and, moreover, in 
order to ensure that Ukraine ``did not permanently lose $35 
million of the critical military assistance frozen by the White 
House,'' Congress had to pass a provision to ensure that the 
military assistance could be spent.\506\ ``As of November 2019, 
Pentagon officials confirmed that the $35 million in security 
assistance originally held by the President and extended by 
Congress had still yet to be disbursed,'' and would not provide 
an explanation for the delay.\507\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \505\Molly O'Toole & Sarah D. Wire, $35 Million in Pentagon Aid 
hasn't Reached Ukraine, Despite White House Assurances, Los Angeles 
Times, Nov. 11, 2019.
    \506\Ukraine Report at 145. Notably, ``Ms. Cooper testified that 
such an act of Congress was unusual--indeed, she had never heard of 
funding being extended in this manner.'' Id.
    \507\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The evidence thus demonstrates that President Trump used 
the powers of his office to make Ukraine an offer it had no 
real choice but to accept: Help me get re-elected or you will 
not get the military and security assistance and diplomatic 
support you desperately need from the United States of America. 
In other words, under these circumstances, it is understandable 
that President Zelensky has sought to serve his national 
interest by avoiding any statement or confession that might 
offend President Trump and also demonstrate his own weakness in 
dealings with the United States and on the world stage. But the 
record supports only one conclusion. President Trump took 
advantage of Ukraine's vulnerability and used his high office 
to solicit and pressure Ukraine to announce criminal 
investigations into a United States citizen. These 
investigations would clearly help President Trump's re-election 
campaign and harm a political opponent.

2. President Trump Exercised the Powers of His Office With the Corrupt 
        Motive of Obtaining a Personal Political Benefit

    In exercising official power to obtain a personal benefit, 
the President acted with motives forbidden by the Constitution. 
The first article of impeachment thus states: ``President Trump 
engaged in this scheme or course of conduct for corrupt 
purposes in pursuit of personal political benefit.''\508\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \508\H. Res. 755, 116th Cong. art. I (2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To evaluate whether President Trump acted in pursuit of 
personal political advantage, the Committee has carefully 
considered the full evidentiary record, as well as arguments 
put forth by the Minority in its ``Report of Evidence in the 
Democrats'' Impeachment Inquiry in the House of 
Representatives'' (the ``Minority'' or the ``Minority Report'') 
seeking to demonstrate that the President acted in pursuit of 
legitimate policy goals.\509\ Consistent with past practice and 
constitutional requirements, the Committee has focused not on 
reasons that could have motivated the President's conduct, but 
rather on what the record shows about his actual motives. After 
all, ``[t]he Framers designed impeachment to root out abuse and 
corruption, even when a President masks improper intent with 
cover stories.''\510\ The question is therefore whether ``the 
evidence tells a story that does not match the [asserted] 
explanation.''\511\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \509\See Ukraine Report at 47-49.
    \510\Id. at 47.
    \511\Dep't of Com. v. New York, 139 S. Ct. 2551, 2575 (2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

a. The July 25 Call and its Background

    On President Trump's July 25 phone call with President 
Zelensky, President Trump referenced two very specific 
investigations.\512\ Then, in describing who he wanted Ukraine 
to investigate, President Trump mentioned only two people by 
name: former Vice President Biden and his son.\513\ He also 
referred more generally to investigating the 2016 United States 
Presidential election, but reserved specificity for the 
Bidens.\514\ He used their name three times on the call.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \512\July 25 Call Record at 3.
    \513\Id. at 3-4.
    \514\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Any presumptions of good faith that the President might 
normally enjoy must be suspended when he calls a foreign leader 
and asks that leader to investigate a United States citizen who 
is also an announced candidate in the primaries for the next 
Presidential election. To be sure, the call summary ``contains 
no reference to 2020 or President Trump's reelection 
bid.''\515\ But for good reason, multiple officials on the call 
immediately understood that President Trump was soliciting 
President Zelensky to announce an investigation into his 
political opponent. As Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman 
testified, ``I thought it was wrong. I thought it was wrong for 
the President of the United States to call for an investigation 
of--call a foreign power to investigate a U.S. citizen.''\516\ 
Jennifer Williams, an advisor to Vice President Michael Pence, 
similarly testified that ``it struck me as unusual and 
inappropriate.''\517\ She later added, ``the references to 
specific individuals and investigations, such as former Vice 
President Biden and his son, struck me as political in 
nature.''\518\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \515\Republican Staff of the H. Perm. Select Comm. on Intelligence, 
116th Cong., Rep. on Evidence in the Democrats' Impeachment Inquiry in 
the House of Representatives 12 (Comm. Print 2019) (hereinafter 
``Minority Report'').
    \516\Vindman Dep. Tr. at 152; see also Impeachment Inquiry: 
Jennifer Williams and Alexander Vindman: Hearing Before the H. Perm. 
Select Comm. on Intelligence, 116th Cong. 19 (Nov. 19, 2019) (``On July 
25th, 2019, the call occurred. I listened in on the call in the 
Situation Room with White House colleagues. I was concerned by the 
call. What I heard was inappropriate, and I reported my concerns to Mr. 
Eisenberg. It is improper for the President of the United States to 
demand a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and a political 
opponent. I was also clear that if Ukraine pursued an investigation--it 
was also clear that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the 2016 
elections, the Bidens and Burisma, it would be interpreted as a 
partisan play.'').
    \517\Williams Dep. Tr. at 149.
    \518\Vindman-Williams Hearing Tr. at 34.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Events leading up to the July 25 call strongly support Ms. 
Williams's concern that President Trump's request was 
``political in nature.'' On May 2, 2019, President Trump 
retweeted a New York Times article entitled Biden Faces 
Conflict of Interest Questions That Are Being Promoted by Trump 
and Allies.\519\ That article concluded that Mr. Giuliani's 
efforts underscored ``the Trump campaign's concern about the 
electoral threat from the former vice president's presidential 
campaign'' and noted that ``Mr. Giuliani's involvement raises 
questions about whether Mr. Trump is endorsing an effort to 
push a foreign government to proceed with a case that could 
hurt a political opponent at home.''\520\ On May 9, 2019, it 
was reported that President Trump's private lawyer, Mr. 
Giuliani, planned to meet with President Zelensky ``to urge him 
to pursue inquiries that allies of the White House contend 
could yield new information about two matters of intense 
interest to Mr. Trump.''\521\ Those matters were the same two 
investigations that President Trump raised on his July 25 
call.\522\ And as Mr. Giuliani stated in early May, ``this 
isn't foreign policy.''\523\ Instead, Mr. Giuliani was seeking 
information that ``will be very, very helpful to my client,'' 
namely ``the President of the United States.''\524\ Again on 
May 9, Mr. Giuliani stated on Fox News, ``I guarantee you, Joe 
Biden will not get to election day without this being 
investigated.''\525\ The next day, in an interview, upon 
learning that Mr. Giuliani was traveling to Ukraine to pursue 
investigations, President Trump responded, ``I will speak to 
him about it before he leaves.''\526\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \519\Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump), Twitter (May 2, 2019, 6:21 
AM) (retweeting Kenneth P. Vogel & Iuliia Mendel, Biden Faces Conflict 
of Interest Questions That Are Being Promoted by Trump and Allies, N.Y. 
Times, May 1, 2019) (online and searchable at http://
www.trumptwitterarchive.com/archive).
    \520\ Vogel & Mendel, Biden Faces Conflict of Interest Questions.
    \521\See Kenneth P. Vogel, Rudy Giuliani Plans Ukraine Trip to Push 
for Inquiries That Could Help Trump, N.Y. Times, May 9, 2019.
    \522\See id.
    \523\Id.
    \524\In this interview, Mr. Giuliani stated: ``My only client is 
the president of the United States . . . He's the only one I have an 
obligation to report to.'' Id. He also stated that the information he 
sought to gather ``may turn out to be helpful to my government''--
confirming that advancing his client's interests was all that mattered, 
and any incidental relation to United States public policy was 
secondary and incidental. See id.
    \525\Ian Schwartz, Giuliani: ``Massive Collusion'' Between DNC, 
Obama Admin, Clinton People & Ukraine to Create False Info About Trump, 
Real Clear Politics, May 10, 2019.
    \526\Andrew Restuccia et al., Transcript: Politico Interviews 
President Donald Trump on Joe Biden, Impeachment, Bill Barr, North 
Korea, Politico, May 10, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Over the months that followed, Mr. Giuliani aggressively 
pursued his efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Mr. Biden. 
During these efforts--and subsequently--he claimed to act on 
behalf of his client, President Trump. On October 30, 2019, he 
tweeted, ``All of the information I obtained came from 
interviews conducted as . . . private defense counsel to POTUS, 
to defend him against false allegations.''\527\ On November 6, 
2019, he tweeted, ``The investigation I conducted concerning 
2016 Ukrainian collusion and corruption, was done solely as a 
defense attorney to defend my client against false charges . . 
.''\528\ The Ukraine Report observes, ``Numerous U.S. 
officials, including Ambassadors Sondland, Volker, and Bolton, 
as well as Lt. Col. Vindman and others, were well aware of Mr. 
Giuliani's efforts to push Ukraine to pursue these political 
investigations.''\529\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \527\Rudolph Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani), Twitter (Oct. 30, 2019, 3:15 
PM), https://twitter.com/RudyGiuliani/status/1189667099871981573; 
Rudolph Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani), Twitter (Oct. 30, 2019, 3:15 PM), 
https://twitter.com/RudyGiuliani/status/1189667101079932928.
    \528\Rudolph Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani), Twitter (Nov. 6, 2019, 12:43 
PM), https://twitter.com/RudyGiuliani/status/1192180680391843841.
    \529\Ukraine Report at 90.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As Mr. Giuliani worked hard to advance his client's 
personal and political interests--and not ``foreign policy''--
President Trump also required United States officials 
responsible for Ukraine to ``talk with Rudy.''\530\ For 
example, Ambassador Sondland recalled that during a meeting in 
the Oval Office on May 23 with the U.S. officials who had 
attended the Ukrainian inauguration, President Trump ``just 
kept saying: Talk to Rudy, talk to Rudy.''\531\ Ambassador 
Sondland explained that they ``understood that talk with Rudy 
meant talk with Mr. Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal 
lawyer,'' and ``if we did not talk to Rudy, nothing would move 
forward on Ukraine.''\532\ President Trump thus directed key 
U.S. officials to coordinate with and carry out the requests of 
his private lawyer, who was acting ``solely'' as President 
Trump's ``defense attorney,'' regarding Ukraine.\533\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \530\See Sondland Hearing Tr. at 4.
    \531\Sondland Dep. Tr. at 61-62.
    \532\Sondland Hearing Tr. at 21, 71.
    \533\Jordan Fabian, Giuliani Says Ukraine Efforts `Solely' for 
Trump's Legal Defense, Bloomberg, Nov. 6, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mr. Giuliani's importance was not lost on the Ukrainians. 
By July 10, 2019, President Zelensky's top aide came to 
appreciate ``that the key for many things is Rudi [sic] and I 
ready to talk with him at any time,''\534\ and, as set forth 
above, key U.S. officials worked with Mr. Giuliani to convey 
messages to the Ukrainians and prepare President Zelensky for 
his July 25 call. Thus, on the July 25 call, President Zelensky 
preemptively mentioned that ``we are hoping very much that Mr. 
Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet 
once he comes to Ukraine.''\535\ President Trump replied, ``I 
would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along 
with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what's 
happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to 
him that would be great.''\536\ Two sentences later, President 
Trump turned directly to his request that President Zelensky 
announce an investigation into the Bidens--and then, later in 
their discussion, confirmed that ``I will have Mr. Giuliani 
give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General 
Barr call . . .''\537\ The call transcript thus confirms that 
President Trump saw Mr. Giuliani as his point person for 
organizing an investigation into the Bidens and the 2016 
election, and that President Zelensky knew of Mr. Giuliani's 
role. Once again, it is therefore noteworthy that Mr. Giuliani 
has stated emphatically that he acted ``solely'' to advance his 
client's own interests--and that he was not engaged in 
``foreign policy.''\538\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \534\Text Message from Yermak to Ambassador Volker (July 10, 2019, 
4:06 PM).
    \535\July 25 Call Record at 3.
    \536\Id. at 3-4.
    \537\Id. at 4.
    \538\See Vogel Giuliani. In the months following the July 25 call, 
as President Trump through his agents continued to apply pressure on 
Ukraine to announce the investigations, call records confirm that Mr. 
Giuliani was in regular communication with the White House, Ambassadors 
Volker and Sondland, and members of President Zelensky's 
administration. Ukraine Report at 114-21 & nn.719-804.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

b. Additional Evidence of Corrupt Intent

    Many other considerations support the conclusion that 
President Trump's concerns had nothing to do with the 
legitimate foreign policy interests of the United States and 
everything to do with the President's personal political 
interests. First, after the removal of Ambassador Yovanovitch, 
President Trump's primary focus relating to Ukraine throughout 
this period was the announcement of two investigations that 
would benefit him politically. The day after the July 25 call, 
President Trump called Ambassador Sondland to ask whether 
President Zelensky ``was going to do the investigation.''\539\ 
Ambassador Sondland stated that President Zelensky was ``going 
to do it'' and would do ``anything you ask him to.''\540\ 
According to David Holmes, who overheard the conversation, 
Ambassador Sondland and President Trump spoke only about the 
investigation in their discussion about Ukraine.\541\ The 
President made no mention of other major issues of importance 
in Ukraine, including President Zelensky's aggressive anti-
corruption reforms and the ongoing war it was fighting against 
Russian-led forces in eastern Ukraine.\542\ After Ambassador 
Sondland hung up the phone, he told Mr. Holmes that President 
Trump ``did not give a shit about Ukraine.''\543\ Rather, he 
explained, the President cared only about ``big stuff'' that 
benefitted him personally, like ``the Biden investigation that 
Mr. Giuliani was pitching.''\544\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \539\See Hill-Holmes Hearing Tr. at 29.
    \540\Id.
    \541\See id. at 29-30, 52.
    \542\See generally July 25 Call Record.
    \543\Holmes Dep. Tr. at 25; see also Hill-Holmes Hearing Tr. at 29.
    \544\Holmes Dep. Tr. at 25; see also Hill-Holmes Hearing Tr. at 29-
30.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Second, in pursuit of these investigations, President Trump 
made it clear to Ambassador Sondland--who conveyed this message 
to Ambassador Taylor--that ``everything was dependent on such 
an announcement, including security assistance.''\545\ 
Ambassador Sondland's admission confirms that President Trump's 
actions were motivated only by the announcement of 
investigations. Ukraine is a key strategic partner of the 
United States. It had just elected a promising new leader who 
ran on an anti-corruption platform and was making strong 
progress in his reform agenda. But it had been invaded by 
Russia and depended heavily on United States support and 
assistance. The United States had provided such assistance on a 
bipartisan basis, with an overwhelming consensus in Congress 
and the national security community that this was vital to our 
own national interests.\546\ To be sure, the President has 
broad latitude for certain policy judgments in foreign affairs 
in order to advance the national security interests of the 
country as a whole, but no witness interpreted the President's 
request for these investigations to be a change in policy, nor 
did his cabinet or Vice President.\547\ This further supports 
the alternative and only plausible explanation that the 
President pressed for the public announcement of those 
investigations because they were of great personal political 
value to him.\548\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \545\Taylor-Kent Hearing Tr. at 42.
    \546\Ukraine Report at 68-70.
    \547\Id. at 132 (describing Ms. Williams' testimony that during the 
September 1 meeting, the Vice President ``assured President Zelensky 
that there was no change in U.S. policy in turns of our . . . full-
throated support for Ukraine and its sovereignty and territorial 
integrity.''); Williams Dep. Tr. at 83.
    \548\ That point is especially noteworthy given testimony 
indicating that President Trump did not actually care if the 
investigations occurred, but just wanted them to be announced. When 
asked by Chairman Schiff if President Zelensky ``had to get those two 
investigations if [the White House meeting] was going to take place,'' 
Ambassador Sondland responded: ``[President Zelensky] had to announce 
the investigations. He didn't actually have to do them, as I understood 
it.'' Sondland Hearing Tr. at 43.
    The Minority Report claims that there is no evidence of corrupt 
intent because the U.S. ``government did not convey the pause to the 
Ukrainians.'' Minority Report at ii. But, as explained above, this 
argument rests on a faulty premise. Ukraine did learn that the 
assistance had been withheld. And Ukrainian officials came to 
understand through their communications with United States officials 
that both the meeting and the military assistance depended on bowing to 
President Trump's demand for investigations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Third, the President's request for these investigations 
departed from established channels for making such a request. 
On the July 25 call, President Trump told President Zelensky 
that he should speak to Mr. Giuliani and Attorney General 
Barr.\549\ But after the July 25 transcript was released, the 
Department of Justice publicly stated as follows:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \549\July 25 Call Record at 3-5.

          The President has not spoken with the Attorney 
        General about having Ukraine investigate anything 
        relating to former Vice President Biden or his son. The 
        President has not asked the Attorney General to contact 
        Ukraine--on this or any other matter. The Attorney 
        General has not communicated with Ukraine--on this or 
        any other subject. Nor has the Attorney General 
        discussed this matter, or anything relating to Ukraine, 
        with Rudy Giuliani.\550\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \550\Statement of Kerri Kupec, Dep't of Just. (Sept. 25, 2019).

    Ukraine's current Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka, 
who assumed his new position in late August 2019, has since 
confirmed the Justice Department's account. He told The 
Financial Times in late November 2019 that Attorney General 
Barr had made no formal request regarding a potential 
investigation into allegations of wrongdoing by former Vice 
President Biden.\551\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \551\See Olearchyk; see also Ukraine Report at 123. Moreover, with 
respect to election interference, the President's entire intelligence 
community had already concluded that Russia was responsible for 
interfering in the 2016 election and, as President Trump's former 
Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert made clear, the idea of Ukraine 
hacking the DNC server was ``not only a conspiracy theory, it is 
completely debunked.'' Id. at 42.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Many Administration officials have also confirmed that 
there was no formal investigation into these matters within the 
Department of Justice or formal request to Ukraine for 
information in connection to the investigations and, moreover, 
that without going through the official process, the 
investigations were not proper. As Ambassador Volker testified, 
``[Mr. Yermak] said, and I think quite appropriately, that if 
they [Ukraine] are responding to an official request, that's 
one thing. If there's no official request, that's different. 
And I agree with that.''\552\ When Ambassador Volker discovered 
that no official request for investigations had been conveyed 
by the Department of Justice, he recalls thinking, ``let's just 
not go there.''\553\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \552\Volker Dep. Tr. at 198.
    \553\Id. at 197.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In his testimony, Ambassador Taylor corroborated this 
account. He told the Committees that, on August 16, in a text 
message exchange with Ambassador Volker, he ``learned that Mr. 
Yermak had asked that the United States submit an official 
request for an investigation into Burisma's alleged violations 
of Ukrainian law, if that is what the United States 
desired.''\554\ Ambassador Taylor noted that ``a formal U.S. 
request to the Ukrainians to conduct an investigation based on 
violations of their own law'' was ``improper'' and advised 
Ambassador Volker to ``stay clear.''\555\ Mr. Kent similarly 
testified that on August 15, Ambassador Volker's special 
assistant asked him whether there was any precedent for the 
United States asking Ukraine to conduct investigations on its 
behalf. Mr. Kent replied: ``[I]f you're asking me have we ever 
gone to the Ukrainians and asked them to investigate or 
prosecute individuals for political reasons, the answer is, I 
hope we haven't, and we shouldn't because that goes against 
everything that we are trying to promote in post-Soviet states 
for the last 28 years, which is the promotion of the rule of 
law.''\556\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \554\Taylor-Kent Hearing Tr. at 39.
    \555\Id.
    \556\Kent Dep. Tr. at 26.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Fourth, the President's decision disregarded United States 
foreign policy towards Ukraine and did so abruptly and without 
explanation. To make a demand that benefits him personally, 
while endangering the rights of a United States citizen and 
political opponent is a bright red flag that supports only one 
conclusion--that the President was putting his own personal and 
political interests over the Nation's foreign policy interests. 
There is no dispute that President Trump's requested 
investigations were not part of any U.S. policy objectives 
relating to Ukraine, including its anti-corruption policies. 
Mr. Morrison, Lt. Col. Vindman, Mr. Kent, and Ambassador Taylor 
all confirmed that an investigation into the Bidens, or the 
2016 election, was not a stated or recognized United States 
foreign policy objective.\557\ Notably, President Trump was 
briefed on official policy prior to both calls that he had with 
President Zelensky--on April 21 and July 25.\558\ Yet he chose 
not to follow talking points about corruption reform,\559\ and 
instead decided on the July 25 call to go off-book and seek the 
criminal investigation of his political opponent.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \557\Impeachment Inquiry: Kurt Volker and Tim Morrison: Hearing 
Before the H. Perm. Select Comm. on Intelligence, 116th Cong. 147 (Nov. 
19, 2019) (confirming that he did not follow-up on the President's 
request to ``investigate the Bidens'' because he did ``not understand 
it as a policy objective''); Vindman Hearing Tr. at 119 (confirming 
that he prepared the talking points for the call, that those talking 
points did not ``contain any discussion of investigations into the 2016 
election, the Bidens, or Burisma,'' and that he was not ``aware of any 
written product from the National Security Council'' suggesting those 
investigations were part of ``the official policy of the United 
States''); Taylor-Kent Hearing Tr. at 179 (``Mrs. Demings[:] Was Mr. 
Giuliani promoting U.S. national interests or policy in Ukraine . . . ? 
Ambassador Taylor[:] I don't think so, ma'am. . . . Mr. Kent[:] No, he 
was not. . . . Mrs. Demings[:] . . . What interest do you believe he 
was promoting. . . . ? Mr. Kent[:] ``I believe he was looking to dig up 
political dirt against a potential rival in the next election cycle. . 
. . Ambassador Taylor[:] I agree with Mr. Kent.'').
    \558\Vindman-Williams Hearing Tr. at 119.
    \559\Ukraine Report at 52 (citing Deb Riechmann et al., Conflicting 
White House Accounts of 1st Trump-Zelenskiy Call, Associated Press, 
Nov. 15, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, President Trump's request was almost universally 
viewed by key United States and Ukrainian officials as 
improper, unusual, problematic, and, most importantly, purely 
political:
     Mr. Holmes: ``I was shocked the requirement was so 
specific and concrete. While we had advised our Ukrainian 
counterparts to voice a commitment to following the rule of law 
and generally investigating credible corruption allegations, 
this was a demand that President Zelensky personally commit on 
a cable news channel to a specific investigation of President 
Trump's political rival.''\560\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \560\Hill-Holmes Hearing Tr. at 32.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Dr. Hill: ``[Ambassador Sondland] was being 
involved in a domestic political errand, and we were being 
involved in national security foreign policy, and those two 
things had just diverged.''\561\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \561\Id. at. 92.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Lt. Col. Vindman: ``What I was trying to do . . . 
was express my concerns about something that I viewed to be 
problematic.''\562\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \562\Vindman Dep. Tr. at 98.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Ambassador Taylor: ``The Ukrainians did not owe 
President Trump anything. And holding up security assistance 
for domestic political gain was crazy.''\563\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \563\Taylor-Kent Hearing Tr. at 45 (statement of Ambassador 
Taylor).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Other officials also voiced alarm. For example, Dr. Hill 
testified that Ambassador Bolton told her to ``go and tell the 
[NSC Legal Advisor] that I am not part of whatever drug deal 
Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up on this''; Dr. Hill 
explained that ``drug deal'' referred to Ambassador Sondland 
stating in a July 10 meeting, which included Ukrainian 
officials, that he had an agreement with Mr. Mulvaney for a 
White House meeting ``if [Ukraine would] go forward with 
investigations.''\564\ On July 11, Dr. Hill ``enlisted another 
NSC official who was present at the July 10 meeting'' to attend 
a longer discussion with the NSC Legal Advisor about her 
concerns.\565\ Similarly, although the Minority holds up his 
reaction as proof that nothing improper happened, Mr. Morrison 
immediately reported the July 25 call to the NSC legal advisor 
``to make sure that the package was reviewed by the appropriate 
senior level attention.''\566\ Further, Mr. Morrison tried to 
stay away from President Trump's requests because these 
investigations were not related to ``the proper policy process 
that I was involved in on Ukraine,'' and ``had nothing to do 
with the issues that the interagency was working on.''\567\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \564\Ukraine Report at 89.
    \565\Id. at 90.
    \566\Morrison Dep. Tr. at 61; see Volker-Morrison Hearing Tr. at 
38.
    \567\Ukraine Report at 106.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ukrainian officials, too, expressed similar reservations. 
On July 20, Ambassador Taylor spoke with Oleksandr Danyliuk, 
the Ukrainian national security advisor, who conveyed that 
President Zelensky ``did not want to be used as a pawn in a 
U.S. reelection campaign.''\568\ As Ambassador Taylor 
testified, the ``whole thrust'' of the activities undertaken by 
Mr. Giuliani and Ambassador Sondland ``was to get these 
investigations, which Danyliuk and presumably Zelensky were 
resisting because they didn't want to be seen to be interfering 
but also to be a pawn.''\569\ Further, as noted above, 
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka later stated--
in apparent reference to President Trump's demands--that ``it's 
critically important for the west not to pull us into some 
conflicts between their ruling elites, but to continue to 
support so that we can cross the point of no return.''\570\ In 
short, experienced officials on both sides of President Trump's 
scheme saw it for what it was: an effort to solicit Ukraine to 
assist his reelection campaign.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \568\Id. at 20.
    \569\Taylor Dep. Tr. at 177.
    \570\Ukraine Report at 55.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

c. Alternative Explanations for President Trump's Course of Conduct Are 
        Implausible and Inconsistent With the Evidence

    Although the President has declined to participate in these 
proceedings, the Minority Report offers three alternative 
justifications for President Trump's conduct. The 
implausibility of these justifications, which are inconsistent 
with the evidence, only further proves that President Trump's 
motives were constitutionally improper.
            i. Anti-Corruption
    The Minority's principal contention is that President Trump 
denied a White House visit, withheld military and security 
assistance, and demanded these two investigations due to his 
``deep-seated, genuine, and reasonable skepticism of Ukraine'' 
for ``pervasive corruption.''\571\ This after-the-fact 
contention is not credible.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \571\Minority Report at ii.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To start, it is inconsistent with President Trump's own 
prior conduct respecting Ukraine. Under the previous Ukrainian 
administration of President Petro Poroshenko, which suffered 
from serious concerns about corruption issues, President Trump 
approved $510 million in aid in 2017 and $359 million in 2018; 
he also approved the sale of Javelin missiles to Ukraine in 
December 2017.\572\ It was not until 2019, after Ukraine 
elected President Zelensky, who ran on a strong anti-corruption 
platform, that President Trump suddenly punished Ukraine by 
refusing a White House meeting and military and security 
assistance. If his goal were to fight corruption, President 
Trump would have withheld assistance from a corrupt leader and 
provided it to a reformer. Instead, he did the opposite, just a 
few months after former Vice President Biden announced his 
candidacy.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \572\USAID, U.S. Foreign Aid by Country (last updated Sept. 23, 
2019); Ukraine Report at 100.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nor did President Trump take any other steps one would 
expect to see if his concern were corruption. He was given 
extensive talking points about corruption for his April 21 and 
July 25 calls, yet ignored them both times and did not mention 
corruption on either call.\573\ President Trump's staff 
uniformly agreed that President Zelensky was a credible anti-
corruption reformer, yet President Trump suspended a White 
House meeting that his entire policy team agreed would lend 
support and cache to President Zelensky's anti-corruption 
agenda in Ukraine.\574\ He withheld military and security 
assistance without any stated explanation, yet his own 
Department of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of 
State, had certified in May that Ukraine satisfied all anti-
corruption benchmarks necessary for that assistance to be 
released.\575\ He continued to withhold the assistance, yet the 
White House never requested or independently conducted any 
subsequent review of Ukraine's anti-corruption policies--and 
the Defense Department adhered to its view that all anti-
corruption benchmarks had already been satisfied.\576\ He 
persisted in denying the public and his own staff any 
explanation, even though Congress and every agency other than 
OMB (headed by the President's Acting Chief of Staff) supported 
the provision of military and security assistance to Ukraine 
and strongly objected to President Trump's hold.\577\ 
Tellingly, the President's purported concerns about corruption 
in Ukraine as a reason for placing the hold on security 
assistance were not conveyed at the time of the hold or any 
time prior to lifting the hold.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \573\Ukraine Report at 42 (``[C]ontrary to a public readout of the 
call originally issued by the White House, President Trump did not 
mention corruption in Ukraine, despite the NSC staff preparing talking 
points on that topic. Indeed, `corruption' was not mentioned once 
during the April 21 conversation, according to the official call 
record.''); Vindman-Williams Hearing Tr. at 24-25; see July 25 Call 
Record.
    \574\Ukraine Report at 38 (``A new president [of Ukraine] had just 
been elected on an anti-corruption platform.''); id. at 52 (``Mr. 
Zelensky's victory in April 2019 reaffirmed the Ukrainian people's 
strong desire to overcome an entrenched system of corruption and pursue 
closer partnership with the West.''); id. at 63 (``Ambassador Sondland, 
Ambassador Volker, Secretary Perry, and Senator Johnson `took turns' 
making their case `that this is a new crowd, it's a new President' in 
Ukraine who was `committed to doing the right things,' including 
fighting corruption. . . . They recommended that President Trump once 
again call President Zelensky and follow through on his April 21 
invitation for President Zelensky to meet with him in the Oval 
Office.''); id. at 65 (``On June 18, Ambassador Volker, Acting 
Assistant Secretary of State Ambassador Philip T. Reeker, Secretary 
Perry, Ambassador Sondland, and State Department Counselor T. Ulrich 
Brechbuhl participated in a meeting at the Department of Energy to 
follow up to the May 23 Oval Office meeting. Ambassador William Taylor 
. . . participated by phone from Kyiv. The group agreed that a meeting 
between President Trump and President Zelensky would be valuable.''); 
Hill-Holmes Hearing Tr. at 23 (``We at the Embassy also believed that a 
meeting was critical to the success of President Zelensky's 
administration and its reform agenda, and we worked hard to get it 
arranged.'').
    \575\Kent Dep. Tr. at 304-05 (``There was great confusion among the 
rest of us because we didn't understand why that had happened. . . . 
Since there was unanimity that this [aid] was in our national interest, 
it just surprised all of us.''); Croft Dep. Tr. at 15 (``The only 
reason given was that the order came at the direction of the 
President.''); Letter from John C. Rood, Under Sec'y of Defense for 
Policy, Dep't of Defense, to Eliot L. Engel, Chairman, House Comm. on 
Foreign Affairs (May 23, 2019) (``Ukraine has taken substantial actions 
to make defense institutional reforms for the purposes of decreasing 
corruption. . . . [N]ow that this defense institution reform has 
occurred, we will use the authority provided . . . to support programs 
in Ukraine further.''); Ukraine Report at 67.
    \576\Cooper Dep. Tr. at. 92-93 (``Q: But DOD did not conduct any 
sort of review following this statement about whether Ukraine was 
making any sort of progress with regard to its anticorruption efforts 
in July or August or beginning of September. Is that right? A: That is 
correct. Q: Okay. And that's because, as a matter of process and law, 
all of those events took place precertification, pre-May? A: That is 
correct. And in the interagency discussions, DOD participants affirmed 
that we believed sufficient progress has been made. Q: Okay. And it 
wasn't just DOD participants who believed that these funds should flow 
to Ukraine during these interagency meetings, correct? A: That's 
correct. It was unanimous with the exception of the statements by OMB 
representatives, and those statements were relaying higher level 
guidance.'').
    \577\Ukraine Report at 67 (``In a series of interagency meetings, 
every represented agency other than OMB (which is headed by Mick 
Mulvaney, who is also the President's Acting Chief of Staff) supported 
the provision of assistance to Ukraine and objected to President 
Trump's hold. Ukraine experts at DOD, the State Department, and the 
National Security Council (NSC) argued that it was in the national 
security interest of the United States to continue to support 
Ukraine.''); -Vindman-Williams Hearing Tr. at 125 (``Q. And from what 
you witnessed, did anybody in the National Security community support 
withholding the assistance?A. No.''); Taylor-Kent Hearing Tr. at 35 
(``I and others sat in astonishment. The Ukrainians were fighting 
Russians and counted on not only the training and weapons but also the 
assurance of U.S. support.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Moreover, as numerous United States officials observed, it 
would be squarely inconsistent with advancing an anti-
corruption agenda for an American President to avoid official 
channels and demand that a foreign leader embroil themselves in 
our politics by investigating a candidate for President.\578\ 
Yet President Trump made that very same demand. He also fired, 
without any explanation, an ambassador widely recognized as a 
champion in fighting corruption,\579\ praised a corrupt 
prosecutor general in Ukraine,\580\ and oversaw efforts to 
``cut foreign programs tasked with combating corruption in 
Ukraine and elsewhere overseas.''\581\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \578\Ukraine Report at 149 (``When it became clear that President 
Trump was pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rival, career 
public servants charged with implementing U.S. foreign policy in a non-
partisan manner, such as Lt. Col. Vindman and Ambassador Taylor, 
communicated to President Zelensky and his advisors that Ukraine should 
avoid getting embroiled in U.S. domestic politics.''); Hill-Holmes 
Hearing Tr. at 46 (``[O]ur longstanding policy is to encourage them 
[Ukraine] to establish and build rule of law institutions that are 
capable and that are independent and that can actually pursue credible 
allegations. That's our policy. We've been doing that for quite some 
time with some success. So focusing on particular[] cases, including [] 
cases where there is an interest of the President, it's just not part 
of what we've done. It's hard to explain why we would do that.''); 
Taylor-Kent Hearing Tr. at 164 (concluding that President Trump's 
request ``went against U.S. policy'' and ``would've undermined the rule 
of law and our longstanding policy goals in Ukraine, as in other 
countries, in the post-Soviet space'').
    \579\Ukraine Report at 38-50; see also id. at 49 (``There was a 
broad consensus that Ambassador Yovanovitch was successful in helping 
Ukraine combat pervasive and endemic corruption.''); Holmes Dep. Tr. at 
142; Hill-Holmes Hearing Tr. at 18-19.
    \580\July 25 Call Record at 3.
    \581\Erica Werner, Trump Administration Sought Billions of Dollars 
in Cuts to Programs Aimed at Fighting Corruption in Ukraine and 
Elsewhere, Wash. Post, Oct. 23, 2019 (hereinafter ``Werner'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nothing about President Trump's conduct in the relevant 
period supports the theory that he was motivated by a ``deep-
seated, genuine, and reasonable skepticism of Ukraine'' for 
``pervasive corruption.'' He gave Ukraine hundreds of millions 
of dollars under a regime that ultimately lost power because of 
mounting concerns about corruption and then punitively withheld 
funds when a reformer came to power. He launched a general 
attack on anti-corruption programs while growing closer with 
Vladimir Putin and other corrupt despots. His Administration 
cut anti-corruption programs in Ukraine during the relevant 
period.\582\ And he ignored, defied, and confounded every 
office and agency within the Executive Branch seeking to 
promote anti-corruption programs, while demanding that Ukraine 
investigate his own domestic political rival. Even in the May 
23 White House meeting with other U.S. officials, President 
Trump equated corruption in Ukraine with the false allegations 
that Ukraine tried to ``take [him] down'' in 2016, and directed 
his three senior U.S. government officials to assist ``Mr. 
Giuliani's efforts, which, it would soon become clear, were 
exclusively for the benefit of the President's reelection 
campaign.''\583\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \582\See Werner.
    \583\Ukraine Report at 17.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In short, there is overpowering evidence that President 
Trump acted with corrupt intent. The after-the-fact claim that 
he asked for foreign investigations of his political rivals and 
withheld military aid because of a generalized concern about 
corruption defies all the evidence before us and common sense. 
The President's actions were unexplained and inexplicable, 
contradicted legal and factual findings reached by credible 
experts, and are indefensible given they involved soliciting a 
foreign power to open an investigation into an American citizen 
and rival political candidate.
            ii. Burden Sharing
    We next consider the second justification proposed in the 
Minority Report: that President Trump has ``been vocal about 
his skepticism of U.S. foreign aid and the need for European 
allies to shoulder more of the financial burden for regional 
defense.''\584\ This explanation is based largely on the fact 
that President Trump told President Zelensky on the July 25 
call that European countries should be doing more to help 
Ukraine. But there is no evidence that this concern was the 
actual reason why he withheld a White House meeting, blocked 
the release of Congressionally approved military and security 
assistance, and requested the announcement of two 
investigations; in fact, the evidence available is inconsistent 
with that offered explanation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \584\Minority Report at ii.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To this day, President Trump has not explained why he 
withheld the valuable White House meeting. And until the 
whistleblower complaint was filed, there was no explanation for 
why President Trump had blocked release of the military and 
security assistance.\585\ This was extremely unusual. OMB 
Deputy Associate Director Mark Sandy, the senior budget 
official responsible for the Department of Defense portion of 
the aid to Ukraine, testified that he could not recall another 
instance in which a significant amount of assistance was held 
with no rationale provided.\586\ Deputy Assistant George Kent 
testified that, upon learning of the hold on July 18, there was 
``great confusion'' among representatives from the Department 
of Defense, State Department, and National Security Council 
because they ``didn't understand why'' the aid had been 
frozen.\587\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \585\See, e.g., Ukraine Report at 71-74; Vindman Dep. Tr. at 304-
06; Hale Dep. Tr. at 105; Croft Dep. Tr. at 15; Holmes Dep. Tr. at 21; 
Kent Dep. Tr. at 304, 310; Sondland Hearing Tr. at 56, 80; Cooper Dep. 
Tr. at 44-45; Sandy Dep. Tr. at 91, 97; Morrison Dep. Tr. at 162-63. 
Mr. Morrison testified that, during a deputies' meeting on July 26, OMB 
stated that the ``President was concerned about corruption in Ukraine, 
and he wanted to make sure that Ukraine was doing enough to manage that 
corruption.'' Morrison Dep. Tr. at 165. Mr. Morrison did not testify 
that concerns about Europe's contributions were raised during this 
meeting. In addition, Mr. Sandy testified that, as of July 26, despite 
its own statement, OMB did not actually have an understanding of the 
reason for the hold. See Sandy Dep. Tr. at 55-56.
    \586\Sandy Dep. Tr. at 49.
    \587\Kent Dep. Tr. at 304.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If the President's reason for ordering a hold was concern 
about Europe's contributions, he had no reason to keep that 
fact a secret from his own administration. Moreover, if that 
was his concern, the normal response would be to undertake a 
review process at the time of the hold. Yet, while Deputy 
Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper and other witnesses 
testified that they received some inquiries in late June about 
Ukraine security assistance, Ms. Cooper testified that there 
was no policy or interagency review process that she 
``participated in or knew of'' in August 2019.\588\ Ms. Cooper 
further testified that she had ``no recollection of the issue 
of allied burden sharing coming up'' in the three meetings she 
attended about the freeze on security assistance, or hearing 
about a lack of funding from Ukraine's allies as a reason for 
the freeze.\589\ Under Secretary of State David Hale also 
testified that he did not hear about the lack of funding from 
Ukraine's allies as a reason for the security assistance 
hold.\590\ And Ambassador Sondland, the ambassador to the 
European Union, testified that he was never asked to reach out 
to European countries to get them to contribute more.\591\ 
Finally, President Trump ultimately released the military and 
security assistance without any further contributions from 
Europe. According to Lt. Col. Vindman, none of the ``facts on 
the ground'' had changed when this occurred.\592\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \588\Cooper Dep. Tr. at 91.
    \589\Impeachment Inquiry: Laura Cooper and David Hale: Hearing 
Before the H. Perm. Select Comm. on Intelligence, 116th Cong. 75-76 
(Nov. 20, 20190.
    \590\Id. at 76.
    \591\Sondland Dep. Tr. at 338.
    \592\Vindman Dep. Tr. at 306.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If the President's concern were genuinely about burden-
sharing, it is implausible that he kept his own administration 
in the dark about that issue, never made any public statements 
about it, never ordered a review process focused on the 
question of burden sharing, never ordered his officials to push 
Europe to increase their contribution, and then released the 
aid without any change in Europe's contributions.
    To be sure, after the whistleblower complaint was filed and 
the President became aware he had been caught, Mr. Sandy began 
receiving questions in September about burden sharing.\593\ But 
that sequence only underscores the fact that this explanation 
was an after-the-fact justification to cover his tracks, as the 
hold had been in place for nearly two months without burden-
sharing provided as a reason. Moreover, after Congress began 
investigating President Trump's conduct, the White House 
Counsel's Office reportedly conducted an internal review of 
``hundreds of documents,'' which ``reveal[ed] extensive efforts 
to generate an after-the-fact justification'' for the hold on 
assistance for Ukraine ordered by President Trump.\594\ These 
documents reportedly included ``early August email exchanges 
between acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and White House 
budget officials seeking to provide an explanation for 
withholding the funds after the president had already ordered a 
hold in mid-July on the nearly $400 million in security 
assistance.''\595\ Given the substantial evidence of irregular 
conduct at OMB--including, according to Mr. Sandy, the 
resignation of two OMB officials partly based on their 
objection to OMB's handling and rationale for the hold on 
assistance to Ukraine\596\--this effort to manufacture a 
pretext cannot reasonably be credited.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \593\Sandy Dep. Tr. at 44-45.
    \594\Josh Dawsey et al., White House Review Turns Up Emails Showing 
Extensive Effort to Justify Trump's Decision to Block Ukraine Military 
Aid, Wash. Post, Nov. 24, 2019.
    \595\Id. Because the White House has withheld these documents from 
Congress, the Committee is unable to verify the accuracy of the press 
reporting.
    \596\Sandy Dep. Tr. at 149-56.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It also bears mention that European countries do, in fact, 
contribute substantial assistance to Ukraine. Since 2014, the 
European Union and European financial institutions have 
provided more than $16 billion in grants and loans to Ukraine, 
making the EU the largest donor to Ukraine.\597\ This far 
exceeds the approximately $1.95 billion in assistance that the 
United States has provided during the same period, according to 
USAID.\598\ Although the United States is the largest donor of 
military assistance to Ukraine, European countries also provide 
military aid to Ukraine through a NATO assistance package. For 
example, the United Kingdom has sent more than 1,300 soldiers 
to Ukraine since 2015 and has trained approximately 10,000 
Ukrainian troops.\599\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \597\European Union, EU-Ukraine Relations--Fact Sheet (Sept. 30, 
2019).
    \598\USAID, U.S. Foreign Aid by Country (last updated Sept. 23, 
2019). According to Mr. Holmes, the United States has provided military 
and security assistance of about $3 billion since 2014. Hill-Holmes 
Hearing Tr. at 97.
    \599\Ctr. for Strategic & Int'l Studies, Not Contributing Enough? A 
Summary of European Military and Development Assistance to Ukraine 
Since 2014 (Sept. 26, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
            iii. Legitimate Investigations
    The third and final justification that the Minority Report 
offers to explain President Trump's conduct is that he had a 
legitimate basis to request investigations into his political 
rival and the 2016 United States Presidential election.\600\ 
Like the others conjectured by the Minority, this explanation 
is contradicted by the facts, the President's own statements, 
and common sense.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \600\Minority Report at 78-85.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    First, this theory presumes that the President was 
motivated by an overriding concern about events that occurred 
in 2015 and 2016--and that were widely reported at the time. 
Yet it was not until 2019 that the President requested these 
investigations and placed a hold on assistance to Ukraine. In 
other words, President Trump requested the investigations only 
after Vice President Biden had entered the 2020 presidential 
race and began beating him in the polls--thus giving him a 
personal and political motive to harm Vice President Biden 
publicly--and only after Special Counsel Robert Mueller's 
investigation affirmed the Intelligence Community Assessment's 
finding that Russia interfered in our election, and that it did 
so in a ``sweeping and systematic'' fashion in order to benefit 
President Trump.\601\ The timing of President Trump's 
solicitation and pressure campaign, so shortly after Vice 
President Biden announced his candidacy and the Special Counsel 
Mueller's report was released, is powerful proof of the 
President's true motives for seeking the investigations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \601\See Robert S. Mueller, III, Report on the Investigation into 
Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election, Vol. I, 1 
(March 2019) (hereinafter, ``Mueller Report''); see also Washington 
Post-ABC News poll, June 28-July 1, 2019, Wash. Post, July 11, 2019 
(poll showing Biden at 55, Trump at 41).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Second, as explained above, had President Trump genuinely 
believed there was a legitimate basis to request Ukraine's 
assistance in law enforcement investigations, there are 
specific formal processes that he should have followed. 
Specifically, he could have instructed DOJ to make an official 
request for assistance through a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty 
(MLAT).\602\ But even though the United States and Ukraine have 
entered into an MLAT, multiple witnesses and DOJ itself have 
confirmed that there was never an official United States 
investigation into the Bidens' conduct in Ukraine, nor was 
there an official request to Ukraine for an investigation into 
its alleged interference in the 2016 United States Presidential 
election.\603\ The President's failure to follow legitimate 
procedures is further proof that he was acting improperly.\604\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \602\See U.S. Dep't of Just., Criminal Resource Manual 
Sec. Sec. 266-277 (describing the formal process for seeking 
international assistance in criminal investigations); see also Kent 
Dep. Tr. at 110-11, 158, 261; Yovanovitch Dep. Tr. at 192, 212; Holmes 
Dep. Tr. at 201-02; Taylor Dep. Tr. at 136.
    \603\Kent Dep. Tr. at 111; Yovanovitch Dep. Tr. at 192; see also 
Matt Zapotosky et al., Trump Wanted Barr to Hold News Conference Saying 
the President Broke No Laws in Call with Ukrainian Leader, Wash. Post, 
Nov. 6, 2019.
    \604\Although the President's supporters have noted that some 
Ukrainian officials made critical statements about President Trump 
during his campaign, as witnesses testified, witnesses explained that 
mere public comments are dramatically different than an orchestrated 
attempt to interfere in the level of election interference by the 
Ukrainian government. Moreover, those statements--which the Minority 
asserts became public in 2016 and early 2017--were not publicly raised 
by President Trump prior to 2019 nor during his call with President 
Zelensky, nor is there any evidence that President Trump was concerned 
about them. Rather, and quite irresponsibly, they have been raised by 
the President's political supporters in what appears to be an after-
the-fact effort to manufacture a pretextual justification for the 
President's course of conduct.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Third, the role of Mr. Giuliani also belies the suggestion 
that this was about legitimate United States investigations. 
Mr. Giuliani is not a representative of the United States 
government and had no formal role in facilitating Ukraine's 
involvement in United States criminal investigations. His 
involvement, as well as the lack of formal, official 
involvement by DOJ, provide ever more evidence that President 
Trump's actions were unrelated to legitimate United States 
criminal investigations, but rather about Giuliani's effort to 
``meddle in investigations'' on behalf of his client, President 
Trump, as Giuliani told the New York Times in May.
    Indeed, the record makes clear that President Trump was not 
seeking Ukrainian assistance in United States criminal 
investigations; rather, he wanted Ukraine to announce its own 
investigations of Vice President Biden and the 2016 United 
States Presidential election. This is clear from DOJ's non-
involvement, as well as the President's public comments that 
Ukraine should ``start a major investigation into the 
Bidens.''\605\ Multiple witnesses testified that it is 
extremely inappropriate and irregular for the United States to 
ask Ukraine to investigate a United States citizen--
particularly when that citizen is a former Vice President and 
current political candidate.\606\ For example, Lieutenant 
Colonel Vindman testified that he reported President Trump's 
July 25 call to legal counsel because he ``did not think it was 
proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. 
citizen.''\607\ Ambassador Taylor echoed this concern, stating 
that ``[a] formal U.S. request to the Ukrainians to conduct an 
investigation based on violations of their own law struck me as 
improper, and I recommended to Ambassador Volker that we stay 
clear.''\608\ Ambassador Volker, too, testified that ``[t]o 
investigate the Vice President of the United States or someone 
who is a U.S. official. I don't think we should be asking 
foreign governments to do that. I would also say that's true of 
a political rival.''\609\ The President's improper request that 
Ukraine announce investigations varied from standard rules and 
norms; further demonstrating that it marked a dangerous abuse 
of power by the President.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \605\The White House, Remarks by President Trump Before Marine One 
Departure, Oct. 3, 2019.
    \606\See, e.g., Taylor-Kent Hearing Tr. at 159 (``it is not role of 
politicians to be involved in directing the judicial systems of . . . 
other countries''); Taylor Dep. Tr. at 32 (``A formal U.S. request to 
the Ukrainians to conduct an investigation based on violations of their 
own law struck me as improper, and I recommended to Ambassador Volker 
that we stay clear.''); Volker-Morrison Hearing Tr. at 156 (``I don't 
believe it is appropriate for the President to [ask a foreign 
government to investigate a U.S. citizen]. If we have law enforcement 
concerns with a U.S. citizen generally, there are appropriate channels 
for that.'').
    \607\Vindman Dep. Tr. at 18.
    \608\Taylor Dep. at 32.
    \609\Volker Hearing Tr. at 103.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, both theories asserted by President Trump have 
been proven false. None of the 17 witnesses who appeared as 
part of this inquiry testified that they were aware of any 
factual basis to support the allegation that Ukraine interfered 
in the 2016 election; rather, multiple witnesses confirmed that 
these were false, debunked conspiracy theories.\610\ As Dr. 
Fiona Hill testified, ``[t]his is a fictional narrative that is 
being perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security 
services themselves.''\611\ Further, on December 9, 2019, FBI 
Director Christopher Wray stated, ``We have no information that 
indicates that Ukraine interfered with the 2016 presidential 
election.''\612\ The Republican-led Senate Select Committee on 
Intelligence concluded the same.\613\ It is therefore entirely 
not credible to suggest that the President's actions were based 
on a sincere belief that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 United 
States election or that the so-called ``Crowdstrike theory'' 
had any validity.\614\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \610\Hill Dep. Tr. at 173, 175; Kent Dep. Tr. at 198; Vindman Dep. 
Tr. at 330-31; Hale Dep. Tr. at 121; Holmes Dep. Tr. at 128.
    \611\Hill-Holmes Hearing Tr. at 40.
    \612\Luke Barr & Alexander Mallin, FBI Director Pushes Back on 
Debunked Conspiracy Theory About 2016 Election Interference, ABC News, 
Dec. 9, 2019.
    \613\Natasha Bertrand, Senate Panel Look into Ukraine Interference 
Comes Up Short, Politico, Dec. 2, 2019.
    \614\In fact, what President Trump raised on his call was a false 
conspiracy theory that Russia did not hack the Democratic National 
Committee (``DNC'') servers in 2016 and that there is a DNC server 
hidden in Ukraine. As President Trump's own former Homeland Security 
Advisor Tom Bossert confirmed and previously advised President Trump, 
this theory has ``no validity'' and is ``completely debunked.'' See 
Sheryl Gay Stolberg et al., Trump Was Repeatedly Warned That Ukraine 
Conspiracy Theory Was `Completely Debunked', N.Y. Times, Sept. 29, 
2019. The theory appears to stem in part from an inaccurate suggestion 
by the President that Crowdstrike, an American cybersecurity firm 
retained by the DNC in 2016 to investigate the origins of Russia's hack 
on DNC servers, is owned by a Ukrainian. It is not. The intelligence 
communities have unanimously concluded that Russia interfered in the 
2016 election, and the President has been repeatedly advised that the 
Crowdstrike theory is illegitimate. Dr. Hill testified that Mr. Bossert 
and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster ``spent a lot of time'' in 
2017 ``trying to refute'' the Crowdstrike theory and advised the 
President that the theory of Ukrainian interference was false. Hill 
Dep. Tr. at 234
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Similarly, there is no legitimate basis for President Trump 
to claim former Vice President Biden behaved improperly in 
calling for the removal of Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor 
Shokin. When he called for Mr. Shokin's removal, then-Vice 
President Biden acted in accordance with and in furtherance of 
an official United States policy and the broad consensus of 
various European countries and the International Monetary 
Fund.\615\ Indeed, in late 2015, the International Monetary 
Fund threatened Ukraine that it would not receive $40 billion 
in international assistance unless Mr. Shokin was removed.\616\ 
Vice President Biden was subsequently enlisted by the State 
Department to call for Mr. Shokin's removal--and in late 2015 
and early 2016, he announced that the United States would 
withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees unless Mr. Shokin was 
dismissed.\617\ Ultimately, in March 2016, Ukraine's parliament 
voted to dismiss Mr. Shokin.\618\ Moreover, multiple witnesses 
confirmed that the removal of Mr. Shokin would have increased 
the likelihood that Burisma would be investigated for 
corruption, not the opposite, given that Mr. Shokin was widely 
considered to be both ineffective and corrupt.\619\ Any 
suggestion that former Vice President Biden called for Mr. 
Shokin's removal in order to stop an investigation of Burisma, 
the company whose board Hunter Biden sat on, is inconsistent 
with these facts.\620\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \615\Multiple witnesses thus testified that Mr. Shokin was corrupt 
and failing to fulfill his duties as Prosecutor General. Mr. Kent, an 
expert on Ukraine and anti-corruption matters, described ``a broad-
based consensus'' among the United States, European allies, and 
international financial institutions that Mr. Shokin was ``a typical 
Ukraine prosecutor who lived a lifestyle far in excess of his 
government salary, who never prosecuted anybody known for having 
committed a crime'' and who ``covered up crimes that were known to have 
been committed.'' Kent Dep. Tr. at 45. In addition, Ukraine's former 
prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko who had perpetuated this allegation 
of wrongdoing by the Bidens has since recanted and stated that there is 
no evidence of wrongdoing by Vice President Biden or his son. See 
Ukraine Report at 42.
    \616\Courtney Subramanian, Explainer: Biden, Allies Pushed Out 
Ukrainian Prosecutor Because He Didn't Pursue Corruption Cases, USA 
Today, Oct. 3, 2019; Neil Buckley, Roman Olearchyk, & Shawn Donnan, IMF 
Warning Sparks Ukraine Pledge on Corruption and Reform, Fin. Times, 
Feb. 10, 2016.
    \617\Taylor-Kent Hearing Tr. at 93; Matt Viser & Paul Sonne, Inside 
Joe Biden's Brawling Efforts to Reform Ukraine--Which Won Him Successes 
and Enemies, Wash. Post, Oct. 19, 2019.
    \618\Andrew E, Kramer, Ukraine Ousts Viktor Shokin, Top Prosecutor, 
and Political Stability Hangs in the Balance, N.Y. Times, Mar. 29, 
2016.
    \619\Ukraine Report at 42.
    \620\Because Mr. Shokin failed to prosecute corruption in Ukraine, 
his removal made it more--not less--likely that Ukrainian authorities 
might investigate any allegations of wrongdoing at Burisma. In 
addition, Ukraine's former Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko who had 
perpetuated this allegation of wrongdoing by the Bidens has since 
recanted and stated that there is no evidence of wrongdoing by Vice 
President Biden or his son. See Tracy Wilkinson & Sergei L. Loiko, 
Former Ukraine Prosecutor Says He Saw No Evidence of Wrongdoing by 
Biden, L.A. Times, Sept. 29, 2019. For these reasons, the allegations 
that Vice President Biden inappropriately pressured Ukraine to remove 
Mr. Shokin in order to protect his son are baseless.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
            iv. Conclusion
    The Committee does not lightly conclude that President 
Trump acted with corrupt motives. But the facts, including the 
uncontradicted and corroborated testimony and documents, as 
well as common sense once again, all support that inescapable 
conclusion. President Trump exercised his official powers to 
solicit and pressure Ukraine to launch investigations into 
former Vice President Biden and the 2016 election. He did so 
not for any legitimate reason, but to obtain an improper 
personal political benefit by aiding his reelection, harming 
the election prospects of a political opponent, and influencing 
the 2020 United States Presidential election to his advantage. 
In so doing, President Trump violated his Oath of Office and 
abused his public trust. The Framers could not have been 
clearer that Presidents who wield power for their own personal 
advantage are subject to impeachment, particularly when their 
private gain comes at the expense of the national interest.

3. President Trump Ignored and Injured Vital National Interests

    President Trump's abuse of power harmed the United States. 
It undermined our national security and weakened our democracy. 
There is no indication that the President attended to these 
concerns in pursuing his own political errand--and there is 
every indication that he purposely ignored them. This is 
exactly what the Framers feared, and it is why they authorized 
Presidential impeachment.

a. National Security

    While carrying out his corrupt scheme in Ukraine, President 
Trump ignored and injured the national security of the United 
States. He did so by threatening our safety and security, 
weakening democracy at home and abroad, undermining our efforts 
to promote the rule of law on a global stage, and tarnishing 
our reputation with allies. This is not a matter of policy 
disagreement. It is an objective assessment of the consequences 
of President Trump's conduct--an assessment that the House is 
entitled and required to make in these circumstances.
    First, when he withheld military and security assistance 
from Ukraine (and did so for his own personal political 
benefit), President Trump threatened the safety and security of 
the United States. Ukraine is a ``strategic partner of the 
United States.''\621\ By contrast, United States ``national 
security policy'' correctly identifies Russia as an 
adversary.\622\ As multiple witnesses affirmed, the United 
States therefore has an interest in supporting Ukraine, to 
ensure it remains an independent and democratic country that 
can deter Russian influence, expansion, and military 
aggression. For example, Ambassador Yovanovitch explained in 
her testimony that ``[s]upporting Ukraine is the right thing to 
do. It's also the smart thing to do. If Russia prevails and 
Ukraine falls to Russia dominion, we can expect to see other 
attempts by Russia to expand its territory and 
influence.''\623\ Mr. Morrison elaborated: ``Russia is a 
failing power, but it is still a dangerous one. The United 
States aids Ukraine and her people so that they can fight 
Russia over there, and we don't have to fight Russia 
here.''\624\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \621\Taylor-Kent Hearing Tr. at 28.
    \622\Id. at 53; see also Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. 
Intelligence Community Before S. Select Comm. on Intelligence, 116th 
Cong. (Jan. 29, 2019) (testimony by Director Daniel R. Coats, Office of 
the Director of National Intelligence) (``We assess that Russia poses a 
cyber espionage, influence, and attack threat to the United States and 
our allies.'').
    \623\Impeachment Inquiry: Marie Yovanovitch: Hearing Before the H. 
Perm. Select Comm. on Intelligence, 116th Cong. 18 (Nov. 15, 2019). Mr. 
Holmes elaborated on the importance of Ukraine to our policy goals: 
``It's been said that without Ukraine, Russia is just a country, but 
with it, it's an empire.'' Hill-Holmes Hearing Tr. at 162.
    \624\Ukraine Report at 69; Morrison-Volker Hearing Tr. at 11.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The military and security assistance that the United States 
has approved with bipartisan support to Ukraine since 2014 is 
critical to preventing Russia's expansion and aggression. 
Ukraine is on the front line of conflict with Russia; its 
forces defend themselves against Russian aggression every day, 
in an ongoing war.\625\ When the United States provides 
assistance that allows Ukraine to equip itself with ``radar and 
weapons and sniper rifles, that saves lives. It makes the 
Ukrainians more effective. It might even shorten the war. 
That's what our hope is, to show that the Ukrainians can defend 
themselves and the Russians, in the end, will say `Okay, we're 
going to stop.'''\626\ In addition, as Ambassador Taylor 
explained, the delay occurred ``at a time when hostilities were 
still active in the east and when Russia was watching closely 
to gauge the level of American support for the Ukrainian 
Government.''\627\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \625\See, e.g., Ukraine Report at 67-69; Kent. Dep. Tr. at 202, 
338-339.
    \626\Ukraine Report at 68; Taylor Dep. Tr. at 153.
    \627\Ukraine Report at 129; Taylor-Kent Hearing Tr. at 40.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Above and beyond the security assistance itself, public 
support from the United States demonstrates to Russia that ``we 
are Ukraine's reliable strategic partner.''\628\ In withholding 
not only assistance, but also a White House meeting, the 
President denied Ukraine a show of strength that could deter 
further Russian aggression and help Ukraine negotiate an end to 
its five-year war with Russia (a war that has already killed 
over 13,000 Ukrainians).\629\ Indeed, the very fact of delayed 
assistance quite certainly emboldened our enemies and weakened 
our partner. President Trump's conduct continues to exacerbate 
these dynamics; for example, the day after Presidents Zelensky 
and Putin met to negotiate an end to the war in their border 
region, on December 10, President Trump met with Russia's top 
envoy in the Oval Office, but has yet to schedule a White House 
meeting with President Zelensky.\630\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \628\See Ukraine Report at 83. Mr. Kent also testified to this 
point, explaining that a White House meeting was ``also important for 
U.S. national security because it would have served to bolster 
Ukraine's negotiating position in peace talks with Russia. It also 
would have supported Ukraine as a bulwark against further Russian 
advances in Europe.'' Id. at 83-84.
    \629\Ukraine Report at 68, 83-84.
    \630\John Hudson & Anne Gearan, Trump Meets Russia's Top Diplomat 
Amid Scrap Over Election Interference, Wash. Post, Dec. 10, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Second, our national security goals in support of Ukraine 
are part of a ``broader strategic approach to Europe,'' whereby 
we seek to facilitate negotiation of conflicts in Europe, 
maintain peace and order in that region, and prevent further 
Russian aggression not just in Ukraine but in Europe and 
elsewhere.\631\ Ambassador Taylor explained the importance of 
Ukraine to these policy goals in his testimony:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \631\Taylor-Kent Hearing Tr. at 169-70.

    Russians are violating all of the rules, treaties, 
understandings that they committed to that actually kept peace 
in Europe for nearly 70 years. Until they invaded Ukraine in 
2014, they had abided by sovereignty of nations, of 
inviolability of borders. That rule of law, that order that 
kept the peace in Europe and allowed for prosperity as well as 
peace in Europe was violated by the Russians. And if we don't 
push back on that, on those violations, then that will 
continue. . . . [This] affects the kind of world that we want 
to see abroad. So that affects our national interests very 
directly. Ukraine is on the front line of that conflict.\632\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \632\Taylor-Kent Hearing Tr. at 52-53.

    Third, President Trump's actions diminished President 
Zelensky's ability to advance his anti-corruption reforms in 
Ukraine--and, in turn, to help the United States promote our 
ideals abroad.
    President Zelensky, who ran on a strong anti-corruption 
platform, was elected by a large majority of Ukrainians; 
subsequent to that election, Ukrainians voted to replace 80% of 
their Parliament to endorse a ``platform consistent with our 
democratic values, our reform priorities, and our strategic 
interests.''\633\ Mr. Kent thus emphasized that President 
Zelensky's anti-corruption efforts could ensure that ``the 
Ukrainian Government has the ability to go after corruption and 
effectively investigate, prosecute, and judge alleged criminal 
activities using appropriate institutional mechanisms, that is, 
to create and follow the rule of law.''\634\ Of course, it is 
always in our national security interest to help advance such 
democratic and anti-corruption platforms. At a time of shifting 
alliances, ``Ukrainians and freedom loving people everywhere 
are watching the example we set here of democracy and rule of 
law.''\635\ ``If Ukraine is able to enforce that anti-
corruption agenda, it can serve as an example to other post-
Soviet countries and beyond, from Moscow to Hong Kong.''\636\ 
``A secure, democratic, and free Ukraine [thus] serves not just 
the Ukrainian people, but the American people as well. That's 
why it was our policy and continues to be our policy to help 
the Ukrainians achieve their objectives. They match our 
objectives.''\637\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \633\Hill-Holmes Hearing Tr. at 35.
    \634\Ukraine Report at 149; Taylor-Kent Hearing Tr. at 24.
    \635\Hill-Holmes Hearing Tr. at 36.
    \636\Id. at 35.
    \637\Yovanovitch Hearing Tr. at 17.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As Mr. Holmes testified, a White House visit and U.S. 
support was ``critical'' to President Zelensky implementing his 
platform.\638\ President Zelensky was a new leader, ``looking 
to establish his bona fides as a regional and maybe even a 
world leader.'' In that context, a meeting with the United 
States--the most ``powerful country in the world and Ukraine's 
most significant benefactor''--would have gone a long way in 
ensuring that President Zelensky had the credibility to 
implement his reforms.\639\ Yet, to this day and as a result of 
President Trump's desire to obtain a personal political 
advantage in the upcoming election, no such meeting has 
occurred. This surely has not gone unnoticed by Ukraine, our 
democratic allies, or countries struggling to enforce similar 
democratic ideals. Indeed, Zelensky administration officials 
already are reportedly ``now reconsidering their strategy on 
communication with and about the Trump administration.''\640\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \638\Hill-Holmes Hearing Tr. at 23.
    \639\Id. at 38-39.
    \640\Betsy Swan, Ukrainians: Trump Just Sent Us `a Terrible 
Signal', Daily Beast, Dec. 11, 2019; see also Michael Birnbaum, Ukraine 
Desperately Wants the U.S. on its Side. They Just Don't Know who has 
Trump's Ear Anymore, Wash. Post, Nov. 22, 2019 (quoting a Zelensky ally 
who noted that the U.S. delay in military aid is ``making us rethink 
how U.S. policy is operating'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Fourth, President Trump's brazen use of official acts to 
pressure Ukraine to announce a politically motivated 
investigation undermined our credibility in promoting 
democratic values and the rule of law in Ukraine and elsewhere. 
As Ambassador Taylor underscored, ``[o]ur credibility is based 
on a respect for the United States,'' and ``if we damage that 
respect, then it hurts our credibility and makes it more 
difficult for us to do our jobs.''\641\ Mr. Kent, too, agreed 
that the President's request for investigations ``went against 
U.S. policy'' and ``would've undermined the rule of law and our 
longstanding policy goals in Ukraine, as in other countries, in 
the post-Soviet space.''\642\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \641\Ukraine Report at 150; Taylor-Kent Hearing Tr. at 165.
    \642\Ukraine Report at 150; Taylor-Kent Hearing Tr. at 164.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ukrainian officials' reaction to American requests 
following President Trump's demand illuminates this concern. 
When Ambassador Volker advised Mr. Yermak about ``potential 
problems'' with investigations that the Zelensky administration 
was contemplating into former Ukrainian President Petro 
Poroshenko, Mr. Yermak retorted, ``what, you mean like asking 
us to investigate Clinton and Biden?''\643\ Ambassador Volker 
did not respond.\644\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \643\Ukraine Report at 150; Volker-Morrison Hearing Tr. at 139.
    \644\Id., at 139. President Trump's removal of Ambassador 
Yovanovitch following a discredited smear campaign on her character, 
and subsequent comments attacking her and telling a foreign leader that 
she would ``go through some things,'' contributed to this harm, as 
well. As she explained, ``[i]f our chief representative is kneecapped 
it limits our effectiveness to safeguard the vital national security 
interests of the United States.'' Ukraine Report at 49; Yovanovitch 
Hearing Tr. at 22.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, President Trump's conduct threatened to harm 
America's alliances more broadly. ``The U.S. is the most 
powerful country in the history of the world in large part 
because of our values, and our values have made possible the 
network of alliances and partnerships that buttresses our own 
strength.''\645\ Yet President Trump's scheme--using Ukraine's 
desperation for military assistance and support to pressure our 
ally to announce an investigation into his political rival--
shook Ukraine's ``faith in us.''\646\ Even worse, it sent a 
message to our allies that the United States may withhold 
critical military and security assistance for our President's 
personal political benefit; if such conduct is allowed to 
stand, our allies will ``constantly question the extent to 
which they can count on us.''\647\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \645\Yovanovitch Hearing Tr. at 17.
    \646\Ukraine Report at 136; Text Message from Ambassador Taylor to 
Ambassador Sondland (Sept. 9, 2019, 12:31 AM).
    \647\Hill-Holmes Hearing Tr. at 175.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    President Trump ignored and injured our national security 
when he corruptly abused the powers of his office for personal 
political gain. As Ambassador Yovanovitch summarized in her 
testimony, President Trump's ``conduct undermines the U.S., 
exposes our friends, and widens the playing field for autocrats 
like President Putin. Our leadership depends on the power of 
our example and the consistency of our purpose. Both have now 
been opened to question.''\648\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \648\Yovanovitch Hearing Tr. at 19.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

b. Free and Fair Elections

    As explained at the outset, the Framers of our Constitution 
were particularly fearful that a President might someday abuse 
the powers of his office to undermine free and fair elections. 
The heart of the Framers' project was a commitment to popular 
sovereignty. In an age when ``democratic self-government 
existed almost nowhere on earth,''\649\ the Framers imagined a 
society ``where the true principles of representation are 
understood and practi[c]ed, and where all authority flows from, 
and returns at stated periods to, the people.''\650\ But that 
would be possible only if ``those entrusted with [power] should 
be kept in dependence on the people.''\651\ This is why the 
President, and Members of Congress, must stand before the 
public for re-election on fixed terms. Through free and fair 
democratic elections the American people protect their system 
of political self-government.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \649\Akhil Reed Amar, America's Constitution: A Biography 8 (2006).
    \650\4 Debates in the Several State Conventions, at 331; see also 
James Madison, Federalist No. 14.
    \651\James Madison, Federalist No. 37, at 268.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    President Trump's conduct ignored and injured the Nation's 
fundamental interest in self-governance and free and fair 
elections. As Professor Pamela S. Karlan of Stanford Law School 
explained in her testimony before this Committee, ``[t]he very 
idea that a President might seek the aid of a foreign 
government in his reelection campaign would have horrified [the 
Framers].''\652\ Professor Karlan added:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \652\The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: 
Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment Before the H. Comm. 
on the Judiciary, 116th Cong. (Dec. 4, 2019) (written testimony of 
Professor Pamela S. Karlan).

    [O]ur elections become less free when they are distorted by 
foreign interference. What happened in 2016 was bad enough: 
there is widespread agreement that Russian operatives 
intervened to manipulate our political process. But that 
distortion is magnified if a sitting President abuses the 
powers of his office actually to invite foreign intervention . 
. . That is not politics as usual--at least not in the United 
States or any other mature democracy. It is, instead, a 
cardinal reason why the Constitution contains an impeachment 
power. Put simply, a candidate for president should resist 
foreign interference in our elections, not demand it.\653\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \653\Id.

    When asked to elaborate on her view that President Trump's 
conduct endangered the right to vote, which ranks among our 
most precious rights, Professor Karlan observed: ``The way that 
it does it is exactly what President Washington warned about, 
by inviting a foreign government to influence our elections. It 
takes the right away from the American people and it turns that 
into a right that foreign governments decide to interfere for 
their own benefit. Foreign governments don't interfere in our 
elections to benefit us; they intervene to benefit 
themselves.''\654\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \654\Id. (testimony by Professor Pamela S. Karlan in response to 
question by Chairman Jerrold Nadler).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ultimately, the Constitution does not care whether 
President Trump, former Vice President Biden, or any other 
candidate wins the 2020 United States Presidential election. It 
is indifferent to political parties and individual 
candidates.\655\ But it does care that we have free and fair 
elections. That is why foreigners can be excluded from 
activities of democratic self-government, including voting and 
contributing to political candidates.\656\ And it is why a 
President who uses the powers of his office to invite foreign 
government interference in an election, all for his own 
personal political gain, is a President who has abandoned our 
constitutional commitment to democracy.\657\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \655\The sole exception is a provision that restricts the 
Presidency to natural born citizens. U.S. CONST. art. II, Sec. 1. As 
relevant here, this provision is intended to guard against improper 
foreign influence in American politics. See 1 James Kent, Commentaries 
on American Law 255 (1826).
    \656\See Bluman v. Fed. Election Comm'n, 800 F. Supp. 2d 281 
(D.D.C. 2011), aff'd, 565 U.S. 1104 (2012).
    \657\See Constitutional Grounds for Impeachment (2019) at 24-28.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. President Trump's Abuse of Power Encompassed Impeachable ``Bribery'' 
        and Violations of Federal Criminal Law

    The first Article of Impeachment charged President Trump 
with an abuse of power as that constitutional offense has long 
been understood. While there is no need for a crime to be 
proven in order for impeachment to be warranted, here, 
President Trump's scheme or course of conduct also encompassed 
other offenses, both constitutional and criminal in character, 
and it is appropriate for the Committee to recognize such 
offenses in assessing the question of impeachment.

a. Constitutional Bribery

    ``Bribery'' under the Impeachment Clause occurs where a 
President corruptly offers, solicits, or accepts something of 
personal value to influence his own official actions.\658\ In 
that respect, ``Bribery is . . . an especially egregious and 
specific example of a President abusing his power for private 
gain.''\659\ Based on their lived experience, the Framers had 
good cause to view such conduct as grounds for impeachment. 
Bribery was considered ``so heinous an Offence, that it was 
sometimes punished as High Treason.''\660\ And it was received 
wisdom in the late-17th century that nothing can be ``a greater 
Temptation to Officers [than] to abuse their Power by Bribery 
and Extortion.''\661\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \658\Id. at 3.
    \659\Id. at 16.
    \660\Giles Jacob, A New Law-Dictionary 95 (1729) (hereinafter ``A 
New Law-Dictionary''); see also 1 W. Hawkins, A Treatise of Pleas of 
the Crown, ch. 67, Sec. 6 (1716) (hereinafter ``Pleas of the Crown'') 
(noting that bribery ``was sometimes viewed as High Treason'').
    \661\Pleas of the Crown, ch. 67, Sec. 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Since the Founding, ``[a] number of impeachments in the 
United States have charged individuals with misconduct that was 
viewed as bribery.''\662\ However, ``the practice of 
impeachment in the United States has tended to envelop charges 
of bribery within the broader standard of `other high Crimes 
and Misdemeanors'''\663\ and, for the most part, ``the specific 
articles of impeachment were framed as `high crimes and 
misdemeanors'' or an `impeachable offense''' without ever 
``explicitly referenc[ing] bribery.''\664\ Here, the First 
Article of Impeachment alleges what is, among other things, a 
bribery scheme, whereby President Trump corruptly solicited 
things of value from a foreign power, Ukraine, to influence his 
own official actions--namely, the release of $391 million in 
Congressionally-authorized assistance and a head of state 
meeting at the White House.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \662\Cong. Research Serv., Impeachment and the Constitution 45 & n. 
475 (Nov. 20, 2019).
    \663\Id. at 46.
    \664\Id. at 36 (describing impeachment proceedings against Judge G. 
Thomas Porteous Jr. and Judge Alcee L Hastings).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The elements of impeachable bribery under the Constitution 
are not expressly set forth in our founding document. As 
Justice Joseph Story and other authorities have made clear, 
however, the Anglo-American common law tradition supplies a 
complete and ``proper exposition of the nature and limits of 
the offense.''\665\ This Committee has reaffirmed for more than 
a century that ``[t]he offense of bribery had a fixed status in 
the parliamentary law as well as the criminal law of England 
when our Constitution was adopted, and there is little 
difficulty in determining its nature and extent in the 
application of the law of impeachments in this country.''\666\ 
Indeed, the four legal experts who testified before this 
Committee agreed on the basic definition of common law bribery: 
it occurs where a President (1) offers, solicits, or accepts 
(2) something of personal value (3) to influence the official 
duties he is entrusted with exercising by the American people; 
(4) corruptly.\667\ The experts also agreed that an impeachable 
offense need not be a crime.\668\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \665\2 Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution Sec. 794 
(1833).
    \666\Proceedings of the United States Senate and the House of 
Representatives in the Trial of Impeachment of Robert W. Archbald, S. 
Doc. No. 1140, 62nd Cong., at 1695 (1913).
    \667\See The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: 
Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment Before H. Comm. on 
the Judiciary, 116th Cong. (2019) (hereinafter ``Constitutional Grounds 
Hearing (2019)'') (written testimony of Professor Jonathan Turley) 
(``Under the common law definition, bribery remains relatively narrow 
and consistently defined among the states. `The core concept of a bribe 
is an inducement improperly influencing the performance of a public 
function meant to be gratuitously exercised.''') (quoting John T. 
Noonan, Jr., Bribes: The Intellectual History of a Moral Id. a xi 
(1984)); id. (testimony by Professor Noah R. Feldman in response to 
question by Representative Jerrold L. Nadler) (``Bribery had a clear 
meaning to the Framers, it was--when the President, using the power of 
his office, solicits or receives something of personal value from 
someone affected by his official powers.''); see also id. (written 
testimony of Professor Pamela S. Karlan); id. (written testimony of 
Professor Michael J. Gerhardt) (similar).
    \668\See Constitutional Grounds Hearing (2019) (written testimony 
of Professor Jonathan Turley); id. (written testimony of Professor Noah 
R. Feldman); id. (testimony by Professor Michael J. Gerhardt in 
response to question by Special Counsel Norman L. Eisen); id. 
(testimony by Professor Pamela S. Karlan in response to question by 
Special Counsel Norman L. Eisen); see also Constitutional Grounds for 
Impeachment (2019), at 31-38.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Two aspects of this definition merit special note. First, 
at the time of the Constitutional Convention, bribery was well 
understood in Anglo-American law to encompass soliciting 
bribes. As Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. explains, the drafting 
history of the Impeachment Clause demonstrates that ```Bribery' 
was read both actively and passively, including the chief 
magistrate bribing someone and being bribed.''\669\ In a 
renowned bribery case involving the alleged solicitation of 
bribes, Lord Mansfield explained that ``[w]herever it is a 
crime to take, it is a crime to give: they are 
reciprocal.''\670\ William Blackstone likewise confirmed that 
``taking bribes is punished,'' just as bribery is punishable 
for ``those who offer a bribe, though not taken.''\671\ In 
addition, at common law, soliciting a bribe--even if it is not 
accepted--completes the offense of bribery.\672\ ``[T]he 
attempt is a crime; it is complete on his side who offers 
it.''\673\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \669\Noonan, Bribes, at 430; Pleas of the Crown, ch. 67, Sec. 2.
    \670\Rex v. Vaughan, 98 Eng. Rep. 308, 311 (K.B. 1769).
    \671\William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, vol. 
2, Book 4, ch. 10, Sec. 17 (1771); A New Law-Dictionary, at 95 
(defining ``Bribery'' as ``the Receiving, or Offering, any undue Reward 
. . . to act contrary to his Duty.'').
    \672\See 4 William Blackstone, Commentaries *139; Rex v. Plympton, 
2 Ld. Raym. 1377, 1379 (1724); Rex v. Higgins, 102 Eng. Rep. 269, 276 
(1801) (``A solicitation or inciting of another, by whatever means it 
is attempted, is an act done''); see also John Marshall Gest, The 
Writings of Sir Edward Coke, 18 YALE L.J. 504, 522 (1909) (``Of 
bribery: `They that buy will sell.''') (quoting Coke, C.J.) (citing 3 
Inst. 148); Francis B. Sayre, Criminal Attempts, 41 HARV. L. REV. 821 
(1928) (citing additional cases).
    \673\Vaughan, 98 Eng. Rep. at 311. American courts subsequently 
repeated this principle; see, e.g., State v. Ellis, 33 N.J.L. 102, 103-
04 (N.J. Sup. Ct. 1868) (importing the common law definition of bribery 
to include attempts); see also William O. Russell, A Treatise on Crimes 
and Misdemeanors 239-40 (1st U.S. ed. 1824).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Second, under common law, bribery occurred when the thing 
offered or solicited was of personal value to the recipient. 
Common law treatises explained that a bribe broadly encompassed 
``any undue Reward,'' ``valuable thing,'' or valuable 
consideration, even where ``the things were small.''\674\ The 
value of the thing was measured by its value to the public 
official who was offering, soliciting or receiving it.\675\ 
Accordingly, as Professor Turley recognized in his testimony, 
the common law encompassed non-pecuniary things of value--even 
including, in the case of King Charles II (as would have been 
well known to the Framers), ``a young French mistress.''\676\ 
Consistent with this broad understanding, in guarding against 
foreign efforts to corrupt American officials, the Constitution 
forbids any ``Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust,'' 
from accepting ``any present, Office or Title, of any kind 
whatever, from . . . a foreign State,'' unless Congress 
consents.\677\ An equally capacious view applies to the 
impeachable offense of ``Bribery.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \674\Pleas of the Crown, ch. 67, Sec. 2; Edward Coke, The Third 
Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England: Concerning High Treason, 
and Other Pleas of the Crown, and Criminal Causes 147 (1644).
    \675\A New Law-Dictionary, at 734 (defining the ``Value'' of a 
thing to turn on ``the valuation of the owner on it.''); see also Com. 
v. Callaghan, 2 Va. Cas. 460 (1825) (holding that the ``corrupt 
agreement'' between two Justices of the Peace to trade votes qualified 
as a misdemeanor at Common Law).
    \676\Constitutional Grounds for Impeachment (2019) (written 
testimony of Professor Jonathan Turley). This case was discussed on 
multiple occasions at the Constitutional Convention. See, e.g., id. 
(``Louis XIV bribed Charles II to sign the secret Treaty of Dover of 
1670 with the payment of a massive pension and other benefits. . . . In 
return, Charles II not only agreed to convert to Catholicism, but to 
join France in a wartime alliance against the Dutch.'') (citing George 
Clark, The Later Stuarts (1660-1714) 86-87, 130 (2d ed. 1956)); 5 
Debates in the Several State Conventions, at 343 (recounting Morris's 
argument that the President should be removable through the impeachment 
process, noting concern that the President might ``be bribed by a 
greater interest to betray his trust,'' and pointed to the example of 
Charles II receiving a bribe from Louis XIV).
    \677\U.S. Const., art. I, Sec. 9, cl. 8 (emphasis added).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Applying the constitutional definition of ``Bribery'' here, 
there can be little doubt that it is satisfied. President Trump 
solicited President Zelensky for a ``favor'' of great personal 
value to him\678\; he did so corruptly\679\; and he did so in a 
scheme to influence his own official actions respecting the 
release of military and security assistance and the offer of a 
White House meeting.\680\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \678\July 25 Call Record at 3.
    \679\Ukraine Report at 140 (referring to President Trump's 
``scheme'' to condition release of military aid and White House meeting 
on favors to benefit his reelection campaign); see supra at Section 
III.D.2.
    \680\Id.; see supra at Section III.D.1.c.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

b. Criminal Bribery, 18 U.S.C. Sec.  201

    Although President Trump's actions need not rise to the 
level of a criminal violation to justify impeachment, his 
conduct here was criminal. In this section we address the 
federal statute banning bribery; in the next section we address 
the wire fraud statute. Both of these laws underscore the 
extent to which Congress and the American people have broadly 
condemned the use of a public position of trust for personal 
gain. As this Committee observed decades ago, ``[n]othing is 
more corrosive to the fabric of good government than 
bribery.''\681\ The federal anti-bribery statute imposes up to 
fifteen years' imprisonment for public officials who solicit or 
obtain bribes.\682\ The wire fraud statute, in turn, imposes up 
to twenty years imprisonment for public officials who breach 
the public trust by depriving them of their honest 
services.\683\ President Trump's violation of both statutes is 
further evidence of the egregious nature of his abuse of power.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \681\Bribery, Graft, and Conflicts of Interest, H. Rep. No. 87-748, 
at 6 (1961).
    \682\18 U.S.C. Sec. 201(b)(2).
    \683\18 U.S.C. Sec. Sec. 1343, 1346.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Starting with the federal anti-bribery statute, criminal 
bribery occurs when a public official (1) ``demands [or] 
seeks''' (2) ``anything of value personally,'' (3) ``in return 
for being influenced in the performance of any official 
act.''\684\ Additionally, the public official must carry out 
these actions (4) ``corruptly.''\685\ We address the four 
statutory elements in turn.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \684\18 U.S.C. Sec. 201(b)(2).
    \685\18 U.S.C. Sec. 201(b)(2)(A).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
            i. ``Demands'' or ``Seeks''
    The evidence before the Committee makes clear that the 
President solicited from the President of Ukraine a public 
announcement that he would undertake two politically motivated 
investigations. That conduct satisfies the actus reus element 
of bribery under the federal criminal code.\686\ Section 201 
prohibits a wide variety of solicitations, including 
solicitations that are ``indirect[ ].''\687\ Courts have 
concluded that a bribe was solicited, for example, where a 
public official with authority to award construction contracts 
requested that a contractor ``take a look at the roof'' of the 
official's home.\688\ Notably, where the other elements are 
met, the statutory offense of bribery is complete upon the 
demand--even if the thing of value is not provided.\689\ That 
is because ``the purpose of the statute is to discourage one 
from seeking an advantage by attempting to influence a public 
official to depart from conduct deemed essential to the public 
interest.''\690\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \686\As a threshold matter, the President is plainly a ``public 
official'' within the meaning of the criminal anti-bribery statute. See 
18 U.S.C. Sec. 201(a)(1) (``public official'' includes ``an officer . . 
. acting for or on behalf of the United States'').
    \687\18 U.S.C. Sec. 201(b)(2).
    \688\United States v. Repak, 852 F.3d 230, 238 (3d Cir. 2017); see 
also id. at 251-52, 254.
    \689\United States v. Jacobs, 431 F.2d 754, 759-60 (2d Cir. 1970) 
(reaffirming that statute ``is violated even though the official 
offered a bribe is not corrupted, or the object of the bribe could not 
be attained, or it could make no difference if after the act were done 
it turned out that there had been actually no occasion to seek to 
influence any official conduct'').
    \690\Id. at 759.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    President Trump solicited from President Zelensky a public 
announcement that he would conduct two politically motivated 
investigations into President Trump's political rival and into 
discredited claims about election interference in 2016. These 
demands easily constitute solicitation under federal law. To 
begin with, the President's improper solicitation is apparent 
in the record of his July 25 phone call with President 
Zelensky. As the record makes clear, after President Zelensky 
raised the issue of United States military assistance to 
Ukraine, President Trump immediately responded: ``I would like 
you to do us a favor though[.]''\691\ President Trump then 
explained the ``favor,'' which involved the two demands for 
baseless investigations. In addition, the July 25 call ``was 
neither the start nor the end'' of these demands.\692\ In the 
weeks leading up to it, for example, Ambassadors Volker and 
Sondland had both personally informed President Zelensky and 
his staff of the President's demands and advised the Ukrainian 
leader to agree to them.\693\ These and other related actions 
by the President's subordinates were taken in coordination with 
Rudolph Giuliani, who was understood to be ``expressing the 
desires of the President of the United States.''\694\ There can 
thus be no doubt that President Trump's conduct constituted a 
solicitation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \691\July 25 Call Record at 3.
    \692\Ukraine Report at 9.
    \693\Id. at 85-86.
    \694\Id. at 19 (quoting Ambassador Sondland).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
            ii. ``Anything of Value Personally''
    The next question is whether any of the ``things'' that 
President Trump solicited from President Zelensky count as a 
``things of value.'' Section 201 makes clear that bribery 
occurs when the thing offered or solicited is ``anything of 
value personally'' to the recipient\695\--and in this instance, 
President Trump placed significant personal value on the 
``favor[s]'' demanded.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \695\18 U.S.C. Sec. 201(b)(2) (emphasis added).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ``The phrase `anything of value' has been interpreted 
broadly to carry out the congressional purpose of punishing the 
abuse of public office.''\696\ It ``is defined broadly to 
include `the value which the defendant subjectively attaches to 
the items received.'''\697\ For example, it has been held to 
include shares of stock that had ``no commercial value'' where 
the official receiving the bribe expected otherwise.\698\ As 
the court in that case explained, ``[c]orruption of office 
occurs when the officeholder agrees to misuse his office in the 
expectation of gain, whether or not he has correctly assessed 
the worth of the bribe.''\699\ The term ``thing of value'' 
encompasses intangible things of value as well. As used 
throughout the criminal code, it has been held to include 
(among other things): research work product,\700\ conjugal 
visits for a prison inmate,\701\ confidential government files 
about informants,\702\ information about the location of a 
witness,\703\ a promise of future employment,\704\ a promise to 
contact a public official,\705\ ``the amount of a confidential, 
competitive bid'' for a government contract,\706\ copies of 
grand jury transcripts provided to the target of an 
investigation,\707\ and the testimony of a witness at a 
criminal trial.\708\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \696\United States v. Renzi, 769 F.3d 731, 744 (9th Cir. 2014) 
(emphasis added) (quoting United States v. Williams, 705 F.2d 603, 623 
(2d Cir. 1983)).
    \697\Id. (quoting United States v. Gorman, 807 F.2d 1299, 1305 (6th 
Cir. 1986)).
    \698\Williams, 705 F.2d at 622-23.
    \699\Id. at 623.
    \700\United States v. Croft, 750 F.2d 1354, 1361-62 (7th Cir. 1984) 
(holding labor of government employee, whose research work product was 
appropriated by defendant for private gain, was ``thing of value'' 
under theft statute, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 641). Courts have also explained 
that ```Congress's frequent use of the term `thing of value' in various 
criminal statutes has evolved the phrase into a term of art''' and have 
therefore applied it broadly and consistently across various federal 
statutes. United States v. Petrovic, 701 F.3d 849, 858 (8th Cir. 2012) 
(quoting United States v. Nilsen, 967 F.2d 539, 542 (11th Cir. 1992) 
(per curiam)).
    \701\United States v. Marmolejo, 89 F.3d 1185, 1191-93 (5th Cir. 
1996).
    \702\United States v. Girard, 601 F.2d 69, 71 (2d Cir. 1979) 
(holding that information was ``thing of value'' under federal theft 
statute, and listing cases in which the term was held to encompass 
``amusement,'' ``the testimony of a witness,'' ``the promise of sexual 
intercourse,'' ``an agreement not to run in a primary election,'' and 
``a promise to reinstate an employee'').
    \703\United States v. Sheker, 618 F.2d 607, 608-09 (9th Cir. 1980) 
(per curiam).
    \704\Gorman, 807 F.2d at 1305.
    \705\United States v. Scruggs, 916 F. Supp. 2d 670 (N.D. Miss. 
2012) (holding promise to contact public official constituted 
``anything of value'' under bribery theory of honest services fraud, 18 
U.S.C. Sec. Sec. 1341, 1343, 1346).
    \706\United States v. Matzkin, 14 F.3d 1014, 1020 (4th Cir. 1994).
    \707\United States v. Jeter, 775 F.2d 670, 680 (6th Cir. 1985).
    \708\Nilsen, 967 F.2d at 543; see also Off. of the Chair of the 
Fed. Election Comm'n, The Law of a `Thing of Value: Summary of the 
Sorts of Tangible and Intangible Goods and Services that Have Been 
Found to Have `Value' by the Commission and Other U.S. Government 
Entities 1 (2019) (``Federal courts have consistently applied an 
expansive reading to the term `thing of value' in a variety of 
statutory contexts to include goods and services that have tangible, 
intangible, or even merely perceived benefits, for example: promises, 
information, testimony, conjugal visits, and commercially worthless 
stock.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In this case, President Trump indisputably placed a 
subjective personal value on the announcement of investigations 
that he solicited from President Zelensky. The announcement of 
an investigation into President Trump's political rival would 
redound to President Trump's personal benefit; and the 
announcement of an investigation into purported Ukrainian 
interference in the 2016 election would vindicate the 
President's frequent denials that he benefitted from Russia's 
assistance. Mr. Giuliani recognized as much many times as he 
pursued his client's own interests in Ukraine.\709\ 
Furthermore, Ambassador Sondland and others testified that 
President Trump's true priority was the public announcement of 
these investigations more than the investigations 
themselves.\710\ This fact makes clear that ``the goal was not 
the investigations, but the political benefit [President] Trump 
would derive from their announcement and the cloud they might 
put over a political opponent.''\711\ The promotion of these 
investigations and the political narratives behind them thus 
``served the [President's] personal political interests . . . 
because they would help him in his campaign for reelection in 
2020.''\712\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \709\See Vogel Giuliani (Giuliani acknowledging that investigations 
would produce ``information [that] will be very, very helpful to my 
client'').
    \710\See Ukraine Report at 21.
    \711\Id.; see also id. at 134 (Ambassador Taylor testified that 
according to information he had received, President Trump ``insist[ed] 
that President Zelensky go to a microphone and say he is opening 
investigations of Biden and 2016 election interference'').
    \712\Id. at 42.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
            iii. ``In Return for Being Influenced in the Performance of 
                    any Official Act''
    In Return for Being Influenced: This element of the 
criminal anti-bribery statute requires showing ``a specific 
intent to give or receive something of value in exchange for an 
official act.''--i.e., a quid pro quo.\713\ As detailed above, 
the evidence satisfies this standard. President Trump sought an 
announcement of these investigations in return for performing 
two official acts. First, the President ``conditioned release 
of [ ] vital military assistance . . . on [President 
Zelensky's] public announcement of the investigations.''\714\ 
Second, he ``conditioned a head of state meeting at the White 
House . . . on Ukraine publicly announcing the 
investigations.''\715\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \713\United States v. Sun-Diamond Growers of Cal., 526 U.S. 398, 
404-05 (1999) (emphasis in original).
    \714\Ukraine Report at 35.
    \715\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Official Act: Federal anti-bribery law defines an 
``official act'' as ``any decision or action on any question, 
matter, cause, suit, proceeding or controversy'' that may be 
pending or brought before a public official in that person's 
official capacity.\716\ Both of the acts in question--releasing 
$391 million in approved military and security assistance, and 
hosting an official head-of-state diplomatic visit at the White 
House--plainly qualify as ``official act[s]'' within the 
meaning of the statute.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \716\18 U.S.C. Sec. 201(a)(3).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    First, the release of much-needed assistance to Ukraine was 
unquestionably an official act. Release of these funds, 
totaling $391 million, involved a formal certification process 
by the Department of Defense regarding certain preconditions 
and an official notification to Congress, among other 
things.\717\ In addition, President Trump's placement of a hold 
on the funds precipitated ``a series of policy meetings 
involving increasingly senior officials'' across numerous 
federal agencies.\718\ These processes unmistakably involved 
``formal exercise[s] of government power'' as defined by the 
Supreme Court in McDonnell v. United States.\719\ Indeed, 
McDonnell confirmed that a decision to allocate funds obviously 
qualifies as an ``official act.''\720\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \717\Ukraine Report at 17-18.
    \718\Id. at 18.
    \719\136 S. Ct. 2355, 2368-70, 2372 (2016).
    \720\Id. at 2370.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Second, when the President hosts a foreign head of state 
for an official diplomatic visit, he performs an official act 
specifically assigned to him by Article II of the Constitution. 
The President's official functions include the duty to 
``receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers.''\721\ By 
receiving ambassadors and foreign heads of state under that 
authority, the President recognizes the legitimacy of their 
governments.\722\ Furthermore, an official diplomatic visit by 
a head of state is an extensive governmental undertaking. 
During the type of visit sought here (an official ``working'' 
visit\723\), the visiting official is typically hosted at Blair 
House for several days, during which time the official meets 
with the President and attends a working luncheon at the White 
House, along with the Secretary of State.\724\ Such engagements 
usually involve weeks of preparation and agenda-setting, at the 
end of which significant new policy initiatives may be 
announced.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \721\U.S. Const., art. II, Sec. 3.
    \722\See Zivotofsky, 135 S. Ct. at 2086.
    \723\See Sondland Deposition Tr. at 25; Sondland Hearing Tr. at 42.
    \724\Julie Moffett, World: How the U.S. Ranks the Visits of Foreign 
Heads of State, Radio Free Europe, Aug. 6, 1997.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For these reasons, it is beyond question that official 
White House visits constitute a ``formal exercise of 
governmental power'' within the meaning of McDonnell. In that 
case, the Supreme Court held that the former governor of 
Virginia did not perform ``official acts'' when he arranged 
meetings and hosted events for a benefactor. There, however, 
the actions in question were frequent and informal in nature. 
Official diplomatic visits to the White House, by contrast, are 
conducted pursuant to the President's express Article II 
authority, involve significant use of government resources, and 
entail extensive preparation. Indeed, the visiting official 
must even obtain a special kind of visa--a process that itself 
involves the performance of an official act.\725\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \725\United States v. Jefferson, 289 F. Supp. 3d 717, 738 (E.D. Va. 
2017); see 9 Foreign Affairs Manual Sec. 402.3-5 (2019) (explaining 
that diplomats and other foreign government officials traveling to the 
United States to engage solely in official duties or activities on 
behalf of their national government must obtain A-1 or A-2 visas prior 
to entering the United States).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The context addressed by the Supreme Court in McDonnell 
also bears emphasis. The governor in that case ``referred 
thousands of constituents to meetings with members of his staff 
and other government officials'' and routinely hosted events 
for state businesses.\726\ His arrangement of meetings was 
commonplace and casual, and the Court expressed deep concern 
about ``chill[ing] federal officials'' interactions with the 
people they serve'' by bringing those interactions within the 
scope of anti-bribery laws.\727\ The context here could not be 
more different, and there is no risk that applying anti-bribery 
laws to this context would chill diplomatic relations. Foreign 
nationals are already prohibited from donating to United States 
political campaigns\728\--or, for that matter, from giving any 
sorts of ``presents'' or ``emoluments'' to the President or 
other officials without Congress's express consent.\729\ 
Application of anti-bribery laws in this context--i.e., making 
it unlawful for the President to exchange official diplomatic 
visits for personal benefits--is therefore consistent with and 
compelled by the plain text of federal law.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \726\McDonnell, 136 S. Ct. at 2361-62.
    \727\Id. at 2372 (internal quotation marks omitted).
    \728\See 52 U.S.C. Sec. 30121.
    \729\U.S. Const., art. I, Sec. 9, cl. 8.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
            iv. ``Corruptly''
    President Trump behaved corruptly throughout this course of 
conduct because he offered to perform official acts ``in 
exchange for a private benefit,'' rather than for any public 
policy purpose.\730\ Policymakers may of course trade support 
or assistance, and that type of ``logrolling'' does not 
constitute an exchange of bribes.\731\ But that is entirely 
different from the President seeking an announcement of 
investigations to serve his personal and political interests, 
as he did here.\732\ Indeed, and as detailed above, the record 
is clear that President Trump acted with corrupt motives, 
including that:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \730\United States v. Blagojevich, 794 F.3d 729, 735 (7th Cir. 
2015) (emphasis added).
    \731\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     President Trump's request for investigations on 
the July 25 call was not part of any official briefing 
materials or talking points he received in preparation for the 
call; nor were the investigations part of any U.S. official 
policy objective.
     President Trump's primary focus relating to 
Ukraine during the relevant period was the announcement of 
these two investigations that were not part of official U.S. 
policy objectives.
     There is no evidence that the President's request 
for the investigations was part of a change in official U.S. 
policy; that fact further supports the alternative and only 
plausible explanation that President Trump pressed the public 
announcements because there were of great personal, political 
value to him.
     President Trump's requests departed from 
established channels, including because he used his personal 
attorney, Mr. Giuliani, to press the investigations and never 
contacted the Department of Justice or made a formal request.
     President Trump's request was viewed by key United 
States and Ukrainian officials as improper, unusual, 
problematic, and, most importantly, purely political.
    For all these reasons, President Trump's conduct satisfies 
the fourth and final element of the federal anti-bribery 
statute.

c. Honest Services Fraud, 18 U.S.C Sec.  1346

    In addition to committing the crime of bribery, President 
Trump knowingly and willfully orchestrated a scheme to defraud 
the American people of his honest services as President of the 
United States. In doing so, he betrayed his position of trust 
and the duty he owed the citizenry to be an honest fiduciary of 
their trust. That offense is codified in the federal criminal 
code, which imposes up to twenty years' imprisonment for public 
officials who (by mail or wire fraud) breach the public trust 
by participating in a bribery scheme.\733\ In Skilling v. 
United States, the Supreme Court confirmed that the statute 
governing ``honest services fraud'' applies to ``bribes and 
kickbacks,'' and noted that this concept ``draws content from'' 
the federal anti-bribery statute.\734\ As such, public 
officials who engage in bribery may also be charged with honest 
services fraud.\735\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \733\See 18 U.S.C. Sec. Sec. 1341, 1343, 1346.
    \734\561 U.S. 358, 412 (2010); see also id. at 404.
    \735\Governor McDonnell, for example, was also charged for honest 
services fraud. See McDonnell, 136 S. Ct. at 2365. See also, e.g., 
United States v. Nagin, 810 F.3d 348, 351 (5th Cir. 2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Fundamentally, the President has deprived the American 
people of the honorable stewardship that the Nation expects and 
demands of its chief executive. Since Skilling, federal courts 
have looked to federal bribery statutes, paying particular 
attention to Section 201, to assess what constitutes willful 
participation in a scheme to defraud in the provision of 
``honest services.''\736\ As described above, President Trump 
engaged in conduct that constitutes a violation of Section 201. 
President Trump conditioned specific ``official acts''--the 
provision of military and security assistance and a White House 
meeting--on President Zelensky announcing investigations that 
benefitted him personally, while harming national interests. In 
doing so, President Trump willfully set out to defraud the 
American people, through bribery, of his ``honest services.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \736\See, e.g., United States v. Suhl, 885 F.3d 1106, 1111 (8th 
Cir. 2018), cert. denied, 139 S. Ct. 172 (2018); Woodward v. United 
States, 905 F.3d 40, 44 (1st Cir. 2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The underlying wire fraud statute, upon which the ``honest 
services'' crime is based, requires a transmission by ``wire, 
radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign 
commerce any writings . . . for the purpose of executing [a] . 
. . scheme or artifice.''\737\ President Trump's July 25 call 
to President Zelensky, as well as his July 26 call to 
Ambassador Gordon Sondland both were foreign wire 
communications made in furtherance of an ongoing bribery 
scheme. Thus, the President's telephone calls on July 25th and 
July 26th lay bare the final element to find him criminally 
liable for his failure to provide ``honest services'' to the 
American people.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \737\18 U.S.C. Sec. 1343.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

d. Conclusion

    For the reasons given above, President Trump's abuse of 
power encompassed both the constitutional offense of 
``Bribery'' and multiple federal crimes. He has betrayed the 
national interest, the people of this Nation, and should not be 
permitted to be above the law. It is therefore all the more 
vital that he be removed from office.

5. President Trump Poses a Continuing Threat if Left in Office

    Impeachment exists ``not to inflict personal punishment for 
past wrongdoing, but rather to protect against future 
Presidential misconduct that would endanger democracy and the 
rule of law.''\738\ By virtue of the conduct encompassed by the 
First Article of Impeachment, President Trump ``has 
demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security 
and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has 
acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and 
the rule of law.'' That is true in at least two respects: 
first, he has shown no remorse or regret, but rather insists 
that his conduct was ``perfect'' and continues to engage in 
misconduct; and second, the egregiousness and complexity of his 
scheme confirm his willingness to abuse the powers of his 
office for private gain.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \738\Constitutional Grounds for Impeachment (2019) at 10.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

a. Lack of Remorse and Continued Misconduct

    ``It is true that the President has expressed regret for 
his personal misconduct. But he has never--he has never--
accepted responsibility for breaking the law. He has never 
taken that essential step . . . He has stubbornly resisted any 
effort to be held accountable for his violations of the law, 
for his violations of his constitutional oath, and his 
violation of his duty as President. To this day, he remains 
adamantly unrepentant.''\739\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \739\Proceedings of the U.S. Senate in the Impeachment Trial of 
President William Jefferson Clinton Vol. II: Floor Trial Proceedings, 
106th Cong. 1471 (1999) (statement of Rep. Charles Canady).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Representative Charles Canady, serving as a House Manager, 
spoke those words while urging the Senate to uphold articles of 
impeachment against President Clinton. They apply here with 
full force and only one modification: it is not true ``that the 
President has expressed regret for his personal misconduct.'' 
When President Trump, for his own personal political gain, 
asked for a favor from President Zelensky, he did exactly what 
our Framers feared most. He invited the influence of a foreign 
power into our elections--and used the powers of his office to 
secure that advantage at the direct expense of our national 
security. Yet President Trump has admitted to no wrongdoing. He 
maintains that he was always in the right and that his July 25 
call with President Zelensky was ``perfect.''\740\ President 
Trump has made it clear that he believes he is free to use his 
Presidential powers the same way, to the same ends, whenever 
and wherever he pleases.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \740\Ukraine Report at 10.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Any doubt on that score is resolved by his conduct since 
the scheme came to light. He has made repeated false 
statements. He has stonewalled Congressional investigators and 
ordered others to do the same. He has argued that it is 
illegitimate for the House to investigate him. He has stayed in 
contact with Mr. Giuliani, his private lawyer, who remains hard 
at work advancing his client's personal interests in Ukraine. 
He has attacked Members of the House, as well as witnesses in 
House proceedings, who questioned his conduct. He has asserted 
and exercised the prerogative to urge foreign nations to 
investigate citizens who dare to challenge him 
politically.\741\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \741\See Ukraine Report at 140-50; 207-60.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Indeed, even after the Speaker announced the impeachment 
inquiry, President Trump stated on October 2, ``And just so you 
know, we've been investigating, on a personal basis--through 
Rudy and others, lawyers--corruption in the 2016 
election.''\742\ The next day, President Trump went further: he 
not only acknowledged that he wanted Ukraine to investigate 
former Vice President Biden, but also publicly suggested that 
China should do the same. When asked what he hoped President 
Zelensky would do about the Bidens, he stated as follows:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \742\The White House, Remarks by President Trump and President 
Niinisto of the Republic of Finland in Joint Press Conference (Oct. 2, 
2019).

          Well, I would think that, if they were honest about 
        it, they'd start a major investigation into the Bidens. 
        It's a very simple answer. They should investigate the 
        Bidens, because how does a company that's newly 
        formed--and all these companies, if you look at--And, 
        by the way, likewise, China should start an 
        investigation into the Bidens, because what happened in 
        China is just about as bad as what happened with--with 
        Ukraine. So, I would say that President Zelensky--if it 
        were me, I would recommend that they start an 
        investigation into the Bidens. Because nobody has any 
        doubt that they weren't crooked. That was a crooked 
        deal--100 percent. He had no knowledge of energy; 
        didn't know the first thing about it. All of a sudden, 
        he is getting $50,000 a month, plus a lot of other 
        things. Nobody has any doubt. And they got rid of a 
        prosecutor who was a very tough prosecutor. They got 
        rid of him. Now they're trying to make it the opposite 
        way. But they got rid--So, if I were the President, I 
        would certainly recommend that of Ukraine.\743\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \743\The White House, Remarks by President Trump Before Marine One 
Departure (Oct. 3, 2019).

    President Trump added that asking President Xi of China to 
investigate the Bidens ``is certainly something we can start 
thinking about.''\744\ And the day after that, on October 4, in 
remarks before he departed on Marine One, the President stated:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \744\Id.

          When you look at what Biden and his son did, and when 
        you look at other people--what they've done. And I 
        believe there was tremendous corruption with Biden, but 
        I think there was beyond--I mean, beyond corruption--
        having to do with the 2016 campaign, and what these 
        lowlifes did to so many people, to hurt so many people 
        in the Trump campaign--which was successful, despite 
        all of the fighting us. I mean, despite all of the 
        unfairness.\745\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \745\The White House, Remarks by President Trump Before Marine One 
Departure (Oct. 4, 2019).

    President Trump then once again reiterated his willingness 
to solicit foreign assistance related to his personal 
interests: ``Here's what's okay: If we feel there's corruption, 
like I feel there was in the 2016 campaign--there was 
tremendous corruption against me--if we feel there's 
corruption, we have a right to go to a foreign country.''

b. The Egregiousness of the President's Conduct Confirms His 
        Willingness to Abuse His Power for Personal Political Gain

    The first Article of Impeachment does not seek President 
Trump's removal for an isolated error of judgment on the July 
25 phone call, or for a mere series of related misjudgments in 
his public statements since then. The President's abuse of 
power involved a course of conduct in which he willfully chose, 
time and again, to place his own personal political gain above 
our national security and commitment to free and fair 
elections. He did so in ways large and small, using many 
Executive Branch agencies, offices, and officers to advance his 
corrupt agenda throughout 2019. Some may have joined knowingly; 
others, including several witnesses who testified before the 
Investigating Committees, only recognized the impropriety of 
the activity once the White House released the record of the 
President's July 25 call with President Zelensky or were 
dragooned against their will and resisted within the bounds of 
professional propriety. In the end, President Trump relied on a 
network of agents within and beyond the United States 
government to bend our Ukraine policy to use the powers of the 
presidency to harm a prominent political opponent, all at the 
expense of our security and democracy.
    No private citizen could do this. Ordinary citizens cannot 
deny White House meetings, block Congressionally-appropriated 
military and security assistance, or condition such official 
acts on an agreement to sabotage their political opponents. 
These powers reside in the Office of the President. It was thus 
solely by virtue of powers entrusted to his office that 
President Trump could distort our foreign policy, and weaken 
our national security, to his own personal political gain. His 
conduct is thus an ``abuse or violation of . . . public trust'' 
and evokes the Framers' fear that ``the Executive will have 
great opportunitys [sic] of abusing his power.''\746\ It also 
demonstrates that he will continue to engage in such abuses 
unless he is removed from office.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \746\2 Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention, at 67 (statement 
of Edmund Randolph).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Minority has objected that there is no such risk 
because the assistance to Ukraine was eventually released. But 
that is irrelevant. The fact that the President's scheme was 
discovered and disrupted does not cure his abuse of power or 
suggest that he will honor his Oath of Office in the future. 
That is true as a matter of law and as a matter of fact.
    Starting with the law, as this Committee made clear in 
President Nixon's case, a President who tries and fails to 
abuse power remains subject to removal for his underlying 
wrong.\747\ George Mason confirmed this principle at the 
Constitutional Convention, where he declared that ``attempts to 
subvert the Constitution'' rank as ``great and dangerous 
offenses.''\748\ That is because attempts can still reveal the 
President as a threat to our society. Impeachment exists to 
save the Nation from such threats; we need not wait for harm to 
befall, or for the President to try again, before deeming his 
conduct impeachable.\749\ This principle applies with added 
force where the President has insisted that he did nothing 
wrong and has unrepentantly continued his pattern of 
misconduct.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \747\See Nixon Impeachment Report at 82-136.
    \748\Cass R. Sunstein, Impeachment: A Citizen's Guide 47 (2017).
    \749\As Professor Feldman testified, ``If the President of the 
United States attempts to abuse his office, that is a complete 
impeachable offense. The possibility that the President might get 
caught in the process of attempting to abuse his office and then not be 
able to pull it off does not undercut in any way the impeachability of 
the act. . . . The attempt itself is the impeachable act.'' 
Constitutional Grounds Hearing (2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Turning to the facts, the military and security assistance 
was released to Ukraine only after President Trump got caught. 
On August 12, 2019, a whistleblower filed a complaint 
concerning the President's July 25 call and his actions towards 
Ukraine.\750\ In late August, the President's counsel 
reportedly briefed President Trump about the complaint.\751\ On 
September 5, The Washington Post published an editorial 
alleging that President Trump had withheld aid to Ukraine in an 
attempt ``to force Mr. Zelensky to intervene in the 2020 U.S. 
presidential election by launching an investigation of the 
leading Democratic candidate, Joe Biden.''\752\ On September 9, 
several House Committees launched an investigation into 
``reported efforts by President Trump, the President's personal 
lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and possibly others to pressure the 
government of Ukraine to assist the President's reelection 
campaign.''\753\ On September 10, Intelligence Committee 
Chairman Adam Schiff requested that the complaint be provided 
to the Committee, as required by law.\754\ Finally, on 
September 11, without any public explanation, President Trump 
abruptly ordered that the assistance be released to Ukraine; 
remarkably, he still has not held a White House meeting with 
President Zelensky.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \750\Letter from Michael K. Atkinson, Inspector General of the 
Intelligence Community, to Adam Schiff, Chairman, H. Permanent Select 
Comm. on Intelligence, and Devin Nunes, Ranking Member, H. Permanent 
Select Comm. on Intelligence (Sept. 9, 2019).
    \751\Michael S. Schmidt et al., Trump Knew of Whistleblower 
Complaint When He Released Aid to Ukraine, N.Y. Times, Nov. 26, 2019.
    \752\Editorial, Trump Tries to Force Ukraine to Meddle in the 2020 
Election, Wash. Post, Sept. 5, 2019.
    \753\H. Perm. Select Comm. on Intelligence, Three House Committees 
Launch Wide-Ranging Investigation into Trump-Giuliani Ukraine Scheme 
(Sept. 9, 2019).
    \754\Letter from Adam B. Schiff, Chairman, H. Perm. Select Comm. on 
Intelligence, to Joseph Maguire, Acting Director of Nat'l Intelligence 
(Sept. 10, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This delay in releasing the assistance had significant 
real-world consequences. By the time the President ordered the 
release of security assistance to Ukraine, the Department of 
Defense was unable to spend approximately 14 percent of the 
funds appropriated by Congress for Fiscal Year 2019; as a 
result, Congress had to pass a new law to extend the funding in 
order to ensure the full amount could be used by Ukraine to 
defend itself.\755\ Moreover, by delaying the assistance for 
purposes understood by United States and Ukrainian officials as 
corrupt, President Trump harmed our relationship with Ukraine, 
signaled vulnerability to Russia, and more broadly injured 
American credibility and national security. As Ambassador 
Taylor testified, President Vladimir Putin of Russia would 
``love to see the humiliation of President Zelensky at the 
hands of the Americans,''\756\ which ``would give the Russians 
a freer hand.''\757\ Ambassador Taylor further emphasized that 
the Ukrainians ``counted on . . . the assurance of U.S. 
support'' and so the hold on assistance had ``shaken their 
faith in us.''\758\ President Zelensky echoed a similar 
sentiment in a recent interview with Time: ``I don't want us to 
look like beggars. But you have to understand, we're at war. If 
you're our strategic partner, then you can't go blocking 
anything for us.''\759\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \755\Cooper-Hale Hearing Tr. at 13, 69; see also Continuing 
Appropriations Act, 2020, and Health Extenders Act of 2019, H.R. 4378, 
116th Cong (2019).
    \756\Taylor-Kent Hearing Tr. at 40.
    \757\Taylor Dep. Tr. at 210.
    \758\Id. at 28, 39.
    \759\Simon Shuster, `I Don't Trust Anyone at All.' Ukrainian 
President Volodymyr Zelensky Speaks Out on Trump, Putin and a Divided 
Europe, Time, Dec. 2, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The bottom line is that President Trump used for personal 
political gain the powers entrusted to his office. He did so 
knowingly, deliberately, and repeatedly. He involved parts of 
the Executive Branch in his scheme. He undermined American 
security and democracy to help ensure his re-election--and did 
not care. And after he was caught, President Trump not only 
insisted his conduct was acceptable and did everything in his 
power to obstruct Congress's investigation into his misconduct, 
he also sought to normalize and justify his behavior by 
publicly soliciting foreign powers to investigate a citizen who 
is challenging him in next year's election.
    A President who acts this way believes he stands above the 
law. That belief is itself a guarantee that allowing him to 
remain in our highest office, vested with our mightiest 
political powers, poses a continuing threat to the 
Constitution. Unless he is stopped, President Trump will 
continue to erode our democracy and the fundamental values on 
which the Nation was founded.

6. Consistency with Previous Conduct

    The First Article of Impeachment impeaches President Trump 
for abuse of power relating to Ukraine. Yet, as noted in that 
Article, President Trump's conduct is ``consistent with 
President Trump's previous invitations of foreign interference 
in United States elections.'' An understanding of those 
previous efforts, and the pattern of misconduct they represent, 
sheds light on the particular conduct set forth in that Article 
as sufficient grounds for the impeachment of President Trump.
    These previous efforts include inviting and welcoming 
Russian interference in the 2016 United States Presidential 
election. On July 27, 2016, then-candidate Trump declared at a 
public rally: ``Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able 
to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will 
probably be rewarded mightily by our press.''\760\ The 
referenced emails were stored on a personal server used by 
then-candidate Trump's political opponent, Hillary Clinton. And 
Russia was listening. Within approximately five hours of 
Trump's statement, Russian hackers targeted Clinton's personal 
office and the referenced emails for the very first time.\761\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \760\Mueller Report, Vol. I at 49.
    \761\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the fall of 2016, as Election Day approached, WikiLeaks 
began publishing stolen emails that were damaging to the 
Clinton Campaign. WikiLeaks received these e-mails from the 
GRU, a Russian military group. Rather than condemn this 
interference in our elections, then-candidate Trump repeatedly 
praised and encouraged Wikileaks. For instance, he said on 
October 10, 2016: ``This just came out. WikiLeaks! I love 
WikiLeaks!''\762\ Two days later, he said: ``This WikiLeaks 
stuff is unbelievable. It tells you the inner heart, you gotta 
read it.''\763\ Similar statements from then-Candidate Trump 
continued over the following weeks. As the Special Counsel 
testified before House Committees, to call these statements 
``problematic'' would be an ``understatement'' because they 
gave ``hope or some boost to what is and should be illegal 
activity.''\764\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \762\Former Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III on the 
Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential 
Election: Hearing Before the H. Perm. Select Comm. on Intelligence, 
116th Cong. 49 (July 24, 2019) (hereinafter ``HPSCI Mueller Hearing'').
    \763\Id. at 48-49.
    \764\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    During this period, senior members of the Trump Campaign 
were maintaining significant contacts with Russian nationals 
and seeking damaging information on candidate Hillary 
Clinton.\765\ Among other evidence of such contacts, the 
Special Counsel's Report notes that President Trump somehow 
knew in advance about upcoming releases of stolen emails;\766\ 
that the Trump Campaign's foreign policy adviser met repeatedly 
with Russian officials who claimed to have ``dirt'' on Clinton 
``in the form of thousands of emails'';\767\ and that Trump 
Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort caused internal campaign 
polling data to be shared with a Russian national.\768\ There 
is no indication that anyone from the Trump Campaign, including 
the candidate, reported any of these contacts or offers of 
foreign assistance to U.S. law enforcement.\769\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \765\Mueller Report, Vol. I at 5-7, 66-144.
    \766\Id. at 54.
    \767\Id. at 5-6. This individual--George Papadopoulos has since 
been sentenced to 14 days in prison for lying to the F.B.I. about his 
contacts with Russian intermediaries during the 2016 presidential race. 
See Mark Mazzetti & Sharon LaFraniere, George Papadopoulos, Ex-Trump 
Adviser, Is Sentenced to 14 Days in Jail, N.Y. Times, Sept. 7, 2018.
    \768\Mueller Report, Vol. I at 129. Mr. Manafort has since been 
sentenced to over 7 years in prison for various federal crimes, 
including conspiracy against the United States and obstruction of 
justice. See id., Vol I at 129 n.838.
    \769\See HPSCI Mueller Hearing Tr. at 29.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A redacted version of the Special Counsel's Report was 
released to the public on April 18, 2019. The evidence obtained 
by the Special Counsel relating to this conduct, including 
Russia's attack on our elections, resulted in the criminal 
indictment of more than a dozen defendants.\770\ It also 
indicated that the President had sought to thwart rather than 
advance the Special Counsel's investigation into Russian 
interference. When this Committee conducted its own 
investigation, President Trump similarly sought to thwart 
rather than advance those fact-finding efforts.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \770\Mueller Report, Vol. I at 14 n.4; see also id., Vol. I at 174-
75.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Since the release of the Special Counsel's report, 
President Trump has confirmed his willingness to welcome and 
invite foreign interference in our elections. For example, two 
months after the report was released and while President Trump 
was under congressional investigation, he admitted on live 
television that he would still welcome foreign interference. In 
an interview with George Stephanopoulos, President Trump 
disputed the idea that if a foreign government provided 
information on a political opponent--as Russia had done in 
2016--it would be considered interference in our elections: 
``[I]t's not an interference, they have information--I think 
I'd take it if I thought there was something wrong, I'd go 
maybe to the FBI--if I thought there was something wrong. But 
when somebody comes up with oppo research, right, they come up 
with oppo research, `oh let's call the FBI.' The FBI doesn't 
have enough agents to take care of it.''\771\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \771\Interview by George Stephanopoulos of President Donald Trump, 
ABC News, Jun. 13, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On July 24, 2019, the Special Counsel testified before 
HPSCI and this Committee.\772\ He affirmed his Report's 
evidence, which showed that--despite over 100 contacts between 
individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and Russian 
nationals or their agents while Russia was attacking our 
elections--no one from the Trump Campaign reported those 
contacts to law enforcement.\773\ The Special Counsel 
emphasized to the Committees that reporting such information is 
something that Presidential campaigns ``would and should do,'' 
not least because ``knowingly accepting foreign assistance 
during a Presidential campaign'' is a crime.\774\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \772\Oversight of the Report on the Investigation into Russian 
Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election: Former Special Counsel 
Robert S. Mueller, III: Before the H. Comm. On the Judiciary, 116th 
Cong. (July 24, 2019); see also HPSCI Mueller Hearing.
    \773\See Karen Yourish & Larry Buchanan, Mueller Report Shows Depth 
of Connections Between Trump Campaign and Russians, N.Y. Times, Apr. 
19, 2019.
    \774\HPSCI Mueller Hearing Tr. at 30.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The next day, however, President Trump did the opposite: he 
did not just accept and fail to report foreign interference in 
our elections, he demanded it on his July 25 call with 
President Zelensky. Moreover, this time he leveraged the powers 
of his presidential office, including military and security 
assistance and a White House visit, against a vulnerable 
foreign ally.
    The Constitution creates a democracy that derives its power 
from the American people. Elections are crucial to that system 
of self-government. But the Framers knew that elections alone 
could ``not guarantee that the United States would remain a 
republic'' if ``unscrupulous officials''' rigged the process. 
President Trump has done just that. He has done it before, he 
has done it here, and he has made clear he will do it again. As 
Professor Karlan observes, what happened in ``2016 was bad 
enough: there is a widespread agreement that Russian operatives 
intervened to manipulate our political process.''\775\ But 
``that distortion is magnified'' when the President uses his 
official powers to procure and induce foreign intervention, all 
as part of a scheme to ensure his own re-election.\776\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \775\Constitutional Grounds Hearing (2019) (written testimony of 
Professor Pamela S. Karlan).
    \776\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Although the First Article of Impeachment addresses 
President Trump's solicitation and pressuring of Ukraine to 
announce two investigations for his own personal political 
benefit, as well as his persistence in such conduct since the 
scheme came to light, the consistency of this scheme with his 
broader pattern of welcoming and inviting foreign interference 
into our elections is relevant and striking.

  E. IT IS NECESSARY TO APPROVE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT WITHOUT DELAY

    There is an instinct in any investigation to seek more 
evidence, interview more witnesses, and turn over every 
remaining stone. But there also comes a point when the evidence 
is powerful enough, and the danger of delay is great enough, 
that inaction is irresponsible. We have reached that point 
here. For all the reasons given above, President Trump will 
continue to threaten the Nation's security, democracy, and 
constitutional system if he is allowed to remain in office. 
That threat is not hypothetical. As noted above, President 
Trump has persisted during this impeachment inquiry in 
soliciting foreign powers to investigate his political 
opponent. The President steadfastly insists that he did nothing 
wrong and is free to do it all again. Every day that this 
Committee fails to act is thus another day that the President 
might use the powers of his office to rig the election while 
ignoring or injuring vital national interests. In Chairman 
Schiff's words: ``The argument `Why don't you just wait?' 
amounts to this: `Why don't you just let him cheat in one more 
election? Why not let him cheat just one more time? Why not let 
him have foreign help just one more time?'''\777\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \777\Allan Smith & Rebecca Shabad, House Leaders Unveil Two 
Articles of Impeachment, Accusing Trump of `High Crimes and 
Misdemeanors,' NBC News, Dec. 10, 2019 (quoting Chairman Schiff).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Members of the Minority have objected that the evidence is 
too thin; that it rests entirely on hearsay, speculation, and 
presumptions. That accusation is false. The evidentiary record 
developed by the Investigating Committees is extensive. The 
Committees heard more than 100 hours of deposition testimony 
from 17 witnesses with personal knowledge of key events. HPSCI 
heard an additional 30 hours of public testimony from 12 of 
those witnesses.\778\ In addition, the Committees considered 
the records of President Trump's phone calls with President 
Zelensky. They obtained hundreds of text messages, which 
navigate the months-long efforts by Mr. Giuliani and United 
States officials to push Ukraine to make a public statement 
announcing the politically-motivated investigations sought by 
President Trump. They relied on hundreds of public statements, 
interviews, and tweets by the President and Mr. Giuliani, his 
personal attorney, unabashedly describing efforts to pursue 
investigations into former Vice President Biden prior to the 
2020 election. And they relied on the press briefing by Mr. 
Mulvaney, who confirmed why the military and security 
assistance was withheld and then told Americans to ``get over'' 
it.\779\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \778\Ukraine Report at 7.
    \779\Id. at 12; The White House, Press Briefing by Acting Chief of 
Staff Mick Mulvaney (Oct. 17, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The record contains extensive direct evidence--powerfully 
corroborated by circumstantial evidence--rendering the key 
facts indisputable. Most critically, the record includes the 
President's own words on the July 25 call, which by itself 
reveals his corrupt scheme. It includes testimony and 
contemporaneous text messages from Ambassadors Volker and 
Sondland, who were directed by the President to ``Talk to 
Rudy,''\780\ and who pushed Ukrainian officials to publicly 
announce the two investigations to ``break the logjam'' on 
assistance and a White House visit.\781\ It includes the 
testimony of three first-hand witnesses to the July 25 phone 
call. It includes the testimony of Mr. Holmes, who overheard 
President Trump ask Ambassador Sondland whether President 
Zelensky was ``going to do the investigation,''\782\ and who 
was then told by Ambassador Sondland that President Trump cared 
only about the ``big stuff'' (namely, the investigations and 
nothing else relating to Ukraine).\783\ It includes the 
testimony of Ambassador Sondland, a political appointee of the 
President who had multiple discussions with him--and who 
confirmed that there was a ``quid pro quo'' relating to the 
potential White House visit for President Zelensky, and that, 
in light of President Trump's statements and conduct, it became 
clear that assistance was also conditioned on an announcement 
of the investigations.\784\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \780\Sondland Dep. Tr. at 62; Volker Dep. Tr. 305; Morrison-Volker 
Hearing Tr. at 39.
    \781\Sondland Hearing Tr. at 29.
    \782\Hill-Holmes Hearing Tr. at 29.
    \783\Id.
    \784\Sondland Hearing Tr. at 26.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Collectively, the evidence gathered by the Investigating 
Committees is consistent, reliable, well-corroborated, and 
derived from diverse sources. It paints a detailed picture of 
President Trump's scheme. To the extent that the Committees did 
not obtain additional documents--or additional testimony from 
witnesses with personal knowledge of the relevant events--that 
is a direct consequence of the President's unprecedented, 
categorical, and indiscriminate order that the entire Executive 
Branch unlawfully defy duly authorized Congressional subpoenas. 
As explained in the discussion of the Second Article of 
Impeachment, the President's obstruction of Congress is not 
cured by the possibility of judicial review, which, among other 
difficulties, would undoubtedly last well beyond the very 
election that President Trump seeks to corrupt. Given the 
President's unlawful cover up, and given the powerful evidence 
of a looming Presidential threat to the next election, this 
Committee cannot stand silent. Nor can it agree that the record 
is insufficient just because it could be broader. The record 
stands firmly on its own two feet. Indeed, President Trump has 
not stonewalled the entire impeachment inquiry so that he can 
protect a hidden trove of exculpatory evidence.
    Put simply, President Trump's own words reveal that he 
solicited a foreign government to investigate his political 
rival. The President did so for his own political gain, rather 
than for foreign policy reasons. The testimony of experienced, 
expert officials in his own administration--including several 
of his own appointees--reveal that the President used his 
official powers as leverage to pressure a vulnerable strategic 
partner to do his bidding. And every indication, every piece of 
evidence, supports that the President will abuse his power 
again. Under these circumstances, Congress is duty-bound to 
invoke its ``sole Power of Impeachment.''

                            IV. Conclusion 

    To the Framers of our Constitution, tyranny was no 
abstraction. They had suffered under King George III. They had 
studied republics that faltered when public virtue fell to 
private vice. They knew that freedom demands constant 
protection from leaders whose taste of power sparks a voracious 
need for more. So even as they created a powerful Presidency, 
they authorized Congress to impeach and remove Presidents whose 
persistence in office threatened the Constitution. As they 
designed this impeachment power, they turned repeatedly to 
three risks: corrupt abuse of power; betrayal of the nation 
through foreign entanglements; and corruption of free and fair 
elections.
    President Trump has realized the Framers' worst nightmare. 
He has abused his power in soliciting and pressuring a 
vulnerable foreign nation to corrupt the next United States 
Presidential election by sabotaging a political opponent and 
endorsing a debunked conspiracy theory promoted by our 
adversary, Russia. President Trump has done all this for his 
own personal gain, rather than for any legitimate reason, and 
has compromised our national security and democratic system in 
the process. After he was caught, President Trump defiantly 
insisted his conduct was ``perfect.''
    Democracy is fragile. Men and women have fought and died to 
protect ours--and for the right to participate in it. The 
President of the United States is a steward of that system, in 
which ``We the People'' are sovereign. His duty is to uphold 
the Constitution and protect our lives and liberty. But 
President Trump has betrayed that trust. He has placed his own 
interest in retaining power above our national security and 
commitment to self-governance. He has done so before, he has 
done so here, and he will undoubtedly do so again. To protect 
the Nation, and preserve our freedom, President Trump must be 
impeached by the House of Representatives for abuse of power.

                  Article II: Obstruction of Congress


                  I. The Second Article of Impeachment

    The Constitution provides that the House of Representatives 
``shall have the sole Power of Impeachment'' and that the 
President ``shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, 
and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors.'' In his conduct of the office of President of 
the United States--and in violation of his constitutional oath 
faithfully to execute the office of President of the United 
States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and 
defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation 
of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be 
faithfully executed--Donald J. Trump has directed the 
unprecedented, categorical, and indiscriminate defiance of 
subpoenas issued by the House of Representatives pursuant to 
its ``sole Power of Impeachment''. President Trump has abused 
the powers of the Presidency in a manner offensive to, and 
subversive of, the Constitution, in that:
    The House of Representatives has engaged in an impeachment 
inquiry focused on President Trump's corrupt solicitation of 
the Government of Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 United 
States Presidential election. As part of this impeachment 
inquiry, the Committees undertaking the investigation served 
subpoenas seeking documents and testimony deemed vital to the 
inquiry from various Executive Branch agencies and offices, and 
current and former officials.
    In response, without lawful cause or excuse, President 
Trump directed Executive Branch agencies, offices, and 
officials not to comply with those subpoenas. President Trump 
thus interposed the powers of the Presidency against the lawful 
subpoenas of the House of Representatives, and assumed to 
himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of 
the ``sole Power of Impeachment'' vested by the Constitution in 
the House of Representatives.
    President Trump abused the powers of his high office 
through the following means:
          (1) Directing the White House to defy a lawful 
        subpoena by withholding the production of documents 
        sought therein by the Committees.
          (2) Directing other Executive Branch agencies and 
        offices to defy lawful subpoenas and withhold the 
        production of documents and records from the 
        Committees--in response to which the Department of 
        State, Office of Management and Budget, Department of 
        Energy, and Department of Defense refused to produce a 
        single document or record.
          (3) Directing current and former Executive Branch 
        officials not to cooperate with the Committees--in 
        response to which nine Administration officials defied 
        subpoenas for testimony, namely John Michael ``Mick'' 
        Mulvaney, Robert B. Blair, John A. Eisenberg, Michael 
        Ellis, Preston Wells Griffith, Russell T. Vought, 
        Michael Duffey, Brian McCormack, and T. Ulrich 
        Brechbuhl.
    These actions were consistent with President Trump's 
previous efforts to undermine United States Government 
investigations into foreign interference in United States 
elections.
    Through these actions, President Trump sought to arrogate 
to himself the right to determine the propriety, scope, and 
nature of an impeachment inquiry into his own conduct, as well 
as the unilateral prerogative to deny any and all information 
to the House of Representatives in the exercise of its ``sole 
Power of Impeachment''. In the history of the Republic, no 
President has ever ordered the complete defiance of an 
impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so 
comprehensively the ability of the House of Representatives to 
investigate ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors''. This abuse of 
office served to cover up the President's own repeated 
misconduct and to seize and control the power of impeachment--
and thus to nullify a vital constitutional safeguard vested 
solely in the House of Representatives.
    In all of this, President Trump has acted in a manner 
contrary to his trust as President and subversive of 
constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause 
of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of 
the United States.
    Wherefore, President Trump, by such conduct, has 
demonstrated that he will remain a threat to the Constitution 
if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner 
grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. 
President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal 
from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office 
of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.

                            II. Introduction

    This Nation has no kings. Unlike a monarch, whose every 
word is law, the President of the United States answers to the 
Constitution and the American people. He ordinarily does so 
through elections, legislative oversight, judicial review, and 
public scrutiny. In truly extraordinary cases, however, the 
Constitution empowers the House of Representatives to hold the 
President accountable through its ``sole Power of 
Impeachment.''\785\ This power is not to be exercised lightly. 
It is one of the greatest powers in the Constitution. But when 
the House, in its own independent judgment, has cause to 
suspect the President of committing ``high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors,'' it has the constitutional right and duty to 
investigate his conduct.\786\ As Presidents, legislators, and 
judges have long recognized, that authority inheres in the 
``sole Power of Impeachment,'' which would be undermined if the 
House lacked a thorough power of inquiry.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \785\U.S. Const., art. I, Sec. 2, cl. 5.
    \786\U.S. Const., art. II, Sec. 4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the history of the Republic, no President has ever 
claimed the unilateral prerogative to categorically and 
indiscriminately defy a House impeachment inquiry. Nor has any 
President ever directed his administration to do so. On the 
contrary, every President to address the issue has acknowledged 
that Congress possesses a broad and penetrating power of 
inquiry when investigating grounds for impeachment. Even 
President Richard M. Nixon, who resisted full personal 
compliance with House subpoenas, instructed his staff to 
testify voluntarily in the Senate Watergate inquiry: ``All 
members of the White House Staff will appear voluntarily when 
requested by the committee. They will testify under oath, and 
they will answer fully all proper questions.''\787\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \787\The White House, Remarks by President Nixon (Apr. 17, 1973).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Presidents wield extraordinary power, but they do so under 
law. That law provides the House with sole authority to impeach 
Presidents. It does not allow Presidents to dictate the terms 
on which they will be impeached or investigated for impeachable 
offenses, to order subordinates to break the law by ignoring 
subpoenas, or to use executive power to orchestrate a cover up. 
The Constitution confirms that the House alone, and not the 
President, determines what documents and testimony are relevant 
to its exercise of the impeachment power.
    If allowed to stand, President Trump's actions will 
undermine the Constitution's defenses against a tyrannical 
President. Over the past months, the House has engaged in an 
impeachment inquiry focused on President Trump's corrupt 
solicitation and inducement of Ukrainian interference in the 
2020 United States Presidential Election. As part of this 
inquiry, the Investigating Committees served subpoenas on 
various Executive Branch agencies and offices, as well as 
current and former officials, seeking documents and testimony 
relevant to the investigation. President Trump responded by 
directing all Executive Branch agencies, offices, and officials 
not to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry. In so doing, he 
arrogated to himself the power to determine when and how an 
impeachment inquiry should be carried out. President Trump's 
direction has no precedent in American history. His order to 
the Executive Branch was categorical and indiscriminate. It did 
not allow for any case-by-case weighing of privacy or national 
security interests, nor did it permit any efforts at 
accommodation or compromise. Through his order, the President 
slammed the door shut.
    Following President Trump's direction, and at his behest, 
the White House, the Department of State under Secretary 
Michael R. Pompeo, the Office of Management and Budget under 
Acting Director Russell T. Vought, the Department of Energy 
under Secretary James Richard ``Rick'' Perry, and the 
Department of Defense under Secretary Mark T. Esper refused to 
produce a single document or record in response to 
Congressional subpoenas. Moreover, adhering to President 
Trump's direction, nine Administration officials defied 
subpoenas for testimony, namely John Michael ``Mick'' Mulvaney, 
Robert B. Blair, John A. Eisenberg, Michael Ellis, Preston 
Wells Griffith, Russell T. Vought, Michael Duffey, Brian 
McCormack, and T. Ulrich Brechbuhl. In directing these 
agencies, offices, and officials to disobey subpoenas, 
President Trump prevented Congress from obtaining additional 
evidence highly pertinent to the House's impeachment inquiry. 
He did so, moreover, through an official direction lacking any 
valid cause or excuse--and that strikingly reflected his 
previous pattern of obstructing United States government 
investigations into foreign interference in our elections. By 
engaging in this conduct, President Trump grossly abused his 
power and sought to arrogate to himself the right to determine 
the propriety, scope, and nature of an impeachment inquiry into 
his own wrongdoing.
    Despite President Trump's obstruction, the Investigating 
Committees gathered overwhelming evidence of his misconduct 
from courageous public servants who were willing to follow the 
law, comply with subpoenas, and tell the truth. On the basis of 
that formidable body of evidence, the House Committee on the 
Judiciary recommends the adoption of the First Article of 
Impeachment.
    Yet there can be no doubt that President Trump's blanket 
defiance of Congressional subpoenas, and his direction that 
many others defy such subpoenas, substantially interfered with 
the House's efforts to fulfill its constitutional 
responsibilities. ``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.''\788\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \788\The Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report: Report for the 
H. Perm. Select Comm. on Intelligence Pursuant to H. Res. 660 in 
Consultation with the H. Comm. on Oversight and Reform and the H. Comm. 
on Foreign Affairs at 28, 116th Cong. (2019) (hereinafter ``Ukraine 
Report'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    President Trump's obstruction of Congress does not befit 
the leader of a democratic society. It calls to mind the very 
claims of royal privilege against which our Founders rebelled. 
Nor is President Trump's obstruction mitigated by a veneer of 
legal arguments. Some conclusions are so obviously wrong that 
their premises cannot be taken seriously; that is true of 
President Trump's theory that he sets the terms of his own 
impeachment. Through this conduct, President Trump has shown 
his rejection of checks and balances. A President who will not 
abide legal restraint or supervision is a President who poses 
an ongoing threat to our liberty and security.
    The Second Article of Impeachment reflects the judgment of 
the Committee that President Trump committed ``high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors'' in directing the unprecedented, categorical, and 
indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas issued by the House 
pursuant to its ``sole Power of Impeachment.'' As the Article 
explains: ``This abuse of office amounts to an effort by the 
President to seize and control the power of impeachment--and 
thus to nullify a vital constitutional safeguard vested solely 
in the House of Representatives.''\789\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \789\H. Res. 755, Articles of Impeachment Against President Donald 
J. Trump, 116th Cong. (Dec. 11, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

  III. President Trump Committed ``High Crimes and Misdemeanors'' in 
    Directing Categorical and Indiscriminate Defiance of the House 
                          Impeachment Inquiry

    Under our Constitution, the House is empowered to 
investigate grounds for impeachment and the President is 
required to cooperate with such investigations. Given the 
impeachment power's central role in protecting the Nation from 
Presidential wrongdoing--and as confirmed by historical 
practice and precedent--Congressional investigative authority 
is at its constitutional zenith during an impeachment inquiry. 
When the House takes up its ``sole Power of Impeachment,'' the 
overwhelming presumption is that its subpoenas must be and will 
be obeyed, including by the President and all other recipients 
in the Executive Branch. In such cases, the House acts not only 
pursuant to its ordinary legislative powers, but also serves as 
a ``grand inquest of the nation.''\790\ It is therefore 
presumed that ``all the archives and papers of the Executive 
Departments, public or private, would be subject to . . . 
inspection'' and ``every facility in the power of the Executive 
[would] be afforded to enable [the House] to prosecute the 
investigation.''\791\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \790\Report of the Committee on the Judiciary, Impeachment of 
Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States, H. Rep. No. 93-1305 
at 207 (1974) (quoting President Polk) (citations omitted) (hereinafter 
``Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974)'').
    \791\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In contravention of those settled principles, and in 
violation of the assignment of powers under the Constitution, 
President Trump has defied a subpoena served on the White 
House. He has also directed other agencies, offices, and 
officials across the Executive Branch to violate their own 
obligations under the law. His direction has been complete and 
wholly unqualified in nature. Rather than undertake a process 
of dialogue and accommodation, the President has stonewalled 
all investigative prerogatives and interests held by the House 
in an impeachment inquiry. Although the Justice Department and 
individual Executive Branch officials have additionally raised 
specific objections to certain subpoenas--none of which have 
merit--President Trump's general direction that the Executive 
Branch obstruct Congress has rendered those objections 
practically irrelevant. President Trump's unprecedented conduct 
thus raises a single question: Is it an impeachable offense 
under the Constitution for the President to direct the 
categorical and indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas issued 
pursuant to a House impeachment inquiry?
    The Committee has undertaken a thorough survey of relevant 
authorities and concludes that the answer is plainly ``yes.'' 
This is not a close case. President Trump has asserted and 
exercised the unilateral prerogative to direct complete 
defiance of every single impeachment-related subpoena served on 
the Executive Branch. He has purported to justify this 
obstruction by attacking the motives, procedures, and 
legitimacy of the House impeachment inquiry--in overt violation 
of our Constitution, which vests the House (and not the 
President) with the ``sole Power of Impeachment.''
    Simply stated, these are not judgments for the President to 
make. His position would place Presidents in control of a power 
meant to restrain their own abuses. That is not what the 
Constitution provides. As Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter W. 
Rodino correctly explained to President Nixon in May 1974, 
``[u]nder the Constitution it is not within the power of the 
President to conduct an inquiry into his own impeachment, to 
determine which evidence, and what version or portion of that 
evidence, is relevant and necessary to such an inquiry. These 
are matters which, under the Constitution, the House has the 
sole power to determine.''\792\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \792\Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974), at 
194.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    President Trump's direction to obstruct the House 
impeachment inquiry is thus grossly incompatible with, and 
subversive of, the Constitution. It marks a dangerous step 
toward debilitating the Impeachment Clause and unraveling the 
Framers' plan. This claim of Presidential power is also 
recognizably wrong--as every President in American history, 
except President Trump, has in fact recognized. Through his 
conduct, President Trump's has revealed himself as a continuing 
threat to constitutional governance if he remains in office. It 
is one thing for a President to use harsh rhetoric in 
criticizing an impeachment inquiry. It is something else 
entirely for that President to declare such an inquiry 
``illegitimate'' and use his official powers to stonewall the 
House.\793\ A President who declares himself above impeachment 
is a President who sees himself as above the law. That 
President is a monarch in all but name and imperils our 
democracy.\794\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \793\Letter from Pat A. Cipollone, Counsel to the President, The 
White House, to Hon. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, Hon. Adam B. 
Schiff, Chairman, H. Perm. Select Comm. on Intelligence, Hon. Eliot L. 
Engel, Chairman, H. Foreign Affairs Comm., and Hon. Elijah E. Cummings, 
Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight and Reform, at 8 (Oct. 8, 2019) 
(hereinafter, ``Oct. 8 Cipollone Letter'').
    \794\See The Federalist No. 69, at 444-45 (Alexander Hamilton) 
(Benjamin Fletcher Wright ed. 1961) (``The President of the United 
States would be liable to be impeached, tried, and, upon conviction of 
treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors, removed from 
office; and would afterwards be liable to prosecution and punishment in 
the ordinary course of law. The person of the king of Great Britain is 
sacred and inviolable; there is no constitutional tribunal to which he 
is amenable; no punishment to which he can be subjected without 
involving the crisis of a national revolution.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To explain our judgment that President Trump's conduct 
constitutes ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors,'' we first describe 
the House's power of inquiry, as well as its power to 
investigate grounds for impeachment. We next confirm the 
Committee's assessment from President Nixon's case that 
obstruction of a House impeachment inquiry is an impeachable 
offense. Finally, we apply the law to President Trump's 
conduct, consider his various excuses, and assess whether he 
remains a continuing threat to constitutional governance and 
democracy if allowed to remain in office.

                    A. THE HOUSE'S POWER OF INQUIRY

    ``[L]egislative subpoenas are older than our country 
itself.''\795\ They originated in the English Parliament, 
``when that body, as part of its campaign to `challenge the 
absolute power of the monarch,' asserted `plenary authority' to 
hold offending parties in contempt.''\796\ By the late 17th 
century, ``[t]he privileges and powers of the [House of] 
Commons''--which include the linked powers of contempt and 
inquiry--``were naturally assumed to be an incident of the 
representative assemblies of the Thirteen Colonies.''\797\ In 
part for that reason, ``[a]fter the Revolutionary War and the 
Constitutional Convention, the U.S. Congress wasted little time 
in asserting its power to use compulsory process to investigate 
matters of national--and potentially legislative--
importance.''\798\ Such Congressional oversight activity was 
grounded in Article I of the Constitution, which grants 
Congress ``[a]ll legislative Powers,''\799\ and authorizes 
``[e]ach House [to] determine the Rules of its 
Proceedings.''\800\ Through these provisions, the Constitution 
vests the House with a ``power of inquiry,'' including 
``process to enforce it,'' as an ``essential and appropriate 
auxiliary to the legislative function.''\801\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \795\Trump v. Mazars USA, LLP, 940 F.3d 710, 718 (D.C. Cir. 2019), 
cert. granted, No. 19-715, 2019 WL 6797734 (U.S. Dec. 13, 2019) 
(``Mazars'').
    \796\Id. (quoting Watkins v. United States, 354 U.S. 178, 188 
(1957)).
    \797\Id. (citations omitted).
    \798\Id.; see also M'Culloch v. State, 17 U.S. 316, 401 (1819) 
(``[A] doubtful question . . . if not put at rest by the practice of 
the government, ought to receive a considerable impression from that 
practice.'').
    \799\U.S. Const., art. I, Sec. 1.
    \800\Id. at Sec. 5.
    \801\McGrain v. Daugherty, 273 U.S. 135, 174 (1927).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ``So long as the [House] is investigating a matter on which 
Congress can ultimately propose and enact legislation, the 
[House] may issue subpoenas in furtherance of its power of 
inquiry.''\802\ And the House's constitutional authority ``to 
conduct investigations'' is ``broad.''\803\ ``It encompasses 
inquiries concerning the administration of existing laws as 
well as proposed or possibly needed statutes,'' ``[i]t includes 
surveys of defects in our social, economic or political system 
for the purpose of enabling the Congress to remedy them,'' and 
``[i]t comprehends probes into departments of the Federal 
Government to expose corruption, inefficiency or waste.''\804\ 
Congress may not usurp the constitutional functions of other 
branches of government, violate individual rights, engage in 
law enforcement, or investigate topics over which it cannot 
legislate.\805\ But apart from these narrow limitations, ``[a] 
legislative inquiry may be as broad, as searching, and as 
exhaustive as is necessary to make effective the constitutional 
powers of Congress.''\806\ Moreover, the ultimate outcome of 
oversight need not be apparent from the outset for it to be 
proper: ``The very nature of the investigative function--like 
any research--is that it takes the searchers up some `blind 
alleys' and into nonproductive enterprises. To be a valid 
legislative inquiry there need be no predictable end 
result.''\807\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \802\Comm. on Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives v. Miers, 
558 F. Supp. 2d 53, 77 (D.D.C. 2008).
    \803\Watkins, 354 U.S. at 187; accord Eastland v. U.S. Servicemen's 
Fund, 421 U.S. 491, 504 n.15 (1975) (``[T]he power to investigate is 
necessarily broad.''); Barenblatt v. United States, 360 U.S. 109, 111 
(1959) (describing Congress's investigative power as ``broad''); Quinn 
v. United States, 349 U.S. 155, 161 (1955) (same); McGrain, 273 U.S., 
at 173-74 (same).
    \804\Watkins, 354 U.S. at 187.
    \805\See Mazars, 940 F.3d at 723.
    \806\Townsend v. United States, 95 F.2d 352, 361 (D.C. Cir. 1938); 
accord Mazars, 940 F.3d at 723.
    \807\Eastland, 421 U.S. at 509.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Consistent with Congress's role in checking the Executive 
Branch, ``Presidents, too, have often been the subjects of 
Congress's legislative investigations.''\808\ ``Historical 
examples stretch far back in time and broadly across subject 
matters,'' ranging from investigations of contract fraud under 
President Andrew Jackson, to allegations that President Abraham 
Lincoln was mishandling military strategy during the Civil War, 
to charges that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had incited the 
Japanese into bombing Pearl Harbor, to President Nixon and the 
Watergate scandal, to President Ronald W. Reagan's involvement 
in the Iran-Contra Affair, to President William J. Clinton and 
Whitewater, to the Benghazi investigation under President 
Barack H. Obama.\809\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \808\Mazars, 940 F.3d at 721.
    \809\See id. at 721-22; see also Ukraine Report, at 205-206.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As the Supreme Court has observed, ``[w]ithout the power to 
investigate--including of course the authority to compel 
testimony, either through its own processes or through judicial 
trial--Congress could be seriously handicapped in its efforts 
to exercise its constitutional function wisely and 
effectively.''\810\esidential obstruction of legislative 
subpoenas thus undermines Congress's constitutional function, 
offends the separation of powers, and effectively places the 
President above the law.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \810\Quinn, 349 U.S. at 160-61 (citations omitted).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

      B. THE HOUSE'S POWER TO INVESTIGATE GROUNDS FOR IMPEACHMENT

    In light of the impeachment power's central role in our 
system of checks and balances, the House's investigative 
authority is at its peak during an impeachment inquiry. All 
three branches of the federal government have repeatedly 
confirmed this point.
    When the Framers authorized the House to impeach 
Presidents, they necessarily empowered it to obtain and examine 
evidence deemed necessary to the exercise of that 
constitutional responsibility. This understanding follows 
directly from the Constitutional Convention. There, several 
delegates opposed including an impeachment power in the 
Constitution. They warned that it would be ``destructive of 
[the executive's] independence.''\811\ The majority of 
delegates agreed that allowing impeachment would affect the 
separation of powers--but welcomed that result. As George Mason 
declared, ``[n]o point is of more importance than that the 
right of impeachment should be continued.''\812\ Alexander 
Hamilton, in turn, later observed that ``the powers relating to 
impeachments'' are ``an essential check in the hands of 
[Congress] upon the encroachments of the executive.''\813\ Many 
Americans in this period agreed that impeachment played an 
important role; it would keep Presidents in line and protect 
the Nation from abuse, betrayal, or corruption. Thus, even as 
the Constitution created a powerful presidency, it included a 
safety valve for emergencies.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \811\2 Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention, at 67.
    \812\2 Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention, at 65.
    \813\The Federalist No. 66, at 431 (Alexander Hamilton) (Benjamin 
Fletcher Wright ed., 1961).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yet the impeachment power could not serve that role if the 
House were unable to investigate the facts necessary to make an 
informed impeachment determination, or if the President could 
liberally obstruct such efforts. This was recognized early on. 
In 1796, the House requested that President George Washington 
provide it with sensitive diplomatic materials relating to the 
Jay Treaty. President Washington famously declined this request 
on the ground that it exceeded the House's role and intruded 
upon his executive functions. But in that same letter, 
President Washington agreed that impeachment would change his 
calculus: ``It does not occur that the inspection of the papers 
asked for can be relative to any purpose under the cognizance 
of the House of Representatives, except that of an impeachment, 
which the resolution has not expressed.''\814\ In the ensuing 
House debates, one Member noted that President Washington had 
``admitted, by implication, that where the House expresses an 
intention to impeach, the right to demand from the Executive 
all papers and information in his possession belongs to 
it.''\815\ And President Washington was right, because ``the 
sole Power'' of impeachment includes ``a right to inspect every 
paper and transaction in any department, otherwise the power of 
impeachment could never be exercised with any effect.''\816\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \814\George Washington, Message to the House Regarding Documents 
Relative to the Jay Treaty (Mar. 30, 1796) (emphasis added), 
(hereinafter ``Message on Jay Treaty''); see also Laurence H. Tribe & 
Joshua Matz, To End A Presidency: The Power of Impeachment 153-155 
(2018) (hereinafter ``To End A Presidency'') (discussing scattered 
calls in local newspapers for the impeachment of President Washington 
over his handling of the Jay Treaty).
    \815\Frauds Upon Indians--Right of the President to Withhold 
Papers, H.R. Rep. No. 27-271, at 12 (1843); see also Message on Jay 
Treaty (``It does not occur that the inspection of the papers asked for 
can be relative to any purpose under the cognizance of the House of 
Representatives, except that of an impeachment, which the resolution 
has not expressed.'').
    \816\Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 
206 (citing 5 Annals of Congress 601 (1796)).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In 1833, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story emphasized the 
House's broad investigatory power in impeachments--and the 
importance of not permitting the President to obstruct such 
inquiries. In his influential Commentaries on the Constitution 
of the United States, Justice Story addressed the interaction 
between impeachment and Presidential pardons. While doing so, 
he pointedly observed that ``[t]he power of impeachment will 
generally be applied to persons holding high offices under the 
government; and it is of great consequence that the President 
should not have the power of preventing a thorough 
investigation of their conduct, or of securing them against the 
disgrace of a public conviction by impeachment.''\817\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \817\3 Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United 
States Sec. 1495 at 352 (1833) (emphasis added).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In 1842, amid ongoing strife between the House and 
President John Tyler, the House took substantial steps toward 
an impeachment inquiry.\818\ During a dispute with President 
Tyler over the production of documents--which he ultimately 
provided--a Committee of the House confirmed its robust 
understanding of the power to investigate impeachable offenses:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \818\Tribe and Matz, To End A Presidency at 19-20.

          The House of Representatives has the sole power of 
        impeachment. The President himself in the discharge of 
        his most independent functions, is subject to the 
        exercise of this power which implied the right of 
        inquiry on the part of the House to the fullest and 
        most unlimited extent. . . . If the House possess the 
        power to impeach, it must likewise possess all the 
        incidents of that power--the power to compel the 
        attendance of all witnesses and the production of all 
        such papers as may be considered necessary to prove the 
        charges on which impeachment is founded. If it did not, 
        the power of impeachment conferred upon it by the 
        Constitution would be nugatory. It could not exercise 
        it with effect.\819\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \819\ Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 
206 (internal citations omitted).

    Consistent with this precedent, President James K. Polk 
``cheerfully admitted'' in 1846 the right of the House to 
investigate the conduct of all government officers with a view 
to exercising its impeachment power.\820\ ``In such a case,'' 
he wrote:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \820\Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 
207.

          [T]he safety of the Republic would be the supreme 
        law, and the power of the House in the pursuit of this 
        object would penetrate into the most secret recesses of 
        the Executive Departments. It could command the 
        attendance of any and every agent of the Government, 
        and compel them to produce all papers, public or 
        private, official or unofficial, and to testify on oath 
        to all facts within their knowledge.\821\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \821\Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 
207 (internal citations omitted).

    President Andrew Johnson conducted himself in accordance 
with this understanding when the Judiciary Committee undertook 
an initial inquiry into grounds for impeachment. During that 
investigation, which occurred in 1867, the Committee obtained 
executive and Presidential records; interviewed cabinet 
officers and Presidential aides about cabinet meetings and 
conversations with the President; and examined a number of 
Presidential decisions, including Presidential pardons, the 
issuance of executive orders, the implementation of 
Congressional Reconstruction, and the vetoing of 
legislation.\822\ Multiple witnesses, moreover, answered 
questions about the opinions of the President, statements made 
by the President, and advice given to the President.\823\ 
Significantly, as this Committee has previously summarized, 
``[t]here is no evidence that [President] Johnson ever asserted 
any privilege to prevent disclosure of presidential 
conversations to the Committee, or failed to comply with any of 
the Committee's requests.''\824\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \822\Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 
206 (internal citations omitted).
    \823\When asked to disclose a conversation between himself and 
President Johnson regarding the preparation of a veto message, an 
advisor named Jeremiah Black thus agreed he was ``bound in conscience 
to answer a question which that tribunal declares he ought to answer; 
that he is himself not the judge of what he ought to answer and what he 
ought not.'' Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) 
at 207.
    \824\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    With only a few exceptions, invocations of the impeachment 
power largely subsided from 1868 to 1972.\825\ Yet even in that 
period, while objecting to acts of ordinary legislative 
oversight, Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, S. Grover Cleveland, 
and Theodore Roosevelt each noted that Congress could obtain a 
broader set of Executive Branch documents in an impeachment 
inquiry.\826\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \825\Tribe and Matz, To End A Presidency at 156-169.
    \826\See Staff of H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 116th Cong., 
Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment 42 (Comm. Print 
2019) (citing Jonathan David Shaub, The Executive's Privilege: 
Rethinking the President's Power to Withhold Information, Lawfare (Oct. 
31, 2019)) (hereinafter ``Constitutional Grounds for Impeachment 
(2019)'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In 1973 and 1974, this Committee investigated whether 
President Nixon had committed ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors.'' 
During that period, the Senate also investigated events 
relating to the Watergate break-in and its aftermath. Faced 
with these inquiries, President Nixon allowed senior 
administration officials to testify voluntarily in the Senate. 
As a result, many senior White House officials testified, 
including White House Counsel John W. Dean III, White House 
Chief of Staff H.R. ``Bob'' Haldeman, Deputy Assistant to the 
President Alexander P. Butterfield, and Chief Advisor to the 
President for Domestic Affairs John D. Ehrlichman.\827\ 
President Nixon also produced numerous documents and records in 
response to Congressional subpoenas, including more than 30 
transcripts of White House recordings and notes from meetings 
with the President.\828\ This was consistent with prior 
practice. As the Judiciary Committee explained at the time: 
``Before the current inquiry, sixty-nine Federal officials had 
been the subject of impeachment investigations. With the 
possible exception of one minor official who invoked the 
privilege against self-incrimination, not one of them 
challenged the power of the committee conducting the 
investigation to compel the production of evidence it deemed 
necessary.''\829\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \827\See, e.g., Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign 
Activities, Testimony of John Dean, Watergate and Related Activities, 
Phase I: Watergate Investigation, 93d Cong. (June 25, 1973); Senate 
Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, Testimony of H.R. 
Haldeman, Watergate and Related Activities, Phase I: Watergate 
Investigation, 93d Cong. (July 30, 1973); Senate Select Committee on 
Presidential Campaign Activities, Testimony of Alexander Butterfield, 
Watergate and Related Activities, Phase I: Watergate Investigation, 93d 
Cong. (July 16, 1973); Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign 
Activities, Testimony of John Ehrlichman, Watergate and Related 
Activities, Phase I: Watergate Investigation, 93d Cong. (July 24, 
1973); see also Ukraine Report at 206.
    \828\Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 
196.
    \829\Id. at 206 (footnote omitted).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    However, President Nixon's production of records was 
incomplete in a very important respect: he did not produce key 
tape recordings of Oval Office conversations, and some of the 
transcripts of such recordings that he produced were heavily 
edited or inaccurate.\830\ President Nixon claimed that his 
noncompliance with House subpoenas was necessary to protect the 
confidentiality of Presidential conversations. But as we 
explain further in the next section, this Committee rejected 
his arguments and approved an article of impeachment against 
President Nixon for obstruction of the House's impeachment 
inquiry.\831\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \830\Id. at 203.
    \831\Id. at 382-83.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Twenty-four years later, the House undertook impeachment 
proceedings against President Clinton. Consistent with 
precedent, he ``pledged to cooperate fully with the 
[impeachment] investigation.''\832\ And although the House 
engaged in very little independent fact-finding, President 
Clinton substantially cooperated, providing written responses 
to 81 interrogatories from the Judiciary Committee during the 
impeachment inquiry--as well as his own DNA.\833\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \832\Andrew Miga, White House in Crisis, Boston Herald, Oct. 9, 
1998.
    \833\Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton, President of the 
United States: Report of the Committee on the Judiciary, H. Rep. No. 
105-830 at 77 (1998) (``On November 5, 1998, the Committee presented 
President Clinton with 81 requests for admission.'') (hereinafter 
``Committee Report on Clinton Articles of Impeachment (1998)''). The 
Judiciary Committee nevertheless concluded that President Clinton's 
failure to respond to certain written requests for admission, and his 
alleged perjurious, false, and misleading sworn statements in response 
to other requests, warranted impeachment. Id. at 76 (Article IV). This 
proposed article of impeachment, however, was voted down on the House 
floor. 144 Cong. Rec. H11975, 12042 (1998).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thus, Presidents have long recognized that the House enjoys 
a nearly plenary power of inquiry while investigating grounds 
for impeachment. This conclusion is further supported by an 
additional Executive Branch policy. In the current view of the 
Department of Justice (DOJ)--the accuracy of which we do not 
here opine upon--the President cannot be indicted or face 
criminal prosecution while in office.\834\ As support for that 
view, DOJ has reasoned that a President ``who engages in 
criminal behavior falling into the category of `high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors''' is ``always subject to removal from office upon 
impeachment by the House and conviction by the Senate.''\835\ 
DOJ adds that ``the constitutionally specified impeachment 
process ensures that the immunity [of a sitting President from 
prosecution] would not place the President `above the 
law.'''\836\ Given DOJ's refusal to indict or prosecute a 
sitting President, impeachment and removal may be one of the 
few available mechanisms to hold a President immediately 
accountable for criminal conduct also constituting ``high 
Crimes and Misdemeanors.'' On that view, the House must have 
broad access to evidence supporting or refuting allegations of 
impeachable misconduct, since an unduly narrow view of the 
House's authority would place the President beyond all legal 
constraint.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \834\See A Sitting President's Amenability to Indictment and 
Criminal Prosecution, 24 Op. O.L.C. 222, 260 (2000).
    \835\Id. at 257.
    \836\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Judiciary has similarly concluded that the House enjoys 
broad investigative power in an impeachment setting. In 
Kilbourn v. Thompson, for example, the Supreme Court 
invalidated a contempt order by the House, but emphasized that 
``the whole aspect of the case would have changed'' were it an 
impeachment proceeding, since ``[w]here the question of such 
impeachment is before either [House of Congress] acting in its 
appropriate sphere on that subject, we see no reason to doubt 
the right to compel the attendance of witnesses, and their 
answer to proper questions, in the same manner and by the use 
of the same means that courts of justice can in like 
cases.''\837\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \837\Kilbourn v. Thompson, 103 U.S. 168, 190, 194 (1880); see also 
Barry v. U.S. ex rel. Cunningham, 279 U.S. 597, 616 (1929) (recognizing 
that the Senate would have added power to compel witness testimony in 
an impeachment trial).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    More recently, Judge John J. Sirica's influential opinion 
on the Watergate ``road map'' likewise emphasized the special 
and substantial weight assigned to legislative interests in an 
impeachment context: ``[I]t should not be forgotten that we 
deal in a matter of the most critical moment to the Nation, an 
impeachment investigation involving the President of the United 
States. It would be difficult to conceive of a more compelling 
need than that of this country for an unswervingly fair inquiry 
based on all the pertinent information.''\838\ Sitting en banc, 
the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia 
Circuit further recognized that the House has enhanced legal 
powers to obtain material from the President in an impeachment 
inquiry because ``[t]he investigative authority of the 
Judiciary Committee with respect to presidential conduct has an 
express constitutional source.''\839\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \838\In re Report & Recommendation of June 5, 1972 Grand Jury 
Concerning Transmission of Evidence to House of Representatives, 370 F. 
Supp. 1219, 1230 (D.D.C. 1974).
    \839\Senate Select Comm. on Presidential Campaign Activities v. 
Nixon, 498 F.2d 725, 732 (D.C. Cir. 1974).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A spate of decisions from the 1980s further support the 
House's robust investigative powers during impeachment. In 
Nixon v. Fitzgerald, the Supreme Court announced a rule of 
absolute Presidential immunity from civil damages.\840\ In so 
doing, it emphasized that this rule ``will not leave the Nation 
without sufficient protection against misconduct on the part of 
the Chief Executive,'' since ``there remains the constitutional 
remedy of impeachment.''\841\ The Court pointedly added that 
``[v]igilant oversight by Congress also may serve to deter 
Presidential abuses of office, as well as to make credible the 
threat of impeachment.''\842\ This statement constituted a 
recognition by the Court that the House cannot effectively 
exercise its impeachment power without the ability to undertake 
``vigilant oversight.''\843\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \840\Nixon v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 731, 749 (1982) (``[W]e hold 
that petitioner, as a former President of the United States, is 
entitled to absolute immunity from damages liability predicated on his 
official acts.'').
    \841\Id. at 757.
    \842\Id.
    \843\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Over the following years, several federal courts agreed. In 
1984, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh 
Circuit emphasized that impeachment inquiries require courts to 
place a heavy thumb on the scale in favor of turning over 
materials to Congressional investigators.\844\ Three years 
later, a district judge elaborated that courts have limited 
power to constrain legislative investigations in an impeachment 
setting: ``Ancillary to the sole power of impeachment vested in 
the House by the Constitution is the power to disclose the 
evidence that it receives as it sees fit. Again, recognition of 
the doctrine of separation of powers precludes the judiciary 
from imposing restrictions on the exercise of the impeachment 
power.''\845\ In affirming this decision, the Eleventh Circuit 
noted that ``[p]ublic confidence in a procedure as political 
and public as impeachment is an important consideration 
justifying disclosure'' of grand jury materials to 
Congress.\846\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \844\See In re Petition to Inspect & Copy Grand Jury Materials, 735 
F.2d 1261, 1269-71 (11th Cir. 1984) (``Moreover, the question under 
investigation--whether an Article III judge should be recommended for 
impeachment by the Congress, otherwise disciplined, or granted a clean 
bill of health--is a matter of great societal importance. Given the 
character of an investigating committee and what is at stake--the 
public confidence in the judiciary, the independence and reputation of 
the accused judge--paragraph (c)(5) must in our view be read, with very 
few strings, as conferring authority to look into whatever is material 
to a determination of the truth or falsity of the charges.'').
    \845\In re Grand Jury Proceedings of Grand Jury No. 81-1, 669 F. 
Supp. 1072, 1078 (S.D. Fla. 1987).
    \846\In re Request for Access to Grand Jury Materials Grand Jury 
No. 81-1, Miami, 833 F.2d 1438, 1445 (11th Cir. 1987).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    More recent opinions have echoed these points. As one judge 
observed, when ``subpoenas [are] issued in connection with an 
impeachment proceeding. . . . Congress's investigatory powers 
are at their peak.''\847\ Other judges have more broadly 
emphasized the public interest in obtaining Executive Branch 
records that may be relevant to an ongoing impeachment 
inquiry.\848\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \847\Trump v. Deutsche Bank AG, No. 19-1540, 2019 WL 6482561 at *38 
n.1 (2d Cir. Dec. 3, 2019) (Livingston, J., concurring part and 
dissenting in part); see also Comm. on the Judiciary, U.S. House of 
Representatives v. Donald F. McGahn II, No. 19 Civ. 2379, 2019 WL 
6463406 at *6 (D.D.C. Dec. 2, 2019) (emphasizing ``the public's 
interest in thorough and well-informed impeachment proceedings.''); In 
re Application of Comm. on Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives, 
for an Order Authorizing Release of Certain Grand Jury Materials, No. 
19-48, 2019 WL 5608827 at *3 (D.D.C. Oct. 29, 2019) (```[A]n 
impeachment investigation involving the President of the United States 
is a matter of the most critical moment to the Nation' . . . Both HJC 
itself and the public, therefore, have an interest in HJC gaining 
immediate access to this grand jury material.'') (citations and 
quotation marks omitted)).
    \848\See, e.g., Ctr. for Pub. Integrity v. U.S. Dep't of Def., No. 
19 Civ. 3265, 2019 WL 6270921 at *3 (D.D.C. Nov. 25, 2019) 
(``Currently, the [House] is in the process of conducting impeachment 
proceedings concerning the same subject matter as the documents 
requested by Plaintiff. As such, the requested documents are sought in 
order to inform the public on a matter of extreme national concern. 
Only an informed electorate can develop its opinions and persuasively 
petition its elected officials to act in ways which further the aims of 
those opinions.''); Am. Oversight v. U.S. Dep't of State, No. 19 Civ. 
2934, 2019 WL 5665930 at *4 (D.D.C. Oct. 25, 2019) (``This is the 
extraordinary case where the public interest favors placing American 
Oversight's requests ahead of other requests in the State Department's 
FOIA queue. Presidential impeachment investigations are solemn affairs, 
which Congress thankfully has seen fit to undertake only a few times in 
the Nation's history. The records American Oversight seeks, if they 
exist, could directly inform the present investigation and the 
surrounding public debate. The public's interest in disclosure of 
responsive, non-exempt records is therefore high and outweighs any harm 
to other FOIA requesters that might result from a temporary diversion 
of the State Department's FOIA resources to accelerate processing of 
this request.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ``Long settled and established practice is a consideration 
of great weight in a proper interpretation of constitutional 
provisions regulating the relationship between Congress and the 
President.''\849\ Viewed together, the practices and express 
statements set forth above confirm that the House enjoys an 
exceedingly expansive power of inquiry when investigating 
grounds for impeachment. Because the House's interests in any 
such inquiry evoke the interests underlying the impeachment 
power itself, subpoenas issued by a House impeachment inquiry 
should overcome nearly any countervailing interest or 
privilege. Finally, by virtue of the plain language of Article 
I of the Constitution, which vests the House with the ``sole 
Power of Impeachment'' as a check against the Presidency, it is 
for the House--and not the President--to determine what 
documents and testimony are needed for its exercise of the 
impeachment power.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \849\N.L.R.B. v. Noel Canning, 573 U.S. 513, 524 (2014) (quotation 
marks and citation omitted).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

          C. OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS IS AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE

    Impeachment is a cornerstone of the Constitution. When the 
House wields the impeachment power, it serves as a grand 
inquest of the Nation on behalf of the American people, charged 
with protecting our democracy. Because the premise of the 
Impeachment Clause is that the House must be able to act when 
the President has abused his power, betrayed the national 
interest, or corrupted elections, a President who obstructs 
House investigators has attacked the Constitution itself. Even 
when the President strenuously disagrees with the impeachment 
inquiry--and even when he doubts its motives--he must obey the 
law and allow others to meet their legal obligations. The 
absurdity of allowing Presidents to dictate the terms of 
impeachment inquiries is obvious. The danger of allowing 
Presidents to do so is manifest. For that reason, Presidential 
obstruction of an impeachment inquiry is itself an impeachable 
abuse of power under the Constitution.\850\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \850\See, e.g., Frank O. Bowman III, High Crimes & Misdemeanors: A 
History of Impeachment for the Age of Trump 199 (2019) (``The subpoena 
power in impeachment cases arises directly from an explicit 
constitutional directive that the House conduct an adjudicative 
proceeding akin to a grand jury, the success of which is necessarily 
dependent on the availability of relevant evidence. Without the power 
to compel compliance with subpoenas and the concomitant right to 
impeach a president for refusal to comply, the impeachment power would 
be nullified.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To be sure, Presidents may still raise privacy, national 
security, and other concerns in the course of an impeachment 
inquiry, to the extent they apply. There is room for inter-
branch negotiation and accommodation--though there is an 
overwhelming presumption in favor of full disclosure and 
compliance with House subpoenas. But when a President abuses 
his office to defy House investigators on matters that they 
deem pertinent to their inquiry, and does so without lawful 
cause or excuse, his conduct may constitute an unconstitutional 
effort to seize and break the impeachment power vested solely 
in the House. In that respect, obstruction of Congress involves 
``the exercise of official power in a way that, on its very 
face, grossly exceeds the President's constitutional authority 
or violates legal limits on that authority.''\851\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \851\Constitutional Grounds for Impeachment (2019) at 18; see also 
id. (explaining that impeachable abuse of power was understood by the 
Framers as encompassing, inter alia, ``conduct that is inherently and 
sharply inconsistent with the law--and that amounts to claims of 
monarchical prerogative'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This is illustrated by President's Nixon case. As explained 
above, President Nixon allowed senior administration officials 
to testify and produced many documents. He did not direct 
anything approximating a categorical and indiscriminate 
blockade of the House's impeachment inquiry. But in response to 
the Judiciary Committee's eight subpoenas for recordings and 
materials related to 147 conversations, he produced only 
limited documents and edited transcripts of roughly 30 
conversations; many of those transcripts were inaccurate or 
incomplete.\852\ President Nixon claimed that his non-
compliance was legally defensible, invoking the doctrine of 
executive privilege.\853\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \852\Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974), at 
203.
    \853\Id. at 207-208.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Judiciary Committee rejected these arguments and deemed 
President Nixon's conduct to be impeachable. It observed that 
his ``statements that the institution of the Presidency is 
threatened when he is required to comply with a subpoena in an 
impeachment inquiry exaggerate both the likelihood of such an 
inquiry and the threat to confidentiality from it.''\854\ The 
Committee also emphasized that ``the doctrine of separation of 
powers cannot justify the withholding of information from an 
impeachment inquiry.''\855\ After all, ``[t]he very purpose of 
such an inquiry is to permit the House, acting on behalf of the 
people, to curb the excesses of another branch, in this 
instance the Executive.''\856\ Therefore, ``[w]hatever the 
limits of legislative power in other contexts--and whatever 
need may otherwise exist for preserving the confidentiality of 
Presidential conversations--in the context of an impeachment 
proceeding the balance was struck in favor of the power of 
inquiry when the impeachment provision was written into the 
Constitution.''\857\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \854\Id. at 210.
    \855\Id. at 208.
    \856\Id.
    \857\Id. at 209.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Because ``the refusal of [President Nixon] to comply with 
the subpoenas was an interference by him with the efforts of 
the Committee and the House of Representatives to fulfill their 
constitutional responsibilities,'' the Judiciary Committee 
deemed it impeachable.\858\ The Committee reached that 
determination even though it had ``been able to conduct an 
investigation and determine that grounds for impeachment 
exist,'' despite ``the President's refusal to comply.''\859\ On 
that point, the Committee observed that President Nixon's 
obstruction ``was not without practical import,'' since ``[h]ad 
it received the evidence sought by the subpoenas, the Committee 
might have recommended articles structured differently or 
possible ones covering other matters.''\860\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \858\Id. at 188.
    \859\Id. at 189.
    \860\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    President Nixon's obstruction of the House impeachment 
inquiry featured in two of the three articles approved by the 
Judiciary Committee. Article II charged President Nixon with 
abuse of power, including ``failing to act when he knew or had 
reason to know that his close subordinates endeavored to impede 
and frustrate lawful inquiries by duly constituted executive, 
judicial and legislative entities concerning the unlawful entry 
into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, and 
the cover-up thereof, and concerning other unlawful activities 
. . . .''\861\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \861\Id. at 3-4 (emphasis added).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    More directly, Article III charged President Nixon with 
abusing his power by interfering with the discharge of the 
Judiciary Committee's responsibility to investigate fully and 
completely whether sufficient grounds existed to impeach him:

          In refusing to produce these papers and things, 
        Richard M. Nixon, substituting his judgment as to what 
        materials were necessary for the inquiry, interposed 
        the powers of the Presidency against the lawful 
        subpoenas of the House of Representatives, thereby 
        assuming to himself functions and judgments necessary 
        to the exercise of the sole power of impeachment vested 
        by the Constitution in the House of Representatives.
          In all of this, Richard M. Nixon has acted in a 
        manner contrary to his trust as President and 
        subversive of constitutional government, to the great 
        prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the 
        manifest injury of the people of the United States . . 
        . .\862\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \862\Id. at 4.

    President Nixon's case is thus persuasive authority that 
Presidential defiance of a House impeachment inquiry may 
constitute ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors.''
    This Committee took the same view in President Clinton's 
case. The fourth article of impeachment against President 
Clinton charged that he had ``impaired the due and proper 
administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, 
and contravened the authority of the legislative branch and the 
truth seeking purpose of a coordinate investigative 
proceeding.''\863\ Specifically, it accused him of failing to 
respond to certain written requests and making false and 
misleading statements to Congress. To justify impeaching 
President Clinton on that basis, the Committee reasoned as 
follows:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \863\Committee Report on Clinton Articles of Impeachment (1998) at 
4.

          In responding in such a manner, the President 
        exhibited contempt for the constitutional prerogative 
        of Congress to conduct an impeachment inquiry. The 
        impeachment duty is a solemn one vested exclusively in 
        the House of Representatives as a check and balance on 
        the President and the Judiciary. The Committee reached 
        the unfortunate conclusion that the President, by 
        giving perjurious, false, and misleading answers under 
        oath to the Committee's requests for admission, chose 
        to take steps to thwart this serious constitutional 
        process.\864\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \864\Id. at 77.

    Ultimately, the House declined to approve this article. 
That decision, however, did not constitute a determination that 
obstruction of a House impeachment inquiry cannot be 
impeachable. Instead, it appears to reflect a judgment by the 
full House that President Clinton's conduct was not 
substantial, malicious, or obstructive enough to warrant an 
article of impeachment.
    Applying these principles, a President commits ``high 
Crimes and Misdemeanors''' when he abuses his office to 
substantially obstruct House impeachment investigators on 
matters that it deems pertinent to its inquiry, and does so 
without lawful cause or excuse.

  D. PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS COMMITTED ``[H]IGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS''

1. President Trump Substantially Obstructed the Impeachment Inquiry

    The evidentiary record bearing on President Trump's 
obstruction of the House impeachment inquiry is set forth in 
the Ukraine Report and incorporated by reference here.\865\ On 
the basis of that record, it is indisputable that President 
Trump substantially obstructed the House impeachment inquiry. 
The essential facts bearing on that judgment include the 
following:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \865\Ukraine Report at 201-260 & nn.1-441.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
       From September through November 2019, the 
Investigating Committees served subpoenas on numerous Executive 
Branch agencies, offices, and officials. These subpoenas sought 
evidence and testimony regarding President Trump's efforts to 
solicit and pressure the Government of Ukraine to announce 
investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden and a 
discredited conspiracy theory alleging Ukrainian interference 
in the 2016 United States Presidential election.\866\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \866\Id. at 216-42.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     At the time the Investigating Committees served 
these subpoenas, and continually since then, they were acting 
pursuant to a House impeachment inquiry under Article I of the 
Constitution.\867\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \867\See supra The Impeachment Inquiry.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Even before the House launched its Ukraine 
inquiry, President Trump rejected the authority of Congress to 
investigate his actions, stating, ``We're fighting all the 
subpoenas,''\868\ and ``I have an Article [II], where I have 
the right to do whatever I want as President.''\869\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \868\Jeremy Diamond & Allie Malloy, Trump at war with Democrats: 
`We're fighting all the subpoenas', CNN, Apr. 24, 2019.
    \869\Remarks by President Trump at Turning Point USA's Teen Student 
Action Summit 2019, The White House, July 23, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Writing ``on behalf of President Donald J. 
Trump,'' White House Counsel Pat A. Cipollone sent a letter to 
senior House officials on October 8, 2019, confirming that 
President Trump had directed his entire Administration to defy 
the impeachment inquiry. Mr. Cipollone wrote: ``President Trump 
cannot permit his Administration to participate in this 
partisan inquiry under these circumstances.''\870\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \870\Oct. 8 Cipollone Letter at 1, 4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Two days later, President Trump agreed that Mr. 
Cipollone was conveying the President's direction in the 
October 8 letter. President Trump stated: ``As our brilliant 
White House Counsel wrote to the Democrats yesterday, he said 
their highly partisan and unconstitutional effort threatens 
grave and lasting damage to our democratic institutions, to our 
system of free elections, and to the American people. That's 
what it is. To the American people. It's so terrible. Democrats 
are on a crusade to destroy our democracy. That's what's 
happening. We will never let it happen. We will defeat 
them.''\871\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \871\Speech: Donald Trump Holds a Political Rally in Minneapolis, 
Minnesota, Factbase Videos, Oct. 10, 2019.
    Consistent with these statements, President Trump never negotiated 
in good faith with the Investigating Committees. He simply made one 
demand after another--each of them unjustified as a matter of law--and 
asserted that he would completely blockade the Investigating Committees 
if they did not concede. By no definition of the term is that a good 
faith negotiation. As Chief Judge Beryl Howell has observed in a 
related context, ``The reality is that DOJ and the White House have 
been openly stonewalling the House's efforts to get information by 
subpoena and by agreement, and the White House has flatly stated that 
the Administration will not cooperate with congressional requests for 
information.'' In re Application of Comm. on Judiciary, U.S. House of 
Representatives, for an Order Authorizing Release of Certain Grand Jury 
Materials, 2019 WL 5485221, at *36 (citing the Oct. 8 Cipollone 
Letter).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     President Trump's direction was categorical and 
indiscriminate: he directed all agencies, offices, and 
officials not to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry. In 
other words, President Trump directed officials throughout the 
Executive Branch to violate their own independent legal 
obligations.
     President Trump's direction was unprecedented: no 
President has ever issued such direction--or anything even 
approximating it--in response to an impeachment inquiry.
     President Trump's direction had the natural and 
foreseeable consequence of obstructing--and did, in fact, 
obstruct--the House impeachment inquiry:
           Defying a subpoena, the White House refused to 
        produce any information or records to the Investigating 
        Committees as part of this inquiry.\872\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \872\See Ukraine Report at 217. The White House has not produced a 
single document in response to the subpoena. Instead, it has released 
to the public only two documents: call records from the President's 
phone calls with President Zelensky on April 21 and July 25, 2019. The 
public release of a mere two documents comes nowhere close to 
satisfying President Trump's obligations, or to mitigating the sheer 
scope and scale of his Administration-wide obstruction of Congress.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Defying subpoenas, the Department of State, the 
        Office of Management and Budget, the Department of 
        Energy, and the Department of Defense refused to 
        produce a single record to the Investigating Committees 
        as part of this inquiry.\873\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \873\See Ukraine Report at 219-227.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Defying subpoenas, nine Administration 
        officials refused to testify before the Investigating 
        Committees, namely Mick Mulvaney (Acting White House 
        Chief of Staff), Robert B. Blair (Assistant to the 
        President and Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff), 
        John A. Eisenberg (Deputy Counsel to the President for 
        National Security Affairs and Legal Advisor, National 
        Security Council), Michael Ellis (Senior Associate 
        Counsel to the President and Deputy Legal Advisor, 
        National Security Council), Preston Wells Griffith 
        (Senior Director for International Energy and 
        Environment, National Security Council), Russell T. 
        Vought (Acting Director, Office of Management and 
        Budget), Michael Duffey (Associate Director for 
        National Security Programs, Office of Management and 
        Budget), Brian McCormack (Associate Director for 
        Natural Resources, Energy, and Science, Office of 
        Management and Budget, and former Chief of Staff to 
        Secretary of Energy Rick Perry), and T. Ulrich 
        Brechbuhl (Counselor, Department of State).\874\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \874\See Ukraine Report at 231-244. ``In addition to the 
President's broad orders seeking to prohibit all Executive Branch 
employees from testifying, many of these witnesses were personally 
directed by senior political appointees not to cooperate with the 
House's impeachment inquiry. These directives frequently cited or 
enclosed copies of Mr. Cipollone's October 8 letter conveying the 
President's order not to comply.'' Id. at 31, 243.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     The Investigating Committees concluded--with ample 
reason--that this defiance of their subpoenas resulted in the 
denial of evidence relevant to the inquiry. Numerous witnesses 
identified specific relevant documents that have been withheld, 
and there is substantial evidence that officials who followed 
President Trump's direction not to appear could have offered 
testimony bearing on President Trump's course of conduct 
regarding Ukraine.\875\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \875\See Ukraine Report at 216-227, 229.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     President Trump lacked lawful cause or excuse for 
issuing his direction that all Executive Branch officials defy 
their legal obligations in response to Congressional 
subpoenas.\876\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \876\See Ukraine Report at 211-215.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Despite President Trump's direction that the Executive 
Branch blockade the impeachment inquiry, the Investigating 
Committees found clear and overwhelming evidence of his 
misconduct. This includes powerful direct evidence, 
strengthened and supported by compelling circumstantial 
evidence, of President Trump's course of conduct and corrupt 
motivations in soliciting and pressuring the Government of 
Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 Presidential election. Some of 
the evidence before the Committee consists of testimony from 
officials who properly complied with their Congressional 
subpoenas, notwithstanding the President's contrary 
direction.\877\ In response to such testimony, President Trump 
used the world's most powerful bully pulpit to attack, 
threaten, and intimidate numerous witnesses and potential 
witnesses.\878\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \877\See Watkins, 354 U.S. at 187-88 (``It is unquestionably the 
duty of all citizens to cooperate with the Congress in its efforts to 
obtain the facts needed for intelligent legislative action. It is their 
unremitting obligation to respond to subpoenas, to respect the dignity 
of the Congress and its committees and to testify fully with respect to 
matters within the province of proper investigation.'').
    \878\See Ukraine Report at 255-60. The Minority's dissenting views 
on the nature of impeachable offenses consist almost exclusively of 
testimony by Professor Turley, who contends that the President did not 
obstruct the inquiry because ``many officials opted to testify, despite 
the orders from the President that they should decline.'' Minority 
Views, Constitutional Grounds for Impeachment (2019), attaching Written 
Statement of Jonathan Turley, Dec. 4, 2019, at 42. This is a curious 
argument. When the House issues subpoenas in an impeachment inquiry and 
the President orders total defiance, it is hardly a point in the 
President's favor that a handful of his subordinates disobey that 
unlawful order (even as most officials comply, and even as all agencies 
and offices comply). Professor Turley further notes that the officials 
who violated President Trump's directive ``remain in federal service in 
good standing.'' Id. But the fact that President Trump has not (yet) 
fired or disciplined the witnesses who came forward in no respect 
ameliorates his unlawful order. His attempts at thwarting their 
testimony is itself grounds for impeachment and, significantly, he 
succeeded in substantially obstructing the House impeachment inquiry as 
to the strong majority of documents and testimony sought.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ultimately, as in President Nixon's case, House Committees 
have ``been able to conduct an investigation and determine that 
grounds for impeachment exist--even in the face of the 
President's refusal to comply.''\879\ But here, as there, the 
President's obstruction of the House impeachment inquiry was 
not ``without practical import.''\880\ It may have prevented 
the House from learning the full extent of the President's 
misdeeds.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \879\Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974 at 
189.
    \880\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The President thus inflicted concrete harm on the House, 
which is duty-bound to inquire when it has cause to believe the 
President may have committed ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors.'' 
The House made that judgment here when evidence emerged that 
President Trump had solicited and pressured a foreign power to 
interfere in our elections for his own personal political 
benefit. To discharge its constitutional obligations, the 
House--acting through its Committees--pursued an impeachment 
inquiry and subpoenaed relevant Executive Branch agencies, 
offices, and officials. In seeking to thwart the House in the 
faithful performance of that constitutional function, President 
Trump committed a gross abuse of power. Most immediately, this 
abuse involved ordering the defiance of Congressional 
subpoenas. That stands as ``an affront to the mechanism for 
curbing abuses of power that the Framers carefully crafted for 
our protection.''\881\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \881\McGahn, 2019 WL 6312011, at *28 (D.D.C. Nov. 25, 2019), appeal 
docketed, No. 19-5331 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 26, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    More fundamentally, President Trump's direction to defy 
House subpoenas constituted an assault on the Impeachment 
Clause itself--and thus on our Constitution's final answer to 
corrupt Presidents. As explained above, the ``sole Power of 
Impeachment'' authorizes the House to review information that 
resides within the very branch of government it is empowered to 
scrutinize. By engaging in substantial obstruction of a House 
impeachment inquiry, the President could effectively seek to 
control a check on his own abuses. That is exactly what 
happened here.
    In President Nixon's case, this Committee concluded that 
``[u]nless the defiance of the [House] subpoenas . . . is 
considered grounds for impeachment, it is difficult to conceive 
of any President acknowledging that he is obligated to supply 
the relevant evidence necessary for Congress to exercise its 
constitutional responsibility in an impeachment 
proceeding.''\882\ The same lesson applies now, but with 
exponentially greater force. President Nixon authorized other 
officials and agencies to honor their legal obligations.\883\ 
He also turned over many of his own documents, failing only to 
respond fully to eight subpoenas.\884\ President Trump, in 
contrast, directed his entire Administration--every agency, 
office, and official in the Executive Branch--not to cooperate 
with the impeachment inquiry, including by disobeying duly 
authorized subpoenas. If this does not qualify as impeachable 
obstruction of Congress, then nothing does, and the House will 
have sent a dangerous invitation to future Presidents to defy 
impeachment inquiries.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \882\Nixon Impeachment Report (1974), at 213.
    \883\The President's Remarks Announcing Developments and Procedures 
to be Followed in Connection with the Investigation, The White House, 
Apr. 17, 1973 (``All members of the White House Staff will appear 
voluntarily when requested by the committee. They will testify under 
oath, and they will answer fully all proper questions.'').
    \884\Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 
478-82.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. President Trump's Obstruction of Congress Lacked Lawful Cause or 
        Excuse and Involved Recognizably Wrongful Conduct

    President Trump and his lawyers have offered various 
arguments to justify the President's complete defiance of the 
House impeachment inquiry. Those arguments are indefensible as 
a matter of law and come nowhere close to excusing the 
President's unprecedented obstruction of Congress. They amount 
to a claim that the President has the power to dictate the 
terms on which he is investigated for ``high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors''--a claim that is fundamentally at odds with the 
Constitution.
    The President's excuses consist mainly of complaints about 
the procedures adopted by the House and its Committees. For 
example, the President asserts that the full House needed to 
vote to authorize the impeachment inquiry at an earlier date; 
that the Investigating Committees were required to afford him a 
broad array of rights to intervene and participate in their 
proceedings as they engaged in fact finding; that the 
Investigating Committees were forbidden to conduct portions of 
their fact-finding investigations behind closed doors; that the 
Investigating Committees were required to allow agency 
attorneys to attend depositions; that the Minority was entitled 
to certain subpoena powers; and that the House engaged in 
``threats and intimidation'' by informing Executive Branch 
subpoena recipients of the legal consequences of their failure 
to comply with duly authorized Congressional subpoenas.\885\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \885\See Oct. 8 Cipollone Letter. President Trump also raised 
arguments relating to ``confidentiality interests'' and the so-called 
doctrine of ``absolute immunity.'' Id.; see also, e.g., McGahn, 2019 WL 
6312011, at *34-45. As to the first argument, ``[t]here is no basis in 
the law of executive privilege for declaring a categorical refusal to 
respond to any House subpoena. In an impeachment inquiry the House's 
need for information and its Constitutional authority are at their 
greatest, and the Executive's interest in confidentiality must yield.'' 
Ukraine Report, at 214. Moreover, although executive privilege could 
not excuse or justify the President's categorical and indiscriminate 
defiance, it bears notice that the President has not actually asserted 
executive privilege in the House's impeachment inquiry. Turning to the 
second argument, the House has never recognized the fictional theory of 
``absolute immunity'' as a valid ground for defying an impeachment 
inquiry, and every federal court to consider the doctrine of ``absolute 
immunity'' has rejected it. See McGahn, 2019 WL 6312011, at *45; Comm. 
on Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives v. Miers, 558 F. Supp. 2d 
135-36 (D.D.C. 2008). It is inconceivable that this doctrine has 
lurked, in hiding, for centuries as a hidden excuse for Presidents to 
block untold numbers of current and former Executive Branch officials 
from giving any testimony whatsoever to the House. In any event, 
President Trump's direction that the Executive Branch undertake a total 
blockade of the House impeachment inquiry extends well beyond even the 
most extreme view of ``absolute immunity,'' and so this doctrine 
neither excuses nor explains the President's position as articulated in 
Mr. Cipollone's letter.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The President has asserted many procedural arguments, but 
they all fail for similar reasons. First, the House--not the 
President--has the ``sole Power of Impeachment''\886\ and the 
sole power ``to determine the Rules of its Proceedings.''\887\ 
President Trump's process complaints thus concern matters 
entrusted to the exclusive discretion of the House. His 
disagreement with how the House has organized its hearings and 
carried out its investigations offers no excuse for breaking 
the law and directing others to do so. Second, as already 
described, impeachment proceedings are not criminal in 
character and involve only the charging-style decision on 
whether to accuse the President of ``high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors.''\888\ Thus, although President Trump has 
described his demands as seeking ``due process,'' none of these 
procedures are ``due'' to him under the Constitution here. 
Third, President Trump's demands have no basis in history or 
prior practice, which cut against him.\889\ Finally, in passing 
H. Res. 660, the House implemented procedural protections for 
the President that exceed (or are consistent with) those 
afforded to Presidents Nixon and Clinton.\890\ The fact that 
President Trump declined to take advantage of these protections 
does not excuse his across-the-board stonewalling of the 
House.\891\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \886\U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 2.
    \887\Id. at Sec. 5.
    \888\See supra The Impeachment Inquiry.
    \889\See supra The Impeachment Inquiry.
    \890\See supra The Impeachment Inquiry.
    \891\President Trump's process objections are addressed 
individually, and at much greater length, in the Ukraine Report. We 
incorporate its reasoning and conclusions by reference. The October 8 
letter from Mr. Cipollone raises two additional arguments, both of 
which fail for the reasons set forth above. First, the President cannot 
defy an impeachment inquiry just because he concludes that the minority 
has not been afforded sufficient subpoena rights in House committees; 
the House has both the ``sole Power of Impeachment'' and the sole power 
to ``determine the Rules of its Proceedings.'' Nor can the President 
ignore Congressional subpoenas, or direct others to do so, by 
complaining that the House has informed subpoena recipients that it 
will treat non-compliance as evidence of obstruction. The House does 
not somehow forfeit its ``sole Power of Impeachment'' by pointing out 
that unlawful defiance of its duly-authorized Congressional subpoenas 
may have legal consequences or bear on the impeachment inquiry.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    President Trump's remaining arguments fare no better. 
Through Mr. Cipollone's letter, he asserts the prerogative to 
defy all House subpoenas because he has unilaterally decided 
that he did not do anything wrong.\892\ He adds that the House 
must be acting with ``partisan'' and ``illegitimate'' 
motives.\893\ Notably, the President did not simply make these 
points at a press conference or on Twitter. He had the White 
House Counsel include them in a letter to the House as part of 
his formal legal basis for directing obstruction of the House 
impeachment inquiry.\894\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \892\See Oct. 8 Cipollone Letter at 6 (``It is transparent that you 
have resorted to such unprecedented and unconstitutional procedures 
because you know that a fair process would expose the lack of any basis 
for your inquiry. Your current effort is founded on a completely 
appropriate call on July 25, 2019, between President Trump and 
President Zelenskyy of Ukraine [. . .] That record clearly established 
that the call was completely appropriate, that the President did 
nothing wrong, and that there is no basis for an impeachment 
inquiry.'').
    \893\Oct. 8 Cipollone Letter at 7, 8.
    \894\ See id. at 5 (``In fact, your transparent rush to judgment, 
lack of democratically accountable authorization, and violation of 
basic rights in the current proceedings make clear the illegitimate, 
partisan purpose of this purported `impeachment inquiry.'''); see also 
To End A Presidency at 64-66.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To state the obvious, a President cannot obstruct a House 
impeachment inquiry because he believes his conduct was proper 
and sees no need for his acts to be investigated. Nor can he do 
so by impugning the House's motives or attacking its 
legitimacy. Once again, the Constitution vests the House with 
the ``sole Power of Impeachment.'' These are judgments for the 
House alone to make, guided always by the Constitution. 
Otherwise, in contravention of the entire Anglo-American legal 
tradition, Presidents would truly be the judge of their own 
case.\895\ That is why the Framers gave the impeachment power 
to Congress, not the President, and it is why the House and 
Senate, respectively, have ``sole Power'' to impeach and to 
adjudicate articles of impeachment.\896\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \895\See Dr. Bonham's Case, 8 Co. Rep. 114a, 118b, 77 Eng. Rep. 
638, 654 (1610) (Coke, C.J.).
    \896\U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. Sec. 2, 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On this score, the Supreme Court's decision in Walter Nixon 
v. United States is instructive: ``Judicial involvement in 
impeachment proceedings, even if only for purposes of judicial 
review, is counterintuitive because it would eviscerate the 
important constitutional check placed on the Judiciary by the 
Framers. [Judge] Nixon's argument would place final reviewing 
authority with respect to impeachments in the hands of the same 
body that the impeachment process is meant to regulate.''\897\ 
In practice, President Trump would do what the Supreme Court 
has clearly warned against: place vital constitutional 
judgments about exercises of the impeachment power ``in the 
hands of the same [President] that the impeachment process is 
meant to regulate.''\898\ Thus, while President Trump merely 
erred in asserting that the impeachment inquiry was unfounded, 
partisan, and ``illegitimate,'' he moved from error to ``high 
Crimes and Misdemeanors'' in declaring that his self-determined 
innocence somehow justifies his scorched-earth obstruction 
campaign.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \897\Nixon v. United States, 506 U.S. 224, 235 (1993) (quotation 
marks and citation omitted).
    \898\Cf. id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Throughout our history, impeachments--particularly of 
Presidents--have been rare. Moreover, in Judge Walter Nixon's 
case, the Supreme Court made clear its extreme wariness of 
intruding on powers of impeachment entrusted solely to 
Congress. As a result, impeachment proceedings against a 
President will inevitably raise questions of constitutional law 
that have not been definitively, specifically resolved by 
judicial precedent or past practice of the House. This leaves 
room for inter-branch negotiation. But it does not allow the 
President to seize on specious arguments, cobble them together, 
and use them in an effort to justify the unjustifiable: a 
Presidential direction that all House subpoenas be entirely 
defied under all circumstances. Such unyielding Presidential 
obstruction of an impeachment inquiry is plainly wrong. When 
the House investigates impeachable offenses, the President 
cannot cover up his misconduct by holding hostage all evidence 
contained within the Executive Branch. The Judiciary Committee 
made this clear in President Nixon's case and reaffirms that 
principle today.
    Simply put, there are lines that a President cannot cross 
in an impeachment inquiry. Those lines exist to ensure that the 
Impeachment Clause can serve its fundamental purpose as a 
safeguard for the people of the United States. In 
comprehensively obstructing this House impeachment inquiry, 
President Trump crossed every one of these lines. He did so 
without any valid cause or excuse. He must therefore be 
impeached, lest future Presidents follow his example and 
persist in corruption, oppression, and abuse of power with 
little risk of discovery or accountability.

3. Judicial Review is Unnecessary and Impractical Here

    It has been suggested that the House cannot impeach 
President Trump for obstruction of Congress without seeking 
judicial enforcement of the subpoenas that he has ordered be 
defied. This claim is mistaken as a matter of constitutional 
law, precedent, and common sense.
    As already explained, the Constitution vests the House--
rather than the President or Judiciary--with ``the sole Power 
of Impeachment.'' That ``sole Power'' includes the 
investigatory powers that the House has invoked in serving 
subpoenas as part of the current impeachment inquiry. This 
Committee therefore concluded in President Nixon's case that it 
would frustrate the constitutional plan for the House to depend 
entirely on the Judiciary to enforce subpoenas in impeachment 
proceedings.\899\ That would risk making the House subservient 
to courts in matters where the Constitution gives the House the 
final word.\900\ It would also raise complexities in the case 
of a President who directed Executive Branch officials to defy 
House subpoenas--and then used his pardon power to immunize 
them from contempt orders if instructed by the Judiciary to 
honor those subpoenas.\901\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \899\Committee Report on Nixon Articles of Impeachment (1974) at 
210-212.
    \900\Id. at 210 (``The Committee concluded that it would be 
inappropriate to seek the aid of the courts to enforce its subpoenas 
against the President. This conclusion is based on the constitutional 
provision vesting the power of impeachment solely in the House of 
Representatives and the express denial by the Framers of the 
Constitution of any role for the courts in the impeachment process.'').
    \901\See id. at 212.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To be sure, judicial review may at first blush seem 
desirable because ``it would be an independent determination by 
an entity with no interest in the proceedings.''\902\ But as 
this Committee has noted: ``[T]he impeachment process itself 
provides an opportunity for such a determination--initially by 
the House in deciding whether to prosecute the Article of 
Impeachment, and, ultimately, by the Senate, the tribunal for 
an impeachment trial. Neither the Committee nor the House would 
be the final judge of the validity of the Committee's 
subpoenas. Whether noncompliance with the subpoenas is a ground 
for impeachment would ultimately be adjudicated in the 
Senate.''\903\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \902\Id. at 212.
    \903\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Consistent with this understanding of the constitutional 
plan, the House has never before relied on litigation to compel 
witness testimony or the production of documents in a 
Presidential impeachment proceeding.\904\ Some members of the 
Minority have suggested otherwise, but there is no law or 
practice to support such a theory.\905\ As explained above, the 
history of House impeachment inquiries teaches a single lesson: 
compliance with subpoenas is the rule, defiance the exceedingly 
rare (and impeachable) exception. No President has ever issued 
a blanket ban on compliance with House subpoenas and challenged 
the House to find a way around his unlawful order. Under these 
strange and unprecedented circumstances, it is appropriate for 
the House to reach its own independent judgment that the 
President is obstructing the exercise of its constitutional 
impeachment power, rather than seeking judicial review.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \904\In President Nixon's case, the Special Prosecutor subpoenaed 
certain Oval Office tape recordings and then litigated the President's 
failure to comply with the subpoena. See United States v. Nixon, 418 
U.S. 683, 686 (1974). The Judiciary Committee did not file suit when 
the President failed to comply fully with its own subpoenas.
    \905\H. Res. 755, Articles of Impeachment Against President Donald 
J. Trump: Markup Before the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 116th Cong. 
(2019) (Statement of Rep. James Sensenbrenner).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Indeed, whereas the Minority suggests that recourse to 
litigation is required, President Trump has repeatedly argued 
that the House is forbidden to seek judicial enforcement of its 
subpoenas. In pending lawsuits filed by the House or its 
Committees, the Justice Department has raised jurisdictional 
arguments on behalf of President Trump that, if accepted, would 
hamper or negate the House's ability to enforce subpoenas in 
court.\906\ Those arguments are mistaken and have already been 
rejected several times,\907\ but reflect the President's 
sustained and unwavering view that it is legally impermissible 
for the House to obtain judicial relief. Where the President 
orders total defiance of House subpoenas and vigorously argues 
that the courthouse door is locked, it is clear that he seeks 
to obstruct the House in the exercise of its impeachment power.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \906\Brief for Defendant-Appellant at 1 47, Comm. on the Judiciary, 
U.S. House of Representatives v. Donald F. McGahn II, No. 19-5331 (D.C. 
Cir. filed Dec. 9, 2019) (arguing courts lack jurisdiction to 
adjudicate subpoena enforcement suits by the House and that the House 
is not even injured for purposes of Article III standing when Executive 
Branch officials defy subpoenas); Memorandum of Points and Authorities 
in Support of Defendants' and Defendants-Intervenors' Motion to 
Dismiss, Comm. on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives v. 
Dep't of Treasury, No. 19 Civ. 1974 (D.D.C. filed Sept. 6, 2019).
    \907\See, e.g., United States v. Am. Tel. & Tel. Co., 551 F.2d 384, 
391 (D.C. Cir. 1976) (``the House as a whole has standing to assert its 
investigatory power''); McGahn, 2019 WL 6312011 at *16-34 (D.D.C. Nov. 
25, 2019) (rejecting DOJ's jurisdictional arguments); Comm. on 
Oversight & Gov't Reform v. Holder, 979 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D.D.C. 2013) 
(same); Miers, 558 F. Supp. 2d at 65-99 (same).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This conclusion comports with common sense. The President 
is under investigation for soliciting and pressuring a foreign 
power to interfere in an election that is less than a year 
away. The House has already received compelling evidence of his 
misconduct. Waiting any longer would thus be an abdication of 
duty--particularly given the extreme implausibility that 
litigation would soon bring new evidence to light. Consider 
three lawsuits filed by House Committees over the past two 
decades seeking to enforce subpoenas against senior Executive 
Branch officials:
     In Committee on the Judiciary v. Miers, this 
Committee sought to enforce a subpoena requiring former White 
House Counsel Harriet Miers to give testimony about the 
contentious firing of nine United States Attorneys. The 
Committee served that subpoena in June 2007, filed suit in 
March 2008, and won a favorable district court order in July 
2008, but did not receive testimony from Miers until June 2009 
due to the entry of a stay by the Court of Appeals and further 
negotiations between the parties.\908\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \908\See Miers, 558 F. Supp. 2d 53 (D.D.C. July 31, 2008) (holding 
Miers was required to testify); 542 F.3d 909 (D.C. Cir. Oct. 6, 2008) 
(staying decision pending appeal); Unopposed Motion for Voluntary 
Dismissal by Plaintiff at 3, Miers (D.D.C. filed Oct. 22, 2009) (Miers 
testified in a transcribed interview in June 2009).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     In Committee on Oversight and Reform v. Holder, 
the Committee on Oversight and Reform (COR) sought to compel 
Attorney General Eric Holder to produce documents relating to 
Operation Fast and Furious. The committee served that subpoena 
in October 2011 and filed suit in August 2012. It then won a 
series of orders requiring the production of documents, but the 
first such order did not issue until August 2014.\909\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \909\The district court rejected DOJ's motion to dismiss in 
September 2013, see Holder, 979 F. Supp. 2d 1; ordered production only 
of documents for which DOJ did not assert any privileges in August 
2014, see 2014 WL 12662665 (D.D.C. Aug. 20, 2014); and did not order 
production of additional documents until January 2016, see 156 F. Supp. 
3d 101 (D.D.C. Jan. 19, 2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     In Committee on the Judiciary v. McGahn, this 
Committee seeks to enforce a subpoena requiring White House 
Counsel Donald F. McGahn II to give testimony regarding matters 
relating to the Special Counsel's investigation. The Committee 
served that subpoena in April 2019, filed suit in August 2019, 
and won a favorable district court order in November 2019, but 
the Court of Appeals has stayed that ruling and will not hear 
oral argument until January 2020.\910\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \910\McGahn, 2019 WL 6312011; see id. at *4-6 (describing case 
history); see Order, No. 19-5331 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 27, 2019) (entering 
``administrative stay'' and scheduling argument in January).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Even when the House urges expedition, it usually takes 
years--not months--to obtain documents or testimony through 
judicial subpoena enforcement proceedings. It would be unwise, 
indeed dangerous, to allow Presidents to defy all subpoenas in 
an impeachment inquiry and then assert that the House cannot 
impeach without exhausting judicial remedies. Particularly in a 
case like this one, where the President's misconduct is a 
constitutional crime in progress, waiting for the courts is the 
practical equivalent of inaction. This Committee will not stand 
idly by while the President abuses power by asking and 
pressuring foreign powers to corrupt the upcoming election.

4. President Trump Poses a Continuing Threat if Left in Office

    Impeachment exists ``not to inflict personal punishment for 
past wrongdoing, but rather to protect against future 
Presidential misconduct that would endanger democracy and the 
rule of law.''\911\ By virtue of the conduct encompassed by 
Article II, President Trump ``has demonstrated that he will 
remain a threat to the Constitution if allowed to remain in 
office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with 
self-governance and the rule of law.''\912\ That is true in at 
least three respects: first, he has debased the impeachment 
remedy; second, he has broadly argued that no government entity 
in the United States has the legal power to investigate his 
official misconduct except on terms of his choosing; and third, 
his obstruction reflects a pattern of misconduct.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \911\Constitutional Grounds for Impeachment (2019) at 10.
    \912\H. Res. 755, 116th Cong. Art. II. (2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

a. Debasement of the Impeachment Remedy

    The impeachment power exists for a reason. It is the 
Framers' final and most definitive answer to a fundamental 
question: ``Shall any man be above Justice?''\913\ Urging the 
necessity of allowing impeachments, Elbridge T. Gerry thus 
emphasized: ``A good magistrate will not fear them. A bad one 
ought to be kept in fear of them.''\914\ In Federalist Papers 
No. 69, Alexander Hamilton affirmed that the Impeachment Clause 
separates Presidents from kings and khans.\915\ Where a 
President abuses his power, betrays the public through foreign 
entanglements, or corrupts his office or elections, impeachment 
is our Nation's last line of defense against conduct ``fatal to 
the Republic.''\916\ It was partly by virtue of this limit on 
malfeasance that the Framers entrusted Presidents with sweeping 
executive authority. A President who seeks to sabotage the 
impeachment power thus disorders our system of checks and 
balances, tilting it toward executive tyranny.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \913\2 Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention at 65 (George 
Mason).
    \914\Id. at 66 (Elbridge Gerry).
    \915\The Federalist No. 69 at 444-45 (Alexander Hamilton) (Benjamin 
Fletcher Wright ed. 1961).
    \916\2 Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention at 66 (James 
Madison).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    That is what President Trump did here. The point bears 
repetition: his conduct is unlike anything this Nation has ever 
seen. Other Presidents have disapproved of impeachments. Other 
Presidents have criticized the House and doubted its motives. 
Other Presidents have insisted they did nothing wrong. But no 
President before this one has declared himself and his entire 
branch of government exempt from subpoenas issued by the House 
under its ``sole Power of Impeachment.'' No President has made 
compliance with his every demand a condition of even 
considering whether to honor subpoenas. No President has 
directed his senior officials to violate their own legal 
obligations because an impeachment was ``illegitimate.'' 
Indeed, every President in our Nation's history but one has 
done the opposite--and that President, Richard M. Nixon, faced 
an article of impeachment in this Committee for withholding key 
evidence from the House.

b. Denial of Any Mechanism of Legal Oversight or Accountability

    Approval of the Second Article of Impeachment is further 
supported by President Trump's apparent view that nobody in the 
United States government has the lawful authority to 
investigate any misconduct in which he engages. This view is 
evident in the legal positions he has taken while in office. To 
start, President Trump maintains that he is completely immune 
from criminal indictment and prosecution while serving as 
President.\917\ He also claims that he cannot be investigated--
under any circumstance--by state or federal law enforcement 
while in office.\918\ He asserts the authority to terminate and 
control federal law enforcement investigations for any reason 
(or none at all), including when he is the subject of an 
investigation.\919\ He insists that unfounded doctrines, such 
as absolute immunity, preclude testimony by many current and 
former officials who might shed light on any Presidential 
abuses.\920\ He defies binding Congressional subpoenas on 
topics of national importance based on his own determination 
that they lack a legitimate purpose,\921\ and then he sues to 
block third parties from complying with such subpoenas.\922\ 
Even as he pursues his own interests in court, his 
administration simultaneously argues that Congress is barred 
from obtaining judicial enforcement when Executive Branch 
officials disregard its subpoenas.\923\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \917\Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiff's Emergency Motion 
For a Temporary Restraining Order and a Preliminary Injunction, Trump 
v. Vance, Jr. No. 19 Civ. 08694, 2019 WL 5557333 (S.D.N.Y Sept. 20, 
2019) (``Under Article II, the Supremacy Clause, and the structure of 
our Constitution, the President of the United States cannot be `subject 
to the criminal process' while he is in office.''); Ann E. Marimow & 
Jonathan O'Connell, In Court Hearing, Trump Lawyer Argues a Sitting 
President Would be Immune from Prosecution Even If He Were to Shoot 
Someone, Wash. Post, Oct. 23, 2019.
    \918\Trump v. Vance, 941 F.3d 631, 640 (2d Cir. 2019) (``The 
President relies on what he described at oral argument as `temporary 
absolute presidential immunity'--he argues that he is absolutely immune 
from all stages of state criminal process while in office, including 
pre-indictment investigation . . . .'').
    \919\Letter from John M. Dowd & Jay A. Sekulow to Robert S. 
Mueller, III (Jan. 29, 2018) (``It remains our position that the 
President's actions here, by virtue of his position as the chief law 
enforcement officer, could neither constitutionally nor legally 
constitute obstruction because that would amount to him obstructing 
himself, and that he could, if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or 
even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired.'').
    \920\McGahn, 2019 WL 6312011 at *34 (``DOJ asserts that current and 
former senior-level presidential aides have `absolute testimonial 
immunity' from compelled congressional process, as a matter of law; 
therefore, if the President invokes `executive privilege' over a 
current or former aides' testimony--as he has done with respect to 
McGahn--that aide need not accede to the lawful demands of 
Congress.''). See also, e.g., Ukraine Report at 230 (President Trump 
ordered Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to defy a subpoena for his 
testimony on grounds of ``absolute immunity''); id. at 231 (same, with 
respect to White House advisor Robert Blair); id. at 232 (same, with 
respect to Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security 
Affairs John Eisenberg).
    \921\See Oct. 8 Cipollone Letter at 2. See also, e.g., 
Congressional Committee's Request for the President's Tax Returns, 43 
Op. O.L.C.__, 2019 WL 2563046 (supporting Department of the Treasury's 
decision to override plain statutory text requiring disclosure of the 
President's tax returns based on purported absence of a ``legitimate 
legislative purpose'').
    \922\See, e.g., Mazars, 940 F.3d at 717; Trump v. Deutsche Bank 
AG,--F.3d--, 2019 WL 6482561 at *2 (2d Cir. Dec. 3, 2019).
    \923\McGahn, 2019 WL 6312011, at *26 (``Here, as in Miers, DOJ 
attempts to shoehorn its emasculating effort to keep House committees 
from turning to the courts as a means of vindicating their 
constitutional interests into various categories of established legal 
arguments, some of which overlap substantially with jurisdictional 
contentions that the Court has already considered and rejected.''). 
Compare Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Defendants' 
and Defendant-Intervenors' Motion to Dismiss at 13, Comm. on Ways and 
Means, U.S. House of Representatives v. Dep't of Treasury, No. 19 Civ. 
01974 (D.D.C. filed Sept. 6, 2019) (warning against ``[t]he exertion of 
Federal judicial power to declare victors in inter-branch disputes of 
this nature''), with Brief for the United States as Amicus Curiae at 2, 
Trump v. Deutsche Bank, No. 19-1540 (2d Cir. filed Aug. 19, 2019) 
(encouraging the court to ``engage in a searching evaluation of 
subpoenas directed at the President'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Perhaps most remarkably, President Trump claims that the 
House cannot investigate his misconduct outside of an 
impeachment inquiry\924\--but also claims that it cannot 
investigate his misconduct as part of an impeachment inquiry if 
he deems it ``illegitimate.''\925\ And an inquiry ranks as 
``illegitimate,'' in President Trump's view, if he thinks he 
did nothing wrong, doubts the motives of the House, or prefers 
a different set of Committee procedures. It is not hyperbole to 
describe this reasoning as better suited to George Orwell or 
Franz Kafka than the Office of the President.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \924\Mazars, 940 F.3d at 750 (quoting DOJ's brief, ``The House's 
impeachment power is an express authority whose exercise does not 
require a connection to valid legislation. But the Committee has 
asserted neither jurisdiction over, nor an objective of pursuing 
impeachment.'').
    \925\Oct. 8 Cipollone Letter at 8 (``For the foregoing reasons, the 
President cannot allow your constitutionally illegitimate proceedings 
to distract him and those in the Executive Branch from their work on 
behalf of the American people.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Viewed in their totality, President Trump's positions 
amount to an insistence that he is above the law; that there is 
no governmental entity in the United States outside his direct 
control that can investigate him for official misconduct and 
hold him accountable for any wrongdoing. Even the House, 
wielding one of the mightiest powers in the Constitution--a 
power that exists specifically to address a rogue President--
has no authority at all to investigate his official acts if he 
decides otherwise.
    That is not our law. It never has been. The President is a 
constitutional officer. Unlike a despot, he answers to a higher 
legal authority. It is disconcerting enough that the President 
has attacked and resisted the House's explicit oversight 
authority in unprecedented ways. But it is worse, much worse, 
that he now claims the further prerogative to ignore a House 
impeachment inquiry.\926\ The continuing threat posed by 
President Trump's conduct, as set forth in the Second Article 
of Impeachment, is thus exacerbated by his public and legal 
assertions that it is illegitimate and unlawful for anyone to 
investigate him for abuse of office except on his own terms.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \926\The President has accompanied this conduct with a series of 
public statements advocating the view that it is illegitimate for the 
House to investigate him. See Ukraine Report at 28-29 (``He has 
publicly and repeatedly rejected the authority of Congress to conduct 
oversight of his actions and has directly challenged the authority of 
the House to conduct an impeachment inquiry into his actions regarding 
Ukraine . . . . [President Trump's] rhetorical attacks appeared 
intended not just to dispute public reports of his misconduct, but to 
persuade the American public that the House lacks authority to 
investigate the President.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

c. Consistency with Previous Conduct

    The Second Article of Impeachment impeaches President Trump 
for obstructing Congress with respect to the House impeachment 
inquiry relating to Ukraine. Yet, as noted in that Article, 
President Trump's obstruction of that investigation is 
``consistent with [his] previous efforts to undermine United 
States Government investigations into foreign interference in 
United States elections.''\927\ An understanding of those 
previous efforts, and the pattern of misconduct they represent, 
sheds light on the particular conduct set forth in that Article 
as sufficient grounds for the impeachment of President 
Trump.\928\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \927\H. Res. 755, 116th Cong. Art. II (2019).
    \928\This Committee has undertaken an investigation relating to the 
Special Counsel's report. That includes inquiring into President 
Trump's obstruction of the Special Counsel, as well as a review of 
other aspects of the Special Counsel's underlying work that the 
President obstructed. As part of this investigation, the Committee has 
sought to compel testimony by former White House Counsel Donald F. 
McGahn II, and to review certain grand jury materials relating to the 
Special Counsel's report. Should the Committee obtain the information, 
it would be utilized, among other purposes, in a Senate trial on these 
articles of impeachment, if any. The Committee, moreover, has continued 
and will continue those investigations consistent with its own prior 
statements respecting their importance and purposes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    These previous efforts include, but are not limited to, 
President Trump's endeavor to impede the Special Counsel's 
investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 United 
States Presidential election, as well as President Trump's 
sustained efforts to obstruct the Special Counsel after 
learning that he was under investigation for obstruction of 
justice.\929\ There can be no serious doubt that the Special 
Counsel's investigation addressed an issue of extraordinary 
importance to our national security and democracy. As the 
Special Counsel concluded, ``[t]he Russian government 
interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and 
systematic fashion.''\930\ This assessment accords with the 
consensus view of the United States intelligence 
community.\931\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \929\See generally Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III, Report 
On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential 
Election, Vols. I and II (March 2019) (hereinafter, ``Mueller 
Report'').
    \930\Mueller Report Vol. I at 1.
    \931\Ukraine Report at 13 (``[T]he U.S. Intelligence Community had 
unanimously determined that Russia, not Ukraine, interfered in the 2016 
election to help the candidacy of Donald Trump.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ultimately, although the Special Counsel ``did not 
establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or 
coordinated with the Russian government in its election 
interference activities,'' he did conclude that ``the Russian 
government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency 
and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign 
expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen 
and released through Russian efforts.''\932\ Yet there is no 
indication in the Special Counsel's report that anyone from the 
Trump Campaign, including President Trump, reported to law 
enforcement any contacts or offers of foreign assistance. 
Instead, President Trump openly welcomed and invited Russian 
interference in the election.\933\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \932\Mueller Report Vol. I at 5.
    \933\See generally Mueller Report Vol. II.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Rather than aid the Special Counsel's investigation into 
Russian interference, President Trump sought to thwart it--and 
used the powers of his office as part of that scheme.\934\ Most 
notably, after learning that he was himself under 
investigation, President Trump among other things ordered the 
firing of the Special Counsel,\935\ sought to curtail the 
Special Counsel's investigation in a manner exempting his own 
prior conduct,\936\ instructed the White House Counsel to 
create a false record and make false public statements,\937\ 
and tampered with at least two key witnesses in the Special 
Counsel's investigation.\938\ Based on the Special Counsel's 
report, these acts were obstructive in nature, and there is 
evidence strongly supporting that President Trump acted with 
the improper (and criminal) purpose of avoiding potential 
liability and concealing information that he viewed as 
personally and politically damaging.\939\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \934\See id.
    \935\See id. at 77-90.
    \936\See id. at 90-98.
    \937\See id. at 113-20.
    \938\See id. at 120-56.
    \939\See id. at 87-90, 97-98, 118-20, 131-33, 153-56.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The pattern is as unmistakable as it is unnerving. There, 
President Trump welcomed and invited a foreign nation to 
interfere in a United States Presidential election to his 
advantage; here, President Trump solicited and pressured a 
foreign nation to do so. There, Executive Branch law 
enforcement investigated; here, the House impeachment inquiry 
investigated. There, President Trump used the powers of his 
office to obstruct and seek to fire the Special Counsel; here, 
President Trump used the powers of his office to obstruct and 
embargo the House impeachment inquiry. There, while obstructing 
investigators, the President stated that he remained free to 
invite foreign interference in our elections; here, while 
obstructing investigators, President Trump in fact invited 
additional foreign interference. Indeed, President Trump placed 
his fateful July 25 call to President Zelensky just one day 
after the Special Counsel testified in Congress about his 
findings.
    Viewed in this frame, it is apparent that President Trump 
sees no barrier to inviting (or inducing) foreign interference 
in our elections, using the powers of his office to obstruct 
anyone who dares to investigate such misconduct, and engaging 
in the same conduct with impunity all over again. Although the 
Second Article of Impeachment focuses on President Trump's 
categorical and indiscriminate obstruction of the House 
impeachment inquiry, the consistency of this obstruction with 
his broader pattern of misconduct is relevant and 
striking.\940\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \940\The same point applies to President Trump's unjustified and 
improper obstruction of this Committee's efforts to investigate the 
evidence bearing on the question of whether President Trump committed 
obstruction of justice in his efforts to undermine the Special 
Counsel's investigation. See, e.g., Nadler Statement on White House 
Obstruction of Dearborn, Porter & Lewandowski Testimony, House 
Committee on the Judiciary, Sept. 16, 2019 (addressing White House 
obstruction of witness testimony on grounds of ``absolute immunity''). 
Of course, several matters relating to that issue are currently pending 
before the courts. See, e.g., McGahn, 2019 WL 6312011, at *28 (D.D.C. 
Nov. 25, 2019), appeal docketed, No. 19-5331 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 26, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                             IV. Conclusion

    As the Investigating Committees concluded, ``it would be 
hard to imagine a stronger or more complete case of obstruction 
than that demonstrated by the President since the [impeachment] 
inquiry began.''\941\ In the history of our Republic, no 
President has obstructed Congress like President Trump. If 
President Nixon's obstruction of Congress raised a slippery 
slope concern, we now find ourselves at the bottom of the 
slope, surveying the damage to our Constitution.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \941\Ukraine Report at 9.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    That damage is extraordinary. As explained above, and as 
set forth in Article II, President Trump has ``sought to 
arrogate to himself the right to determine the propriety, 
scope, and nature of an impeachment inquiry into his own 
conduct, as well as the unilateral prerogative to deny any and 
all information to the House of Representatives in the exercise 
of its `sole Power of Impeachment.'''\942\ This abuse of the 
Presidential office, moreover, ``served to cover up the 
President's own repeated misconduct and to seize and control 
the power of impeachment--and thus to nullify a vital 
constitutional safeguard vested solely in the House of 
Representatives.''\943\ If President Trump is left unchecked, 
we will send an alarming message to future Presidents.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \942\H. Res. 755, 116th Cong. Art. II (2019).
    \943\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In word and deed, President Trump has sought to write the 
Impeachment Clause out of the Constitution. If his excuses for 
that conduct are accepted, then every future President can 
choose to ignore House subpoenas, and a bulwark against tyranny 
will be undone. This time, courageous and patriotic public 
servants defied the President's direction and offered testimony 
about his corrupt solicitation and inducement of foreign 
interference in our elections. Next time, we may not be so 
fortunate, and a President may perpetrate abuses that remain 
unknown or unprovable. That is exactly what the Framers feared 
most as they designed the Office of the President. It is what 
they warned against in their deliberations, and what they 
sought to prevent by authorizing impeachments. We are the 
inheritors of that legacy--of a Republic, if we can keep it.

                                Hearings

    For the purposes of section 103(i) of H. Res. 6 of the 
116th Congress and pursuant to H. Res. 660, the following 
hearings were used to develop H. Res. 755:
    1. ``The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. 
Trump: Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment,'' 
held before the Judiciary Committee on December 4, 2019. During 
this hearing, the Committee heard testimony from: Noah Feldman, 
Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law and Director, Julis-
Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law at Harvard Law 
School; Pamela S. Karlan, Kenneth and Harle Montgomery 
Professor of Public Interest Law and Co-Director, Supreme Court 
Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School; Michael Gerhardt, 
Burton Craige Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence at the 
University of North Carolina School of Law; and Jonathan 
Turley, J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Public 
Interest Law at the George Washington University Law School. In 
this hearing, the witnesses testified on the permissible 
grounds for presidential impeachment.
    2. ``The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. 
Trump: Presentations from the House Permanent Select Committee 
on Intelligence and House Judiciary Committee,'' held before 
the Judiciary Committee on December 9, 2019. During this 
hearing, the Committee heard presentations from: Barry Berke, 
Majority Counsel for the House Committee on the Judiciary; 
Daniel Goldman, Majority Counsel for the House Permanent Select 
Committee on Intelligence; and Stephen Castor Minority Counsel 
for the House Committee on the Judiciary and the House 
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Pursuant to H. Res. 
660, in this hearing, Majority and Minority Counsels for the 
House Committee on the Judiciary presented opening statements, 
followed by presentations of evidence from Majority and 
Minority Counsels for the House Permanent Select Committee on 
Intelligence.

                        Committee Consideration

    On December 11, 12, and 13, 2019, the Committee met in open 
session to consider H. Res. 755. On December 13, the Committee 
ordered the resolution favorably reported to the House with an 
amendment. Pursuant to clause 5 of rule XVI, the vote on 
reporting the resolution was divided into separate votes on the 
articles. The Committee approved Article I (abuse of power) by 
a rollcall vote of 23 to 17 and it approved Article II 
(obstruction of Congress) by a rollcall vote of 23 to 17, in 
each case a quorum being present.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
following rollcall votes occurred during the Committee's 
consideration H. Res. 755:
    1. A motion by Ms. Lofgren to lay on the table Mr. Collins' 
appeal of the ruling of the chair that the Committee was not 
required to hold a minority hearing day before considering 
articles of impeachment, was agreed to by a vote of 23 to 17.

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    2. An amendment by Mr. Jordan to strike article I from the 
resolution, was defeated by a rollcall vote of 17 to 23.

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    3. An amendment by Mr. Gaetz to replace a reference to the 
investigation into Joseph R. Biden with Burisma and Hunter 
Biden, was defeated by a rollcall vote of 17 to 23.

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    4. An amendment by Mr. Biggs to insert a section asserting 
foreign aid was released after President Zelensky signed anti-
corruption measures into law, was defeated by a rollcall vote 
of 17 to 23.

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    5. An amendment by Mr. Reschenthaler to strike article II 
from the resolution, was defeated by a rollcall vote of 17 to 
23.

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

    6. An amendment by Mr. Jordan to strike language asserting 
President Trump's conduct has demonstrated that he warrants 
``impeachment and trial, removal from office, and 
disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, 
or profit under the United States,'' was defeated by a rollcall 
vote of 17 to 23.

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

    7. Upon demand that the vote to report the resolution, as 
amended, favorably to the House be divided into two 
propositions pursuant clause 5 of Rule XVI, Article I of the 
resolution (abuse of power) was agreed to by a rollcall vote of 
23 to 17.

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

    8. Upon demand that the vote to report the resolution, as 
amended, favorably to the House be divided into two 
propositions pursuant clause 5 of Rule XVI, Article II of the 
resolution (obstruction of Congress) was agreed to by a 
rollcall vote of 23 to 17.

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

  New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures and Congressional Budget 
                          Office Cost Estimate

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974 and with respect to requirements of clause 
(3)(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, are inapplicable because this resolution does not 
provide new budgetary authority or increased tax expenditures. 
Additionally, the Committee believes that the resolution will 
have no budget effect.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of H. Res. 755 establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the federal government known to be duplicative of 
another federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    The Committee states that pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, H. Res. 
755 recommends articles of impeachment for President Donald J. 
Trump.

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In accordance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H. Res. 755 does not contain any 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                            Dissenting Views

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
 I. Introduction....................................................181
II. Procedural Background...........................................183
        A. Impeachment Proceedings Without Authorization.........   183
        B. The Bifurcation of Impeachment Inquiry Proceedings 
            Under H. Res. 660....................................   183
        C. Committee Proceedings Under H. Res. 660...............   184
          1. Failure to Schedule a Minority Hearing Day..........   184
          2. Staff Presentation..................................   185
          3. Rejection of All Republican Witness Requests........   185
III.Factual Background..............................................186

IV. Article I Fails to Establish an Impeachable Offense.............187
        A. Impeachment in the House of Representatives Requires 
            Clear and Convincing Evidence of Specific Impeachable 
            Conduct. The Majority Has Not Met Its Burden.........   188
        B. Abuse of Power Allegations Are Overbroad and Fail to 
            Allege Specific Impeachable Conduct..................   189
          1. Claims About the 2020 Election are Hyperbolic and 
              Misleading.........................................   190
          2. Prior Presidential Impeachments Were All Based on 
              Criminality........................................   192
          3. This is the First Presidential Impeachment Where the 
              Primary Allegations Have Not Been Proven...........   192
        C. The Majority Fails to Explain Why Asking About Hunter 
            Biden's Role on Burisma Board of Directors is a High 
            Crime or Misdemeanor.................................   194
 V. Article II Fails to Establish an Impeachable Offense............195
        A. Obstruction of Congress Does Not Constitute a High 
            Crime or High Misdemeanor While Further Recourse is 
            Available............................................   196
        B. An Impeachment Inquiry Does Not Elevate the House of 
            Representatives Above Fundamental Privileges.........   198
        C. The Majority's Failure to Conduct an Impeachment 
            Inquiry in Accordance with Precedent has Led to Ex 
            Post Facto Characterizations of that Inquiry.........   199
        D. Assertions of Privilege by Previous Administrations 
            Never Merited Impeachment............................   200
VI. Conclusion......................................................200

                           I. Introduction\1\

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\As an initial matter, the Minority wishes to note for the record 
its unwavering commitment to security for the people and the nation of 
Ukraine. Throughout this process, the Minority has been cast variously 
as against foreign aid, pro-Russia, or unsympathetic to the plight of 
Ukrainians, who face unimaginable hardship in the face of Russian 
aggression. To the Ukrainian people, we say we categorically reject 
these characterizations and apologize that the Ukrainian democracy has 
been thrust into the spotlight besmirching both of our leaders. We 
congratulate you on your election of President Zelensky, whose 
commitment to fighting corruption and the Russian threat are values all 
decent Americans share with you.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Impeachment of an American president demands the accuser 
prioritize legitimacy and thoroughness over expediency. In the 
impeachment inquiries for Presidents Johnson, Nixon, and 
Clinton, the facts had been established and agreed upon by the 
time Articles of Impeachment were considered. Due to years-long 
investigations into the allegations against Nixon and Clinton, 
the only question to answer was what Congress would do to 
confront the findings.
    The evidence uncovered in this impeachment, by contrast, 
shows the case is not only weak but dangerously lowers the bar 
for future impeachments. The record put forth by the Majority 
is based on inferences built upon presumptions and hearsay. In 
short, the Majority has failed to make a credible, factually-
based allegation against this president that merits 
impeachment.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\See Jonathan Turley, ``The Impeachment Inquiry Into President 
Donald J. Trump: The Constitutional Basis For Presidential 
Impeachment,'' House Committee on the Judiciary, Written Statement, 
Dec. 4, 2019, at 4. (``I am concerned about lowering impeachment 
standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger. I 
believe this impeachment not only fails the standard of past 
impeachments but would create a dangerous precedent for future 
impeachments.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    By deciding to pursue impeachment first and build a case 
second, the Majority has created a challenge for itself. In the 
face of new information that exculpates or exonerates the 
President, the Majority must choose: either accept that the 
impeachment inquiry's findings do not merit impeachment and 
face the political consequences or, alternatively, ignore those 
facts. Regrettably, the Majority has chosen the latter.
    As detailed in Section III below, since the delivery of the 
Intelligence Committee's Reports (both Majority and Minority), 
new developments have emerged that further undermine the case 
for impeachment. The Majority's response to new exculpatory 
facts, as it has been since the day the President was elected, 
is to ignore them and press on.
    The Majority has not only ignored exculpatory evidence but 
proclaims the facts are ``uncontested.'' The facts are 
contested, and, in many areas, the Majority's claims are 
directly contradicted by the evidence. That assertion is 
further contradicted by the Articles of Impeachment themselves. 
Not one of the criminal accusations leveled at the President 
over the past year--including bribery, extortion, collusion/
conspiracy with foreign enemies, or obstruction of justice--has 
found a place in the Articles. Some of these accusations are, 
in fact, holdovers from an earlier disingenuous attempt by the 
Majority to weaponize the Russia collusion investigations for 
political gain. The Majority has not made the case for 
impeachment in part due to its decision to impeach being rooted 
less in a concern for the nation than the debasement of the 
President.
    History will record the impeachment of President Donald J. 
Trump as a signal that even the gravest constitutional remedy 
is not beyond political exploitation. The Articles of 
Impeachment alone, drafted by the Majority in haste to meet a 
self-imposed December deadline, underscore the Majority's 
anemic impeachment case. The Majority's actions are 
unprecedented, unjustifiable, and will only dilute the 
significance of the dire recourse that is impeachment. The 
ramifications for future presidents are not difficult to 
surmise. If partisan passions are not restrained, the House of 
Representatives will be thrown into an endless cycle of 
impeachment, foregoing its duty to legislate and usurping the 
place of the American people in electing their president.

                       II. Procedural Background

    Apart from those factual and evidentiary shortcomings 
referenced above, the Majority's dedication to impeaching the 
President at any cost was well-reflected by their willful 
disregard of House Rules and congressional precedent. 
Throughout the first session of the 116th Congress, Chairman 
Jerrold Nadler repeatedly violated any Rules that 
inconvenienced the Committee's ardent attempts to impeach the 
President. The Committee's impeachment-related activities 
during the first session of the 116th Congress should be viewed 
as a cautionary tale.
    In 1974, Chairman Peter Rodino approached the question of 
presidential impeachment solemnly and with an eye towards 
fairness and thoroughness. He worked diligently to ensure that 
such a country-altering process was conducted with not only 
bipartisan support, but with the support of the American 
people. What has occurred in the halls of Congress over the 
final months of 2019 has been a sharp and unfortunate departure 
from Chairman Rodino's legacy. The institutional damage done to 
the House of Representatives by the Majority throughout this 
impeachment ``process'' can never be repeated.

            A. IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION

    For most of 2019, the House Committee on the Judiciary (the 
``Committee'' or the ``Judiciary Committee'') conducted various 
``impeachment'' hearings outside the scope of its authority 
under rule X of the Rules of the House. The Chairman's refusal 
to seek authorization by a vote of the full House of 
Representatives--as was done in 1974 and 1998--denied every 
Member of the House of Representatives the opportunity to 
determine whether such proceedings should commence.
    Not only did the Majority fail to seek authorization from 
the House of Representatives, they insisted they did not need 
it. On multiple occasions, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi 
and the Chairman denied that a vote of the full House of 
Representatives was necessary prior to conducting an 
impeachment inquiry, arguing that House committees could 
conduct oversight pursuant to rule X of the Rules of the 
House.\3\ This is a manipulative reading of the Rules. Rule X 
prescribes--in list format--the specific topics over which each 
House committee may exercise jurisdiction. Impeachment is not 
listed in rule X.\4\ To add--even temporarily--to a committee's 
jurisdiction, the full House of Representatives must agree.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Nadler: These are `formal impeachment proceedings', CNN (Aug. 8, 
2019); Susan Cornwall, U.S. House Will Hold Off on Vote to Authorize 
Impeachment Probe: Pelosi, Reuters, (Oct. 15, 2019).; Lindsey 
McPherson, McCarthy Asks Pelosi to Suspend Impeachment Inquiry Until 
She Defines Procedures, RollCall, (Oct. 3, 2019).
    \4\Rules of the House of Representative, Rule X.
    \5\Deschler-Brown's Precedents, Volume 3, Chapter 10. 94th Cong. 
2042 (1994).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. THE BIFURCATION OF IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY PROCEEDINGS UNDER H. RES. 660

    The adoption of H. Res. 660 diverged substantially, and 
without justification, from prior authorizations agreed to by 
the House of Representatives in 1974 and 1998. Most notably, it 
bifurcated impeachment proceedings, allowing the House 
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (the ``Intelligence 
Committee'') to usurp what has traditionally been the 
Committee's investigative role in presidential impeachment. To 
be clear, Members of the House of Representatives will soon 
have to vote on Articles of Impeachment reported by a Judiciary 
Committee that has barely reviewed the alleged evidence. After 
the Intelligence Committee ``investigation,'' the Judiciary 
Committee held only one hearing and one presentation from staff 
on the impeachment inquiry. Not only was the Judiciary 
Committee almost completely shut out from the impeachment 
inquiry, it turned down the opportunity to examine all of the 
evidence collected by the Intelligence Committee or to hear 
testimony from even one fact witness.
    The Majority allowed the entire investigative portion to 
take place in a committee that denied Minority-requested 
witnesses, would not allow the participation of the President's 
counsel to question fact witnesses, and censored Minority 
questions.\6\ After the Intelligence Committee's one-sided 
investigation, the Judiciary Committee was unable to conduct a 
full review, leaving the American people in the dark.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\Valerie Richardson, Adam Schiff Rejects Hunter Biden, 
`Whistleblower' as Impeachment Witnesses, Washington Times (Nov. 10, 
2019); Bob Fredericks & Aaron Feis, Adam Schiff Blocks Republicans' 
Attempts to Question Impeachment Witnesses, New York Post (Nov. 19, 
2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

               C. COMMITTEE PROCEEDINGS UNDER H. RES. 660

1. Failure to Schedule a Minority Hearing Day

    The Minority has a right to a minority day of hearings 
under clause 2(j)(1) of Rule XI of the Rules of the House.\7\ 
The Rules set forth that a minority day of hearings must occur 
on the ``measure or matter'' under consideration at the time of 
the demand. On December 4, 2019, the Committee held a hearing 
titled ``The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. 
Trump: Constitutional Grounds for Presidential 
Impeachment.''\8\ It was during that hearing that a demand for 
a minority day of hearings was made. In fact, a demand for a 
minority day of hearings was made less than two minutes after 
the start of the hearing, which was the first Committee hearing 
designated pursuant to H. Res. 660.\9\ Given the issue under 
consideration at the December 4 hearing, the Rules would 
require that the Chairman schedule a minority day of hearings 
on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald J. Trump, the 
matter under consideration at the time of the demand. Once the 
articles of impeachment were considered and adopted, the 
impeachment inquiry ended, and the necessity of the minority 
hearing day dissipated.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\Rules of the House of Representative, Clause (2)(j)(1), rule XI.
    \8\The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: 
Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment, Hearing Before the 
H. Comm. On the Judiciary, 116th Cong. (2019).
    \9\Id. at 4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After the Chairman failed to acknowledge his obligation to 
schedule such a hearing during the December 4 hearing, Ranking 
Member Doug Collins sent a letter the following day reminding 
the Chairman that the requested minority hearing day must be 
scheduled before Committee consideration of any articles of 
impeachment.
    The issue was again raised at the staff presentation 
hearing on December 9, 2019.\10\ Each time the issue was raised 
directly to the Chairman, he said that he was still considering 
the request.\11\ At the markup of articles of impeachment, a 
point of order was made against consideration of the articles 
for the Chairman's failure to schedule a minority hearing day. 
Instead of acknowledging his violation of the Rules, the 
Chairman ruled against the point of order, depriving Minority 
Members of their right to a minority day of hearings.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: 
Presentations from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence 
and House Judiciary Committee, Hearing Before the H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, 116th Cong. 12 (2019).
    \11\The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: 
Presentations from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence 
and House Judiciary Committee, Hearing Before the H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, 116th Cong. 13 (2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Such a blatant, intentional, and impactful violation of the 
Rules during consideration of a matter as course-altering as 
articles of impeachment has never occurred in the history of 
the House of Representatives.

2. Staff Presentation

    The staff ``presentation'' hearing held on Monday, December 
9, 2019, could only be described as a bizarre, made-for-TV 
divergence from the precedent set during the impeachments of 
Presidents Nixon and Clinton. Staff presentations in 1974 and 
1998 occurred as a means to assist Members of the Committee in 
sorting through dense volumes of evidence. The December 9 
hearing was set up by the Majority as a means to functionally 
replace the participation of Members of Congress with paid, 
outside consultants, not to advise them.
    To begin, an outside consultant to the Majority, Barry 
Berke, was permitted to make a presentation to the Committee 
without being sworn in or questioned by Members of the 
Committee.\12\ He was later permitted forty-five minutes to 
cross-examine the Minority staff member (after said staffer had 
been sworn in) that had earlier presented the counter argument 
to his ``presentation,'' which was in fact just thirty minutes 
of opinion.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\Id. at 74-5.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This aspect of the hearing comported with the procedures of 
H. Res. 660, but we question any application of the Rules that 
would permit a private consultant to use Committee proceedings 
to cross examine a career staff member for forty-five minutes 
but only allow the majority of Members on the Committee five 
minutes to ask questions.
    Future staff presentations of evidence during impeachment 
inquiries should be just that--presentations of evidence 
compiled and reviewed by the Committee. Instead, this Majority 
chose to prioritize TV ratings over meaningful Member 
participation and a greater understanding of the facts.

3. Rejection of All Republican Witness Requests

    H. Res. 660 provided that the Ranking Member could request 
that the Chairman subpoena witnesses. While H. Res. 660 
provides no time constraints on such a request, the Chairman 
sent a letter requiring that the Ranking Member submit any such 
requests by December 6, 2019.\13\ Despite the unjustifiably 
short time constraint, the Ranking Member sent a list of 
witnesses to the Chairman by the deadline. On Monday December 
9, the Chairman rejected all of the Ranking Member's requests 
without justification beyond the Chairman's unilateral 
determination that the witnesses were not relevant.\14\ 
Considering that Articles of Impeachment were announced the 
very next morning, it is clear that the Chairman had no 
intention to provide the Minority Members with an opportunity 
to examine additional evidence or call additional witnesses.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\Letter from the Honorable Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on 
the Judiciary, to the Honorable Doug Collins, Ranking Member, H. Comm. 
on the Judiciary (Nov. 29, 2019).
    \14\Letter from the Honorable Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on 
the Judiciary, to the Honorable Doug Collins, Ranking Member, H. Comm. 
on the Judiciary (Dec. 9, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        III. Factual Background

    From a substantive perspective, despite the Minority's 
efforts,\15\ this Committee invited no fact witnesses to 
testify during this impeachment inquiry. Instead, it held one 
hearing with a panel of four academics, and one presentation 
with a panel of Congressional staffers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\See, e.g., Letter from the Honorable Doug Collins, Ranking 
Member, H. Comm. on the Judiciary, to the Honorable Jerrold Nadler, 
Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary (December 6, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Rather than conduct its own investigation, this Committee 
relied on the investigation conducted by the Intelligence 
Committee. The Intelligence Committee Majority produced a 
report. However, the Intelligence Committee's Minority Staff 
Report is the more complete document, describing in significant 
detail the evidentiary record.\16\ The Intelligence Committee 
Minority Staff Report is incorporated into these Minority Views 
and attached as Appendix A. As that Minority Report shows, the 
Majority does not have evidence to support the allegations in 
the Articles of Impeachment.\17\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\See Appendix A, Report of Evidence in the Democrats' 
Impeachment Inquiry in the House of Representatives (``Intel. Comm. 
Minority Report'') (Dec. 2, 2019).
    \17\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Since the conclusion of the Intelligence Committee's 
investigation and the provision of its reports, significant new 
facts have come to light that further contradict the Majority's 
primary allegation that the President conditioned U.S. security 
assistance on the initiation of Ukrainian investigations into a 
political rival. The Majority has ignored those facts. First, 
on December 2, President Zelensky repeated his earlier 
statements\18\ that he was not pressured by President Trump. In 
fact, he said he was not aware of a quid pro quo involving U.S. 
security assistance.\19\ Second, on December 10, a close aide 
to President Zelensky, Andriy Yermak, denied discussing a quid 
pro quo with Gordon Sondland, which, as discussed below, is the 
linchpin of the Majority's factual case.\20\ It is difficult to 
conceive that a months-long pressure campaign existed when the 
alleged victims are not aware of it and deny being pressured. 
These exculpatory facts not only undercut the Majority's 
primary factual claims, they emphasize the problems with the 
rushed nature of the process.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \18\Tara Law, `Nobody Pushed Me.' Ukrainian President Denies Trump 
Pressured Him to Investigate Biden's Son, TIME (Sep. 25, 2019).
    \19\Simon Shuster, `I Don't Trust Anyone at All,' Ukrainian 
President Volodymyr Zelensky Speaks Out on Trump, Putin and a Divided 
Europe, TIME (Dec. 2, 2019).
    \20\Simon Shuster, Top Ukraine Official Andriy Yermak Casts Doubt 
on Key Impeachment Testimony, TIME (Dec. 10, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        IV. Article I Fails to Establish an Impeachable Offense

    Impeachment is only warranted for conduct that constitutes 
``Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors.''\21\ For months, the Majority claimed the 
President was guilty of bribery, extortion, and a host of other 
common law and penal code crimes,\22\ but the Articles of 
Impeachment do not include any of those specific offenses. In 
fact, the first Article in the resolution sponsored by Chairman 
Nadler alleges an amorphous charge of ``abuse of power.''\23\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \21\U.S. Const. Art. II, Sec. 4.
    \22\See e.g., Mike DeBonis & Toluse Olorunnipa, Democrats sharpen 
impeachment case, decrying `bribery' as another potential witness 
emerges linking Trump to Ukraine scandal, Washington Post (Nov. 14, 
2019).
    \23\H. Res. 775, 116th Cong. (2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Simply put, the Majority has included the vague ``abuse of 
power'' charge because they lack the evidence to prove bribery, 
extortion, or any other crimes. For example, during the 
Committee's markup of the articles of impeachment, Members from 
the Minority explained in detail why the Majority's claims that 
the President was guilty of bribery were erroneous.\24\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \24\See Markup of H. Res 755, Articles of Impeachment Against 
President Donald J. Trump, Before the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 116th 
Cong. 77-78, 167-68 (statements of Reps. Buck and Reschenthaler; 
specifically, that Democrats lacked the evidence to prove at least 
three elements of the crime of bribery).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It is not the Minority's contention that an abuse of power 
can never form the basis for an impeachment. But an accusation 
of abuse of power must be based on a higher and more concrete 
standard than conduct that ``ignored and injured the interests 
of the Nation.''\25\ The people, through elections, decide what 
constitutes the ``interests of the nation.'' For an abuse of 
power charge, although ``criminality is not required . . . 
clarity is necessary.''\26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \25\Id. at 110 (Article I, charging that the President abused his 
power because he ``ignored and injured the interests of the nation.'').
    \26\Turley, supra note 2, at 11.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Unfortunately, such clarity is utterly lacking in the 
Majority's articles. This is the first presidential impeachment 
in American history without the allegation of a crime, let 
alone a high crime or high misdemeanor. The absence of even an 
allegation of criminality, after months of claiming multiple 
crimes had been committed, reveals the Majority's inability to 
substantiate their claims.\27\ The abuse of power charge in the 
first Article is vague, unprovable, and confined only by the 
impulses of the majority party in the House of Representatives. 
The Majority has failed to distinguish its definition of 
``abuse of power'' from simple dislike or disagreement with the 
President's actions because this impeachment is inextricably 
tied to the Majority's dislike and disagreement with the 
President. That is not what the Founders intended.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \27\See Appendix A (Intel. Comm. Minority Report), outlining the 
evidentiary deficiencies in the Majority's case.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The crux of the factual allegations in the first Article is 
that the President directed a months-long pressure campaign to 
force President Zelensky to announce particular investigations 
in exchange for U.S. security assistance or a White House 
meeting, in an effort to influence the 2020 election. The 
Intelligence Committee Minority Report demonstrates that these 
claims were not only unproven but, in fact, are undermined or 
contradicted by the primary actors in the alleged scheme.\28\ 
Significantly, the alleged victims of the supposed pressure 
campaign were not even aware of any so-called pressure 
campaign.\29\ Indeed, if the Majority had proof of bribery, 
they would have said so in the Articles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \28\Id. at 32-64.
    \29\Georgi Kantchev, Ukrainian President Denies Trump Pressured Him 
During July Call, Wall Street Journal (Oct. 10, 2019) (President 
Zelensky said, ``There was no blackmail.''); Matthias Williams, U.S. 
envoy Sondland did not link Biden probe to aid: Ukraine minister, 
Reuters (Nov. 14, 2019) (Ukraine's Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko 
said Ambassador Sondland ``did not tell us . . . about a connection 
between the assistance and the investigations.''); Mark Moore, 
Ukraine's Zelensky again denies quid pro quo during Trump phone call, 
NY Post (Dec. 2, 2019) (President Zelensky again denies there was a 
quid pro quo); Simon Shuster, Top Ukraine Official Andriy Yermak Casts 
Doubt on Key Impeachment Testimony, TIME (Dec. 10, 2019) (Andriy Yermak 
denies discussing military assistance with Ambassador Sondland).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Because they do not have direct evidence of a pressure 
campaign against the Ukrainians, the Majority's allegations are 
based on presumptions, assumptions, hearsay, and 
inferences.\30\ And its most critical assumptions and 
inferences have been contradicted by direct evidence from the 
primary actors in the alleged scheme.\31\ It is no surprise the 
allegations shifted from quid pro quo, bribery, and extortion 
to settle on an undefined ``abuse of power.'' The facts 
uncovered by the Intelligence Committee fail to approach the 
constitutional and historical standard for impeaching a 
president.\32\ As Professor Jonathan Turley testified before 
this Committee, this is the ``thinnest evidentiary record'' in 
the history of presidential impeachments.\33\ The reason the 
Majority has failed to seek information to substantiate that 
record, as Professor Turley and the Minority agree, is ``an 
arbitrary deadline at the end of December.''\34\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \30\See The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: 
Testimony of Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Hearing Before the H. Perm. 
Sel. Comm. on Intelligence, 116th Cong. 148-51 (2019) (Ambassador 
Sondland testifying that his testimony about military was a 
``presumption'' and that nobody told him the aid was linked to 
investigations); see also Appendix A (Intel. Comm. Minority Views) at 
32-64.
    \31\See supra note 29; Intel. Comm. Minority Views, at 43-44 
(testimony of Ambassador Kurt Volker, the Special Envoy to Ukraine); 
Letter from Sen. Ron Johnson to the Honorable Jim Jordan, Ranking 
Member, H. Comm. on Oversight & Reform, and the Honorable Devin Nunes, 
Ranking Member, H. Perm. Sel. Comm. on Intelligence (Nov. 18, 2019).
    \32\See supra note 10 (Opening Statement of Stephen R. Castor).
    \33\Turley, supra note 2, at 4.
    \34\Id. at 48.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

   A. IMPEACHMENT IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES REQUIRES CLEAR AND 
 CONVINCING EVIDENCE OF SPECIFIC IMPEACHABLE CONDUCT. THE MAJORITY HAS 
                          NOT MET ITS BURDEN.

    Some in the Majority have argued that the House of 
Representatives is like a grand jury that should vote to 
impeach based on probable cause. This framing contradicts 
historical precedent. In the Clinton Impeachment Minority 
Views, House Democrats stated that the burden of proof, just as 
it was in the Nixon inquiry, should be ``clear and convincing 
evidence.''\35\ Chairman Nadler elaborated on that standard 
when he said:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \35\See id. at 211.

          At a bare minimum, [ ] the president's accusers must 
        go beyond hearsay and innuendo and beyond demands that 
        the president prove his innocence of vague and changing 
        charges. They must provide clear and convincing 
        evidence of specific impeachable conduct.\36\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \36\Impeachment Inquiry: William Jefferson Clinton, President of 
the United States, 105th Cong., Consideration of Articles of 
Impeachment 78 (Comm. Print 1998) (statement of Rep. Jerrold Nadler).

    The Majority should reflect upon Chairman Nadler's words.
    The staff report on Constitutional Grounds for Impeachment 
filed during the Nixon impeachment further explains the high 
bar required for impeachment:

          Because impeachment of a President is a grave step 
        for the nation, it is to be predicated only upon 
        conduct seriously incompatible with either the 
        constitutional form and principles of our government or 
        the proper performance of constitutional duties of the 
        presidential office.\37\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \37\Staff of H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 93d Cong., Constitutional 
Grounds for Presidential Impeachment 4, at 27 (Comm. Print 1974) 
(``Nixon Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment'').

    As described below, the Majority's case fails to meet the 
burden of proof required.\38\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \38\See also Appendix A (Intel Comm. Minority Report).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. ABUSE OF POWER ALLEGATIONS ARE OVERBROAD AND FAIL TO ALLEGE SPECIFIC 
                          IMPEACHABLE CONDUCT

    Instead of alleging specific impeachable conduct, such as 
bribery or other high crimes, the Majority has alleged the 
vague and malleable charge of ``abuse of power.'' While a 
consensus of scholars agree it is possible to impeach a 
president for non-criminal acts, the House of Representatives 
has never done so based ``solely or even largely on the basis 
of a non-criminal abuse of power allegation.''\39\ That is 
because ``[c]riminal allegations not only represent the most 
serious forms of conduct under our laws, but they also offer an 
objective source for measuring and proving such conduct.''\40\ 
No such objective measure has been articulated by the Majority.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \39\Turley, supra note 2, at 47.
    \40\Id. at 23.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Majority claims its abuse of power standard is 
satisfied when a president injures ``the interests of the 
nation'' for a personal political benefit.\41\ What constitutes 
an injury to the national interest has been left undefined. It 
can mean anything a majority in Congress wants it to mean. The 
opposition party almost unfailingly disagrees with a president 
on many issues and can always argue his or her actions injure 
the national interest. Here, for example, Majority Members have 
already begun to argue the abuse of power allegations in the 
first Article encompass conduct totally unrelated to the 
Ukraine allegations.\42\ Moreover, nearly any action taken by a 
politician can result in a personal political benefit. When a 
certain standard can always be met by virtually all presidents, 
depending on partisan viewpoints, that standard has no limiting 
neutral principle and must be rejected. Simply stated, the 
Majority is advancing an impeachment based on policy 
differences with the President--a dangerous and slippery slope 
that our Founders cautioned against during discussions crafting 
the impeachment clause.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \41\See H. Res. 755, 116th Cong. (2019) (Article I).
    \42\See, e.g., Rep. Rashida Tlaib, TWITTER, Dec. 10, 2019, 11:14am 
(stating that ``abuse of power'' standard includes the allegation that 
the ``President targeted people solely based on their ethic [sic] 
background, their faith, disability, sexual orientation and even source 
of income.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Founders warned against such a vague and open-ended 
charge because it can be applied in a partisan fashion by a 
majority of the House of Representatives against an opposition 
president. Alexander Hamilton called partisan impeachment 
``regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than 
by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt'' the 
``greatest danger.''\43\ Additionally, the Founders explicitly 
excluded the term ``maladministration'' from the impeachment 
clause because they did not want to subject presidents to the 
whims of Congress.\44\ James Madison said, ``So vague a term 
will be equivalent to a tenure during pleasure of the 
Senate.''\45\ As applied here, the Majority's abuse of power 
standard does precisely what the Founders rejected.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \43\The Federalist No. 65 (Alexander Hamilton).
    \44\2 The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, 550 (Max 
Farrand ed., 1937).
    \45\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thus, when the House of Representatives impeaches a 
president for non-criminal abuses of power, it must state with 
clarity how the harm to ``national interests'' is so egregious 
that it merits usurping the will of the electorate.\46\ The 
Majority has attempted to do that by equating a telephone 
conversation with election tampering. That argument is 
resoundingly unconvincing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \46\Turley, supra note 2, at 11.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To prove an abuse of power, the accusation and the evidence 
against a president must ``be sufficiently clear to assure the 
public that an impeachment is not simply an exercise of 
partisan creativity in rationalizing a removal of a 
president.''\47\ Here, specific impeachable conduct was not 
clearly identified because the Majority failed to prove its 
initial allegations of a quid pro quo, bribery, extortion, and 
other statutory crimes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \47\Id. at 25.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Claims About the 2020 Election are Hyperbolic and Misleading

    The injury to the national interest alleged against the 
President is harm to the integrity of the 2020 election. The 
Majority claims the President has engaged in a pattern of 
inviting foreign governments to intervene in American 
elections, and removal is the only option to preserve American 
democracy. Chairman Adam Schiff said not impeaching is 
equivalent to saying, ``Why not let him cheat in one more 
election?''\48\ That claim is hyperbolic and untrue.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \48\Allan Smith & Rebecca Shabad, House leaders unveil two articles 
of impeachment, accusing Trump of `high crimes and misdemeanors', NBC 
News (Dec. 10, 2019) (``Remarks by Chairman Adam Schiff'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    First, the basis for the Majority's claimed pattern of 
conduct is a statement made in 2016 by then-candidate Trump 
during a public press conference, when he jokingly and 
mockingly asked Russia to find former Secretary of State 
Hillary Clinton's infamous 30,000 missing emails.\49\ That 
statement has now been used as a basis to impeach the President 
because, the Majority argues, he invited a foreign power to 
intervene in the 2016 election and will do it again. This claim 
is specious for at least three reasons. First, the President 
was speaking publicly to fellow Americans. The remark was not, 
for example, caught on a hot microphone during a private 
conversation with the Russian president.\50\ Second, the remark 
was made in jest in response to a question at a public press 
conference, following the news that 30,000 of Clinton's 
emails--potentially incriminating evidence--had mysteriously 
disappeared. Millions of Americans, including then-candidate 
Trump, were wondering what had happened. Finally, there is no 
evidence that the President actively sought to conspire with 
Russia to interfere in the election. The Majority simply does 
not like the comment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \49\See Ian Schwartz, Trump to Russia: I Hope You're Able to Find 
Clinton's 30,000 Missing Email, Real Clear Politics (July 27, 2016).
    \50\J. David Goodman, Microphone Catches a Candid Obama, NY Times 
(March 26, 2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The last point is particularly relevant. The Majority 
actively ignores the fact that the FBI and a special counsel 
spent nearly three years investigating the allegation that the 
President or his campaign colluded or conspired with the 
Russian government. Both concluded that the Trump-Russia 
collusion narrative was baseless.\51\ The special counsel found 
no conspiracy and no collusion.\52\ Indeed, on December 9, 
2019--the same day the Committee received testimony from 
Chairman Schiff's staff, rather than Schiff himself--the 
Inspector General released a report outlining a myriad of 
egregious errors committed by the FBI during its Russia 
collusion investigation.\53\ That the Majority included 
references to the Russia collusion narrative in these Articles 
of Impeachment illuminates the Majority's disregard for 
history, trivializes impeachment, and demonstrates an inability 
by the Majority to accept the inconvenient conclusions of those 
investigations--which, of course, the Majority previously 
lauded. It should be noted that the misconduct uncovered by the 
Department of Justice Inspector General largely occurred during 
President Obama's administration. As such, there is no basis to 
suspect President Trump's administration would allow the same 
election year abuses seen in 2016--which included the 
wiretapping of then-candidate Trump's campaign worker.\54\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \51\See Robert S. Mueller III, Report On The Investigation Into 
Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election (March 2019) 
(``Mueller Report''); Michael Horowitz, A Review of Various Actions by 
the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in 
Advance of the 2016 Election (June 2018) (``Horowitz Report'').
    \52\See Mueller Report at 1.
    \53\See Horowitz Report at i.
    \54\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Second, there was no invitation by President Trump for 
Ukraine to ``intervene'' in the 2020 election. By the 
Majority's standard, any action taken by any president that may 
affect an election is itself ``intervention'' in that election. 
Assuredly, every elected official eligible for reelection gives 
thought to how their actions will improve or harm their future 
campaign. Asking the president of Ukraine to ``look into'' 
potential corruption involving Hunter Biden's employment at a 
notoriously corrupt company in Ukraine is not ``corrupting 
democratic elections.''\55\ Any request, however remote, that 
might benefit a politician politically is not an invitation to 
corrupt an election. To portray the President's request as 
corrupting the 2020 election is disingenuous, at best. As 
explained further below, the President did not ask for false 
information, and the fact that a key player in a corrupt 
Ukrainian company is the son of a politician does not transform 
a legitimate question into election interference.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \55\H. Res. 755, 116th Cong. (2019) (Article I).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, the Majority argues that it must act now to 
prevent an ongoing ``crime spree''.\56\ This is a spurious 
charge since the Articles of Impeachment do not allege any 
crimes, past or present. The Majority's argument that it must 
impeach the President to prevent future crimes, on the basis of 
past crimes not alleged in the Articles, is difficult to 
comprehend. Though impeachment is conceived of as prophylactic, 
the Majority would wield it on prognostication alone. The 
Majority must point to a high crime or other impeachable 
offense before claiming it is acting to protect future 
generations. It has completely failed to do so, instead relying 
on politically-motivated innuendo.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \56\See supra note 24, at 62.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Prior Presidential Impeachments Were All Based on Criminality

    The Majority's Articles of Impeachment are unprecedented in 
American history because they are not based on criminality, as 
were all prior presidential impeachments. President Johnson was 
impeached by the House of Representatives in 1868 for violating 
the Tenure of Office Act.\57\ The House Judiciary Committee 
approved Articles of Impeachment against President Nixon based 
on extensive and proven criminal conduct. As Professor Turley 
explained:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \57\Turley, supra note 2, at 14-17.

          The allegations began with a felony crime of burglary 
        and swept to encompass an array of other crimes 
        involving political slush funds, payments of hush 
        money, maintenance of an enemies list, directing tax 
        audits of critics, witness intimidation, multiple 
        instances of perjury, and even an alleged kidnapping. 
        Ultimately, there were nearly 70 officials charged and 
        four dozen of them found guilty. Nixon was also named 
        as an unindicted conspirator by a grand jury. . . . The 
        claim that the Ukrainian controversy eclipses Watergate 
        is unhinged from history.\58\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \58\Id. at 17-20.

    The House of Representatives impeached President Clinton 
for the federal crime of lying under oath to deny justice to a 
fellow American.\59\ While individual Articles of Impeachment 
have been passed against prior presidents that do not allege 
criminality, no president has been impeached solely on non-
criminal accusations. This impeachment not only fails to 
satisfy the standard of past impeachments but would create a 
dangerous precedent because the alleged conduct is unproven.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \59\See H. Rept. 105-830, 105th Cong. (1998).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. This Is the First Presidential Impeachment Where the Primary 
        Allegations Have Not Been Proven

    The Majority has said repeatedly that the facts in this 
impeachment inquiry are not in dispute. That is false. Not only 
are the facts in dispute, the Majority's primary allegations 
are based on presumptions that are contradicted by direct 
evidence. Indeed, this is the first presidential impeachment 
where the primary allegations have not been proven.\60\ In the 
Nixon impeachment, the Judiciary Committee had tapes and a host 
of proven crimes.\61\ In the Clinton impeachment, there was 
physical evidence and a well-founded perjury claim that even 
President Clinton's supporters acknowledged was a felony, 
leaving them to argue that some felonies are not 
impeachable.\62\ Here, all the Majority has presented 
connecting the hold on foreign security assistance to a request 
for investigations is a presumption by Ambassador Gordon 
Sondland.\63\ But that presumption is contradicted by more 
credible direct evidence. Specifically, Ambassador Kurt Volker 
testified that there was no ``linkage'' between a White House 
meeting and Ukrainian actions to investigate President Trump's 
political rival.\64\ During his public testimony, in an 
exchange with Rep. Mike Turner, Ambassador Volker reiterated 
that there was no linkage between foreign security assistance 
and investigations.\65\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \60\Turley, supra note 2, at 22.
    \61\Id.
    \62\See Staff of H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 105th Cong., 
Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment: Modern Precedents, 
Minority Views, at 15 (1998) (``Clinton Impeachment Report'').
    \63\See supra note 30, at 148-151 (Testimony of Gordon Sondland 
stating that his testimony about security assistance was a 
``presumption'' and that nobody told him the aid was linked to 
investigations).
    \64\Transcribed Interview of Ambassador Kurt Volker (Oct. 3, 2019) 
at 35-36; 40.
    \65\The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: 
Testimony of Ambassador Kurt Volker and Mr. Timothy Morrison, Hearing 
Before the H. Perm. Sel. Comm. on Intelligence, 116th Cong. 106-108; 
166 (2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There are four facts that will never change, making it 
impossible for the Majority to make any convincing case for the 
impeachment of the President on these facts. First, the 
President has publicly released the transcript of the July 25 
call, which shows no conditionality for any official act.\66\ 
Second, President Zelensky and his advisors did not know the 
aid was on hold until it was reported publicly at the end of 
August.\67\ Third, both President Trump and President Zelensky 
have said repeatedly there was no pressure, no quid pro quo, 
and no linkage between the aid and investigations.\68\ Fourth, 
the foreign security assistance funds were released without 
Ukraine announcing or undertaking any investigations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \66\The White House, Memorandum of Telephone Conversation 1 (July 
25, 2019).
    \67\See Appendix A (Intel Comm. Minority Report), at 50 (citing 
testimony of Ambassadors Volker and Taylor).
    \68\See, e.g., Georgi Kantchev, Ukrainian President Denies Trump 
Pressured Him During July Call, WALL STREET JOURNAL (Oct. 10, 2019) 
(President Zelensky said ``There was no blackmail.''); Matthias 
Williams, U.S. envoy Sondland did not link Biden probe to aid: Ukraine 
minister, REUTERS (Nov. 14, 2019) (Ukraine's Foreign Minister Vadym 
Prystaiko said Ambassador Sondland ``did not tell us . . . about a 
connection between the assistance and the investigations.''); Simon 
Shuster, `I Don't Trust Anyone at All,' Ukrainian President Volodymyr 
Zelensky Speaks Out on Trump, Putin and a Divided Europe,'' TIME (Dec. 
2, 2019) (President Zelensky again denies there was a quid pro quo).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Additionally, Andriy Yermak, the only Ukrainian who 
allegedly was told about Ambassador Sondland's presumption, 
described in great detail his brief encounter with Ambassador 
Sondland that occurred when they were walking towards an 
escalator and said Ambassador Sondland never told him that U.S. 
security assistance was tied to investigations.\69\ It defies 
logic to believe the President carefully orchestrated a months-
long pressure campaign involving security assistance when the 
alleged victims of the supposed pressure campaign did not even 
know about it or about conditionality on any official act. 
Equally unconvincing is the assertion that everyone who 
disagrees with Ambassador Sondland's presumption is just lying.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \69\Simon Shuster, Top Ukraine Official Andriy Yermak Casts Doubt 
on Key Impeachment Testimony, TIME (Dec. 10, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, the President was asked about Ambassador 
Sondland's presumption on two separate occasions, and both 
times President Trump said Sondland was wrong. After Ambassador 
Sondland told Senator Ron Johnson on August 30 about his 
presumption that U.S. security assistance was linked to 
investigations, Senator Johnson called the President on August 
31 and asked if Ambassador Sondland's presumption was 
accurate.\70\ The President said, ``No way. I would never do 
that.''\71\ Senator Johnson and Senator Murphy subsequently met 
with President Zelensky. They discussed Ukraine's recent anti-
corruption efforts and U.S. security assistance, but, not 
surprisingly, the question of investigations was not 
raised.\72\ Likewise, when Ambassador Sondland asked President 
Trump what he wants from Ukraine, the President said, ``I want 
nothing.''\73\ In fact, the President said he wanted President 
Zelensky to do what he ran on: root out corruption in 
Ukraine.\74\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \70\Letter from Sen. Ron Johnson to the Honorable Jim Jordan, 
Ranking Member, H. Comm. on Oversight & Reform, and the Honorable Devin 
Nunes, Ranking Member, H. Perm. Sel. Comm. on Intelligence, at 5 (Nov. 
18, 2019).
    \71\Id. at 6.
    \72\Id. at 6-7.
    \73\See supra note 30, at 148-151 (Testimony of Ambassador Gordon 
Sondland stating the President said ``I want nothing.'').
    \74\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ultimately, Ukraine received the U.S. security assistance 
and a meeting with the President without announcing any 
investigations. There is no evidence that the President engaged 
in a pressure campaign or other scheme to condition security 
assistance on investigations. The Majority's case is built on a 
presumption that is contradicted by the evidence. The 
Intelligence Committee Minority Report provides further details 
about the flaws in the Majority's factual case. If the Majority 
proceeds with impeachment, it will be based on one presumption 
from one witness who amended his story multiple times.

 C. THE MAJORITY FAILS TO EXPLAIN WHY ASKING ABOUT HUNTER BIDEN'S ROLE 
      ON BURISMA BOARD OF DIRECTORS IS A HIGH CRIME OR MISDEMEANOR

    After failing to substantiate the allegations related to 
the U.S. security assistance, the Majority's remaining 
allegation is that the President committed the ``high crime'' 
of asking President Zelensky to look into potential corruption 
involving Hunter Biden's role on Burisma's board of 
directors.\75\ This allegation is not a high crime or 
misdemeanor.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \75\See supra note 69.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    That question was the same question the American media had 
been asking for years. For example, on June 20, 2019, ABC News 
scrutinized Hunter Biden's involvement on the Burisma board of 
directors on a nationally televised news report.\76\ The 
reporter asked whether ``Hunter Biden profit[ed] off his Dad's 
work as vice-president, and did Joe Biden allow it?''\77\ 
Numerous other publications have asked the same questions, 
including the Wall Street Journal as far back as 2015.\78\ 
Former Vice President Biden himself, in a widely circulated 
video, explained his role in leveraging foreign aid to get a 
Ukrainian prosecutor who had investigated Burisma fired during 
a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations.\79\ As the New 
York Times reported earlier this year, ``Among those who had a 
stake in the outcome was Hunter Biden, Mr. Biden's younger son, 
who at the time was on the board of an energy company owned by 
a Ukrainian oligarch who had been in the sights of the fired 
prosecutor general.''\80\ Certainly, the questions surrounding 
the Bidens' role in Ukraine have been topics of interest for 
the media for a long time.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \76\Biden sidesteps questions about son's foreign work, ABC NEWS 
(June 20, 2019).
    \77\Id.
    \78\Paul Sonne & Laura Mills, Ukrainians See Conflict in Biden's 
Anticorruption Message, Wall Street Journal (Dec. 7, 2015) (Quoting 
Ukrainian corruption expert stating: ``If an investigator sees the son 
of the vice president of the United States is part of the management of 
a company . . . that investigator will be uncomfortable pushing the 
case forward.''); see also James Risen, Joe Biden, His Son and the Case 
Against a Ukrainian Oligarch, NY Times (Dec. 8, 2015); Kenneth Vogel & 
Iuliia Mendel, Biden Faces Conflict of Interest Questions that are 
being Promoted by Trump and Allies, NY Times (May 1, 2019).
    \79\Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Affairs Issue Launch with 
Former Vice President Joe Biden (Jan. 23, 2018).
    \80\Kenneth Vogel & Iuliia Mendel, Biden Faces Conflict of Interest 
Questions that are being promoted by Trump and Allies, NY Times (May 1, 
2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There is nothing untoward about a president asking a 
foreign government to investigate the same questions about 
potential corruption the American media was asking publicly. In 
fact, the United States has been party to a Mutual Legal 
Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with Ukraine since 2001.\81\ The 
purpose of that MLAT includes ``mutual assistance . . . in 
connection with the investigation, prosecution, and prevention 
of offenses, and in proceedings related to criminal 
matters.''\82\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \81\See Department of State, ``Ukraine (12978)--Treaty on Mutual 
Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters''.
    \82\Id. at art. I cl. 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Furthermore, being a political campaign participant does 
not immunize anyone from scrutiny. The President did not ask 
for the creation of any false information. When Lt. Col. 
Vindman was asked ``Would it ever be U.S. policy, in your 
experience, to ask a foreign leader to open a political 
investigation?'' he replied, ``. . . Certainly the President is 
well within his right to do that.''\83\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \83\The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: 
Testimony of Ms. Jennifer Williams & Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, 
Hearing Before the H. Perm. Sel. Comm. on Intelligence, 116th Cong. 120 
(2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

         V. Article II Fails To Establish an Impeachable Offense

    The second Article of Impeachment, ``Obstruction of 
Congress,'' appears to be a simple invective by the Majority 
against the constitutional reality of separation of powers.\84\ 
The Majority's refusal to engage the Executive Branch in the 
traditional accommodations process,\85\ or seek redress from 
the Judicial Branch, has rendered this Article as baseless as 
the first. The system of checks and balances is neither 
theoretical nor dispassionate; the Founders fully intended to 
put the three branches in conflict, and expected they would 
argue self-interestedly for their respective powers.\86\ The 
inclusion of the second Article may be due to the Majority's 
reticence to propose only a single unsupported Article.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \84\See Montesquieu, Charles de Secondat, baron de, 1689-1755. The 
Spirit of the Laws. The Colonial Press, 1899 (New York). (``But should 
the legislative power usurp a share of the executive, the latter would 
be equally undone . . . Here, then, is the fundamental constitution of 
the government we are treating of. The legislative body being composed 
of two parts, they check one another by the mutual privilege of 
rejecting. They are both restrained by the executive power, as the 
executive is by the legislative.'').
    \85\Cf. U.S. v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683, 703 (1974) (``In the 
performance of assigned constitutional duties, each branch of the 
Government must initially interpret the Constitution, and the 
interpretation of its power by any branch is due great respect from the 
others.'').
    \86\The Federalist No. 51 (James Madison) (``This policy of 
supplying, by opposite and rival interests, the defect of better 
motives, might be traced through the whole system of human affairs, 
private as well as public. We see it particularly displayed in all the 
subordinate distributions of power, where the constant aim is to divide 
and arrange the several offices in such a manner as that each may be a 
check on the other that the private interest of every individual may be 
a sentinel over the public rights . . . As the weight of the 
legislative authority requires that it should be thus divided, the 
weakness of the executive may require, on the other hand, that it 
should be fortified.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No president has been impeached for obstruction of 
Congress. The Majority seeks to impeach the President not for 
violating the Constitution but, instead, for asserting 
privileges that are part of its very structure. Though 
Legislative frustration with Executive resistance has 
previously inspired calls for impeachment and even the drafting 
of Articles of Impeachment, in this instance, the Majority is 
rushing to impeachment without attempting to engage available 
alternative avenues to obtain information. They have failed to 
do so because the Majority has set an arbitrary, politically-
motivated deadline, by which it believes it must finish 
impeachment. Quite simply, further negotiations or the courts 
would take too long for the Majority's liking. This situation 
is truly unprecedented.

  A. OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A HIGH CRIME OR HIGH 
            MISDEMEANOR WHILE FURTHER RECOURSE IS AVAILABLE

    The obstruction of Congress allegations in this second 
Article do not meet the impeachable standard demanded by the 
Constitution. The Founders intended to create interbranch 
conflict. The fact that conflict exists here does not mean the 
President has committed either a high crime or a high 
misdemeanor. Most significantly, Congress has not pursued any 
of its many remedies to resolve interbranch disputes.
    Congress has legislated remedies for itself to enforce its 
investigation requests, but it has not pursued those 
remedies.\87\ Congress may also turn to the Judicial Branch to 
resolve interbranch disputes over subpoenas, as it has done 
many times in the past.\88\ The Majority has neglected to do 
so. The Majority's claim that the current administration's 
``total'' declination to participate in the effort to unseat 
him--either by the President himself or other Executive Branch 
officers--is somehow unprecedented is, simply, incorrect.\89\ 
The Majority has engaged in a fundamentally unfair process and 
created a scenario in which the President's assertion of valid 
constitutional privileges is being used as a weapon against 
him.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \87\See, e.g., 2 U.S.C. Sec. Sec. 192.
    \88\See, e.g., H. Comm. on the Judiciary v. Miers, 558 F. Supp. 2d 
(D.D.C. 2008).
    \89\Many presidents have instructed Executive Branch officials not 
to comply with congressional demands. See Theodore Olson, History of 
Refusals By Executive Branch Officials to Provide Information Demanded 
by Congress, Part I, December 14, 1982, 6 Op. Off. Legal Counsel 751. 
The Olson OLC Opinion describes, for example, President Jackson 
stating, ``It is now, however, my solemn conviction that I ought no 
longer, from any motive nor in any degree, to yield to these 
unconstitutional demands. Their continued repetition imposes on me, as 
the representative and trustee of the American people, the painful but 
imperious duty of resisting to the utmost any further encroachment on 
the rights of the Executive.'' President Theodore Roosevelt stated, 
``[I have] instructed the Attorney General not to respond to that 
portion of the resolution which calls for a statement of his reasons 
for nonaction.'' And President Eisenhower, in a May 17, 1954, letter to 
the Secretary of Defense said: ``[Y]ou will instruct employees of your 
Department that in all of their appearances before the Subcommittee of 
the Senate Committee on Government Operations regarding the inquiry now 
before it they are not to testify to any such conversations or 
communications, or to produce any such documents or reproductions.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Intelligence Committee Majority served numerous 
subpoenas for documents and testimony. However, in at least one 
case, when the witness sought judicial review of the subpoena, 
the Majority withdrew it. Former Deputy National Security 
Advisor and Assistant to the President Charles Kupperman was 
one of the few people to listen in on the call between 
President Trump and President Zelensky on July 25 and received 
a subpoena to testify. When the White House instructed him to 
not testify, he asked the court to resolve ``irreconcilable 
commands'' from the Legislative and Executive Branches.\90\ 
Inexplicably, the Majority promptly withdrew the subpoena and 
moved to dismiss the lawsuit.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \90\Brief of Plaintiff, Charles M. Kupperman, Kupperman v. House of 
Representatives, Case No: 1:19-cv-03224 at 2 (D.D.C. Oct. 25, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Additionally, at least three subpoenas authorized and 
signed by Intelligence Committee Chairman Schiff were served 
prior to the passage of House Resolution 660 (``H. Res. 
660'').\91\ Since H. Res. 660 gave Chairman Schiff jurisdiction 
to pursue this impeachment inquiry, an authorization he did not 
previously wield, it is likely these subpoenas would be 
defective and unenforceable since they were issued prior to its 
passage. Notably, the House of Representatives has chosen not 
to ask the federal judiciary to opine on such questions, 
instead rushing straight to impeachment without engaging the 
courts to resolve this interbranch dispute.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \91\Subpoena of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Sept. 27), Subpoena 
of Vice President Mike Pence (Oct. 4), and Subpoena of Acting White 
House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney (Oct. 4).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The federal judiciary's recent ruling that White House 
Counsel Don McGahn must appear before the Judiciary Committee 
demonstrates that assertions of privileges by the White House 
do not foreclose the House of Representatives' ability to hear 
testimony from relevant witnesses.\92\ For the price of 
legitimacy, the Majority is only required to pay a small amount 
of patience and deference to the courts.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \92\H. Comm. on the Judiciary v. McGahn, Opinion of the Court, Case 
No: 1:19-cv-02379 (D.D.C. Nov. 25, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Majority's claim that the courts are too slow or 
deliberative only demonstrates the Majority's pessimism about 
the merits of this case.\93\ The Majority's actions show the 
American people disdain for working within the constitutional 
framework. Any case filed pursuant to an impeachment inquiry 
can be expedited in the courts. In the Nixon litigation, courts 
moved relevant cases quickly to and through the Supreme 
Court.\94\ The decision to adopt an abbreviated schedule for 
the investigation and not to seek to compel testimony is a 
strategic choice by the Majority. It is not an appropriate 
justification for impeachment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \93\See supra note 49.
    \94\Two months elapsed between the ruling of Judge Sirica of the 
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and the Supreme 
Court's final decision.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The feebleness of the Obstruction of Congress charge is 
rooted not only in the Majority's refusal to petition a court 
for enforcement of its subpoenas, but also the Majority's 
disregard for the typical process of accommodation that 
necessarily requires more time than the Majority has allowed. 
The ``gold standard'' of impeachment inquiries was with 
President Nixon.\95\ But in that case the ``Obstruction of 
Congress'' Article of Impeachment authorized by the Judiciary 
Committee (but not voted on by the full House) was built upon a 
months-long negotiation with the White House, preceded by a 
years-long investigation by both houses of Congress.\96\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \95\Turley, supra note 2, at 17.
    \96\After requests were made to the White House on February 25, 
1974, discussions were entered into to attempt to elicit further 
cooperation with the White House. Only after these negotiations failed 
was the first subpoena issued on April 11, 1974, authorized on a 
bipartisan basis by a vote of 33 to 3. President Nixon proceeded to 
release to the Committee and the public edited transcripts of 31 of the 
42 subpoenaed recorded conversations. Finding the production 
insufficient and incompliant with the subpoena, the Committee 
authorized two additional subpoenas on May 15: the first, approved 37 
to 1, demanded production of additional recorded telephone 
conversations which included President Nixon; the second, approved by 
separate but overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, demanded the ``daily 
diaries'' of President Nixon's calls for four specified periods. In a 
letter to Chairman Rodino on May 22, the President declined to produce 
the subject material of the May 15 subpoenas. On May 30, the Committee 
authorized a fourth subpoena, by a vote of 37 to 1, which demanded 
additional tape recordings and all papers relating to Watergate. By a 
vote of 28 to 10, the Committee also responded to President Nixon's 
failure to produce subpoenaed material, which was in turn was replied 
to by President Nixon on June 9. On June 24, the Committee authorized 
additional subpoenas into the ITT antitrust litigation and Kleindienst 
confirmation, domestic surveillance, governmental decisions affecting 
the dairy industry and campaign contributions, and alleged misuse of 
the IRS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. AN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY DOES NOT ELEVATE THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 
                      ABOVE FUNDAMENTAL PRIVILEGES

    The Majority cites the ``sole Power of Impeachment'' five 
times in the two Articles of Impeachment. The recitation of 
Article I, Section 2, Clause 5 of the Constitution is correct, 
but it is utterly circular to assert the President deserves to 
be impeached because he defended himself from impeachment. The 
Constitution's grant of the impeachment power to the House of 
Representatives does not temporarily suspend the rights and 
powers of the other branches established by the Constitution. 
The initiation of impeachment proceedings does not entitle the 
House of Representatives automatic license to intrude into all 
corners of the federal government. For additional information 
regarding the unfair--and in fact, antagonistic--posture the 
Majority took during its investigation, refer to Section III of 
the Minority Views of the Intelligence Committee, attached as 
Appendix A.
    The Majority's Articles also illustrate the risk of 
appropriating language from previous Articles of Impeachment 
never brought to a vote before the House of Representatives. 
Specifically, the Majority appears to have lifted from the 
Articles of Impeachment of President Nixon the language 
accusing the President of asserting privileges ``without lawful 
cause or excuse.''\97\ But that is, of course, the heart of the 
argument in opposition to this Article. It is not for the 
Legislative Branch to determine unilaterally what is a ``lawful 
cause or excuse.'' In fact, ``[i]t is emphatically the duty of 
the Judicial Department to say what the law is.''\98\ The 
initiation of an impeachment inquiry does not change this 
calculus. The advantage an impeachment inquiry bestows to fact 
gatherers is the greater legitimacy of the Legislative Branch 
over the Executive Branch before a Judicial Branch judge or 
magistrate, which the Majority avoided altogether. The House of 
Representatives has no power to make laws by itself, and it has 
no mandate to determine to what privileges the Executive Branch 
is entitled. Though it may draft and pass Articles of 
Impeachment cloaking itself in the parlance of the judiciary, 
the House of Representatives is no substitute for the Judicial 
Branch. The adoption of such terminology further undermines the 
seriousness of this Article. In fact, it suggests the Majority 
is either unaware of the Nixon precedent, or seeks to deceive 
the American public about it.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \97\Cf. Third Article Impeaching Richard M. Nixon, President of the 
United States. Approved by H. Comm. on the Judiciary (July 30, 1974).
    \98\Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    C. THE MAJORITY'S FAILURE TO CONDUCT AN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY IN 
ACCORDANCE WITH PRECEDENT HAS LED TO EX POST FACTO CHARACTERIZATIONS OF 
                              THAT INQUIRY

    As detailed in Section II above, many of the Majority's 
obstruction allegations are due to the Majority's failure to 
conduct its inquiry in accordance with precedent. 
Fundamentally, the Majority has offered conflicting accounts of 
when the inquiry even began.
    On September 24, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi 
announced the House of Representatives was ``moving forward 
with an official impeachment inquiry.''\99\ The media generally 
reported that this was the commencement of impeachment 
proceedings, and the Majority purported to act pursuant to the 
Speaker's pronouncement.\100\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \99\See supra note 49 (Remarks by Speaker of the House Nancy 
Pelosi).
    \100\See, e.g., Nicholas Fandos, Nancy Pelosi Announces Formal 
Impeachment Inquiry of Trump, NY Times (Sep. 24, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nonetheless, over a month later, on October 31, the House 
of Representatives voted to authorize the impeachment inquiry 
that preceded these Articles, with the passage of H. Res. 660. 
This resolution directed the Committees on Financial Services, 
Foreign Affairs, the Judiciary, Oversight and Reform, and Ways 
and Means ``to continue their ongoing investigations as part of 
the existing House of Representatives inquiry into whether 
sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to 
exercise its Constitutional power to impeach Donald John Trump, 
President of the United States.''\101\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \101\H. Res. 660, 116th Cong. (2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Prior to the formal vote on October 31, serious and 
legitimate questions were raised as to whether the Executive 
Branch was being asked to comply with an impeachment inquiry, 
standard legislative oversight, or a novel hybrid of the two. 
The White House raised those concerns with the Majority on 
October 8, but no steps were taken to accommodate reasonable 
concerns about due process and fundamental fairness.\102\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \102\Letter from Pat Cipollone, White House Counsel, to the 
Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, et al. (Oct. 8, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The unnecessary confusion caused by the Majority about the 
status of its investigation calls into question the legitimacy 
of any subpoena issued prior to October 31 claiming to be part 
of an impeachment inquiry, because subpoenas issued before that 
date were not issued pursuant to a formal impeachment inquiry, 
congressional oversight, or any cognizable legislative purpose. 
A case addressing the validity of actions taken pursuant to 
Speaker Pelosi's edict is pending before the D.C. Circuit 
court.\103\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \103\See In re: Application of the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 
Department of Justice's Notice of Appeal, Case No: 1:19-gj-00048 BAH 
(D.C.C. Oct. 28, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 D. ASSERTIONS OF PRIVILEGE BY PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATIONS NEVER MERITED 
                              IMPEACHMENT

    The Executive Branch has resisted congressional requests 
since the administration of President George Washington.\104\ 
Resisting and asserting privileges in response to congressional 
demands has never formed the basis of impeachment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \104\Washington famously declined to deliver to the House of 
Representatives documents recording the negotiations with Great Britain 
in what would be memorialized in the Jay Treaty of 1795.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For example, President Obama cited executive privilege and 
barred essential testimony and documents during the 
investigation of ``Fast and Furious,'' a gunwalking operation 
in which the government arranged for the illegal sale of 
weapons to drug cartels in order to track their movement. The 
Obama administration argued that the courts had no authority 
over its denial of such witnesses and evidence to Congress. In 
Committee on Oversight & Government Reform v. Holder, Judge Amy 
Berman Jackson, ruled that ``endorsing the proposition that the 
executive may assert an unreviewable right to withhold 
materials from the legislature would offend the Constitution 
more than undertaking to resolve the specific dispute that has 
been presented here. After all, the Constitution contemplates 
not only a separation, but a balance, of powers.''\105\ The 
position of the Obama Administration was extreme. It was also 
widely viewed as an effort to run the clock out on the 
investigation. Nevertheless, President Obama had every right to 
seek judicial review in the matter.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \105\H. Comm. on Oversight & Gov't Reform v. Holder, 979 F. Supp. 
2d 1, 3 (D.D.C. 2013).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The subpoena campaign against the Trump Executive Branch 
began in earnest in September of this year, over a month before 
the impeachment inquiry had been authorized by the House of 
Representatives. In a letter to Secretary of State Michael 
Pompeo, the Committee on Foreign Affairs compelled the 
production of certain documents from the Department of 
State.\106\ The subpoena issued by the Committee on Oversight 
and Reform to the White House on October 4, 2019, ``compel[led] 
[the White House] to produce documents set forth in the 
accompanying schedule by October 18, 2019.''\107\ Any response 
less than immediate and total acquiescence, the letter stated, 
``shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House's 
impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference 
against you and the President.''\108\ This refrain--a threat by 
any definition--has accompanied every subpoena issued to the 
Executive Branch and has needlessly created further tension 
between the Executive and Legislative Branches. From the 
commencement of this inquiry--whenever that may be definitively 
ascertained--the Majority has not been reluctant to voice its 
goal of impeaching the President.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \106\This subpoena followed requests for documents from the 
Department of State made on September 9 and September 23 (prior to any 
vote authorizing an impeachment inquiry).
    \107\Letter from the Honorable Elijah Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. 
on Oversight & Reform, et al. to Pat Cipollone, White House Counsel 
(Oct. 4, 2019).
    \108\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                             VI. Conclusion

    Before the House of Representatives are two Articles of 
Impeachment against the President of the United States, Donald 
John Trump. To these Articles, the Minority dissents. The 
President has neither abused the power granted to him by the 
American people nor obstructed Congress. The Majority has 
failed to prove a case for impeachment. In fact, the paltry 
record on which the Majority relies is an affront to the 
constitutional process of impeachment and will have grave 
consequences for future presidents. The Majority's tactics and 
behavior--procedurally and substantively--emulate the charade 
impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, a president impeached 
because the House of Representatives did not agree with his 
policies.\109\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \109\See generally Association of the Bar of New York, the 
Committee on Federal Legislation, The Law of Presidential Impeachment 
(1974).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If President Nixon's impeachment proceedings are the ``gold 
standard'' for presidential impeachment inquiries, these 
proceedings, in stark contrast, will go down in history as the 
quintessential example of how such proceedings should not be 
conducted. The Majority Report and attendant documents will be 
viewed only as maps to the lowest depths of partisanship that 
no future Congress should follow. The quicker the Majority 
Report and the Majority's actions are forgotten, the better. As 
House Judiciary Republicans have repeatedly stated,\110\ this 
institution should move on to working for the American people 
and forego this exercise of overturning 63 million of the votes 
cast on November 8, 2016.

    \110\See, e.g., Letter from H. Comm. on the Judiciary Republican 
Members to the Honorable Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary (December 3, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              Doug Collins,
                  Ranking Member, House Committee on the Judiciary.

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

                           Executive Summary

    On November 8, 2016, nearly 63 million Americans from 
around the country chose Donald J. Trump to be the 45th 
President of the United States. Now, less than a year before 
the next presidential election, 231 House Democrats in 
Washington, D.C., are trying to undo the will of the American 
people.* As one Democrat admitted, the pursuit of this extreme 
course of action is because they want to stop President Trump's 
re-election. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \*\ H. Res. 660, 116th Cong. (2019) (Roll call vote 604).
      Weekends with Alex Witt (MSNBC television broadcast May 5 2019) 
(interview with Rep. Al Green).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Democrats in the House of Representatives have been working 
to impeach President Trump since his election. Democrats 
introduced four separate resolutions in 2017 and 2018 seeking 
to impeach President Trump.  In January 2019, on their first 
day in power, House Democrats again introduced articles of 
impeachment.  That same day, a newly elected Congresswoman 
promised to an audience of her supporters, ``we're going to go 
in there and we're going to impeach the [expletive 
deleted].''** Her comments are not isolated. Speaker Nancy 
Pelosi called President Trump ``an impostor'' and said it is 
``dangerous''' to allow American voters to evaluate his 
performance in 2020. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     1AH. Res. 705, 115th Cong. (2018); H. Res. 646, 115th Cong. 
(2017); H. Res. 621, 115th Cong. (2017); H. Res. 438, 115th Cong. 
(2017).
      H. Res. 13, 116th Cong. (2019).
    **Amy B. Wong, Rep. Rashida Tlaib profanely promised to impeach 
Trump. She's not sorry., Wash. Post, Jan. 4, 2019.
      Emily Tillett, Nancy Pelosi says Trump's attacks on witnesses 
``very significant'' to impeachment probe, CBS News, Nov. 15, 2019; 
Dear Colleague Letter from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Nov. 18, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Democrats' impeachment inquiry is not the organic 
outgrowth of serious misconduct; it is an orchestrated campaign 
to upend our political system. The Democrats are trying to 
impeach a duly elected President based on the accusations and 
assumptions of unelected bureaucrats who disagreed with 
President Trump's policy initiatives and processes. They are 
trying to impeach President Trump because some unelected 
bureaucrats were discomforted by an elected President's 
telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. 
They are trying to impeach President Trump because some 
unelected bureaucrats chafed at an elected President's 
``outside the beltway'' approach to diplomacy.
    The sum and substance of the Democrats' case for 
impeachment is that President Trump abused his authority to 
pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe 
Biden, President Trump's potential political rival, for 
President Trump's benefit in the 2020 election. Democrats say 
this pressure campaign encompassed leveraging a White House 
meeting and the release of U.S. security assistance to force 
the Ukrainian President to succumb to President Trump's 
political wishes. Democrats say that Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the 
President's personal attorney, and a ``shadow'' group of U.S. 
officials conspired to benefit the President politically.
    The evidence presented does not prove any of these Democrat 
allegations, and none of the Democrats' witnesses testified to 
having evidence of bribery, extortion, or any high crime or 
misdemeanor.
    The evidence does not support the accusation that President 
Trump pressured President Zelensky to initiate investigations 
for the purpose of benefiting the President in the 2020 
election. The evidence does not support the accusation that 
President Trump covered up the summary of his phone 
conversation with President Zelensky. The evidence does not 
support the accusation that President Trump obstructed the 
Democrats' impeachment inquiry.
    At the heart of the matter, the impeachment inquiry 
involves the actions of only two people: President Trump and 
President Zelensky. The summary of their July 25, 2019, 
telephone conversation shows no quid pro quo or indication of 
conditionality, threats, or pressure--much less evidence of 
bribery or extortion. The summary reflects laughter, 
pleasantries, and cordiality. President Zelensky has said 
publicly and repeatedly that he felt no pressure. President 
Trump has said publicly and repeatedly that he exerted no 
pressure.
    Even examining evidence beyond the presidential phone call 
shows no quid pro quo, bribery, extortion, or abuse of power. 
The evidence shows that President Trump holds a deep-seated, 
genuine, and reasonable skepticism of Ukraine due to its 
history of pervasive corruption. The President has also been 
vocal about his skepticism of U.S. foreign aid and the need for 
European allies to shoulder more of the financial burden for 
regional defense. Senior Ukrainian officials under former 
President Petro Poroshenko publicly attacked then-candidate 
Trump during the 2016 campaign--including some senior Ukrainian 
officials who remained in their positions after President 
Zelensky's term began. All of these factors bear on the 
President's state of mind and help to explain the President's 
actions toward Ukraine and President Zelensky.
    Understood in this proper context, the President's initial 
hesitation to meet with President Zelensky or to provide U.S. 
taxpayer-funded security assistance to Ukraine without 
thoughtful review is entirely prudent. Ultimately, President 
Zelensky took decisive action demonstrating his commitment to 
promoting reform, combatting corruption, and replacing 
Poroshenko-era holdovers with new leadership in his 
Administration. President Trump then released security 
assistance to Ukraine and met with President Zelensky in 
September 2019--all without Ukraine taking any action to 
investigate President Trump's political rival.
    House Democrats allege that Ukraine felt pressure to bend 
to the President's political will, but the evidence shows a 
different reality. Ukraine felt good about its relationship 
with the United States in the early months of the Zelensky 
Administration, having had several high-level meetings with 
senior U.S. officials between July and September. Although U.S. 
security assistance was temporarily paused, the U.S. government 
did not convey the pause to the Ukrainians because U.S. 
officials believed the pause would get worked out and, if 
publicized, may be mischaracterized as a shift in U.S. policy 
towards Ukraine. U.S. officials said that the Ukrainian 
government in Kyiv never knew the aid was delayed until reading 
about it in the U.S. media. Ambassador Kurt Volker, the key 
American interlocutor trusted by the Ukrainian government, said 
the Ukrainians never raised concerns to him until after the 
pause became public in late August.
    The Democrats' impeachment narrative ignores Ukraine's 
dramatic transformation in its fight against endemic 
corruption. President Trump was skeptical of Ukrainian 
corruption and his Administration sought proof that newly-
elected President Zelensky was a true reformer. And after 
winning a parliamentary majority, the new Zelensky 
administration took rapid strides to crack down on corruption. 
Several high-level U.S. officials observed firsthand these 
anti-corruption achievements in Kyiv, and the security 
assistance was released soon afterward.
    The Democrats' impeachment narrative also ignores President 
Trump's steadfast support for Ukraine in its war against 
Russian occupation. Several of the Democrats' witnesses 
described how President Trump's policies toward Ukraine to 
combat Russian aggression have been substantially stronger than 
those of President Obama--then under the stewardship of Vice 
President Biden. Where President Obama and Vice President Biden 
gave the Ukrainians night-vision goggles and blankets, the 
Trump Administration provided the Ukrainians with lethal 
defensive assistance, including Javelin anti-tank missiles.
    The Democrats nonetheless tell a story of an illicit 
pressure campaign run by President Trump through his personal 
attorney, Mayor Giuliani, to coerce Ukraine to investigate the 
President's political rival by withholding a meeting and 
security assistance. There is, however, no direct, firsthand 
evidence of any such scheme. The Democrats are alleging guilt 
on the basis of hearsay, presumptions, and speculation--all of 
which are reflected in the anonymous whistleblower complaint 
that sparked this inquiry. The Democrats' narrative is so 
dependent on speculation that one Democrat publicly justified 
hearsay as ``better'' than direct evidence.   Where there are 
ambiguous facts, the Democrats interpret them in a light most 
unfavorable to the President. In the absence of real evidence, 
the Democrats appeal to emotion--evaluating how unelected 
bureaucrats felt about the events in question.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \\  ``Impeachment Inquiry: Ambassador William B. Taylor and Mr. 
George Kent'': Hearing before the H. Perm. Sel. Comm. on Intelligence, 
116th Cong. (2019) (statement of Rep. Mike Quigley).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The fundamental disagreement apparent in the Democrats' 
impeachment inquiry is a difference of world views and a 
discomfort with President Trump's policy decisions. To the 
extent that some unelected bureaucrats believed President Trump 
had established an ``irregular'' foreign policy apparatus, it 
was because they were not a part of that apparatus. There is 
nothing illicit about three senior U.S. officials--each with 
official interests relating to Ukraine--shepherding the U.S.-
Ukraine relationship and reporting their actions to State 
Department and NSC leadership. There is nothing inherently 
improper with Mayor Giuliani's involvement as well because the 
Ukrainians knew that he was a conduit to convince President 
Trump that President Zelensky was serious about reform.
    There is also nothing wrong with asking serious questions 
about the presence of Vice President Biden's son, Hunter Biden, 
on the board of directors of Burisma, a corrupt Ukrainian 
company, or about Ukraine's attempts to influence the 2016 
presidential election. Biden's Burisma has an international 
reputation as a corrupt company. As far back as 2015, the Obama 
State Department had concerns about Hunter Biden's role on 
Burisma's board. Ukrainian anti-corruption activists noted 
concerns as well. Publicly available--and irrefutable--evidence 
shows how senior Ukrainian government officials sought to 
influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election in opposition to 
President Trump's candidacy, and that some in the Ukrainian 
embassy in Washington worked with a Democrat operative to 
achieve that goal. While Democrats reflexively dismiss these 
truths as conspiracy theories, the facts are indisputable and 
bear heavily on the Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

                                 * * *

    In our system of government, power resides with the 
American people, who delegate executive power to the President 
through an election once every four years. Unelected officials 
and career bureaucrats assist in the execution of the laws. The 
unelected bureaucracy exists to serve the elected 
representatives of the American people. The Democrats' 
impeachment narrative flips our system on its head in service 
of their political ambitions.
    The Democrats' impeachment inquiry, led by House 
Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, is merely the 
outgrowth of their obsession with re-litigating the results of 
the 2016 presidential election. Despite their best efforts, the 
evidence gathered during the Democrats' partisan and one-sided 
impeachment inquiry does not support that President Trump 
pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rival to benefit 
the President in the 2020 presidential election. The evidence 
does not establish any impeachable offense.
    But that is not for Democrats' want of trying.
    For the first phase of the Democrats' impeachment inquiry, 
Chairman Schiff led the inquiry from his Capitol basement 
bunker, preventing transparency on the process and 
accountability for his actions. Because the fact-finding was 
unclassified, the closed-door process was purely for 
information control. This arrangement allowed Chairman Schiff--
who had already publicly fabricated evidence and misled 
Americans about his interaction with the anonymous 
whistleblower--to selectively leak information to paint 
misleading public narratives, while simultaneously imposing a 
gag rule on Republican members. From his basement bunker, 
Chairman Schiff provided no due process protections for the 
President and he directed witnesses called by the Democrats not 
to answer Republican questions. Chairman Schiff also ignored 
Republican requests to secure the testimony of the anonymous 
whistleblower, despite promising earlier that the whistleblower 
would provide ``unfiltered testimony.''
    When the Democrats emerged from the bunker for the public 
phase of their impeachment inquiry, Chairman Schiff continued 
to deny fundamental fairness and minority rights. Chairman 
Schiff interrupted Republican Members and directed witnesses 
not to answer Republican questions. Chairman Schiff refused to 
allow Republicans to exercise the limited procedural rights 
afforded to them. Chairman Schiff rejected witnesses identified 
by Republicans who would inject some semblance of fairness and 
objectivity. Chairman Schiff denied Republican subpoenas for 
testimony and documents, violating the Democrats' own rules to 
vote down these subpoenas with no notice to Republicans.
    Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Schiff, and House Democrats seek 
to impeach President Trump--not because they have proof of a 
high crime or misdemeanor, but because they disagreed with the 
President's actions and his policies. But in our system of 
government, the President is accountable to the American 
people. The accountability to the American people comes at the 
ballot box, not in House Democrats' star chamber.

                                Findings

    Democrats allege that President Trump pressured Ukraine to 
initiate investigations into his political rival, former Vice 
President Biden, for the purpose of benefiting the President in 
the 2020 U.S. presidential election. The evidence does not 
support the Democrats' allegations. Instead, the findings 
outlined below are based on the evidence presented and 
information available in the public realm.
     President Trump has a deep-seated, genuine, and 
reasonable skepticism of Ukraine due to its history of 
pervasive corruption.
     President Trump has a long-held skepticism of U.S. 
foreign assistance and believes that Europe should pay its fair 
share for mutual defense.
     President Trump's concerns about Hunter Biden's 
role on Burisma's board are valid. The Obama State Department 
noted concerns about Hunter Biden's relationship with Burisma 
in 2015 and 2016.
     There is indisputable evidence that senior 
Ukrainian government officials opposed President Trump's 
candidacy in the 2016 election and did so publicly. It has been 
publicly reported that a Democratic National Committee 
operative worked with Ukrainian officials, including the 
Ukrainian Embassy, to dig up dirt on then-candidate Trump.
     The evidence does not establish that President 
Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Burisma Holdings, Vice 
President Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, or Ukrainian influence in 
the 2016 election for the purpose of benefiting him in the 2020 
election.
     The evidence does not establish that President 
Trump withheld a meeting with President Zelensky for the 
purpose of pressuring Ukraine to investigate Burisma Holdings, 
Vice President Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, or Ukrainian influence 
in the 2016 election.
     The evidence does not support that President Trump 
withheld U.S. security assistance to Ukraine for the purpose of 
pressuring Ukraine to investigate Burisma Holdings, Vice 
President Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, or Ukrainian influence in 
the 2016 election.
     The evidence does not support that President Trump 
orchestrated a shadow foreign policy apparatus for the purpose 
of pressuring Ukraine to investigate Burisma Holdings, Vice 
President Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, or Ukrainian influence in 
the 2016 election.
     The evidence does not support that President Trump 
covered up the substance of his telephone conversation with 
President Zelensky by restricting access to the call summary.
     President Trump's assertion of longstanding claims 
of executive privilege is a legitimate response to an unfair, 
abusive, and partisan process, and does not constitute 
obstruction of a legitimate impeachment inquiry.
                                CONTENTS

Executive Summary................................................   203
Findings.........................................................   207
Contents.........................................................   208
Table of Names...................................................   211
 I. The evidence does not establish that President Trump pressured the 
    Ukrainian government to investigate his political rival for the 
    purpose of benefiting him in the 2020 U.S. presidential election213
        A. The evidence does not establish that President Trump 
            pressured President Zelensky during the July 25 phone 
            call to investigate the President's political rival 
            for the purpose of benefiting him in the 2020 
            election.............................................   215
          1. The call summary does not reflect any improper 
              pressure or conditionality to pressure Ukraine to 
              investigate President Trump's political rival......   215
          2. President Zelensky has publicly and repeatedly said 
              he felt no pressure to investigate President 
              Trump's political rival............................   218
          3. President Trump has publicly and repeatedly said he 
              did not pressure President Zelensky to investigate 
              his political rival................................   220
          4. Read-outs of the phone call from both the State 
              Department and the Ukrainian government did not 
              reflect that President Trump pressured President 
              Zelensky to investigate his political rival........   221
          5. The National Security Council leadership did not see 
              the call as illegal or improper....................   223
          6. The anonymous, secondhand whistleblower complaint 
              misstated details about the July 25 call, which has 
              falsely colored the call's public characterization.   224
        B. The evidence does not establish that President Trump 
            withheld a meeting with President Zelensky to 
            pressure Ukraine to investigate the President's 
            political rival for the purpose of benefiting him in 
            the 2020 election....................................   225
          1. Ukraine has a long history of pervasive corruption..   226
          2. President Trump has a deep-seated, genuine, and 
              reasonable skepticism of Ukraine due to its history 
              of pervasive corruption............................   227
          3. Senior Ukrainian government officials publicly 
              attacked President Trump during the 2016 campaign..   228
          4. U.S. foreign policy officials were split on 
              President Zelensky, a political novice with 
              untested views on anti-corruption and a close 
              relationship with a controversial oligarch.........   230
          5. President Trump extended an invitation to the White 
              House to President Zelensky on three occasions 
              without conditions.................................   232
          6. Despite difficulty scheduling a face-to-face 
              presidential meeting, senior Ukrainian officials 
              interacted often with senior American officials 
              between May and September 2019.....................   234
          7. The evidence does not establish a linkage between a 
              White House meeting and Ukrainian investigations 
              into President Trump's political rival.............   235
          8. The evidence does not establish that President Trump 
              directed Vice President Pence not to attend 
              President Zelensky's inauguration to pressure 
              Ukraine to investigate the President's political 
              rival..............................................   240
          9. President Trump and President Zelensky met during 
              the United Nations General Assembly in September 
              2019 without any Ukrainian action to investigate 
              President Trump's political rival..................   242
        C. The evidence does not establish that President Trump 
            withheld U.S. security assistance to Ukraine to 
            pressure Ukraine to investigate the President's 
            political rival for the purpose of benefiting him in 
            the 2020 election....................................   243
          1. President Trump has been skeptical about U.S. 
              taxpayer-funded foreign assistance.................   243
          2. President Trump has been clear and consistent in his 
              view that Europe should pay its fair share for 
              regional defense...................................   245
          3. U.S. foreign aid is often conditioned or paused, and 
              U.S. security assistance to Ukraine has been paused 
              before.............................................   247
          4. Despite President Trump's skepticism, the Trump 
              Administration's policies have shown greater 
              commitment and support to Ukraine than those of the 
              Obama Administration...............................   249
          5. Although security assistance to Ukraine was paused 
              in July 2019, several witnesses testified that U.S. 
              security assistance was not linked to any Ukrainian 
              action on investigations...........................   251
          6. President Trump rejected any linkage between U.S. 
              security assistance and Ukrainian action on 
              investigations.....................................   256
          7. Senior U.S. officials never substantively discussed 
              the delay in security assistance with Ukrainian 
              officials before the July 25 call..................   258
          8. The Ukrainian government denied any awareness of a 
              linkage between U.S. security assistance and 
              investigations.....................................   261
          9. The Ukrainian government considered issuing a public 
              anti-corruption statement to convey that President 
              Zelensky was ``serious and different'' from 
              previous Ukrainian regimes.........................   262
          10. President Zelensky never raised a linkage between 
              security assistance and investigations in his 
              meetings with senior U.S. government officials.....   267
          11. In early September 2019, President Zelensky's 
              government implemented several anti-corruption 
              reform measures....................................   269
          12. The security assistance was ultimately disbursed to 
              Ukraine in September 2019 without any Ukrainian 
              action to investigate President Trump's political 
              rival..............................................   271
        D. The evidence does not establish that President Trump 
            set up a shadow foreign policy apparatus to pressure 
            Ukraine to investigate the President's political 
            rival for the purpose of benefiting him in the 2020 
            election.............................................   272
          1. The President has broad Constitutional authority to 
              conduct the foreign policy of the United States....   273
          2. President Trump was likely skeptical of the 
              established national security apparatus as a result 
              of continual leaks and resistance from the federal 
              bureaucracy........................................   273
          3. The President has the constitutional authority to 
              remove Ambassador Yovanovitch......................   275
          4. Ambassador Volker, Ambassador Sondland, and 
              Secretary Perry were all senior U.S. government 
              officers with official interests in Ukraine policy.   276
          5. Referencing Ukrainian corruption, President Trump 
              told Ambassador Volker, Ambassador Sondland, and 
              Secretary Perry to talk to Mayor Giuliani..........   277
          6. At the Ukrainian government's request, Ambassador 
              Volker connected them with Mayor Giuliani to change 
              his impression about the Zelensky regime...........   279
          7. The Ukrainian government understood that Mayor 
              Giuliani was not speaking on behalf of President 
              Trump..............................................   280
          8. Ambassador Volker, Ambassador Sondland, and 
              Secretary Perry kept the National Security Council 
              and the State Department informed about their 
              actions............................................   282
          9. Although some in the U.S. foreign policy 
              establishment bristled, the roles of Ambassador 
              Volker, Ambassador Sondland, and Secretary Perry 
              and their interactions with Mayor Giuliani did not 
              violate the law or harm national security..........   282
        E. President Trump is not wrong to raise questions about 
            Hunter Biden's role with Burisma or Ukrainian 
            government officials' efforts to influence the 2016 
            campaign.............................................   284
          1. It is appropriate for Ukraine to investigate 
              allegations of corruption in its country...........   285
          2. There are legitimate concerns surrounding Hunter 
              Biden's position on the board of Ukrainian energy 
              company Burisma during his father's term as Vice 
              President of the United States.....................   286
          3. There are legitimate questions about the extent to 
              which Ukrainian government officials worked to 
              oppose President Trump's candidacy in the 2016 
              election...........................................   291
        F. The anonymous whistleblower who served as the basis 
            for the impeachment inquiry has no firsthand 
            knowledge of events and a bias against President 
            Trump................................................   295
          1. The anonymous whistleblower acknowledged having no 
              firsthand knowledge of the events in question......   295
          2. Press reports suggest that the anonymous 
              whistleblower acknowledged having a professional 
              relationship with former Vice President Biden......   296
          3. The anonymous whistleblower secretly communicated 
              with Chairman Schiff or his staff..................   297
II. The evidence does not establish that President Trump engaged in a 
    cover-up of his interactions with Ukrainian President Zelensky..300
        A. President Trump declassified and released publicly the 
            summary of his July 25 phone call with President 
            Zelensky.............................................   300
        B. President Trump released a redacted version of the 
            classified anonymous whistleblower complaint.........   301
        C. President Trump released publicly the summary of his 
            April 21 phone call with President Zelensky..........   301
        D. The Trump Administration has experienced a surge in 
            sensitive leaks, including details of the President's 
            communications with foreign leaders..................   301
        E. The evidence does not establish that access to the 
            July 25 call summary was restricted for inappropriate 
            reasons..............................................   302
III.The evidence does not establish that President Trump obstructed 
    Congress in the Democrats' impeachment inquiry..................304
        A. Democrats have abandoned long-standing precedent by 
            failing to guarantee due process and fundamental 
            fairness in their impeachment inquiry................   306
        B. Democrats have engaged in an abusive process toward a 
            pre-determined outcome...............................   307
        C. President Trump may raise privileges and defenses in 
            response to unfair, abusive proceedings..............   309
        D. Although declining to submit to the Democrats' abusive 
            and unfair process, President Trump has released 
            information to help the American public understand 
            the issues...........................................   311
IV. Conclusion......................................................312

                             TABLE OF NAMES
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Christopher Anderson...................  Foreign Service Officer, U.S.
                                          Department of State
Michael Atkinson.......................  Inspector General of the
                                          Intelligence Community (May
                                          2018-present)
Arsen Avakov...........................  Ukrainian Minister of Internal
                                          Affairs (February 2014-
                                          present)
Hunter Biden...........................  Board Member, Burisma Holdings
                                          (April 2014-October 2019)
Joseph R. Biden........................  Vice President of the United
                                          States (January 2009-January
                                          2017)
Robert Blair...........................  Senior Advisor to the White
                                          House Chief of Staff (January
                                          2019-present)
Andriy Bohdan..........................  Head of Ukrainian Office of
                                          Presidential Administration
                                          (May 2019-present)
John Bolton............................  U.S. National Security Advisor
                                          (April 2018-September 2019)
T. Ulrich Brechbuhl....................  Counselor to the U.S. Secretary
                                          of State, U.S. Department of
                                          State (May 2018-present)
Alexandra Chalupa......................  Former contractor, Democratic
                                          National Committee
Valeriy Chaly..........................  Ukrainian Ambassador to the
                                          United States (July 2015-July
                                          2019)
Laura Cooper...........................  Deputy Assistant Secretary of
                                          Defense for Russia, Ukraine,
                                          and Eurasia, U.S. Department
                                          of Defense
Catherine Croft........................  Foreign Service Officer, U.S.
                                          Department of State Director
                                          for European Affairs, National
                                          Security Council (July 2017-
                                          July 2018)
Oleksandr Danylyuk.....................  Secretary of the Ukrainian
                                          National Security and Defense
                                          Council (May 2019-September
                                          2019)
Michael Duffey.........................  Associate Director for National
                                          Security Programs, U.S. Office
                                          of Management and Budget (May
                                          2019-present)
John Eisenberg.........................  Legal Advisor, National
                                          Security Council (2017-
                                          present)
Michael Ellis..........................  Deputy Legal Advisor, National
                                          Security Council (March 2017-
                                          present)
Rudy Giuliani..........................  Mayor of New York City (1994-
                                          2001) Personal Attorney to
                                          President Trump (April 2018-
                                          present)
Preston Wells Griffith.................  Associate Director for Natural
                                          Resources, Energy & Science,
                                          U.S. Office of Management and
                                          Budget (April 2018-present)
David Hale.............................  Under Secretary of State for
                                          Political Affairs, U.S.
                                          Department of State (August
                                          2018-present)
Fiona Hill.............................  Senior Director for European
                                          and Russian Affairs, National
                                          Security Council (April 2017-
                                          July 2019)
David Holmes...........................  Political Counselor, U.S.
                                          Embassy Kyiv   (August 2017-
                                          present)
Keith Kellogg..........................  National Security Advisor to
                                          the Vice President (April 2018-
                                          present)
George Kent............................  Deputy Assistant Secretary of
                                          State, Bureau of European and
                                          Eurasian Affairs, U.S.
                                          Department of State (September
                                          2018-present)
Igor Kolomoisky........................  Co-owner, PrivatBank
                                         Co-owner, 1+1 Media Group
Charles Kupperman......................  U.S. Deputy National Security
                                          Advisor (January 2019-
                                          September 2019)
Serhiy Leshchenko......................  Ukrainian Member of Parliament
                                          (November 2014-July 2019)
Yuriy Lutsenko.........................  Prosecutor General of Ukraine
                                          (May 2016-August 2019)
Joseph Maguire.........................  Acting U.S. Director of
                                          National Intelligence (August
                                          2019-present)
Brian McCormack........................  Associate Director for Natural
                                          Resources, Energy & Science,
                                          U.S. Office of Management and
                                          Budget (September 2018-
                                          present)
Michael McKinley.......................  Senior Advisor to the U.S.
                                          Secretary of State, U.S.
                                          Department of State (November
                                          2018-October 2019)
Tim Morrison...........................  Senior Director for European
                                          and Russian Affairs, National
                                          Security Council (July 2019-
                                          November 2019)
Mick Mulvaney..........................  Director of the U.S. Office of
                                          Management and Budget
                                          (February 2017-present) Acting
                                          Chief of Staff to the
                                          President (January 2019-
                                          present)
Nellie Ohr.............................  Contractor, Fusion GPS
Mike Pence.............................  Vice President of the United
                                          States (January 2017-present)
Rick Perry.............................  U.S. Secretary of Energy (March
                                          2017-present)
Mike Pompeo............................  U.S. Secretary of State (April
                                          2018-present)
Petro Poroshenko.......................  President of Ukraine (June 2014-
                                          May 2019)
Vadym Prystaiko........................  Minister of Foreign Affairs of
                                          Ukraine (August 2019-present)
Philip Reeker..........................  Acting Assistant Secretary of
                                          State, Bureau of European and
                                          Eurasian Affairs, U.S.
                                          Department of State (March
                                          2019-present)
Mark Sandy.............................  Deputy Associate Director for
                                          National Security, U.S. Office
                                          of Management and Budget
                                          (December 2013-present)
Viktor Shokin..........................  Prosecutor General of Ukraine
                                          (February 2015-March 2016)
Oksana Shulyar.........................  Deputy Chief of Mission,
                                          Embassy of Ukraine to the U.S.
Gordon Sondland........................  U.S. Ambassador to the European
                                          Union (July 2018-present)
William Taylor.........................  U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
                                          (June 2006-May 2009) U.S.
                                          Charge d'Affaires, a.i., U.S.
                                          Embassy Kyiv (June 2019-
                                          present)
Andrii Telizhenko......................  Political officer, Embassy of
                                          Ukraine to the U.S.
Donald J. Trump........................  President of the United States
                                          (January 2017-present)
Alexander Vindman......................  Director for European Affairs,
                                          National Security Council
                                          (July 2018-present)
Kurt Volker............................  U.S. Special Representative for
                                          Ukraine Negotiations, U.S.
                                          Department of State (July 2017-
                                          September 2019)
Russell Vought.........................  Acting Director, U.S. Office of
                                          Management and Budget
Kathryn Wheelbarger....................  Acting Assistant Secretary of
                                          Defense for International
                                          Affairs, U.S. Department of
                                          Defense (November 2018-
                                          present)
Jennifer Williams......................  Special Adviser for Europe and
                                          Russia, Office of the Vice
                                          President
Viktor Yanukovych......................  President of Ukraine (February
                                          2010-February 2014)
Arseniy Yatsenyuk......................  Prime Minister of Ukraine
                                          (February 2014-April 2016)
Andrey Yermak..........................  Adviser to President of Ukraine
                                          Volodymyr Zelensky
Marie Yovanovitch......................  U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
                                          (August 2016-May 2019)
Volodymyr Zelensky***..................  President of Ukraine (May 2019-
                                          present)
Mykola Zlochevsky......................  Co-founder, Burisma Holdings
                                          (2002-present) Ukrainian
                                          Minister of Ecology and
                                          Natural Resources (July 2010-
                                          April 2012)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sec. Sec. Consistent with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, this
  report spells the Ukrainian capital as ``Kyiv'' throughout.
***Although some sources use alternate spellings of the Ukrainian
  President's surname, this report uses the spelling ``Zelensky'' for
  consistency throughout.

 I. The Evidence Does Not Establish That President Trump Pressured the 
Ukrainian Government To Investigate His Political Rival for the Purpose 
        of Benefiting Him in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election

    Democrats have alleged that President Trump exerted 
pressure on Ukrainian President Zelensky to force the Ukrainian 
government to manufacture ``dirt'' or otherwise investigate a 
potential Democrat candidate in the 2020 U.S. presidential 
election for President Trump's political benefit.\1\ Democrats 
allege that President Trump sought to use the possibility of a 
White House meeting with President Zelensky and release of U.S. 
security assistance to Ukraine as leverage to force Ukraine to 
help the President politically. Democrats allege that President 
Trump orchestrated a ``shadow'' foreign policy apparatus that 
worked to accomplish the President's political goals.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\``Whistleblower Disclosure'': Hearing of the H. Perm. Sel. Comm. 
on Intelligence, 116th Cong. (2019) (statement of Rep. Adam Schiff, 
Chairman); Rep. Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff), Twitter (Oct. 12, 2019, 
2:53 p.m.), https://twitter.com/repadamschiff/status/
1183138629130035200; Lieu accuses Trump of asking Ukraine to 
``manufacture dirt'' on Biden, The Hill, Sept. 25, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The evidence obtained in the Democrats' impeachment 
inquiry, however, does not support these Democrat allegations. 
In fact, witnesses called by the Democrats denied having any 
awareness of criminal activity or an impeachable offense. Rep. 
John Ratcliffe asked Ambassador Bill Taylor and Deputy 
Assistant Secretary George Kent whether they were ``assert[ing] 
there was an impeachable offense in [the July 25] call.''\2\ 
Neither said there was.\3\ Rep. Chris Stewart asked Ambassador 
Marie Yovanovitch if she had any information about President 
Trump's involvement in criminal activity.\4\ Ambassador 
Yovanovitch said no.\5\ Rep. Ratcliffe asked National Security 
Council (NSC) staff member LTC Alexander Vindman and Office of 
the Vice President special adviser Jennifer Williams if they 
have labeled the President's conduct as ``bribery.''\6\ Both 
said no.\7\ Rep. Elise Stefanik asked Ambassador Kurt Volker, 
the U.S. special envoy for Ukraine negotiations, and Tim 
Morrison, the NSC senior director for Europe, whether they saw 
any bribery, extortion, or quid pro quo.\8\ Both said no.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\``Impeachment Inquiry: Ambassador William B. Taylor and Mr. 
George Kent'': Hearing before the H. Perm. Sel. Comm. on Intelligence, 
116th Cong. (2019).
    \3\Id.
    \4\``Impeachment Inquiry: Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch'': Hearing 
before the H. Perm. Sel. Comm. on Intelligence, 116th Cong. (2019).
    \5\Id.
    \6\``Impeachment Inquiry: LTC Alexander Vindman and Ms. Jennifer 
Williams'': Hearing before the H. Perm. Sel. Comm. on Intelligence, 
116th Cong. (2019). This report abbreviates military titles consistent 
with the U.S. Government Printing Office style manual. See U.S. Gov't 
Printing Off., Style Manual 227 (2016).
    \7\Id.
    \8\``Impeachment Inquiry: Ambassador Kurt Volker and Mr. Timothy 
Morrison'': Hearing before the H. Perm. Sel. Comm. on Intelligence, 
116th Cong. (2019).
    \9\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Contrary to Democrat assertions, the evidence does not show 
that President Trump pressured President Zelensky to 
investigate his political rival during the July 25 phone call. 
The best evidence of the conversation--the call summary--shows 
no evidence of conditionality, threats, or pressure. President 
Zelensky and President Trump have both said there was no 
pressure, the initial read-out from the State Department and 
the Ukrainian government reflected no concerns, and the NSC 
leadership saw no illegality or impropriety with the call.
    The evidence does not show that President Trump withheld a 
meeting with President Zelensky to pressure Ukraine to 
investigate his political rival. The evidence shows that 
President Trump has a long-standing, deep-seated skepticism of 
Ukraine due to its history of pervasive corruption. President 
Zelensky was a political newcomer with untested views on anti-
corruption and a close association with a Ukrainian oligarch. 
Even so, President Trump agreed to invite President Zelensky to 
the White House, and in the interim, Ukrainian officials had 
several high-level meetings with U.S. officials. President 
Trump and President Zelensky met in September 2019 without 
Ukraine ever taking any action on investigating President 
Trump's political rival.
    In addition, the evidence does not show that President 
Trump withheld U.S. security assistance to Ukraine to pressure 
Ukraine to investigate his political rival. The evidence shows 
that President Trump has a skepticism of U.S. taxpayer-funded 
foreign aid and believes Europe should carry more financial 
burden for its regional defense. Although U.S. security 
assistance was paused temporarily, Democrats' witnesses denied 
there being any direct link to investigations of the 
President's political rival. Both the Ukrainian government and 
President Trump separately denied any linkage. U.S. officials 
did not tell the Ukrainian officials about the delay because 
they thought it would get worked out. Ambassador Volker, a 
senior U.S. diplomat and primary interlocutor with senior 
Ukrainian government officials, testified that the Ukrainians 
did not raise concerns to him about a delay in aid until after 
the pause was made public in late August 2019. The U.S. 
security assistance to Ukraine was ultimately disbursed without 
Ukraine taking any action to investigate President Trump's 
political rival.
    The evidence does not show that President Trump established 
a ``shadow'' foreign policy apparatus to pressure Ukraine to 
investigate his political rival. The President has broad 
Constitutional authority over U.S. foreign policy, and 
President Trump is likely suspicious of the national security 
apparatus due to continual leaks of sensitive information and 
the resistance within the federal bureaucracy. The three U.S. 
officials who Democrats accuse of conducting an ``irregular'' 
foreign policy channel had legitimate responsibilities for 
Ukraine policy. They kept the State Department and NSC aware of 
their actions. To the extent Mayor Giuliani was involved, he 
was in communication with these officials and the Ukrainians 
did not see him as speaking on behalf of the President.
    Although Democrats reflexively criticize President Trump 
for promoting ``conspiracy theories''' about Hunter Biden's 
role on Burisma's board or Ukrainian attempts to influence the 
2016 election, evidence suggests there are legitimate questions 
about both issues. The Democrats' witnesses testified that it 
would be appropriate for Ukraine to investigate allegations of 
corruption in Ukraine.
    Finally, there are fundamental flaws with the anonymous 
whistleblower complaint that initiated the Democrats' 
impeachment inquiry. The complaint contained inaccurate and 
misleading information that prejudiced the public understanding 
of President Trump's conversation with President Zelensky. The 
whistleblower had no firsthand knowledge of the events in 
question and a bias against President Trump. The whistleblower 
communicated with Chairman Schiff or his staff prior to 
submitting the whistleblower complaint to the Inspector General 
of the Intelligence Community. Several witnesses contradicted 
assertions made by the anonymous whistleblower. The 
whistleblower's complaint did not accurately reflect the tone 
and substance of the phone call, which is unsurprising given 
the whistleblower's reliance on secondhand information that had 
likely already been colored by biases of the original sources.

   A. THE EVIDENCE DOES NOT ESTABLISH THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP PRESSURED 
  PRESIDENT ZELENSKY DURING THE JULY 25 PHONE CALL TO INVESTIGATE THE 
 PRESIDENT'S POLITICAL RIVAL FOR THE PURPOSE OF BENEFITING HIM IN THE 
                             2020 ELECTION

    On July 25, 2019, President Trump and President Zelensky 
spoke by telephone.\10\ This conversation would later serve as 
the basis for the anonymous whistleblower complaint and the 
spark for the Democrats' impeachment inquiry. Contrary to 
allegations that President Trump pressured Ukraine to 
investigate a domestic political rival during this call,\11\ 
the evidence shows that President Trump did not pressure 
President Zelensky to investigate his political rival.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\President Trump had spoken with then-President-elect Zelensky 
on April 21, 2019, to congratulate him on his election. See The White 
House, Memorandum of Telephone Conversation (Apr. 21, 2019). This 
conversation too contained no indication of pressure, intimidation or 
threats. See id.
    \11\See, e.g., Josh Dawsey et al., How Trump and Giuliani pressured 
Ukraine to investigate the President's rivals, Wash. Post, (Sept. 20, 
2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The call summary and initial read-outs of the conversation 
reflect no indication of conditionality, coercion, or 
intimidation--elements that would have been present if 
President Trump had used his authority to pressure President 
Zelensky to investigate his political rival. Importantly, both 
President Zelensky and President Trump have said publicly there 
was no pressure or anything inappropriate about their 
conversation. The anonymous whistleblower complaint--which 
sparked the impeachment inquiry--contains sensational rhetoric 
about the July 25 phone conservation that has prejudged 
subsequent views of the call.

1. The call summary does not reflect any improper pressure or 
        conditionality to pressure Ukraine to investigate President 
        Trump's political rival

    The best evidence of the telephone conversation between 
President Trump and President Zelensky is the contemporaneous 
summary prepared by the White House Situation Room. The 
Democrats' witnesses described how National Security Council 
(NSC) policy staffers and White House Situation Room duty 
officers typically listen in on presidential conversations with 
foreign leaders to transcribe the contents of the 
conversation.\12\ This process occurred for President Trump's 
July 25 phone call with President Zelensky.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\See, e.g., Deposition of Dr. Fiona Hill, in Wash., D.C., at 
297-300 (Oct. 14, 2019) [hereinafter ``Hill deposition'']. Although 
some have alleged that the presence of ellipses in the call summary 
connotes missing text, witnesses testified that call summaries often 
use ellipses to denote unfinished thoughts and not to ``read too much'' 
into the use of ellipses. See, e.g., id. at 307. LTC Vindman testified 
in his closed-door deposition that any editing decisions or missing 
words were not done maliciously. See Deposition of LTC Alexander 
Vindman, in Wash., D.C., at 253 (Oct. 29, 2019) [hereinafter ``Vindman 
deposition'']. In his public testimony, LTC Vindman explained that 
although the summary did not mention the word ``Burisma,'' it was ``not 
a significant omission.'' Impeachment Inquiry: LTC Alexander Vindman 
and Ms. Jennifer Williams, supra note 6. Morrison testified in his 
deposition that he believed to call memorandum was an ``accurate and 
complete'' reflection of the substance of the call. Deposition of 
Timothy Morrison, in Wash., D.C., at 60 (Oct. 31, 2019) [hereinafter 
``Morrison deposition'']
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As transcribed, the call summary denotes laughter, 
pleasantries, and compliments exchanged between President Trump 
and President Zelensky. The summary does not evince any 
threats, coercion, intimidation, or indication of 
conditionality. Democrats even acknowledged that the call 
summary reflected no quid pro quo.\13\ The summary bears 
absolutely no resemblance to House Intelligence Committee 
Chairman Adam Schiff's self-described ``parody'' interpretation 
of the call, which the Chairman performed at a public hearing 
on September 26.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\See, e.g., MSNBC Live with Craig Melvin (MSNBC television 
broadcast Sept. 25, 2019) (interview with Rep. Ro Khanna) (saying 
evidence of a quid pro quo on the call summary is ``irrelevant'').
    \14\Whistleblower Disclosure, supra note 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The summary of the July 25 phone call begins by President 
Trump congratulating President Zelensky on a ``great victory,'' 
a ``terrific job,'' and a ``fantastic achievement.''\15\ 
President Zelensky reciprocated by complimenting President 
Trump, saying:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\The White House, Memorandum of Telephone Conversation 1 (July 
25, 2019).

          Well, yes, to tell you the truth, we are trying to 
        work hard because we wanted to drain the swamp here in 
        our country. We brought in many, many new people. Not 
        the old politicians, not the typical politicians, 
        because we want to have a new format and a new type of 
        government. You are a great teacher for us and in 
        that.\16\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\Id. at 2.

    President Trump expressed his concern that European 
countries were not providing their fair share in terms of 
assistance to Ukraine\17\--a topic about which President Trump 
has been vocal.\18\ President Zelensky responded that President 
Trump was ``absolutely right'' and that he had expressed 
concerns to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French 
President Emmanuel Macron.\19\ President Zelensky thanked 
President Trump for U.S. military support and said Ukraine was 
``almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for 
defense purposes.''\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \17\Id.
    \18\See infra section I.C.2.
    \19\Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, supra note 15, at 2.
    \20\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    President Trump then transitioned to discuss the allegation 
that some Ukrainian officials sought to influence the 2016 U.S. 
presidential election. Although Democrats have seized on the 
President's phrasing--``I would like you to do us a favor 
though''\21\-- to accuse the President of pressuring President 
Zelensky to target his 2020 political rival for his political 
benefit,\22\ they omit the remainder of his sentence. The full 
sentence shows that President Trump was not asking President 
Zelensky to investigate his political rival, but rather asking 
him to assist in ``get[ting] to the bottom'' of potential 
Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 election.\23\ This reading is 
supported by President Trump's subsequent reference to Special 
Counsel Robert Mueller, who had testified the day before about 
his findings,\24\ and to Attorney General William Barr, who had 
initiated an official inquiry into the origins of the U.S. 
government's 2016 Russia investigation.\25\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \21\Id. at 3.
    \22\See, e.g., Whistleblower Disclosure, supra note 1 (statement of 
Rep. Adam Schiff, Chairman).
    \23\Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, supra note 15, at 3. The 
President's reference to ``Crowdstrike'' during the conversation refers 
to a cybersecurity firm that examined the Democratic National Committee 
server following intrusion by the Russian government in 2016.
    \24\``Oversight of the Report on the Investigation into Russian 
Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election: Former Special Counsel 
Robert S. Mueller, III'': Hearing before the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 
116th Cong. (2019).
    \25\See, e.g., Adam Goldman et al., Barr assigns U.S. Attorney in 
Connecticut to review origins of Russia inquiry, N.Y. Times, May 13, 
2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    President Zelensky did not express any concern that 
President Trump had raised the allegations about Ukrainian 
influence in the 2016 election. In fact, President Zelensky 
responded by reiterating his commitment to cooperation between 
Ukraine and the United States and mentioning that he had 
recalled the Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States, Valeriy 
Chaly.\26\ Ambassador Chaly had authored an op-ed in The Hill 
during the height of the presidential campaign in 2016 
criticizing a statement that President Trump had made by 
Crimea.\27\ President Zelensky said he planned to surround 
himself with ``the best and most experienced people'' and 
pledged that ``as the President of Ukraine that all the 
investigations will be done openly and candidly.''\28\ 
President Zelensky also raised former New York Mayor Rudy 
Giuliani, saying ``we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani 
will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he 
comes to Ukraine.''\29\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \26\Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, supra note 15, at 3.
    \27\Valeriy Chaly, Ukraine's ambassador: Trump's comments send 
wrong message to world, The Hill, Aug. 4, 2016.
    \28\Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, supra note 15, at 3.
    \29\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The call summary shows that the discussion then intertwined 
several different topics. In response to President Zelensky's 
statement about new personnel, President Trump and President 
Zelensky discussed the position of prosecutor general.\30\ 
President Zelensky did not express any discomfort discussing 
the prosecutor general position. He said the new prosecutor 
general would be ``100% my person, my candidate'' and said the 
prosecutor would look into the matters raised by President 
Trump to ``mak[e] sure to restore the honesty'' of the 
investigation.\31\ President Zelensky later said ``we will be 
very serious about the case and will work on the 
investigation.''\32\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \30\Id. at 3-4.
    \31\Id. at 4.
    \32\Id. at 5.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In response to President Zelensky's reference to Mayor 
Giuliani, President Trump said Mayor Giuliani is ``a highly 
respected man'' who ``very much knows what's happening and he 
is a very capable guy.''\33\ President Trump said that he would 
ask Mayor Giuliani to call President Zelensky, along with 
Attorney General Barr, to ``get to the bottom of it.''\34\ 
President Zelensky did not express any concern about Mayor 
Giuliani's engagement in fact, President Zelensky, not 
President Trump, first referenced Mayor Giuliani in the 
conversation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \33\ Id. at 3-4.
    \34\ Id. at 4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    President Trump then raised former U.S. Ambassador to 
Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, saying that she was ``bad news''' 
and ``the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad 
news.''\35\ President Zelensky did not express any hesitancy in 
discussing the ambassador. Contrary to Democrats' assertion 
that he felt obligated to agree with President Trump's 
assessment, President Zelensky stated his independent negative 
assessment of Ambassador Yovanovitch:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \35\Id.

          Her attitude toward me was far from the best as she 
        admired the previous President and she was on his side. 
        She would not accept me as a new President well 
        enough.\36\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \36\Id.

    President Trump also raised in passing--using the 
transition phrase ``the other thing''--the topic of Vice 
President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, referring to his 
position on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, Burisma, 
known for its corruption.\37\ President Trump said ``a lot of 
people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with 
the Attorney General would be great.''\38\ President Zelensky 
did not reply to President Trump's reference to the Bidens, and 
the two did not discuss the topic substantively.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \37\Id.
    \38\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The call concluded with President Zelensky raising energy 
cooperation between Ukraine and the United States and with 
President Trump reiterating his invitation for President 
Zelensky to visit the White House.\39\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \39\Id. at 5.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Although some later expressed concern about the call, the 
call summary--the best evidence of the conversation--shows no 
indication of conflict, intimidation, or pressure. President 
Trump never conditioned a White House meeting on any action by 
President Zelensky. President Trump never mentioned U.S. 
security assistance to Ukraine. President Zelensky never 
verbalized any disagreement, hostility, or concern about any 
facet of the U.S.-Ukrainian relationship.

2. President Zelensky has publicly and repeatedly said he felt no 
        pressure to investigate President Trump's political rival

    Since President Trump declassified and publicly released 
the content of his July 25 phone conversation with President 
Zelensky, President Zelensky and other senior Ukrainian 
officials have publicly and repeatedly asserted that President 
Zelensky felt no pressure to investigate President Trump's 
political rival. President Zelensky has variously asserted, 
``nobody pushed . . . me,'' ``I was never pressured,'' and 
there was no ``blackmail.''
    On September 25, President Zelensky and President Trump met 
face-to-face for a bilateral meeting on the margins of the 74th 
United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly in New York. The 
presidents jointly participated in a media availability, during 
which President Zelensky asserted that he felt no pressure.\40\ 
President Zelensky said then:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \40\Press Release, The White House, Remarks by President Trump and 
President Zelensky of Ukraine Before Bilateral Meeting (Sept. 25, 
2019), available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/
remarks-president-trump-president-zelensky-ukraine-bilateral-meeting-
new-york-ny/.

          Q. President Zelensky, have you felt any pressure 
        from President Trump to investigate Joe Biden and 
        Hunter Biden?
          A. I think you read everything. So I think you read 
        text. I'm sorry, but I don't want to be involved to 
        democratic, open elections--elections of USA. No, you 
        heard that we had, I think, good phone call. It was 
        normal. We spoke about many things. And I--so I think, 
        and you read it, that nobody pushed--pushed me.\41\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \41\ Id. (emphasis added).

    President Zelensky again reiterated that he was not 
pressured to investigate President Trump's political rival 
during an interview with a Kyodo News, a Japanese media outlet, 
published on October 6. Kyodo News quoted President Zelensky as 
saying, ``I was never pressured and there were no conditions 
being imposed'' on a White House meeting or U.S. security 
assistance to Ukraine.\42\ President Zelensky denied ``reports 
by U.S. media that [President] Trump's requests were 
conditions'' for a White House meeting or U.S. security 
assistance.\43\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \42\ Ukraine president denies being pushed by Trump to investigate 
Biden, Kyodo News, Oct. 6, 2019.
    \43\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On October 10, during an all-day media availability in 
Kyiv, President Zelensky again emphasized that he felt no 
pressure to investigate President Trump's political rival. 
President Zelensky said there was ``no blackmail'' during the 
conversation, explaining: ``This is not corruption. It was just 
a call.''\44\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \44\Ukraine's president says `no blackmail' in Trump call, BBC, 
Oct. 10, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition, on September 21--before President Trump had 
even declassified and released the call summary--Ukrainian 
Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko denied that President Trump 
had pressured President Zelensky to investigate President 
Trump's political rival.\45\ Foreign Minister Prystaiko said:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \45\``Trump did not pressure Zelensky, Ukraine is independent 
state''--Foreign Minister Prystaiko, Hromadske, Sept. 21, 2019.

          I know what the conversation was about and I think 
        there was no pressure. There was talk, conversations 
        are different, leaders have the right to discuss any 
        problems that exist. This conversation was long, 
        friendly, and it touched on a lot of questions, 
        including those requiring serious answers.\46\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \46\Id. (emphasis added).

    Similarly, Ambassador Bill Taylor explained that he had 
dinner with Oleksandr Danylyuk, then-Secretary of the National 
Security and Defense Council, the night of the phone 
conversation between President Trump and President 
Zelensky.\47\ He explained that Danylyuk said that the 
Ukrainian government ``seemed to think that the call went fine, 
the call went well. He wasn't disturbed by anything. He wasn't 
disturbed that he told us about the phone call.''\48\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \47\Deposition of Ambassador William B. Taylor, in Wash., D.C., at 
80 (Oct. 22, 2019).
    \48\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    President Zelensky's repeated denials that President Trump 
pressured him to investigate domestic political rival--
corroborated by Foreign Minister Prystaiko's similar denial--
carry significant weight.

3. President Trump has publicly and repeatedly said he did not pressure 
        President Zelensky to investigate his political rival

    Like President Zelensky, President Trump has repeatedly and 
publicly stated that he did not pressure President Zelensky to 
investigate his political rival. During the September 25 
bilateral meeting with President Zelensky, President Trump said 
to the assembled members of the media: ``There was no pressure. 
And you know there was--and, by the way, you know there was no 
pressure. All you have to do it see it, what went on the 
call.''\49\ When asked whether he wanted President Zelensky to 
``do more'' to investigate Vice President Biden, President 
Trump responded: ``No. I want him to do whatever he can. This 
was not his fault; he wasn't there. He's just been here 
recently. But whatever he can do in terms of corruption, 
because the corruption is massive.''\50\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \49\Remarks by President Trump and President Zelensky of Ukraine 
Before Bilateral Meeting, supra note 40.
    \50\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Despite the President's statements, some allege that an 
overheard conversation the day after President Trump's 
conversation with President Zelensky shows that the President 
sought to pressure President Zelensky. On July 26, following a 
meeting with President Zelensky, Ambassador Gordon Sondland, 
the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, telephoned President 
Trump from Kyiv.\51\ According to a subsequent account of David 
Holmes, a Political Counselor at U.S. Embassy Kyiv, Ambassador 
Sondland told the President that he was in Ukraine and stated 
President Zelensky ``loves your ass.''\52\ Holmes recounted 
that President Trump asked Ambassador Sondland, ``So he's going 
to do the investigation?''\53\ Ambassador Sondland allegedly 
replied, ``He's going to do it.''\54\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \51\Deposition of David Holmes, in Wash., D.C., at 23-25 (Nov. 15, 
2019) [hereinafter ``Holmes deposition'']. Ambassador Sondland did not 
mention this phone call in his deposition. See generally Deposition of 
Ambassador Gordon D. Sondland, in Wash., D.C. (Oct. 17, 2019) 
[hereinafter ``Sondland deposition''].
    \52\Holmes deposition, supra note 51, at 24
    \53\Id.
    \54\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This conversation is not definitive evidence that President 
Trump pressured President Zelensky to investigate his political 
rival. First, according to Ambassador Sondland, it was not 
clear that President Trump meant an investigation into the 
Bidens. In his closed-door deposition, Ambassador Sondland 
testified that he only had ``five or six'' conversations with 
the President and did not mention this particular 
conversation.\55\ In his public testimony, however, Ambassador 
Sondland suddenly recalled the conversation, saying that it 
``did not strike me as significant at the time'' and that the 
primary purpose of the call was to discuss rapper A$AP Rocky, 
who was imprisoned in Sweden.\56\ Ambassador Sondland testified 
that he has no recollection of discussing Vice President Biden 
or his son, Hunter Biden, with President Trump.\57\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \55\ Sondland deposition, supra note 51, at 56.
    \56\ ``Impeachment Inquiry: Ambassador Gordon Sondland'': Hearing 
before the H. Perm. Sel. Comm. on Intelligence, 116th Cong. (2019).
    \57\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Second, Holmes testified that although he disclosed 
Ambassador Sondland's conversation with the President to 
multiple friends on multiple occasions, he did not feel 
compelled to disclose it to the State Department or Congress 
until weeks into the impeachment inquiry.\58\ Although Holmes 
testified that he told his boss, Ambassador Taylor, about the 
call on August 6 and received a ``knowing'' response, and that 
he referred to the call often in staff meetings, Ambassador 
Taylor testified publicly that he was ``not aware of this 
information'' at the time of his October 22 deposition, and 
that he only became aware of the Holmes account on November 8, 
2019, two days after his hearing was publicly announced, at 
which point he referred it (for the first time) to the Legal 
Adviser for the Department of State.\59\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \58\ Holmes deposition, supra note 51, at 31, 158-62.
    \59\ Id. at 81-82, 121-22, 167; see generally Taylor deposition, 
supra note 47; Impeachment Inquiry: Ambassador William B. Taylor and 
Mr. George Kent, supra note 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. Read-outs of the phone call from both the State Department and the 
        Ukrainian government did not reflect that President Trump 
        pressured President Zelensky to investigate his political rival

    Immediately following the telephone conversation between 
President Trump and President Zelensky, senior U.S. and 
Ukrainian government officials provided read-outs of the 
conversation. According to witness testimony, none of these 
read-outs indicated that the conversation between the 
presidents was substantively concerning.
    Ambassador Volker testified that he received informal read-
outs of the call from both his State Department assistant and 
his high-level Ukrainian contacts.\60\ These read-outs did not 
indicate any concern with the phone call. Ambassador Volker 
explained:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \60\ Transcribed interview of Ambassador Kurt Volker, in Wash., 
D.C., at 102-03 (Oct. 3, 2019) [hereinafter ``Volker transcribed 
interview'']. Ambassador Volker's assistant at the time, Catherine 
Croft, testified that she only received a read-out of the phone call 
was based on what President Zelensky told Ambassador Volker, Ambassador 
Taylor, and Ambassador Sondland on July 26. Deposition of Catherine 
Croft, in Wash., D.C., at 16 (Oct. 30, 2019) [hereinafter ``Croft 
deposition''].

          A. I got an oral readout from the staffer who works 
        for me in the State Department and our charge, as well 
        as from Andrey Yermak, who had been on the call in 
        Ukraine himself.
          Q. So you got two readouts?
          A. Yeah.
          Q. One from each side?
          A. Correct.
          Q. What was the top line message you got from the 
        State Department?
          A. Well, they were the same, actually, which is 
        interesting. But the message was congratulations from 
        the President to President Zelensky; President Zelensky 
        reiterating that he is committed to fighting corruption 
        and reform in the Ukraine; and President Trump 
        reiterating an invitation for President Zelensky to 
        visit him at the White House. That was it.\61\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \61\ Volker transcribed interview, supra note 60, at 102-03.

    In fact, in his public testimony, Ambassador Volker 
testified that President Zelensky was ``very upbeat about the 
fact of the call.''\62\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \62\ Impeachment Inquiry: Ambassador Kurt Volker and Timothy 
Morrison, supra note 8.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ambassador Sondland received a summary of the phone call 
from his staff.\63\ Ambassador Sondland testified that he was 
pleased to learn that it was a ``good call.''\64\ George Kent, 
the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State covering Ukraine, 
testified that he received a read-out of the call from NSC 
staffer LTC Alexander Vindman.\65\ According to Kent, although 
LTC Vindman said the ``atmospherics''' of the conversation was 
cooler and reserved, LTC Vindman did not mention Vice President 
Biden's name or anything relating to 2016.\66\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \63\ Sondland deposition, supra note 51, at 116.
    \64\ Id.
    \65\ Deposition of George Kent, in Wash., D.C., at 163 (Oct. 15, 
2019) [hereinafter ``Kent deposition''].
    \66\ Id. at 163-65
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition, the Office of the President of Ukraine issued 
an official statement following the phone call.\67\ The 
official statement also signaled no concern about the call or 
any indication of coercion, intimidation, or pressure from 
President Trump. The statement read in full:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \67\ Press Release, Office of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr 
Zelenskyy had a phone conversation with President of the United States 
(July 25, 2019), available at https://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/
volodimir-zelenskij-proviv-telefonnu-rozmovu-z-prezidentom-s-56617.

          President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky had a phone 
        conversation with President of the United States Donald 
        Trump. President of the United States congratulated 
        Ukraine on successful holding free and democratic 
        parliamentary elections as well as Volodymyr Zelensky 
        with victory the Servant of the People Party.
          Donald Trump is convinced that the new Ukrainian 
        government will be able to quickly improve image of 
        Ukraine, complete investigation of corruption cases, 
        which inhibited the interaction between Ukraine and the 
        USA.
          He also confirmed continued support of the 
        sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine by the 
        United States and the readiness of the American side to 
        fully contribute to the implementation of a Large-Scale 
        Reform Program in our country.
          Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Donald Trump for US 
        leadership in preserving and strengthening the 
        sanctions pressure on Russia.
          The Presidents agreed to discuss practical issues of 
        Ukrainian-American cooperation during the visit of 
        Volodymyr Zelensky to the United States.\68\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \68\ Id.

    The initial read-outs of the July 25 telephone conversation 
between President Trump and President Zelensky provide 
compelling evidence that the key message conveyed during the 
conversation was about fighting corruption in Ukraine--and not 
about digging up dirt on President Trump's political rival for 
the President's political benefit.

5. The National Security Council leadership did not see the call as 
        illegal or improper

    The evidence shows that the NSC leadership did not see the 
telephone conversation between President Trump and President 
Zelensky as improper. Timothy Morrison, who served as the 
Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security, 
listened in on the conversation.\69\ He testified that he was 
concerned information from the call could leak, but he was not 
concerned that anything discussed on the call was illegal or 
improper.\70\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \69\ Morrison deposition, supra note 12, at 15.
    \70\ Id. at 16, 60-61.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    LTG Keith Kellogg, Vice President Pence's National Security 
Advisor, also listened in on the July 25 telephone 
conversation.\71\ LTG Kellogg stated that like Morrison: ``I 
heard nothing wrong or improper on the call. I had and have no 
concerns.''\72\ LTG Kellogg's subordinate, Jennifer Williams, 
testified that although she found the call to be ``unusual,'' 
she did not raise concerns to LTG Kellogg.\73\ LTG Kellogg 
similarly noted that Williams never raised concerns to him.\74\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \71\ The White House, Statement from Lieutenant General Keith 
Kellogg, National Security Advisor to Vice President Mike Pence (Nov. 
19, 2019) [hereinafter ``Statement from Lieutenant General Kellogg''].
    \72\ Id.
    \73\ Deposition of Jennifer Williams, in Wash., D.C., at 129 (Nov. 
7, 2019) [hereinafter ``Williams deposition'']; Impeachment Inquiry: 
LTC Alexander Vindman and Ms. Jennifer Williams, supra note 6.
    \74\ Statement from Lieutenant General Kellogg, supra note 71.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Morrison's subordinate, LTC Vindman, listened in on the 
conversation.\75\ At the time of the call, LTC Vindman handled 
Ukraine policy for the NSC.\76\ He testified that he was 
concerned by the conversation and raised his concerns to the 
NSC's Legal Advisor, John Eisenberg.\77\ Eisenberg, according 
to LTC Vindman, did not share the concern.\78\ LTC Vindman did 
not raise any concerns to Morrison, his immediate 
supervisor.\79\ In his public testimony, Morrison explained 
that he had concerns with LTC Vindman's judgment and deviation 
from the chain of command.\80\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \75\ Vindman deposition, supra note 12, at 18.
    \76\ Id. at 16.
    \77\ Id. at 96.
    \78\ Id. at 97, 258.
    \79\ Morrison deposition, supra note 12, at 59.
    \80\ Impeachment Inquiry: Ambassador Kurt Volker and Mr. Timothy 
Morrison, supra note 8.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The evidence suggests that any wider concerns about the 
July 25 phone call originated from LTC Vindman. Williams 
testified that she discussed the call with no one outside the 
NSC.\81\ LTC Vindman, on the other hand, testified that he 
discussed the phone call with two people outside of the NSC, 
Deputy Assistant Secretary Kent and an unidentified 
intelligence community employee.\82\ Deputy Assistant Secretary 
Kent explained that LTC Vindman felt ``uncomfortable'' and 
would not share the majority of the substance of the 
conversation.\83\ According to Kent's recollection, LTC Vindman 
did not mention that the conversation included any reference to 
Vice President Biden.\84\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \81\ Impeachment Inquiry: LTC Alexander Vindman and Ms. Jennifer 
Williams, supra note 6.
    \82\ Id.
    \83\ Kent deposition, supra note 65, at 163-64.
    \84\ Id. at 165-66.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

6. The anonymous, secondhand whistleblower complaint misstated details 
        about the July 25 call, which has falsely colored the call's 
        public characterization

    The anonymous whistleblower did not listen in on the July 
25 call between President Trump and President Zelensky. The 
whistleblower's subsequent complaint about the conversation, 
compiled with secondhand information, misstated key details 
about the conversation.
    The whistleblower sensationally alleged that President 
Trump ``sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions 
to help the President's 2020 reelection bid.''\85\ The call 
summary, however, contains no reference to 2020 or President 
Trump's reelection bid.\86\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \85\ Letter to Richard Burr, Chairman, S. Sel. Comm. on 
Intelligence, & Adam Schiff, Chairman, H. Perm. Sel. Comm. on 
Intelligence 2 (Aug. 12, 2019) [hereinafter ``Whistleblower letter''].
    \86\ Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, supra note 15.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The whistleblower alleged that President Trump 
``pressured'' President Zelensky to ``initiate or continue an 
investigation into the activities of former Vice President 
Joseph Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.''\87\ The call summary, 
however, shows that President Trump referenced the Bidens only 
in passing and that the presidents did not discuss the topic 
substantively.\88\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \87\ Whistleblower letter, supra note 85, at 2.
    \88\ Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, supra note 15.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The whistleblower alleged that President Trump 
``pressured'' President Zelensky to ``locate and turn over 
servers used by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and 
examined by the U.S. cyber security firm Crowdstrike.''\89\ The 
call summary, however, demonstrates that while President Trump 
mentioned Crowdstrike and ``the server,'' President Trump never 
made any request that President Zelensky locate or turn over 
any material.\90\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \89\ Whistleblower letter, supra note 85, at 2.
    \90\ Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, supra note 15, at 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The whistleblower alleged that President Trump ``praised 
Ukraine's Prosecutor General, Mr. Yuriy Lutsenko, and suggested 
that Mr. Zelensky might want to keep him in his position.''\91\ 
The call summary is not clear about which prosecutor general 
President Trump is referring to Ambassador Volker testified he 
believed President Trump was referring to Lutsenko's 
predecessor, Viktor Shokin\92\ and President Trump never 
specifically referenced Lutsenko.\93\ President Trump also 
never suggested or intimated that President Zelensky should 
``keep [Lutsenko] in his position.''\94\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \91\ Whistleblower letter, supra note 85, at 3.
    \92\ Volker transcribed interview, supra note 60, at 355.
    \93\ Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, supra note 15.
    \94\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The whistleblower also alleged that T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, 
Counselor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, listened in on the 
July 25 phone call.\95\ Subsequent reporting, confirmed by a 
letter sent by Brechbuhl's attorney, indicated that Brechbuhl 
was not on the call.\96\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \95\ Whistleblower letter, supra note 85, at 3.
    \96\ Christina Ruffini (@EenaRuffini), Twitter (Sept. 26, 2019, 
12:41 p.m.), https://twitter.com/EenaRuffini/status/
1177307225024544768; Letter from Ronald Tenpas to Adam Schiff, 
Chairman, H. Perm. Sel. Comm. on Intelligence (Nov. 5, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                 * * *

    Setting aside the whistleblower's mischaracterization of 
President Trump's phone call with President Zelensky, the best 
available evidence shows no coercion, threats, or pressure for 
Ukraine to investigate the President's political rival for the 
President's political benefit. The call summary shows no quid 
pro quo, the initial read-outs relayed no substantive concerns, 
and both President Zelensky and President Trump have repeatedly 
said publicly there was no pressure. These facts refute the 
Democrats' allegations.

  B. THE EVIDENCE DOES NOT ESTABLISH THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP WITHHELD A 
MEETING WITH PRESIDENT ZELENSKY TO PRESSURE UKRAINE TO INVESTIGATE THE 
 PRESIDENT'S POLITICAL RIVAL FOR THE PURPOSE OF BENEFITING HIM IN THE 
                             2020 ELECTION

    Democrats allege that President Trump withheld a meeting 
with President Zelensky as a way of pressuring Ukraine to 
investigate President Trump's political rival.\97\ Here, too, 
the evidence obtained during the impeachment inquiry does not 
support this allegation. President Trump and President Zelensky 
met without Ukraine ever investigating Vice Present Biden or 
his son, Hunter Biden.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \97\See, e.g., Karoun Demirjian et al., Officials' texts reveals 
belief that Trump wanted probes as condition of Ukraine meeting, Wash. 
Post, Oct. 4, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The evidence strongly suggests, instead, that President 
Trump was reluctant to meet with President Zelensky for a 
different reason--Ukraine's long history of pervasive 
corruption and uncertainty about whether President Zelensky 
would break from this history and live up to his anti-
corruption campaign platform. The Democrats' witnesses 
described how President Trump has a deep-seated and genuine 
skepticism of Ukraine due to its corruption and that the 
President's view was reasonable. Because of President Trump's 
skepticism and because President Zelensky was a first-time 
candidate with relatively untested views, Ukraine and U.S. 
officials sought to convince President Trump that President 
Zelensky was the ``real deal'' on reform. President Trump 
ultimately signed a letter to President Zelensky on May 29 
inviting him to the White House.
    Although there were several months between President 
Trump's invitation on May 29 and the bilateral meeting on 
September 25, the evidence does not show the delay was 
intentional or aimed at pressuring President Zelensky. The 
Democrats' witnesses described the difficulty in scheduling 
high-level meetings and how an anticipated presidential meeting 
in Poland in early September was cancelled due to Hurricane 
Dorian. Nonetheless, U.S. foreign policy officials believed 
that the Ukrainian government felt good about its relationship 
with the Trump Administration because of several high-level 
bilateral meetings held between May and September 2019, 
including President Zelensky's meeting with Vice President 
Pence on September 1. Ultimately, of course, President Trump 
and President Zelensky met during the U.N. General Assembly in 
New York on September 25, without Ukraine taking steps to 
investigate President Trump's political rival.

1. Ukraine has a long history of pervasive corruption

    Since it became an independent nation following the 
collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has been plagued by 
systemic corruption. The Guardian has called Ukraine ``the most 
corrupt nation in Europe''\98\ and Ernst & Young cites Ukraine 
among the three most-corrupt nations of the world.\99\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \98\Oliver Bullough, Welcome to Ukraine, the Most Corrupt Nation in 
Europe, Guardian, (Feb. 6, 2015).
    \99\See, e.g., 14th Global Fraud Survey, Ernst & Young, (2016), 
https://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/EY-corporate-misconduct-
individual-consequences/$FILE/EY-corporate-misconduct-individual-
consequences.pdf (noting that 88% of Ukrainian's agree that ``bribery/
corrupt practices happen widely in business in [Ukraine]''). See also 
Viktor Tkachuk, People First: The Latest in the Watch on Ukrainian 
Democracy, Kyiv Post, (Sept. 11, 2012), https://www.kyivpost.com/
article/opinion/op-ed/people-first-the-latest-in-the-watch-on-
ukrainian-decoracy-5-312797.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The United States Agency for International Development 
(USAID) explained Ukraine's history of corruption in a 2006 
report:

          From the early 1990s, powerful officials in [the 
        Ukrainian] government and politics acquired and 
        privatized key economic resources of the state. As 
        well, shadowy businesses, allegedly close to organized 
        crime, became powerful economic forces in several 
        regions of the country. Over the course of the past 
        decade, these business groupings--or clans--as they 
        became called, grew into major financial-industrial 
        structures that used their very close links with and 
        influence over government, political parties, the mass 
        media and the state bureaucracy to enlarge and fortify 
        their control over the economy and sources of wealth. 
        They used ownership ties, special privileges, relations 
        with government and direct influence over the courts 
        and law enforcement and regulatory organizations to 
        circumvent weaknesses in governmental 
        institutions.\100\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \100\U.S. Agency for International Development, Final Report, 
Corruption Assessment: Ukraine (2006), https://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/
PNADK247.pdf.

    Corruption is so pervasive in Ukraine that in 2011, 68.8% 
of Ukrainian citizens reported that they had bribed a public 
official within the preceding twelve months.\101\ Bribery and 
facilitation payments\102\ are common schemes by which 
Ukrainian officials demand payment in exchange for ensuring 
public services are delivered either on time or at all.\103\ 
Corruption also presents an obstacle to private and public 
business in Ukraine.\104\ In 2011, then-President Petro 
Poroshenko estimated that 15%, or $7.4 billion, of the state 
budget ``ends up in the pockets of officials'' through corrupt 
public procurement practices.\105\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \101\Fighting Corruption in Ukraine: Ukrainian Style, Gorshenin 
Inst., (Mar. 7, 2011), http://gpf-europe.com/upload/iblock/333/
round_table_eng.pdf.
    \102\See Facilitation Payments, Corruption Dictionary, 
Ganintegrity.com, (last visited Oct. 23, 2019), https://
www.ganintegrity.com/portal/corruption-dictionary/. Facilitation 
payments, also known as ``grease payments,'' are a form of bribery made 
with the purpose of expediting or securing the performance of a routine 
action to which the payer is legally entitled. Id.
    \103\People & Corruption: Citizens' Voices from Around the World, 
Transparency Int'l, (2017), https://www.transparency.org/whatwedo/
publication/
people_and_corruption_citizens_voices_from_around_the_world.
    \104\Id.
    \105\Mark Rachkevych, Under Yanukovych, Ukraine Slides Deeper in 
Ranks of Corrupt Nations, Kyiv Post, (Dec. 1, 2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pervasive corruption in Ukraine has been one of the primary 
impediments to Ukraine joining the European Union.\106\ 
Corruption-related concerns also figure prominently in the 
E.U.-Ukrainian Association Agreement, the document establishing 
a political and economic association between the E.U. and 
Ukraine.\107\ The Agreement was entered into with the intent of 
Ukraine committing to gradually conform to E.U. technical and 
consumer standards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \106\See, e.g., Vladimir Isachenkov, Ukraine's integration into 
West dashed by war and corruption, Assoc. Press, Mar. 26, 2019.
    \107\E.U.-Ukraine Ass'n Agreement, art. 14, Mar. 21, 2014, 57 Off. 
J. of the E.U. L161/3 (``In their cooperation on justice, freedom and 
security, the Parties shall attach particular importance to the 
consolidation of the rule of law and the reinforcement of institutions 
at all levels in the areas of administration in general and law 
enforcement and the administration of justice in particular. 
Cooperation will, in particular, aim at strengthening the judiciary, 
improving its efficiency, safeguarding its independence and 
impartiality, and combating corruption. Respect for human rights and 
fundamental freedoms will guide all cooperation on justice, freedom and 
security.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    State Department witnesses called by the Democrats during 
the impeachment inquiry confirmed Ukraine's reputation for 
corruption. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent 
described Ukraine's corruption problem as ``serious'' and said 
corruption has long been ``part of the high-level dialogue'' 
between the United States and Ukraine.\108\ Ambassador Bill 
Taylor said corruption in Ukraine is a ``big issue.''\109\ 
Ambassador Kurt Volker testified that ``Ukraine has a long 
history of pervasive corruption throughout the economy[,] 
throughout the country, and it has been incredibly difficult 
for Ukraine as a country to deal with this, to investigate it, 
to prosecute it.''\110\ He later elaborated:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \108\Kent deposition, supra note 65 at 105, 151.
    \109\Taylor deposition, supra note 47, at 86.
    \110\Volker transcribed interview, supra note 60, at 76.

          Ukraine had for decades a reputation of being just a 
        corrupt place. There are a handful of people who own a 
        disproportionate amount of the economy. Oligarchs, they 
        use corruption as kind of the coin of the realm to get 
        what they want, including influencing the Parliament, 
        the judiciary, the government, state-owned industries. 
        And so businessmen generally don't want to invest in 
        Ukraine, even to this day, because they just fear that 
        it's a horrible environment to be working in, and they 
        don't want to put--expose themselves to that risk. I 
        would have to believe that President Trump would be 
        aware of that general climate.\111\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \111\Id. at 148-49.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. President Trump has a deep-seated, genuine, and reasonable 
        skepticism of Ukraine due to its history of pervasive 
        corruption

    Multiple Democrat witnesses offered firsthand testimony of 
President Trump's skeptical view of Ukraine, as far back as 
September 2017. Ambassador Volker explained: ``President Trump 
demonstrated that he had a very deeply rooted negative view of 
Ukraine based on past corruption. And that's a reasonable 
position. Most people who would know anything about Ukraine 
would think that.''\112\ He elaborated that the President's 
concern about Ukraine was genuine,\113\ and that this concern 
contributed to a delay in the meeting with President Zelensky. 
He explained:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \112\Id. at 30.
    \113\Id. at 295.

          So the issue as I understood it was this deep-rooted, 
        skeptical view of Ukraine, a negative view of Ukraine, 
        preexisting 2019, you know, going back. When I started 
        this, I had one other meeting with President Trump and 
        [then-Ukrainian] President Poroshenko. It was in 
        September of 2017. And at that time he had a very 
        skeptical view of Ukraine. So I know he had a very 
        deep-rooted skeptical view. And my understanding at the 
        time was that even though he agreed in the [May23] 
        meeting that we had with him, say, okay, I'll invite 
        him, he didn't really want to do it. And that's why the 
        meeting kept being delayed and delayed.\114\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \114\Id. at 41.

    Other testimony confirms Ambassador Volker's statements. 
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch confirmed 
the President's skepticism, saying that she observed it during 
President Trump's meeting with President Poroshenko in 
September 2017.\115\ She testified:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \115\Deposition of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, in Wash., D.C., at 
142 (Oct. 11, 2019).

          Q. Were you aware of the President's deep-rooted 
        skepticism about Ukraine's business environment?
          A. Yes.
          Q. And what did you know about that?
          A. That he--I mean, he shared that concern directly 
        with President Poroshenko in their first meeting in the 
        Oval Office.\116\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \116\Id.

    Dr. Fiona Hill, NSC Senior Director for Europe, also 
testified that President Trump was ``quite publicly'' skeptical 
of Ukraine and that ``everyone has expressed great concerns 
about corruption in Ukraine.''\117\ Catherine Croft, a former 
NSC director, similarly attested to President's Trump 
skepticism when she staffed President Trump for two Ukraine 
matters in 2017, explaining: ``Throughout both, I heard, 
directly and indirectly, President Trump described Ukraine as a 
corrupt country.''\118\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \117\Hill deposition, supra note 12, at 118.
    \118\Croft deposition, supra note 60, at 14.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Senior Ukrainian government officials publicly attacked President 
        Trump during the 2016 campaign

    President Trump's skepticism about Ukraine was compounded 
by statements made by senior Ukrainian government officials in 
2016 that were critical of then-candidate Trump and supportive 
of his opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 
Although Democrats have attempted to discredit these assertions 
as ``debunked,'' the statements by Ukrainian leaders speak for 
themselves and shed light on President Trump's mindset when 
interacting with President Zelensky in 2019.
    In August 2016, less than three months before the election, 
Valeriy Chaly, then-Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States, 
authored an op-ed in the Washington-based publication The Hill 
criticizing candidate Trump for comments he made about Russia's 
occupation of Crimea.\119\ Ambassador Chaly wrote that 
candidate Trump's comments ``have raised serious concerns in 
[Kyiv] and beyond Ukraine.''\120\ Although President Zelensky 
dismissed Ambassador Chaly on July 19, 2019,\121\ the 
ambassador's op-ed remains on the website of the Ukrainian 
Embassy in the U.S. as of the date of this report.\122\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \119\See Chaly, supra note 27.
    \120\Id.
    \121\Zelensky dismisses Valeriy Chaly from post of Ukraine's envoy 
to US, Kyiv Post (July 19, 2019).
    \122\Embassy of Ukraine in the United States of America, Op-ed by 
Ambassador of Ukraine to the USA Valeriy Chaly for the Hill: ``Trump's 
comments send wrong message to world,'' https://usa.mfa.gov.ua/en/
press-center/publications/4744-posol-ukrajini-vislovlyuvannya-trampa-
nadsilajuty-nevirnij-signal-svitu.
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    Later that month, the Financial Times published an article 
asserting that Trump's candidacy led ``Kyiv's wider political 
leadership to do something they would never have attempted 
before: intervene, however indirectly, in a US election.''\123\ 
The article quoted Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian Member of 
Parliament, to detail how the Ukrainian government was 
supporting Secretary Clinton's candidacy.\124\ The article 
explained:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \123\Roman Olearchyk, Ukraine's leaders campaign against `pro-
Putin' Trump, Financial Times, Aug. 28, 2016.
    \124\Id.

          Though most Ukrainians are disillusioned with the 
        country's current leadership for stalled reforms and 
        lackluster anti-corruption efforts, Mr. Leshchenko said 
        events of the past two years had locked Ukraine on to a 
        pro-western course. The majority of Ukraine's 
        politicians, he added, are ``on Hillary Clinton's 
        side.''\125\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \125\Id. (emphasis added).

    The Financial Times reported that during the U.S. 
presidential campaign, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy 
Yatsenyuk had warned on Facebook that candidate Trump 
``challenged the very values of the free world.''\126\ On 
Twitter, Ukrainian Internal Affairs Minister Arsen Avakov 
called Trump a ``clown'' who is ``an even bigger danger to the 
US than terrorism.''\127\ In a Facebook post, Avakov called 
Trump ``dangerous for Ukraine and the US'' and said that 
Trump's Crimea comments were the ``diagnosis of a dangerous 
misfit.''\128\ Avakov continues to serve in President 
Zelensky's government.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \126\Id.
    \127\Kenneth P. Vogel & David Stern, Ukrainian efforts to sabotage 
Trump backfire, Politico, Jan. 11, 2017.
    \128\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Multiple Democrat witnesses testified that these Ukrainian 
actions during the 2016 election campaign likely also colored 
President Trump's views of President Zelensky. Ambassador 
Volker said:

          Q. And you mentioned that the President was 
        skeptical, had a deep-rooted view of the Ukraine. Is 
        that correct?
          A. That is correct.
          Q. And that, whether fair or unfair, he believed 
        there were officials in Ukraine that were out to get 
        him in the run-up to his election?
          A. That is correct.
          Q. So, to the extent there are allegations lodged, 
        credible or uncredible, if the president was made aware 
        of those allegations, whether it was via The Hill or, 
        you know, via Mr. Giuliani or via cable news, if the 
        President was made aware of these allegations, isn't it 
        fair to say that he may, in fact, have believed they 
        were credible?
          A. Yes, I believe so.\129\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \129\Volker transcribed interview, supra note 60, at 70-71.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ambassador Sondland similarly testified:

          Q. Did [President Trump] mention anything about 
        Ukraine's involvement in the 2016 election?
          A. I think he said: They tried to take me down. He 
        kept saying that over and over.
          Q. In connection with the 2016 election?
          A. Probably, yeah.
          Q. That was what your understanding was?
          A. That was my understanding, yeah.\130\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \130\Sondland deposition, supra note 51, at 75.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. U.S. foreign policy officials were split on President Zelensky, a 
        political novice with untested views on anti-corruption and a 
        close relationship with a controversial oligarch

    Evidence obtained during the Democrats' impeachment inquiry 
shows that the U.S. foreign policy apparatus was divided on the 
question of whether President Trump should meet with President 
Zelensky. President Zelensky was a first-time candidate and a 
newcomer to the Ukrainian political scene. Although President 
Zelensky ran on an anti-corruption and reform platform, the 
Democrats' witnesses explained that the State Department was 
unsure how he would govern as president. In addition, others in 
the U.S. government worried about President Zelensky's 
association with Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky.
    President Zelensky won a landslide victory on April 21, 
2019, defeating incumbent President Petro Poroshenko by a 73-24 
percent margin.\131\ The win came as a surprise to many.\132\ 
At the time of his election, Mr. Zelensky was a comedic 
television personality. Ambassador Volker testified that 
``Zelensky kind of came up out of nowhere. . . . When he arose 
kind of meteorically, as an outside figure and a popular 
candidate, I think it did take everybody by surprise.''\133\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \131\Ukraine election: Comedian Zelensky wins presidency by 
landside, BBC News (Apr. 22, 2019).
    \132\Id.
    \133\Volker transcribed interview, supra note 60 at 152-53.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ambassador Yovanovitch also testified that Zelensky's 
election came as a surprise. She explained:

          And I think that there was, you know, as is true, I 
        think, probably in any country during Presidential 
        elections, a lot of--a lot of concerns among people. 
        This was I think a big surprise for the political elite 
        of Ukraine, which is relatively small. And so, I don't 
        think they saw it coming really until the very end. 
        And, so, there was surprise and, you know, all the 
        stages of grief, anger, disbelief, how is this 
        happening?\134\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \134\Yovanovitch deposition, supra note 115, at 73-74.

    Ambassador Yovanovitch agreed that President Zelensky was 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
an ``untried'' politician:

          Q. And how did you feel about [Zelensky winning the 
        election]? What were your views of Zelensky? Did you 
        think he was going to be a good advocate for the 
        anticorruption initiatives, as he was campaigning on?
          A. We didn't know. I mean, he was an untried 
        politician. Obviously, he has a background as a 
        comedian, as an actor, as a businessperson, but we 
        didn't know what he would be like as a President.\135\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \135\Id. at 74.

    Ambassador Sondland testified that there was a difference 
in opinion regarding whether to schedule a call between 
Presidents Trump and Zelensky. Ambassador Sondland recalled 
that he, Ambassador Volker, and Secretary Perry advocated for a 
call between the presidents, while NSC officials 
disagreed.\136\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \136\Sondland note 51, at 27-28.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Evidence suggests that U.S. officials had concerns about 
some people surrounding President Zelensky. Ambassador Volker 
testified that President Zelensky's chief of presidential 
administration, Andriy Bohdan, had earlier been an attorney for 
``a very famous oligarch in Ukraine.''\137\ Senator Ron 
Johnson, who attended President Zelensky's inauguration in May 
2019, recalled ``concern over rumors that [President] Zelensky 
was going to appoint Andriy Bohdan, the lawyer for oligarch 
Igor Kolomoisky, as his chief of staff. The delegation [to the 
inauguration] viewed Bohdan's rumored appointment to be 
contrary to the goal of fighting corruption and maintaining 
U.S. support.''\138\ President Zelensky appointed Bohdan to be 
head of presidential administration in May 2019.\139\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \137\Volker transcribed interview, supra note 60, at 137.
    \138\Letter from Sen. Ron Johnson to Jim Jordan, Ranking Member, H. 
Comm. on Oversight & Reform, & Devin Nunes, Ranking Member, H. Perm. 
Sel. Comm. on Intelligence 3 (Nov. 18, 2019).
    \139\Roman Olearchyk, Volodymyr Zelensky hires oligarch's lawyer as 
chief of staff, Financial Times, May 22, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition, Dr. Hill explained that the NSC had a concern 
about President Zelensky's relationship with Kolomoisky, an 
oligarch who ha