House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who has been leading the chamber’s impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, said Monday he expects to release a report on the status of his findings shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday.
In a letter to his colleagues, Schiff (D-Calif.) laid out evidence he says his committee has collected through 17 closed-door depositions and five open hearings in Democrats’ investigation of Trump’s dealings in Ukraine.
Schiff says the evidence “conclusively shows” that Trump conditioned a White House meeting and U.S. military aid on “Ukraine announcing sham, politically-motivated investigations that would help President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign.”
He added that the inquiry would soon move to the House Judiciary Committee, which will decide whether to return articles of impeachment.
Some House Democrats are backing away from impeaching the president, however.
Democratic Rep. Brenda Lawrence of Michigan, for instance, now favors censuring the president instead of attempting to remove him from office.
“We are so close to an election. I will tell you, sitting here knowing how divided this country is, I don’t see the value of taking him out of office,” Lawrence said on the Michigan radio show No BS News Hour with host Charlie LeDuff on Sunday.
“I do see the value of putting down a marker saying his behavior is not acceptable.
“I want to censure,” she continued. “I want it on the record that the House of Representatives did their job and they told this president and any president coming behind him that this is unacceptable behavior and, under our Constitution, we will not allow it.”
President Trump has maintained that he did not threaten to withhold military aid from Ukraine unless that government opened an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden, as well as reported Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.
The president and his supporters point to a rough transcript of a July phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky as evidence. The transcript does not contain any examples of threats or ‘quid pro quo’ arrangements.