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House impeachment report accuses Trump of 'criminal bribery'

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on December 16, 2019 - Duration: 02:02s

House impeachment report accuses Trump of 'criminal bribery'

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Monday released a 650-plus page report outlining the case for impeaching President Donald Trump, and it accused him of committing the crimes of bribery and fraud.

Zachary Goelman reports.

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House impeachment report accuses Trump of 'criminal bribery'

A U.S. House Judiciary Committee report on Monday (December 16) accused President Donald Trump of criminal bribery and fraud.

The accusations come in the Democratic-led committee's more than 650-page report laying out the arguments for impeaching Trump ahead of full vote expected Wednesday (December 18).

Democrats say Trump pressured Ukraine to publicly announce corruption investigations into his potential political rival Joe Biden, and withheld military aid and a White House meeting to get Ukraine to act.

The report lays out two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstructing Congress.

But it also goes further in alleging he committed crimes, citing the federal criminal code.

In short, it says Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine to help him personally - while withholding something official - meets the requirements for bribery.

And because he did so when he was meant to be acting on behalf of the American people, he committed fraud as well.

Impeachment is a political proceeding, not a criminal trial, and Trump's own Justice Department will not criminally indict a sitting president.

Trump has denied wrongdoing.

In a tweet Monday, he called impeachment "the greatest con job in the history of American politics." Last week he welcomed the process, saying it was boosting his popular support.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING (DEC.

13): "So it's a very sad thing for our country.

But it seems to be very good for me politically." Polling indicates otherwise.

His popular approval rating has remained at around 40 percent most of the year.

Support for impeachment is holding steady, and in some cases, rising.

That includes a survey released Sunday by Fox, which found 50 percent of respondents favored impeachment, versus 46 against.

That seemed to surprise even some of the network's hosts: (SOUNDBITE) (English) FOX AND FRIENDS HOST BRIAN KILMEAD, SAYING: "I was stunned by this.

It says 50 percent of the country want the president impeached.

I was stunned to see that's the number because I thought that things were trending away." A vote in the Democratic-controlled House of Representative this week is expected to make Trump just the third president ever impeached in Congress.

The matter then moves to the Senate, where the Republican-controlled chamber is unlikely to vote to remove him from office.

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