Updated Dec 3, 2019

Democratic impeachment report claims Trump abused his power

Photo: Samuel Corum-Pool/Getty Images

House Democrats conclude in a draft report released Tuesday that President Trump abused the power of his office to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations beneficial to his re-election campaign — and that he obstructed Congress' authority by ordering witnesses to defy subpoenas in the impeachment inquiry.

Why it matters: The report will serve as an outline for some, if not all, of the articles of impeachment that the House could vote on as early as mid-December.

Driving the news: The committee is expected to formally adopt the report during a closed-door meeting Tuesday night. It will then go, along with a minority report from the Republicans, to the House Judiciary Committee, which is ultimately responsible for drafting articles of impeachment.

Between the lines: Much of the information in the report isn't new, but it's being pulled together to lay out Democrats' case that Trump committed impeachable offenses.

  • It includes interviews with over a dozen witnesses, as well as historical comparisons that Democrats believe prove Trump's stonewalling of Congress is "unprecedented."
  • Revelations in the form of call records show communications between Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Giuliani associate Lev Parnas and House Intelligence ranking member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).
  • Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said at a news conference Tuesday the "phone records show that there was considerable coordination among the parties, including the White House."
  • The call records also show that on April 24, the day that former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was recalled, Giuliani had phone calls with numbers associated with the White House and the Office of Management and Budget.

Top line conclusions:

  • Democrats say Trump pressured Ukraine for his own political benefit, and in doing so, he “sought to undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process, and endangered U.S. national security.”
  • They assert Trump withheld vital military assistance from Ukraine and a coveted White House meeting as leverage for announcing those investigations.
  • They argue that Trump’s “closest subordinates and advisers,” including acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and others, had direct knowledge of the president’s "scheme."
  • Democrats say Trump ”ordered and implemented a campaign to conceal his conduct from the public” and obstruct the congressional impeachment inquiry, including by blocking those subordinates and advisers from testifying.

What to watch: House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said the committee will continue its investigation even though the inquiry has formally been handed over to the Judiciary Committee.

What they're saying:

"At the end of a one-sided sham process, Chairman Schiff and the Democrats utterly failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing by President Trump. This report reflects nothing more than their frustrations. Chairman Schiff’s report reads like the ramblings of a basement blogger straining to prove something when there is evidence of nothing.”
— White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham

Read the full report.

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The wreckage of summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We usually think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer, with all of the fun and relaxation that goes with it — but this one is just going to remind us of all of the plans that have been ruined by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: If you thought it was stressful to be locked down during the spring, just wait until everyone realizes that all the traditional summer activities we've been looking forward to are largely off-limits this year.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,410,228 — Total deaths: 345,105 — Total recoveries — 2,169,005Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.