WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee told his colleagues Monday that the committees investigating whether to impeach President Donald Trump are readying a report on the inquiry and plan to deliver it to the Judiciary Committee as soon as next week.
"The Committees are now preparing a report summarizing the evidence we have found this far, which will be transmitted to the Judiciary Committee soon after Congress returns from the Thanksgiving recess," wrote Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., in a letter addressed to his fellow members of Congress.
After several closed-door depositions and two weeks of public hearings, Schiff wrote, "the testimony and documents we have succeeded in acquiring reveal a fact pattern that is overwhelming, unchallenged, and damning."
Still, he said, the committee is open to the possibility that new evidence will continue to emerge, "whether in the form of witnesses who provide testimony or documents that become available." If more witnesses come forward, he said, the committee "is prepared to hear from them."
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has so far prohibited most of the president's close aides from testifying before the impeachment inquiry. Several top-ranking officials have also defied subpoenas issued to them by House Democrats, among them acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former National Security Advisor John Bolton.
Schiff added: "Over the course of our inquiry, we have uncovered a months-long effort in which President Trump again sought foreign interference in our elections for his personal and political benefit at the expense of our national interest."
According to Schiff, Trump "conditioned official acts — a White House meeting desperately desired by the new Ukrainian president and critical U.S. military assistance — on Ukraine announcing sham, politically-motivated investigations that would help President Trump's 2020 reelection campaign."
The next step is for the report to be turned over to the House Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for drafting articles of impeachment. Schiff said this could happen as soon as next week, when Congress returns from the Thanksgiving recess currently underway.