Trump 'willing to compromise' US security, invited foreign interference in polls: Dem leader

Lalit K Jha

Washington, Dec 4 (PTI) President Donald Trump risked national security by 'directly and explicitly' inviting foreign interference to benefit his 2020 reelection effort, a top Democratic Congressional leader claimed on Wednesday as hearings opened to draw up impeachment charges against the US leader.

A day after the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence delivered its report on impeachment against Trump, House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday held a hearing on 'The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J Trump: Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment'.

In his remarks, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said the storm in which the country finds itself today was set in motion by Trump.

'I do not wish this moment on the country. But we have each taken an oath to protect the Constitution, and the facts before us are clear. Trump did not merely seek to benefit from foreign interference in our elections. He directly and explicitly invited foreign interference in our elections. He used the powers of his office to try to make it happen,' Nadler said.

'He was willing to compromise our security and his office for personal, political gain,' said the head of the House Judiciary Committee.

Nadler said Trump welcomed foreign interference in the 2016 election and demanded it again for the 2020 election. In both the cases, he got caught and did everything in his power to prevent the American people from learning the truth about his conduct.

He asserted that it does not matter that Trump got caught and ultimately released the funds that Ukraine 'so desperately needed'.

It matters that Trump enlisted a foreign government to intervene in the US elections, Nadler said.

'It does not matter that President Trump felt that these investigations were unfair to him. It matters that he used his office, not merely to defend himself, but to obstruct investigators at every turn,' he said.

Nadler said the integrity of the 2020 presidential election is the very thing at stake. 'The President has shown us his pattern of conduct. If we do not act to hold him in check — now —President Trump will almost certainly try again to solicit interference in the election for his personal, political benefit,' he said.

Trump has repeatedly asserted that he has done no wrong, and impeachment proceedings against him are a hoax. The White House has refused to participate in the impeachment proceedings. PTI LKJ SCY