WASHINGTON (CN) - Detailing their case for impeaching President Donald Trump, House Democrats published a turn-by-turn narrative Tuesday of an unconstitutional political campaign of foreign election interference they say was orchestrated by the 45th president of the United States and enabled by some of his closest confidants.
Wielding newly disclosed phone records obtained in their investigation, the Democrats linked another prominent Republican to the list of Trump's suspected accomplices in this scheme: Representative Devin Nunes, the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee.
“The evidence of the president’s misconduct is overwhelming, and so too is the evidence of his obstruction of Congress,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff wrote in the report’s preface. “Indeed, it would be hard to imagine a stronger or more complete case of obstruction than that demonstrated by the president since the inquiry began.”
At a hefty 300 pages, the report is expected to serve as a touchstone for the development of articles of impeachment, recapping more than 100 hours of deposition testimony from 17 witnesses following a whistleblower complaint about a July 25 call between Trump and Volodomyr Zelensky after the latter was elected as leader of Ukraine.
The committee's Ukraine report highlights new phone records featuring Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani, his now-indicted associated Lev Parnas, The Hill editorialist John Solomon and Nunes, the leader of the committee's Republican minority. There is also a mysterious number described in the report only as "-1."
Those records showed the men in frequent contact around the time Solomon published a series of op-eds in The Hill, characterized by top diplomats national security officers during congressional testimony as a mix of smears and Russian disinformation.
“The committees uncovered evidence of close ties and frequent contacts between Mr. Solomon and Mr. Parnas, who was assisting Mr. Giuliani in connection with his representation of the President,” the report states. “Phone records show that in the 48 hours before publication of The Hill opinion piece, Mr. Parnas spoke with Mr. Solomon at least six times.”
The Hill published its first of an opinion series that would loom large in the impeachment inquiry with its April 1 article, “Joe Biden’s 2020 Ukrainian Nightmare: A Closed Probe Is Revived.”
Solomon exchanged frequent phone calls with Giuliani and Parnas over the next week.
“Between April 1 and April 7, Mr. Parnas exchanged approximately 16 calls with Mr. Giuliani (longest duration approximately seven minutes) and approximately 10 calls with Mr. Solomon (longest duration approximately nine minutes),” the report states.
In a follow-up editorial on April 7, Solomon smeared then-Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
At a press conference Tuesday, Chairman Schiff told reporters that Nunes merits further investigation.
“I think deeply concerning that at a time when the president of the United States was using the power of his office to dig up dirt on a political rival that there may be evidence that there were members of Congress complicit in that activity,” Schiff said. “Now, there is a lot more to learn about that and I don’t mean to state that that is an unequivocal fact. But the allegations are deeply concerning.”