Donald Trump is facing deadlines in Congress this week as Democratic lawmakers continue to press ahead with an impeachment probe into the U.S. President that could include new televised testimony.
The House Intelligence Committee on Monday will release a report on its findings after five public hearings gave voice to numerous government officials concerned that U.S. policy in Ukraine had become corrupted by political scheming.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE ADAM SCHIFF, SAYING: "In my view there is nothing more dangerous than an unethical president who believes they are above the law." Democrats say Trump officials tried to pressure Ukraine's president to announce investigations into one of Trump's potential political rivals, while withholding a White House meeting and nearly $400 million in Congressionally approved military aid meant for Kiev.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. ACTING AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE
Class="kln">BILL TAYLOR, SAYING: "This was the first time that I had heard that the security assistance - not just the White House meeting - was conditioned on the investigations." American ambassadors, White House officials and foreign servants told lawmakers that Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani led an effort to get Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to open a probe into a gas company linked to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's son.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE GEORGE KENT, SAYING: "In mid-August it became clear to me that Giuliani's efforts to gin up politically motivated investigations were now infecting U.S. engagement with Ukraine." (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE EUROPEAN UNION GORDON SONDLAND, SAYING: "Mr. Giuliani conveyed to Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker and others that President Trump wanted a public statement from President Zelensky committing to investigations of Burma and the 2016 election." (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBER FIONA HILL, SAYING: "He was being involved in a domestic political errand.
And we were being involved in national security foreign policy.
And those two things had just diverged." Trump has denied any wrongdoing and called the impeachment inquiry a witch hunt aimed at unseating a democratically elected president.
If the House Intelligence Committee draft lands Monday, things could start to move very quickly.
The committee could vote to approve it's report Tuesday, sending the measure over to the House Judiciary Committee.
That committee could hold public hearings Wednesday.
It's unclear whether the president will mount a defense in the Judiciary hearings.
The Judiciary Committee could vote on whether to recommend articles of impeachment within the next two weeks, setting the stage for a possible impeachment vote by the full House before Christmas.