The report is a watershed moment for Mr. Schiff’s months-old inquiry, opening what promises to be a bitterly partisan and freewheeling phase in which the two parties will feud publicly over weighty constitutional questions while competing to frame their own political narratives. Anticipating the split, Mr. Schiff used the report to lament the disconnect between the parties and warn that it amounted to precisely the kind of intensive polarization that worried the framers of the Constitution.
“Today, we may be witnessing a collision between the power of a remedy meant to curb presidential misconduct and the power of faction determined to defend against the use of that remedy on a president of the same party,” Mr. Schiff wrote. “But perhaps even more corrosive to our democratic system of governance, the president and his allies are making a comprehensive attack on the very idea of fact and truth.”
He added, “How can a democracy survive without acceptance of a common set of experiences?”
Written in narrative form, the report paints a portrait of a president eager to use the power of his office for personal gain, and a foreign policy establishment that watched with alarm as Mr. Trump’s allies exerted pressure on Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to do Mr. Trump’s bidding.
The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin its debate on Wednesday with a public hearing that features four constitutional scholars discussing the historical standards for impeachment and their assessment about whether Mr. Trump’s actions meet the bar for removing him from office.
Lawyers for the Intelligence Committee are expected to formally present the report to the judiciary panel and answer questions from its members in the coming days, though no hearing has been scheduled. Mr. Trump’s Republican allies on Capitol Hill released their own report on Monday, condemning the Democratic impeachment effort as illegitimate, and asserting that the president was not seeking personal political advantage when he pressed Ukraine’s leaders to investigate his rivals, but was instead urging the country to address corruption.
There is little doubt, however, that the House is headed toward a strictly partisan impeachment of Mr. Trump — something that Democratic leaders had long toiled to avoid — in which Democrats vote to remove him while Republicans oppose the move.
In the Senate, where it is increasingly apparent to leaders of both parties that the chamber is going to conduct an impeachment trial, Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, made clear that he has been studying up on how to run one. He said he and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, could work out a bipartisan agreement governing procedures for a trial, or failing that, that “51 senators of any particular persuasion” could set the tone.