U.S. Ambassador To EU Up Next As Impeachment Probe Moves Quickly

Elias Hubbard
October 20, 2019

A former adviser to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who abruptly resigned last week spoke on Wednesday to an impeachment inquiry into allegations President Donald Trump pursued political interests in his dealings with Ukraine.

Sale also said Giuliani's noncompliance should be regarded as him adopting "all the positions set forth" by the White House on October 8 when White House counsel Pat Cipollone informed Congress that the Trump administration would not comply with document requests from House Democrats.

"Invoking reasonable legal defense to a subpoena, including invoking legal privileges that are held by the President, in no way manifests evidence of obstruction of otherwise warrants an adverse inference", the letter stated.

Giuliani's attorney, Jon Sale, has notified lawmakers that Giuliani will not comply with a subpoena issued to appear before House investigators in the impeachment inquiry.

Pelosi and three House committees leading the impeachment inquiry - Intelligence, Oversight and Reform and Foreign Affairs - believe Trump's conversation with Zelensky, as well as administration officials' interactions with the Ukrainian authorities before and after the call, manifested "efforts to pressure foreign powers to intervene in the 2020 elections".

(L to R) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and President Donald Trump during UNGA.

George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of State, referred to the trio as the "three amigos".

Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, became closely involved with Ukraine in the months leading up to the July 25 phone call, often rankling administration officials in his blurring of official and unofficial objectives.

Last week Marie Yovanovitch, the former USA ambassador to Ukraine, told lawmakers she was sacked over "unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives".

"I am not part of whatever drug deal Rudy and Mulvaney are cooking up", Mr Bolton said, according to Ms Hill's testimony as reported by the Times. Another quoted national security adviser John Bolton as calling Giuliani a "hand grenade" for his back-channel efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Biden and Biden's son Hunter. But Sondland is prepared to say that neither Hill nor Bolton personally raised concerns about the Ukraine work directly with him, according to the person familiar with his account.

Gordon Sondland, a Trump political donor and a key actor in the unfolding political drama as United States ambassador to the European Union, is expected to appear yesterday in response to a subpoena after he initially declined to testify.

Pelosi, despite intensifying calls from Trump and Republicans to hold a formal vote to authorize the impeachment inquiry, showed no indication she would do so.

Vice President Mike Pence's office called the Democratic-led House inquiry "self-proclaimed" and the subpoena "too broad". Democratic leaders have said no vote is necessary.

Trump has admitted asking Zelensky for help to investigate Biden, but said it was for legitimate suspicions of corruption and not political reasons. But the California President also criticized the State Department, charging that witnesses had provided documents to State that were not being turned over to Congress.

Trump's legal team has panned the ongoing impeachment hearings as "illegitimate" because Pelosi announced the inquiry by press conference on September 24.

Mr Trump has denied wrongdoing and defended his request to Mr Zelenskiy during the phone call, which prompted a formal whistleblower complaint by a person with a USA intelligence agency.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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