Trump calls for complete support, not just fight against impeachment

Joanna Estrada
November 11, 2019

"This is a hoax", Trump told reporters at the White House.

The person's confidential complaint, formally filed in August, voiced alarm about Trump pressuring Ukraine to dig up dirt on Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading 2020 Democratic presidential contender, and his son Hunter. The Bidens deny any wrongdoing.

The comments represented a rare GOP rebuke of the president as the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry barrels towards public hearings later in the week. The president also pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate baseless claims that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 USA presidential election.

The impeachment probe is still looking to answer whether the Trump administration explicitly said foreign help would not be available to Ukraine unless it opened an investigation into the Bidens. Or they simply asserted that the president did nothing wrong.

Several Republican senators declared they would not even watch the televised hearings this week.

House Republicans want to call Hunter Biden and the "whistleblower" as witnesses in the Democratic impeachment inquiry, but House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff is having none of it.

Eventually the Intelligence Committee will send a report of its findings to the Judiciary Committee, which would decide whether to pursue articles of impeachment against the president. Thornberry told the news outlet on Sunday morning.

Who needs the whistleblower, given everything else?

Mr. Schiff replied that the committee is "evaluating the Minority's witness requests and will give due consideration to witnesses within the scope of the impeachment inquiry, as voted on by the House".

At campaign-style rallies, including one in Louisiana last week, Trump has again and again called for publication of the whistleblower's identity, drawing sharp objections from the individual's legal team.

There was no doubt that if the second call showed Trump was pressuring Zelensky to investigate his political rivals in a quid pro quo, he said in response to a question. Some of the officials have alleged that a quid pro quo may have existed. "And the president and his counsel should be allowed to participate".

Other Republicans steered clear of the substance of allegations or questioned their significance. On ABC's "This Week," Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), said that although Trump's behavior might have been inappropriate, "I do not believe it was impeachable". "Presidents have withheld aid before because of corruption".

The Democrats have scheduled U.S. diplomat Bill Taylor and State Department official George Kent for Wednesday, and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch on Friday.

House investigators have been steadily releasing transcripts from hundreds of pages of testimony they received behind closed doors.

Among those on the list are Hunter Biden, whose father is a leading Democratic candidate to challenge Trump in 2020; Hunter Biden's business partner Devon Archer; the unnamed whistleblower, whom Trump and some of his allies have campaigned to publicly identify; the researcher Nellie Ohr of Fusion GPS, which commissioned a dossier that linked Russian Federation and Trump; and Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian American who worked with the Democratic National Committee. Will Hurd, R-Texas, said the impeachment inquiry "has been a partisan exercise from the very beginning".

"So if they don't call the whistleblower in the House, this thing is dead on arrival in the Senate", Graham said.

"According to Democratic House members and aides I spoke to, there are two main reasons".

Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden.

Republicans have asked that Morrison be called to testify in public - a request that Schiff has not yet approved.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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