Trump slams impeachment probe as ‘greatest witch hunt in US history’ and a ‘nothing call’

Trump slams impeachment probe as ‘greatest witch hunt in US history’ and a ‘nothing call’

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President Trump has denounced an impeachment process launched against him as the “greatest witch hunt in history”.

House Democrats announced the probe yesterday after minutes emerged of a phone call in which Trump urged the Ukrainian president to launch an investigation into political rival Joe Biden.

Donald Trump has blasted an impeachment process launched after he urged Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly,
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, today addressing the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, has so far not commented about the call
AP:Associated Press
The transcript has been declassified
The phone call notes have been declassified
AFP or licensors

In the call, Trump raised unsubstantiated allegations that Biden, the former vice president and Democrat 2020 election candidate, sought to meddle with a Ukrainian prosecutor’s investigation of his son Hunter.

Trump said to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky: “I would like for you to do us a favour though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.

“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that.

“Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”

Trump also asked the Ukrainian leader to work with his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and US Attorney General William Barr on the issue.

Zelensky agreed to the request.

Announcing impeachment proceedings on Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi charged the president with betraying his oath of office and the nation’s security by seeking to enlist a foreign power to tarnish a rival for his own political gain.

Trump hit back today, saying: “It’s the single greatest witch hunt in American history, probably in history, but in American history.

“The letter was a great letter, meaning the letter revealing the call.

“That was done at the insistence of myself and other people that read.

“It was a friendly letter, there was no pressure.

“The way you had that built up that call, it was going to be the call from hell.

“It turned out to be a call from hell.”

‘THE PRESIDENT’S LAWLESSNESS’

The call occurred after Trump had ordered the US government to freeze nearly $400 million (£320m) in American aid to Ukraine.

No mention of this move was recorded in the call notes.

The conversation between the two leaders is one piece of a whistleblower’s complaint, which followed the July 25 chat.

This is central to the formal impeachment inquiry launched last night by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who said: “No one is above the law.”

Today she had even stronger words.

Pelosi said: “The transcript and the Justice Department’s acting in a rogue fashion in being complicit in the President’s lawlessness confirm the need for an impeachment inquiry.

“Clearly, the Congress must act.”

The probe will investigate whether Trump sought Ukraine’s help to smear Democratic rival Joe Biden ahead of next years election.

In theory this could trigger a trial in the Senate on whether to remove the President from office.

Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it. … It sounds horrible to me


Donald Trump, as recorded in notes

The declassified document has been described as a transcript, although the memo points out that it is not a word-for-word record of everything that was said.

Nevertheless, the contents have sent shock waves through Washington.

The Democrats say the document — which can be viewed in full here — have laid the ground for the impeachment inquiry.

Tweeting today, Hillary Clinton, who lost the 2016 election to Trump, said: “The president of the United States has betrayed our country. 

“That’s not a political statement—it’s a harsh reality, and we must act. 

“He is a clear and present danger to the things that keep us strong and free. 

“I support impeachment.”

EPA

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said ‘no one is above the law’ as she announced the launch of impeachment proceedings against President Trump[/caption]

What is impeachment and how does it work?

IMPEACHMENT is a formal charge of serious wrongdoing against a holder of public office in the United States.

It is one of the few ways a sitting president can be kicked out of the White House before an election.

The US Constitution states a president “shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours”.

The “sole power of impeachment” is held by the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Congress.

A simple majority is required – i.e. more than half of Representatives must vote to impeach the president.

Then the case would be tried by the Senate, the upper chamber of Congress, where a two-thirds majority is needed.

While the Senate is still controlled by the Republicans, with 53 of the 100 seats, the Democrats have control of the House of Representatives, with 235 of the 435 seats.

This means that it’s possible for the House of Representatives to pass a vote to impeach the president.

However, a two-thirds majority of 67 Senators voting to impeach Trump would still be needed in the Senate when it is tried.


In May, speculation built that a 21-month long investigation by Robert Meuller into claims Trump’s election was backed by Russia would lead to impeachment.

The investigation ultimately did not find enough evidence to support impeachment.

The proceedings announced this week will allow the six House committees already probing various other alleged business wrongdoings to speed up their work on issuing subpoenas and calling witnesses.

The investigation against Trump will be only the fourth time they have been used against a President in US history.

Elijah Nouvelage

Biden had earlier been accused of threatening to withhold aid funding to Ukraine over a probe into a gas company that his son worked for[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

Hunter Biden, 49, worked for a Ukrainian natural gas company[/caption]


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