Testimony from a career diplomat at the first public hearings of the impeachment inquiry opened new questions about what President Trump knew about the campaign to pressure Ukraine and when he knew it. Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, relayed an account by a member of his staff, who said he overheard the president asking about “the investigations” one day after the now-infamous July 25 call between Mr. Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky.
An ally of Donald Trump has changed his impeachment inquiry testimony to confirm that the US president offered Ukraine a quid pro quo to investigate a political rival. Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, said he had told a senior official in Ukraine that nearly $400m in military aid would probably be withheld until the country announced an investigation into corruption, including allegations concerning a gas company with ties to the former vice-president Joe Biden’s son Hunter.
The US House of Representatives has passed a resolution to formally proceed with the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. The measure details how the inquiry will move into a more public phase. It was not a vote on whether the president should be removed from office. This was the first test of support in the Democratic-controlled House for the impeachment process.
House Democrats are moving into a new phase of their impeachment inquiry, with plans to vote this week on a resolution to formalize the next steps of the investigation into President Donald Trump. The House vote signals Democrats are preparing to take the probe public, and Democratic leaders say it should neutralize GOP attacks on their process.
Dozens of House Republicans on Wednesday stormed the secure facility inside the Capitol where impeachment investigators have been deposing witnesses, forcing a delay to the proceedings on the heels of damning new revelations that could further imperil President Donald Trump. After a five-hour stalemate, the Republicans left and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper began her testimony behind closed doors.
The House Intelligence Committee and one of Rudy Giuliani’s associates have reached “an understanding” for now to avoid a closed-door deposition over any knowledge he may have of Giuliani’s efforts to push the Ukrainian government to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, according to the associate’s attorney. The committee had scheduled a deposition with Semyon Kislin, the Giuliani associate, for Monday.
Former Vice President Joe Biden took a big step on Wednesday, calling for the first time for the impeachment of President Trump over the Ukrainian controversy. “To preserve our Constitution, our democracy, our basic integrity, he should be impeached,” Biden said, while speaking at a campaign event in New Hampshire, the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House.
The White House told House Democrats it will not comply with demands for documents and testimony in Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, setting up a legal showdown between the two branches of government. “You have designed and implemented your inquiry in a manner that violates fundamental fairness and constitutionally mandated due process,” White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote in an eight-page letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the chairmen of the committees leading the inquiry.
A second whistleblower with direct knowledge of an alleged plot by Donald Trump to extort Ukraine into producing dirt on his Democratic 2020 election rival Joe Biden has stepped forward, according to Mark Zaid, a lawyer for the first whistleblower in the case. Zaid told ABC News on Sunday that he was representing a second whistleblower, described as a member of the intelligence community.
Donald Trump has been accused of “incitement to violence” and threatened with obstruction charges in the fast-escalating battle over impeachment, as the president maintained his aggressive counter-attack against Democratic leaders and the whistleblower who precipitated the inquiry. “We’re not fooling around here,” Adam Schiff, the chair of the powerful House intelligence committee, said in Washington on Wednesday.