News ID: 260210
Published: 0154 GMT October 14, 2019

Returning from recess, Democrats press Trump impeachment inquiry

Returning from recess, Democrats press Trump impeachment inquiry
REUTERS

The Democratic-led US House of Representatives will crank up its impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump this week as lawmakers return after a two-week recess, with closed-door testimony from current and former administration officials looming.

The headline event could be testimony on Thursday from Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, that was rescheduled after Trump’s administration blocked a previously scheduled appearance, Reuters reported.

Sondland, a political appointee and Trump political donor rather than a career diplomat, participated in a text message exchange that Democrats have said reveals the internal concern among aides that the Republican president’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate a political rival, Joe Biden, was improper.

The House Intelligence Committee, leading the impeachment inquiry, was scheduled on Monday to hear from Fiona Hill, former senior director for European and Russian Affairs on Trump’s National Security Council.

The impeachment inquiry is to focus on a July 25 phone call in which Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Biden, a top contender for the Democratic nomination to face him in the 2020 presidential election, and Biden’s businessman son Hunter Biden.

Democrats have accused Trump of pressuring a vulnerable US ally to dig up dirt on a domestic political rival after withholding $391 million in US security aid intended to help combat Russia-backed separatists in the eastern part of Ukraine.

Trump has denied wrongdoing. The inquiry could prompt the House to approve articles of impeachment – formal charges – leading to a trial in the Senate on whether to remove Trump from office. The Senate is led by Trump’s fellow Republicans, who have shown little inclination toward removing him.

The Intelligence Committee also is scheduled to hear from Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent and State Department Counselor Ulrich Brechbuhl, a top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
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