Donald Trump: House launches impeachment inquiry as whistleblower agrees to testify

Donald Trump: House launches impeachment inquiry as whistleblower agrees to testify

- US House speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump

- This follows the allegation of abuse of power against the US president who sought the help of Ukraine's president to investigate former VP Joe Biden, a move to aid his 2020 re-election

- Pelosi said Trump is in breach of his constitutional responsibilities for asking a foreign government to help him in his political campaign at the expense of our national security

The speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump over his alleged abuse of presidential powers in a bid to aid his re-election in 2020.

President Trump had on July 25 reportedly called Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on phone, asking him to help investigate former Vice President Joe Biden who is a Democratic presidential aspirant for the 2020 election, CNN reports.

The content of the phone call was reported by a whistle-blower. Days before the president made the call, the US president ordered freezing of $400m in military aid for Ukraine, a move alleged to be a way of holding out the money as leverage for information on Biden.

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“The fact is that the President of the United States, in breach of his constitutional responsibilities, has asked a foreign government to help him in his political campaign at the expense of our national security, as well as undermining the integrity of our elections," Pelosi said as she announced the impeachment inquiry.

President Trump, however, denied the allegations against him, saying his call to the Ukraine president is a friendly one.

"You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call," Trump said, condemning the inquiry as "Witch Hunt garbage".

He said "no pressure" was placed on the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden.

The transcript of the phone call

Before proceeding to ask for favour from the Ukraine president, Trump said the US has been “very, very good” to his country.

“A lot of European countries are the same way, so I think it’s something you want to look at but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very, very good to Ukraine,” he said.

Then he proceeded after Zelensky acknowledged that the US is a “much bigger partner” to Ukraine.

“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it," Trump said.

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Here's the abridged transcript:

House launches Trump impeachment inquiry
The abridged transcript of the Trump-Ukraine president's phone. Credit: CNN
Source: UGC

Lawmakers receive official petition with the claim against Trump

Adam Schiff, the US House Intelligence Committee chairman said on Wednesday, September 25, after viewing the whistle-blower complaint that the allegations were "deeply disturbing" and "very credible".

He said: "I found the allegations deeply disturbing. I also found them very credible," Schiff told reporters.

"I want to thank the whistle-blower for coming forward. I think what this courageous individual has done has exposed serious wrongdoing."

The whistleblower's complaint will be reportedly delivered to the Senate for members of the Intelligence Committee to review it today, according to Republican Sen. John Cornyn.

The whistleblower agrees to testify against Trump

The whistleblower reportedly agreed to meet with lawmakers. However, the unknown person is not scheduled to appear before Congress, a source said.

The whistleblower's identity or where he/she works in the government are also not known to the lawmakers.

The whistleblower, however, said he will only meet on the condition that Joseph Maguire, the acting director of the National Intelligence, approves appropriate security clearances for the individual’s legal counsel so that they can accompany their client.

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Meanwhile, previously reported that former US president Jimmy Carter said re-electing Trump in 2020 will be "a disaster".

The former president said this at a town hall at the Carter Center in Atlanta Tuesday night, September 17.

He, however, said he was yet to decide who he would vote for in the forthcoming 2020 presidential election.

According to him, one of the factors he will consider in choosing who to vote for is the possibility of the candidate defeating Trump.

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