Trump fumes over impeachment probe with public hearings days away

Trump fumes over impeachment probe with public hearings days away

'Concern' in national security system over aid blockage

The public portion of the impeachment inquiry continues Friday with the testimony of former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. "And I quit", he said, according to the transcript of his deposition. Specifically, the president and his allies have said that freezing aid could not have been part of a bid to broker a "quid pro quo" because Ukraine did not know the aid had been frozen.

First up will be William Taylor, the charge d'affaires in Ukraine, and George Kent, the deputy Assistant Secretary in the European and Eurasian Bureau, both testifying on Wednesday.

"Our answer to these questions will affect not only the future of this presidency, but the future of the presidency itself, and what kind of conduct or misconduct the American people may come to expect from their commander-in-chief". All have given depositions to investigators in the closed portion of the investigation.

Ukraine is a strategic partner of the US resisting aggression by an adversary, in Russian Federation.

Trump in September told reporters that he froze Ukraine aid before his call with Zelensky to encourage the country to take measures to combat corruption.

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After Schiff spoke, ranking GOP member Rep. Devin Nunes delivered an opening statement for the Republicans.

So far, witnesses have met with the committee behind closed doors to testify on President Donald Trump's request that Ukraine investigate his political rivals - and allegations that what the president did constitutes an abuse of power.

U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland will be sworn in Wednesday morning, followed by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale in the afternoon.

"In order to continue being the most Transparent President in history, I will be releasing sometime this week the Transcript of the first, and therefore most important, phone call I had with the President of Ukraine", Trump tweeted on November 11.

In his prepared opening remarks, Taylor testified that he believed the Trump administration had conditioned congressionally approved military aid and a White House meeting for Zelensky on Ukraine's willingness to investigate Biden and the Democratic National Committee. Add Donald Trump as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Donald Trump news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

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Daniel Goldman, one of the staff attorneys for the House committee and a former federal prosecutor in Manhattan, will ask questions for the Democrats.

Trump has denied that he abused his office in seeking for Ukraine to investigate Democrats or in freezing aid to Ukraine. In October, he told the impeachment inquiry that the conspiracy-driven rumor Giuliani stirred about Yovanovitch's involvement in an anti-corruption scheme in Ukraine was a "campaign of lies".

In the transcript of her deposition Yovanovitch warned lawmakers about the dangers of foreign actors being able to manipulate US policy, and spoke at length about the effort to remove her as an impediment to Giuliani's efforts.

She said it was "unusual" to have the congressional funds suddenly halted that way.

Eight more witnesses will testify in public hearings next week.

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"President Trump's pressure campaign was "out of bounds, ' and every time he insists that it was 'perfect" he is saying that he is above the law", House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Twitter, referring to how the Republican president has described his actions in the Ukraine saga.

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