Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 2-Trump officials shun requests to testify to impeachment inquiry -lawmakers

UPDATE 2-Trump officials shun requests to testify to impeachment inquiry -lawmakers
US President Donald Trump (File Photo) Image Credit: ANI

Four U.S. officials called to testify by Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump will not show up as requested on Monday, lawmakers said, and the president pressed his demand for a whistleblower to appear. Trump loyalists have refused to appear before Democratic-led committees in the U.S. House of Representatives, ramping up the tussle between the White House and lawmakers over their power to conduct investigations.

Some Democrats say, Republican Trump, who has ordered administration officials not to cooperate, should face an obstruction of justice charge among the impeachment counts they plan to consider against him. The testimony of the four witnesses -- three White House budget officials and the White House National Security Council's top lawyer -- would have been part of the investigation into whether Trump used foreign aid to Ukraine as leverage to secure a political favor.

Lawmakers were especially interested in questioning the lawyer, John Eisenberg, about a July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Trump's political rival Joe Biden, a former vice president and contender for the Democratic Party nomination to run against Trump in the November 2020 election. Eisenberg decided to take the unusual step of moving a transcript of the call into the White House's most classified computer system, according to a person familiar with last week's testimony by Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, who listened in on the call.

A few days after the call, Eisenberg also told Vindman not to discuss the matter, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity. Vindman testified that he found it improper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and was so worried about the implications that he took the matter to Eisenberg. "There is no reason to call witnesses to analyze my words and meaning," Trump tweeted on Monday.

Separately, Trump on Monday dismissed an offer by the anonymous U.S. official whose whistleblower complaint triggered the impeachment inquiry to answer Republican lawmakers' questions in writing. The official, a member of a U.S. intelligence agency, has not been identified in keeping with longstanding practice to protect whistleblowers. Lawyers for the whistleblower say they have received death threats after conservative media outlets have floated possible names.

"He must be brought forward to testify. Written answers not acceptable!" Trump tweeted. Democrats leading the effort say they don't need to hear from the whistleblower because other witnesses have corroborated much of the initial complaint. Republicans say they need to hear from the whistleblower directly to assess their credibility.

"We think he should be here and we should get a chance to ask some of those questions," said Representative Jim Jordan, a Republican supporter of Trump on the House Oversight Committee. The impeachment inquiry focuses on Trump's request in the July phone call for Zelenskiy to investigate Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who was once on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

Trump made his request after withholding $391 million in aid approved by Congress to help Ukraine fight Russian-backed separatists. The investigation is probing whether Trump misused the power of his office and, if so, whether that amounted to "high crimes and misdemeanors" that merit impeachment and removal from office.

If the House votes to approve articles of impeachment - formal charges - the Republican-controlled Senate would then hold a trial on whether to remove the president from office. Senate Republicans have so far show little appetite for removing the president. Trump has denied any wrongdoing and defended his Zelenskiy call as "perfect," accusing Democrats of unfairly targeting him.

Democrats are expected to wrap up the closed-door testimony in coming weeks and begin public hearings.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



JNU Administration's 100-meter challenge before JNUSU

For the first time in its history, Jawaharlal Nehru University JNU Administration is seeking permanent deployment of local police to keep protesting students at 100 meters away from the Administrative Block. It would be interesting to see h...

Sentiment Analysis of Twitter users during COP25: Governments losing trust on Climate Action

Sentiment analysis of Twitter users during COP25 in Madrid, being held from December 2-13, shows widespread fear on climate change due to global warming but almost no trust on governments in meeting the emission targets. In the analysis the...

These innovators are making humanitarian response more efficient

These alarming trends prompt a call for the world to not only address the ongoing crisis but also to adopt innovative approaches to fulfill the growing humanitarian needs in such emergencies. ...

Hyderabad Encounter: A sentiment analysis of public mood on day of encounter

Sentiment analysis of twitter users revealed that they showered salutes on Hyderabad police for eliminating alleged gang rapists of the veterinary doctor but only a few believe in cops version of successive events leading to encounter....


Latest News

Delhi Minorities Commission issues direction to Kalkaji SHO to release 'injured' Jamia students

The Delhi Minority Commission DMC issued a direction to the SHO of Kalkaji Police Station on Sunday night to release the injured students of Jamila Millia University held there or take them for treatment at a reputed hospital without any de...

Modi busy addressing rallies in J'khand, won't speak on 'violence on students': Congress

Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress on Sunday said he is busy addressing poll rallies in Jharkhand but will not speak on the violence on students in Delhi. The opposition party alleged Delhi is burning and the Modi gov...

US trade negotiator hails 'remarkable' deal with China

The US-China trade deal is remarkable in scope but it wont solve all the problems between the worlds two biggest economies, the top US negotiator said Sunday. This is not just about agriculture and other purchases, US Trade Representative R...

Delhi Minority Commission issues direction to SHO, Kalkaji PS to release "injured" students of Jamia Millia or take them to hospital.

Delhi Minority Commission issues direction to SHO, Kalkaji PS to release injured students of Jamia Millia or take them to hospital....

Give Feedback