Foreign

Trump’s impeachment probe: more witnesses emerge to testify this week

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U. S President Donald Trump has been under fire almost from the moment he resumed office. In an impeachment probe that has been on for a while now, more witnesses are coming forward to give their testimonies this week especially as regards whether the president may or may not have improperly withheld security aid up to $391 million from Ukraine to pressure newly elected President Volodymyr Zelenskiy into opening an inquiry into the Bidens and into a discredited theory that Ukraine may have interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.

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The probe was initiated when a July 25 call from Trump to Zelenskiy was leaked in which Trump may have pressured the Ukrainian president for his cooperation. Trump replied to the allegation maintaining that it was a “perfect phone” call and no “quid pro quo” was implied. “quid pro quo” is a Latin phrase meaning – favour in exchange for a favour.

 

Trump reacted through his twitter account – “This Scam going on right now by the Democrats against the Republican Party, and me, was all about a perfect phone call I had with the Ukrainian President,” Trump said on Twitter on Sunday night. “He’s already stated, NO PRESSURE!”

 

Veteran State Department officer William Taylor and at least four others including Ukraine’s acting Ambassador are expected to testify this week in a probe the Republican White House has labeled “kangaroo court” with Taylor’s closed-door testimony stipulated for Tuesday.

His (Taylor) communique with the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland who testified last week, is central to the probe by the House of Representative Democrats.

“I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” Taylor, the U.S. charge d’affaires in Ukraine, said in a text to Sondland.

 

“The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind,” Sondland responded by text after speaking to Trump.

In written testimony, Sondland said, Trump told U.S officials to deal directly with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giulian, which raised concerns in certain quarters.

A Republican senator, Lindsey Graham, a pro-Trump said it would require more evidence for him to change his mind on the impeachment. “If you could show me that, you know, Trump actually was engaging in a quid pro quo, outside the phone call, that would be very disturbing,” he said. He stressed, however, that from reading the contents of the call, it was “not a quid pro quo to me.”

 

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