WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump openly called
on China as well as Ukraine to investigate his potential 2020 election rival
Joe Biden, taunting Democrats seeking his impeachment for inviting foreign
Speaking in Florida, Trump blasted his accusers as maniacs pursuing
impeachment crap as he sought to turn the tables on a probe that threatens
to make him only the third US president ever impeached in the House of
Representatives, and face a trial in the Senate.
Adam Schiff, the Democrat leading the impeachment probe in the House of
Representatives, said Trump was acting with impunity in the face of the
Once again we have a president of the United States suggesting, urging a
foreign country to interfere in our presidential elections, Schiff said.
It endangers our elections, endangers our national security and ought to
be condemned by every member of this body, Democrats and Republicans alike.
-Trump doubles down
As a former State Department diplomat testified behind closed doors in
Congress on his role in the Ukraine scandal, Trump doubled down by calling
for Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and Chinese leader Xi Jinping to go
after Biden, who leads the race for the Democratic presidential nomination
I would say that President Zelensky, if it were me, I would recommend that
they start an investigation into the Bidens, Trump told reporters outside
the White House.
Likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens, because
what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine.
Asked if he would request Xi do the same, Trump replied, It's certainly
something we can start thinking about.
Trump said late Thursday it was his duty to investigate corruption.
As the President of the United States, I have an absolute right, perhaps
even a duty, to investigate, or have investigated, CORRUPTION, and that would
include asking, or suggesting, other Countries to help us out! he tweeted.
Biden rejects allegations
Trump alleges that Biden, as vice president in 2014, tried to block a
Ukraine corruption probe into his son Hunter's business partner, a Ukraine
gas tycoon, using US aid as leverage.
He also alleged the younger Biden used his stature to raise $1.5 billion in
2013 from China for a new investment vehicle in Beijing.
He made millions off these investments, Trump alleges.
The record in Ukraine however shows that there was no corruption probe of
Hunter Biden's partner to be blocked, and that the United States and allies
all viewed Kiev's since-removed corruption prosecutor at the time as himself
In China, according to multiple media reports, a business associate of
Hunter Biden obtained an investment license that did not include Biden's
name, and only raised several million dollars.
Hunter Biden put up $420,000 for a minority interest, and has not received
any compensation or return on it, his lawyer told the Washington Post.
Joe Biden's campaign called Trump's comments already-debunked conspiracy
theories and accused Trump of a grotesque choice of lies over truth and
self over the country.
Mr. President, you cannot extort foreign governments to help you win re-
election. It's an abuse of power. It violates your oath of office. And it
jeopardizes our national security, Biden tweeted separately.
Ex-Ukraine envoy questioned
In Congress, former US special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker was interviewed
by House lawyers for more than eight hours on his role in the efforts by
Trump and the president's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to pressure Ukraine
to investigate the Bidens.
Democrat Eric Swalwell said afterward that evidence from Volker would be
released as early as late Thursday, including details that Ukraine was
pressured to exonerate Russia for meddling in the 2016 US election.
We have ample evidence now that there was a requirement that President
Zelensky investigate the 2016 election, and the Bidens, if he wanted to get a
meeting, with Trump, Swalwell said.
Meanwhile, Republicans who sat in on the interview said Volker did not
support charges that Trump withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in
military aid from Ukraine to force Zelensky to open an investigation, as was
alleged in a whistleblower complaint made public last week.
It is crystal clear that any allegation that President Trump was trying
to get President Zelensky to manufacture dirt on the Bidens is just not
true, said Representative Lee Zeldin, before Volker's testimony ended.
The allegations of quid pro quo, basically today just blew a massive hole
throughout the entirety of that argument, Zeldin said.
Democrats vowed to push through with the impeachment investigation, having
subpoenaed documents from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Giuliani, and
threated to subpoena the White House.
House Speak Nancy Pelosi rejected a Republican call to halt the
investigation on the grounds that a full House resolution on an impeachment
inquiry had not been voted on.
There is no requirement under the Constitution, under House Rules, or
House precedent that the whole House vote before proceeding with an
impeachment inquiry, she said.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)