Published: Wed, November 06, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

US House committee to kick off public impeachment hearings next week

US House committee to kick off public impeachment hearings next week

"The text message that I saw from Ambassador Sondland - who's highly respected - was: There's 'no quid pro quo.' He said that", Trump said on October 4. Should the committee not do so, however, a subpoena purporting to require a witness to appear without such assistance would be invalid and not subject to civil or criminal enforcement. She also said Pence was unaware of the ongoing back-and-forth over the statement, and that it never came up during his meeting with Zelenskiy.

The anti-corruption statement, according to text messages released by the impeachment inquiry, was supposed to specifically commit Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, a political opponent of Mr. Trump's.

Joe Biden is a leading contender for the Democratic nomination to run against Trump in the November 2020 election.

Gordon Sondland, ambassador to the European Union, made the revelation in a new sworn update to testimony he gave last month in House Democrats' secret impeachment inquiry.

Volker worked with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, the White House and Ukrainian officials to arrange the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and a potential White House visit by Zelensky while pushing for investigations into Trump's political foes. He told her to tweet in support of the president, she said. Grisham said that Sondland "did not know" when or by whom the aid was suspended and that he "presumed" there was a link to the aid.

"I can not stress just how wrong this is", Schumer said.

"I said that resumption of USA aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks", Sondland recalled.

House Democrats are trying to get Bolton to testify as part of the impeachment inquiry as well.

All of which set the stage for this week - when Sondland amended his testimony and told lawmakers that he did, in fact, participate in a quid pro quo.

Democrats accuse Trump of misusing taxpayer dollars destined for a vulnerable United States ally for personal political gain.

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If the House votes to approve the articles of impeachment, the Republican-controlled Senate would then hold a trial on whether to remove Trump from office.

Senate Republicans have so far shown little appetite for removing the president.

"Since I began my career in 1982, I have served my country and every president loyally", McKinley said.

The House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees released deposition transcripts of Sondland and former US special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker on Tuesday as they shift to the public phase of the impeachment investigation.

"It kept getting more insidious", Sondland told investigators, as the "timeline went on".

Sondland testified that he spoke with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about Giuliani, and Pompeo rolled his eyes.

Volker said his decision to resign on 27 September was because of the impeachment inquiry.

People familiar with the matter say David Hale plans to tell congressional impeachment investigators that secretary of state Mike Pompeo and other senior officials determined that defending ambassador Marie Yovanovitch would hurt the effort to free up U.S. military assistance to Ukraine. He also said he wanted to provide testimony "with as much candor and integrity as I possibly could".

In this October 3, 2019 file photo, Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine, leaves after a closed-door interview with House investigators, at the Capitol in Washington.

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