Published: Thu, November 07, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Donald Trump's chief of staff summoned to testify in impeachment probe

Donald Trump's chief of staff summoned to testify in impeachment probe

Sondland said he now remembers a conversation in Warsaw with a top aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which he, Sondland, said military aid likely would not be resumed until Kyiv made clear it would investigate Trump's Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son's ties to Ukraine energy firm Burisma.

The request came as Trump withheld almost $400m in military aid to Ukraine, prompting speculation that the U.S. president was using the money as leverage for the investigation.

"Because of course he did!" the president's eldest son tweeted of the report, prompting outrage from some in establishment politics and media circles.

On Wednesday, Paul objected to the attempt to pass the proposal unanimously, saying he wanted the Senate to pass his own bill, which would apply whistleblower protections to Edward Snowden, who has been living in exile in Russian Federation after leaking American intelligence secrets in 2013, and allow President Donald Trump to face his accuser.

The transcripts point to the central role of the President's personal lawyer, Rudy Guiliani, in orchestrating a back-channel for U.S. -Ukraine diplomatic relations.

William Taylor, Washington's top diplomat to Ukraine, and deputy assistant secretary of state George Kent will testify on Wednesday next week, House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff announced.

But the call record and subsequent testimony to the impeachment inquiry by officials support the allegations that Mr Trump withheld aid to pressure Mr Zelensky to dig up dirt on Mr Biden and the Democrats.

Kent, who heads the European and Eurasian bureau at the State Department, expressed concerns about White House efforts to remove the then ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.

Flavors of e-cigarettes used by American youth
Teen nicotine vaping has become so prevalent in recent years that the Food and Drug Administration has called it an "epidemic". Almost 1 million youth reported vaping daily, while 1.6 million said they vaped "frequently" on 20 or more days per month.

Schiff said that moment in the fast-moving inquiry had arrived, and that Americans would be able to hear the accounts of potential abuse of power directly from witnesses who were caught up in the scandal.

Barr and Trump continue to have a good relationship, people close to the administration told the Post, while acknowledging that the department has at times positioned itself against the White House of late.

A U.S. diplomat has revised the evidence he previously gave to a congressional impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump.

The marquee appearance teed up for next week may well be Taylor's.

In his revised evidence, Mr Sondland, a wealthy businessman who donated 1 million U.S. dollars to Mr Trump's inauguration, says his memory was refreshed by the opening statements of two other inquiry witnesses, the top USA diplomat in Ukraine, William Taylor, and Tim Morrison, a European expert at the National Security Council.

All three have already testified behind closed doors in the first phase of the investigation.

Taylor said he was told by Gordon Sondland, the US envoy to the European Union, that Trump had linked release of the aid to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy publicly declaring that he would investigate Biden, and his son Hunter Biden, as well as a debunked conspiracy theory about the 2016 election.

Mr Mulvaney is the highest-ranking White House official to be summoned in the probe, although he is unlikely to comply given the White House's opposition to administration officials cooperating with investigators.

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