Thursday, 17 October, 2019

Pompeo says giving initial response to Congress before subpoena deadline

Mike Pence Vice President Ukraine Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky extortion aid Joe Biden corruption message Clip of VP Pence Resurfaces in Wake of Trump Biden Investigation Request
Travis Berry | 07 October, 2019, 01:19

"The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that", Trump said, according to a partial transcript released by the White House.

The letter is expected to say the administration will not cooperate with the inquiry without that vote.

The Trump administration and House Democrats often disagree about what the law requires, leaving open the question of how Pompeo may interpret Democrats' demands for key information about Trump's handling of Ukraine.

"I really believe that they're going to pay a tremendous price at the polls", Trump said.

Three Democratic-controlled committees conducting impeachment investigations this week requested documents related to Ukraine from the State Department and Vice-President Mike Pence.

Trump, meanwhile, continued to seethe Saturday, denouncing the investigation as yet another "Witch Hunt!" and "a fraud against the American people!"

"We deeply regret that President Trump has put us - and the nation - in this position, but his actions have left us with no choice but to issue this subpoena", the Democrats wrote in a letter to the White House.

Lawmakers have made Trump's request in July that Ukraine investigate the Bidens the centerpiece of an impeachment investigation.

Most Republican senators remained quiet on Friday, but the 2012 presidential candidate and current Utah senator Mitt Romney issued a statement that said "the president's brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling". He is intensifying his attacks on Democrats, the news media and Biden. Pelosi insisted the House is well within its rules to conduct oversight of the executive branch under the Constitution and it is proceeding at a rapidly escalating pace.

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Read the full letter sent to the White House here (pdf).

Donald Trump is now daring the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to take this impeachment investigation to the next step with the White House threatening not to cooperate with investigators until she has held a formal impeachment vote on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Trump claimed that his intent to scrutinize the Bidens was out of concerns over corruption, not politically motivated or aimed at sabotaging Biden's presidential campaign. The Justice Department raised similar arguments last month, though that was before Pelosi announced the impeachment investigation. They say, 'Boy, goodness gracious if you can help me with X, we'll help you achieve Y.' This is what partnerships do. "We're going to be more responsive than the Obama administration was in the years that preceded this particular Congress", he said. "That's up to the lawyers".

The subpoena followed a demand earlier on Friday for documents from Vice President Mike Pence.

A cache of diplomatic texts Democrats received as part of their impeachment inquiry showed USA officials pressured the Ukrainian government to launch investigations that might benefit Trump's personal political agenda in exchange for a meeting of the two countries' leaders.

Political opponents of the president possess such information.

Trump added that prior to his meeting with Zelensky, the USA had already suspended aid to Ukraine and there was no link between the aid and Biden's investigation. "Not only are the Do Nothing Democrats interfering in the 2020 Election, but they are continuing to interfere in the 2016 Election".

Where courts have generally required congressional oversight requests to demonstrate a legitimate legislative goal, impeachment requests could be wide-ranging. While US senators cannot legally be impeached, they can face recall votes in some states.

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