latest news Kurt Volker: First witness testifies in Trump impeachment probe

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donald trump latest news

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Media caption What we understand about Biden-Ukraine corruption claims

United States President donald trump, already dealing with an impeachment questions after urging Ukraine to investigate his political competitor Joe Biden, has now advised China to do also.

He stated both China and Ukraine must check out Mr Biden, a Democratic governmental frontrunner, and his child.

” China need to start an investigation into the Bidens,” stated Mr Trump.

The Democrats accuse Mr Trump of dangling military help as a method to push Ukraine to dig dirt on Mr Biden.

Mr Biden reacted by tweeting: “The idea of donald trump attacking anybody’s stability is a joke.”

A 25 July telephone call in between Mr Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky triggered an intelligence community whistleblower complaint and the impeachment inquiry.

But Mr Trump stated on Thursday that the inquiry, which might culminate in a congressional attempt to eliminate him from workplace, is “crap”.

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Media caption Trump calls for China and Ukraine to investigate the Bidens

In a late-night tweet, Mr Trump added that he had a responsibility to investigate alleged corruption “and that would consist of asking, or recommending, other nations to assist us out!”

donald trump latest news What has Trump implicated the Bidens of doing?

Mr Trump has accused Mr Biden and his kid Hunter of corruption in their political and company transactions in Ukraine and China, without offering specific proof.

When Hunter Biden joined Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma in 2014, questions were raised about a possible conflict of interest for his dad.

Ukraine was going through a political shift after its pro-Russia president was displaced of office, while the elder Biden was the Obama administration’s point guy for the Eastern European country.

In 2016, Joe Biden pressed the Ukrainian federal government to fire its leading district attorney, Viktor Shokin, whose office had actually been scrutinising the oligarch owner of Burisma.

In a speech last year at a think tank, Mr Biden took pride in having forced Mr Shokin out by threatening to withhold a billion-dollar loan assurance to Ukraine.

Mr Trump and his allies accuse Mr Biden of acting to protect his kid. Nevertheless, other Western officials and significant financers of Ukraine’s federal government also wanted Mr Shokin dismissed because he was viewed as a barrier to anti-corruption efforts.

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Media caption Previous prosecutor-general Yuriy Lutsenko speaks to the BBC’s Jonah Fisher

Recently, the Ukrainian district attorney general who took over from Mr Shokin told the BBC there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe or Hunter Biden.

donald trump latest news What did Trump state on Thursday?

When asked what Mr Trump looked for as a “favour” from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in this summer’s telephone call, Mr Trump reacted: “Well, I would believe that if they were sincere about it, they ‘d start a significant investigation into the Bidens. It’s an extremely easy answer.

” They must investigate the Bidens,” he said, speaking with press reporters on the lawn of the White House.

” Also, China should start an examination into the Bidens due to the fact that what happened to China is practically as bad as what occurred with Ukraine,” he continued.

Mr Trump likewise suggested again without providing evidence that Mr Biden had “scammed” other countries and was accountable for China’s “sweetheart” trade relationship with the US.

The head of the Federal Election Commission responded by tweeting a suggestion that it is unlawful for anybody to solicit anything of value from a foreign nationwide in connection with a United States election.

donald trump latest news How have the Bidens responded?

A spokesperson for Mr Biden’s 2020 campaign accused Mr Trump of “flailing and melting down on nationwide tv, desperately clutching for conspiracy theories that have actually been debunked and dismissed by independent, reliable news organisations”.

Deputy Project Supervisor Kate Bedingfield’s statement compared Mr Trump’s latest comments to his “‘ Russia, if you’re listening’ minute from 2016 – a grotesque choice of lies over truth and self over the nation”.

The quote is a referral to Mr Trump’s first election project, in which he prompted Russia to find more than 30,000 emails erased from his challenger Hillary Clinton’s individual server.

A spokesman for Hunter Biden has told United States media that Mr Trump’s $1.5 bn (₤ 1.2 bn) figure is incorrect, which the younger Biden did not get any return or settlement from the Chinese firm.

donald trump latest news What about the Bidens in China?

In 2013, then vice-president Mr Biden went to China on a main visit, where he fulfilled Chinese President Xi Jinping and other authorities.

Hunter Biden and his daughter signed up with the vice-president, who had actually taken a trip with member of the family before.

Throughout the two-day check out, Hunter satisfied a Chinese lender, Jonathan Li, who would eventually become an organisation partner.

Mr Li established a personal equity fund soon after the trip, and Hunter was on the board, although a representative for the more youthful Mr Biden informed NBC News they did not go over any business during the trip and the fund had actually been planned months earlier.

Hunter Biden was also not an equity owner in the fund throughout his daddy’s term as vice-president, according to the spokesperson.

Hunter has actually denied meeting any Chinese officials about the business. However, he supposedly assisted arrange for Mr Li to shake hands with Joe Biden throughout his journey to Beijing, which stoked claims of influence-peddling.

This August, Republican Politician Senator and Financing Chairman Chuck Grassley questioned Hunter’s actions on the trip

He said the younger Biden had a “history of investing in and collaborating with Chinese companies, including a minimum of one posing significant nationwide security concerns”.

donald trump latest news Brilliant strategy or political insanity?

Once once again donald trump is openly specifying something that has actually got him into hot water for stating independently.

It’s either brilliant method or political madness. Or maybe a little bit of both.

For those who believe that a president getting in touch with a foreign government to examine a political rival is an impeachable offence, Mr Trump has actually already provided ample proof to continue straight to a vote, no “questions” essential.

If an abuse of governmental power is what elevates the foreign “demand” to an impeachable act, then a bit more digging is required. Is there evidence that Mr Trump tied Ukrainian military aid to the Biden demand? Has Biden show up at all throughout Mr Trump’s trade settlements with China?

Less than a minute before Mr Trump gotten in touch with China to investigate the former vice-president, he spoke about those trade negotiations, noting that the United States has “incredible power” over China. How is that power being utilized?

Mr Trump is drawing the line in the sand. He says his Ukraine telephone call was “best” – and, as if to show it, he’s saying and doing the same thing once again and again.

If Democrats disagree, they can impeach him. And they just might.

donald trump latest news How is the impeachment inquiry progressing?

Ex-US unique envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker has ended up being the very first witness to affirm to Congress in the official impeachment questions of President Trump.

Mr Volker was among those mentioned in a confidential whistleblower’s problem about Mr Trump’s call to the president of Ukraine.

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Kurt Volker (left) resigned as US special envoy to Ukraine last week.

The Republican diplomacy professional was resolving 3 Democratic-led House committees behind closed doors on Thursday.

Later On, Republicans and Democrats offered contrasting accounts of what Mr Volker’s testament implied for Mr Trump, with Republican Mark Meadows stating there was “no quid pro quo” and Democrat Eric Swalwell stating it revealed there was a “shadow shakedown going on”.

The whistleblower’s problem stated that a person day after the Trump-Zelensky call, Mr Volker and US ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, met the Ukrainian president to encourage him on how to “browse” Mr Trump’s request.

Mr Volker resigned from the Department of State last week after being named in the problem.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had actually sought to obstruct statement from Mr Volker and 4 other Department of State authorities whom Democrats want to interview.

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Media caption Who is Rudy Giuliani?

In advance of his testimony, Mr Volker turned over documents to the committee, including text messages with Mr Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

On Friday early morning Democratic congressional leaders published a letter setting out “serious issues” over what they stated was the Trump administration’s attempt to “normalise the act of soliciting foreign powers to interfere in our elections”.

They attached text message exchanges including Mr Volker as well as an exchange between Expense Taylor, the leading US diplomat in Ukraine, and Mr Sondland.

In one exchange, Mr Taylor tells Mr Sondland: “As I said on the phone, I believe it’s crazy to keep security support for assist with a political campaign.”

Mr Sondland, a former Republican donor, responded: “Costs, I think you are inaccurate about President Trump’s intention.”

” The president has been crystal clear: no quid professional quos of any kind.”

Mr Sondland then recommends “we stop the backward and forward by text”.

donald trump latest news Quick facts on impeachment

Impeachment is the first part – the charges – of a two-stage political procedure by which Congress can eliminate a president from workplace

If your home of Representatives votes to pass articles of impeachment, the Senate is required to hold a trial

A Senate vote needs a two-thirds bulk to found guilty – unlikely in this case, considered that Mr Trump’s celebration controls the chamber

Only two United States presidents in history – Expense Clinton and Andrew Johnson – have actually been impeached but neither was convicted and gotten rid of

President Nixon resigned prior to he might have been impeached

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Media caption’ Trump didn’t do anything wrong’ – United States residents respond

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