U.S. President Donald Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a July telephone call to investigate whether former vice-president Joe Biden shut down an investigation into a company that employed his son, a summary of the call released by the Trump administration on Wednesday showed.
Lewis is one of the most influential Democrats in his caucus and an ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has so far discouraged impeachment.
Online, the Trump campaign's "Official Impeachment Defence Task Force" was met with a combination of bewilderment and sarcasm, with many users accusing the president of acting like a "grifter", comparing the pledge drive to a late night television commercial, or asking about how long it would take for donors to be able to be able to buy an official "impeachment defence task force bomber jacket" or "commemorative koozie".
Trump holds a press conference: President Trump is holding a press conference at the United Nations Wednesday afternoon.
"The call reportedly was preceded by a decision by Trump to withhold vital security assistance, and it was followed in quick succession by his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, meeting with a top aide to the new Ukrainian president at Trump's direction".
In the call, Trump raised unsubstantiated allegations that the former vice president sought to interfere with a Ukrainian prosecutor's investigation of his son Hunter.
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With progressives grabbing at the wheel, however, Pelosi might not have much choice but to shift directions now. They argued that it is within the scope of Congress to look into the whistleblower claim.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel wrote White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and threatened an "escalated" fight if documents aren't turned over by Thursday.
The unidentified whistleblower submitted a complaint to Michael Atkinson, the US government's intelligence inspector general, in August. "They should, a ideal call - got them by surprise!" he said.
The Justice Department's examination centered on the July call. No other interviews were done.
Barr was also not recused from handling the issue despite the fact that his name comes up in Trump's call with Zelensky. "The official did not identify the name of the rival candidate".
"The Attorney General was first notified of the President's conversation with Ukrainian President Zelensky several weeks after the call took place, when the Department of Justice learned of a potential referral".
"Ukraine depends on the US for economic, military, and diplomatic support - especially in its attempts to push back against Russian aggression - and is particularly vulnerable to pressure from any USA president".
He cited the "incompetent performance" by Mueller on Capitol Hill and complained about CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm that determined Moscow had hacked Democrats' computers during the 2016 campaign. The President has not asked the Attorney General to contact Ukraine - on this or any other matter. "Nor has the Attorney General discussed this matter, or anything relating to Ukraine, with Rudy Giuliani", Kupec added.