Pompeo confirms he was on call between Trump and Ukraine leader

Friday, 04 Oct, 2019

The Democrats on Wednesday announced they would subpoena the White House for documents related to how Mr Trump urged Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden. "We have to be able to have a deliberative, serious pursuit of the impeachment inquiry".

Warning: this report contains strong language.

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The timing of President of Finland Sauli Niinistö's trip to Washington to meet his USA counterpart could hardly be worse, as the media focus was more on the impeachment inquiry against his host over a whistleblower's complaint about Trump allegedly abusing power.

Trump has denied wrongdoing, repeatedly calling his call with Zelenskiy "perfect". Democrats have accused Trump of pressuring a vulnerable U.S. ally to interfere in the 2020 U.S. election to harm a domestic political rival for Trump's personal political benefit.

The prospect that Trump solicited Ukraine's help against his potential challenger next year has infuriated Democrats, many of whom blame the loss of the 2016 presidential election on Russian interference.

During a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, Mr Trump called Mr Biden and his son, Hunter, "stone cold corrupt".

Trump also seized on the revelation, first reported in the New York Times, that the whistleblower initially sought guidance from the House Intelligence Committee about how to proceed with a complaint, giving Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), the committee chair, advance notice that a complaint might be coming.

He added: "Frankly, they should look at him for treason".

The US president sought to discredit the complaint against him, telling reporters only "legitimate" whistleblowers should be protected.

"You people should be ashamed of yourself; we have the most dishonest media that you can imagine, and you should be ashamed of yourself", Trump said.

He labelled the entire inquiry a "hoax" and a "fraudulent crime on the American people" while maintaining he would "always cooperate" with Congress.

He also warned Trump and the White House to treat the pending subpoena with the utmost gravity.

"Let me make something clear to Trump and his hatchet men and the special interests funding his attacks against me _ I'm not going anywhere", Biden said to loud cheers.

"He did it because, like every bully in history - he's afraid", Biden planned to say of Trump's accusations against him and his son. "What has brought us here is simply this: the abuse of power". In a letter to the House Tuesday, Pompeo argued there were "profound procedural and legal deficiencies" around the depositions and they were "not feasible".

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings in a memo notified committee members Wednesday that the panel, in consultation with the Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees, will issue a subpoena to the White House on Friday, requesting Ukraine-related records.

'I see the fundraising, it's the biggest ever, ' Trump said.

Pelosi said that the president's statements were "dangerous", and Schiff called them a "blatant effort to intimidate witnesses" and an "incitement to violence".

The bulk of the whistleblower's complaint has been corroborated by Trump himself.