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US House launches Trump impeachment inquiry over Ukraine call

US House launches Trump impeachment inquiry over Ukraine call

US House launches Trump impeachment inquiry over Ukraine call
September 25
02:57 2019

Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has announced the launch of a formal inquiry into whether President Donald Trump should be impeached over a controversial Ukraine call.

Pelosi made the announcement on Tuesday after meetings with Democratic congressional leaders and working out plans to move toward impeachment proceedings against Trump over his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

During the phone call, Trump allegedly sought Ukraine's help to smear former US Vice President and the front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Joe Biden.

“The actions of the Trump presidency revealed the dishonorable fact of the president's betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security, and betrayal of the integrity of our elections,” Pelosi said in a televised address.

“Therefore, today I'm announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry,” Pelosi added. “The president must be held accountable; no one is above the law.”

Trump reportedly urged Zelensky about eight times during the phone call to work with his lawyer Rudy Giuliani to investigate government corruption involving Biden and his son, Hunter.

The US president dismissed the Ukraine allegations as another witch-hunt attempting to smear his already tarnished reputation and damage his popularity as the Americans get closer to the 2020 presidential election.

The Pelosi’s announcement came after Trump said he would release an unredacted transcript of the call with Zelenskyy on Wednesday.

“I am currently at the United Nations representing our Country, but have authorized the release tomorrow of the complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine,” Trump said in a tweet while at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Trump claimed that the release of the transcript would prove he had done nothing wrong in his communications with Zelensky.

“You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call. No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo! This is nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!” Trump wrote.

Dozens of Democrats offered support for impeaching Trump or at least launching an impeachment inquiry, putting pressure on Democratic leaders to allow the process to go forward.

Biden also called on the US Congress to open impeachment proceedings against Trump if the White House turned down congressional requests for information concerning the president’s dealings with Ukraine and other investigations.

“The president should stop stonewalling this investigation and all the other investigations into his alleged wrongdoings,” Biden said during a brief speech in his home state of Delaware.

Democratic candidate for president, former Vice President Joe Biden, delivers a speech at the Hotel DuPont on September 24, 2019, in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by AFP)

“If the president does not comply with such a request by the Congress… Donald Trump will leave Congress in my view with no choice but to initiate impeachment. That would be a tragedy, but a tragedy of his own making,” he added.

Under the US Constitution, the House has the power to impeach a president for “high crimes and misdemeanors” and the Senate then holds a trial on whether to remove the president from office.

No US president has ever been removed from office through impeachment.

A House committee has already launched a formal impeachment probe into Trump over his campaign team’s alleged links to the Russian government in the 2016 US elections, which failed to win support of key party figures.

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