Trump lashes out at Democrats over impeachment inquiry

Then US special representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker in Kiev Ukraine

President Donald Trump on Wednesday angrily denounced an impeachment inquiry into his July telephone call with Ukraine's leader as Democratic lawmakers said they would subpoena White House records about the call.

That man or woman said the White Home despatched the envelope to Pompeo and it contained notes from interviews that took put in the New York City place of work of Trump's personalized law firm, Rudy Giuliani, with various Ukrainians about the debunked conspiracies. "I was on the phone call", Mr Pompeo said. "But your admission to what has now been in the public domain informs the timing of how we go forward".

Pompeo's letter suggested that the committees could be forced to subpoena the five diplomats, and that the State Department and White House could seek to limit what they can talk about.

The Democrats' subpoena request has the potential to become a flashpoint in the showdown between the Republican president and the Democratic-led House of Representatives.

Taking to Twitter on Tuesday night, the president told his followers their very identity as Americans was threatened by impeachment proceedings initiated by House Democrats last week.

The whistleblower provided an account of his concerns to a House Intelligence Committee aide before bringing his complaint, and some of that information was shared with Schiff, the New York Times reported, citing a spokesman for Schiff and current and former USA officials.

US President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speak during a meeting in NY on September 25, 2019, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Pompeo has reportedly tried to delay five current and former State Department officials from providing documents and testimony in the impeachment inquiry.

"It was about helping the Ukrainians get graft out and corruption outside of their government and to help now this new government in the Ukraine build a successful, thriving economy", he said.

He didn't comment on a White House summary of the call that included Trump asking Zelenskiy for help investigating one of the US president's key political rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter, who was on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

There is no evidence Biden made the demand to help his son.

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The statement also said Pompeo should "immediately cease intimidating Department witnesses in order to protect himself and the president".

Schiff on Wednesday called Trump's comments about the whistleblower a "blatant effort to intimidate witnesses".

Pompeo appeared relieved to have finished his answer and when the news conference ended, he went to lunch with his Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, to continue what had been intended as a traditional diplomatic visit to a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally that began on Tuesday with meetings with Italy's president and prime minister.

The inquiry could lead to approval of articles of impeachment - or formal charges - against Trump in the House. He has said, however, that he would cooperate with Congress.

Trump has been pushing a claim that Biden called for the sacking of a prosecutor to help his son Hunter, who was working for a Ukrainian gas company.

Neither Biden has been credibly accused of any wrongdoing.

"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, according to excerpts provided by his campaign.

Complicating all of this is the fact that Mr Pompeo, due to his participation in Mr Trump's July Ukraine call and evasive response to subsequent press questions about his involvement, is right in the middle of the investigation - making him more than simply a disinterested party.

Trump did not name names but has long expressed frustration at some of the central figures in the investigation by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller such as former FBI Director James Comey. In his phone call with Zelenskiy, Trump called Yovanovitch "bad news".

"This subpoena will be issued by the Committee on Oversight and Reform on Friday, October 4, 2019, under the Rules of the House of Representatives in the exercise of its oversight and legislative jurisdiction and after consultation with the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence", Cummings said.

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