Twists and turns in the Trump impeachment

The U.S. State Department has issued an initial response to a Democratic-controlled congressional committee's request for documents related to the impeachment investigation of Trump.

The inquiry reached deeper into the White House when the House sent a letter Friday to Trump's acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, informing him that the White House was being subpoenaed for documents it had refused to produce.

The impeachment inquiry is reaching straight away into the White Residence, with Democrats subpoenaing officials about contacts with Ukraine and President Donald Trump signaling his administration is now not any longer going to cooperate.

The official, according to USA media reports, is with the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which issued the subpoena on September 27 in consultation with the Intelligence and Oversight and Reform committees.

The committees ordered the White House to turn over requested files by October 18.

One of the major issues in the impeachment inquiry is whether Trump withheld $400 million in military aid to Ukraine, making its release conditional on the Kiev government investigating the Bidens.

The New York Times said the unnamed official had "more direct information" about the events surrounding Mr Trump's phone call with Mr Zelensky.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday slammed a congressional subpoena of records from his department as politically motivated, accusing Democrats leading the investigation of "harassment".

Mr. Trump on Friday walked back his public calls earlier in the week for China and Ukraine to investigate Mr. Biden, saying he was exclusively focused on securing a trade deal with China and rooting out corruption. "We may decide to do it, but it has nothing to do with the President saying what he's saying", she said. He told the Wall Street Journal that Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, told him the Ukraine aid, which is part of the country's defenses against Russian Federation, was being linked to Trump's desire to have Zelenskiy's team investigate the 2016 U.S. elections.

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The Prosecutor General's Office later said that among the cases they are reviewing, there are 15 where Zlochevsky is mentioned.

Trump said he would formally object to Congress about the House impeachment inquiry, even as he acknowledged that Democrats "have the votes" to proceed.

The subpoena followed a demand earlier on Friday for documents from Vice President Mike Pence.

Meanwhile, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez escalated her Twitter war against Trump, calling him an anti-Semite for criticizing Rep. Adam Schiff.

"By all appearances, the President´s brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling", tweeted Romney, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012.

There is nothing in the Constitution, the law or House rules that requires this, but it does break some precedent with previous impeachment proceedings, for the House not to have a vote on the launching of this inquiry. There is no evidence of wrongdoing in Ukraine by Joe or Hunter Biden.

A whistleblower complaint said that Trump sought to use military assistance for Ukraine as leverage to push President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate the 2020 Democratic hopeful.

Former Ukrainian envoy Kurt Volker was interviewed by House lawmakers for nearly 10 hours.

The White House was expected to send a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arguing that Congress could not mount its impeachment inquiry without first having a vote to authorize it.

  • Sonia Alvarado