House Democrats release text messages between U.S. diplomats, Ukrainians

House Democrats release text messages between U.S. diplomats, Ukrainians

Top U.S. diplomats encouraged Ukraine's newly elected president to conduct an investigation linked to Joe Biden's family in return for a high-profile visit with President Donald Trump.

According to the Journal report, Johnson first learned of the situation from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, "who told him that aid to Ukraine was tied to the desire by Mr. Trump and his allies to have Kyiv undertake investigations related to the 2016 U.S. elections".

A lot has happened since then.

In 2012, the younger Mr Biden and Mr Archer spoke with Chinese private equity investor Jonathan Li about joining forces on a fund that would invest Chinese capital - and possibly capital from other countries - outside of China, The New Yorker magazine reported in July.

"What the inspector general said last time was, the whistle-blower pulled the fire alarm", Representative Mike Quigley, Democrat of IL, told reporters.

House Democrats are hoping to get to a floor vote on impeachment within a month - 13 times as fast as the Watergate Committee moved in President Richard Nixon's case.

Ukraine's new top prosecutor Ruslan Ryaboshapka said on Friday he was not aware of any evidence of wrongdoing by Hunter Biden. In my view, the former request is okay in itself, but the latter request is problematic.

The source explained the context of the statement about the investigation after the discussion was included in the text messages provided to Congress ahead of Volker's testimony.

An adviser to the Ukrainian president appeared to go along with the proposal, which entailed investigating Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company where Joe Biden's son Hunter served on the board.

One of those messages came from the top US diplomat in Kyiv, chargé d'affaires Bill Taylor.

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How the White House, which has routinely rejected congressional requests for information, responds to the demands for documents could significantly shape the impeachment investigation going forward. He said he has been under attack for three years, lambasted the completed special counsel's Russian Federation probe and said he was considering filing a major lawsuit - but he didn't say who it would be directed against.

Mr Trump has previously also alleged that the older Mr Biden, as USA vice-president in 2014, had tried to block a Ukraine corruption probe into Mr Hunter Biden's business partner, a Ukraine gas tycoon, using United States aid as leverage.

Sondland responded, "Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions".

The release last week of the complaint and a summary of Trump's July 25 call with Zelensky, in which he asked for a "favor" and referred to investigating Biden ignited the Democrats' impeachment inquiry. Fragment of that technique has been to pivot the conversation some distance flung from Hunter Biden and Burisma by accusing Trump of abusing his power in suggesting Ukraine probe the topic.

Democrats rushed out of the closed-door sitdown to claim Volker's testimony was damning to President Trump.

He continued, "I suggest we stop the back and forth by text If you still have concerns I recommend you give [Executive Secretary in the Office of the Secretary of State] Lisa Kenna or S a call to discuss them directly".

"The White House has refused to engage with - or even respond to - multiple requests for documents from our Committees on a voluntary basis", said the letter to Mr. Mulvaney, signed by Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the Intelligence Committee chairman; Representative Eliot L. Engel of NY, the Foreign Affairs Committee chairman; and Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, the Oversight and Reform Committee chairman.

In addition to the subpoena, the chairmen informed Pompeo in a separate letter that they had scheduled depositions for five State Department officials who have been mentioned in relation to the inquiry.

Will Vice President Mike Pence end up following Gerald Ford's path to the presidency, or be impeached himself, with third in line, Speaker Nancy Pelosi becoming President Pelosi?

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