Trump fumes over impeachment probe with public hearings days away

President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speak during a meeting at the UN in New York

Republican Congressman Mac Thornberry said on ABC's This Week this morning that while President Donald Trump's Ukraine call was "inappropriate", he doesn't find it impeachable.

This week United States diplomats William Taylor, George Kent and Marie Yovanovitch are due to detail in public their concerns, previously expressed in testimony behind closed doors, that President Trump and his administration sought to tie £304million ($391million) in security aid to Ukraine to an investigation of the former United States vice president and his son Hunter Biden.

Among those on the list are Hunter Biden, whose father is a leading Democratic candidate to challenge Trump in 2020; Hunter Biden's business partner Devon Archer; the unnamed whistleblower, whom Trump and some of his allies have campaigned to publicly identify; the researcher Nellie Ohr of Fusion GPS, which commissioned a dossier that linked Russian Federation and Trump; and Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian American who worked with the Democratic National Committee.

President Trump has repeatedly claimed his call was "perfect" and has cited as proof a "transcript" of it that was made public subsequently. Biden is a leading contender for the Democratic nomination to face the Republican president in the 2020 election.

He wrote the impeachment inquiry "has gathered an ever-growing body of evidence - from witnesses and documents, including the President's own words in his July 25 call record - that not only confirms, but far exceeds, the initial information in the whistle-blower's complaint". That led to the impeachment inquiry.

But the Republicans hold a majority in the Senate, a bulwark against him being convicted and removed from office - unless they turn against him.

President Trump floated a new conspiracy theory Monday, kicking off a week that will feature the first televised impeachment proceedings.

It has been two decades since Americans last witnessed impeachment proceedings against a president.

Nunes has described it as a "sham impeachment process" and the Republicans' desired witnesses will "provide transparency to your otherwise opaque and unfair process". The Senate voted to keep Mr Clinton in office.

The Democrats have scheduled U.S. diplomat Bill Taylor and State Department official George Kent for Wednesday, and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch on Friday. Kent was also concerned about Giuliani's role in conducting shadow diplomacy - and has testified he was cut out of the decision-making loop on Ukraine matters.

Bloomberg's report, which cites five sources and a memo allegedly sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, paints a different picture.

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"I hope everyone who testifies will go do so truthfully, accurately". First, they believe that the process of impeaching a president requires a completed probe.

"I was part of America's Ukraine policy".

"And the Constitution is very clear: treason, bribery, or acts of omission".

Democrats have argued that Trump was seeking to pressure Ukraine to help smear one of his domestic political rivals, not combat corruption.

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. has listed the anonymous whistleblower on a list of witnesses Republicans will like to call as part of the impeachment inquiry.

Schiff said later Saturday the committee would evaluate the list and "give due consideration to witnesses within the scope of the impeachment inquiry".

Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a Democrat, is unlikely to summon either to testify, and even some Republicans have opposed the push from Trump and some of his supporters that the whistleblower be identified.

Trump and Giuliani have led accusations - without providing evidence - that Joe Biden sought the dismissal of a Ukrainian prosecutor to block a corruption probe of Burisma. The Bidens deny any wrongdoing.

However, the Judiciary Committee, which will assess the Intelligence Committee's findings, is permitted to carry out its work "as to allow for the participation of the President and his counsel", according to the resolution.

'Rep. Adam Schiff fraudulently read to Congress, with millions of people watching, a version of my conversation with the President of Ukraine that doesn't exist, ' Trump complained.

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