By Morning Star Correspondent
Democrats on September 23 indicated a move towards impeaching US President Donald Trump, after he admitted to phoning Ukrainan President Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss former vice president Joe Biden and his son in July.
Mr Trump denies allegations that he pressed Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of his potential 2020 presidential rival Joe Biden, regarding his position at Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
Joe Biden was the US vice-president at the time of his son’s appointment in 2014 and had responsibility for US policy towards Ukraine.
But senior Democratic Party officials say they may have now “crossed the Rubicon” on impeachment over the incident.
The allegations emerged after an intelligence whistleblower filed a complaint over Mr Trump’s communications with a foreign leader and a “promise” that was allegedly made.
Despite the complaint being deemed “urgent” by the US intelligence community’s inspector general, the Trump administration has blocked it from being dealt with by Congress.
Under US law a complaint considered to be of “urgent concern” and judged to be credible by the inspector general is expected to be shared with Congress within seven days.
Mr Trump admitted on Sunday that he had contacted his Ukrainian counterpart but said the phone call was “congratulatory” after Mr Zelensky had won his country’s presidential elections.
He conceded that he mentioned corruption but insisted he had done nothing wrong and was aware that his phone calls were listened to by US intelligence services. He also claimed that the whistleblower was partisan.
In 2016 Mr Biden successfully pressed the Ukrainian government to sack prosecutor Viktor Shokin, whose office was investigating the owner of Burisma.
Mr Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani have alluded to this as evidence of the Bidens’ corruption. But The Intercept reported in May that Mr Shokin “was forced from office at Biden’s urging because he had failed to conduct thorough investigations of corruption” within Ukraine.
The Wall Street Journal last week quoted sources claiming that Mr Trump urged Mr Zelensky “about eight times” to collaborate with Mr Giuliani on an investigation into Hunter Biden.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that, if the whistleblower’s complaint was not given to Congress, the Trump administration would “be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation.” (IPA Service)
Courtesy: Morning Star