Trump's son tweets name of alleged anonymous whistle-blower who triggered impeachment inquiry

John Roberts in a file

The inquiry alleges that the content of the exchange, the transcript of which was declassified and made public upon Trump's order, might constitute an abuse of power, as the president was accused of offering a barter exchange - the continuation of aid to Ukraine in exchange for a thorough investigation into his political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter's allegedly "corrupt" dealings in Ukraine.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

House investigators also released hundreds of pages from Mr. Sondland's original testimony from last month as well as the one by the U.S.'s special Ukraine envoy, Kurt Volker.

More details in the impeachment inquiry are expected to be released on Wednesday, a day after transcripts revealed a top Trump donor-turned-diplomat reversed course and told investigators Ukrainian aid was tied to investigations of political rivals sought by the us president.

Hale is expected to tell investigators the State Department was concerned that supporting former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch could hurt efforts to release aid and could provoke Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, the Associated Press reported, citing people familiar with the matter. On November 15 the committee will depose Marie Yovanovitch, the former US Ambassador to Ukraine.

The complaint led Democrats to formally launch their impeachment inquiry, which has led to an avalanche of testimony from several witnesses, including current and former diplomats or administration officials who have largely corroborated the whistleblower's account.

Democrats had said they had enough material to move forward with public impeachment hearings, which would be a likely prelude to articles of impeachment - formal charges - against Trump being brought to a vote in the House. In a tweet on Wednesday, Trump called the probe a "phony scam".

"Don't be fooled. Public hearings are not the same as FAIR hearings", McCarthy tweeted.

The marquee appearance teed up for next week may well be Taylor's. David Hale had been expected to tell lawmakers that political considerations were behind the agency's refusal to deliver a robust defense of the former USA ambassador to Ukraine. Yesterday, Sondland pulled this Yermak meeting from his newly-jogged memory and claimed that he had, indeed, told him that the aid would be withheld until Zelensky publicly announced the investigations - one into Hunter Biden's role at the energy firm Burisma, and the other into the cockamamie theory that Russian hacking of DNC emails in 2016 was actually a Ukrainian interference operation and that the DNC server is being held somewhere in the country like an ISIS hostage.

In testimony released on Tuesday, close Trump ally Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, admitted he had told a senior Ukraine official that the aid would not be released until Mr Zelensky fulfilled Mr Trump's demands.

Mr Mulvaney is the highest-ranking White House official to be summoned in the probe, although he is unlikely to comply given the White House's opposition to administration officials cooperating with investigators.



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