Saturday 19 October 2019

President demands House vote for inquiry

Donald Trump (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Donald Trump (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Zeke Miller and Jonathan Lemire

Donald Trump said last night the White House is preparing a letter to Nancy Pelosi formally objecting to the Democrats conducting their impeachment inquiry without an official vote. The letter is expected to say the administration won't cooperate without that vote - but Mr Trump said he believes it will pass.

He acknowledged that Democrats in the House of Representatives "have the votes" to begin a formal impeachment inquiry, but said he is confident they don't have the votes to convict in the GOP-controlled Senate. And he said he believes the move will backfire on Democrats politically.

"I really believe that they're going to pay a tremendous price at the polls," he said.

In announcing the House was beginning the probe, Ms Pelosi didn't seek the consent of the full chamber, as was done for impeachment probes into former Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

In the inquiry itself, House investigators released a cache of text messages showing top US diplomats encouraging Ukraine's newly-elected president to conduct an investigation linked to Joe Biden's family in return for a high-profile visit with Mr Trump in Washington.

It followed a 10-hour interview with diplomat Kurt Volker, who stepped down as special envoy to Ukraine amid the impeachment inquiry.

Irish Independent

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