Democrat Biden calls for Trump's impeachment
Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event on October 9, 2019 in Manchester, New Hampshire. For the first time, Biden has publicly called for President Trump to be impeached.
AFP/Scott Eisen/Getty Images
Democrat Biden calls for Trump's impeachment
Sebastian Smith (Agence France-Presse) - October 10, 2019 - 9:37am

WASHINGTON, United States — Democratic White House hopeful Joe Biden called Wednesday for President Donald Trump's impeachment, saying he'd "betrayed" the United States, but Trump dug in, predicting that the Supreme Court would have to resolve the fight.

"To preserve our constitution, our democracy, our basic integrity, he should be impeached," Biden told supporters at a rally in New Hampshire, adding his voice to that of other Democratic contenders.

"He's shooting holes in the constitution, and we cannot let him get away with it," added Biden.

Trump, however, showed no sign of buckling under pressure from the Democratic party probe into his alleged bid to damage Biden by strong-arming Ukraine to investigate the former vice president.

Having threatened a constitutional crisis by refusing to cooperate with the congressional investigation, Trump predicted that the row would end up "being a big Supreme Court case."

He told reporters in the White House that his Republican party was being "treated very badly."

Democrats accuse Trump of stonewalling and obstruction.

"No one is above the law, not even President Trump," the Democratic majority leader in the House, Steny Hoyer, said Wednesday.

Impeachment becomes campaign message

On Twitter, which Trump is using to bombard the public with conspiracy theories about a "deep state" aiming to eject him, the president argued that the whistleblower behind the impeachment case had been shown to be partisan and inaccurate.

"The Whistleblower's facts have been so incorrect about my 'no pressure' conversation with the Ukrainian President, and now the conflict of interest and involvement with a Democrat Candidate, that he or she should be exposed and questioned," Trump tweeted.

In another tweet, Trump dismissed the impeachment process as a Democratic bid to influence the election, saying "their total focus is 2020, nothing more."

But Trump, who broke with precedent by campaigning for reelection almost from the moment he took office in 2017, is himself pouncing on the impeachment as the new cornerstone of his 2020 effort.

He and the Republican Party have pushed hard to raise funds off the back of their accusation of unfair treatment from the Democratic lower house in Congress.

And on Thursday and Friday, Trump will take that message to his core supporters when he holds campaign rallies in Minneapolis and in Louisiana.

Even if the House impeaches Trump, it remains unlikely that the Republican-led Senate would convict him in the subsequent trial.

However, Trump's already turbulent presidency would be forever associated with the impeachment.

Ukrainian phone call

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally launched the impeachment inquiry last month after revelations Trump pressured Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky in a July 25 phone call.

In the call, Trump asked Zelensky to look into what the US leader said were corrupt business deals involving Biden.

Democrats say that Trump tried to coerce Zelensky by holding back US military aid to Ukraine. Trump says there was no quid pro quo and that his only desire is to combat corruption.

He subsequently said publicly he would also like China to investigate Biden, something critics say bolsters the allegation that Trump is seeking foreign help to discredit opponents.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration blocked a potentially major witness, ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, from testifying before Congress. Democrats then slapped Sondland with a subpoena to appear on October 16.

"The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents" was "additional strong evidence of obstruction," House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff said.

Later the same day, the White House announced in a lengthy legal statement that it rejected any cooperation with the Democrats at all.

Lawmakers want to hear on Friday from another key witness: former US ambassador to Kiev Marie Yovanovitch, who is scheduled to appear before the House Intelligence Committee.

US media has reported that Trump removed her from her post because she opposed his efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Biden.

DONALD TRUMP IMPEACHMENT JOE BIDEN UNITED STATES
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: February 6, 2020 - 10:24am

Monitor updates on the impeachment investigation into US President Donald Trump.

February 6, 2020 - 10:24am

Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi denounces the Senate's acquittal of President Donald Trump and says he remains "an ongoing threat to American democracy."

"Today, the President and Senate Republicans have normalized lawlessness and rejected the system of checks and balances of our Constitution," Pelosi says in a statement issued after the Senate acquitted Trump of both impeachment articles passed by the House.

"The President remains an ongoing threat to American democracy, with his insistence that he is above the law and that he can corrupt the elections if he wants to," Pelosi says. — AFP

February 6, 2020 - 9:12am

Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi denounced the Senate's acquittal of President Donald Trump on Wednesday and said he remains "an ongoing threat to American democracy."

"Today, the President and Senate Republicans have normalized lawlessness and rejected the system of checks and balances of our Constitution," Pelosi said in a statement issued after the Senate acquitted Trump of both impeachment articles passed by the House.

"The President remains an ongoing threat to American democracy, with his insistence that he is above the law and that he can corrupt the elections if he wants to," Pelosi said.

The Republican-majority Senate voted 52-48 to acquit Trump of abuse of power and 53-47 to acquit him of obstruction of Congress. — AFP

February 6, 2020 - 8:06am

US President Donald Trump drew on staunch Republican support to defeat the gravest threat yet to his three-year-old presidency on Wednesday, winning acquittal in the Senate on impeachment charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Only the third US leader ever placed on trial, Trump readily defeated the Democratic-led effort to expel him from office for having illicitly sought help from Ukraine to bolster his 2020 re-election effort.

Trump immediately claimed "victory" while the White House declared it a full "exoneration" for the president — even as Democrats rejected the acquittal as the "valueless" outcome of an unfair trial. — AFP

January 26, 2020 - 1:43pm

Donald Trump demanded the dismissal of Marie Yovanovitch, the ambassador to Ukraine and a key figure in the president's impeachment trial, according to a video recording released to US media on Saturday. 

The footage was reportedly taken during an April 2018 donor dinner at a hotel and released to news outlets by an attorney for Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. 

Parnas and his business partner Igor Fruman are key players in Trump's alleged campaign to pressure the government of Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, a potential election opponent for the president. 

The issue is central to Trump's ongoing impeachment trial in the US Senate. — AFP

January 25, 2020 - 3:39pm

Donald Trump's lawyers prepare to deliver his first full-throated defense Saturday in the Senate's historic impeachment trial, after Democratic prosecutors spent three days making their case for the US president's removal from office.

Capping 24 total hours of arguments, Democrats tell the 100 senators that Trump abused the power of the presidency in pressuring Ukraine to launch investigations that would help him politically, and then sought to block efforts by Congress to investigate.

Democrats say they had met that burden of proof, as lead House impeachment manager Adam Schiff warned that Trump would remain an "imminent threat" to American democracy if he stays in power. — AFP

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