Donald Trump asks China to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden

Donald Trump asks China to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden

Donald Trump asks China to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden

Amid an impeachment inquiry into whether he pressured Ukraine to probe former Vice President Joe Biden, US President Donald Trump has publicly called on China to investigate his Democratic political rival.

The whistleblower's complaint, which triggered Democrats to open an impeachment inquiry, said that one day after that call Mr Volker and U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, met Mr Zelensky to provide advice on how to "navigate" Mr Trump's request.

US President Donald Trump responds to questions on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington.

However, he added he hasn't directly asked Chinese leader Xi Jinping to investigate yet.

On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal said Trump ordered the removal in May of the then-ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, after months of complaints from allies that she was undermining him overseas and obstructing efforts to persuade Kyiv to investigate the Bidens.

Ahead of the call, Mr Volker texted that he had heard from the White House that it would result in a formal visit to Washington for Mr Zelensky, "assuming President Z convinces Trump he will investigate / "get to the bottom of what happened in 2016" - a reference to allegations of Ukrainian officials being involved in the United States presidential election in 2016 which USA intelligence agencies have blamed on Russian Federation.

Trump told reporters earlier Thursday that Hunter Biden took "billions of dollars" out of China before noting the younger Biden was "kicked out of the Navy" for drug use.

He did not explain what he meant by "scrutiny".

Swalwell disputed that, describing a text from one senior State Department official that read: "It's insane if we are trying to leverage USA dollars in security assistance for help in a political campaign".

But the record shows that there was no investigation and that Mr Biden, in fact, viewed Kiev's corruption prosecutor at the time as himself deeply compromised.

On 25 July, two days before the set-up call, Volker reportedly promised Yermak, Zelensky's close aide, "that assuming President Z convinces Trump he will "get to the bottom of what happened" in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington". The President asked Kiev for the investigation shortly after freezing almost US$400-million in military aid to the country, which is battling a Russian-backed insurgency.

"Mr. Shokin attempted to continue the investigations but on or around June or July of 2015, the U.S. Ambassador [to Ukraine] Geoffrey R. Pyatt told him that the investigation has to be handled with white gloves, which according to Mr. Shokin, that implied do nothing", the notes from the phone call state. But the deal fell through when Yermak failed to put out a statement about the investigations.

The President's appeals to foreign governments on Thursday were not enough for Republicans to break ranks with Mr. Trump, who has benefited from a congressional caucus that nearly uniformly does not criticize him.

During the interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Pelosi also pushed back on a Republican argument that Trump's call with Zelensky was not problematic because there was no explicit "quid pro quo" between providing U.S. military aid to Ukraine and investigating the Bidens.

"Anyone that looks at the President's transcript will see that the President was raising issues that were appropriate", he told reporters in Arizona.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi disagreed. "To ask a foreign government to assist in our elections undermines the President's oath of office and threatens the integrity of our electoral system".

Yovanovitch is scheduled to appear before three House committees on October 11 as part of the impeachment inquiry.

Since news broke of a whistleblower complaint over Trump's call with Ukraine, Biden's campaign team has furiously denied Trump's claims have any legitimacy.

Trump's request is also a recipe for bad trade policy, said trade experts.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence said Americans have a right to know about the wrongdoing the president alleges. "We haven't looked at it".

The text messages convey a distinct campaign among the three diplomats, who apparently against some of their stated better judgment appear to be trying to help Ukraine reset its relationship with Trump by pushing his interest in investigating his Democratic rival and the 2016 election. ABC said it had obtained the texts.

But President Donald Trump and Giuliani have been pushing a different narrative: that Shokin was sacked at the request of Biden in order to protect his son.

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