Donald Trump Has Admitted To Bribery, Says Nancy Pelosi

Donald Trump Has Admitted To Bribery, Says Nancy Pelosi

Donald Trump Has Admitted To Bribery, Says Nancy Pelosi

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that testimony from two USA diplomats in the Democrats' first public impeachment hearing on Wednesday uncovered "evidence of bribery" against President Donald Trump.

The House Intelligence Committee on Friday is due to hear in a public session from Yovanovitch, who Trump abruptly removed from her post as US ambassador to Ukraine in May. Wednesday's hearing, held in an ornate hearing room packed with journalists, lawmakers and members of the public, was the first step in a new public phase of the impeachment inquiry as Democrats and Republicans each try to make their case to the public.

Democrats are looking into whether the Republican president abused his power by withholding $391 million in U.S. security aid to Ukraine as leverage to pressure Kyiv to conduct two investigations that would benefit him politically.

"The questions presented by this impeachment inquiry are whether President Trump sought to exploit [Ukraine's] vulnerability and invite Ukraine's interference in our elections". At her news conference, she also said Trump's administration had committed "obstruction of Congress" by blocking testimony of officials summoned to testify in the inquiry.

Critics say the president left Ukraine at the mercy of Russian Federation, which in 2014 seized and annexed Ukraine's Crimea region and has supported separatists fighting government forces in eastern Ukraine in a conflict that has killed more than 13,000 people.

"First I've heard of it", Trump said on Wednesday when he was asked about it at the White House.

Pelosi's comments could offer a preview of articles of impeachment Democrats might put forward.

What we saw on display Wednesday were two dedicated, experienced career foreign policy officials who had been desperately trying to figure out what the president wanted - and inferring his intentions based on snippets of information from others.

"We're in Chapter One of a process", said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., a member of the Intelligence Committee conducting the inquiry. More recently, multiple Democrats have embraced bribery as a more direct summation of Trump's alleged conduct.

Trump claimed he was "too busy" to watch the first round of public hearings that could see him potentially removed from office for abuse of power.

Speaking minutes before the start of the hearings, Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House, said the probe was necessary to show Mr Trump he can't do "whatever he wants".

While Trump applauded the aggressive stance of some of his Republican defenders, he felt that numerous lawmakers in the opening hearing could have done more to support him and he pressed that case with congressional allies ahead of Friday, according to Republicans who were not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations and were granted anonymity. Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was working at the time to persuade Ukraine to carry out the two investigations.

Yovanovitch was let go earlier this year at Trump's request. Picking up the Republican argument that the charges against Trump are hearsay, Conway said: "You tune in and you're either sound asleep or you can't follow - he said, she said, she said, he said - it's a bunch of gossip girls".

A second staffer for the US Embassy in Kyiv overheard the phone call between Trump and Sondland, the Associated Press reported on Thursday, citing an unnamed source briefed on the situation.

Trump told reporters after the hearing that he knew "nothing" about the call with Sondland.

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