Pom­peo con­firms he was on call be­tween Trump & Ukraine prez

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Global -

Rome\Wash­ing­ton: US sec­re­tary of state Mike Pom­peo ac­knowl­edged on Wed­nes­day that he was on the tele­phone call be­tween Don­ald Trump and his Ukrainian coun­ter­part that sparked im­peach­ment pro­ceed­ings against the Repub­li­can pres­i­dent. Fol­low­ing a whistle­blower com­plaint last week, Democrats are look­ing into Trump’s re­quest to Ukrainian Pres­i­dent Volodymyr Ze­len­skiy dur­ing a July 25 phone call to in­ves­ti­gate for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den.

“I was on the phone call,” Pom­peo told re­porters dur­ing a visit to Italy. He said the call was in the con­text of US pol­i­cy­mak­ing in Ukraine, in­clud­ing “tak­ing down the Rus­sia threat”, root­ing out cor­rup­tion in gov­ern­ment and boost­ing the econ­omy.

Trump made the re­quest to Ze­len­skiy shortly after he had frozen nearly $400 mil­lion in US aid to Ukraine. Democrats ac­cuse Trump of so­lic­it­ing for­eign in­ter­fer­ence in a US elec­tion and of us­ing tax­payer money as lever­age for per­sonal po­lit­i­cal gain. The call and the whistle­blower’s com­plaint prompted House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to launch a for­mal im­peach­ment in­quiry on Septem­ber 24.

lity to find the facts around the pres­i­dent’s ef­fort to co­erce a for­eign leader to cre­ate dirt that he can use against a po­lit­i­cal op­po­nent, that they will be strength­en­ing the case on ob­struc­tion.” After as­sert­ing that Con­gress would not let im­peach­ment en­tirely eclipse its leg­isla­tive agenda, Pelosi ac­cused the pres­i­dent of an “as­sault on the Con­sti­tu­tion.”

The im­peach­ment in­quiry is es­ca­lat­ing in rapid-fire fash­ion. Cum­mings’s warn­ing sug­gests law­mak­ers and their staffs are work­ing me­thod­i­cally to col­lect the ev­i­dence they be­lieve they need to eval­u­ate an anony­mous CIA whistle­blower com­plaint that touched off their in­quiry. First, they tar­geted the state depart­ment, then Ru­dolph Gi­u­liani, the pres­i­dent’s per­sonal lawyer, and now the White House.

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