Gi­u­liani faces sub­poena as in­quiry ac­cel­er­ates

Trump rages about trea­son; Pom­peo took part in Ukraine call

The Korea Times - - WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON (AP) — At one end of Penn­syl­va­nia Av­enue, the pres­i­dent raged about trea­son. At the other, the me­thod­i­cal march to­ward im­peach­ment pro­ceeded apace.

Democrats on Mon­day sub­poe­naed Rudy Gi­u­liani, the pres­i­dent’s per­sonal lawyer who was at the heart of Trump’s ef­forts to get Ukraine to in­ves­ti­gate po­lit­i­cal ri­val Joe Bi­den’s fam­ily. That was af­ter one of Trump’s staunch­est de­fend­ers, Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell, said he would have “no choice” but to con­sider ar­ti­cles of im­peach­ment if the House ap­proved them.

With Congress out of ses­sion for ob­ser­vance of the Jew­ish hol­i­days, Democrats moved ag­gres­sively against Gi­u­liani, re­quest­ing by Oct. 15 “text mes­sages, phone records and other com­mu­ni­ca­tions” that they re­ferred to as pos­si­ble ev­i­dence. They also re­quested doc­u­ments and de­po­si­tions from three of his busi­ness as­so­ci­ates.

Mean­while, the cir­cle of of­fi­cials with knowl­edge of Trump’s phone call to Ukraine’s pres­i­dent widened with the rev­e­la­tion that Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo lis­tened in on the July 25 con­ver­sa­tion.

Pom­peo’s pres­ence on the Ukraine call, con­firmed by two of­fi­cials who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity to dis­cuss an in­ter­nal mat­ter, pro­vided the first con­fir­ma­tion that a Cab­i­net of­fi­cial heard Trump press Pres­i­dent Volodymyr Ze­len­skiy to in­ves­ti­gate Hunter Bi­den’s mem­ber­ship on the board of a Ukrainian gas com­pany. It is that call, and the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing it, that are fu­el­ing the new Demo­cratic drive for im­peach­ment.

McCon­nell, a stead­fast Trump de­fender, nonethe­less swat­ted down talk that that the GOP-con­trolled Se­nate could dodge the mat­ter of im­peach­ment if the House ap­proved charges against Trump.

“It’s a Se­nate rule re­lated to im­peach­ment, it would take 67 votes to change, so I would have no choice but to take it up,” McCon­nell said on CNBC. “How long you’re on it is a whole dif­fer­ent mat­ter.”

Trump took to Twit­ter to de­fend anew his phone call with Ze­len­skiy as “per­fect” and to un­leash a series of at­tacks, most strik­ingly against House in­tel­li­gence com­mit­tee Chair­man Adam Schiff. The Demo­crat, he sug­gested, ought to be tried for a cap­i­tal of­fense for launch­ing into a para­phrase of Trump dur­ing a con­gres­sional hear­ing last week.

“Rep. Adam Schiff il­le­gally made up a FAKE &ter­ri­ble state­ment, pre­tended it to be mine as the most im­por­tant part of my call to the Ukrainian Pres­i­dent, and read it aloud to Congress and the Amer­i­can peo­ple,” the pres­i­dent wrote. “It bore NO re­la­tion­ship to what I said on the call. Ar­rest for Trea­son?”

Trump tweeted re­peat­edly through the day but was, for the most part, a lonely voice as the White House lacked an or­ga­ni­za­tion or process to de­fend him. Se­nior staffers, in­clud­ing act­ing chief of staff Mick Mul­vaney and White House coun­sel Pat Cipol­lone, were to present Trump this week with op­tions on set­ting up the West Wing’s re­sponse to im­peach­ment, of­fi­cials said.

A for­mal war room was un­likely, though some sort of rapid re­sponse team was planned to sup­ple­ment the ef­forts of Trump and Gi­u­liani. But Trump was an­gry over the week­end at both Mul­vaney and press sec­re­tary Stephanie Gr­isham for not be­ing able to change the nar­ra­tive dom­i­nat­ing the story, ac­cord­ing to two Repub­li­cans close to the White House not au­tho­rized to speak pub­licly about pri­vate con­ver­sa­tions.

Trump sought Aus­tralia’s help on Rus­sia probe

WASH­ING­TON (AFP) — Don­ald Trump asked Aus­tralia to “as­sist” in dis­cred­it­ing a Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion that has clouded his pres­i­dency, with Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son ad­mit­ting Tues­day that he agreed to help.

An Aus­tralian govern­ment spokesper­son con­firmed Trump asked Mor­ri­son to in­ves­ti­gate is­sues raised in Robert Mueller’s probe — which con­cluded that Rus­sia tried to swing the 2016 elec­tion in the Repub­li­can’s fa­vor.

The of­fi­cial said Aus­tralia “has al­ways been ready to as­sist and co­op­er­ate with ef­forts that help shed fur­ther light on the mat­ters un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

“The PM con­firmed this readi­ness once again in con­ver­sa­tion with the Pres­i­dent.”

The rev­e­la­tion will fuel al­le­ga­tions Trump is us­ing the power of the Oval Of­fice and risk­ing long-stand­ing re­la­tion­ships with al­lies for his own po­lit­i­cal ends.

EPA-Yon­hap

For­mer New York City Mayor Rudy Gi­u­liani, left, poses with U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump at the club­house of Trump In­ter­na­tional Golf Club, in Bed­min­ster Town­ship, N.J., in this 2016 file photo.

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