New claims against Trump as impeachment inquiry goes public


New evidence has emerged in the impeachment hearing of US President Donald Trump as a crucial new phase began in the inquiry which threatens Trump’s 2020 re-election bid.

At the first public hearings in the inquiry, Bill Taylor, the acting US ambassador to Ukraine said President Trump directly asked about a Ukrainian investigation into his Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Taylor testified that a member of his staff had overheard a telephone call between the president and Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union in which Trump inquired about “the investigations” into Biden in exchange for military aid.

Trump is, however, denying knowledge of the call, saying, he did not recall making such comments.

In the middle of Wednesday’s hearing, the House Intelligence Committee announced a new witness scheduled to give a closed-door deposition on Friday, an aide named David Holmes – reportedly the aide Taylor mentioned.

Next week, Sondland himself is scheduled to testify during public hearings.

The impeachment inquiry has been going on for more than a month – but all previous hearings were private. Wednesday’s public hearings were the first time the public heard from witnesses directly.


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