President Trump Predicts Joe Biden Won't Win Primary
Blunt said he couldn't "imagine" that the objective of Mr. Trump's comments was to have a foreign power interfere in American domestic politics - a request he suggested would be essentially useless anyhow. "Your own words and deeds mock themselves", he wrote on Twitter in response to earlier Trump criticism of the hearing.
If the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives voted to impeach Mr Trump, there'd be a trial in the Senate.
The AP story noted that this type of request would appear to circumvent an established process for picking members of the Naftogaz supervisory board, involving the Ukrainian president's Cabinet and global institutions including the worldwide Monetary Fund, the United States and the European Union.
Former US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, disparaged by Trump and abruptly recalled from Ukraine, was scheduled to give a deposition to congressional committees on Friday.
A bit unusually for a Sunday, Mr Trump was staying in the White House rather than traveling or playing golf.
"The committees are investigating the extent to which President Trump jeopardized national security by pressing Ukraine to interfere with our 2020 election and by withholding military assistance provided by Congress to help Ukraine counter Russian aggression, as well as any efforts to cover up these matters", the committee chairmen said in a statement. He has repeatedly termed the call with Zelenskiy as "perfect", while attacking his critics as "traitors" and alleging a "coup" is in the works to remove him from office.
The disclosure of a second whistleblower threatens to undermine arguments made by Trump and his allies against the first whistleblower: that the complaint was improperly filed because it was based on secondhand or thirdhand information.
Trump on Friday evening told House Republicans that it was Perry who had teed up the July call with Ukraine, according to a person familiar with Trump's new comments who was granted anonymity to discuss the private conference call. The call shows Trump asking Zelenskiy to look into alleged corruption in Ukraine by Biden and his son Hunter, setting off a Democratic-led House impeachment inquiry into Trump.
No details have been released about the second whistleblower's claims.
"The Biden family was PAID OFF, pure and simple!" Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, another Democratic presidential candidate, said Trump is "acting like a global gangster".
The messages offer the fullest picture to date of how top diplomats and Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani sought to advance Trump's goal of getting the Ukrainians to investigate both meddling in the 2016 election and Hunter Biden.
Biden acknowledged that he pressured Ukraine to fire Shokin, but denied that it had any relation to his son's business dealings in the country and was in line with pressure from other foreign leaders to fire the prosecutor.
"There is NO WAY these can be legitimate transactions?" Romney tweeted recently that Trump's "brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine" for an investigation of Biden is "wrong and appalling".