Trump says could 'certainly' ask China's Xi to investigate Biden

Trump says could 'certainly' ask China's Xi to investigate Biden

Mr Trump, meanwhile, pressed forward with his strategy of deflecting the allegations by focusing the narrative on the Bidens, as his Republican allies in Congress sought to put brakes on the impeachment probe.

But there is no evidence the former vice president benefited financially from his son's business relationships.

On Thursday, he said the impeachment inquiry was "crap". In a text, he denied that there was a "quid pro quo", linking assistance to Ukraine to whether Mr Zelenskiy agreed to investigate the Bidens.

Trump alleges that Biden, as vice president in 2014, tried to block a Ukraine corruption probe into his son Hunter´s business partner, a Ukraine gas tycoon, using U.S. aid as leverage.

He said he hadn't directly asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to investigate Biden and his son Hunter but said it's "certainly something we could start thinking about".

The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Sondland finally opted for an emphatically formal tone and reverted to the official line, which allegedly happened after a complaint over the July phone call had been leaked by a Central Intelligence Agency whistleblower, as was reported by the New York Times.

Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine, arrives for a closed-door interview with House investigators.

At a healthcare event in Florida, Trump said Democrats had launched the impeachment investigation because they could not beat him at the ballot box in 2020. The 54-year-old, also a former US ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, appeared before the committees voluntarily.

He later alleged without evidence that China had a "sweetheart deal" on trade with the USA because of the Bidens.

The committee leaders made the text messages public late on Thursday, along with a copy of a letter to other members of the House expressing "grave concern" about what they described as Mr Trump's actions and accusing him of a campaign of misdirection in relation to the impeachment inquiry.

Texts released by Democrats in Congress reveal how United States officials worked to push the Ukrainian president into opening a public inquiry into President Trump's leading opponent, Joseph Biden.

"I don't think it helps in a legal sense, but he's fighting this in the court of public opinion".

Republicans who took part in the interview downplayed what they heard. Representative Jim Jordan of OH was one of them.

I would say President Zelensky, if it was me, I would recommend that they start an investigation into the Bidens.

Trump added: "Likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens". He said Hunter Biden was on the board of the advisory firm that did not directly invest, but instead advised those who did.

Former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Jennifer Rodgers, a former federal prosecutor who teaches law at Columbia University in NY, said Mr. Trump's call for China and Ukraine to pursue one of his 2020 challengers may be a calculated move.

Mr Trump himself has faced multiple allegations that he and his children have enriched themselves through his presidential candidacy and time in office, including spending by the U.S. and foreign governments at his properties. "The best endorsement Joe Biden can get is from Donald Trump", he said. Shokin was removed by then-president Petro Poroshenko in early 2016 after just over a year in the role.

"The president and his aides are engaging in a campaign of misinformation and misdirection in an attempt to normalize the act of soliciting foreign power to interfere in our elections", the chairmen wrote. That message, revealed by a government whistleblower, has spawned the impeachment investigation by the House into whether he abused his office for personal political gain.

In addition to Volker, Intelligence Community Insp.

Mr Taylor has been the top United States diplomat in Kiev since the Trump administration ordered the then-ambassador, Ms Marie Yovanovitch, to return to Washington before the end of her term. "Not one thing", he said.

National Intelligence Insp. Gen. Michael Atkinson leaves a closed intelligence briefing on September 26 on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Asked if he was influential in the removal of the ambassador, Giuliani said, "I just turn my information over" to the State Department.

The Democratic probe could lead to approval of articles of impeachment - or formal charges - against Trump in the House.

A trial on whether to remove him from office would then be held in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Mr Shokin had also shown little appetite for pursuing Burisma.

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