Pressure on US president donald trump in the ukraine affair is mounting: democrats in the house of representatives are demanding that the white house hand over numerous documents under threat of punishment.
In addition, according to a lawyer, there is a second tipster from intelligence circles who has first-hand knowledge of some of the transactions. The person has already spoken to the head of the internal control agency of the intelligence services, lawyer mark zaid told the television station ABC on sunday. Zaid and his partner andrew bakaj also represent the first tippler. Via twitter, bakaj stated the firm now represents "multiple whistleblowers".
Trump did not immediately respond on twitter to latest development. However, he had written on saturday evening that another whistleblower "with second-hand information" was now coming from the bureaucracy that was hostile to him. He wrote: "let them come!" trump had repeatedly criticized the tipster for not relying on first-hand information. The second informant is now said to have been directly involved in trump’s policy toward ukraine – and could therefore be even more dangerous for trump.
Trump is accused of encouraging ukrainian president volodymyr selenskyj to investigate his rival joe biden and his son hunter in a phone call in late july. Democrats see this as trump’s attempt to win the election with the help of a foreign government. Trump denies the allegations, which were made public by a complaint from the first tipper. Democrats in the house of representatives have therefore initiated preparations for impeachment proceedings.
They issued an ultimatum to the white house on friday evening (local time): should the administration not produce the documents by 18. If biden produces the requested documents on october, it will be seen as obstructing the investigation and used against trump, the chairmen of the three investigating committees warned. They also requested extensive documents from vice president mike pence.
The white house has not complied with previous requests to voluntarily turn over documents, the letter from the three committee chairmen to trump’s acting chief of staff mick mulvaney said. That is why they have now resorted to a judicially enforceable request, known as a subpoena. "We regret that president trump has put us – and the entire country – in this situation, but his actions have left us no choice but to issue this subpoena," the presiding officers wrote.
Trump again vented his anger about the crackdown on twitter on saturday. The whole process is "a fraud on the american people," he repeated earlier accusations. The president called republican senator mitt romney, who had been critical of him, a loser and an "arrogant "ass" and called for his removal. Romney had called trump’s call for ukraine and china to investigate the dealings of his political rival joe biden "wrong and frightening".
If the government refuses to hand over the documents, a lengthy legal dispute is likely to ensue. The white house has so far left open whether or to what extent it will cooperate with congressional investigations. The deputies argued in their letter that the government must bow to parliament’s oversight role in this matter and cannot hide behind government secrets as an excuse.
The whistleblowers could make the parliament’s investigations much easier: as long as they follow the intended path via the independent inspector general of the intelligence services, they can disclose internal information without fear of reprisals.
Secretary of state mike pompeo, from whose agency documents had also been requested, said saturday that the department had responded to parliament with an "initial" letter. However, he did not specify the contents of the letter. Pompeo promised to "do everything the law asks us to do," but qualified that this was about politically motivated investigations.
Trump confident of victory despite mounting pressure. Democrats could push impeachment proceedings in the house of representatives, but it will fail miserably in the majority republican senate at the latest, trump said friday. "We’re going to win," he said. The senators were also aware, they said, that he enjoyed the greatest popularity in the party.
Democrats allege trump withheld aid money for ukrainian military as leverage. He also reportedly made a meeting with selenskyj at the white house contingent on the initiation of an investigation into biden. On thursday, trump had also encouraged china to investigate the bidens.
Trump accuses biden of seeking the dismissal of ukraine’s attorney general as u.S. Vice president to protect his son hunter from the judiciary. Hunter biden was at the time at a ukrainian gas conze rn employed. According to trump, he also profited from his father’s role in deals in china. So far, trump has not provided any evidence of this. Joe biden, who is running for the democrat presidential nomination in 2020, rejects the accusations as politically motivated.
On sunday, trump followed up via twitter, claiming hunter biden made $100,000 a month in ukraine without experience and bagged $1.5 billion in china. "There is no way that these are legitimate transactions," he wrote. Until recently, trump had claimed that biden earned 50,000 u.S. Dollars a month in ukraine.