Gordon Sondland lied to Congress
Impeachment: Giuliani confidante received one million dollars from Ukraine
The official vote on impeachment is pending. Meanwhile, a confidante of Rudy Giuliani is on trial. He is said to have financed Donald Trump's election campaign with money from abroad. All information in the news blog.
The Democrats have initiated impeachment proceedings against US President Donald Trump. He is accused of abusing the power of his office. His team has therefore put Ukraine under pressure to investigate the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma, on whose board the son of his democratic rival Joe Biden sat. A whistleblower from the secret service started the affair.
Tuesday, January 14, 2020: 11 a.m .: US security company - Russian hacker attack on Ukrainian gas company Burisma
According to a US security company, Russian agents have launched a hacking attack on the Ukrainian gas company, which is at the center of the impeachment proceedings against US President Donald Trump. Read more about this here.
12:11 a.m.: Pelosi sets impeachment vote for Wednesday
The US House of Representatives will vote on Wednesday to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. This was announced by the chairwoman of the Congress Chamber, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, on Tuesday evening. The date was expected, but has not yet been officially confirmed. Trump had previously written an angry letter to Nancy Pelosi against the Democrats and their plans.
12:10 a.m.: Giuliani's confidante received a million dollars from Ukraine
A Ukrainian-born businessman with ties to US President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani is currently on trial in the US. Lev Parnas was arrested in October along with another Giuliani employee, Igor Fruman, and charged with violating campaign finance laws. In order to buy access, the two donations from abroad are said to have passed on to the Republicans. Money is also said to have flowed into Donald Trump's election campaign. They are also said to have supported Trump's lawyer in persuading Ukraine to investigate Trump's rival Joe Biden and his son. Both men deny the allegations.
The public prosecutor's office has now presented new evidence against Parnas. His wife has received a transfer of one million dollars from a lawyer for the Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash to her account. Parnas had already received the same amount of money from a Russian account in September. It is unclear what the money was sent for. That it could have been a loan makes no sense, as the prosecutor said. Parnas had only given a fortune of just $ 450,000 when he was arrested. The native Ukrainian is under house arrest in Florida during the trial.
00.00 a.m.: Ex-Trump adviser Gates has to go to jail
A former campaign advisor to current US President Donald Trump has been jailed for 45 days. The sentence of a federal court in Washington against Rick Gates reported on Tuesday US media unanimously. Gates pleaded guilty to financial crimes and lied to the FBI federal police in an agreement with US Special Counsel Robert Mueller in February of last year. Gates had cooperated with Mueller in his Russia investigation. The allegations that Gates admitted date back to well before the election campaign. At that time, Gates and Trump's later election campaign manager Paul Manafort disguised millions of dollars in lobbying for Ukraine.
Gates had testified against his former boss Manafort, who is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence. Gates also testified against Trump adviser Roger Stone, who was convicted last month of, among other things, false testimony before Congress. A sentence has not yet been announced. Six people with ties to Trump's campaign team have been convicted or pleaded guilty since 2017.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that prosecutors had not asked for Gates to be detained. Judge Amy Berman Jackson still imposed a jail sentence. The broadcaster CNN reported that Gates was allowed to serve his sentence over a three-year probation period on weekends. Gates was also fined $ 20,000 and had to do 300 hours of community service. Gates said Tuesday, according to CNN, "I take full responsibility for my actions."
Monday, December 16: 3:00 a.m.: Democrats demand testimony from Trump's top advisors
The US is heading for the decisive vote on impeachment proceedings against US President Donald Trump in the House of Representatives. Before it comes to this, probably in the middle of the week, the Democrats have already submitted a proposal to the Republicans in the Senate for further action.
What the Democrats are asking of the Republicans:Four senior White House officials should be heard in the Senate, including Trump's executive chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton. This was written by the Democratic minority leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, in a letter published on Sunday (local time) by several US media to his Republican counterpart, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In it, Schumer suggested starting the procedure in the second week of January. The exact procedure in the Senate is not specified. So Schumer's letter is an attempt to come to an understanding with the Republicans on the same course.
What McConnell could do: The majority leader currently seems to prefer a shorter trial without a lot of fuss over a long one with witness hearings. In such an accelerated process, the senators could decide with a simple majority to have the charges against Trump voted directly - without further witness hearings. He could shorten the process even further. With a simple majority, McConnell could have the impeachment dismissed. Then the proceedings would be closed. However, Trump would not be acquitted.
Which is unlikely either way:That Trump will be removed from office. For a conviction, a two-thirds majority - 67 of the 100 senators - would have to vote for at least one of the counts. That would require 20 Republicans in the Senate to vote with the Democrats. This is currently not foreseeable at all. The Republicans are united behind Trump. A US president has never been removed from office.
Sunday, December 16, 6:14 p.m.: Is the majority shaky for impeachment proceedings?
US Democratic efforts to impeach President Donald Trump are approaching a climax. The House of Representatives could possibly officially open such a process (impeachment) as early as the middle of the week. A majority was actually foreseeable, because the Democrats dominate the chamber. But some moderate MPs are, according to media reports, still undecided or even against.
Trump welcomed the possible move of a Democratic MP to Republicans on Twitter. US media had previously reported, citing unnamed sources, that the New Jersey MP, Jeff Van Drew, who is considered to be moderate, was planning to switch sides in the coming days. The timing would be explosive in view of the upcoming vote. Van Drew had spoken out against impeachment of the president in the past and also voted against it.
Saturday, December 15, 9:39 a.m.: Democrat changes party because of impeachment proceedings against Trump
According to a newspaper report, a Democrat moves to the Republicans to protest against the planned impeachment proceedings against US President Donald Trump. The MP Jeff Van Drew from New Jersey wants to take the step next week, reported the "New York Times", citing people familiar with the considerations. Van Drew was one of the two House Democrats who voted against advancing a case against Trump in late October.
4:12 p.m.: US judicial committee approves charges against Trump
The Justice Committee in the US House of Representatives has spoken out in favor of initiating official impeachment proceedings against US President Donald Trump. The panel accepted both charges of possible impeachment of the president with a majority of Democrats. Trump should therefore answer for abuse of power and obstruction of the investigations of Congress. The vote is a recommendation to the House of Representatives plenary. There, the MPs could vote on the points before Christmas and thus formally open impeachment proceedings against Trump.
Justice Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said, "No matter how popular he may be, no matter how good or bad the results of his policies, no president should be a dictator in the United States." The Republicans accuse the Democrats of undoing Trump's 2016 election victory and wanting to prevent his re-election next year. "The Democrats have never accepted the will of the American people," criticized Republican MP Jim Jordan. His party friend Louie Gohmert said: "That's how it went under Stalin."
The Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives. It is therefore very likely that if there is a vote in the plenary session of the Chamber, sufficient votes will be obtained for the official opening of the impeachment proceedings. However, that does not mean that Trump would actually be removed from office.
After the vote in the House of Representatives, the process continues in the Senate, where Trump's Republicans have a majority. There could already be a trial against Trump there in January. A conviction and removal from office by the Senate, for which a two-thirds majority of 67 of the 100 senators would need, is currently considered highly unlikely. That would require at least 20 Republican senators to side with the Democrats.
9.36 a.m.: Giuliani middleman recently received $ 1 million from Russia
The middleman of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani in the Ukraine affair received a payment of 1 million US dollars from Russia weeks before his arrest and hid it from investigators until the end. The accused Lev Parnas should therefore be in custody until his trial, the responsible US federal attorneys now requested in a letter to the court. The risk of flight is "extremely high". Several US media report on this. Parnas is currently under house arrest.
Parnas and his co-defendant Igor Fruman were arrested in October shortly before he left for Vienna. Both US citizens had one-way tickets only, shortly before they had disregarded summons to hearings in the US Congress. There they should have testified about their activities for Giuliani and Trump. There is evidence that both were in contact with Trump, working for Giuliani in the Ukraine on the smear campaign against the US ambassador and Trump's rival Joe Biden.
Now they are charged with covering up payments from abroad and using them to buy political influence from US Republicans. Both deny the allegations. But Trump's lawyer Giuliani also received several hundred thousand US dollars from Parnas. That's why he is also being screened by investigators. While Giuliani is continuing the campaign in Ukraine, Parnas has already handed over documents and video material to Congress and asks to be allowed to cooperate in the investigation.
Thursday, December 12th, 8.45 a.m.: Trump can be staged as a comic mass murderer
Donald Trump's campaign team has published a short video on Twitter showing the US president as the comic book villain Thanos from the Marvel series "Avengers". "I'm inevitable," says the comic Trump there before the Democrats around Nancy Pelosi are swept away.
The video caused quite a stir, among other things because Thanos in the Marvel Comics is a particularly brutal villain who wiped out half of all living things in the universe.
The artist Jim Starlin, who invented the character, responded on Instagram. At first he was injured because "this inflated fool" was using his work to "caress his infantile ego". But then he realized that the "leader of my country and the free world enjoys comparing himself to a mass murderer". - "How sick is that?"
Another dubious message for Trump: Thanos is stopped and killed by the superheroes in the story at the end.
8.28 a.m.: Republicans: Impeachment process starts in January
The Republicans in the US Senate assume that the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump will start right in the new year. "A Senate trial will have to be our first item on the agenda in January," said Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. At the same time, he accused the opposition Democrats of having "conducted the most careless and unfair impeachment investigation in modern history" in the House of Representatives.
"If the House of Representatives continues on its destructive path and sends us impeachment articles, the Senate will take them in next year and hold a fair trial," McConnell said.
7.25 a.m.: Republicans speak of vendetta against Trump
The Republicans in the US House of Representatives have accused the Democrats of a campaign of revenge in the planned impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. Leading Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Doug Collins, criticized the committee meeting that the Democrats have been vendettas since Trump's election victory three years ago. They wanted to get rid of Trump through impeachment before he won the election again next year. Democratic committee chairman Jerrold Nadler unsuccessfully called on his Republican colleagues to support the charges against Trump.
The Judiciary Committee first looked at the charges against the Republican president presented by the Democrats the day before. These points are prerequisites for impeachment. The Democrats accuse Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of the Congressional investigation. "If we don't respond to President Trump's abuse of power, the abuse will continue," said Nadler. Trump endangers national security and the integrity of the US elections.
December 12, 5:08 p.m .: Next meeting of the committee on Thursday
The Democrats in the US House of Representatives are pressing ahead with preparations for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump: Another meeting of the Justice Committee is scheduled for Thursday. Then the committee could vote on the charges, making a recommendation to the House of Representatives plenary. The president is accused of abuse of power and obstruction of the investigations of the Congress.
Should the MPs also approve the charges in plenary with a majority, impeachment proceedings against Trump would be formally opened. This vote should take place next week, so before Christmas. A majority is foreseeable, because the Democrats dominate the House of Representatives.
12.20 p.m.: Arrested in Germany - Trump broadcaster wanted to bring oligarchs to the USA
The Ukrainian oligarch Olexandr Onyshchenko, who was arrested in Germany, apparently wanted to travel to the United States before he was arrested. The founder of a TV station close to Trump has now confirmed this to the US medium "The Daily Beast". Charles Herring was quoted as saying that his station "One America News Network" had tried to get a visa for Onyshchenko. More Ukrainians should also be brought to the USA in this way.
t-online.de reported on the arrest of the colorful millionaire in Achim, Lower Saxony: He pretends to have incriminating information about Trump's competitor Joe Biden, but is wanted in Ukraine for corruption allegations. Now a decision has to be made in Germany about his extradition. The efforts of a team of Trump confidants to launch an investigation into Biden with political pressure on Ukraine are at the center of the possible impeachment proceedings.
The right-wing broadcaster keeps spreading conspiracy theories that have long been disproved and works closely with Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani in the dirt campaign against the Bidens. That, in turn, plays a central role in the Ukraine affair, repeatedly announcing groundbreaking revelations - and has failed to provide evidence for months. Witnesses he presents are widely decried as corrupt or pro-Russian in Ukraine.
The loyal Trump broadcaster does not care much: only recently, the broadcaster "swore in" some of Giuliani's key witnesses in the TV studio - of course without any legal obligation. Giuliani himself, however, did not want to be sworn in in the US House of Representatives. He stayed away from his hearing despite the summons.
Tuesday 10.December 2019, 3:15 p.m.: Democrats accuse Trump of abuse of office and obstruction of Congress
The Democrats in the US House of Representatives want to impeach President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of parliamentary investigations. Judicial Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler presented the charges. This step is a prerequisite for a vote on Trump's possible impeachment in the plenum of the parliamentary chamber. The background to the action against Trump are allegations from the Ukraine affair.
"One thing is clear: nobody, not even the president, is above the law," said Nadler. The judicial committee will formally deal with the charges later this week, said Nadler. This can then be followed by the actual vote on the charges in the plenary session of the House of Representatives. According to reports, this should also happen before Christmas.
House Justice Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler announced the impeachment charges against Donald Trump to a number of House Democrats. (Source: AP / dpa)
The Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives, so an indictment against Trump seems very likely. Trump would only be the fourth president in US history against whom the House of Representatives has initiated impeachment proceedings.
After the House of Representatives, the process continues in the Senate, where Trump's Republicans have a comfortable majority. There could be a trial against the president in January. A conviction and removal from office by the Senate, for which a two-thirds majority would be required, is currently considered unlikely. To do this, 20 Republican senators would have to change camp.
2:41 p.m.: Trump: impeachment would be "political madness"
US President Donald Trump has described his Democratic impeachment as "sheer political insanity". His term in office has been one of the "most successful presidencies", the economy is doing brilliantly and he has done absolutely nothing, wrote Trump on Twitter.
His tweet came just before a House Democratic press conference calling MPs to announce their charges against Trump.
According to US media reports, they want to remove him from office for abuse of power and obstruction of the parliamentary investigation. The presentation of the charges is an important step on the way to a vote on impeachment in the plenary session of the Chamber of Parliament.
2 a.m.: Reports: Democrats want to announce charges against Trump
According to US media reports, the Democrats in the US House of Representatives want to announce specific charges for the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump this Tuesday.
There will be at least two charges, the "Washington Post" as well as the channels CNN and Fox News reported on Monday evening (local time). Trump is accused of abuse of power and obstruction of the work of Congress.
According to the Washington Post, the charges will be promulgated by Democratic committee chairmen. The judiciary committee should then debate them on Thursday.
Monday, December 9, 4:35 p.m.: Democrats: Trump has put his own interests above those of the country
The Democrats in the US House of Representatives are pressing ahead with preparations for a possible impeachment proceedings against US President Donald Trump. At a hearing in the judiciary committee, committee chairman Jerrold Nadler said: "He has violated his most basic duties to the people. He has broken his oath." Trump's Republicans again denied the allegations. The leading Republican MP on the Judiciary Committee, Doug Collins, spoke of a "fairy tale".
At the hearing, both Democrats and Republicans reviewed the results of the investigation into the Ukraine affair conducted by the House Intelligence Committee in the House of Representatives over the past few weeks. Both sides exchanged their known positions at the meeting. It also became clear that the Republicans continue to stand behind the president, who categorically rejects all allegations.
Democrat Nadler said: "The integrity of our next election is at stake. Nothing could be more urgent." Collins said, however, that the impeachment process sought was politically motivated to prevent Trump from winning again in November next year. The background is that the Democrats do not have a candidate who could beat Trump.
At the hearing, Democratic Legal Adviser Barry Berke said: "The evidence that the president has abused his power is overwhelming." He added, "President Trump has done what a president of our nation cannot do." Republican legal advisor Stephen Castor accused Democrats of being "obsessed" with impeachment since Trump took office in January 2017. The bases for this are "nonsense".
In a next step, the judicial committee now has the task of drafting specific charges against Trump. Nadler had told CNN on Sunday that a decision on which charges would ultimately be put to the vote would only be made after the hearing on Monday. It is speculated that the judiciary committee could vote on the charges later this week. Next week - before Christmas - a vote could then be scheduled in the plenary session of the House of Representatives.
9.50 a.m.: Biden's family no longer wants to do business abroad if he wins the election
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has given assurances that his family members will not do business overseas if he is elected US president. In contrast to the relatives of the current President Donald Trump, his family would "not participate in any foreign company", he told the television broadcaster HBO on Sunday. "If we want to talk about problems, let's talk about Trump's family."
Biden also defended his son Hunter's previous position on the board of directors of a Ukrainian gas company, which had been sharply criticized by the Republicans. He admitted that he knew little about his son's work. When asked if he wanted to know more about it, he replied, "No, because I trust my son."
Hunter Biden's activities resulted in the Ukraine affair, because of which Trump is currently facing impeachment proceedings in the United States. The Democrats accuse the president of having asked Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Zelenskyi to investigate Joe Biden and his family.
7.20 a.m.: Decision on charges is imminent
The House Judiciary Committee will meet for another hearing on Monday (3 p.m. CET). Representatives of Democrats and Republicans from the Chamber's Secret Service Committee are to present the results of the investigations there.
The secret service committee of the House of Representatives had questioned various high-ranking government employees as witnesses to the Ukraine affair and presented a final report. The judicial committee now has the task of drafting specific charges against Trump. Democratic committee chairman Jerry Nadler told CNN on Sunday that preparations were under way. A decision as to which charges would ultimately be put to the vote will only be made after the hearing on Monday.
It is speculated that the Judiciary Committee could vote on the charges this week and then the House of Representatives plenary next week - before Christmas. When asked whether a vote in his committee is conceivable this week, Nadler said on Sunday: "It is possible." But he doesn't know.
Sunday, December 8, 10:31 a.m.: Ukrainian press exposes Trump's campaign
While Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani continues to vigorously unearth incriminating material about Trump's competitor Joe Biden in Ukraine, the Ukrainian press exposes the campaign: According to it, many of the witnesses Giuliani uses for his alleged investigations are "questionable." Call". The "Kyiv Post" published a corresponding title page from October again on Twitter.
According to this, Giuliani met again this week with former Attorney General Viktor Shokin, who was removed from office in 2016 after months of ongoing public protests. He was accused of corruption. Giuliani's other interlocutors were the confidante of an oligarch close to the Kremlin and a former pro-Russian MP - the man named Leonid Derkach used to work for the Soviet secret service KGB.
Unlike the Ukrainian press, however, US President Trump seems fully and completely convinced of Giuliani's so-called investigations. Giuliani will submit a report to both US Attorney General Bill Barr and the US Congress, he said, according to US media. "He has a lot of good information, he says." Trump had recently denied that he was giving Giuliani instructions with regard to Ukraine or that he was informed about his actions.
Saturday, December 7, 2019, 9:38 p.m .: Report on the basics of impeachment published
The Democrats on the Justice Committee of the US House of Representatives have submitted a 52-page report on the constitutional basis for impeachment of the President. This lists the general legal and historical implications of impeachment proceedings - including details of the offenses that are relevant to it, such as bribery or abuse of office. You can find the original report HERE.
9.29 a.m.: 500 legal scholars against Trump
In an open letter, over 500 legal scholars from renowned US universities support the assessment of three law professors who recently testified before the US Judicial Committee. According to the now published open letter, US President Donald Trump committed offenses in the Ukraine affair that justify impeachment. "(...) President Trump broke his oath of office (...)", it says in the letter. The US Congress acts in the process within its constitutional rights. The Washington Post reported first. You can find the original of the letter HERE.
A single legal expert invited by the US Republicans had contradicted his three colleagues on the committee - there was not enough evidence that Trump was personally guilty of criminal offenses. In the impeachment proceedings against the then Democratic US President Bill Clinton, however, he had taken the view that no criminal offense was required to justify the impeachment.
One of the other professors pointed out to him during his objections that it was the blockade of the White House that had prevented important testimony so far. The obstruction of the work of the congressional committees by the US government also plays an important role in the taking of evidence in the Ukraine affair.
6.37 a.m.: White House sticks to boycott of investigations
The White House is sticking to its boycott of the impeachment investigation. President Donald Trump's legal advisor, in a letter to the chairman of the judiciary committee, made it clear in a sharp tone that the White House will continue to refrain from sending representatives to the panel's hearings on the Ukraine affair. The impeachment investigation was "unfounded" and violated basic rules of procedure and principles of fairness, wrote legal advisor Pat Cipollone.
Friday, December 6, 2019, 8.16 p.m.: Ukrainian oligarch arrested in Germany
The end of the Ukraine affair is now also reaching Germany. According to research by t-online.de, a glamorous oligarch has been arrested in Germany. The Ukrainian claimed to have information against the Biden family. In Ukraine, however, there is a search for corruption allegations itself. Read more about this here.
1:45 p.m.: Trump called Giuliani on unsecure phones
According to a report in the Washington Post, security experts are concerned about the US president's disregard for security protocol. According to this, current and former US officials confirmed that Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani in the Ukraine affair had made many phone calls over non-tap-proof lines. This makes it possible for Russian secret services to overhear all calls. This means they would know more than the investigative committees in the USA, they may have access to incriminating material or they could adapt their strategy.
"Congress and investigators have the phone data that certainly suggests things, but have no means of getting the actual context," said John Sipher of the Washington Post, the former deputy head of the CIA department for Russia. "I guarantee the Russians have the real information."
Trump had repeatedly attacked the Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the US election campaign for alleged violations of the security protocol. His question about emails she sent via private accounts almost became a household word. According to the Washington Post report, Trump now regularly uses his own phone because he allegedly does not want documents relating to his conversations to be made in the White House.
Thursday, December 5th, 9 p.m .: An angry Pelosi and a mocking Trump
Trump reacted with derision to a press conference by Democrat Nancy Pelosi. The chairman of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, responded with a rare outburst of anger when asked if she hated President Donald Trump.
"Nancy Pelosi just went crazy." She said that she was praying for the president, he continued and added: "I don't believe her, not a bit."
"I don't hate anyone," Pelosi replied on Thursday to a question from a journalist in Washington. "As a Catholic, I am annoyed that you use the word 'hate' in a sentence to refer to me."
The Democrat front woman stopped, headed for the journalist, gestured vigorously and said she would not allow him to confront such allegations. Pelosi eventually returned to the lectern for a lengthy statement in response to the question.
"Don't mess with me when it comes to words like that." She was brought up to love her neighbor and always pray for the president.
5 p.m .: Trump: "We'll win!"
US President Donald Trump is combative in the face of further preparations for impeachment proceedings against him. The Democrats in the House of Representatives wanted to initiate an impeachment process "for nothing," wrote Trump on Twitter. The Republicans are more united than ever. "We will win!"
He also warned that the instrument of impeachment could in future be used "routinely" to attack other presidents. "That's not what our founders had in mind."
3:30 p.m.: House of Representatives drafts charges against Trump
The US House of Representatives is taking the next important step for possible impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. The chairman of the Congress Chamber, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, announced on Thursday in Washington that charges should now be drafted against Trump.
Trump has committed abuse of office, undermined national security and endangered the righteousness of the US elections, Pelosi said in a televised statement. "The president leaves us no choice but to act," added the Democrat.
9.37 a.m.: He just continues: Trump attorney back in Ukraine
The US President's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is one of the key figures in the Ukraine affair - and has now traveled to Ukraine again for his alleged investigation into Trump's rival Joe Biden. The "New York Times" and correspondents from other US media reported Giuliani was back in Ukraine. The goal of the trip was a so-called TV documentary in which Giuliani wanted to rebut the allegations against Trump in the course of the impeachment investigation, reported the "New York Times".
According to the report, Giuliani traveled to the Hungarian capital Budapest on Tuesday and continued to the Ukrainian capital Kiev on Wednesday to meet former Ukrainian prosecutors, several of whom were vacated on corruption allegations. In Budapest he met the former Ukrainian attorney general Yuri Lutsenko. Those familiar with the events told the New York Times that Giuliani would also meet Lutsenko's predecessor Viktor Shokin.
When asked about the meetings, Giuliani said: "Like any good lawyer, I collect evidence to defend my client against false allegations." Giuliani is accused of having built a shadow diplomacy to Ukraine with the help of several Trump confidants: It was intended to use official US means of power to advance Trump's personal political campaign against Biden. The US House of Representatives Secret Service Committee recently published its report.
12:20 a.m.: Trump's son Barron mentioned in the hearing - Melania reacts angrily
According to the American First Lady Melania Trump, children have an absolute right to privacy and must not be instrumentalized for political purposes. She said law professor Pamela Karlan, who made her son Barron part of her political argument during a congressional hearing, "should be ashamed". Karlan was clearly an angry and partisan person, wrote Donald Trump's wife on Twitter on Wednesday (local time).
The constitutional lawyer from the prestigious Stanford University was summoned by the Democrats as a witness before the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives on Wednesday. Karlan was heard on the question of whether the current state of affairs in the Ukraine affair is sufficient to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Trump. In an answer, the lawyer wanted to highlight the difference between the president and a king. "While the president can name his son Barron, he cannot make him a baron," she said. There was brief laughter in the audience.
Later in the session, after the First Lady and others criticized her statement, Karlan apologized for her remark about Trump's son. The 13-year-old is Trump's youngest and only child with Melania. Barron usually does not go public, he can only be seen getting on and off when he is flying with his parents.
Wednesday, December 4, 7:05 p.m.: Another expert criticizes Democrats as being hasty
A supplement to the previous entry: The only three law professors quoted there were summoned by the Democrats. The Republicans invited the fourth expert - and, as expected, he supports their criticism of the process.
Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, said the Democrats were too quick to investigate and still lack evidence against Donald Trump. The Democrats currently tend to have the impeachment vote before Christmas.
6.30 p.m.: "President Trump must be held accountable"
Several law professors accuse US President Donald Trump of offenses in Congress that they believe justify impeachment. Trump abused his office for his personal gain and clearly committed offenses that could be punished with impeachment, said Harvard University legal expert Noah Feldman. Trump's request to the head of a foreign government to investigate a political rival would be a relevant offense. There are also indications of further offenses by the president.
Stanford University law professor Pamela Karlan also said testimony in Congress over the past few weeks showed that the president had abused his office to take action against a competitor in the next election. "President Trump must be held accountable." Another expert from the University of North Carolina followed suit.
A law professor at George Washington University, however, backed the president: Jonathan Turley warned that he was concerned that in this case the standards for impeachment should be artificially lowered. Trump did not do everything right, but the conditions for impeachment proceedings were not met. "This is wrong."
3:45 p.m.: Lawyers assess Trump's misconduct
With the hearing in the Judiciary Committee, the preparations begin
Democrats continue for possible impeachment proceedings against US President Donald Trump. Several constitutional lawyers will be heard. You should classify the results of the report of the intelligence committee. It states that Trump, with his "significant misconduct" in the Ukraine affair, endangered the national security of the US and the integrity of the 2020 presidential election. You can follow the hearing in the live stream above.
12:19 p.m.: Scandal in the committee - top Republicans in distress
So far the chairman of the Republican Secret Service Committee has denied the allegations, but the committee's report corroborates the suspicion: According to the telephone data contained therein, Devin Nunes himself was in contact with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and the meanwhile accused middleman Lev Parnas, who are both in the center of Ukraine Affair. The chief investigator for the Republicans in the committee is thus further troubled.
Parnas had previously announced through his lawyers that he had arranged meetings with Ukrainians for Nunes in Europe in search of compromising material about Trump's competitor Joe Biden. Nunes, on the other hand, had denied everything - and sued CNN for reporting. The phone data now drag him back into the affair. Should Nunes have withdrawn from the investigation?
He could not remember the conversations, said Nunes in an interview with "Fox News". The US Democrats have requested an ethics investigation against Nunes. Also up for debate is whether he misappropriated public funds for the political campaign. Congressional financial records show that he flew to Europe at the taxpayer's expense during the period in question.
10:25 a.m.: A comprehensive indictment against Trump
The Democrats are putting forward a comprehensive indictment against Donald Trump - providing an interesting new piece of evidence. Are the points enough for impeachment? An analysis by Fabian Reinbold, Washington.
Tuesday, December 3, 8:21 p.m.: Committee report sees "overwhelming" burden of proof against Trump
From the point of view of the Democrats in the US House of Representatives, the investigation into the Ukraine affair has unearthed "overwhelming and indisputable evidence" of President Donald Trump's abuse of office. The Democratic-led Intelligence Committee released a report on Tuesday (local time) claiming that the president's "significant misconduct" endangered US national security and the integrity of the 2020 presidential election.
You can find the original full report HERE.
"The president has put his personal political interests above the national interests of the United States, has sought to undermine the integrity of the US presidential election, and has endangered national security," the report said. The investigation had clearly shown that Trump's wrongdoing was systematic and intentional, and that it was not isolated cases or the naivete of an inexperienced president.
The chairman of the intelligence committee, Adam Schiff, warned that urgent action must now be taken. Otherwise there is a threat of further corruption and influencing the election in the coming year. Schiff said the report sets out how the president tried to get an ally to do the "political dirty work" for him. Trump was ready to sacrifice US national security in order to gain an advantage for himself. The burden of proof against Trump was "overwhelming and undisputed," wrote Schiff on Twitter.
The Democrats also criticized in the 300-page report that Trump was the first president in US history to attempt to completely block investigations by the House of Representatives into a possible impeachment. In addition, Trump intimidated witnesses, which he may have violated the law. Intimidation of congressional witnesses is up to 20 years imprisonment, it said.
11.49 a.m.: These four professors should now testify
The Justice Committee of the US House of Representatives is calling four law professors to the stand for its first impeachment session tomorrow, Wednesday. They should be asked about the constitutional requirements for impeachment proceedings - and whether, from their point of view, the evidence gathered so far by the secret service committee forms a sufficient basis.
Legal scholars from the most renowned universities in the country were selected for the survey. Take the stand:
- Prof. Noah Feldman, Harvard Law School
- Prof. Pamela S. Karlan, Stanford Law School
- Prof. Michael Gerhardt, University of North Carolina School of Law
- Prof. Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Law School
The hearings are scheduled to begin on Wednesday at 4 p.m. Central European Time. As always, t-online.de will broadcast the session in a live stream.
9.25 a.m.: How Trump takes advantage of the NATO summit
With the meeting of the NATO allies in London, the US president is distracting from the impeachment investigations, writes Washington correspondent Fabian Reinbold.
Monday, December 2, 10:25 p.m .: Republicans release report - and witness contradicting
The Republicans on the US House of Representatives Committee on Intelligence have dismissed the Democrats' allegations against President Donald Trump in the Ukraine affair as baseless. There are no reasons to justify the impeachment of the president, it said in a report by the Republican MPs published on Monday (local time).
Accordingly, there is no evidence that Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine in return for investigations against his rival - and there is nothing wrong with it, even if it had been so. The investigations into impeachment proceedings promoted by the Democrats were driven by their "obsession" to undo the results of the US election in 2016, it said. It is an "orchestrated campaign to overturn our political system," wrote the Republicans.
The report contradicts central testimonies and is apparently intended to counteract that of the democratically dominated secret service committee, which has compiled the evidence so far. Both reports will now be sent to the judicial committee, which will initiate the next stage in the impeachment investigations on Wednesday.
The Republican spokesman for the Secret Service Committee, Devin Nunes (left) with his advisor: Nunes is himself involved in the affair - but now he and his colleagues have published a report on the investigation. (Source: Alex Edelman / Getty Images)
3:30 p.m.: Ukrainian President comments on Trump's affair
The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Selenskyj, comments on the impeachment investigations in the USA. There the House of Representatives is investigating whether US President Donald Trump has abused the power of his office by trying to use a personal shadow diplomacy to force Ukraine to investigate his rival Joe Biden. Military aid approved by Congress was withheld for this.
Now Zelenskyi said in a joint interview with several international media, including the news magazine "Spiegel": "As far as the United States is concerned: I don't want us to look like beggars. But you have to make it clear that we are at war. And if you are our strategic partner, then you shouldn't block any help. For me it's about fairness. "
He does not want "Ukraine to be a figure on the chessboard of the great powers, that we can be pushed around, pushed or sold off". When the US said that Ukraine was a corrupt country, it was "a very harsh signal," said the head of state.
At the same time he denied a so-called "quid pro quo", a barter: investigations into military aid and a meeting in the White House. "I never spoke to US President Trump in this attitude - I'll give you this, you give me this. I miss that completely." In this way, however, he spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
2 a.m.: Trump refuses to attend the hearing
US President Donald Trump will not formally attend the impeachment hearing. The White House said in a letter to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on Sunday that it would not be sending a legal representative to Wednesday's hearings.
Trump's legal advisor, Pat Cipollone, wrote in the Reuters letter to Democrat Jerrold Nadler that Trump's team "in fairness cannot be expected to attend a hearing unless witnesses have been named and it remains unclear whether the judicial committee will." Through further hearings, the President will enable a fair trial. " Cipollone said in the letter that the White House would respond to an invitation to a second hearing according to the Friday deadline.
The House Judiciary Committee scheduled its first hearing on December 4th as part of its review of impeachment proceedings against the US president. The committee chairman Jerrold Nadler explicitly invited Trump to attend the meeting or to be represented by a lawyer.
Sunday, December 1, 4:18 p.m.: Donald Trump criticizes the timing of the impeachment hearing
US President Donald Trump has criticized the Democrats for their time management in the investigation into a possible impeachment process.
"I will represent our country in London to NATO while the Democrats hold the most ridiculous impeachment hearings in history," Trump wrote on Twitter.
He criticized the fact that a date set for the coming week would overlap with the NATO summit. Trump will travel to London on Monday to attend the NATO summit on Tuesday and Wednesday like German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other heads of state and government.
The Justice Committee in the US House of Representatives has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday, to which Trump and his lawyers have also been invited. Democratic committee chairman Jerry Nadler wrote in a letter to the president that Trump could take the chance to attend the hearings, "or he can stop complaining about the process." Trump calls the investigation, which could lead to impeachment proceedings, a "witch hunt".
The planned hearing will deal with the historical and constitutional basis of impeachment proceedings. The Republicans called on Nadler in a letter published by US media on Saturday to widen the circle of experts who should be heard to show that "the impeachment investigation is not just political theater".
Friday, November 29, 2 a.m .: allegations of sexual misconduct against key witness Gordon Sondland
A key witness against US President Donald Trump in the Ukraine affair is accused of sexual misconduct by three women. The women raised allegations against top US diplomat Gordon Sondland on Wednesday. Accordingly, the former hotel magnate reacted with professional reprisals because the women rejected him. Sondland, who made highly explosive statements in front of cameras in the Ukraine affair a week ago, dismissed the allegations as "politically motivated".
The women said in an article published Wednesday by the Propublica website and Portland Monthly magazine that Sondland tried forcibly to hug and kiss them. He also touched her immorally. All three women were in professional contact with Sondland, the allegations date from 2003 to 2008.
Sondland dismissed the allegations in the article as politically motivated. "These false accusations of forced touching and kissing are fabricated," he said. He believed that it was "a coordinated action for political reasons," he told the two media outlets.
Thursday, November 28, 10:07 p.m.: Trump's lawyer did lucrative business with Kiev
Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani may have had closer ties with Ukraine than he has previously admitted. According to US media reports, he was negotiating lucrative deals worth several hundred thousand dollars with high-ranking members of the power apparatus in Kiev. Until now, Giuliani had always denied business connections to the Ukraine.
As the "New York Times" and the "Washington Post" report, Giuliani was negotiating with the then Ukrainian attorney general Jurij Lutsenko about becoming a legal advisor. Giuliani was supposed to represent Lutsenko in a dispute with the authorities over the return of allegedly stolen goods.
Giuliani met Lutsenko in New York at the beginning of the year and a little later in Warsaw. The talks should then also have been about the procurement of information that should help Giuliani's client Donald Trump in the 2020 election campaign to harm his rival Joe Biden.
2:59 p.m.: Trump distances himself from his lawyer Giuliani
Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has set up a shadow diplomacy in Ukraine without instructions, according to the US President. Donald Trump said that in an interview with former Fox News presenter Bill O'Reilly. When asked what Giuliani should do for him in Ukraine, Trump replied that he did not know, "you would have to ask Rudy that". He is only one of his clients, Giuliani has more. When asked if he had instructed his lawyer to go to Ukraine for him, he said, "No."
This directly contradicts Giuliani's statements that he worked in Ukraine for the US President and the State Department. Citing the confidential relationship between the lawyer and the client, he had therefore refused to make any statement to the Congressional Committee of Inquiry. Now it remains to be seen whether he can continue to use this defense strategy. Observers are already speculating about whether Giuliani will take the blame and be pardoned by the US president. Most recently, he had repeatedly assured that the President would not let him down - but that he was "insured".
Shortly before, media reports made it public that prosecutors were examining the lawyer's financial transactions and international contacts more broadly than previously known. According to a report by Reuters news agency, investigators are considering numerous possible offenses. Two of his business partners and intermediaries in the Ukraine affair have already been charged. One of them says he is willing to cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies and Congress.
3.49 a.m.: Justice Committee invites Trump - is he coming?
The Justice Committee in the US House of Representatives has invited President Donald Trump to his first hearing in the impeachment process. The hearing is scheduled for December 4th, the committee announced. Trump is not obliged to attend the appointment.
"The president is now faced with a choice: either he can take this opportunity to be represented in the impeachment hearings or he can stop complaining about the investigations," declared the chairman of the judicial committee, Democrat Jerrold Nadler. "I hope he decides to participate."
The House Intelligence Committee that chaired the impeachment hearings is expected to release the evidence in a formal report shortly before the hearing. The report provides the basis for the judicial panel to review formal charges. A proposal for a House vote will then be made. The White House initially did not respond to a request for comment.
3.10 a.m.: Two resignations because of the Ukraine affair
Two important details have emerged regarding Donald Trump's controversial freeze on military aid to Ukraine, which is at the center of the affair. For one thing, the move had provoked more resistance in government headquarters than was previously known. Two employees of the administrative and budgetary authority, based in the White House, have resigned from their posts after protesting the freeze on funds.
That was the result of a statement by a senior employee of that agency in front of the House of Representatives. The minutes of the interrogation were released in Washington local time late Tuesday evening.
Read the statements by Mark Sandy and Philip Reeker HERE and HERE.
Trump had withheld the funds approved by Congress in the amount of 391 million dollars in the summer. The allegations are that he did this to force Ukraine to investigate his domestic rival Joe Biden.
In mid-September, Trump released the money after all - after a complaint from a whistleblower was received in Congress. There is also news about this: According to the New York Times, Trump was informed of the complaint at the end of August. In it, the anonymous whistleblower sounded the alarm because of the withholding of funds. So Trump already knew about the allegations against him when he later released the funds.
Tuesday, November 26th, 3:43 pm: "Let Lev speak" - Congress should summon witnesses to the crime
According to reports, he has already handed over extensive material on US President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani to investigators - now the accused Ukraine middleman Lev Parnas apparently wants to testify before the secret service committee of the US Congress. His lawyer went on the offensive in the short message service Twitter with a campaign: "Let Lev speak". Parnas has "solid first-hand evidence" that is of national interest. According to this, the US president knowingly worked with Parnas when he arranged contacts for Giuliani in Ukraine.
Parnas and his business partner Igor Fruman are charged with concealing foreign cash payments and thereby buying political influence in the USA. For this, funds were allegedly passed on to several US Republicans. He is a central figure in the Ukraine affair, as he acted as mediator for Trump's personal lawyer Giuliani. He had initially ignored a summons from the Intelligence Committee, but was arrested shortly afterwards when he was about to leave the country.
He is said to have personally attended several meetings between Giuliani and Ukrainians. Most recently, it became known that he was also arranging meetings for the US Republicans' spokesman for the committee of inquiry, Devin Nunes. The US Democrats have therefore also requested an investigation against Nunes.
10:22 am: Judgment: "Presidents are not kings"
Although the Justice Department will continue to take legal action against the verdict in the McGahn case, many observers already see the court's decision as a tough reckoning with Trump's defense strategy. In both the Russia and Ukraine affairs, the White House claims that government officials do not have to obey subpoenas from Congress. Judge Jackson finds pithy words in the 120-page reason for this. The magazine "Politico" made the document available online.
"Simply put, the primary focus of 250 years of documented American history is that presidents are not kings," Jackson said at one point. "Absolute immunity" of government employees is fiction because it simply does not exist, it is said elsewhere. She compares the position of the Justice Department with George Orwell's famous novel "Animal Farm", which describes a totalitarian communist system. There it says, as stated in the footnotes of the judgment: "All animals are the same, but some animals are more equal than others." That is the same point of view.
1.00 a.m.: Trump's ex-employee McGahn has to testify in Congress
Former White House Head of Legal, Don McGahn, has to obey a House Committee summons and testify in Parliament. Federal judge Ketanji Brown Jackson said on Monday that he could not invoke the immunity of high government officials or reasons of national security. It is also not in the power of the President to exempt one of his employees from completing such a summons from Congress.
Nobody is above the law, said the judge. Which information the employees are actually allowed to disclose to the congress is, however, partly regulated by other regulations. According to US media reports, the Justice Department wanted to appeal the judge's decision.
The Justice Committee had summoned McGahn as part of the investigation into the possible influence of Russia on the US elections. McGahn had answered questions from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, but the government wanted to prevent him from testifying in parliament. Committee chairman Jerry Nadler welcomed the decision and said McGahn was a "key witness" in clarifying whether Trump had obstructed Mueller's investigation. The court's decision is also seen in the context of the impeachment hearings.
Monday, November 25, 11:40 p.m .: Democrats are setting the pace
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Democrat Adam Schiff, announced on Monday that a preliminary report on the state of the investigation would soon be sent to the Justice Committee of the Chamber of Congress. The evidence of misconduct on the part of the president is "clear and can hardly be denied".
The report should therefore be handed over to the judiciary committee soon after the congressional break on the Thanksgiving holiday, said Schiff. Thanksgiving is next Thursday and Congress will meet again on December 3rd. Nevertheless, evidence would continue to be collected, and further witness hearings are possible, explained Schiff.
He accused the government of an "unprecedented campaign" to obstruct the House of Representatives investigation. A dozen witnesses had followed Trump's orders to ignore subpoenas from Congress. The White House, the State Department, the Defense Department and other government agencies withheld relevant documents. As the next step in the investigation, charges against Trump are to be formulated in the Justice Committee of the House of Representatives.
12.45 p.m .: "Secret Mission for Trump"? Defendant hands over video footage
According to his lawyer, the accused Giuliani middleman Lev Parnas is fully prepared to cooperate with law enforcement and Congress. The man at the center of the Ukraine affair could make a decisive contribution to the clarification: According to previous knowledge, he arranged numerous meetings with Ukrainians on behalf of the Trump lawyer and tried to get material for the dirt campaign against the Democrat Joe Biden himself.
Now a new detail is known: Apparently Parnas has already made photo, audio and video material available to the secret service committee, documented the meeting with Giuliani - and also with US President Donald Trump. The broadcaster ABC reports. So far it is unknown what the material shows. Additional material is said to be available to New York prosecutors who are investigating Parnas.
CNN had previously reported that, after a private meeting in the White House, Parnas said he was on a "secret mission for Trump": he should put pressure on the Ukrainian government to investigate the Bidens. Accordingly, there was a chain of command: Trump - Giuliani - Parnas. The US President has so far denied knowing Parnas, although photos of meetings with both Trump himself and his son exist.
9.45 a.m.: Chief Republicans in the committee themselves involved in an affair
For the US Republicans, he leads the impeachment investigations on the responsible intelligence committee: Congressman Devin Nunes. There he has so far not distinguished himself as a scout but as a defender of the president. Now it comes out: It is possible that he himself is involved in the affair that could cost Donald Trump the office. This is suggested by reports of the same name from the US medium "The Daily Beast" and the broadcaster CNN.
Accordingly, the accused middleman of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani incriminates him heavily. According to his lawyer, Lev Parnas arranged for the MP to meet Ukrainians in Europe - to unearth compromising material about Trump's democratic rival Joe Biden. Equal efforts by Trump and his team are the subject of the impeachment investigation.
Nunes would therefore be in the lead in investigations that concern himself - and thus in a serious conflict of interest. The US Democrats have therefore requested an investigation by the ethics committee. According to a Newsweek report, Nunes spent $ 57,000 in taxes on his private investigations in Europe. He is therefore also accused of misappropriating public funds. Nunes denies the allegations.
Friday, November 22, 4:38 p.m.: Trump calls for a trial in the Senate
US President Donald Trump has called for an impeachment process in the Senate if the House of Representatives should actually vote for impeachment against him. "I want a lawsuit," said Trump in an almost hour-long telephone interview with Fox News. Trump said he had done nothing wrong and therefore does not expect impeachment proceedings at all. If so, he wants a real trial in the Senate, in which he too could name witnesses.
The Democrats in the US House of Representatives are investigating possible impeachment proceedings against Trump. They accuse the president of abusing his office to urge the Ukrainian government to interfere in the US election campaign in his favor. At the end of this investigation, the House of Representatives could officially resolve an impeachment procedure with a vote. The decisive body would then be the US Senate, which would take on the role of a court in such a process. Trump's Republicans have a majority there. It is therefore highly unlikely that Trump would actually be removed from office at the end of a potential trial in the Senate.
9.20 a.m.: FBI employee is said to have manipulated the document
New findings in the investigation against Donald Trump? According to the broadcaster CNN, a former lawyer with the Federal Police FBI is being investigated who allegedly changed a document. This was in connection with the monitoring of an advisor to Donald Trump during the 2016 election campaign.
Thursday, November 21, 5:07 p.m.: Investigations against White House meetings?
Fiona Hill also comments on an explosive detail. Namely, the Ukrainians, in the form of their president, have been promised a meeting with Trump. The price was an investigation against Hunter Biden. Ambassador Sondland and Trump's chief of staff Mick Mulvaney were key figures.
5:02 p.m.: Holmes: Was Zelensky "under pressure"? - "Correct"
It is a key question in Holmes' questioning: Was Ukrainian President Zelenskyi "under pressure"? "Correct," replies the expert. Regarding "Biden, Burisma and the 2016 election". Burisma is the company in question that Joe Biden's son Hunter worked for. This is followed by another complex of the survey. Holmes replied to the question whether the key figures in the affair were aware early on that the keyword "Burisma" actually meant "Biden".
4:55 p.m .: Hill quotes her ex-boss John Bolton: "Giuliani is a hand grenade"
John Bolton was Trump's security advisor, now Fiona Hill is being asked about his opinion on Rudy Giuliani, a key figure in the Ukraine affair. Hill quotes him: "Giuliani is a hand grenade."
16.29: t-online.de correspondent Fabian Reinbold classifies the Hill statement:
Regarding Hill's central statement that misinformation about Ukraine plays such a central role in the affair, one has to note that Trump's view of Ukraine is actually shaped by a conspiracy theory: namely, the idea that somewhere in Ukraine there is a Democratic Party computer server camp, which holds information about the real originators of the hacker attacks against the Democratic Party in the 2016 election campaign - and is therefore hidden.
In fact, there is no such server. And Western intelligence services and IT security companies agree that the hacking attack was carried out by Russian hackers from military intelligence - with the aim of helping Trump.
4.20 p.m.: T-online.de correspondent Fabian Reinbold follows the hearings in the congress:
16:18: Hill: "The goal of the Russian government is to weaken our country"
In her brief statement, Fiona Hill expresses her conviction that the goal of the Russian government is to "weaken our country". The US should be warned that Russia will try to rig the 2020 elections as well. The Russian government wants to delegitimize the American presidency. Hill warns against "giving them even more food that they can use in 2020".
4.10 p.m.: After David Holmes, Fiona Hill is now speaking
David Holmes has finished his statement, now Dr. Fiona Hill, Russia expert and ex-Security Council employee.
4:04 p.m.: Holmes quotes Sondland: "The President only cares about the big things"
David Holmes was very irritated by the conduct of his government in Ukraine. In an exchange with Gordon Sondland, he admitted that Trump was not interested in Ukraine. The president only cares about "big things". "Big things that benefit the president," Sondland said. Like the "Biden Inquiry".
3:54 p.m.: Witness Holmes reports on the explosive Trump-Sondland phone call
The phone call between Donald Trump and Gordon Sondland on July 26th is explosive, as David Holmes now describes. Among other things, he was able to follow it because the "voice of the president was very loud". During the phone call with Sondland, Trump asked whether Ukrainian President Zelenskyi would initiate an investigation. The latter replied: "He will do it." Sondland added that Zelenskyi would do "whatever you ask of him".
15.43: Holmes: Giuliani's demeanor "overshadowed" US policy in Ukraine
Rudy Giuliani is a central figure in the Ukraine affair. Now the witness Holmes also comments on the behavior of the Trump attorney. This "overshadowed" the positive policy of the former US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. Giuliani played an "active role" in Ukraine politics.
3:39 p.m.: Trump attacks Holmes ’statement on Twitter
David Holmes claims to have overheard Sondland's phone call with Trump. Donald Trump doubts this while Holmes ’testimony, as he tweeted:
No one can therefore overhear an entire phone call.
3:33 p.m.: David Holmes begins with his testimony
Holmes introduces himself by emphasizing that he has been deployed in Kiev since 2017. He has dedicated his entire career to serving his country.
3:14 p.m.: Witnesses Fiona Hill and David Holmes: The new round of impeachment hearings begins
After the sensational statement by the US Ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, another high point is now imminent in the impeachment investigation against US President Donald Trump. This time, former Security Council employee Fiona Hill and US diplomat David Holmes, who works in Ukraine, will answer questions in the House of Representatives.
Fiona Hill's statement is likely to be about the role of Rudy Giuliani, who is accused of a parallel Ukraine policy bypassing the Foreign Ministry. Also, David Holmes is heard. The diplomat said behind closed doors that he overheard Sondland's phone call with Trump on July 26th in Kiev. Trump asked in the phone call whether Zelenskyi would initiate an investigation into Biden. Sondland replied: Zelenskyi will do anything "as you ask him".
1:21 p.m.: Trump attorney Giuliani denies witness allegation
The personal lawyer of US President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, denies a key point of the impeachment investigation: In an interview with Blaze TV, the 75-year-old said on Wednesday that he had never given US military aid to Ukraine with key figures in the affair discussed.
The Democrats in the US House of Representatives want to find out whether Trump used military aid equivalent to around 361 million euros as leverage to bring Ukraine to investigations that could help him in the US election campaign.
Giuliani was Mayor of New York from 1997 to 2001 and also takes on an advisory role for Trump. Among other things, he is accused of having conducted talks with the Ukraine through official channels in order to initiate investigations against Biden.
5.00 a.m.: More testimonies are pending
The next witnesses appearances are due: On Thursday (3 p.m. CET) a former employee of the National Security Council, Fiona Hill, and a diplomat from the US Embassy in Ukraine, David Holmes, will be questioned in the House of Representatives. According to the Democrats, the US ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, reiterated central allegations against Trump in the Ukraine affair on Wednesday. Trump, on the other hand, was exonerated by the key witness’s statement.
The witness Fiona Hill: The former head of the Russia and Europe Department of the National Security Council - like other witnesses - has already testified behind closed doors. According to the transcript, she had quoted Trump's then National Security Advisor, John Bolton, in unflattering terms. Accordingly, Bolton described the Trump lawyer because of his Ukraine engagements as a "hand grenade that will blow us all up".
The witness David Holmes: The US diplomat deployed in Kiev testified behind closed doors that he overheard his phone call with Trump on July 26 at a lunch with Sondland in Kiev. Sondland has confirmed the phone call that Trump had previously denied. Holmes said Trump asked Sondland during the phone call if Zelenskyi would initiate an investigation. Sondland replied: "He will do it." He added that Zelenskyi would do "whatever you ask of him".
2.00 a.m.: Pentagon employee: Ukraine knew about the withholding of US military aid
According to a Pentagon employee, Ukraine knew of withholding US military aid earlier than previously known. The high-ranking Pentagon employee Laura Cooper told the US Congress on Wednesday that at the time of the phone call between US President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25, Kiev already knew about the freeze of million dollar aid.
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