Trump impeachment inquiry: Ukraine aid withheld on president's instructions, reveal internal emails

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"This email from Michael Duffey - approximately 90 minutes after President Trump's call with the president of Ukraine - is all the more reason why we need Duffey and others to testify in a Senate trial", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on Twitter. In it, Trump asked Zelensky to "look into" the allegations that Ukraine helped Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign and the role Joe Biden had in firing the chief prosecutor who had investigated the Ukrainian gas company that employed Biden's son, Hunter.

Roy Blunt refused to directly answer whether Trump asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Bidens was appropriate.

Democrats said the documents, posted online by the Center for Public Integrity late Friday, proved Trump's "direct involvement" in the Ukraine matter.

Despite testimony from 17 officials that Trump leveraged his office for political gain, the president has maintained his innocence denouncing the inquiry as an "attempted coup" and an "assault on America".

Although administration officials previously said the president had ordered the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to withhold aid to Ukraine as early as 12 July, a declassified White House memorandum documenting Trump's call contradicts the officials' accounts.

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Trump is the 45th president in the country and plans to be reelected in 2020 for a second four-year term. McCarthy's motion failed, and debate began shortly thereafter. " Impeachment is a political decision".

"Given the sensitive nature of the request, I appreciate your keeping that information closely held to those who need to know to execute the direction", Duffey added in the message.

The email is time-stamped 11.04am - an hour and 31 minutes after Trump's controversial July 25 phone call with Zelensky ended, according to a summary of the conversation released by the White House. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland made it clear that the provision concerning the new aid payment was a dealbreaker.

The historic votes on Wednesday won the support of nearly all Democrats in the House chamber but not a single Republican, leaving Mr Trump as only the third president in USA history to be impeached.

"It's reckless to tie the hold of funds to the phone call".

Officials were anxious about the hold from the start, Public Integrity reports. "This email is explosive", Mr Schumer said.

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And to the extent that Trumka and labour comes out and says that this is an improvement, I think that that will be unifying". The Democrats announced support for the deal the same day they introduced articles of impeachment against U.S.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) and US President Donald J. Trump (R) during a meeting on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in NY back in September.

The first line of Duffey's response is redacted.

"The President has asked about this funding release, and I have been tasked to follow-up with someone over there to get more detail", Duffey emailed to the Pentagon Comptroller Elaine McCusker on 19 July.

Mike Duffey, a former Wisconsin GOP chair who Trump appointed to run the OMB's national security division, also indicated in the July 25 email that he wanted to hide the hold.

He is only the third United States president to be impeached and faces trial in the Senate, possibly in January.

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