‘No one is above the law’: Trump to face an impeachment inquiry


An official impeachment inquiry into the president has been announced by Nancy Pelosi following a whistleblower’s complaint.

                              'No one is above the law': Trump to face an impeachment inquiry

An official impeachment inquiry is being launched into US President Donald Trump.

Nancy Pelosi announced the House of Representatives will examine whether Mr Trump sought Ukraine’s help to smear former vice president Joe Biden, the frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

At a news conference, the US House Speaker said: “The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law.”

She also claimed that Mr Trump’s actions had “seriously violated the constitution” and amounted to “a betrayal of our national security”.

                              'No one is above the law': Trump to face an impeachment inquiry

Mr Trump responded by labelling the action “garbage” and “presidential harassment”.

A whistleblower had submitted a complaint which is believed to relate to the Republican president’s 25 July phone call with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky.

                              'No one is above the law': Trump to face an impeachment inquiry

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US media reports claim Mr Trump repeatedly asked Mr Zelensky to investigate unsubstantiated charges that Mr Biden, when he was vice president, threatened to withhold US aid unless a prosecutor who was looking into a gas company in which his son was involved was fired.

Donald Trump reacted angrily to Mrs Pelosi’s announcement, tweeting: “Such an important day at the United Nations, so much work and so much success, and the Democrats purposely had to ruin and demean it with more breaking news Witch Hunt garbage. So bad for our Country!

“They never even saw the transcript of the call. A total Witch Hunt!”

He continued, writing in block capital letters: “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!”.

The president then posted a pre-prepared campaign video attacking Democrats for having the “sole purpose” of trying to impeach him.

The Trump administration has been under growing pressure to release a transcript of that call – with the president initially refusing to let Congress see the complaint.

But prior to Mrs Pelosi’s confirmation that impeachment proceedings would begin, Mr Trump tweeted that he has “authorized the release tomorrow of the complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine”.

He added: “You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call. No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo! This is nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!”

                              'No one is above the law': Trump to face an impeachment inquiry

Mrs Pelosi, who had long been reluctant to bring proceedings, teased her announcement earlier on Tuesday. She told reporters she would be making a statement on calls for impeachment after she met with “my chairman, my leadership and my caucus”.

Democrat John Lewis said: “I truly believe the time to begin impeachment proceedings against this president has come. To delay or to do otherwise would betray the foundation of our democracy.”

                              'No one is above the law': Trump to face an impeachment inquiry

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Mrs Pelosi, alongside Steny Hoyer, House majority leader, also said there will be a vote on Wednesday on a resolution condemning Mr Trump’s alleged actions to block the release of the whistleblower’s complaint.

In a statement they added: “The House will vote on a resolution making it clear Congress’s disapproval of the Administration’s effort to block the release of the complaint and the need to protect the whistleblower.”

They urged their fellow members to put party politics aside and to focus on maintaining the “integrity of our democracy, respect for the rule of law and defending our Constitution”.

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