Home NEWS Republicans demand Hunter Biden and whistleblower appear at televised Donald Trump impeachment...

Republicans demand Hunter Biden and whistleblower appear at televised Donald Trump impeachment hearings

22
0
republicans-demand-hunter-biden-and-whistleblower-appear-at-televised-donald-trump-impeachment-hearings

Republicans have demanded that Joe Biden’s son and an anonymous whistleblower should give evidence during highly anticipated televised impeachment hearings this week.

It came as America’s big three networks – CBS, NBC and ABC – all announced wall-to-wall coverage. They will break into scheduled programming to carry the sessions live, so voters can watch the case against Donald Trump.

The three witnesses at the hearings on Wednesday and Friday will be George Kent, a top State Department official, William Taylor, a US diplomat in Ukraine, and Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine.

But Republicans want to her from the whistleblower who kickstarted the impeachment inquiry after complaining about a July 25 telephone call between Mr Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Mr Trump is accused of holding up $392 million in military aid in an effort to pressure Mr Zelenskiy into investigating Joe Biden, and his son Hunter, for corruption. Mr Trump vehemently denies doing so.

Hunter Biden sat on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, while his father, as vice president, was heading Ukraine policy for the Obama administration.

Congressman Devin Nunes, the lead Republican on the House intelligence committee, which will host the televised impeachment hearings, demanded Hunter Biden and the whistleblower appear.

But Adam Schiff, the Democrat committee chairman, refused to call them, and accused Republicans of trying to turn impeachment into a “sham investigation of the Bidens.”

The televised impeachment inquiry sessions come 46 years after America was transfixed by the Watergate hearings. Around three quarters of the US population watched at least some of the Watergate hearings on television.

A major difference this time will be social media, with Republicans and Democrats able to react instantly to developments.

Days before the hearings Republicans appeared increasingly fractured over how to defend the president.

Some Republican senators and members of Congress have stuck to Mr Trump’s description of his call with Mr Zelenskiy as “perfect,” and maintained there was no “quid pro quo” offered by the president.

Others have suggested there was an “appropriate quid pro quo”. And, some said his behaviour raised concerns but did not rise to the level of impeachment. There were also some who refused to discuss the matter at all, on the basis they would be jurors in an eventual Senate trial of Mr Trump.

Several Republican senators declared they would not even watch the televised hearings this week.

They included Lindsey Graham, a friend of Mr Trump, who called it a “sham”. He added: “It’s being driven by political people. I think this is a bunch of crap.”

Alex Conant, a Republican strategist, said: “It’s not good. It’s hard to rally people to your side without a coherent and sustainable message.”

Meanwhile, Mick Mulvaney, Mr Trump’s acting chief of staff, asked a court to decide whether he should adhere to a request from Congress to give evidence privately to the impeachment inquiry.The White House has ordered him not to do so.

As he prepared to watch the televised hearings Mr Trump attended a college American football game in Alabama, where more than 100,000 people packed into a stadium.

When Mr Trump appeared on a big screen he was cheered and there were chants of “USA, USA.”

Outside the stadium an inflatable 20ft-high “Baby Trump” protest balloon was slashed and deflated. A man reportedly ran at the balloon with a knife and cut an 8ft long gash in it.

Local police said Hoyt Deau Hutchinson, 32, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief.

Mr Trump’s reception in Alabama was a sharp contrast to the booing when he attended a World Series baseball game in Washington two weeks ago

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here