US President appears ever-more agitated by proceedings that could derail presidency
James Reinl – November 21, 2019
Trump took to Twitter to blast the proceedings at the same time as Fiona Hill, a Russia expert and former White House adviser, and David Holmes, a senior staffer at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, gave testimony on Capitol Hill.
The 45th president lashed out at Adam Schiff, the Democrat leading the impeachment inquiry in Congress, and urged fellow Republicans to stiffen their resolve against what he termed abuses of the impeachment process against him.
“Corrupt politician Adam Schiff’s lies are growing by the day,” Trump wrote.
“Keep fighting tough, Republicans, you are dealing with human scum who have taken Due Process and all of the Republican Party’s rights away from us during the most unfair hearings in American History……”
In his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, Holmes said he saw big changes at the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, in March 2019, when Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, got enmeshed in U.S. foreign policy.
Washington’s approach to the war-ravaged eastern European nation “became overshadowed by a political agenda being promoted” by Giuliani and a “cadre of officials operating with a direct channel to the White House,” said Holmes.
Also on the fifth day of public impeachment proceedings, Hill, who reported directly to John Bolton when he was National Security Adviser, called Giuliani a “hand grenade” whose behavior in Ukraine was “incendiary” and “explosive.”
The Democratic-led House of Representatives launched impeachment proceedings against Trump on Sept. 24 following claims by a whistle-blower that the commander-in-chief had sought to pressure Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 US presidential elections.
In a July 25 telephone call, Trump allegedly made $400 million in military aid to help Ukraine fight Russian-backed separatists and a coveted White House meeting for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky contingent on a “quid pro quo” arrangement.
In return, Zelensky was supposed to open corruption probes into former US Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter, who served on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma, as well as into alleged Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
The elder Biden is a leading candidate in the race to win the Democratic nomination and challenge Trump in 2020. Trump, a Republican, has accused Democrats of time-wasting and says the inquiry amounts to a “witch hunt.”