By Aaron Miller-
U.S president Donald Trump has been accused of blackmailing Ukraine by threatening to withhold military aid to the country unless the country’s new president announced a corruption inquiry into mr. Biden.
In the first public impeachment hearings , Bill Taylor, the acting U.S ambassador to Ukraine, said a member of his staff was told Mr Trump was most interested in pushing for a probe into Mr Biden than he was in Ukraine as a whole. Mr Bidden is a front runner candidate to the 2020 elections , and is no favourite of mr. Trump.
Adam Schiff, the Democratic Chairman of the Intelligence Committee overseeing the impeachment inquiry, said the purpose of the inquiry was to establish whether Mr Trump “abused his power and invited foreign interference in our elections”.
“If this is not impeachable conduct, what is?” he added. In response to questions from reporters after the hearing, Mr Trump said: “I know nothing about that, first time I’ve heard it.”
The senior Republican on the Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, who is a staunch ally of the president, denounced the inquiry as “a televised theatrical performance staged by the Democrats”.
The call was with Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, who reportedly told the president over the phone from a restaurant in Kyiv that “the Ukrainians were ready to move forward”. The staff member “asked ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine”. Mr Taylor said: “Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden.