#TrumpMeltdown: Prez asks China to investigate Joe Biden and son Hunter
Embroiled in an impeachment investigation, US President Donald Trump seems to be snatching on to branches as he called on another nation to probe former vice president Joe Biden. Attending a press conference outside the White House, Trump said, “China should start an investigation into the Bidens.” He said he hadn’t directly asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to investigate Biden and his son Hunter but said it’s “certainly something we could start thinking about.”
Trump is taking the Congress head on as his administration refuses to co-operate with an impeachment inquiry into the US President’s efforts to solicit foreign interference in next year’s election. Legislator leading the probe, Adam Schiff has warned that the investigation would expand to include allegations of obstruction of justice if Trump failed to turn over key documents and allow government witnesses to testify.
In a couple of public appearances, the President lashed out in all directions. He called for Schiff to be investigated for “treason”, labelled the whistle-blower whose complaint sparked the impeachment probe a “spy”, and called one of his potential rivals for the presidency “stone-cold crooked.”
Yesterday, Democratic chairman of the House intelligence committee, Schiff said he would subpoena White House documents related to the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Schiff said failure to turn over information would constitute obstruction, which is a possible ground for impeachment. Meanwhile, Congress is already in investigating Trump for possible abuse of power over his discussion with Zelensky.
Just yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed that he was also on the call and had earlier this week to allow five State Department officials to testify as part of the investigation. At a Capitol Hill press conference with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Schiff said, “We want to make it abundantly clear that any effort by the Secretary, by the President or anyone else to interfere with the Congress’ ability to call before it relevant witnesses will be considered as evidence of obstruction of the lawful functions of Congress.”
A rough transcript of Trump’s call with Zelensky reveals his asked his counterpart to investigate Joe Biden, one of the leading contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination over his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine.
At his end, Trump while at an Oval Office meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, accused the whistle-blower of espionage. He took aim at Schiff for delivering a paraphrase of the call at a committee meeting the previous week, claiming that such an action constituted “treason”.
He grew visibly snappy at a joint press conference with Niinisto as he faced questions about the burgeoning scandal. “Look, Biden ad his son are stone-cold crooked,” Trump said. When pressed on what exactly he had wanted the Ukrainian government to do with Biden, the Prez refused to answer and even berated the reporter who asked the question.
The conference gave way to top trending #TrumpMeltdown on Twitter. Trump’s clash with Congress could set up a legal battle if the Democrats seek a court order to force the President to hand over evidence for their inquiry.