U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out Monday at House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, questioning if the high-profile Democrat should be arrested for treason.
“Rep. Adam Schiff illegally made up a FAKE & terrible statement, pretended it to be mine as the most important part of my call to the Ukrainian President, and read it aloud to Congress and the American people,” Trump said on Twitter. “It bore NO relationship to what I said on the call. Arrest for Treason?”
Trump’s attack renewed his calls of potential “treason” against Schiff from the weekend. At issue is Schiff’s embellishment of the details during a hearing last week regarding a July 25 telephonecall Trump held with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Schiff has defended his remarks by saying they were intended as parody.
During the call, Trump repeatedly asked Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, over unsubstantiated claims of corruption. The elder Biden is the leading Democratic nominee heading into next November’s presidential election, making him a clear political rival to the president.
Trump has repeatedly maintained the call was “perfect” and denied any sort of wrongdoing. The president has acknowledged the call and freezing aid to Ukraine just days before, but denied he held up funding to pressure Zelensky, insisting there was no “quid pro quo” — a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something.
Trump additionally continued to heap criticism on the whistleblower whose complaint brought the story to light, and kickstarted an ongoing congressional impeachment investigation.
“The Whistleblower knew almost nothing, its 2ND HAND description of the call is a fraud!” Trump said.
The individual, whose identity has remained unknown to this point, said in the nine-page complaint he or she received information from “multiple U.S. government officials” alleging Trump was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”
That included requests to have Zelensky investigate the Bidens during the July 25 telephone call.
During the call, Zelensky brings up a potential arms purchase from the U.S., which Trump then responds to by asking for a favor.
“I would like you to do us a favor,” Trump said.
“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution, and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great,” he said. “I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call, and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call, and we will get to the bottom of it. I’m sure you will figure it out.”
Trump was referring to his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
The whistleblower is expected to testify “very soon,” Schiff said Sunday, noting it will be done in a way to protect his or her identity.
Mark Zaid, a lawyer for the individual, said discussions are continuing “to coordinate & finalize logistics but no date/time has yet been set.”
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