Democrats ‘making progress’ in Trump impeachment probe

WASHINGTON

Democrats are “making progress” in an ongoing investigation into the U.S. president’s dealings with Ukraine, said a lawmaker leading the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Adam Schiff, the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee chairman, said Democrats were trying to work “expeditiously” and to be methodical in their work, according to the political newspaper The Hill.

“I think we’re making rapid progress, and that’s our goal,” said Schiff.

Earlier in the day, Philip Reeker, the acting Assistant Secretary of State’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, testified before House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry. The testimony occurred behind closed doors.

Schiff’s comments came a day after Trump once again slammed the impeachment inquiry by Democrats and said his lawyers should sue the Democrats and “Shifty Adam Schiff” for fraud. He tweeted “The Democrats must end this Scam now. Witch Hunt!”.

He further defended the July 25 telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that has been at the heart of the impeachment probe, referring to it as “perfect.”

During the call Trump repeatedly pressed Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter, over uncorroborated claims of corruption.

Doing so raised concerns the president solicited the aid of a foreign leader to undermine a political opponent heading into next year’s presidential election. The elder Biden is a leading Democratic candidate for the race.

Also at issue is the president’s decision to hold up $400 million in congressionally-appropriated military funding to help Ukraine defend against Russia.

Trump has denied any quid pro quo took place, but the House is examining the matter as part of its inquiry.

U.S. Ambassador William Taylor, who was Washington’s top diplomat in Ukraine, testified Tuesday that Trump made the aid, as well as a White House meeting with Zelensky, contingent on Kiev investigating the Bidens, as well as debunked theories it was Ukraine, not Russia, who interfered in the 2016 election.
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