U.S. diplomat thought it was "crazy" to withhold Ukraine aid

Former U.S. special representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker attends the 15th Yalta European Strategy annual meeting entitled The next generation of everything at the Mystetsky Arsenal Art Center in Kiev Ukraine on Sept. 15 2018

Trump's pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is the subject of the House Democrats' impeachment investigation.

PRESIDENT TRUMP has shifted his solicitation of foreign assistance for his reelection campaign from private phone calls to live television.

"The President can not use the power of his office to pressure foreign leaders to investigate his political opponents", tweeted House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who is leading the impeachment inquiry.

A transcript of Trump and Zelensky's phone call (pdf) released last week showed that Zelensky said that he hoped "very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes to Ukraine". "And by the way, likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine", Trump said. "This president is scared, and he's acting out", the Louisiana congressman said. "So we told them we wouldn't attend", said Marc Short, the vice president's chief of staff, using an abbreviation for the U.S. Secret Service.

"I think it's insane to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign", Mr Taylor said in another text.

A man armed with a knife killed at least four people inside a police headquarters in Paris, reports CNN.

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"We are carefully considering our legal options to seek redress against Congress and individual members, for engaging in an organized effort to exceed their limited powers, under the Constitution, and to trample on the constitutional rights of citizens in an illicit plan carried out by illegal means, to remove the President of the United States, on deliberately falsified charges", Mr. Giuliani said in a since-deleted series of tweets. The agency polices campaign finance laws.

Biden took to Twitter and offered his reaction. "The vice president reported back to the President after the meeting and the aid was released". He later claimed in written answers to questions from special counsel Robert Mueller that he made the appeal to Russian Federation "in jest and sarcastically, as was apparent to any objective observer".

"We do not comment on conversations between the President and the vice president", Short said.

Pelosi dismissed that characterization at a news conference on Wednesday, saying: "It's not flawless - it's wrong". "They should investigate the Bidens". "And so Masha, by doubling down on corruption and making it kind of her leitmotif of her tenure as ambassador, was doing exactly what she should have been doing and what U.S. policy has been in Ukraine for quite some time". The complaint alleges Trump used "the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 election", and that Attorney General Bill Barr and Trump's personal attorney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, also appear to be involved in the effort. Hunter Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, Burisma, at the same time his father was leading the Obama administration's diplomatic dealings with Kiev.

The documents were posted on the House Foreign Affairs Committee website on Thursday night, just hours after the former U.S. emissary to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, spoke with members of several House committees about his role in the Trump-whistleblower scandal.

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