UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) — The confrontation between President Donald Trump and Democrats in Congress intensified on Tuesday after the State Department prevented its ambassador to the European Union from giving testimony before parliamentary committees as part of the measures to oust Trump.
Ambassador Gordon Sundland has voluntarily agreed to testify before the House of Representatives, which was expected to question him over pressure Trump may have put on Ukraine to investigate his Democratic rival Joe Biden.
“But early this morning, the State Department instructed him not to go to testify,” his lawyer Robert Luskin said.
While the lawyer said the State Department was behind the decision, Trump was quick to take responsibility for it. He told his followers on Twitter that he wanted to send Sundland to appear before the House of Representatives, “but unfortunately he would testify before a farce court in which the rights of Republicans are taken away, and the general public is not allowed to see the real facts.”
The move, which came hours before Sundown was due to testify, is escalating the standoff between the White House and Democrats who are investigating Trump’s possible irregularities that could isolate him, including obstruction of justice.
The Democrats leading the investigation echo the warning that attempts by the administration to block the investigation would be seen as an obstruction to justice. They reiterated this point on Tuesday after the White House move.
“We consider not to allow this witness to appear as further evidence of the obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress,” Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters.
Democratic presidents of the commissions charged with investigating the investigation announced Tuesday that the White House, “by barring a key player in the Ukrainian question from testifying, is again trying to block the investigation aimed at isolating” Trump.
“We will order Ambassador Sundland” to force him to testify and hand over documents that the State Department does not want him to hand over, they said in a statement.
The White House turned to a counterattack in the delicate investigation, rejecting several Democrats’ requests, saying it was intended to hurt Trump as the next presidential election on November 20 approaches.
On the other hand, in a clear warning, the Democrats went so far as to recall that one of the three reasons that led to the introduction of measures to remove former President Richard Nixon in 1974 before his resignation was to obstruct the work of justice.
-Close to Trump.
Sundeland’s lawyer, who arrived in Brussels from Washington voluntarily to testify before the House of Representatives, said Sundeland hoped to “quickly find a solution to the problems cited by the State Department” to prevent him from giving evidence.
Sundeland is a businessman who has accumulated a wealth of hotel business and co-financed Trump’s campaign and inauguration.
It seems that from his workplace in Brussels this year he participated in the exchange of short telephone messages between a number of diplomats involved in what is known as the Ukrainian issue.
These short messages were delivered last week to the House of Representatives and reinforced Democrats’ suspicions: The US president last summer pressured his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelinsky to urge him to seek information that would embarrass his Democratic rival Joe Biden.
Democrats accuse Trump of abusing his power for personal election purposes, and of later blurring his intervention.
On September 24, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an investigation to remove Trump from office.
– Giuliani’s invitation to appear before the Senate –
“We know that Ambassador Sundland was an active player in efforts to get Ukraine to commit to investigating a fictional conspiracy theory related to the 2016 presidential election, Joe Biden and his son Hunter,” said Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
He also announced that Ambassador Sundland had “very important short messages and emails for the ongoing investigation, but the State Department refuses to hand them over.”
In a short telephone message to Democrats last week, some veteran diplomat Bill Taylor, who works at the US embassy in Kiev, said in a short message dated September 9 that he was surprised to freeze the delivery of military aid to Ukraine to pressure Kiev.
“I am very surprised to suspend military assistance to get help in a political campaign,” Taylor said in his short message.
“Bill, I think you are wrong about President Trump’s intentions. The president was very clear, there is no return in any way,” Sundeland entered to end the exchange of letters to Taylor. Trump echoed the last sentence on Tuesday morning.
Senate Republican Senator Lindsey Graham then announced that he intends to invite Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani to appear before the Senate, where the majority of Republicans are presenting and testify on “corruption” issues in Ukraine.
That means Republicans are paving the way for a media focus on the suspicions Giuliani has been saying for months about Biden and his son.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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