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Biden urges investigation into Trump Ukraine call

25 Comments
By Amanda Becker and Jonathan Landay

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, a frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, on Saturday called for an investigation into reports that President Donald Trump pressed his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Biden and his son.

"This appears to be an overwhelming abuse of power. To get on the phone with a foreign leader who is looking for help from the United States and ask about me and imply things … this is outrageous," a visibly angry Biden said while campaigning in Iowa.

"Trump is using this because he knows I'll beat him like a drum and is using the abuse of power and every element of the presidency to try to do something to smear me," Biden said.

Trump's July 25 telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is at the center of an escalating battle over a whistleblower's complaint reportedly concerning the U.S. leader's dealings with Ukraine that the administration has refused to give Congress.

The Wall Street Journal and other news outlets on Friday said Trump repeatedly asked Zelenskiy to investigate unsubstantiated charges that Biden, while vice president, threatened to withhold U.S. aid unless a prosecutor who was looking into a gas company in which Biden's son was involved was fired.

Trump, reports said, urged Zelenskiy, a comedian who had just won election, to speak with Trump's personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, has promoted the allegations against Biden and his son, Hunter, and acknowledged that he pressed for a Ukrainian investigation.

Biden has admitted threatening to withhold aid unless the prosecutor was dismissed, a demand also made by the wider U.S. government, the European Union and other international institutions for his alleged failure to pursue major corruption cases.

The news reports about the Zelenskiy phone call have intensified demands by Democratic lawmakers for the House of Representatives to launch impeachment proceedings against Trump, and have elevated the controversy to a major campaign issue.

Trump denied doing anything improper. He wrote in a series of tweets on Saturday that his conversation with Zelenskiy was"perfectly fine and routine." He accused the "Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party" of staying "as far away as possible" from the Biden allegations.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko on Saturday denied in an interview with a Ukrainian news outlet suggestions that Trump had pressured Zelenskiy.

Biden, responding to a reporter's question at the Polk County Democratic Party's annual steak fry in Des Moines, denied that he had ever spoken to his son about his business dealings in Ukraine.

"You should be looking at Trump. Everybody looked at this and everybody who’s looked at it said there’s nothing there. Ask the right question," continued Biden. “You should be asking him the question: why is he on the phone with a foreign leader, trying to intimidate a foreign leader?”

Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of Biden's main rivals in the Democratic primary race, reiterated in Des Moines that she believes Trump's reported actions should be the subject of impeachment proceedings in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"It is time for us to call out this illegal behavior and start impeachment proceedings right now," Warren said in remarks at the steak fry.

The House Intelligence Committee is demanding it be given the whistleblower's complaint in line with a finding by the inspector general for the intelligence community that the matter met the legal threshold for transmission to Congress.

Acting Director of National Security Joseph Maguire, however, decided against providing the complaint to the committee after he consulted with the Justice Department, and reportedly the White House.

Maguire and his top lawyer contended the complaint did not meet the legal guidelines for submission to the committee, prompting Democrats to accuse Maguire of breaking the law.

Three House committees already were investigating the Trump-Zelenskiy call in part because the Ukrainian government's readout of the call appeared to show that he had encouraged Zelenskiy to pursue a Biden investigation.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

25 Comments

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Notice how quiet Republicans in Congress are?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Also notice how Trumpy did not relent on Ukraine aid voluntarily. Congres force him to give the money. If up to Trumpy, the US would have continued blackmailing Ukraine until they fabricated the anti-Biden story Trumpy demanded.

Treason. Straight up.

Where are the Republicans in Congress?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I said yesterday that a Ukraine collusion investigation was warranted and here we are.

First step is sanctions on Ukraine.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This is odd seeing how it was Biden in the first place who used his S of S position to get the initial investigation into his sons business canceled.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Where are the Republicans in Congress?

Same place they’ve been for three years - hiding inside Lyndsey Graham’s turtle shell.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yeah liberals keep forgetting that 1 billion dollars Biden was withholding. This is a Biden scandal and Trump is within his rights to ask for the results of any investigation

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

He wrote in a series of tweets on Saturday that his conversation with Zelenskiy was"perfectly fine and routine."

Perfectly fine and routine ... for a morally-bankrupt sleezeball who has spend his entire life engaged in unethical and illegal behavior.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

First step is sanctions on Ukraine...how about putting sanctions on Trump like not allowed to use the phone no internet and not to stay awake after 9....just a thought..

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yeah liberals keep forgetting that 1 billion dollars Biden was withholding. This is a Biden scandal and Trump is within his rights to ask for the results of any investigation

Trump tax returns.

Once again, and as always:

But, you guys!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

As for the Trump story however, in a sane world, I would think that it's crazy that a president would need to be investigated for something he said to another foreign leader, and placing such restrictions on a president would be crippling to the ability of a president to preside.

I never realized that there would be the possibility that a president would potentially commit crimes against his country.

BUT, if Trump is held to account for things he has said nefariously now, it opens up the possibility of the Republicans holding a Democratic president to account for things they don't like him saying in the future. Which would cripple a presidency.

So I'd have to say that this should be dealt with in a non-transparent way, through closed committee Congressional hearings, with the results sealed for a number of years. A president should not be crippled while presiding, but if (s)he has performed misdeeds, said misdeeds should become known to the public at some point, so that their legacy can be seen in an honest light.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Trump's attempted corruption with Ukraine has the same stink as Watergate all over it. A lying President, inept "fixers", hidden transcripts and tapes, an amateur cover-up...

Expect Donnie to tweet "I'm not a crook"....

If he doesn't resign, he should be impeached and forced to leave in disgrace.

But given the weak, craven and un-American Repubs in the Senate, he may get away with it....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Perfectly fine and routine ... for a morally-bankrupt sleezeball who has spend his entire life engaged in unethical and illegal behavior.

Ahhh, so now Biden is hoping the tables can be turned on him, go ahead, the head of DNI said, there’s no quid pro quo and given the fact the Democrats did the exact same thing to Trump and tried to justify their antics using a fake dossier and now they claim outrage? Really? Well, Biden won’t be the nominee anyway, so it’s all good in the end, but even so, let’s check into Biden as well, let’s check his son, Hunter and if there’s nothing, fine.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Well, Biden won’t be the nominee anyway, so it’s all good in the end, but even so, let’s check into Biden as well, let’s check his son, Hunter and if there’s nothing, fine.

Speaking of children, what I'd like to check on is Don Jr and Eric saying they get all the money for the Trump Organization they need from Russia, all the while Daddy is saying they have zero business with Russia...

https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/21/how-russian-money-helped-save-trumps-business/

And all those Chinese trademarks Xi approved for Ivanka's business while she's working in the White House? Suspicious....

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/06/ivanka-trump-gets-initial-approval-from-china-for-16-trademarks.html

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why isn't the fake-news media calling for Trump to resign every day? Is it the deep-state? Globalists? Elites?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Speaking of children, what I'd like to check on is Don Jr and Eric saying they get all the money for the Trump Organization they need from Russia, all the while Daddy is saying they have zero business with Russia...

Duly noted and also both Joe and Hunter should be investigated, as for Trump, I think he’s so used to it now, the Democrats tried...still trying to find whatever they can and still nothing and even after weaponizing 40 FBI agents led by crooked cop, 19 Hillary supporting angry Democrat lawyers via using a fake dossier and nothing on any of it, nothing that would even come close to case calling for incarceration. Now let’s see what the Biden’s have, if nothing so be it. Fair is fair in the game of Russian collusion.

https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/443637-peter-schweizer-hunter-biden-needs-to-testify-on-ukraine-china-business

https://heavy.com/news/2019/09/joe-biden-ukraine/

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

A total of thirty-four individuals and three companies were indicted by Mueller's investigators.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Duly noted and also both Joe and Hunter should be investigated, as for Trump, I think he’s so used to it now, the Democrats tried...still trying to find whatever they can and still nothing and even after weaponizing 40 FBI agents led by crooked cop, 19 Hillary supporting angry Democrat lawyers via using a fake dossier and nothing on any of it, nothing that would even come close to case calling for incarceration. Now let’s see what the Biden’s have, if nothing so be it. Fair is fair in the game of Russian collusion.

Duly noted? That seems to be the standard Trump answer to all of the crime and corruption of the Trump Crime Family. He's sexually assaulted 19 women! Duly noted. He's admitted to grabbing them by the ____! Duly noted. He said he'll take dirt on an opponent from a foreign government! Duly noted.

Hey, Trump has just admitted to having a three-way with Stormy and Mike Pence's wife! Duly noted.....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Duly noted and also both Joe and Hunter should be investigated, as for Trump, I think he’s so used to it now

I am all for investigating the Bidens, as long we investigate Trump and get his tax returns.

The fact that Trump is used to it is nothing to boast about. Trump corporation is a criminal enterprise and he has bought the same level of criminality into his administration.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hey, Trump has just admitted to having a three-way with Stormy and Mike Pence's wife! Duly noted.....

Very inappropriate comment.

Dem's just soar cause they do not have front runner candidate worth a darn.

Biden son's have always been sketchy as hell.

Fact check.

https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2019/may/07/viral-image/fact-checking-joe-biden-hunter-biden-and-ukraine/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Dem's just soar cause they do not have front runner candidate worth a darn.

Dems have plenty of front runners, but the right wing nutters are running scared.

Each day brings out a new level of criminality from our criminal in chief. The nutters should be worried about the future of the party.

Criminal, corrupt, racist, fascist.........., that’s how these 4 years of GOP rule will be remembered as.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ulysses

In your version of reality maybe. Keep telling yourself that as we go another 4 and beyond.

Democrats worthless!

“It's funny how humans can wrap their mind around things and fit them into their version of reality.”

― Rick Riordan,

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

In your version of reality maybe. Keep telling yourself that as we go another 4 and beyond.

Next 4 years in prison, or in Russia with Moscow Mitch.

”It’s funny how humans can wrap their minds around things and fit them into their version of reality”.

Couldn’t have put the delusions of the right wing nutters better.

Thanks for for the quote.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Trump repeatedly asked Zelenskiy to investigate unsubstantiated charges that Biden, while vice president, threatened to withhold U.S. aid unless a prosecutor who was looking into a gas company in which Biden's son was involved was fired.

I don't really see how this is illegal. I guess the democrats are getting desperate.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

*Hey, Trump has just admitted to having a three-way with Stormy and Mike Pence's wife! Duly noted.**....*

Very inappropriate comment.

Definitely, and saying you can grab women by the _____? Or how about some white supremacists are "very fine people?" Or calling some countries "Shi&holes"? Maybe saying one of our cities is "infested"? Let me guess, not so much.....

Dem's just soar cause they do not have front runner candidate worth a darn.

Fox News doesn't seem to think so - their poll has all 4 Dem front runners smacking down Trump....oh my.....

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/fox-news-poll-high-interest-in-election-democrats-top-trump-in-matchups

Biden son's have always been sketchy as hell.

Hummm, I wonder which sons said "We get all the money we need from Russia"......

In your version of reality maybe. Keep telling yourself that as we go another 4 and beyond.

Four years? No way. Maybe if it was just the conspiracy charge in the Stormy payoff, but now we have this fraud, and who knows what will come out of the other 23 investigations. I'd say he's looking at 8 - 12 years, minimum.

Democrats worthless!

Republicans Traitors - GOP - Guardians of Putin....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't really see how this is illegal.

We don’t expect Trumplets to know laws, so we’ll leave it at that.

I guess the democrats are getting desperate.

The desperate one is the one who is so scared of losing, that he will extort foreign leaders into digging up dirt on his opponent.

Not to mention the opponent who is beating him easily in most polls.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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