Trump calls impeachment inquiry a 'coup', Latest World News - The New Paper

Trump calls impeachment inquiry a 'coup'

This article is more than 12 months old

WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump on Tuesday denounced the impeachment inquiry into his efforts to dig up dirt on a political rival as a "coup".

"As I learn more and more each day, I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a coup," Mr Trump tweeted.

His administration also pushed back hard on Tuesday against the impeachment probe threatening his presidency, accusing Democrats of trying to intimidate and bully diplomats into testifying against the White House.

Lawmakers investigating accusations that Trump abused his office by seeking dirt from Ukraine on a 2020 election rival have summoned five witnesses to testify on Capitol Hill.


But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a fiery letter to three committee heads leading the inquiry that the five former or current State Department workers would not be testifying as requested.

The committees' request "can be understood only as an attempt to intimidate, bully and treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State," Mr Pompeo said in a letter to Congress.

The chairs of the three committees reacted sharply, accusing him of "stonewalling" the investigation and risking being charged with obstruction.

"Secretary Pompeo was reportedly on the call when the President pressed Ukraine to smear his political opponent," said Mr Adam Schiff of the Intelligence Committee, Mr Eliot Engel of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Elijah Cummings of the Oversight Committee.

"He should immediately cease intimidating Department witnesses to protect himself and the President."

Separately, Australia's Prime Minister said yesterday a phone call last month in which US President Donald Trump sought help with a US probe into the origins of an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election was brief and uneventful.

Mr Scott Morrison said Australia had already committed to helping the US Justice Department when the inquiry was announced in May, and he could not recall "favour" being used during the call with Mr Trump early in September.

Asked if Australia would provide diplomatic cables to the US investigation, Mr Morrison did not provide a direct answer and said he was not aware of any such requests.

"It would be a very unusual thing to do, and Australia would never do anything that would prejudice our national interest," he said. - AFP, REUTERS