"This is a very strong case of bribery, because you have an elected official, the president, demanding action of a foreign country, in this case... and he is withholding aid", said Speier.
President Trump's July 25 call with Zelensky, over which Democrats are attempting to impeach him, included references to promised aid money and desired investigations that Democrats are framing as extortion and an abuse of presidential power.
Federal documents reveal that the whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, previously worked in the Obama administration with former Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan.
"I was part of America's Ukraine policy".
"I don't believe it was impeachable", he said. So, on September 9 (two days before Trump said he authorized the release) the funding was released, reportedly on the order of former national security adviser John Bolton.
They variously declared that Trump's conduct might have been questionable but was not impeachable, or that testimony by former and current administration officials represented a misreading of Trump's intent in his dealings with Ukraine's president.
Several Democrats on Sunday pushed back against their GOP counterparts' request.
Democrats believe that Yovanovitch, who Trump removed from her posting in May, will engender sympathy from the public. "We have the other people coming forward to actually testify".
He said the distinction between "quid pro quo" and a word like "extortion" will be critical during the public hearings. That, witness testimony by diplomats and national-security officials has suggested, was part of a shadow foreign policy carried out by Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani, with the aid of figures such as European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland, who relayed the president's demands to Ukraine.
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Literally no one - no Republicans, no Democrats, no witnesses, no attorneys - has disputed the accuracy of the transcripts.
"He has no knowledge of what the president did or didn't do here that is the subject of the impeachment hearing", Maloney said on "Fox News Sunday".
His Tweet came just hours after Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) raised his clear concerns with the call during an appearance on ABC's "This Week."
New York Times: "Top Ukraine Diplomat Testified Giuliani Spearheaded Pressure for Investigations" - "The top American diplomat in Ukraine identified Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump's personal lawyer, as the instigator behind the drive to get Ukraine's president to announce investigations into Mr. Trump's political rivals, telling impeachment investigators last month that Mr. Giuliani was acting on behalf of the president". The importance of process, Thornberry maintained, can not be ignored.
"There's a reason we let murderers and robbers and rapists go free when their due process rights have been violated", he said, saying you can not "sweep process under the rug". "Nonetheless, I have offered to have my client respond in writing, under oath, and under penalty of perjury to Republican questions", Andrew Bakaj said in a statement to CNN. "I think this is a bunch of crap".
Hurd also argued that Schiff should be forced to testify about his office's contacts with the whistleblower, claiming that the committee chairman "misled the American public earlier in the year about what he knew about the contact with the whistleblower".
They don't. Trump has reached the point at which he's peddling unusual claims that even House Republicans aren't willing to endorse.
Sen. Ron Johnson is a good exhibit of that. I have a favor I want from you, though.
But as a parade of witnesses have corroborated the whistleblower's account, detailing the under-the-radar push by the President and his allies to have Ukraine probe his political foes, and as Trump has stepped up his attacks against the person, Democrats have abandoned the idea of securing the testimony.