President Trump tied the release of almost $400 million in aid to Ukraine to investigations into his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter during a conversation with his then-national security adviser John Bolton, The New York Times reported on Sunday.
US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Sunday pressured the Senate to summon senior administration officials to testify in President Trump's impeachment trial after a report that Trump told Bolton to hold up military aid to Ukraine pending investigations into political rivals.
The New York Times said John Bolton's description of his exchange with Trump appears in drafts of his forthcoming book.
The new complications emerged on Sunday even as Trump was clearly sensing an imminent victory and showed he was spoiling for retribution against Democrats who led his impeachment in the House of Representatives a year ago.
The latest reports come after a video made public on Saturday showed Mr Trump ordering the removal of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in 2018.
They included claims that Mr Trump told a then-top aide in August that he wanted to withhold $391 million security aid to Ukraine until officials there assisted with probes into Democrats, including Mr Biden. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe Biden or his son, Hunter Biden, and Joe Biden has repeatedly defended his son and himself.
Schiff, D- Calif., is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and the lead prosecutor in Trump's impeachment hearing in the Senate.
The legal team is expected to pick up on that theme and also dive into areas that received negligible attention during the Democrats' presentation, including the now-concluded investigation into ties between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 campaign.
Trump faces two articles of impeachment.
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The House impeached Mr. Trump on charges of abusing the powers of his office by asking Ukraine to investigate Mr. Biden and of obstructing a congressional inquiry into his conduct. The lawyers have already hinted that they will focus attention on Biden just as he campaigns for a first-place finish in next week's Iowa caucuses.
"This is a wrathful and vindictive president; I don't think there's any doubt about it", Schiff said.
Many legal scholars reject Dershowitz's arguments, saying the Founding Fathers meant for impeachable offenses to incorporate a broad range of conduct by presidents.
Mr. Trump's defense argued neither impeachment charge constituted a crime or impeachable offense, that he was within his rights as president to make decisions about foreign policy and what information to give Congress, and that the House pursued a flawed and one-sided process before impeaching him.
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told reporters Saturday that Republicans expected to get together on Monday to start formulating a list of questions.
Rep. Adam Schiff said a tweet from US President Donald Trump on Sunday morning was "intended" to be a threat.
Four Republicans would have to break ranks to join Democrats to extend the trial for an undetermined amount of time.
Republicans sharply objected when Schiff quoted a reported comment from a Trump confidant who said some senators had been warned, "Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike".
An attempt to call either probably would lead to a showdown with the White House, which claims both men have "absolute immunity" from being called to testify before the Senate, even in an impeachment trial.