On Wednesday, U.S President Donald Trump added power to the legal team defending against an impeachment probe led by congressional Democrats, after 2020 re-election rival Joe Biden called for the first time for his impeachment.
At the center of controversy, there is Biden who had earlier refrained from making an outright plea for impeachment. The controversy is based on Trump’s dealings with Ukraine that led the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives to open an impeachment inquiry.
However, Trump has claimed that investigation as an attempt to damage his reputation and has accused the U.S. intelligence officer who filed the whistleblower complaint that sparked public anger of having political motives. He further claimed that the former U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy, best known for his investigations of the administration of Trump’s Democratic predecessor, to his outside legal team.
In New Hampshire, during a campaign stop, Biden the Democratic front-runner to face Trump in next year’s presidential election took the gloves off. Biden stated that “With his words and his actions, President Trump has indicted himself. By obstructing justice, refusing to reply with a congressional inquiry, he’s already convicted himself.”
“In full view of the world and the American people, Donald Trump has violated his oath of office, betrayed this nation and committed impeachable acts,” he added.
“To preserve our Constitution, our democracy, our basic integrity, he should be impeached.” In reply, Trump wrote on Twitter, “So pathetic to see Sleepy Joe Biden, who with his son, Hunter, and to the detriment of the American Taxpayer, has ripped off at least two countries for millions of dollars, calling for my impeachment – and I did nothing wrong.”
The impeachment inquiry was initiated against President Donald Trump on September 24, 2019, by Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives. It started after the revelations that President Trump and top administration officials allegedly pressured leaders of several foreign leaders, especially Ukraine.
In spite of Trump’s allegations, which he made without evidence, that Biden engaged in improper dealings in Ukraine, there are few signs the controversy has damaged the Democratic former vice president’s 2020 prospects.
On Wednesday, Trump again described the inquiry as a partisan attack. “It turns out that the whistleblower is a Democrat, strong Democrat, and is working with one of my opponents as a Democrat,” Trump told reporters.
In a statement, the lawyers for the whistleblower responded denying that political factors had influenced the complaint. They said in a statement, “Our client has never worked for or advised a political candidate, campaign or party.” It further claimed, “Our client has spent their entire government career in apolitical, civil servant positions.”