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Ukraine 'won't interfere' in Trump impeachment probe - President Zelenskiy

  • 16 Oct 2019

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff citing witnesses says that US President Donald Trump's phone call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was planned in advance and then followed up.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks during a bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on September 25, 2019. ( Jonathan Ernst / Reuters )

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Wednesday that Ukraine "will do nothing" in connection with the impeachment probe against Donald Trump over allegations the US president tried to force Kiev to investigate his political rival Joe Biden. 

"As the president of Ukraine, I won't interfere with events in other countries, unlike some others [who] may try [to]," Zelenskiy told AFP as he met the Ukrainian diaspora in the Latvian capital Riga. 

"We, as Ukraine, will do nothing," he said. The leader of the impeachment investigation said on Tuesday that witnesses had provided substantial support for allegations that Trump illegally tried to force Ukraine to investigate Biden. 

While the White House and Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani refused to turn over subpoenaed documents on the Ukraine affair to Congress, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said five witnesses had backed up allegations of misuse of power that could underpin formal impeachment charges. 

Witnesses have said Trump's July 25 phone call with Zelenskiy, in which he appeared to tie US military aid to getting dirt on Biden, was planned in advance and then followed up, Schiff said. Meanwhile, on Twitter, Trump lashed out at lawmakers, saying, "Democrats are allowing no transparency at the Witch Hunt hearings." 

Democrats are seeking to prove Trump sought foreign aid to boost his reelection next year, violating US election laws. Trump has admitted asking Zelenskiy for help to probe Biden, but said it was for legitimate suspicions of corruption and not political reasons.

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