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‘Do it now, fast’: Trump urges Democrats to impeach him

Chris Riotta
President Trump cancelled a press conference during the Nato summit: AP

Donald Trump has urged Democrats to impeach him “fast” in a tweet while slamming the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives, claiming a trial in the Senate would be more “fair” to the president.

“The Do Nothing Democrats had a historically bad day yesterday in the House,” he tweeted on Thursday morning. “They have no Impeachment case and are demeaning our Country. But nothing matters to them, they have gone crazy.”

Mr Trump added: “Therefore I say, if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business.”

His comments came after the House Judiciary Committee began hearing public testimony on Wednesday. Democrats were considering drafting articles of impeachment possibly ranging from obstruction of justice, dating back to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation on Russian interference in the 2016 election, to bribery involving Mr Trump’s 25 July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

In his tweet, the president suggested Republicans would bring House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff – who spearheaded the House probe into Mr Trump – to deliver testimony before the Senate during an impeachment trial, as well as the Bidens, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “and many more”.

He also wrote that, if the House impeached him and the Republican-led Senate launched a trial, Mr Trump would “reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is.”

“I was elected to ‘Clean the Swamp,’” he wrote, “and that’s what I am doing!”

The White House declined invitations from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler to participate in the next phase of the impeachment inquiry, writing in a letter during the weekend that the process was “unfair” showed a “lack of seriousness” in its fact-finding process.

As Mr Trump tweeted, Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer was on a live interview with CNN and said about the impeachment inquiry: “This has been a long, thoughtful, careful process.”

Meanwhile, other Democratic leaders have described the impeachment inquiry as a “somber” and “prayerful” time, including Ms Pelosi, who was set to deliver her weekly press conference shortly after the president posted his tweets.

The impeachment inquiry has focused on Mr Trump’s phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, in which he asked Mr Zelensky to “do us a favour though” before encouraging he investigate one of the president’s 2020 political rivals, Joe Biden.

The president has claimed without evidence that the former vice president’s son, Hunter Biden, was involved in corruption as he served on the board of a Ukrainian energy firm while his father worked in the White House. There is no evidence of any wrongdoing on either part of the Bidens.

Key impeachment witnesses have described “irregular” diplomatic channels created to handle Mr Trump’s apparent demands for political investigations which involved the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Mr Giuliani’s recently released phone records show frequent contact between him, the White House and the State Department just before the dismissal of former US ambassador to the Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.

Several of the witnesses who appeared before the House Intelligence Committee and worked on US-Ukraine relations under Mr Trump confirmed a quid pro quo involving the White House demands for investigations. Some said that Mr Trump wanted Mr Zelensky to make public announcements about launching probes into the Bidens more than he actually cared about those investigations ever occurring or resulting in evidence of corruption.