‘It’s a hoax’: Trump rants as impeachment trial opens
Senators sworn in ahead of trial which begins next week
Donald Trump has furiously protested his innocence after the lawmakers of the US Senate were sworn in yesterday as jurors for the US president’s impeachment trial.
Seven impeachment managers from the House, led by the intelligence chair, Adam Schiff, were announced in the chamber by the sergeant at arms, Paul Irving, reading from a historic script.
“Hear ye, hear ye,” said Irving. ‘‘All persons are commanded to keep silence, on pain of imprisonment, while the House of Representatives is exhibiting to the Senate of the United States articles of impeachment against Donald John Trump.”
A few hours later, Trump gave his own verdict from behind his desk in the Oval Office. The Independent says the president embarked on “a rant that included at least nine denials”.
“Well I think it should go very quickly, it’s a hoax. It’s a hoax. Everybody knows that,” Trump said. “It’s a complete hoax. The whole thing with Ukraine. So you have a perfect phone call — it was actually two phone calls, you people don’t report that. They were both perfect calls. In fact probably among the nicest calls I’ve ever met — made to foreign leaders.”
He added: “Everything was perfect, and they impeached.”
Shortly after his Oval Office tirade, perhaps feeling he hadn’t got his point across, Trump wrote on Twitter: “I JUST GOT IMPEACHED FOR MAKING A PERFECT PHONE CALL!”
However, the case against him continues to mount. Yesterday morning, the president was hit with fresh allegations of wrongdoing by an agency within his own administration.
The Government Accountability Office published a finding that the suspension last year of military aid for Ukraine at Trump’s direction violated laws governing the disbursement of congressionally appropriated funds.
Additionally, Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, told CNN that Trump “knew exactly what was going on,” describing a plot that he said was “all about 2020”.
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