INTERNATIONAL – US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain share a certain affinity and style of politics. And as they both took the world stage at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, they shared something else: gathering political clouds back home in their capitals.
In Washington, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, was convening a meeting with the entire House Democratic caucus amid rising momentum for impeachment, after revelations that President Donald Trump pressed Ukraine’s president for dirt on his leading Democratic rival, former Vice President Joseph Biden Jr, while blocking American aid to Kiev.
Trump has acknowledged raising questions about Biden and accusations of corruption with Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, in a July 25 telephone call. He also personally ordered his staff to freeze more than $391 million (R5.8 billion) in aid to Ukraine in the days before he pressed Zelensky to investigate Biden.
The timing of the decision to block the aid and Trump’s involvement, which were first reported by The Washington Post, further fueled the intense debate over the president’s effort to persuade Ukraine to examine unsubstantiated corruption accusations involving Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
On Tuesday, Trump dismissed the Democratic calls for impeachment as a new “witch hunt”, and described impeachment as a strategy for next year’s presidential election.