US envoy to Ukraine resigns amid impeachment probe

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US envoy to Ukraine resigns amid impeachment probe

Kurt Volker reportedly offered his resignation as special envoy to Ukraine Friday. He is mentioned in that bombshell whistleblower complaint that’s led to a Congressional impeachment inquiry.

CGTN’s Toby Muse reports.

Volcker is reported to have arranged contacts between U.S. President Donald Trump’s lawyer and Ukrainian officials in an effort to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company during the time Joe Biden was vice president.

The elder Biden is now a leading candidate to challenge Trump in next year’s presidential election.

Volcker is among five State Department officials scheduled to give depositions to Congress in the coming days as Democrats signal they intend to move quickly with their impeachment investigation.

Congressional leaders have also issued a subpoena for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to submit documents related to Ukraine.

Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer accused of being in the middle of attempts to put pressure on Ukraine, called the Democratic investigation a “sad joke.” And said he’s not worried he could also face a subpoena.

The whistleblower’s complaint at the heart of the investigation accuses President Trump of abusing his office by soliciting Ukraine to interfere in domestic politics by investigating the Bidens.

Much of the charge relates to a July phone call between Trump and Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump is also accused of withholding congressional appropriated military aid for Ukraine, pending action by the Kiev government.

Trump has said he’s done nothing wrong, calling his phone call “perfect”.

As for the prospects for impeachment, polls show Americans split somewhat – though there’s been a spike in support for impeachment since the Ukraine controversy came to light.

After the investigation, the House of Representatives, controlled by opposition Democrats, will have to decide whether to vote for impeachment.

If passed, it would then be up to the Senate – whether to remove the president from office. Right now, with Trump’s Republican party holding a majority there, that would seem an unlikely scenario.