U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed back against House Democrats Tuesday and their impeachment probe into President Donald Trump, saying on Twitter that the request to depose five current and former State Department officials was "an attempt to intimidate, bully, & treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State..." Pompeo arrived in Rome, Italy, Tuesday morning - the first stop on a four-nation tour through Europe - hours after reports Pompeo took part in the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukraine's president - the impetus for the impeachment probe and the basis for a whistleblower complaint which raised concerns about Trump's request for Ukraine's president to investigate Former Vice President Joe Biden.
The complaint also alleges that the notes from the call were hidden on a secret server.
Trump on Tuesday again took the impeachment fight to Twitter, lobbing attacks against House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and pinning an image of an overwhelmingly red electoral map overlaid with the words "Try to impeach this." Meanwhile, the New York Times reported that Trump had sought the help of another world leader, Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia, to assist Attorney General William Barr with a probe into the origins of what became Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The first deposition in the impeachment probe into Trump's conduct is set for Wednesday, when three House committees are scheduled to hear from former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
On Thursday, the committees are scheduled to get a deposition from Kurt Volker, who resigned last week as Trump's special representative for Ukraine.
According to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll, the number of Americans who believe Trump should be impeached rose over the last week.
The opinion poll found that 45% of U.S. adults are favor of impeachment, compared with 37% in a similar poll the week prior.
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