U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday took aim at the anonymous whistleblower who sparked the Democratic-led impeachment probe against him, calling the complaint "a very big Lie" and demanded an end to the investigation.
But the House of Representatives is pushing ahead with final arrangements to interview the U.S. intelligence officer who filed the whistleblower complaint over Trump's dealings with Ukraine.
On Wednesday, the head of the White House budget office said it will not comply with a congressional subpoena for documents relating to Ukraine, a day after the White House declared its refusal to cooperate with the impeachment probe.
And after the State Department abruptly blocked the U.S. ambassador to the European Union from speaking to the three congressional committees leading the investigation, which House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff called "obstruction." (SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN ADAM SCHIFF, SAYING:"The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents, we consider yet additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress, a co-equal branch of government." The impeachment probe is focused on whether Trump used almost $400 million in congressionally approved aid as leverage to pressure the Ukrainian president to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, who on Wednesday addressed the impeachment probe during a speech in New Hampshire.
(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE JOE BIDEN, SAYING: "President Trump has indicted himself by obstructing justice by refusing to comply with the congressional inquiry... He should be impeached." Trump has denied wrongdoing and has repeatedly criticized Democrats leading the probe, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said to Trump on Twitter "you are not above the law.
You will be held accountable.” The showdown between Trump and Pelosi heightened just as a newly released Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll showed Democratic support rising for impeachment, and overall opposition to it falling.
The poll also showed that a majority of Democrats want to impeach Trump, even if that means weakening their party’s chances of winning back the White House in the 2020 election.