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Let lawyers decide on forthcoming subpoena: Trump

US President Donald Trump has said he will let his lawyers decide whether the White House will comply with a subpoena expected to be issued by Congress on Friday.
Let lawyers decide on forthcoming subpoena: Trump

"I leave that to the lawyers," Xinhua quoted Trump as saying to reporters on Thursday.

"That's up to them to decide but the whole investigation is crumbling," he added, referring to the impeachment inquiry currently being undertaken by the House of Representatives into the President's alleged inappropriate interactions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings in a memo notified committee members Wednesday that the panel, in consultation with the Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees, will issue a subpoena to the White House on Friday, requesting Ukraine-related records.

"The White House's flagrant disregard of multiple voluntary requests for documents-combined with stark and urgent warnings from the Inspector General about the gravity of these allegations - have left us with no choice but to issue this subpoena," read the memo.

The impeachment inquiry into the president, announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sept. 24, stemmed from a whistleblower complaint alleging that Trump pressured Zelensky during a July 25 phone call to investigate Joe Biden, Democratic presidential candidate for the 2020 election, as well as issues related to alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Once again, Trump lashed out at House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, saying he "has now been proven to be a liar." He added that the Democrats have been trying to impeach him "for three years."

Shortly after Trump addressed reporters, Schiff responded by tweeting that the president's "rant this morning reinforces the urgency of our work."

Trump has been calling for Schiff's resignation because the latter read to Congress a "parody" of the Ukraine call that the president claimed was not what he said to his Ukrainian counterpart.

Citing a New York Times report saying Schiff got an early account of the whistleblower's accusations, Trump made an unfounded claim Wednesday that Schiff "probably helped write" the whistleblower complaint.

A spokesperson for Schiff confirmed that the whistleblower had contacted the Intelligence committee "for guidance on how to report possible wrongdoing within the jurisdiction of the intelligence community," according to the report. The spokesperson insisted that Schiff didn't get the whistleblower complaint in advance.

( With inputs from IANS )

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