Following Donald Trump’s acknowledgement that he discussed the subject of former Vice-President Joe Biden with his Ukrainian counterpart, calls for the US president’s impeachment has been mounting.
After initial remarks on twitter that he did nothing “inappropriate”, Mr. Trump admitted on Sunday that he had actually raised the issue of the Bidens in a July phone call with president Volodymyr Zelensky.
Already, Mr. Trump has been facing allegations that he pressured Ukraine to investigate Mr. Biden, his potential 2020 rival, which the President strongly denies.
But his admission about the phone call fuelled calls for Democrats, who control the lower house of Congress, to launch impeachment proceedings.
Adam Schiff, a senior Democrat, said on Sunday that Mr. Trump may have “crossed the Rubicon”.
Mr. Schiff, the influential head of the House Intelligence Committee, had previously resisted calls by many of his colleagues to have the president impeached.
On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, an avid critic of the president, joined the fray.
Ms. Pelosi, who had previously urged caution on the impeachment issue, warned the White House to Turn over the secret whistle-blower complaint by Thursday, or face a serious escalation from Congress.
The whistle-blower complaint was filed on August 12, two-and-a-half weeks after Mr. Trump had spoken by phone with Mr. Zelenskyy.
The director of national intelligence, reportedly bowing to pressure from the department of justice, had refused to turn over the files to Congress, in contravention of US law.
House Democrats seem hellbent on investigating whether President Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani tried to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden, who previously served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.