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Ukraine's president says 'no blackmail' in Trump call

Ukraine's president says 'no blackmail' in Trump call

Trump has denied he did anything wrong and the White House has said it will not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry.

President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy looks on during a meeting in NY on September 25, 2019, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Democrats have called her removal politically motivated.

The focus of the impeachment inquiry is President Donald Trump's efforts to press Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden at a time when US military aid to Ukraine was being withheld.

Former vice president Biden is a leading contender for the right to face Trump in the November 2020 presidential election.

There has been no evidence either Biden was engaged in illegal activities.

It was sparked by a whistleblower complaint that Mr Trump had pressed his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in a July telephone call to help with a case against Mr Biden and his son - which Mr Trump describes as corruption.

Mr Zelenskiy agreed with Mr Trump that she was a "bad ambassador" and agreed to investigate the Bidens.

He said Yovanovitch had been "a model diplomat and deserves better than the shabby treatment she received from the president and the Secretary of State". The official reason appears to be insufficient loyalty to the Trump administration.

Yovanovitch testified behind closed doors on October 11 for more than nine hours as part of the House Democrats' impeachment investigation.

California Democrat Adam Schiff arrives on Capitol Hill on Friday.

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Sullivan has been a career USA diplomat since 1990, with posts in Ukraine, the US mission to the European Union, South Korea and Honduras.

She was born in Montreal to Russian parents, her family moving to the US a few years later. She has dual U.S. -U.K. citizenship.

In copies of the guidance shared with The Hill, The White House encouraged Republicans to adopt a series of messages created to turn the tables back on Democrats, including attacks on House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff's (D-Calif.) handling of the probe. The committees are intelligence, foreign and oversight.

Gordon Sondland, the USA ambassador to the European Union, will comply with a subpoena and testify on Thursday, his lawyers said, despite the White House policy against cooperation. But Sondland is not yet authorized to release documents the committees have sought, his lawyers said.

In written testimony submitted to the impeachment inquiry and published by The Washington Post, Ms Yovanovitch recounted the explanation for dismissal given to her by the USA deputy secretary of state.

House Democrats have demanded to hear from four other state department officials: Ukraine Special Envoy Kurt Volker, Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent, and Counselor T Ulrich Brechbuhl.

Meanwhile, Trump on Friday prepared to stage his second campaign rally outside of Washington since the impeachment inquiry began.

In a text with another US official, Bill Taylor, Sondland denied there was a quid pro quo in the White House's dealings with Ukraine. She was referring to Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. Maloney said, "They should leave her alone".

Trump came under fire after a whistleblower complaint alleged he pressured Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Another U.S. official, who worked for her in Kyiv and discussed a domestic political issue only on the condition of anonymity and without authorization, could "not recall any occasion on which she spoke ill of this or any other president or politician".

The former ambassador said she was sacked from her post after insisting that Giuliani's requests to Ukrainian officials for investigations be relayed through official channels, according to a former diplomat who has spoken with her. His departure comes with Pompeo deeply enmeshed in the Ukraine controversy.