- The Washington Times - Monday, September 23, 2019

President Trump denied accusations Monday that he pressured the president of Ukraine for dirt on Democratic front-runner Joseph R. Biden in exchange for U.S. military aid.

“I did not make a statement that ‘you have to do this’ or I am not going to give you aid,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the United Nations. “I wouldn’t do that. I put no pressure on them whatsoever. I could have.”

Mr. Trump is the target of a government whistleblower who reportedly alleges that he pressed the Ukrainian leader in a phone call in late July for an investigation of Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter, who served as a high-priced director of a Ukrainian gas company while his father was vice president.

“It was a very honorable call,” Mr. Trump said. “There was no pressure put on them whatsoever. It could probably, possibly have been OK if I did, but I didn’t put any pressure on them whatsoever. You know why? Because they want to do the right thing and they know about corruption. And they probably know that Joe Biden and his son are corrupt. They probably know that. Joe Biden and his son are corrupt.”

The president and his lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, have accused Mr. Biden of pressuring Ukrainian leaders in 2016 to fire the country’s top prosecutor by threatening to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees from the U.S. The prosecutor at one time had been investigating the gas company, which paid Hunter Biden $50,000 per month for five years, totaling about $3 million.

The Democratic chairmen of the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees sent a letter Monday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanding documents related to the allegations that the president and his lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden.

“Seeking to enlist a foreign actor to interfere with an American election undermines our sovereignty, democracy, and the Constitution, which the President is sworn to preserve, protect, and defend,” wrote chairmen Adam B. Schiff of California, Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Eliot Engel of New York. “Yet the President and his personal attorney now appear to be openly engaging in precisely this type of abuse of power involving the Ukrainian government ahead of the 2020 election.”

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