Donald Trump retweets pastor’s warning of ‘civil war-like fracture’ as impeachment talks intensify

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US President Donald Trump has raged about the impeachment inquiry he faces in Congress, retweeting a warning from an American pastor that his removal would spark a “civil war-like fracture” and suggesting Democrat Adam Schiff should be arrested for “treason”.

Key points:

  • Donald Trump used Twitter to vent his anger about the impeachment proceedings
  • The President retweeted a conservative US pastor’s warning of a “civil war-like fracture” if he is removed from office
  • Mr Trump suggested the Democrat leading an impeachment inquiry against him should be arrested for treason

Conservative pastor Robert Jeffress gave the “civil war” warning during an appearance on Fox News, saying the “country will never heal” if Mr Trump is removed from office.

The tweet was condemned by Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger, who described Mr Trump’s comments as “beyond repugnant”.

“I have visited nations ravaged by civil war … I have never imagined such a quote to be repeated by a president. This is beyond repugnant,” he said.

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrumpReplying to @realDonaldTrump

….If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.” Pastor Robert Jeffress, @FoxNews69K11:11 AM – Sep 30, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy61.5K people are talking about this

The comments were part of a stream of complaints on Twitter from Mr Trump, who also suggested Mr Schiff, who is leading the impeachment inquiry against him, should be arrested for treason.

“[Mr Schiff] illegally made up a fake and terrible statement, pretended it to be mine as the most important part of my call to the Ukrainian President, and read it aloud to Congress and the American people,” Mr Trump wrote.

“It bore no relationship to what I said on the call.

“Arrest for treason?”

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

Rep. Adam Schiff illegally made up a FAKE & terrible statement, pretended it to be mine as the most important part of my call to the Ukrainian President, and read it aloud to Congress and the American people. It bore NO relationship to what I said on the call. Arrest for Treason?103K10:12 PM – Sep 30, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy60.7K people are talking about this

The tweets are likely to inflame criticism of Mr Trump’s handling of the scandal engulfing his presidency stemming from a telephone call in which he asked Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son.

Mr Trump and his allies say Mr Biden, as Barack Obama’s vice-president, pressured Ukraine to fire a top prosecutor to protect his son, who sat on the board of a gas company called Burisma Holdings and was accused of corrupt practices.

Those allegations have largely been debunked and there has been no evidence of illegal conduct or wrongdoing in Ukraine by the Bidens.

But a transcript of the July call with Mr Zelenskiy shows Mr Trump pushing for Ukraine to revisit the matter.

Vice President Joe Biden (R) points to some faces in the crowd with his son Hunter

PHOTO: Mr Trump suggested Ukraine “look into” Mr Biden and his son Hunter. (Reuters: Carlos Barria)

Senate leader has ‘no choice’ but to let trial proceed

The Republican leader of the US Senate said he would have “no choice” but to allow a trial if the House of Representatives decided to impeach the President.

Senator Mitch McConnell appeared to put to rest speculation he would use his position to derail any impeachment effort by the Democratic-led House.

What you need to know about the whistleblower complaint

What you need to know about the whistleblower complaint

It’s nine pages long, has only minor redactions and contains new details on the scandal that launched the impeachment probe.

The Republicans control the Senate and have been largely muted about the allegations and inquiries into fellow-Republican Mr Trump.

The House initiated an impeachment inquiry against Mr Trump last week after a whistleblower report raised concerns he tried to leverage nearly $US400 million ($592 million) in US aid in exchange for a political favour from Ukraine’s leader.

Three House committees said a subpoena for documents had been sent to Mr Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Mr Giuliani, a former New York mayor, had said on television that he asked the Government of Ukraine to “target” Mr Biden, who is a potential Democratic candidate to run against Trump in the 2020 election.

If the House approves bringing charges — known as articles of impeachment — against a president, the process moves to the Senate which has a trial.

“I would have no choice but to take it up,” Mr McConnell told CNBC.

“Under the Senate rules, we are required to take it up if the House does go down that path.

“The Senate impeachment rules are very clear.”

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