19:41 GMT +320 November 2019
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    U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham holds a news conference to discuss his plans to introduce a Senate resolution condeming the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump as illegitimate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., October 24, 2019.

    Senate Republicans Demand House Vote On Trump Impeachment Inquiry, Pelosi Says Not Necessary

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    Republicans are gearing up to resist moves by House Democrats to impeach US President Donald Trump. Private hearings are being held to gather information about allegations of abuse of power in regard to Ukraine by the US president, with fierce opposition from Trump supporters in government.

    Senate Republicans introduced a resolution on Thursday condemning the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump launched by House Democrats, demanding the House of Representatives hold a vote on the process.

    The resolution calls on the House to hold a formal vote before beginning the impeachment inquiry, arguing that the House should give the president "due process" and "the ability to confront his accusers", as well as giving Republicans the ability to submit subpoenas of their own.

    Senate Judiciary Committee Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina is leading the resolution, which is supported by 39 GOP Senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

    “Every American should be disturbed by what is taking place in the House of Representatives regarding the attempt to impeach President Trump”, Graham said in a statement.

    "We cannot have a country where every American has rights except Donald Trump. I find the current process illegitimate and dangerous to the future of the presidency", he added.

    ​Graham revealed on Thursday that he suggested putting together a White House impeachment "messaging team", while speaking with acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

    While speaking to reporters, Graham said "I talked to Chief of Staff Mulvaney. I think they're working on getting a messaging team together".

    This comes after he raised concerns the previous day that the administration needed to be better organized and efficient in delivering it's impeachment message.

    "What's missing here I think is that coordinated effort to put somebody in charge of developing a message and delivering it", he said on Wednesday.

    The president, who has repeatedly complained that the impeachment inquiry is a "witch hunt", also called for a vote to be held to formalise the inquiry. Republicans have come out in support of the president that it would provide extra leeway to call their own witnesses and highlight swing-state Democrats from launching the impeachment inquiry.

    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi noted that a vote is not required, causing significant backlash and allegations of defying due process.

    ​Graham first suggested a resolution requiring the House to hold a vote during a hearing this week while talking to Sean Hannity on Fox News.

    "This resolution puts the Senate on record condemning the House. ... Here's the point of the resolution: Any impeachment vote based on this process, to me, is illegitimate, is unconstitutional, and should be dismissed in the Senate without a trial", Graham said.

    The resolution follows mass opposition by Republicans to the House impeachment inquiry, and the daily holding of closed-door hearings involving former administration officials who are giving testimony concerning allegations of Trump's abuse of office.

    Accusations of abuse of power by the president emerged after a whistleblower complaint was lodged regarding a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July.

    The accusations centre around whether Trump withheld aid to Ukraine to pressure the country into investigating allegations of corruption on the part of Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.


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    Donald Trump, impeachment, Lindsey Graham, Democrats, Republicans
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