11:45 GMT05 August 2021
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    Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump recommended a quick US House vote on his impeachment to make way for a Senate trial with a witness list including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Adam Schiff, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

    Republican lawmakers from the US House Judiciary Committee asked in a letter on Friday for subpoenas for Hunter Biden - the son of former US Vice President Joe Biden, US Congressman Adam Schiff and the whistleblower behind the ongoing impeachment against Trump and whose complaint alleges that the US president pushed his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on 25 July to investigate allegations of the Bidens and their business dealings in Ukraine - a move that could derail one of Trump's political opponents ahead of the presidential election next year.

    Ranking House member Doug Collins claimed in the letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler that Schiff "has permitted to testify publicly" for "those he has previously vetted and approved in a private deposition setting", suggesting that Schiff prohibited Republicans or the US president "to call any additional witnesses".

    Collins emphasized that "to provide context and transparency" in the ongoing impeachment, "the American people deserve to hear" the testimony of Schiff, as well as the anonymous whistleblower and Hunter Biden, who is a former board member of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, a key element in the impeachment.

    Among other witnesses whom Collins is asking to testify are Nelli Ohr, former contractor for the research firm Fusion GPS; Devon Archer, former board member of Burisma, and an intelligence community employee who spoke with Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman about the notorious July phone call.

    House Republicans last month compiled a list of the 8 potential witnesses who they seek to testify in the ongoing impeachment, suggesting that there is a testimonial bias. A new list, made by the ranking House member, differs from the one drafted in November.

    A whistleblower complaint in September called attention to a telephone conversation between Trump and Zelensky in which the US president allegedly asked for a "favor". It was later also alleged that Trump withheld up to $400 million in military aid to Ukraine.

    House Democrats quickly launched an impeachment inquiry on the grounds of abuse of presidential power and solicitation of a foreign power as a means of interfering in the US election process.

    Trump denied claims of attempting to strong-arm Zelensky as a means of digging up dirt on a political opponent, describing his phone call with the Ukraine president as "perfect" and referring to his impeachment as another "witch hunt".


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