22:01 GMT29 January 2020
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    President Trump’s Twitter account has removed a retweet that contained a link to an article naming the purported Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) whistleblower who helped to initiate impeachment proceedings.

    The retweet was removed two days after it gained widespread attention as it essentially referenced a name that has mostly been kept out of congressional hearings and media reports.The original tweet in question, which remained posted on the "Trump War Room" account as of Friday night, links to a Washington Examiner article from December 3. 

    "It's pretty simple. The CIA 'whistleblower' is not a real whistleblower!" the original tweet read. It included a video montage of media figures and politicians discussing the existence of the deep state. The tweet was a response to the whistleblower's lawyer, Mark Zaid, who called for his client to be protected by the Senate in the upcoming impeachment trial.

    In September, House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry after a whistleblower alleged that Trump abused the power of his office by pressuring Ukrainian president Zelensky to restart a criminal inquiry into the activities of Biden’s son Hunter in Ukraine, claiming that Trump withheld nearly $400 million in US military aid - a charge Republicans deny, pointing to the release of the cash several weeks prior to a July 25 request by Trump, even though Ukraine never launched a Biden investigation. On 18 December, after months of deliberations, the Democratic-dominated House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Republican-controlled Senate will have the final say on a motion to remove the president from office and is expected to review the case early next year.

    Trump, who denies any wrongdoing, is the third US president to face an impeachment trial. Neither of the previous two, Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1999 was forced from office. Another president, Richard Nixon, resigned in August 1974 before the House could vote on his impeachment and the Senate could conduct a trial.


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