US President Donald Trump on Tuesday denounced the impeachment inquiry threatening his presidency as a “coup”, as his administration pushed back hard against the investigation.
Trump’s comments came after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pressed to prevent or delay five former or current State Department staffers from testifying in the investigation probing accusations that Trump abused his office by seeking dirt from Ukraine on a 2020 election rival.
“As I learn more and more each day, I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP,” Trump tweeted.
It is “intended to take away the Power of the People, their VOTE, their Freedoms, their Second Amendment, Religion, Military, Border Wall, and their God-given rights as a Citizen of The United States of America!” he wrote.
Pompeo meanwhile accused three Democratic House committee heads conducting the impeachment inquiry of “an attempt to intimidate, bully and treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State”.
But Democrats accused the top US diplomat of “stonewalling” the investigation and, according to media reports, scheduled interviews with at least two of the diplomats who both had direct involvement in the Ukraine matter.