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Trump sought to withhold meeting with the Ukrainian president and military aid to the country, an ally at war, to pressure him to investigate the Bidens using unsubstantiated claims about their wrongdoings and a made-up conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine — not Russia — that had meddled in the 2016 elections. Thursday was the fifth and last scheduled day of public hearings by the House Intelligence Committee. Concluding the proceedings, inquiry chairman Democrat Adam Schiff said Mr Trump's conduct had been far more serious than anything done by President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal in the 1970s. Ms Hill - the former top Russia expert to the White House - accused other members of Mr Trump's Republican party of sowing doubt about Russian interference in the 2016 elections. She urged lawmakers not to promote "politically driven falsehoods" that cast doubt on Russia's interference in US elections. US diplomat to Ukraine David Holmes, who also testified at Thursday's hearing, said his work at the embassy in Kyiv had been overshadowed this year by the actions of Mr Giuliani. "I became aware that Mr Giuliani, a private lawyer, was taking a direct role in Ukrainian diplomacy," Mr Holmes said. Mr Holmes said he had overheard a phone call on 26 July between Mr Trump and Mr Sondland that was potentially damaging for Mr Trump. Sondland, the most highly anticipated witness in the public impeachment probe, made clear that he believed Trump was pursuing his desire for investigations in return for the Oval Office meeting that the Eastern European nation's president sought. Sondland said he came to believe military aid for Ukraine was being held up until the investigations were launched. Sondland described how demands became more serious with more conditions on any potential Ukraine meeting at the White House. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there is clear evidence that President Donald Trump has used his office for his personal gain. She said doing that "undermined the national security of the United States."

Mountain of impeachment evidence is beyond dispute


After two weeks of riveting public hearings in the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, there is a mountain of evidence that is now beyond dispute.
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