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Graham: Impeachment inquiry is 'invalid' without whistleblower's testimony

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Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden attend an NCAA basketball game in Washington on Jan. 30 2010

"As we move into the open hearing phase of the inquiry, the Committee is mindful that we are engaged in a sober endeavor rooted in the Constitution to determine whether the President of the United States engaged in misconduct that warrants impeachment by the House".

Also Saturday, the whistle-blower's attorney Andrew Bakaj reiterated that his client is only willing to answer questions in writing, a suggestion Republicans reject.

There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden in Ukraine.

The requested-witness list also reflected Republicans' desire to spotlight Hunter Biden, who was paid $50,000 a month for his work for Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company, while his father was vice president.

Schiff said three State Department witnesses will appear in two hearings Wednesday and Friday: the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, career department official George Kent, and Marie Yovanovitch, the former USA ambassador to Ukraine.

Democrats claim that the whistleblower's testimony is irrelevant at this point because the witnesses who have already testified have provided more information on President Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the heart of the inquiry than the whistleblower would be able to give.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., accused House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., of not caring about the truth, and said Schiff's impeachment efforts will go nowhere unless he calls the anonymous whistleblower to come forward and testify about their complaint against President Trump.

On Saturday, Trump suggested other names should be added to the list for the inquiry, which he continues to call a "witch hunt".

They variously declared that Trump's conduct might have been questionable but was not impeachable, or that testimony by former and current administration officials represented a misreading of Trump's intent in his dealings with Ukraine's president.

In addition to Mr. Biden, son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden and a former board member of Ukraine's Burisma Holdings, the list included former Burisma board member Devon Archer; ex-Democratic National Committee staffer Alexandra Chalupa, and former Fusion GPS opposition researcher Nellie Ohr. A partial transcription of their conversation, released by the White House, confirmed that Trump did ask his foreign counterpart to investigate the Bidens. Trump has said he withheld the $400 million in aid to Ukraine because he was concerned the government was not doing enough to fight corruption. Since then, members of Congress have debated whether or not the whistleblower should remain anonymous.

"Let's focus on the problem, here", Mr Biden said.

"I recommend that Nervous Nancy Pelosi (who backed up Schiff's lie), Shifty Adam Schiff, Sleepy Joe Biden, the Whistleblower (who miraculously disappeared after I released the transcript of the call), the 2nd Whistleblower (who also disappeared), & the I.G., be part of the list!"

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