The latest on the Trump impeachment inquiry

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration would not participate in a Congressional impeachment hearing on Wednesday

For Republicans offering an early rebuttal ahead of the report's public release, the proceedings are simply a "hoax", with Trump insisting he did nothing wrong and his GOP allies in line behind him. The president has denied that any such link was made.

They also argued that the impeachment inquiry did not yield direct firsthand evidence of a scheme to withhold a meeting and/or security assistance to coerce Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

There was no "quid pro quo" between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Republicans claim, countering multiple current and former Trump administration officials who testified that a White House meeting and almost $400 million in military aid were contingent on investigations that could have benefited Trump politically.

"Understood in this proper context, the president's initial hesitation to meet with President Zelensky or to provide USA taxpayer-funded security assistance to Ukraine without thoughtful review is entirely prudent", the report states.

The Democratic-controlled House Intelligence Committee, which has spearheaded the impeachment probe, is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. EST (2300 GMT) to vote on its findings. The Judiciary panel, chaired by Rep.

President Trump revealed in a tweet after arriving in the United Kingdom for two days of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meetings that he had read the 123-page report Republicans provided on the House Intelligence Committee in which they claimed that there was no evidence to support Democrat allegations against the president. The statement from Schiff in the preface makes a point of saying, "Today, we may be witnessing a collision between the power of a remedy meant to curb presidential misconduct and the power of faction determined to defend against the use of that remedy on a president of the same party".

In London, Mr Trump slammed Mr Schiff by name, calling him "a maniac", "a very sick man" and "a deranged human being".

According to Gallup's polling over the past 10 weeks, the percentage of voters who say they approve of the job Trump is doing as president has remained within the range of 39 to 43 percent.

What is Trump accused of?

In an interview with the New York Times on Tuesday, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Olena Zerkal said Kyiv was aware the U.S. aid had been withheld in July, in what the newspaper said was the first public acknowledgment by Ukraine that its top officials knew about the delay in the midst of Trump's pressure campaign. And I want to play you a little bit of what he told me, and then we'll talk about it.

"This was a very detailed and sophisticated effort to get the Ukrainians to open an investigation against one of (Trump's) opponents", Rep. David Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat on the committee, mentioned throughout a cease in Denver final month.

Back during Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference of the 2016 election, Trump originally said he would cooperate and answer Mueller's questions, but he then decided not to for fear of getting caught in a "perjury trap"-because I guess the idea of just not lying wasn't an option, then or now, apparently". This theory has been widely debunked, and the United States intelligence agencies are unanimous in saying Moscow was behind the hacking of Democratic Party emails in 2016.

Impeachment is the first part - the charges - of a two-stage political process by which Congress can remove a president from office.

Mike Pompeo, Trump's top diplomat, further echoed the president's criticism regarding the timing of the Judiciary Committee's hearing telling Fox News that the Democratic-run House of Representatives is seeking "to distract America's president from his important mission overseas".

"We will see a stark contrast between what the liberal progressives believe is impeachable, at least with this president", and what Republicans consider is impeachable, Buck predicted.