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Ahead of impeachment hearings, Trump may expand communications team to bolster defense

File photo: US President Donald Trump Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Washington, United States Nov 07, 2019, 09.59 AM (IST)

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday (November 6) departed Washington for a campaign stop, amid reports that the White House was expected to expand its communications team to bolster its defense against impeachment.

Trump, who was departing Washington for a political rally in Louisiana, ignored shouted questions from reporters on impeachment including whether he was concerned about the first public hearings on his impeachment scheduled for November 13th and 15th.

The White House is said to be bringing on former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and former Treasury Department spokesman Tony Sayegh to help make its case in the weeks to come, according to a senior administration official.

Democrats will bring their impeachment case against Trump directly to the public with televised congressional hearings next week, lawmakers said on Wednesday (November 6).

Three US diplomats who expressed alarm about President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine will serve as star witnesses when Democrats bring their impeachment case against Trump directly to the public with televised congressional hearings next week, lawmakers said on Wednesday.

In a preview of what is to come, lawmakers leading the probe released testimony that showed the top US diplomat in Ukraine, William Taylor, believed a White House-led effort to pressure Kiev to investigate Ukrainian energy company Burisma was motivated by a desire to help Trump win re-election next year.

Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, served on Burisma's board of directors. Joe Biden is a leading Democratic contender to face Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

Televised public hearings featuring US officials testifying in Congress about alleged wrongdoing by Trump could crowd out other issues like the economy and immigration as voters turn their minds to the November 2020 election.

The hearings would be a likely prelude to articles of impeachment - formal charges - against Trump being brought to a vote in the House.

Democrats said they had enough material to move forward with public impeachment hearings even though some Trump administration officials have refused to cooperate.

Story highlights

Trump, who was departing Washington for a political rally in Louisiana, ignored shouted questions from reporters on impeachment.