Donald Trump’s tumultuous day began with the release of a memo describing a phone call which could end his presidency, and ended with a weary rambling speech characterised by boasts, false claims and self pity.
If the president thought releasing the partial transcript would silence his critics, as he seemed to hope, he could not have been more wrong.
While his supporters claimed the memo exonerated him, his opponents insisted that it was even more damning than they had feared.
The call showed him asking his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Joe Biden, who could face Mr Trump in next year’s presidential election, immediately after discussing the military aid Kiev needs to protect itself against a Russian-backed insurgency.
They also talked disparagingly about the former US ambassador to Ukraine who was recalled after apparently falling foul of the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Mr Trump apparently told the Ukrainian president: “Well, she’s going to go through some things.”
After appearing at an awkward media conference with the Ukrainian president himself on the edges of the UN general assembly, Mr Trump addressed the press himself.
In a low-energy performance, he insisted that the accusations against him were a Democrat “hoax” timed to embarrass him in front of the world’s leaders, boasted about his accomplishments, accused Mr Biden and his son of being corrupt and assured a Venezuelan journalist that he was watching developments in her country closely.
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Hello and welcome to The Independent's rolling coverage of the Donald Trump administration.
It is going to be a busy day. After months of resistance, Nancy Pelosi has finally come out in favour of an impeachment investigation into Donald Trump, setting off an angry and erratic stream of tweets from the president.
To recap on what happened overnight…
Mr Trump announced he would release the transcript of his call with Ukraine in an attempt to prove he did not threaten the country’s president to investigate his main 2020 rival Joe Biden.
Meanwhile, the whistleblower who reported the call apparently wants to testify before Congress.
The president has also put out a new set of Facebook ads to create an "impeachment defence task force", according to journalist Judd Legum.
The adverts ask Mr Trump's supporters to defend "AMERICAN GREATNESS" by donating money to his campaign.
One of the big questions for Democrats today is this – do Americans support an impeachment investigation?
The good news for Ms Pelosi is they do, according to YouGov US, if Mr Trump suspended military aid to Ukraine in order to incentivise an investigation into Mr Biden and his son.
In that scenario, more than half (55 per cent) of Americans would back impeachment.
However, the president denies those allegations and it is not clear at this point if Democrats will be able to prove them.
Rudy Giuliani, Mr Trump’s lawyer, had an extraordinary interview on Fox News last night in which he showed Laura Ingraham a phone that he claimed proves he was sent by the State Department to Ukraine.
Mr Giuliani has argued that he only spoke to Ukrainian officials because the State Department asked him to.
The outburst appears to be a warning to Trump administration officials who may want to blame him for the scandal.
Mr Giuliani also got into a very heated argument with another guest on Ms Ingraham’s show later in the evening.
Here are some fiery tweets from Anthony Scaramucci, the president’s former press secretary.
Mr Scaramucci has become one of Mr Trump’s most vocal critics since leaving the White House after a week-long stint as the director of communications.
He has been saying that the president’s days are numbered for a while now and last night, he claimed Mr Trump was “done”.
Mr Trump has tried to turn attention onto the transcript of his call with Ukraine’s president but the whistleblower complaint may be more important for the impeachment inquiry.
Last night, the Senate unanimously passed a nonbinding resolution calling for the complaint to be released to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.
As legal analyst Barb McQuade noted, the complaint could provide context to the phone call and give a better idea of the motives behind Mr Trump’s decision to withhold military aid to Ukraine.
This is how the leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidates reacted to the opening of a formal impeachment investigation:
Global stocks fell overnight after the announcement of an impeachment inquiry into Mr Trump.
“Germany's DAX sank 0.7 per cent to 12,224.29 and the CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.9 per cent to 5,578.02.
"Britain's FTSE 100 lost 0.6 per cent to 7,249.54.
“Wall Street was also set for losses, with the future contracts for the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 down 0.2 per cent.”
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