Nov 17, 2019 18:00 UTC
  • Adam Schiff calls Trump 'charlatan,' vows to 'send him back where he came from'

US Congressman Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee leading an impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, has called the US president a "charlatan" and "the greatest threat to democracy.''

Schiff said at a Democratic Party convention in the US state of California on Saturday that, "The greatest threat to the life and the health of our democracy comes from within.”

Schiff accused Trump of thinking he is "above the law"and promised to send the US president ''back to the golden throne he came from,'' but added that this should be done in a democratic way through voting.

"We will send that charlatan in the White House back to the golden throne he came from. And you know why? Because we vote. How do we build another big, beautiful wave? We vote," the senior lawmaker said.

Democrats in the House launched an impeachment inquiry against Trump in September after a whistleblower alleged the Republican president pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who had served as a director for Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

Democrats are looking into whether Trump abused his power by withholding $391 million in US security aid to Ukraine as leverage to pressure Kiev to conduct an investigation that would benefit him politically.

The US president has denied any wrongdoing, claiming that he held up the aid because he wanted other countries to contribute more to Ukraine's defense.

Trump has previously mocked Schiff on his Twitter page, referring to the congressman as ''shifty Adam Schiff'' and dubbing the whole impeachment inquiry as another "witch hunt."

The Republican president has also called on Democrats to read the full transcript of his conversation with Zelensky out loud.

The US House of Representatives held its first public hearings on Wednesday in its impeachment inquiry into allegations that Trump asked a foreign government to investigate a domestic political rival.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump has admitted to actions that amount to "bribery" in the Ukraine scandal, accusing the Republican president of an impeachable offense under the Constitution.