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7 January, 2020

Trump meets with new Ukraine ambassador

Donald Trump on Monday met with the new Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. at a credentialing ceremony in the Oval Office, the White House said.

Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko was one of six diplomats recognized during the event, which is routine for new ambassadors. Similar ceremonies take place periodically throughout the year and are generally not open to the press.

Diplomats from South Korea, Thailand, Austria, Senegal and Timor-Leste were also present on Monday, according to the White House.

Yelchenko's presence was noteworthy given the impeachment proceedings unfolding on Capitol Hill that are centered on Trump's actions toward Ukraine. Yelchenko previously served as Ukraine's representative to the United Nations.

Democrats last month impeached Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The vote followed several weeks of public and private deposition from current and former administration officials who detailed the administration's hold on security assistance for Ukraine and a shadow foreign policy led by Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer.

Democrats have alleged that Trump made the security assistance, as well as a White House meeting for the Ukrainian president, contingent on the country announcing investigations into the president's political rivals.

The Senate is set to begin its trial of Trump in the coming weeks, though lawmakers are still negotiating the terms of the proceeding. Democrats have said they would like administration officials to testify, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Republicans have voiced a preference for a quick trial that does not include witnesses.

Trump tweeted earlier Monday that the impeachment process "must end quickly," calling it a "con game by the Dems to help with the Election!"

The Hill

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