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Trump claims mistreatment as Democrats open impeachment probe
[WASHINGTON] President Donald Trump scrambled to defend his presidency Wednesday one day after Democrats in Congress launched a formal impeachment inquiry, accusing him of betraying the country to get dirt from Ukraine on political rival Joe Biden.
Mr Trump hit Twitter with a declaration that Democrats are acting on sheer hatred and treating him worse than any other US leader.
"There has been no President in the history of our Country who has been treated so badly as I have," Mr Trump declared Wednesday.
"The Democrats are frozen with hatred and fear. They get nothing done. This should never be allowed to happen to another President. Witch Hunt!," Trump tweeted.
The White House was stunned on Tuesday when top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi suddenly abandoned months of resistance and announced the impeachment investigation.
Only two presidents in US history have been impeached, Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998, deeply tarring both of their historical legacies.
Outside of Twitter, Mr Trump has yet to publically address the threat of impeachment.
In New York for the annual UN General Assembly, he was to meet with Mr Zelensky on Wednesday afternoon and then give a solo press conference in the evening.
Mrs Pelosi declared the formal investigation Tuesday 11 days after the news that an anonymous US intelligence official had filed a formal whistleblower complaint on Mr Trump's alleged double-dealing with Ukraine, tying aid to the country for dirt on Mr Biden.
Mrs Pelosi had resisted pressure from the party rank and file for impeachment, preferring to focus their energies on the presidential and congressional election next year as the public has shown little taste for a full-blown probe in Congress of Mr Trump.
A Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday said that only 37 per cent of voters support impeaching Mr Trump while 57 per cent oppose, even if more than half disapprove of the US leader's performance.
But Mrs Pelosi said there was now strong evidence of Mr Trump's wrongdoing.