Donald Trump has denounced his impeachment inquiry as a "scam" in an explosive rant on twitter.
The US president unleashed the almost incoherent tirade via his favourite medium just hours before the White House was expected to release a transcript of his now infamous call with Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.
In one sentence stretching to 86 words – and rumbling on across three separate tweets – Mr Trump appeared to suggest he had not put any pressure on the East European country to investigate Joe Biden, but that, if he had, it would have been okay to do so.
He wrote (take a breath now): “Why is such a focus put on 2nd and 3rd hand witnesses, many of whom are Never Trumpers, or whose lawyers are Never Trumpers, when all you have to do is read the phone call (transcript) with the Ukrainian President and see first hand?
“He and others also stated that there was ”no pressure” put on him to investigate Sleepy Joe Biden even though, as President, I have an “obligation” to look into corruption, and Biden’s actions, on tape, about firing the prosecutor, and his son’s taking millions of dollars, with no knowledge or talent, from a Ukrainian energy company, and more millions taken from China, and now reports of other companies and countries also giving him big money, are certainly looking very corrupt (to put it mildly!) to me.
“Both Bidens should be forced to testify in this No Due Process Scam!”
He followed the explosion up minutes later by saying he would release the transcript of his first call with Mr Zelensky by the end of the week.
The White House has previously suggested all transcripts would be made available by Tuesday.
The first call took place in April but it is thought a follow in July is the one which may hold the so-called smoking gun.
The house impeachment inquiry is investigating whether Mr Trump applied illegal pressure on Ukraine to investigate former vice-president Joe Biden in return for military aid.#
Allegations made by an anonymous whistle-blower suggest that Mr Trump demanded Kiev look into rumours that Mr Biden requested a prosecutor be dropped from investigating wrong-doing at a Ukrainian energy firm during his time as vice-president.
Mr Biden’s son Hunter was on the board of the firm at the time.
Mr Trump is said to have broken the law by threatening to withhold military aid if his wishes were not complied with.
His latest outburst comes three days after his Republican allies demanded Hunter Biden and the whistleblower who sparked the impeachment inquiry in the first place testify at the upcoming hearings.
Both were included in a list of witnesses which the GOP asked to appear so the US president “can be afforded the opportunity to confront his accusers”.