US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. File photo
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday rejected a report laying out the Democratic case for President Donald Trump's impeachment as "just all wrong".
A 300-page report released by Democrats leading the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee earlier this week leveled allegations of sweeping abuse of power by Trump. It also suggested that Pompeo was among senior officials who either knew about or were involved in an effort to gain political benefits from a foreign power.
The Republican president has denied any wrongdoing, calling the inquiry a hoax.
The report noted that many of Trump's "closest subordinates and advisors," including Pompeo aided Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine and withheld information from Congress.
Philip Reeker, the acting assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, spent about eight hours with the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committees behind closed doors at the US Capitol.
Almost simultaneously, House impeachment managers responded to an earlier Trump filing, saying the president had engaged in "corrupt conduct... to cheat in the next election" and that the Senate should remove him from office "following a fair trial."
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed the articles, which charge Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, before they were ceremonially walked through the Capitol to the Republican-controlled Senate.
As the third presidential impeachment trial in US history began in earnest, Trump's chief legal defender argued the Democratic case was a baseless effort to overturn the 2016 election but a top Democratic lawmaker said there was "overwhelming" evidence of wrongdoing.
About half the country's roughly 110 million people are currently under quarantine — including millions in deep poverty, left jobless by tough restrictions on movement.
The first phase testing would take around three months, CSIRO's director of health Rob Grenfell told Reuters, adding that any resulting vaccine would not be available to the public before late next year.
Confirmed coronavirus infections around the world approached one million on Thursday as the pandemic spread at a "near-exponential" rate, with a six-week-old baby becoming one of the youngest known victims.