PV International desk : A US official testified Friday that he overheard Donald Trump asking about “investigations” he had requested from Ukraine into domestic political rivals — placing the American president at the center of an alleged conspiracy to extort Kiev.

David Holmes said he heard a phone conversation in a Kiev restaurant in which Trump, on the other end of the line, pressed Washington’s EU ambassador Gordon Sondland for information on Ukrainian plans to probe former vice president Joe Biden.

Details of the conversation were included in Holmes’s opening statement to impeachment investigators, published by CNN.

The revelation casts doubt on a major plank of the Republican Party’s defence against allegations that Trump led a conspiracy to seek foreign help in the 2020 US election.