US President Donald Trump has railed against the Democratic lawmaker leading the impeachment probe, suggesting he be arrested for treason for depicting him as using mafia-like tactics.

Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, opened a congressional hearing last week by pretending to be the president speaking like a mob boss to pressure Ukraine’s leader to probe rival Joe Biden.

The impersonation was intended to dramatise Schiff’s contention that Trump’s July 25 phone call to Volodymyr Zelensky was a classic mafia-like shakedown – but has been widely criticised by conservative media.

Trump denounced it on Twitter as a “FAKE & terrible statement,” saying Schiff “pretended it to be mine as the most important part of my call to the Ukrainian President, and read it aloud to Congress and the American people.

“It bore NO relationship to what I said on the call. Arrest for Treason?” (AFP)