•   
  •   
  •   

Politics Live updates: Ukrainians ‘came to understand what was required’ to get a meeting with Trump, military assistance, State Dept. aide told Congress

04:15  19 november  2019
04:15  19 november  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Read: William Taylor's opening statement at impeachment hearing

  Read: William Taylor's opening statement at impeachment hearing Read: William Taylor's opening statement at impeachment hearing(Pictured) Donald Trump, accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaks on Oct. 23 in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.

required ’ to get a meeting with Trump , military assistance , State Dept . aide told Congress . Democrats are seeking to prove Trump leveraged military assistance and an Oval Office have told Congress about his conversations with Trump , “especially if asked,” and that he didn’t come forward

President Donald Trump told his acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to put a hold on almost 0 million in military aid for Ukraine at least a week before his Neither Trump nor his aides have given another reason why his administration singularly stalled the Ukrainian aid package for several weeks.

BREAKING: Ukrainians “came to understand what was required” to get a meeting with Trump and military assistance, a State Department aide told Congress.

David Holmes, an official assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, was questioned about a phone call he overheard between President Trump and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. During the call, Holmes testified, Trump pressed Sondland about whether Ukraine's president would “do the investigation.” He told lawmakers that, after the call, Sondland said Trump didn’t care about Ukraine and was primarily interested in the investigations it could provide of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

Giuliani-Pompeo contacts before Yovanovitch ouster are seen in newly released State Dept. documents

  Giuliani-Pompeo contacts before Yovanovitch ouster are seen in newly released State Dept. documents The State Department released 100 pages of court-ordered documents that show Rudy Giuliani and Mike Pompeo spoke on the phone within the same time frame of events currently under investigation.The released records seemed to confirm testimony from several key witnesses, including U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who testified this week that senior Trump administration officials were involved in the president’s efforts to convince Ukraine to launch a probe into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings in the country.

in new military assistance , including patrol boats armed with remote-controlled 30mm autocannons, according to a US defense official and a congressional aide . corruption, improving transparency and boosting civilian oversight was required by law to permit the assistance package moving forward.

President Trump ’s meeting with NATO’s secretary general on Wednesday got off to a confrontational start.CreditCredit Doug Mills/The New York Times. Mr. Trump tweeted on Monday that the United States accounted for 90 percent of military spending by NATO countries, but the alliance says the

This is a developing story. It will be updated.

EARLIER: President Trump said Monday he will “strongly consider” testifying in writing as part of the impeachment inquiry at the outset of a week in which nine current and former officials are scheduled to publicly testify about his controversial actions regarding Ukraine.

In morning tweets, Trump said he might take up House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on a suggestion she made over the weekend. Trump also claimed that the rules of the inquiry had been “rigged” by Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.).

Subscribe to the Post Most newsletter: Today’s most popular stories on The Washington Post

Later Monday, House Democrats released transcripts of last week’s closed-door depositions of David Hale, undersecretary of state for political affairs, and David Holmes, senior political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.

Officials Testify That Trump Requests on Ukraine Call Were Inappropriate

  Officials Testify That Trump Requests on Ukraine Call Were Inappropriate The new accounts came as the House Intelligence Committee opened a packed week of testimony, with nine witnesses scheduled to answer questions before the public before the House decamps for Thanksgiving. Democrats used Tuesday’s back-to-back hearings to move the focus of their growing case into the White House and back to the July phone call they see as the centerpiece of an abuse of power by Mr. Trump.Taking their cues from the White House, Republicans moved aggressively to try to undercut the day’s lead witness, Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the National Security Council’s Ukraine expert.

Sidestepping Congress , Trump Signs Executive Measures for Pandemic Relief. If we get sued, it’s somebody that doesn’t want people to get money. “Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have chosen to hold this vital assistance hostage,” Mr. Trump said, savaging the two top Democrats and their .4

Trump is heading to another key battleground state . In one account, the commander in chief told senior advisers that he didn’t understand why the U.S. government placed such The North Carolina State Board of Elections on Thursday discouraged voters from coming to the polls on Election Day to

They also announced that Holmes is expected to testify publicly Thursday.

Democrats are seeking to prove Trump leveraged military assistance and an Oval Office meeting in exchange for investigations of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden and a debunked theory concerning purported Ukrainian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Speaking to reporters in Kentucky on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he “can’t imagine a scenario” in which his chamber would vote to remove Trump if he is impeached by the House.

●Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) says whistleblower’s sources “exposed things that didn’t need to be exposed.”

●House is investigating whether Trump lied to former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, its general counsel told a federal appeals court.

●How a CIA analyst, alarmed by Trump’s shadow foreign policy, triggered an impeachment inquiry.

Officials handed the House a pile of evidence for impeachment

  Officials handed the House a pile of evidence for impeachment Analysis: Yet as Democrats move toward a pre-Christmas vote, they still find a wall of Republican loyalists at President Donald Trump's side.He refused to give Congress documents. He ordered subordinates to defy subpoenas. And he issued blanket proclamations of his innocence, over Twitter and in exchanges with reporters, without testifying under oath on Capitol Hill.

The United States Supreme Court has allowed President Donald Trump to enforce his policy of banning certain transgender people from the military . The court voted 5-4 to grant a Trump administration request to lift injunctions blocking the policy while challenges continue in lower courts.

Trump 's initial decision was welcomed by state governors and representatives for frontline medical workers who fear being exposed to the virus due " What is Joe Biden up to as all this is happening? Siding with the Chinese and attacking the presidential candidate China fears most: Donald Trump

Who’s involved in the impeachment inquiry | Key documents related to the inquiry | What’s next in the inquiry

8:15 PM: Democrats release transcripts of Holmes, Hale testimony

The House committees leading the impeachment inquiry released the transcripts of last week’s closed-door testimony by Holmes and Hale.

Schiff, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and acting House Oversight Committee chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said in a statement that Holmes testified about the July 26 phone call he overheard between Trump and Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.

“Mr. Holmes testified that he felt obligated to come forward to rebut the unfounded claim by the president and his allies that ‘certain senior officials may have been acting without the president’s knowledge in their dealings with Ukraine,’” they said in their statement.

By: Felicia Sonmez

7:15 PM: Senate Democrats ask Defense Department about continued delay in Ukraine aid

A group of Democratic senators is pressing Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper for an explanation as to why more than $35 million of the allocated $250 million in military aid to Ukraine remains unspent.

Impeachment Hearing Live Updates: Sondland Says ‘We Followed the President’s Orders’ on Ukraine

  Impeachment Hearing Live Updates: Sondland Says ‘We Followed the President’s Orders’ on Ukraine Gordon D. Sondland testified that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed off on the pressure campaign, and that he told Vice President Mike Pence about an apparent link between military aid for Ukraine and investigations of Democrats. Mr. Sondland confirmed there was a “clear quid pro quo” for a White House meeting between President Trump and Ukraine’s president.  RIGHT NOW: The House Intelligence Committee has taken a brief break before Republicans have their chance to question Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union.

President Donald Trump threatened to deploy the military if states and cities failed to quell the demonstrations sparked by the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by police last week. Trump also told the governors he was putting the nation's highest-ranking military officer "in charge."

Washington (CNN) In his first year in office, President Donald Trump signed 117 bills into law, but few represented major legislative achievements. Many passed through the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to roll back regulations imposed by the executive branch.

The Democrats — Sens. Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.), Jack Reed (R.I.) and Robert Menendez (N.J.) — said the Defense Department had told them Friday of the $35.2 million in unspent funds. They told Esper they’re seeking “additional clarification on why the delays persist for aid to a close partner of the United States.”

“That fiscal year 2019 USAI aid remains unspent is a direct contradiction to the false assertions made by officials outside of the Department of Defense that the White House hold on Ukraine funds had no practical effect,” the senators wrote. “In reality, the hold on USAI funds by the Office of Management and Budget at the direction of the White House is why these funds remain in the U.S. Treasury, rather than with Ukraine as Congress intended.”

By: Felicia Sonmez

6:30 PM: Johnson lays out road map for Vindman attacks

Presenting a road map for the Republican strategy ahead of this week’s hearings, Johnson laid out a series of criticisms against Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council official who is poised to give public testimony Tuesday morning.

In a lengthy and wide-ranging letter to the top Republicans on the House Intelligence and Oversight Committees Monday, Johnson suggested, without evidence, that Vindman may be a member of the so-called deep state that “never accepted President Trump as legitimate” and purportedly works in secret to end his presidency.

Impeachment hearings highlight immigrants’ stories

  Impeachment hearings highlight immigrants’ stories WASHINGTON (AP) — One came from northeast England. Another came from the former Soviet Union. A third was born in Canada to parents who’d fled the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. Several witnesses who testified in the House impeachment inquiry this week chose to highlight their immigrant backgrounds, sharing their families’ stories in highly personal opening statements. They drew a connection to how those experiences led them to public service and a strong desire to safeguard U.S. national security.Their stories offered a sharp counterpoint to President Donald Trump, who has often derided immigrants as a threat to American national security.

“I believe a significant number of bureaucrats ... resent [Trump’s] unorthodox style and his intrusion on their ‘turf,’” Johnson wrote. “They react by leaking to the press and participating in the ongoing effort to sabotage his policies and, if possible, remove him from office. It is entirely possible that Vindman fits this profile.”

Johnson’s letter intensifies a campaign of attacks on Vindman from Trump and his allies, which has included speculation by conservative commentators about Vindman’s patriotism and a White House statement Friday criticizing his job performance. The letter responded to a request from the two GOP lawmakers, Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Devin Nunes (Calif.), who requested “any firsthand information you have about President Trump’s actions toward Ukraine between April and September 2019” on Saturday.

In addition to its attack on Vindman, several points from Johnson’s 11-page letter stood out as relevant to the probe:

●Johnson, who participated in a May 23 White House meeting in which a delegation that had just returned from Ukraine briefed Trump on the trip, wrote that he has “no recollection” of Trump directing thse group to work with his personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, on Ukraine policy. Sondland and former special U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker testified that they heard Trump say this.

●Johnson wrote that he spoke with Sondland on Aug. 30 about the hold on military aid, but that neither he nor Sondland recalls what was said.

●Johnson wrote that he asked Trump on Aug. 31 for permission to tell Ukrainian officials that the hold on military aid had been lifted. In this conversation, Johnson has said he asked Trump about the alleged quid pro quo and Trump vehemently denied it.

Quid pro quo, domestic errands: Takeaways from impeachment

  Quid pro quo, domestic errands: Takeaways from impeachment resident Donald Trump asked a foreign country to investigate a political rival as he enters his re-election campaign. That has been established almost beyond doubt. But Republicans and Democrats agree on little else as they embarked on only the fourth impeachment inquiry in the nation's history. One witness explicitly acknowledged a quid pro quo and another spoke of figurative hand grenades and drug deals. A third was the target of disparaging tweets by the president while her testimony was underway.Here are key takeaways from two weeks of hearings.

By: Elise Viebeck

5:45 PM: Graham announces Justice Department inspector general will testify next month

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next month, the panel’s chairman, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), announced Monday.

Horowitz has been working on a long-awaited report on the FBI investigation of Trump’s 2016 campaign.

“Mr. Horowitz will be appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on December 11, where he will deliver a detailed report of what he found regarding his investigation, along with recommendations as to how to make our judicial and investigative systems better,” Graham said in a statement. “I look forward to hearing from him. He is a good man that has served our nation well.”

Democrats and Republicans alike have eagerly awaited the release of Horowitz’s report, hopeful that the Justice Department’s internal watchdog will validate their views on the law enforcement investigation that dogged the first two years of Trump’s presidency.

A spokeswoman for the inspector general confirmed that the office had received Graham’s letter but declined to comment further. A spokesperson for Graham would not say whether the inspector general had communicated a date that the report was expected to be released.

By: Felicia Sonmez and Matt Zapotosky

5:30 PM: U.S. judge to rule by Tuesday morning whether to bar House from getting Trump’s New York state tax returns without notice

A federal judge said he will rule by Tuesday morning whether the House Ways and Means Committee must notify Trump before requesting his New York state tax returns, even though the panel has not said whether it wants the records and the court has not ruled whether Trump can sue in federal court to shield them.

The potentially precedent-setting decision, pending before U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols of Washington, D.C., comes after Nichols last week dismissed Trump’s attempt to prevent New York officials from using a recently enacted New York state law to release Trump’s returns.

A Split Decision From Congress Will Leave Voters With Final Say on Trump

  A Split Decision From Congress Will Leave Voters With Final Say on Trump The voters in 2020 will serve as the court of appeals in a drama where the end seems known in advance.Mr. Trump began the day with a 53-minute phone call to "Fox & Friends: in which he repeated a familiar list of accusations and falsehoods, which he amplified again on Saturday with a string of Twitter posts. Indeed, even after two weeks of hearings that presented compelling evidence against him, Mr. Trump was acting as if nothing had changed. In a way, it had not.

New York state officials had agreed while that case was pending not to turn over Trump’s records any sooner than seven days after Nichols ruled on whether the Trump lawsuit should be heard before him or before a federal judge in New York.

Read more here.

By: Spencer S. Hsu

5:00 PM: Foreign Affairs Committee Democrats criticize Pompeo for not defending diplomats by name

Democrats on the House Foreign Affairs Committee took a swipe at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday afternoon after Pompeo declined to defend individual diplomats who had testified in the impeachment inquiry.

“.@SecPompeo just said with a straight face, ‘I always defend @StateDept employees,’ while once again refusing to do so,” the panel’s Democrats said in a tweet. “Ambassador Yovanovitch, Jennifer Williams, and the other targets of the President’s smears probably see things a little differently.”

Trump has disparaged both former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and Jennifer Williams, Vice President Pence’s special adviser on Europe and Russia, on Twitter in recent days.

By: Felicia Sonmez

4:30 PM: Holmes to testify publicly Thursday

Holmes is expected to testify publicly Thursday, the House Intelligence Committee announced.

Holmes testified behind closed doors last week that he overheard a July 26 phone call in which Trump pressed Sondland about whether Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son, according to three people who read his opening statement and spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe its contents.

Holmes is scheduled to testify Thursday morning along with Fiona Hill, the former National Security Council Russia adviser.

By: Felicia Sonmez

3:30 PM: The full Trump-Ukraine impeachment timeline

The House of Representatives is engaged in a formal impeachment inquiry of Trump. It is focused on his efforts to secure specific investigations in Ukraine that carried political benefits for him — including aides allegedly tying those investigations to official U.S. government concessions. The Fix team has compiled a timeline of relevant events.

Read more here.

By: Aaron Blake, Philip Bump and Irfan Uraizee

3:00 PM: Pompeo says he ‘always’ defends State Department employees, but declines to back Yovanovitch or Taylor by name

Pompeo said Monday he “always” defends State Department employees, although he declined to defend individual officials who have testified in the impeachment inquiry, including Yovanovitch and her successor, acting ambassador William B. Taylor Jr.

Yovanovitch told the House Intelligence Committee on Friday that Trump recalled her this year after a “smear campaign” aimed at advancing corrupt interests in Ukraine. As she was testifying, Trump disparaged Yovanovitch in a tweet, prompting an outcry from some Democrats who described the president’s actions as witness intimidation.

At a news conference Monday on U.S. policy toward Israel, Pompeo was asked why he hasn’t spoken out in defense of his employees.

“I’m happy to talk about Ukraine policy today,” Pompeo replied. “I’m not going to get into the issues surrounding the Democrat impeachment inquiry. Just not going to do it today.”

He went on to argue that Yovanovitch’s departure from Ukraine preceded Taylor’s arrival. “There’s some ideas out there that somehow this change was designed to enable some nefarious purpose,” he said. “You should all just look at the simple fact that it was Bill Taylor that replaced Ambassador Yovanovitch, who in each case has been driving towards the appropriate Ukraine policy.”

Asked again whether he would offer a defense of his employees, Pompeo gave a general endorsement of the diplomatic corps.

“I always defend State Department employees,” he said. “This is the greatest diplomatic corps in the history of the world. I’m very proud of the team.”

Later in the briefing, Pompeo was asked whether he agreed with Trump’s tweet disparaging Yovanovitch’s career. He declined to say.

“I don’t have anything to say. I’ll defer to the White House about particular statements and the like,” Pompeo said.

A reporter asked Pompeo a final question: Does he still have confidence in Taylor?

“Thanks, everybody,” Pompeo replied as he made his way toward the exit. “Have a fantastic day.”

By: Felicia Sonmez

2:05 PM: Pelosi says facts of the impeachment inquiry are ‘uncontested’

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to Democratic colleagues on Monday that the facts of the impeachment inquiry are “uncontested,” asserting that President Trump “abused his power for his own personal, political benefit, at the expense of our national security interests.”

She also pushed back against those who have suggested “no serious wrongdoing” was committed because military aid that was withheld to Ukraine was eventually released without the launch of investigations sought by Trump.

“The fact is, the aid was only released after the whistleblower exposed the truth of the President’s extortion and bribery, and the House launched a formal investigation,” Pelosi said, referring to the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry.

Pelosi also argued that it would be “dangerous” to leave Trump’s fate to next year’s election because “the President is jeopardizing the integrity of the 2020 elections.”

“None of us comes to Congress to impeach a President, but rather to make progress for America’s working families,” she said. “However, our first order of business is our oath to support and defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic.”

By: John Wagner

1:30 PM: McConnell ‘can’t image a scenario’ where Trump is removed from office

McConnell told reporters in Kentucky on Monday that he “can’t imagine a scenario” in which his chamber would vote to remove Trump from office following impeachment in the Democratic-led House.

“I can’t imagine a scenario under which President Trump would be removed from office with 67 votes in the Senate,” McConnell said, according to a report by the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Removal by the Senate requires a two-thirds vote of the chamber.

McConnell’s remarks echoed those he made in Washington about two weeks ago, before the start of open impeachment inquiry hearings, when McConnell said that if a Senate trial started then, “I don’t think there’s any question it would not lead to a removal.”

McConnell was in downtown Louisville on Monday to receive this year’s “Distinguished Rural Kentuckian” award from the Kentucky Electric Cooperatives.

He indicated it remains an open question as to how long a Senate trial would last.

By: John Wagner

12:45 PM: House is investigating whether Trump lied to Mueller, its general counsel says

The House is investigating whether President Trump lied to former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, the House general counsel told a federal appeals court Monday in Washington.

The statement came during arguments over Congress’s request to have secret grand jury evidence from the Mueller report released urgently for its impeachment inquiry.

The request followed closely on the heels of Friday’s conviction of longtime Trump friend Roger Stone. Testimony and evidence at his trial appeared to cast doubt on written replies from Trump to Mueller about the president’s knowledge about attempts by his 2016 campaign to learn more about the release of hacked Democratic emails by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

“Did the president lie? Was the president not truthful in his responses to the Mueller investigation?” General Counsel Douglas N. Letter said. “The House is trying to determine whether the current president should remain in office. This is unbelievably serious and it’s happening right now, very fast.”

Read more here.

By: Ann E. Marimow and Spencer S. Hsu

12:30 PM: Republicans press for release of deposition transcripts

Republicans on Monday reiterated their complaint that public hearings are being held before all deposition transcripts have been released, claiming Democrats are withholding information from the public.

“At the start of last week’s public impeachment hearings, Adam Schiff had not released 4 of the transcripts from his Soviet-style hearings,” tweeted Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.). “There are again 4 unreleased transcripts as we prepare for week #2. What is Mr. Schiff hiding? Why does he want to control the narrative?”

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) also suggested Democrats don’t want Americans to view all of the information.

“Not being discussed enough: House Democrats are holding public impeachment hearings when critical depositions haven’t been released — some that include key exculpatory information for the President,” he wrote on Twitter. “Perhaps it’s because they’re not interested in you seeing the full set of facts.”

Democrats are giving witnesses a chance to review transcripts of their closed-door testimony before releasing them publicly.

By: Brittany Shammas

12:10 PM: White House officials urge GOP aides to argue on substance

Two top officials recently enlisted by the White House to help on impeachment strategy urged Senate Republican aides on Monday to argue on the substance of the case against Trump, even as congressional allies continue to largely focus on perceived process fouls against Democrats.

The appearance of Pam Bondi and Tony Sayegh at a Monday meeting of Senate Republican press and communications aides shows how the White House has stepped up its coordination with the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue after a period during which congressional GOP officials say they had heard little from the Trump administration.

Bondi and Sayegh’s visit was confirmed by three officials in attendance who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a private meeting. Their messaging guidance to Republican aides largely echoed what Trump and his allies have insisted publicly.

That includes: urging the public to read the rough transcript of the July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky, which is at the heart of the Democrats’ impeachment investigation; that the president committed no impeachable crime; and that the nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine was eventually released without Ukraine launching any investigation of Joe Biden or the 2016 election.

The White House officials also highlighted the testimony of Tim Morrison, a former top official at the National Security Council who had listened in on the July 25 conversation but testified to House investigators that “I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed.”

Bondi, a former Florida attorney general, and Sayegh, a former top aide at the Treasury Department under Secretary Steven Mnuchin, have been hired at the White House on a temporary basis to aid in impeachment strategy and messaging.

By: Seung Min Kim

11:15 AM: Trump highlights views of Rep. Van Drew

Trump returned to Twitter on Monday morning to highlight the views of Rep. Van Drew (N.J.), one of only two Democrats to vote last month against the rules governing the public phase of the impeachment inquiry.

In his tweet, Trump alluded to an appearance by Van Drew on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures With Maria Bartiromo.”

“Congressman Van Drew (D-NJ) SLAMS Democrats for ‘fracturing the Nation’ with Impeachment probe,” Trump tweeted.

“We’ve spent millions of dollars, in my opinion, tons of money, tons of time, tons of hurt, fracturing the nation apart, and I haven’t seen this to be a good thing,” Van Drew said of the impeachment inquiry on the program.

Van Drew represents a district that Trump carried in 2016.

By: John Wagner

10:50 AM: Zeldin counsels Trump against providing testimony

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), a staunch Trump ally, said Monday that it would be beneath the president to provide testimony in the impeachment inquiry.

“It would be a ‘Heck no’ from me as far as whether or not he should testify,” Zeldin said during an interview on Fox News, adding that the president “would just be lowering himself to Adam Schiff’s level — he would be lowering himself below Adam Schiff’s level.”

Zeldin said the president should “focus on the issues of the country” rather than participating in a hearing while “these people just scream at the sky.” He said Trump has shown he “has nothing to hide” and shouldn’t involve himself in “this game Pelosi and Schiff are daring him to.”

“Maybe he should send an autographed copy of his son’s new book ‘Triggered,’ ” Zeldin added, referencing a book by Donald Trump Jr. “I think the title of the book sums up why we’re having this process.”

By: Brittany Shammas

10:35 AM: Trump thinks Nixon should have fought impeachment, Nixon’s son-in-law says

Former president Richard Nixon’s son-in-law said Monday that Trump told him Nixon should have fought impeachment instead of resigning from office.

Ed Cox, who serves as national coordinator of the Trump Victory Fund, made the comment during an appearance on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.”

Asked by host Steve Doocy whether Trump should fight the impeachment inquiry, he said Trump was “going to fight all the way through it.”

“He’s a fighter,” Cox continued. “He told me that. He said President Nixon should have fought all the way through it. But it was a different time back then. Both — President Nixon had both houses against him.”

He pushed back against Doocy’s characterization of the Nixon impeachment proceeding as bipartisan, claiming it was partisan and driven by Democrats.

“They drove it because they wanted to depose a very powerful president who had just a great reelection in ’72,” Cox said. “The first Republican landslide since the 1920s. And they wanted to get back power, and that’s what they did.”

By: Brittany Shammas

10:30 AM: Schumer seeks formal notification from Pentagon on rights to make disclosures to Congress

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday asked Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper to “formally notify all civilian and military personnel of their legal rights to make protected disclosures to Congress free from retaliation.”

Schumer’s request, relayed in a letter, comes ahead of planned open testimony in the impeachment inquiry by Vindman, who is detailed to the National Security Council, and Laura Cooper, the Pentagon official who oversees Ukraine policy, among others.

“Since their identities were revealed, LTC Vindman and Ms. Cooper have been vilified and attacked by individuals in the media and elsewhere,” Schumer wrote. “Some have even gone so far as to call LTC Vindman, a recipient of the Purple Heart after being wounded while serving in Iraq, a spy and question his loyalty to the United States.”

“Bravely, in the face of these shameful attacks, these individuals have still chosen to come forward and tell the truth despite the risk of professional reprisals and threats to their personal safety,” Schumer continued. “I fear, however, these attacks will only increase after their participation in these public hearings.”

By: John Wagner

10:15 AM: Democrats express skepticism about Trump testimony

Congressional Democrats reacted to Trump’s statement that he will consider testifying in the impeachment inquiry with skepticism and calls for more cooperation from the White House.

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) said in a tweet that the president should testify and allow the testimony of other officials, claiming Trump was engaged in an “illegal coverup.”

“He should allow Rick Perry and John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani to testify,” Beyer tweeted, referring to the energy secretary, former national security adviser and the president’s personal lawyer. “He should turn over the documents Congress subpoenaed. He should end his illegal coverup. I’m not holding my breath.”

Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) also expressed doubt that Trump would come through with testimony.

“I’m sure we can expect this testimony along with your plan to provide coverage for preexisting conditions, your gun violence legislation, and your tax returns, all of which you promised would be coming ‘soon,’” she wrote on Twitter.

By: Brittany Shammas

9:45 AM: Seventy percent of Americans think Trump did something wrong

Seventy percent of Americans think Trump did something wrong regarding Ukraine, according to a new ABC-Ipsos poll.

In the poll, 51 percent agreed that Trump had done something wrong and said he should be impeached by the House and removed from office by the Senate. Another 6 percent agreed that Trump had done something wrong and said he should be impeached but not removed from office. Another 13 percent agreed that he had done something wrong but said he should not be impeached or removed.

Meanwhile, 25 percent said Trump had done nothing wrong.

By: John Wagner

9:00 AM: Trump says he will ‘strongly consider’ testifying in writing

Trump said Monday that he will “strongly consider” taking up an offer by Pelosi to testify in writing as part of the impeachment inquiry.

“Even though I did nothing wrong, and don’t like giving credibility to this No Due Process Hoax, I like the idea & will, in order to get Congress focused again, strongly consider it!” Trump said in tweets in which he also disparaged Pelosi as “Nervous Nancy” and “crazy.”

Pelosi made the suggestion during an interview that aired Sunday on CBS News’s “Face the Nation,” arguing that if Trump is innocent he should come forward.

“The president could come right before the committee and talk, speak all the truth that he wants if he wants,” she said.

Trump testified in writing during the investigation into Russian election interference by former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III after declining to be interviewed in person. He previously had said he was eager to testify.

By: John Wagner

8:45 AM: Mueller grand-jury material urgently needed for impeachment inquiry, Congress tells court

A federal appeals court in Washington on Monday is set to consider whether the Justice Department must immediately release to Congress secret grand-jury materials from former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is due to review a lower-court ruling that requires disclosure of evidence the House Judiciary Committee says it needs in its “urgent efforts” to determine whether Trump committed impeachable offenses.

Last month, Judge Beryl A. Howell, chief of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, found that the House was legally engaged in a judicial process that exempts Congress from grand-jury secrecy rules.

The case is one of several separation-of-powers battles teed up for the Supreme Court. Trump’s private lawyers last week asked the high court to block a subpoena for his tax records from New York prosecutors and to stop a separate House subpoena for his personal and business records.

Read more here.

By: Ann E. Marimow

8:30 AM: The quid pro quo evidence so far

Quid pro quo — Latin for “something for something” — is a common concept in foreign relations. U.S. assistance for other countries is typically contingent on an agreement to help achieve an American objective.

The current impeachment inquiry is focused on whether Trump abused his office by seeking a quid pro quo from Ukraine that would benefit him personally rather than promote the country’s interests: namely, investigations of his political opponents.

There have been six episodes in which top Trump administration and Ukrainian officials discussed such a potential quid pro quo, according to congressional testimony, public statements and documents.

Read more here.

By: Washington Post Staff

7:45 AM: McDaniel seizes on profane description of Trump

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel seized Monday on a Nevada congresswoman’s profane description of Trump to argue that Democrats have long sought Trump’s impeachment regardless of the facts.

During remarks at a fundraising dinner for the Nevada Democratic Party on Sunday night that drew presidential contenders, Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) spoke about the prospects for Trump’s impeachment.

“I think the House is going to do it,” she said. “Frankly, I’d like to impeach the bastard right now.”

In a morning tweet, McDaniel shared the quote.

“More House Democrats showing their true colors,” she wrote. “Impeachment is all they’ve ever wanted!”

By: John Wagner

7:30 AM: Trump dismisses impeachment inquiry

Trump returned to Twitter Monday morning to attack the impeachment inquiry as a “great fraud” and take aim at Pelosi and Schiff.

In one tweet, Trump claimed unprecedented unity among Republicans.

“This is a great fraud being played out against the American people by the Fake News Media & their partner, the Do Nothing Democrats,” he tweeted. “The rules are rigged by Pelosi & Schiff, but we are winning, and we will win!”

Earlier, Trump shared a tweet by House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) that also took issue with how Schiff is running the process.

“Schiff controls who testifies,” Scalise wrote. “Schiff controls how Republicans use our question time. Schiff controls what gets released from his secret depositions. Schiff shuts out witnesses who would contradict his one-sided narrative. This is what Pelosi is calling fair? It’s a sham.”

By: John Wagner

7:00 AM: Eight witnesses scheduled to testify publicly this week

Eight witnesses are scheduled to testify publicly this week in the impeachment inquiry, including four on Tuesday alone.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, European affairs director at the National Security Council, and Williams are scheduled to appear on Tuesday morning.

Vindman testified in a closed-door deposition last month that he “did not think it was proper” for Trump to seek a Ukrainian investigation of a U.S. citizen. He was among those who listened in on the July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky. Vindman later reported his concerns to the lead counsel of NSC.

The closed-door testimony of Williams, which was released Saturday, suggests that the Office of Management and Budget had clamped down on Ukraine military aid more than two weeks earlier than has been previously reported.

Trump attacked Williams in a tweet on Sunday.

“Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever that is, to read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls, & see the just released statement from Ukraine,” Trump said. “Then she should meet with the other Never Trumpers, who I don’t know & mostly never even heard of, & work out a better presidential attack!”

Tim Morrison, the top Russia and Europe adviser on the National Security Council, and Kurt Volker, a former Trump administration envoy to Ukraine, are scheduled to testify Tuesday afternoon.

Morrison told House investigators last month that Sondland was acting at Trump’s behest and spoke to a top Ukrainian official about exchanging military aid for political investigations.

Trump has said he does not know Sondland well and has tried to distance himself from the E.U. ambassador, whom Trump put in charge of Ukraine policy along with two others, even though Ukraine is not part of the European Union.

Volker told impeachment investigators he worked with Trump personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, the White House and Ukrainian officials to arrange the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky, as well as a potential White House visit, while pushing for investigations into Trump’s political enemies.

Sondland is scheduled to testify on Wednesday morning. Hale and Laura Cooper, the Pentagon official who oversees Ukraine policy, are scheduled in the afternoon.

On Thursday, Hill is scheduled to appear.

By: John Wagner

6:45 AM: Democrats targeted in $7 million advertising campaign

The American Action Network, a group that promotes “center-right policies,” has launched a $7 million television and digital advertising campaign in 37 House districts calling the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry a “politically motivated charade.”

The ads target Democrats in 30 districts, urging their constituents to call their representatives and tell them to “let voters decide elections” and “get to work” on other issues. The ads also feature a clip of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) saying in a television interview that the impeachment process is “preventing a potentially disastrous outcome from occurring next year.”

Ads in another seven districts thank Republicans for standing against impeachment.

Zach Hunter, the group’s vice president, said it plans to spend $5 million on television ads and $2 million on digital ads.

By: John Wagner

6:30 AM: Majority of young voters favor impeachment and removal

A new poll finds that 58 percent of likely general election voters under age 30 think that Trump should be impeached and removed from office.

The question was included in a survey of 18- to 29-year-olds conducted for the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School on a wide range of issues. Among the other findings released Monday: 48 percent of likely general election voters under 30 support dismantling the electoral college and electing the president by the national popular vote. Twenty-eight percent opposed the idea, with the remainder unsure.

By: John Wagner

6:00 AM: In late-night tweets, Trump shares a Fox Host mocking Democrats for describing Trump’s actions as ‘bribery’

Trump continued his efforts to undermine the credibility of the impeachment inquiry through late-night tweets on Sunday, including one that shared a clip of a Fox News host mocking leading Democrats for characterizing Trump’s actions of “bribery.”

Steve Hilton, host of “The Next Revolution,” said use of the term by Pelosi and others showed “the laughable hypocrisy of the Democrats latest desperate impeachment gambit.”

Hilton contended fundraising conducted by Pelosi and other leading Democrats “in the swamp” amounts to bribery and called the House speaker “the queen of bribery.”

“Raising money is the way she clings to power,” he said in the clip shared by Trump with his nearly 67 million Twitter followers.

In another tweet, Trump claimed that “nothing matters” beside the rough transcripts of his two calls with Zelensky and public statements by Ukrainian officials that they did not feel pressured.

By: John Wagner

A Split Decision From Congress Will Leave Voters With Final Say on Trump .
The voters in 2020 will serve as the court of appeals in a drama where the end seems known in advance.Mr. Trump began the day with a 53-minute phone call to "Fox & Friends: in which he repeated a familiar list of accusations and falsehoods, which he amplified again on Saturday with a string of Twitter posts. Indeed, even after two weeks of hearings that presented compelling evidence against him, Mr. Trump was acting as if nothing had changed. In a way, it had not.

Topical videos:

usr: 0
This is interesting!