•   
  •   
  •   

Politics Impeachment hearings live updates: Vindman, three other key witnesses scheduled today in House inquiry

15:50  19 november  2019
15:50  19 november  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Lawyer for NSC Adviser Vindman Sends Letter to Fox Demanding Retraction of ‘Espionage’ Allegation

  Lawyer for NSC Adviser Vindman Sends Letter to Fox Demanding Retraction of ‘Espionage’ Allegation A lawyer for Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman sent a letter to Fox News on Wednesday demanding the network either retract or issue a correction.Vindman, who listened to the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky that forms part of the impeachment probe, testified in House hearings on Tuesday regarding the matter. Vindman is a long-serving military officer whose family fled Soviet Ukraine when he was three years old.

Four key witnesses from the White House and State Department are scheduled to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, including Alexander Vindman , a senior National Security Council official, and Jennifer Williams, an adviser to Vice President Pence, in a morning session.

Today ’s Paper. As Democrats enter the second week of public impeachment hearings , lawmakers on Tuesday will hear Alexander S. Vindman , the top Ukraine expert at the National Security Council, and Jennifer Williams, a senior aide to Vice President Mike Pence, will appear together in the morning.

Video by TODAY

Four key witnesses from the White House and State Department are scheduled to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, including three who listened in to the July phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

In what is expected to be a long and dramatic day, lawmakers are set to hear from Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a senior National Security Council official, and Jennifer Williams, an adviser to Vice President Pence, in a morning session. Both have expressed concerns about Trump’s call. 

'Fox & Friends' co-host Brian Kilmeade urges Trump not to tweet during impeachment hearings

  'Fox & Friends' co-host Brian Kilmeade urges Trump not to tweet during impeachment hearings "Fox & Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade on Tuesday urged President Trump not to tweet during public impeachment hearings. "The president should just ignore this whole thing. Don't tweet during it. Don't get outraged over it. It ticks you off," Kilmeade said on air. "There's so much for him to do — I just think that let these guys, like [Rep.] Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and company, fight it out and keep it on the straight and narrow, from the Republican perspective."Fox & Friends asks President Trump not to tweet during today's impeachment hearings: "The president should just ignore this whole thing.

Several witnesses have testified to impeachment investigators that they were alarmed by what Trump's defense tested by this week's impeachment hearings . Good morning, live blog readers! Alexander Vindman , who will testify tomorrow, and Gordon Sondland, who will testify Wednesday

Live coverage from the Trump impeachment hearing during Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams’ public testimonies about Ukraine dealings on Tuesday. It's the second week of open hearings in the House 's impeachment inquiry .

In the afternoon, testimony is expected from Tim Morrison, another senior NSC official, and Kurt Volker, a former Trump administration envoy to Ukraine.

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

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.

Slideshow by photo services

●Ukrainians ‘came to understand’ what Trump wanted, State Department aide David Holmes testifies.

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

George Conway and Trump Jr. trade personal insults during impeachment hearing

  George Conway and Trump Jr. trade personal insults during impeachment hearing Conservative commentator George Conway and Donald Trump Jr. squared off via Twitter during Marie Yovanovitch's public impeachment hearing Friday. © Getty Images George Conway and Trump Jr. trade personal insults during impeachment hearing Trump Jr., son of President Trump, was unimpressed with the witnesses, tweeting: "America hired @realDonaldTrump to fire people like the first three witnesses we've seen. Career government bureaucrats and nothing more."America hired @realDonaldTrump to fire people like the first three witnesses we've seen. Career government bureaucrats and nothing more.- Donald Trump Jr.

●Attacking witnesses is Trump’s core defense strategy in fighting impeachment.

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

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman arrives to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. © AP Photo/Julio Cortez Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman arrives to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents.

8:15 AM: Vindman arrives in advance of scheduled testimony

Vindman has arrived at the Longworth House Office Building in advance of his scheduled 9 a.m. appearance before the House Intelligence Committee.

Vindman, a decorated combat veteran who serves as the Ukraine expert on the NSC and is considered a star witness by Democrats, will testify amid increased signs that Republican lawmakers will attempt to discredit him, despite his stirring personal story.

Some GOP members have suggested, as the president has said, that he is “an anti-Trumper,” inclined to resist the president’s policy objectives.

On Monday night, Rep. Doug Collins (Ga.), the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, challenged Vindman’s credibility and his willingness to cooperate with investigators who quizzed him last month behind closed doors about the whistleblower whose complaint sparked the inquiry, a well as other matters.

When asked whether Vindman’s uniform would shield him from tough questioning at Tuesday’s hearing, Collins told reporters: “I don’t think it shielded Oliver North from hard questions.”

He was referring to North’s role in the Iran-Contra scandal, which occurred during the presidency of Ronald Reagan and was investigated by Congress.

The complaints about Vindman from Republicans led a Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.) to issue a warning Monday evening to his GOP colleagues.

Cicilline told reporters: “If they attack the credibility of this patriot, they will suffer consequences in the eyes of the American people.”

By Tom Hamburger and Mike DeBonis

7:30 AM: Four witnesses scheduled for lengthy day of public testimony

The House Intelligence Committee expects to hear from four key witnesses over what is shaping up as a lengthy day of public testimony on Tuesday.

In a morning session, lawmakers are scheduled to hear from Vindman and Williams, two witnesses who listened in on the July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky.

Vindman, the European affairs director at the NSC, 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. Vindman later reported his concerns to the lead counsel of NSC.

Republicans have signaled that they plan to try to discredit Vindman, a Purple Heart recipient and one of the most significant witnesses in the inquiry, by questioning his motives and his loyalty to the president.

In her deposition, Williams testified that she found Trump’s call with Zelensky “inappropriate” and politically motivated.

Williams is a State Department employee detailed to Pence’s staff and serves as his top Russia adviser. She also testified that it was her understanding Trump told Pence not to attend Zelensky’s inauguration, a move that deprived Ukraine's new government of a high-profile statement of support from the United States.

Trump attacked Williams as a “Never Trumper” in a tweet over the weekend.

Morrison and Volker are scheduled to appear before the House committee in the afternoon.

Morrison was the top Russia staffer on the NSC until he resigned on the eve of his closed-door testimony last month.

He also listened to the call between Trump and Zelensky. Morrison has said he heard directly from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland that Sondland told Ukrainians that they would probably get withheld military assistance if the government announced investigations into Democrats.

Trump has said he does not know Sondland well and has tried to distance himself from the ambassador, a major Trump fundraiser whom the president gave a leading role on Ukraine policy even though Ukraine is not part of the European Union.

Volker is one of three men designated by Trump to steer Ukraine policy who dubbed themselves the “three amigos.” He testified behind closed doors that he knew Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was pushing unsubstantiated theories about Biden in Ukraine.

By: John Wagner and Amber Phillips

7:15 AM: Trump has Cabinet meeting scheduled amid the impeachment proceedings

Trump has a Cabinet meeting scheduled at the White House at 11:30 a.m., in the midst of what is expected to be a dramatic day on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Typically, Trump opens at least part of these meetings to reporters and takes questions. The meeting is the only public event on the president’s schedule on Tuesday, so it is the most likely time that he will weigh in on impeachment proceedings in person.

By: John Wagner

7:30 AM: A bipartisan event scheduled on a day of partisan infighting

Amid what is expected to be an acrimonious day on the impeachment front, lawmakers from both parties plan to gather in Statuary Hall in the Capitol for a portrait unveiling ceremony in honor of former House speaker John A. Boehner.

The Ohio Republican held the gavel from 2011 to 2015.

Those scheduled to appear include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader Kevin McConnell (R-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.).

By: John Wagner

7:00 AM: Trump bashes Pelosi for an impeachment quote that actually came from a Fox News reporter 

Trump lashed out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a tweet early Tuesday morning, misquoting her while characterizing the ongoing impeachment inquiry as a ploy to skirt around the 2020 election because “she thinks I will win.”

Trump weighed in on whether voters should decide his fate rather than Congress after Pelosi addressed that same argument against impeachment — a favorite among Republican lawmakers — in a letter Monday.

Stressing the importance of the impeachment hearings, Pelosi said in a “Dear Colleague” memo, “The weak response to these hearings has been, ‘Let the election decide.’ That dangerous position only adds to the urgency of our action, because the President is jeopardizing the integrity of the 2020 elections.”

Tweeting from his iPhone shortly after midnight Tuesday, Trump attributed a quote about the 2020 election to the House speaker — but it appears the quote actually came from a Fox News reporter in a broadcast an hour earlier.

Read more here.

By: Meagan Flynn

6:45 AM: ‘I had never seen anything like that,’ Holmes says of Yovanovitch removal

The right-wing media attacks on then-Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and her abrupt removal by Trump were a source of confusion and concern to officials at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv, a senior diplomat there testified.

“To have an ambassador removed because of this media campaign – I had never seen anything like that,” David Holmes, the top political officer at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv testified, according to a transcript of a deposition released late Monday.

Holmes also testified that a former Ukrainian prosecutor who worked with Trump personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to campaign for Yovanovitch’s ouster had been a target of U.S. criticism for his failures to follow through on corruption probes.

Yuri Lutsenko “was a big disappointment” to U.S. officials, Holmes testified. Seen as a potential reformer when he was given the job as Ukraine’s top prosecutor, Lutsenko was instead “just a politician” whose requests for meetings with senior officials in Washington were spurned by U.S. embassy officials, Holmes said.

By: Greg Miller

6:30 AM: Hales says he was unaware of Giuliani’s role until reading it in the news

David Hale, undersecretary of state for political affairs, said he did not become aware of the role of Trump personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani in Ukraine policy until after a whistleblower complaint was made public in late September.

Hale, according to the transcript of a deposition made public late Monday, said his knowledge of Giuliani’s role came only through public news stories.

Hale also said he never discussed the issue with other State Department officials at that point. Asked why not, he said, “It was clear that these were matters that were going to be under, or already were under investigation, and therefore I didn’t want to appear in any way to be influencing potential witnesses to this committee.”

Asked how common or uncommon it would be for a president to lean on a private person for public diplomacy, he said, “Well, it’s not unprecedented.”

When asked to name someone, he said, “It’s hard to think of an example that quite matches this particular one.”

By: Ellen Nakashima

6:00 AM: Hale says all agency deputies pushed for Ukraine aid, except OMB

Hale testified that at a so-called “deputy small group meeting” of agency No. 2s, all the representatives pushed for U.S. security aid to Ukraine to be released from its hold – except an official from the Office of Management and Budget.

“The lone objection came from the — directly from the representative of OMB,” Hale said, though he didn’t name the person.

In a the transcript of a deposition released late Monday, Hale said he was not given a reason for the hold but said that “there was information that came to me starting in late June that a hold had been placed on both Ukraine assistance and Lebanon military assistance without any explanation.”

By: Rachael Bade

George Conway and Trump Jr. trade personal insults during impeachment hearing .
Conservative commentator George Conway and Donald Trump Jr. squared off via Twitter during Marie Yovanovitch's public impeachment hearing Friday. © Getty Images George Conway and Trump Jr. trade personal insults during impeachment hearing Trump Jr., son of President Trump, was unimpressed with the witnesses, tweeting: "America hired @realDonaldTrump to fire people like the first three witnesses we've seen. Career government bureaucrats and nothing more."America hired @realDonaldTrump to fire people like the first three witnesses we've seen. Career government bureaucrats and nothing more.- Donald Trump Jr.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 2
This is interesting!