Roll Staff

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 19
Congressional investigators hearing from two aides who listened in on Trump’s July call with Zelenskiy

The House Intelligence Committee heard Tuesday afternoon from two witnesses called by Republicans on the panel in its impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, the National Security Council’s former senior director for Europe and Russia policy both gave testimony Tuesday afternoon.

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 18
Trump says he’ll consider testifying ahead of a packed hearing schedule this week

House Democrats want to get grand jury materials from former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation in part to see if President Donald Trump lied in written answers, an attorney said Monday.

House General Counsel Doug Letter made the comments while arguing before a federal appeals court in Washington, that the House should get access to the normally secret materials as part of its impeachment investigation. A lower court ordered the Justice Department to turn over the materials, and the Trump administration has appealed.

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 15
Ousted ambassador to Ukraine defends herself against ‘smear campaign,’ Trump attacks her during testimony

Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was removed from her post by President Donald Trump, spent much of her opening statement before the House Intelligence Committee on Friday dismissing allegations that she worked against the president while in her post in Kyiv.

[Former ambassador to Ukraine talks of Foreign Service ‘degradation’ under Trump]

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 14
Each side’s impeachment strategy emerges in first day of hearings; Pelosi invites Trump to testify

Two central figures in the new evidence linking President Donald Trump more closely to the U.S.’s request for Ukraine to investigate the president’s political rivals are scheduled to testify before lawmakers in the coming days.

Acting Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor told lawmakers in the first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry on Wednesday that one of his aides overheard Trump asking Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland over the phone about the status of “the investigations” just a day after his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 13
Two career diplomats first to offer public testimony, Trump tweets counteroffensive

Two career diplomats who told congressional investigators behind closed doors of their concerns over President Donald Trump’s withholding of military aid to Ukraine and the “irregular channel” in dealing with the country conducted by Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani testified today in the first public hearings in the House’s impeachment investigation.

William Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, told investigators in a closed-door deposition in October that Trump used a stalled $400 million aid package to leverage Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and the involvement of his son Hunter Biden in a Ukrainian energy company. And George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, told the committees conducting the investigation in his closed-door deposition that it was his understanding that Trump wanted the Ukrainians to investigate the Bidens and whether the country tried to influence the 2016 election.

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 12
GOP outlines Trump defense for public hearings, Mulvaney reverses course

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter Tuesday to panel Chairman Jerrold Nadler expressing concern that Democrats have moved at such a “breakneck speed” to conduct the impeachment inquiry, members and the American people won’t have the information needed to properly consider removing President Donald Trump from office.

The GOP members requested Nadler make up for “procedural shortfalls” in the House Intelligence Committee-led inquiry by ensuring that Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff transmits all evidence obtained in the inquiry to Judiciary and that the panels have an open line of communication.

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 11
Some in GOP struggle with how — or whether — to defend Trump as Democrats ready to go public with investigation

The president had first floated the possibility of releasing the transcript late last week.

Trump’s announcement comes as Republicans in Congress continue grappling with how — or whether — they are defending Trump as House Democrats move to the public phase of their impeachment inquiry this week.

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 8
Mulvaney balks at investigators subpoena, committees drop Vindman and Hill transcripts

As House Democrats pivot to the public phase of their impeachment inquiry, they have filled the first slate of open hearings next week with three highly regarded, longtime civil servants to make the case that President Donald Trump should be impeached.

Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent will testify Wednesday. Taylor’s predecessor in Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, will testify on Friday.

December stopgap funding seems likely path forward for long-delayed appropriations
Another three- to four-week extension is expected as lawmakers hash out differences

Congressional leaders and the White House agree they’ll need another three or four weeks to wrap up negotiations on 12 annual spending bills, and are likely to extend stopgap funding to Dec. 13 or Dec. 20, a decision that may finally propel the fiscal 2020 appropriations process forward.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby said he had a “positive discussion” with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland on Thursday. Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer said in floor remarks that “we’re seeing some positive signs that we can get the process back on track.”

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 7
Bolton says he’ll fight subpoena, Pence aide to testify on Trump call with Zelenskiy, Jordan says he’ll subpoena whistleblower

At the conclusion of Thursday’s closed-door testimony from Jennifer Williams, a longtime State Department official who is detailed to work with Vice President Mike Pence, Rep. Eric Swalwell told reporters that it's not yet clear whether she'll be the last witness deposed in the first phase of the inquiry.

The committee would still like to hear from acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Friday, although Swalwell acknowledged Mulvaney is unlikely to show. The California Democrat and member of House Intelligence, one of the three committees leading the impeachment inquiry, said the committee is still finalizing its schedule for the remainder of the week.

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 6
Taylor transcript released, Schiff announces first public hearings, No. 3 State Department official testifying on ambassador’s ouster

House Democratic impeachment investigators Wednesday unsealed testimony of one of their potential star witnesses, William Taylor, who alleged some of President Donald Trump’s closest advisers sought a quid pro quo from Ukraine to advance the president’s political interests.

Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, told lawmakers at his deposition earlier this month that some top officials in the Trump administration, led from the outside by the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, pressured Ukraine to publicly announce anti-corruption investigations into the Bidens and other Democrats in exchange for the U.S. unfreezing $400 million in military aid.

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 5
Sondland reverses himself on Ukraine quid pro quo; investigators want to hear from Mulvaney

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, revised his initial testimony significantly, amending it to say he told a top Ukrainian official that the country would “likely” not receive military aid unless it announced investigations into President Donald Trump’s political rivals, according to a transcript released Tuesday by the committees conducting the impeachment inquiry.

In an amendment to his transcribed testimony, Sondland said his recollections were “refreshed” after reviewing opening statements from diplomats William Taylor and Tim Morrison.

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 4
Earlier depositions made public while other administration officials stand up House investigators

Businessman Lev Parnas appears to have changed his mind about not cooperating with the House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry.

His lawyer told Reuters Monday that Parnas, who is currently under indictment, would provide records and testimony.

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 1
What we’ve learned so far as the House takes a weeklong break

House impeachment investigators are taking a break through Sunday from taking depositions before picking back up Monday with interviews of four new witnesses.

After three weeks of closed-door depositions, a picture has begun to calcify about President Donald Trump and some of his top aides’ attempts to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate the president’s domestic political rivals in exchange for military aid and a meeting at the White House.

Impeachment news roundup: Oct. 31
Another insider testifying on Ukraine behind closed doors, House passes impeachment resolution, investigators summon Bolton

President Donald Trump’s top Russia aide on the National Security Council testified under subpoena before House impeachment investigators on Thursday, corroborating crucial elements of another key witness’ deposition outlining concerns senior Trump officials had about the president’s interactions with Ukraine.

But Timothy Morrison, the NSC’s senior director for Europe and Russia, also told lawmakers that he “was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed” between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on the now-infamous July 25 phone call in which Trump appeared to request that Ukraine investigate his domestic political rivals in exchange for military aid and a meeting at the White House.

Impeachment news roundup: Oct 30
More testimony about Giuliani’s involvement in Ukraine; Gaetz files ethics complain against Schiff

A current State Department official and a former one are slated to testify Wednesday to provide more context and corroborate details from other witnesses about the Trump administration’s policy toward Ukraine, including ex-national security adviser John Bolton’s wariness of the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Catherine Croft, special adviser for Ukraine at the State Department and a former national security council expert on Ukraine, began her testimony around midday Wednesday, according to an official working on the impeachment inquiry. Christopher Anderson, an assistant to former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and Croft's predecessor at State, is also expected to appear in closed session Wednesday.

Impeachment news roundup: Oct. 29
Trump launches preemptive strike on NSC staffer’s deposition, impeachment ground rules resolution coming

Two senior Senate Democrats, in a letter Tuesday to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, asked for details about the Pentagon’s role in freezing military aid to Ukraine for several weeks earlier this year.

The aid, which had been appropriated in law, is at the heart of the House impeachment inquiry amid allegations that President Donald Trump ordered the money withheld as a way to coerce Ukraine to help discredit Trump’s political rivals.

Impeachment news roundup: Oct. 28
Ex-White House security adviser skips testimony for impeachment probe despite House subpoena

House Democrats are drawing up a measure in the House Rules Committee to ensure transparency and provide next steps for the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. The move comes as lawmakers prepare to move from the current closed-door investigative stage to a more public forum to review witness allegations of the president’s misconduct.

Charles Kupperman, former deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs, did not appear for his impeachment deposition Monday, setting up the latest showdown between the legislative and executive branches over fundamental constitutional powers.

Impeachment news roundup: Oct. 25
Federal judge affirms legality of House impeachment inquiry, despite process complaints from GOP

Democrats scored a key victory on Friday when a federal judge ordered the Justice Department to deliver to the House Judiciary Committee all redacted materials, including grand jury documents, from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation and in the process affirmed the legality of the House impeachment probe into President Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, three Republican senators are still holding out on endorsing South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s resolution condemning how the House is conducting its inquiry.

Photos: Rep. Elijah Cummings memorialized in the Capitol
Longtime Maryland lawmaker remembered in Washington ahead of Friday funeral in Baltimore

Amid the rancor of the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump, Capitol Hill paused Thursday to pay respects to Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, who died last week.

Votes and congressional business were canceled in the House as Cummings’ body lay in state in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall after a private ceremony. The Capitol was to be open for the public to pay its respects in the afternoon.