intelligence

House Democrats have aggressive schedule of impeachment hearings before Thanksgiving
Intelligence panel will hear from eight witnesses over three days

Kurt Volker, former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, is among the witnesses scheduled to testify in open session next week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Intelligence Committee announced an aggressive public hearing schedule for next week with a plan to have eight witnesses testify over the course of three days.

Half of those witnesses are scheduled to appear next Tuesday. A morning hearing will feature testimony from Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director for European affairs at the National Security Council.

How a Capitol Hill staffer and a James Bond screenwriter dramatized ‘The Report’
Political Theater, Episode 101

Journalists follow Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein as she leaves her office on her way to the chamber floor to speak about the CIA torture report being released by the committee on on Dec. 9, 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report in 2014 was a compelling episode in American history, detailing as it did the CIA’s use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists and their lack of effectiveness. That doesn’t mean the seven-year investigation that led to the report automatically lends itself to high drama, particularly when one considers that many of those seven years were spent reading sensitive CIA documents in a windowless room. That makes the new movie “The Report” that much more of an accomplishment.

Director and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns had his work cut out for him, constructing a political thriller out of the efforts led by Intelligence Committee staffer Daniel J. Jones. Burns and Jones explained some of thinking that went into the film’s narrative, as well as the issues it explores, in the latest Political Theater podcast with CQ Roll Call senior staff writer Niels Lesniewski and me. 

Playing Chutes and Ladders with impeachment
Plenty of risks ahead for over-zealous Democrats and skittish Republicans

As the House Intelligence panel, led by Rep. Adam B. Schiff, prepares to open impeachment hearings, there are plenty of risks ahead for over-zealous Democrats and skittish Republicans, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — “With the president impeached — in effect, indicted — by the House, the frenzied trial for his conviction or his acquittal under the Articles of Impeachment began on March 5. … It was a trial to rank with all the great trials in history — Charles I before the High Court of Justice, Louis XVI before the French Convention, and Warren Hastings before the House of Lords.”

That overwrought description of the 1868 Senate impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson comes from John F. Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage,” which won the 1957 Pulitzer Prize.

Trump to host Turkey’s Erdogan same day public impeachment hearings start
Bipartisan calls to cancel visit ignored, as experts say Washington still needs Ankara

President Donald Trump welcomes President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey at the White House in 2017. The Turkish leader makes a controversial return Wednesday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be feted Wednesday at the White House despite his attacks on a longtime U.S. ally, his purchase of military equipment from Russia and calls from lawmakers in both parties to punish him.

President Donald Trump and top aides have ignored bipartisan calls to cancel Erdogan’s visit, which is expected to include a joint press conference on the same day public hearings in the House impeachment inquiry begin.

Secret ’Stache

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

Then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, left, and then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, third from left, flank presidential adviser Jared Kushner as President Donald Trump speaks during a working lunch with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at the White House in September 2017. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images file photo)

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.

Photos of the Week
The week of Nov. 8 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

Fans cheer for the Washington Nationals along Constitution Avenue during a parade to celebrate the World Series champions on Saturday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House had its district work period — a.k.a. recess — this week, but there was still plenty of news.

Trump declines to endorse Jeff Sessions’ Senate bid — but doesn't deliver death knell
President says of House Democrats in impeachment probe: ‘We're kicking their ass’

Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing during his confirmation hearing to be attorney general in 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donald Trump on Friday declined to endorse Jeff Sessions, the former attorney general he fired after several clashes, as the Alabama Republican seeks the Senate seat he held for decades before joining the administration.

But he also did not demand the former AG end his bid on its first full day, giving Sessions’ campaign life — because of “nice” things the Alabaman said about the president on television. As he departed the White House for fundraisers and an event with black voters, he also told reporters during another wild “Chopper Talk” gaggle he is “kicking their ass,” referring to House Democrats in their impeachment probe.

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

Bill Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine shown here arriving at the Capitol for his Oct. 22 deposition, will be one of House Democrats’ first witnesses in public hearings in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

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.

Impeachment strains longstanding bipartisan support for Ukraine
Consensus built on keeping Ukraine inside the Western European camp

President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy look on during a meeting at the United Nations in New York on Sept. 25. (Getty Images file photo)

The bipartisan backing for Ukraine in its long face-off with Russia has been a hallmark of Congress’ role in foreign policymaking for decades. Congress — both parties — has generally been willing to confront Moscow more forcefully over its treatment of Ukraine than the Trump, Obama or George W. Bush White Houses.

But with U.S. policy toward Ukraine the centerpiece of the impeachment inquiry, President Donald Trump’s antipathy toward Kyiv out in the open, and Republicans not wanting to break with their GOP president publicly over Ukraine policy, concern is rising that this longstanding bipartisan consensus to keep Ukraine inside the Western European camp could erode.