Roll Staff

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.

Impeachment news roundup: Oct. 24
House hits pause for Elijah Cummings’ memorial services as Sen. Graham unveils resolution condemning investigation over process complaints

Impeachment inquiry depositions have paused until Saturday as members participate in memorial services for the late Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah E. Cummings scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

The investigation will pick back up on Saturday with closed-door testimony from Philip Reeker, acting assistant secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs

Impeachment news roundup: Oct. 23
Unauthorized Republicans storm secure room as Pentagon official Laura Cooper gives deposition about withheld military aid to Ukraine

House impeachment investigators have begun questioning the top Pentagon official overseeing U.S. policy in Ukraine about millions in military aid President Donald Trump allegedly withheld from the country this summer.

Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, provided testimony at the Capitol, complying with a subpoena issued by House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff. The Defense Department had ordered Cooper not to testify, and her testimony was delayed several hours Wednesday by disruptions from other House members. 

Impeachment news roundup: Oct. 22
Trump suggests impeachment effort will hurt Democrats, diplomat who questioned holding up Ukraine deal testifies

Acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor told House impeachment investigators on Tuesday about President Donald Trump’s alleged efforts to coerce the new Ukrainian president to investigate Trump's political rivals in exchange for a meeting at the White House and a U.S. military aid package.

Taylor’s testimony put him at odds with Gordon Sondland, the Trump-appointed ambassador to the European Union who largely defended the president at his deposition last week.

House panel to take up $10B vaping tax Wednesday
Measure would offset the cost of health care-related tax break proposals

Legislation that would impose the first federal tax on vaping products is slated for a House Ways and Means Committee vote Wednesday, along with several other health care-related tax measures.

The bipartisan bill, from New York Reps. Tom Suozzi, a Democrat, and Republican Peter T. King, would tax “any nicotine which has been extracted, concentrated or synthesized” at the same rate cigarettes are currently taxed, or the equivalent of $50.33 per 1,810 milligrams of nicotine.

Impeachment news roundup: Oct. 21
OMB officials refuse to testify about Ukraine deal while Republicans move to censure Schiff

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is seeking details from the acting Director of National Intelligence and the intelligence community inspector general about efforts to protect the whistleblower who provided information about the conversation between President Donald Trump and the president of Ukraine.

The New York Democrat expressed concern amid ongoing and public attacks from Trump and threats to expose his or her identity. 

Impeachment news roundup: Oct. 18
Cleaning up after Mulvaney; Perry won't comply with subpoena; former ambassador blames Giuliani

After weeks of “no quid pro quo” with Ukraine replacing “no collusion” with the Russians in President Donald Trump’s responses to the investigations into his administration, Mick Mulvaney, his acting chief of staff, said there was a quid pro quo.

Then he and the White House spent the following hours Thursday trying to put that genie back in the bottle. But, in true Trump-style, his 2020 campaign decided to capitalize on the press conference by selling a T-shirt emblazoned with one of the more memorable lines from Mulvaney’s press conference.