Jim Himes

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 20
Testimony from Laura Cooper contradicts Republican argument that Ukraine did not know about the hold on security aid

Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, testifies during the House Intelligence Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia and Ukraine Laura Cooper told the House Intelligence Committee Wednesday evening that Ukrainian Embassy staff in August were aware of the White House’s hold on military assistance to Kyiv.

Cooper’s testimony ran counter to a key Republican argument about the July phone call between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and President Donald Trump — that Ukraine did not know about the hold on security aid.

Sondland testimony cliffhanger: Will he vindicate or implicate Trump?
Neither Democrats nor Republicans know what Sondland will say about new information since his deposition

Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, testifies in public on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As the House impeachment inquiry has moved from closed depositions to open hearings, lawmakers largely knew what witnesses would say. But Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union who will testify Wednesday, is a cliffhanger.

The House Intelligence Committee will hear from Sondland after three days of testimony with seven other witnesses, many of whom spoke to conversations they’ve had with him. Those accounts place Sondland in the center of the controversy about whether Trump withheld security assistance to Ukraine and a White House meeting with the country’s new president to secure investigations into his political rivals.

Trump ally grills key witnesses in impeachment inquiry on whistleblower
National security officials testifying Tuesday among those who listened to the now-infamous July 25 call

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director of European affairs at the National Security Council, and Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, arrive for the House Intelligence Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Trump on Tuesday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The third day of public impeachment testimony grew heated Tuesday when Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, pressed Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman on conversations he had with an intelligence official about the now infamous July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Chairman Adam B. Schiff shut down the line of questioning, asserting that it was an attempt to disclose the identity of the whistleblower whose anonymous report sparked Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

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

Jennifer Williams, left, special adviser for Europe and Russia to Vice President Mike Pence, and Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director for European Affairs at the National Security Council, are sworn in Tuesday before testifying in the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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.

Trump’s defenders try to narrow impeachment case to one call
Defense attorneys use similar strategy in bribery or corruption cases

Intelligence ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., left, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, listen as former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testifies Friday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump and his congressional allies spent the first week of impeachment inquiry hearings trying to refocus the public’s attention to what they cast as the most important piece of evidence: the summary of Trump’s call to the president of Ukraine on July 25.

In the House Intelligence Committee, at press conferences and on Twitter, their message has sought to narrow the Democrats’ case to the facts of that one major event — and then attack it as insufficient to impeach the president.

Democrats hope impeachment support grows but proceeding regardless of public sentiment
Public support is important but members' constitutional duty is more so, Democrats say

House Intelligence Chairman Adam B.  Schiff, D-Calif., joined by other House Democrats, speaks during a press conference after the House Intelligence Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats hope the open impeachment hearings they began Wednesday will convince the public that President Donald Trump has committed impeachable offenses, but if the proceedings fail to produce an increase in public support, it won’t stop or slow down their inquiry.

More than half a dozen Democrats interviewed Wednesday — as the Intelligence Committee held its first of what will be at least five days of public testimony from 11 witnesses — said their decisions on whether to impeach Trump will not be influenced by polls capturing public sentiment.

Democrats target Trump defenses in first impeachment hearing
Two articulate and polished career diplomats lend gravitas to much-anticipated public event

House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, joined by other House Democrats, speaks to reporters Wednesday's hearing. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats used the first day of impeachment hearings to take aim at the various defenses President Donald Trump and his congressional allies have raised during the inquiry into his Ukraine dealings — a strategy that allows them to advance their case alongside a drumbeat of witness testimony over the next two weeks.

The House Intelligence Committee started that push Wednesday with two articulate and polished veteran diplomats, whose deep knowledge of Ukraine turned into succinct explanations of the unusual circumstances surrounding how the Trump administration handled almost $400 million in military aid to the country.

Trump impeachment makes for tricky messaging for Democrats
As public hearings start, Democrats have to cut through complicated issues

House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., speaks to reporters in the Capitol last month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats begin the public portion of their push to impeach President Donald Trump this week with what they say is a powerful case that the president used his office for personal political gain — but they face a high-stakes challenge to convey that to a sharply divided public.

The House Intelligence Committee has its first impeachment hearings scheduled for Wednesday and Friday following weeks of closed-door depositions. The witnesses testifying in the open come from the same roster of unknown diplomats and bureaucrats who in their private interviews detailed complex matters of foreign diplomacy that are unfamiliar to most Americans.

Who’s holding the impeachment hearings? Meet the House Intelligence Committee
Backgrounds vary on Intelligence Committee looking at impeachment of Trump

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., right, ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., center, and Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, prepare for a hearing in September. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Most members of the House Intelligence Committee aren’t household names, but they’re about to be thrust into the national spotlight.

The committee this week begins public hearings in the House’s impeachment inquiry, which is investigating whether President Donald Trump abused his office by withholding military aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigations into his political opponents.

Startling discovery: Impeachment is not bringing out the best in Trump
It seems quaint to recall a time when president appeared merely guilty of obstruction of justice

Every time President Donald Trump creates a crisis, it’s hard to tell if it’s a temper tantrum or a deliberate distraction, Shapiro writes. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Thomas Jefferson created his own Bible, deleting with a penknife those portions of the New Testament that troubled his deist views. In similar fashion, Donald Trump has apparently created his own Constitution by ripping out any clause that challenges his power or deflates his blimp-sized ego.

Monday, in the midst of the reality show that he called a Cabinet meeting, Trump denounced what he called “this phony emoluments clause.” In most versions of the Constitution, Article 1, Section 9 bans “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”