John Bolton 'in talks with Trump impeachment inquiry about possible deposition' – live – The Guardian,

John Bolton 'in talks with Trump impeachment inquiry about possible deposition' – live – The Guardian,

Details of sixth Democratic debate announced

The sixth Democratic debate will be held in Los Angeles on Dec. 19 and be hosted by PBS and Politico, the Democratic National Committeeannounced.

Democratic presidential candidates stand on stage before the fourth debate.
Democratic presidential candidates stand on stage before the fourth debate. Photograph: Tony Dejak / AP

The DNC has also raised the thresholds for participating, which could threaten the qualification of all but the top five candidates –Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigiegand (Kamala Harris.)

Candidates will now have to hit 4 percent in at least four qualifying polls to make the cut. Alternatively, they can qualify by hitting 6 percent in two early-state polls. Candidates must also receive contributions from at least 200, 000 Donors, but the fundraising qualification has proven easier to hit in past debates.

Considering this could be the first time that only the top-polling candidates will face off against each other, it’s unfortunate that viewership will likely be low. The debate falls on the Thursday before Christmas and will be the sixth such event of this election cycle so far.

Cummings’ funeral held in Baltimore

The funeral for the late congressmanElijah Cummingsis being held in his longtime home of Baltimore, which he represented in the House for more than 20 years.

A number of prominentDemocrats– includingBarack Obama, Hillary ClintonandNancy Pelosi– are expected to speak at the funeral.

Some of Cummings ’congressional colleagues also offered their memories of him during a ceremony yesterday at the Capitol, where he was lying in state.

Key impeachment witness’ lawyer confirms he will testify if subpoenaed

Julian Borger

(Julian Borger)

Barbara Van Gelder, lawyer for White House official, (Tim Morrison) , just sent the Guardian this line: “If subpoenaed, Mr. Morrison plans to appear for his deposition. We will not be commenting on what he will say to the Committees. ”

Morrison’s deposition in the impeachment hearings is highly significant as he is senior director for Europe and Russia in the national security council and is reported to have taken part in the 25 July phone call betweenDonald Trumpand Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy , which is at the core of the impeachment case.

Reportssuggesthe will confirm testimony by acting ambassadorBill Taylorand other witnesses, saying that Trump was putting pressure on Zelenskiy to investigate his political opponents.

Morrison was brought into the NSC by (John Bolton) . The two share a ultra-hawkish attitude to arms control, opposing constraints on US military might. He is considered a Boltonite, not a Trumpite.

‘Anonymous’ op-ed writer reportedly plans to quote Trump in book

The author of an anonymous New York Times op-ed last year, who claimed to be part of an internal White House “resistance” againstTrump, is writing a book and reportedly plans to quote from conversations with the president.


The anonymous ‘senior Trump administration official’ who will release a tell-all book, ‘A Warning,’ next month was a frequent participant in meetings with President Trump and plans to recount specific conversations, sources tell me.

The state of play: The author, who has been silent since last year’s mysterious New York Times op-ed, has access to extensive, internal notes that will be revealed in the book, out Nov. 19.
‘You will hear a great deal from Donald Trump directly, for there is no better witness to his character than his own words, ‘the author writes on the book’s back cover.

However, if the person intends to quote directly from conversations with Trump, it remains unclear how he or she will maintain anonymity.

Eamon Javers(@ EamonJavers)

Seems like Anonymous can’t remain anonymous for long if s / he is going to reveal specific conversations. It will be too easy for the WH to triangulate who was in the room for those moments.

(October) , 2019

Defense secretary confirms troop presence remaining in Syria

Mark Esper,the secretary of defense, confirmed that a small number of US troops will remain in Syria to prevent the Islamic State from gaining access to key oil resources.

Jeff Seldin(@ jseldin)

BREAKING:@ EsperDoDsays US will maintain a small presence in# Syriato prevent# ISISfrom regaining access to oil revenues …

Statement comes less than 30 minutes after POTUS tweeted “Our soldiers have left and are leaving Syria for other places, then … COMING HOME!”

(October 25, 2019

The announcement comes weeks after (Trump) announced he was withdrawing all US troops from northern Syria and less than an hour after the president tweeted that troops were “COMING HOME.”

This announcement will likely do little to assure Trump’s base that the president is moving to end US engagements in the Middle East.


Bolton reportedly in talks to speak to impeachment investigators

John Bolton, (Trump) ‘s former national security adviser, is reportedly in talks to sit for a deposition with the House committees investigating impeachment.


Former NSC official (Fiona Hill) testified before the committee last week that she saw ‘wrongdoing’ in the American foreign policy and tried to report it to officials including the National Security Council’s attorney, according to multiple sources.

‘She saw wrongdoing related to the Ukraine policy and reported it,’ one source said. The same source told CNN that Hill testified that Bolton referred to Giuliani – Trump’s personal attorney – as a ‘hand grenade’ who was ‘going to blow everybody up.’

Boltonalso reportedlyinstructed Hill at one point to tell White House lawyers: “I am not part of whatever drug deal (Sondland) andMulvaneyare cooking up, ”referring to the US ambassador to EU and Trump’s acting chief of staff.

Bolton left the administration rather abruptly last month after Trump announced his departure in a tweet, and the former official has since been publicly critical of the president’s foreign policy.

Trump insists troops are coming home (eventually)

Trumpseems to be lashing out against reports that hundreds of US troops will remain in northern Syria, despite the president’s announcement that he was withdrawing American forces from the region.

The Wall Street Journalreports:

The White House is considering options for leaving about 500 US troops in northeast Syria and for sending dozens of battle tanks and other equipment, officials said Thursday, the latest in an array of scenarios following President Trump’s decision this month to remove all troops there.

The options, presented by military officials, would represent a reversal from the American withdrawal Trump wanted. It also would modify U.S. objectives — from countering Islamic State extremists to also safeguarding oil fields in eastern Syria with additional troops and new military capability.

However, Trump was on Twitter this morning insisting things in Syria were “gong well” and US troops were “COMING HOME.”

Donald J. Trump(@ realDonaldTrump)

Turkey fully understands not to fire on the Kurds as they leave wha t will be known as the Safe Zone for other fairly nearby areas. I don’t have to repeat that large scale Sanctions will be imposed for violations. Going well! ISIS secured by Kurds with Turkey ready as backup …..

(October) , 2019

Donald J. Trump(@ realDonaldTrump)

…. COMING HOME! We were supposed to be there for 30 days – That was 10 years ago. When these pundit fools who have called the Middle East wrong for 20 years ask what we are getting out of the deal, I simply say, THE OIL, AND WE ARE BRINGING OUR SOLDIERS BACK HOME, ISIS SECURED!

(October) , 2019

The president is also exaggerating the situation he inherited in Syria. There wasneverany agreement to completely withdraw from Syria after a month, and US forces only became involved in the country in 2014.

Trump is essentially demanding credit for a promise that he has not kept.

Democrats slam reported investigation of Russia inquiry

Good morning, live blog readers!

We are almost to the end of a very damaging week for the president, with more evidence of a quid pro quo in the Ukraine scandal coming to light, but it appears that the (Trump administration) *************************************************** (may be) using every tool at its disposal to fight back.

News broke last night that the Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into its own Russia investigation, whichDonald Trumpspent more than two years criticizing as a “witch-hunt”.

The New York Timesreports:

Justice Department officials have shifted an administrative review of the Russia investigation closely overseen by Attorney GeneralWilliam P. Barr

to a criminal inquiry, according to two people familiar with the matter. The move gives the prosecutor running it,John H. Durham, the power to subpoena for witness testimony and documents, to convene a grand jury and to file criminal charges.

The opening of a criminal investigation is likely to raise alarms that Mr. Trump is using the Justice Department to go after his perceived enemies. Mr. Trump firedJames B. Comey, the FBI director under whose watch agents opened the Russia inquiry, and has long assailed other top former law enforcement and intelligence officials as partisans who sought to block his election.

Adam SchiffandJerry Nadler, the Democratic chairmen of the House intelligence and judiciary committees, issued a statement last night warning that the reported criminal investigation could signal the Justice Department has become “a tool of political retribution”.

Schiff and Nadler said: “These reports, if true, raise profound new concerns that the Department of Justice under AG Barr has lost its independence and become a vehicle for President Trump’s political revenge.

“If the Department of Justice may be used as a tool of political retribution, or to help the President with a political narrative for the next election, the rule of law will suffer new and irreparable damage.”

The casket of Elijah Cummings lies in state in at the Capitol.
The casket of Elijah Cummings lies in state in at the Capitol. Photograph: UPI / Barcroft Media

Here’s what else the blog is keeping its eye on:

  • (Trump) will participate in a criminal justice reform forum in Columbia, South Carolina, before traveling to Camp David.
  • The funeral for the late congressmanElijah Cummingswill be held in Baltimore. A number of notableDemocrats– includingBarack Obama, Hillary ClintonandNancy Pelosi– are expected to speak.
  • Game 3 of the World Series will take place tonight in Washington as the city’s Nationals play the Houston Astros.

The blog will have much more coming up, so stay tuned.

Updated (at 8.) am EDT

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