Democrats have chosen the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, William B. Taylor Jr., as their lead witness on Wednesday as they seek to build the case that Trump improperly pressed Ukraine for investigations of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter at a time when U.S. military aid was being withheld.
● Move by acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to join impeachment testimony lawsuitrankles alliesof former national security adviser John Bolton.
12 PM Rep. Zeldin shares news report of his emergence during inquiry
Rep. Lee Zeldin (RN.Y.) on Monday shared an NBC News story describing his rise from a “little-known, 39 – year-old lawmaker ”to one of Trump’s staunchest defenders in the impeachment inquiry.
In atweetlinking to the article, Zeldin also took aim
“Parody writer Adam Schiff’s job is to creatively connect dots not actually connected to sell a fairy tale impeachment narrative with 3% of a story,” Zeldin tweeted. “I’ll do everything in my power to make sure the American public gets the other 97%. ”
The transcripts released so far of depositions taken during the impeachment inquiry have shown Zeldin, who represents eastern Long Island, to be the most vocal Republican during questioning, NBC News reported. He is a frequent spokesman for the president’s defense, often going on Twitter to attack the Schiff and other Democrats leading the inquiry.
In a series of tweets over the weekend, he shared sections of transcripts featuring his own questions and witnesses’ responses to them.
“The Dems aren’t just ripping our country in half w / this impeachment charade, they’re also willingly setting fire to our alliance w Ukraine, ”he wrote in one.
11 am: Democrats push back on Trump’s claim of doctored transcripts
Democrats have begun pushing back on Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that Schiff is releasing doctored transcripts from closed -door depositions.
“Why does @realDonaldTrump feel compelled to lie about the transcripts, which were all reviewed by the witnesses? Because they are devastating to him, ”Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.)tweeted. “And who has the documents? The Administration. @POTUS is preventing Congress from seeing documents. ”
Lieu, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, one of three House panels involved in depositions, was referring to documents requested by House investigators that the Trump administration has refused to turn over.
10: 50 am: Protesters chant ‘lock him up’ at Veterans Day event
Signs of protest were visible Monday as Trump began speaking at the New York City Veterans Day Parade.
Whistles and chants of “Lock him up!” Could be heard from the west side of Madison Square Park on Fifth Avenue near the site of his speech.
Reporters also noted that signs spelling out the words “IMPEACH” and “CONVICT” were posted in the windows of a building overlooking the park.
Trump, who was accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, made no reference to impeachment during his remarks.
9: 20 am: Trump claims without evidence that Schiff is doctoring transcripts
Trump claimed without evidence on Monday that Schiff has been releasing “doctored” transcripts of closed-door depositions conducted by House investigators.
No Republican on the three committees participating in the questioning of witnesses has made such a claim.
“ Republicans should put out their own transcripts! ”Trump said in atweetin which he referred to Schiff as“ Shifty Adam Schiff. ”
“Schiff must testify as to why he MADE UP a statement from me, and read it to all!” Trump added.
During an Intelligence Committee hearing last month, Schiff presented an embellished version of Trump’s July call in which he pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigat e the Bidens.
At the time, Schiff said he was conveying “the essence” of what Trump had relayed to Zelensky. Schiff later said it was meant as a parody, something that he said should have been apparent to Trump.
9: 15 am: Trump calls for fraud investigations of whistleblower, his lawyer and Schiff
Less than an hour before his scheduled departure for a Veterans Day event, Trump returned to Twitter to call for an end to the “Impeachment Scam” and for fraud investigations into the whistleblower whose complaint sparked the inquiry, one of his lawyers, and Schiff.
“The lawyer for the Whistleblower takes away all credibility from this big Impeachment Scam!” Trumptweeted. “It should be ended and the Whistleblower, his lawyer and Corrupt politician Schiff should be investigared for fraud!” (Trump misspelled investigated.)
Trump and his GOP allies have seized on 2017 tweets written by Mark S. Zaid, one of the whistleblower’s lawyers , in which he predicted Trump would be impeached. Zaid has said he was exercising free speech and that his tweets don’t affect the facts of the case.
Schiff, who is leading the impeachment inquiry, has been a frequent target of Trump’s ire
9: 15 am: Rep. Luria’s new fundraising pitch centers on impeachment
Rep. Elaine Luria (Va.) Has become one of the latest Democrats to fundraise off the impeachment inquiry, sharing a video framing her support of the inquiry as an act of loyalty to the Constitution.
The video, shared on social media on Veterans Day, features the freshman congresswoman and Navy veteran reciting the oath of office. Iconic images – including of Iwo Jima, Martin Luther King Jr. and the moon landing – flash in the background.
“I didn’t come to Washington to impeach the president,” Luria says in an interview featured in the spot. “But I also didn’t spend 20 years in the Navy to allow our Constitution to be trampled on. ”
A swing-district Democrat, Luria was an early holdout on impeachment. But in late September, shejoined six other first-term, moderate Democratswith national security backgrounds in supporting the inquiry.
The new video, which directs viewers to support her efforts to “hold this administration accountable” through a donation to her reelection campaign, highlights a comment Luria made duringa town hall in October.
“People might say, ‘Well, why did you do that? You might not get reelected, ’” she said. “I don’t care, because I did the right thing.”
8: 30 am: Grisham says impeachment inquiry goes ‘against the Constitution’
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Monday that the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry goes “against the Constitution” and “against the American people.”
During an appearance on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” Grisham was asked about comments former UN ambassador Nikki Haley made in a television interview broadcast over the weekend as she promotes a new book.
In the book, Haley contends thatRex Tillerson and John F. Kelly – then secretary of state and White House chief of staff, respectively –sought to recruit herto work around and subvert Trump, but that she refused.
“To undermine a president is really a very dangerous thing, and it goes against the Constitution,” Haley told CBS.
After being shown the clip and asked for comment, Grisham said: “I wouldn’t know. I obviously wasn’t in that room. ”
“ But I would say one thing that she just said in that clip, ”Grisham continued,“ which is undermining a president is dangerous, and it does go against the Constitution, and does go against the American people, which is something that is happening in Congress right now. ”
Impeachment of a president is explicitly authorized in the Constitution.
8 am: Federal judge to hear from lawyer for Mulvaney
A federal judge plans to hear Monday from lawyers for Mulvaney and others about how to proceed with the acting White House chief of staff’s request to join a lawsuit that could determine whether senior administration officials testify in the impeachment inquiry.
Mulvaney has gone to court seeking to join a separation-of-powers lawsuit filed by Charles Kupperman, a national security official, who has refused to appear before House investigators, against Trump and the House leaders
Kupperman, who served as deputy national security adviser under John Bolton, is asking a federal judge to determine whether a congressional subpoena takes precedence over a White House order not to comply with the inquiry .
US District Judge Richard J. Leon has ordered lawyers for Mulvaney, Kupperman, Bolton and the government to join him in a conference call Monday afternoon.
7: 30 am: Public hearings set to begin Wednesday
House investigators are preparing for the first public hearings of the impeachment inquiry, set to begin Wednesday with the top US diplomat to Ukraine as the lead witness.
In his closed-door deposition last month, Taylor described a “Washington snake pit” of bad actors who were willing to cut off aid to Ukraine as it battled Russian-backed separatists, a situation he described as a “nightmare” scenario.
George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for Ukraine, is also scheduled to testify Wednesday. Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine who was abruptly forced out, is scheduled to appear on Friday.
Meanwhile, two National Security Council officials who expressed alarm about the pressure that Trump and his allies put on Ukraine – Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman and Fiona Hill – are in discussions to testify at a public hearing later this month.
7 am: Trump to speak at Veterans Day parade in New York
As House investigators prepare for the first open hearings of the impeachment inquiry, Trump is scheduled Monday to participate in a wreath laying and deliver remarks at the New York City Veterans Day Parade.
Trump has events scheduled in New York on Tuesday as well before a planned afternoon return to the White House.
6: 30 am: Trump promotes calls of GOP allies for whistleblower, Hunter Biden to testify
Amid a spate of tweets and Retweeted on Sunday night, Trump shared posts by several of his Republican allies pressing the case for witnesses they have requested to appear in open hearings.
A list sent by Schiff on Saturday included Hunter Biden and the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint prompted the Democratic -led impeachment inquiry.
Schiff has signaled he is u nlikely to allow either to appear. Under House rules, he must approve witnesses or a majority of the committee must vote to allow them to appear.
Among those retaining by Trump on Sunday night was Rep. Lee Zeldin (RN.Y.).
“The ‘whistleblower’ & all of his supposed sources should testify & answer GOP questions,” ZeldinTweeted. “Schiff blocking this would signal the whistleblower testifying would hurt Schiff’s case & / or even implicate Schiff & his team in wrongdoing. Any other excuse is just a disgusting smokescreen! ”
6 a.m .: Watergate hearings were a TV spectacle. Now veteran journalists are demanding PBS offer the same access.
For (nights in 1973, millions of people flipped on their televisions at 8 pm Eastern time to tune into the prime-time political soap opera brought to their living rooms from Capitol Hill – President Richard M. Nixon’s Watergate impeachment hearings.
It was like “a kind of extended morality play, ”as one of the nascent PBS’s news anchors described the network’s gavel-to-gavel coverage at the time. Viewers picked their heroes and villains in Watergate spies and insider White House witnesses, watching as the episodes of dramatic testimony on burglary and “dirty tricks” stretched well past midnight.
But while the public broadcaster’s experiment in uninterrupted evening impeachment coverage was a wild success then, PBS won’t be doing it the same way for Trump’s impeachment hearings this week – a decision that has incensed some of broadcast journalism’s most veteran reporters.
– Meagan Flynn
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