Lawmakers also expect to hear closed-door testimony Friday from Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was recalled from her post in May. She arrived at the Capitol shortly after 10 am
President Trump, meanwhile, prepared to stage his second campaign rally in as many days outside Washington as the inquiry rolls on. The focus is on Trump’s efforts to press Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden at a time when U.S. military aid to Ukraine was being withheld.
● Two business associates of Trump personal lawyer Giulianiarrested at airportas they tried to leave United States.
10: 45 am: Appeals court rules against Trump in fight with Congress over president’s accounting firm records
Congress can seek eight years of Trump’s business records from his accounting firm, a federal appeals court in Washington ruled Friday in one of several legal battles over access to the president’s financial data.
In a 2-1 ruling, the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld Congress’s broad investigative powers and rejected the president’s bid to block lawmakers from subpoenaing the documents.
The case is one of several clashes between the Democrat-controlled House and the Republican president over Trump’s data that is expected to reach the Supreme Court. In this case, the judges ruled that Trump’s arguments – that the subpoenas were invalid because Congress lacked a “legitimate legislative purpose” for its subpoenas – were incorrect.
“Contrary to the President’s arguments, the Committee possesses authority under both the House Rules and the Constitution to issue the subpoena, and Mazars [Trump’s accounting firm] must comply, ”Judges David S. Tatel and Patricia A. Millett wrote for the court. Both were appointed by Democratic presidents.
– Ann E. Marimow, Spencer S. Hsu and David A. Fahrenthold
10: 40 AM:Trump obfuscates, misleads and exaggerates to make his case against impeachment
Trump’s propensity to mislead , misconstrue and obfuscate is escalating as he confronts the threat of becoming just the third president in US history to be impeached.
For days, Trump and his allies have repeatedly charged that the whistleblower – whose complaint about Trump’s call with the president of Ukraine set off the current impeachment inquiry – made up a “false story,” even though many of the claims have been shown to be accurate. The president has insisted that his top Democratic and Republican critics on Capitol Hill should be impeached for their efforts against him, despite a centuries-old precedent that prevents such an action.
And White House lawyers this week sent congressional leaders an eight-page letter vowing not to cooperate with the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry that was laden with imprecise or misleading interpretations of congressional oversight powers and the chamber’s constitutional right to impeach, according to legal experts.
– Seung Min Kim
10: 30 am: Maryland’s Larry Hogan becomes third GOP governor to support impeachment inquiry
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is the latest Republican elected official to say he supports the Trump impeachment inquiry.
“I think we do need an inquiry because we have to get to the bottom of it,” Hogan told Margaret Hoover of PBS’s Firing Line, in an interview that was taped Thursday night and will be aired in full on Friday. “I don’t see any other way to get to the facts.”
The popular two-term governor said he is “not ready” to say he supports an impeachment or a removal of the president, but thinks an inquiry of his conduct is warranted. House Democrats launched an inquiry just over two weeks ago, focusing on Trump’s pressure on the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden and his son.
Hogan joins fellow Republican Govs. Phil Scott (Vermont) and Charlie Baker (Mass.) In backing an investigation. But Hogan, who is term-limited and decided against a primary challenge to Trump earlier this year, also raised concerns about the process moving forward.
– Ovetta Wiggins
(**************************************************: 10 am: Yovanovitch arrives for deposition
Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine, arrived at the Capitol for a scheduled closed-door deposition in front of three House committees.
She did not answer questions from reporters as she entered the building.
Up until the time of her arrival, there was uncertainty about whether the White House or State Department would try to block her testimony.
8: 50 am: Sondland to appear for deposition next week, lawyers say
US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland will appear for a deposition next week under subpoena in the House’s impeachment inquiry but cannot turn over documents requested by investigators, his lawyers said Friday.
The State Department blocked Sondland from appearing before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform committees on Tuesday with an overnight order not to show. Democrats subsequently issued a subpoena for his testimony, and later that day the White House informed Democratic leaders they had no intention of cooperating with the investigation.
“Notwithstanding the State Department’s current direction to not testify, Ambassador Sondland will honor the Committees’ subpoena, and he looks forward to testifying on Thursday, ”Sondland’s lawyers said in a statement. “Ambassador Sondland has at all times acted with integrity and in the interests of the United States. He has no agenda apart from answering the Committees’ questions fully and truthfully. ”
The lawyers, Robert Luskin and Kwame Manley, said that State Department regulations prohibit Sondland from producing documents concerning his official responsibilities and that the department has the “sole authority” to do so.
“Ambassador Sondland hopes the materials will be shared with the Committees in advance of his Thursday testimony,” they added.
Sondland was one of a handful of US diplomats who facilitated Trump’s interactions with Ukrainian leaders, according to a trove of text messages that former U.S. special envoy Kurt Volker provided to House investigators last week. Messages that were released publicly show that the administration sought a promise from Ukrainian leaders to investigate the (election and the energy firm, Burisma, that had paid Hunter Biden to sit on its board.
– Karoun Demirjian
8 am: Trump heading to another campaign rally on Friday night
Trump is scheduled to leave the White House shortly after 4 pm and head to Lake Charles, La., where thousands of supporters are expected for another campaign rally on Friday night.
Duringa rally Thursday night in Minneapolis, Trump leveled some of his most personal attacks yet against Biden and his family, highlighting unsubstantiated claims about his potential 2020 rival’s son and using profanity to describe Biden’s tenure as vice president.
Among other things, Trump mocked Hunter Biden’s personal problems, including his discharge from the Navy after he tested positive for cocaine use.
“Hunter, you know nothing about energy, you know nothing about China, you know nothing about anything, frankly, ”Trump said to a near-capacity crowd. “Hunter, you’re a loser.”
Joe Biden went on Twitter after the rally, referring to his appearance at a town hall hosted by the Human Rights Campaign and CNN on LGBTQ issues.
“I spent my night at the HRC forum talking about the fundamental respect every human being deserves,” Bidentweeted. “You spent yours showing how little respect for anyone else you have. America is so much stronger than your weakness, @realDonaldTrump. ”
Before leaving Washington Friday afternoon, Trump is scheduled to have photos taken with Little League championship baseball and softball teams and meet with Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng.
7 am: Former ambassador to Ukraine scheduled for deposition Friday morning
Yovanovitch is expected to be deposed at 10 am by House investigators Friday as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry, despite the White House’s stated objections and refusal to cooperate with the Democratic-led proceedings.
Yovanovitch was confirmed as ambassador to Ukraine in August 2016, but recalled in May, after conservative activists – including Giuliani – accused her of being biased against Trump. State Department officials have said the accusations against the career diplomat are baseless.
She is one of several current and former diplomats that the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees have identified as witnesses in their probe into whether Trump pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rivals.
The panels have issued subpoenas to the White House, Giuliani and two business associates, and several Cabinet-level officials , including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, Russell T. Vought, requesting materials related to the administration’s interactions with Ukraine.
But to date, the panels have recorded only one deposition – with former special US envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, who quit his post hours after he was requested to appear for a deposition.
– Karoun Demirjian
6: 45 am: New revelations about Trump test Pelosi’s narrow impeachment strategy
Recent revelations about Trump’s conduct are testing the limits of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s narrow impeachment strategy, leading some Democrats to wonder whether the probe should be expanded beyond the Ukraine scandal.
Since House Democrats launched their impeachment inquiry just over two weeks ago, Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her top lieutenants have coalesced around a plan to focus on Trump’s pressure on the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden, a 2020 presidential candidate, and his son Hunter.
The episode, Democrats argue, is clear-cut, easy for Americans to understand and doesn’t require fu rther proof as the White House has released a rough transcript of the call.
But a spate of allegations about other possible abuses have led some Democrats to rethink the strategy.
– Rachael Bade
6: 40 am: George Conway takes shot at Giuliani
George Conway, the conservative lawyer and spouse of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, took a shot at Giuliani on Friday, referring to the arrests this week of two of his associates on charges they schemed to funnel foreign money to US politicians while trying to influence US-Ukraine relations.
“Rudy 1986 would have indicted Rudy 2019 in a New York minute , ”Conwaytweeted.
In 1986, Giuliani was a federal prosecutor, serving as US attorney for the Southern District of New York.
His two associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who had been helping Giuliani investigate Biden, were arrested Wednesday evening at Dulles International Airport outside Washington , where they had one-way tickets on a flight out of the country, officials said.
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