House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff won’t say whether the House’splan to vote on the impeachment inquiryand detail procedures for public hearings means that his committee is close to wrapping up their closed-door depositions.
“We still have further depositions to do, and I don’t want to be committed to a particular timetable, but we are moving with all expedition,” Schiff told reporters.
Schiff also wouldn’t comment on whether he had obtained sufficient evidence, but said that the inquiry has made “remarkable progress.”
“I’m not going to comment on the particulars of the evidence,” Schiff said. “I think we are succeeding in fleshing out the facts before and after the President’s call with President Zelensky. And we’ve made remarkable progress in a very short period of time. ”
Democratic sources say the new resolution in the impeachment inquiry is necessary to set forth the exact procedures to transfer evidence from the House Intelligence Committee over to the House Judiciary Committee, and to detail the procedures for holding public hearings in their inquiry.
It is not officially a vote to authorize the inquiry – although they will argue that the White House will have no grounds to resist their subpoenas after this vote establishes the procedures as they head into the next steps.
The timeframe: The three committees have closed depositions this week and are likely to have them next week, too. So we could see public hearings the following week.
But House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff just told CNN he didn’t want to “commit to a specific timeframe” but they are moving ” expeditiously. ”
The House will vote this week on affirming the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Trump and Ukraine, as Democrats move forward with a formal vote
The Thursday vote will push back against a White House and Republican congressional talking point that the impeachment inquiry is not legitimate because it hasn’t been formally authorized, which comes as Democrats are facing off with a witness defying a subpoena as part of the inquiry for the first time.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a “dear colleague” letter that the resolution was not legally necessary, but the House would take the vote “to eliminate any doubt as to whether the Trump Administration may withhold documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard duly authorized subpoenas, or continue obstructing the House of Representatives. ”
“This week, we will bring a resolution to the Floor that affirms the ongoing, existing investigation that is currently being conducted by our committees as part of this impeachment inquiry , including all requests for documents, subpoenas for records and testimony, and any other investigative steps previously taken or to be taken as part of this investigation, “Pelosi wrote.
What the resolution would do:Pelosi said that the resolution would establish the procedure for open hearings, authorize the release of deposition transcripts and outline how the Intelligence Committee can transfer evidence to the Judiciary Committee, which would be the panel that would take *** potential articles of impeachment.
The Rules Committee website says the resolution is “directing certain committees to continue their ongoing investigations as part of the existing House of Representatives inquiry into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to exercise its Constitutional power to impeach Donald John Trump. “
House Democrats are preparing to unveil a resolution this week that will detail their next steps in the impeachment inquiry as the impeachment investigation moves into a public phase.
The resolution, which will be introduced and marked up in the House Rules Committee, could be the first vote the full House takes related to impeachment, after the House did not vote to formally authorize an impeachment inquiry earlier this month.
Democratic sources said the resolution is intended to set up the rules and the procedures fo r the next stage of the inquiry, including how the House Intelligence Committee can provide information to the House Judiciary Committee, which would likely take up articles of impeachment.
The resolution is “directing certain committees to continue their ongoing investigations as part of the existing House of Representatives inquiry into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to exercise its Constitutional power to impeach Donald John Trump, “the House Rules Committee website said.
The text of the resolution has not been released, but House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern said in a statement the measure will lay out how the House is “ensuring transparency” as it moves toward the “public phase” of the impeachment inquiry.
“This is the right thing to do for the institution and the American people,” McGovern said in a st
House Democrats continued their impeachment inquiry into Here)
Here are the latest developments in the inquiry:
- Witness defies subpoena: Charles Kupperman, Trump’s former deputy national security adviser, defied a congressional subpoena this morning, failing to appear for a closed-door deposition this morning. In a statement this afternoon, Kupperman, whofiled a lawsuit askinga judge to rule whether he had to comply with the House subpoena, said it’s “reasonable and appropriate” to expect “judicial clarity” in the impeachment inquiry.
- DOJ files appeal: The Justice Department is appealing a court’sdecisionlast week that the House of Representatives should get access to secret grand jury information from the Mueller investigation as it considers impeaching the President.
- Trump’s attacks continue:The President continued to attack the impeachment inquiry today during a speech at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago, calling it a scam .
- Top US diplomat returns to Capitol Hill: Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, arrived on Capitol Hill this morning with his attorney to review the transcript of his deposition in the impeachment inquiry. Last week, top diplomat in Ukraine Bill Taylor testified thatSondlandtold him he’d made a mistake by telling the Ukrainian officials that a White House meeting with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky “was dependent on a public announcement of the investigations.”
Charles Kupperman, the former deputy national security adviser and assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, said it’s “reasonable and appropriate “to expect” judicial clarity “in the impeachment inquiry.
“ Given the issue of separation of powers in this matter, it would be reasonable and appropriate to expect that all parties would ****** judicial clarity, “Kupperman said in a statement.
Some background:Kupperman d efied a congressional subpoena this morning when he failed to appear for a closed-door deposition. Last week,he filed a lawsuit askinga judge to rule whether he had to comply with the House subpoena, pointing to the White House’s stance that the impeachment inquiry is illegitimate. Kupperman’s attorney, Charles Cooper, argued that his client was caught between competing demands between the Executive and Legislative branches and needed the courts to rule before Kupperman would testify.
President Trump described both actor Jussie Smollett’sreport of a hate crime attackand the current impeachment inquiry as
Trump, speaking at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago, criticized Smollett, whoclaimed earlier this yearto have been the target of a hate crime. After Chicago police investigated the case for weeks, they said investigators believed Smollett staged the attack to bolster his profile and career.
The President called Smollett a “wise guy” who “beat up himself (“******)
“ It’s a scam, it’s a real big scam, just like the impeachment of your president is a scam, “Trump said.
The first witness expected to testify this week in the impeachment inquiry – former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman –didn’t show up for his deposition this morning.
There are five other witnesses scheduled to speak to the investigators this week – here’s what the schedule looks like:
- Tuesday:Alexander Vindman, the White House Natio nal Security Council’s top expert on Ukraine
- Wednesday:Kathryn Wheelbarger, acting assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security
- Wednesday:Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson, State Department officials who worked for Ukraine diplomat Kurt Volker
- Thursday:Timothy Morrison, a top Russia and Europe adviser on President Trump’s National Security Council
Morrison’s testimony is viewed as key. He was on the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky. Top US diplomat to Ukraine Bill Taylor – who gave explosive testimony directly tying Trump to a Ukraine quid pro quo – mentioned Morrison 15 times during his opening statement to the committees.
President Trump is scheduled to speak at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference in Chicago this morning. He’ll give remarks at 11: 25 am ET.
It’s not clear if he’ll mention the impeachment inquiry.