Congress has left town for Thanksgiving recess but developments in the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry about President Trump are expected to continue this week, both in court and on Capitol Hill.
A federal judge has said she will rule by the end of the day on whether former White House counsel Donald McGahn must testify before Congress. House investigators could release transcripts of two more witnesses deposed behind closed doors. And the House Intelligence Committee is pulling together a report on what was gleaned from public testimony to send to the Judiciary Committee ahead of the drafting of articles of impeachment.
Democrats are seeking to build a case that Trump leveraged military assistance and an Oval Office meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in exchange for investigations of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden and a debunked theory alleging Ukrainian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
● White House review turns up emailsshowing extensive effortto justify Trump’s decision to block Ukraine military aid.
● House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff ( D-Calif.) SaysDemocrats will press forwarddespite lack of testimony from key impeachment witnesses.
● Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.)denies allegationhe met with top Ukrainian prosecutor about Bidens.
November 25, 2019 at 10: 15 AM EST
Rep. Engel asks what Pompeo is hiding
The chairman of one of the committees involved in the impeachment inquiry claimed in a series of tweets Monday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s involvement in the Ukraine pressure campaign explains why he did not defend the former US ambassador to Ukraine.
Rep. Eliot Engel (DN.Y.), who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, shared a New York Times story that detailed Pompeo’s involvement in Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating the Bidens, including phone calls with the president’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani as Giuliani pushed for the investigation.
Engel said he had been puzzled when the State Department let attacks on former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch go unanswered.
“Hindsight is 20 / 20, ”Engel wrote. “Now that we know more facts – incl that @SecPompeo & Giuliani were in contact – it’s clear why Pompeo was silent when Amb. Yovanovitch was being smeared: Pompeo was assisting in the scheme to pressure Ukraine to help Trump politically. ”
The congressman added that Yovanovitch had been recalled“ for no good reason ”less than a month after he and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) sent Pompeo a letter urging public support for the ambassador. That prompted the Foreign Affairs Committee to look into “this situation and Giuliani’s involvement,” he said.
“We know a lot more now, but @SecPompeo continues to ignore a duly authorized subpoena, ”Engel wrote on Twitter. “What else is he hiding? Why is he covering for the President instead of standing up for American diplomats and our national security? ”
Pelosi shares New York Times editorial criticizing GOP for turning impeachment inquiry into ‘partisan dogfight’
The office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) On Monday widely distributed by email a New York Times editorial that recounted the evidence against Trump in the impeachment inquiry, praised Democrats for conducting it and chided Republicans for “tu rning it into a partisan dogfight. ”
Pelosi’s email highlighted several passages of the lengthy editorial, published Sunday.
Among them: “In conducting this inquiry, the Democrats are doing what people concerned about protecting the nation would do. It is the Republicans who are turning this process into a partisan dogfight, attacking lifelong public servants, implying they have dual loyalty and misstating testimony they heard the day before. Rather than listening to what witnesses were telling them, some of them chose to pound the table and regurgitate conspiracy theories about Ukraine that were long ago debunked by American intelligence as Russian disinformation and misdirection. ”
November 25, 2019 at 8: 00 AM EST
Trump makes suspect claim about polling on impeachment
In atweet, Trump said Monday that support for his impeachment in “dropping like a rock” and claimed without evidence that support is “intoThe 20 ‘s in some Polls. ”
Most recent national polls have on impeachment have been relatively stable.
An average of three national polls that were conducted since the start of the first week of public impeachment hearings shows that 47 percent supported impeaching and removing Trump while 42 percent disapproved. That’s roughly similar to the average 47 percent – 46 percent split in the two weeks before public hearings began, and percent – 45 percent average in October overall.
A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to a question about the polls Trump is referencing.
In his tweet, Trump also urged Democrats to “get down to work” and approve trade legislation with Canada and Mexico, among other measures.
(ByJohn Wagner and Emily Guskin
November 25, 2019 at 7: 30 AM EST
Ruling expected on whether McGahn must testify before Congress
A federal judge has said she intends to rule no later than the end of the day Monday on whether former White House counsel Donald McGahn must testify under subpoena to Congress.
US District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of Washington entered an order last week about her deadline intent “absent unforeseen circumstances,” shortly after a filing from House General Counsel Douglas N. Letter arguing impeachment hearings before the House Intelligence Committee are grounds for urgency.
House Democrats are debating whether articles of impeachment should include obstruction of justice allegations against Trump detailed in the special counsel report by Robert S. Mueller III.
House Democrats call McGahn, a key figure in Mueller’s investigation, one of the most important witnesses of possible obstruction of justice by Trump. McGahn’s statements are mentioned more than 160 times in the 448 – page final report prepared in the special counsel’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 US election
A ruling on whether McGahn must testify could have implications for other current and former White House officials who so far have resisted appearing before Congress.
Read more about the potential implications in Monday morning’s edition of “Power Up”here
BySpenser S. Hsu and John Wagner
November 25, 2019 at 7: 25 AM EST
Trump quotes lawyer calling inquiry ‘unfair’
Trump returned to Twitter on Monday morning as part of a continuing effort to cast th e Democrat-led impeachment inquiry as unfair.
In his firsttweetof the day, he quoted lawyer Sam Dewey, a frequent cable news commentator.
“President Trump is facing a process which is unprecedented for its unfairness, ”Trump quoted Dewey as saying.
************ ByJohn Wagner
RNC chairwoman claims Democrats’ case is’ dead ‘
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel went on Twitter early Monday to argue that the Democra ts’ case against Trump is dead.
In atweet, McDaniel pointed to past comments from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) about what it would take to impeach the president
“Pelosi herself said impeachment must be ‘compelling,’ ‘overwhelming,’ and ‘bipartisan,’” McDaniel wrote. “After 2 weeks of sham hearings, the Democrats’ case against @realDonaldTrump is dead – and the only thing that’s’ bipartisan ‘is the opposition to their entire charade.”
November 25, 2019 at 7: 00 AM EST
More transcripts could be released Monday
Though the public hearings are over – at least for now – House investigators could release transcripts as early as Monday of two closed-door depositions taken as part of the impeachment inquiry.
Still outstanding are the transcript s of depositions taken of Mark Sandy, an Office of Management and Budget official, and Philip Reeker, the diplomat in charge of U.S. policy for Europe.
Sandy testified earlier this month that the White House decision to freeze nearly $ 400 million in congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine in mid-July was highly irregular and that senior political appointees in the OMB were unable to provide an explanation for the delay.
Sandy, the deputy associate director for national security programs at OMB, testified that he was instructed to sign the first of several apportionment letters in which budget officials formally instituted the freeze on funds, according to two people familiar with his testimony who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly.
Reeker said during his deposition that he appealed to top State Department leaders to publicly support Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine who was the target of a conspiracy theory-fueled smear campaign, a person familiar with his testimony said.
Reeker expressed his concerns over the falsehoods about Yovanovitch to David Hale, the third-highest-ranking official in the State Department, and T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, the closest adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss closed-door proceedings. **
November 25, 2019 at 6: 30 AM EST
Trump’s Thanksgiving week includes a campaign rally
The week ahead will provide at least one prime opportunity for Trump to weigh in publicly on the impeachment inquiry.
On Tuesday, he is scheduled to hold a “Keep America Great” rally in Sunrise, Fla. He has used previous campaign rallies to air grievances about the process and take aim at the Democrats leading it.
Otherwise, Trump has a relatively light week planned ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, which he plans to spend at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla.
On Monday afternoon, he is scheduled to meet at the White House with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov . As of now, the White House has not advertised any press access to that meeting. He also plans to sign a couple of bills Monday behind closed doors.
On Tuesday, Trump is scheduled to preside over the presentation of theNational Thanksgiving Turkeybefore heading to Florida.
November 25, 2019 at 6: 15 AM EST
Schiff says Trump has waged ‘unprecedented campaign of obstruction ‘
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) Claimed Sunday night that Trump has “waged an unprecedented campaign of obstruction agai nst our inquiry, ”pointing to a new Washington Post report.
The Postreportedthat a confidential White House review of Trump’s decision to place a hold on military aid to Ukraine has turned up hundreds of documents that reveal extensive efforts to generate an after-the-fact justification for the decision and a debate over whether the delay was legal, according to three people familiar with the records, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal White House deliberations.
“Today we learned about more damning evidence that [Trump] is withholding from Congress,” Schiff said in a tweet that linked to The Post story. “If we allow this to stand, Trump will do permanent damage to our system of checks and balances.”
November 25 , 2019 At 6: (AM EST)
Trump says impeachment proceedings good for GOP politically
Trump claimed in tweets Sunday night that the impeachment process has been good politically for Republicans .
“Democrats going back to their Districts for Thanksgiving are getting absolutely hammered by their constituents over the phony Impeachment Scam,” he said in oneTweet. “Republicans will have a great # 2020 Election! ”
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