Live Updates

The latest on the Trump impeachment inquiry

11:59 a.m. ET, October 14, 2019

Why this GOP congressman was booted from the Fiona Hill hearing

Rep. Matt Gaetz speaks to members of the media on Capitol Hill on October 14 in Washington.
Rep. Matt Gaetz speaks to members of the media on Capitol Hill on October 14 in Washington. Alex Wroblewski/AP

Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said he was kicked out of this morning's hearing with Fiona Hill.

An official working on the impeachment inquiry said Gaetz was booted because he does not sit on any of the committees conducting the impeachment investigation.

“Pursuant to the House Rules and the House Deposition Regulations, only Members and designated staff from the three committees undertaking the joint investigation – the Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs Committees – are permitted to attend and participate in a deposition," the official told CNN.

Gaetz "attempted to crash today’s deposition despite being ineligible and refused to leave, causing an unnecessary delay in the deposition," the source added.

Crashing hearings is unusual but not unprecedented. In 2015, Rep. Darrell Issa tried to attend a closed-door Benghazi hearing but was asked to leave by Chairman Trey Gowdy.

3:05 p.m. ET, October 14, 2019

Democrats subpoenaed former Trump Russia adviser even though there's no evidence the White House tried to block her voluntary testimony

Fiona Hill arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday.
Fiona Hill arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday. Andrew Harnik/AP

The House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena to former National Security Council official Fiona Hill because of White House attempts to direct witnesses not to cooperate with the House’s impeachment inquiry, an official working on the impeachment inquiry told CNN.

Here's how the official put it:

“In light of attempts by the White House and the Administration to direct witnesses not to cooperate with the House’s impeachment inquiry and efforts by the White House to limit any testimony that does occur, the House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena to former National Security Council official Dr. Fiona Hill to compel her testimony this morning."

There is no indication the White House tried to block Hill’s testimony.

As is required of her, Hill is now complying with the subpoena and answering questions from both Democratic and Republican members and staff.

Some context: Some Republicans have complained about the investigation process led by House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff. Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the Oversight Committee, said Hill — who is a former adviser to Trump on Russia — had been subpoenaed even though she was willing to testify voluntarily. 

11:25 a.m. ET, October 14, 2019

Biden campaign says it was aware of Hunter’s interview, but didn't arrange it

Hunter Biden speaks at an award ceremony for World Food Program USA in Washington in April 2016.
Hunter Biden speaks at an award ceremony for World Food Program USA in Washington in April 2016. Paul Morigi/Getty Images for World Food Program USA

Joe Biden's presidential campaign was aware of his son’s interview with ABC News ahead of time — but it was Hunter Biden’s decision to sit for it, a source familiar with the matter tells CNN. 

“The campaign did not arrange this, but Hunter has been under attack in personal and vicious terms for the past couple of weeks from the President and his sons and made the decision to defend himself,” the source said. 

Yesterday, Joe Biden told reporters he knew the statement from his son’s attorney about Hunter’s business dealings was coming, but the former Vice President said he didn’t consult with them while it was being released. 

What is this all about: Hunter Biden will speak about President Trump's recent attacks on his foreign business dealings in the television interview, which is set to air tomorrow — the same day of the CNN/New York Times Democratic presidential debate.

Hunter Biden announced on Sunday he will step down from his board role in the management company of a private equity fund backed by Chinese state-owned entities and not work for any company that is foreign owned if his father is elected president.

12:25 p.m. ET, October 14, 2019

A GOP congressman says he was kicked out of other committees' deposition of Fiona Hill

Andrew Harnik/AP
Andrew Harnik/AP

Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said he was kicked out of this morning's deposition of Fiona Hill by House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff.    

Gaetz is not on any of the three committees conducting the impeachment investigation — Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight.

He said that when Schiff asked him to leave, they consulted with House parliamentarian, who agreed with Schiff.

Here's his argument: Gaetz argued that he should be allowed to view the deposition as a member of the Judiciary Committee, because that panel is typically in charge of impeachment and Chairman Jerry Nadler has previously said that he has opened an impeachment inquiry.

"So, I'm deeply disappointed that as a member of the House Judiciary committee, on behalf of my constituents, I'm unable to participate and listen to the questions and answers."     

He said his removal was another sign that Democrats were running a "kangaroo court."

A little about the deposition: Hill is President Trump's former top Russia adviser. She is being interviewed behind closed doors by three House panels as part of the Democrats' impeachment probe, according to a source familiar with the matter.        

10:17 a.m. ET, October 14, 2019

Republicans are complaining about how Adam Schiff is running the investigation

Ahead of the Fiona Hill deposition this morning behind closed doors, Republicans complained about the investigation process led by House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff, charging that Democrats should release the interview transcripts and allow Republicans subpoena power.

Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the Oversight Committee, said Hill had been subpoenaed even though she was willing to testify voluntarily. 

CNN asked Jordan if he has concerns about Rudy Giuliani going around the State Department with Ukraine. Jordan said that the Ukrainian government had asked to speak to him and argued that as a private citizen that it was up to Giuliani to engage.

GOP lawmakers made many of the same arguments we've heard previously from Republicans about the impeachment inquiry, as they accused Democrats of selectively leaking information to suit their narrative.

9:27 a.m. ET, October 14, 2019

Lawyer for former top Trump Russia adviser confirms that she was subpoenaed by Congress

An attorney representing Fiona Hill — Trump's former top Russia adviser who is testifying today in the impeachment inquiry — confirmed in a tweet that she is appearing after receiving a subpoena from Congress.

Hill just arrived on the Hill for her appearance. She'll start taking questions behind closed doors from House members at 10 a.m. ET, her lawyer said.

9:22 a.m. ET, October 14, 2019

Fiona Hill just arrived on Capitol Hill

Former White House adviser on Russia Fiona Hill arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday.
Former White House adviser on Russia Fiona Hill arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday. Andrew Harnik/AP

Fiona Hill, President Trump's former top Russia adviser, has arrived at the US Capitol.

She will be interviewed behind closed doors by three House panels as part of the Democrats' impeachment probe, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Remember: Since Hill has left the administration she presumably will be freer to speak to the committees, much the way former US Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker was when he testified last week.

Hill will explain to Congress that she was unaware of some aspects of the escalating Ukraine scandal, according to a source close with Hill who spoke to her Thursday.

10:10 a.m. ET, October 14, 2019

Here's what you need to know about the former Trump Russia adviser testifying today

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

Trump's former top Russia adviser Fiona Hill is testifying behind closed doors in the impeachment inquiry today.

Hill is the first of several witnesses scheduled to testify this week in the inquiry.

Here's what you need to know about her:

  • Hill is the former top official on Russian affairs at the National Security Council (NSC). She is a skeptic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • She departed the NSC about one week before the July 25 call between Trump and Ukraine's president.
  • Hill will explain to Congress when she testifies that she was unaware of some aspects of the escalating Ukraine scandal, according to a source close with Hill who spoke to her Thursday.
  • She has been subpoenaed and is working with her lawyer on logistics. She has kept a low profile in recent weeks in England with her mother.

8:13 a.m. ET, October 14, 2019

A day-by-day look at what's happening with the impeachment inquiry this week

Lawmakers return to Capitol Hill this week with House Democrats set to accelerate their impeachment inquiry against President Trump.

First up: Interviews with the President's former top Russia adviser and 

Here are some of the key events we're watching this week:

  • Today: Trump's former top Russia adviser Fiona Hill is expected to speak today to three House panels behind closed doors as part of the impeachment probe into the President.
  • Tomorrow: Three Trump administration officials face subpoena deadlines – Vice President Mike Pence faces a deadline on a request for Ukraine-related documents sent earlier this month, while Defense Secretary Mark Esper and acting director of Office of Management and Budget Russ Vought both face a deadline on subpoenas requesting documents as part of the impeachment inquiry.
  • Wednesday: Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, associates of Rudy Giuliani face a subpoena deadline for documents. The subpoenas were issued the same day that the two were indicted by federal prosecutors. The subpoenas are separate from the indictment, in which federal prosecutors allege that Parnas and Fruman illegally funneled foreign money into US elections.
  • Thursday: US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland is set to testify. He's a key witness, and his earlier scheduled appearance was canceled at the last minute due to objections from the State Department.
  • Friday: There are two more subpoena deadlines. Energy Secretary Rick Perry faces a subpoena deadline for documents related to the administration's dealings with Ukraine. House Democrats have also subpoenaed acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney for documents.