The latest on the Trump impeachment inquiry

4:07 p.m. ET, October 20, 2019

Here's what happened in the impeachment inquiry today

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Let us catch you up on all the impeachment developments from over the weekend:

  • Mick Mulvaney faced ouster: Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney faced internal efforts to oust him before House Democrats moved ahead with their impeachment inquiry against President Trump, multiple sources told CNN Sunday. Top aides including Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner were in the process of reaching out to at least two potential replacements for the top West Wing job shortly before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced in late September that she would move ahead with an impeachment inquiry.
  • Mulvaney's comments: He told reporters on Thursday that the Trump administration "held up the money" for Ukraine because the President wanted to investigate "corruption" in Ukraine related to a conspiracy theory involving the whereabouts of the Democratic National Committee's computer server hacked by Russians during the last presidential campaign. On Friday, Trump was asked to clarify his acting chief of staff's remarks in the briefing room. Trump responded: “I think he clarified it.” Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Mulvaney’s comments a “confession” — and said it’s an example of the administration trying to make “lawlessness normal and even make lawlessness a virtue.” 
  • GOP lawmaker on impeachment: Rep. Francis Rooney, a Republican from Florida, would not rule out the prospects of supporting impeaching the President. He called Mulvaney's acknowledgment about withholding Ukraine aid "troubling," saying it is "not a good thing" to do that in connection "with threatening foreign leaders." Rooney said Saturday he will not run for re-election.

1:31 p.m. ET, October 20, 2019

Rep. Will Hurd addresses impeachment inquiry on "Face the Nation"

CNN
CNN

Republican Congressman Will Hurd, a member of the House Intelligence committee, appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” this morning to discuss, among other things, the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Hurd signed a letter to Chairman Adam Schiff along with his Republican colleagues on Friday demanding more access to materials related to the committee’s investigation.

The Texas congressman told host Margaret Brennan he’s most concerned that committee members are not getting access to deposition transcripts and materials provided to the committee quickly enough, saying he received a transcript of Ambassador Kurt Volker’s testimony “a couple days ago” and has still not received all of the text messages Volker provided, even though Volker appeared before the committee on Oct. 3.

Brennan pointed out that, as a committee member, Hurd can sit in on all of the depositions. Hurd reiterated his concerns about information not being readily available to Republicans and that Democrats are able to have more staff present in the depositions than Republicans.

Hurd called the work of the committee “regular oversight hearings,” saying “this is also not an impeachment inquiry.” He complained that the committee is having to do this work instead of conducting other business,

10:00 a.m. ET, October 20, 2019

Mulvaney says he and President Trump never discussed his resignation

President Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, told Fox News today that he and the President never discussed his resignation following the now infamous quid pro quo press conference.

“No absolutely not,” he said. Mulvaney added “I still think I’m doing a pretty good job as chief of staff and I think the president agrees.”

Fox's Chris Wallace and Mulvaney went back and forth over the press conference where the acting chief of staff admitted there was a quid pro quo regarding US aid to Ukraine.

Mulvaney said he was misunderstood, denied saying there was a quid pro quo and said that was reporter language, not his and once again said there was no quid pro quo.

More context: Mulvaney came under scrutiny last week after he said, then denied, that Trump held up an aid package to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into an unsubstantiated theory that Ukraine, not Russia, was responsible for hacking Democratic Party emails in 2016.

His comments undercut denials by the President of a quid pro quo, and stunned White House staffers who questioned his strategy.

One person said Mulvaney was unprepared to answer questions about Ukraine in a briefing that was supposed to be about the President's decision to use his personal property to host world leaders for a G7 summit next summer. That move, which Mulvaney defended amid immediate criticism, was abruptly reversed by Trump late Saturday.

10:31 a.m. ET, October 20, 2019

Mulvaney faced White House ouster threat before impeachment crisis took over

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney faced internal efforts to oust him before House Democrats moved ahead with their impeachment inquiry against President Trump, multiple sources tell CNN.

Top aides including Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner were in the process of reaching out to at least two potential replacements for the top West Wing job shortly before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced in late September that she would move ahead with an impeachment inquiry.

These previously unreported efforts did not come to fruition, but underscore the weakness of Mulvaney's position even before his headline-generating performance in the briefing room last week. One person familiar with Mulvaney's thinking said the search came as Mulvaney himself was looking for an exit after ten months in the role, though people close to Mulvaney have denied he wanted to leave.

Mulvaney, who was head of the Office of Management and Budget until he was tapped to succeed former Marine general John Kelly, has never been afforded the formal title, instead serving in an acting capacity, an arrangement both he and Trump have publicly said they prefer.

Some context: Mulvaney came under renewed scrutiny last week after he said, then denied, that Trump held up an aid package to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into an unsubstantiated theory that Ukraine, not Russia, was responsible for hacking Democratic Party emails in 2016.

His comments undercut denials by the President of a quid pro quo, and stunned White House staffers who questioned his strategy. One person said he was unprepared to answer questions about Ukraine in a briefing that was supposed to be about the President's decision to use his personal property to host world leaders for a G7 summit next summer. That move, which Mulvaney defended amid immediate criticism, was abruptly reversed by Trump late Saturday.

8:06 a.m. ET, October 20, 2019

5 key developments in the impeachment inquiry you need to know

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Here are the latest developments in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump:

  • Mick Mulvaney's comments: He told reporters on Thursday that the Trump administration "held up the money" for Ukraine because the President wanted to investigate "corruption" in Ukraine related to a conspiracy theory involving the whereabouts of the Democratic National Committee's computer server hacked by Russians during the last presidential campaign. On Friday, Trump was asked to clarify his acting chief of staff's remarks in the briefing room. Trump responded: “I think he clarified it.” Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Mulvaney’s comments a “confession” — and said it’s an example of the administration trying to make “lawlessness normal and even make lawlessness a virtue.” 
  • Testimony on Hunter Biden: Career diplomat George Kent told congressional investigators earlier last week he had voiced concerns in early 2015 about Hunter Biden working for a Ukrainian natural gas company, the Washington Post reported Friday.
  • Republicans blast inquiry: House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy said he expects a vote to censure Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Adam Schiff will “come up Monday.” Republican Rep. Jim Jordan slammed the House impeachment probe as "partisan" and "unfair," saying Schiff is "the new special counsel."
  • GOP lawmaker on impeachment: Rep. Francis Rooney, a Republican from Florida, would not rule out the prospects of supporting impeaching the President. He called Mulvaney's acknowledgment about withholding Ukraine aid "troubling," saying it is "not a good thing" to do that in connection "with threatening foreign leaders."
  • Rick Perry is resigning: The Energy Secretary said his resignation "has nothing to do with Ukraine" and he's "looking to get back to Texas." He said he's leaving his post later this year.