The latest on the Trump impeachment inquiry

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3:56 p.m. ET, October 21, 2019

Why Schumer wants to know if the whistleblower's identity is being protected

From CNN's Lauren Fox and Ted Barrett

Alex Brandon/AP
Alex Brandon/AP

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire and Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, asking how they are protecting the identity of the whistleblower amid public backlash and GOP comments. 

Schumer wrote that he was concerned that President Trump or someone in his administration would disclose the whistleblower's identity.

Read the senator's letter:

Dear Acting Director Maguire and Inspector General Atkinson:

I am writing to ask what specific steps you are taking to protect the security of the intelligence community whistleblower. As you know, on August 12, 2019, the whistleblower reported urgent, credible concerns about serious misconduct and abuse of power by President Trump. The whistleblower filed a complaint pursuant to 50 U.S.C. § 3033(k)(5)(A), and under the law is entitled to protection against retaliation. 

Regrettably, however, President Trump has attacked the whistleblower as “a fraud,” referred to the complaint as “fake,” and even suggested that the whistleblower’s sources are spies who should be executed for “treason.” The President has also incorrectly stated that he has a right to “confront” the whistleblower, and has said that he is “trying to find out” the whistleblower’s identity — notwithstanding the fact that whistleblower anonymity is protected by law.

In light of the President’s ill-advised statements, his lack of respect for the rule of law and his well-documented habit of condoning violence by his supporters, I am concerned that he may disclose the whistleblower’s identity or cause it to be disclosed by others in the Administration. 

If that were to happen, it will be your responsibility to take immediate action to protect the whistleblower from both workplace reprisal and threats to his or her personal safety. I understand that some security measures may already have been put in place, but I fear that safety risks may intensify in the event that the whistleblower’s identity is disclosed. I also note reports that one or more additional whistleblowers may come forward, creating added security concerns.  I therefore ask that you inform me regarding your plans to ensure that these whistleblowers are adequately protected.

2:41 p.m. ET, October 21, 2019

House GOP will try to force a vote on a resolution to censure Schiff

From CNN's Kristin Wilson

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

House Republicans are going to try and force a House floor vote today on a resolution to censure Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff “for certain misleading conduct” in dramatizing a phone call between President Trump and the Ukrainian president.

The resolution, introduced by House Freedom Caucus Chair Andy Biggs, says that the actions by Schiff “misled the American people, bring disrepute upon the House of Representatives, and make a mockery of the impeachment process, one of this chamber’s most solemn constitutional duties.” 

While the resolution is privileged, Democrats are expected to hold a vote to table the bill before it can be voted on.

The President expressed his support for the resolution this morning in a tweet.

 

1:39 p.m. ET, October 21, 2019

Trump claims the whistleblower "gave a false account." The complaint has largely been proven accurate.

From CNN's Daniel Dale

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

As he has more than 20 times in the last two weeks, Trump claimed at his Cabinet meeting that the whistleblower who complained about his July phone call with the president of Ukraine “gave a false account” and has been “discredited.”

As CNN explained here, the whistleblower’s account of the call has largely been proven accurate by the rough transcript released by the White House itself. All three of the whistleblower’s three primary claims were correct.

Trump also alleged that the whistleblower has somehow vanished, saying, “They’re gone.” There is no indication that this is true.

1:38 p.m. ET, October 21, 2019

Trump was asked if he thinks the House will impeach him. Here's how he responded.

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

Asked if he thought it was a foregone conclusion that the House will vote to impeach him, President Trump said, "Well, I think they want to."

He added that he thinks "any Democrat" wants to impeach him because "they're not going to beat me in the election."

"They want to impeach and they want to do it as quick as possible," Trump said.

1:30 p.m. ET, October 21, 2019

Trump says Doral G7 would have been "the greatest G7 ever"

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Trump says his Doral resort would have made an ideal venue for the G7, and bemoaned the plan was scuttled by Democrats.

"I would have been willing to do this for free, and it would have been the greatest G7 ever," Trump said.

Trump said he was offering use of the resort for free, and claimed he doesn’t need to promote his businesses as President.

Trump again went after his predecessor Barack Obama for a book and Netflix production deal that were made after he left office, claiming Obama wasn’t scrutinized for business dealings.

Some background: Trump on Saturday abruptly reversed course and announced next year's G7 economic summit of world powers would not be held at Trump National in Doral, Florida, in a rare departure after facing bipartisan backlash.

The White House had been defending its decision to use Trump's own property as the site for the G7 in the face of mounting outrage and disapproval. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told CNN that the Doral site would be "significantly cheaper" than other options.

1:03 p.m. ET, October 21, 2019

Trump didn't answer questions about Mulvaney

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Trump just wrapped up taking questions at his Cabinet meeting.

Trump did not respond to questions about acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, according to a pool report.

More about Mulvaney: The acting chief of staff has faced intense scrutiny since a headline-grabbing press conference last week in which he said — and 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. 

2:58 p.m. ET, October 21, 2019

3 US officials are no longer testifying this week

From CNN's Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb

The deposition schedule this week appears to be narrowing, though it continues to be fluid.

Two congressional sources provide this as latest deposition schedule for this week shared with the committees.

One source said that one reason the others may have been removed is because they still need to find counsel on short notice, and they could be scheduled for next week. Rep. Adam Schiff’s office declined to comment.

Here's a look at the current schedule:

  • Tomorrow: Bill Taylor, acting US ambassador to Ukraine
  • Wednesday: Michael Duffey, Office of Management and Budget associate director for national security programs; Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of Defense
  • Thursday: Alexander Vindman, the director of European affairs with the National Security Council

While Duffey is scheduled, the OMB said this morning he will not comply. 

Three names are no longer on the current schedule: State Department’s Philip Reeker, Suriya Jayanti, who is in the Kiev embassy, and Tim Morrison, a top Russia adviser at the National Security Council

1:05 p.m. ET, October 21, 2019

Trump says Democrats are "vicious" with impeachment inquiry

President Trump speaks during a Cabinet Meeting at the White House on Monday, October 21.
President Trump speaks during a Cabinet Meeting at the White House on Monday, October 21. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump, speaking in a Cabinet meeting, said Republicans need to remain unified during the impeachment attacks from Democrats.

Trump said Democrats were "vicious" in their attempts to impeach him but they stuck together — which he contrasted negatively to Republicans.

Trump said Democrats did not have someone like GOP Sen. Mitt Romney, who has criticized the President over the past weeks.

12:07 p.m. ET, October 21, 2019

Trump says Republicans need to be tougher on impeachment 

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump said Republicans need to get tougher amid efforts to impeach him.

Speaking at a Cabinet meeting, Trump said Democrats are trying to hurt Republicans ahead of next year’s elections, and said the GOP needs to fight those attempts.

Trump continued to defend his actions on Ukraine, describing his phone call with the Ukrainian president as “perfect” and describing the investigation as a sham.

The meeting is ongoing.