The latest on the Trump impeachment inquiry
A federal judge denied Rudy Giuliani associate Igor Fruman's request to lift house arrest and GPS monitoring as part of his bail condition in a hearing today.
Southern District of New York prosecutors also signaled the brother of the man accused of funneling foreign money to US campaign coffers, “could be involved” in the alleged campaign finance scheme.
Fruman, the soviet born emigre, pleaded not guilty to four counts, including conspiracy to violate the ban on foreign donations to federal and state elections, making false statements and falsifying records to the Federal Election Commission earlier this month.
CNN recently reported his brother Steve Fruman was subpoenaed by prosecutors.
Steve Fruman is one of the co-signers on Igor Fruman’s bond but that status is now in doubt as prosecutors seek more information about his businesses and sources of income.
In an interview with the Washington Examiner, President Trump threw out the idea of hosting a "fireside chat" to read the transcript of his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the center of the impeachment investigation.
Trump has repeatedly defended the call with Zelensky — calling it "perfect." During yesterday's vote to pass the resolution to move forward with the impeachment inquiry, Trump tweeted "READ THE TRANSCRIPT!" in an apparent reference to the call.
Trump's press secretary Stephanie Grisham told Fox News this morning in an interview that the fireside chat was Trump's idea.
Asked if doing a fireside chat where Trump read the transcript was a serious consideration, Grisham said: “It’s always a serious consideration. I don’t know what the logistics of it would like just yet but in the meantime again we released the transcript. The president has nothing to hide.”
More context: The White House released a transcript of the call, but remember: It's only a rough log and not a word-for-word readout. The rough transcript shows Trump repeatedly pushed Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
The National Security Council's top Ukraine expert testified this week that the White House omitted a part of the conversation where Trump told Zelensky there were tapes of Biden and replaced the comments with ellipses.
A new poll of Texas registered voters from the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune finds Texas voters about evenly split over whether Donald Trump should be removed from office before the end of his term.
Forty three percent of Texas voters said the President should be removed from office, and 44% said he shouldn't. And 46% said the congressional impeachment investigation into Trump is justified.
There are sharp partisan divides over whether the President has taken actions that justify removal from office: 79% of Democrats say yes; 79% of Republicans say no. Independents are more likely to be unsure — about a third say Trump has taken such action (34%) a third say he hasn’t (33%) and the remaining third (33%) say they don’t know or are unsure whether he has.
The President’s overall job approval number in the state stands at 47% approve to 48% disapprove. On his response to impeachment, 45% disapprove while 39% approve and 16% are unsure.
During an appearance this morning on Fox News, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham came to the defense of President Trump numerous times, calling the ongoing impeachment inquiry "a sham and a kangaroo court."
Grisham called the Democrats "unhinged" and the ongoing probe "unjust and unfair."
"The President has nothing to hide. he's been so transparent," Grisham said. "We're the ones being left out of the process. ... The President has done nothing wrong."
What happened yesterday in the inquiry: The House passed a resolution formalizing the procedures of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. The vote was 232-196 and was the first time that the full House chamber took a vote related to the inquiry.
The resolution provides the procedural details for how the House will move its impeachment inquiry into its next phase as it investigates a whistleblower complaint alleging that the President attempted to pressure Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 presidential election by investigating the family of his potential political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch, a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has been part of the closed-door impeachment depositions, criticized his two colleagues in the House who voted against the resolution to move forward with the impeachment inquiry.
Lynch told CNN moments ago:
"In fairness, neither one of the gentlemen has been in the depositions. So unlike myself — I have actually — as a member of a committee and subcommittee chair being in almost basically all of the — all of the depositions, having the evidence provided, I have a lot of facts, unlike Mr. Peterson and others."
The two gentlemen Lynch is referring to is New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew and Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson — the only two Democrats who sided with Republicans yesterday to oppose the resolution.
Lynch said his two colleagues — both of whom have not been a part of the closed-door interviews — are "without information" and he said they are "making uninformed decisions at this point."
President Trump's campaign manager says the House's vote on formalizing impeachment procedures yesterday was a major fundraising opportunity for the President's reelection campaign.
According to Brad Parscale, the campaign raised $3 million online in just one day. He added that the campaign had raised $19 million in October online.
Yesterday, the House passed a resolution formalizing the rules of the impeachment investigation.
Read Parscale's tweet below:
Some context: Parscale is the current campaign manager for Trump's 2020 reelection campaign. He previously served as the digital media director for the President's 2016 campaign.
Both chambers of Congress are in recess today. The Senate will return Monday in a brief pro forma session, and begin their actual work-week on Tuesday.
The House will remain out through November 11 as members return to their districts for a week-plus long break following a near-party-line vote on the House floor on a resolution to lay out how an impeachment inquiry would proceed.
The House recess, however, will not impede the parade of officials who will appear before members and staff of the Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees as they continue their impeachment investigation, with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff telling CNN's Chris Cuomo last night that some of the transcripts of the closed-door interviews could be made public as early as next week.
What's happening today: There are no depositions today in the inquiry, as the previously scheduled one with Robert Blair, senior adviser to White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, has been postponed until Monday.
In the videos, Parnas sits in the area directly behind Trump before and during the rally.
It is unclear how Parnas, who is not a Nevada native, got into the prized seating area directly behind the President. A photo from Parnas' Instagram featured in a video by the Wall Street Journal shows he appeared to have a VIP badge for the event.
Remember: Parnas and his business partner and fellow Giuliani associate, Igor Fruman, are alleged by prosecutors to have illegally funded donations from foreign nations to Republican political campaigns in attempts to buy influence. They are also alleged to have aided Giuliani, the President's personal attorney, in efforts to dig up political dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump has publicly distanced himself from Parnas and Fruman since their indictment.
"I don't know those gentlemen," the President said earlier this month. "Now it's possible I have a picture with them because I have a picture with everybody, I have a picture with everybody here."
"I don't know them," Trump added. "I don't know about them. I don't know what they do but I don't know, maybe they were clients of Rudy. You'd have to ask Rudy, I just don't know."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted this morning about the impeachment investigation into the President calling the inquiry "deadly serious."
On President Trump, Pelosi added, "This isn't about his personality or his politics."
The tweet included a clip from the Democratic congresswoman's appearance last night on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. In the clip, Colbert asks Pelosi what the "first words" out of her mouth were after she heard the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the center of the impeachment investigation. "I prayed for the United States of America," she responded.
Read Pelosi's tweet below: