The latest on the Trump impeachment inquiry
Here are the most important events of the impeachment inquiry scheduled for this week:
- Tomorrow: The White House could release the transcript of an April call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
- Wednesday: Public testimony is scheduled from Bill Taylor, still the top State Department official in Ukraine, who raised concerns about the shadow foreign policy being pursued by Rudy Giuliani and who internally called out Trump's political appointee for tying political investigations to security aid. Taylor can talk about why Ukraine needs that aid.
- Also Wednesday: There will be open testimony from George Kent, who will talk about Giuliani's efforts to get former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch removed from her post.
- One more thing on Wednesday: Trump will hold a news conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House.
- Friday: former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will testify publicly about her recall at Trump's request.
The most important week so far of the impeachment inquiry is here.
Democrats will take their case to the American people that President Trump should be impeached, and they'll do it by introducing public testimony from career State Department employees, who will testify under oath to things they've already talked about in private.
Here's what you need to know:
- Still no word from the whistleblower: Democrats say they won't present a testimony from the whistleblower whose alarm uncovered Trump's effort to use tax dollars and foreign aid as ransom for his own political benefit.
- What the Democrats are saying: The head impeachment inquisitor, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, argued Saturday that the whistleblower's complaint has been corroborated, which makes testimony from the whistleblower "redundant."
- What the GOP is saying: Republicans are focused on arguing that former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, should be called to testify — something Democrats will not allow since it would divert focus on Trump's pressure on Ukraine back on the Bidens. Republicans also argued over the weekend that without the whistleblower, the case against the President falls apart.
The clash over whether the Ukraine whistleblower should testify in the impeachment inquiry is heating up.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham said Sunday that the inquiry would be "invalid" unless the identity of the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint sparked House Democrats' probe is revealed.
"I consider any impeachment in the House that doesn't allow us to know who the whistleblower is to be invalid because without the whistleblower complaint, we wouldn't be talking about any of this and I also see the need for Hunter Biden to be called to adequately defend the President and if you don't do those two things it's a complete joke," Graham told Fox News on Sunday.
"It's impossible to bring this case forward in my view fairly without us knowing who the whistleblower is and having a chance to cross examine them about any biases they may have," Graham continued.
However, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said Saturday the individual's testimony would be "redundant and unnecessary" and made it clear the whistleblower will not testify.
House Republicans earlier Saturday had submitted a list of witnesses to Democrats that they'd like to testify as part of the chamber's impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump and Ukraine. The list included the whistleblower and former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden.
Two days before televised impeachment hearings begin, Donald Trump's allies are peddling a smokescreen of conspiracy theories and distractions, hoping to sow confusion over the case against him.
Fierce political exchanges over the weekend offered a preview of how Republicans and Democrats will joust for advantage when the televised hearings get underway on Wednesday.
Read the full analysis here.
Struggling to keep up with every twist and turn in the impeachment story?
The Democratic bid to eject President Donald Trump from office hits high gear on Wednesday with the first public hearings on Capitol Hill into his alleged abuses of power in Ukraine.
Get set for top grade political drama, circus-like antics, and the grave reality of a presidency in peril: see CNN's full coverage here.
Here are the latest developments in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump:
- Another transcript: President Donald Trump said he will release the transcript of another phone call with the president of Ukraine "probably" on Tuesday -- this communication having taken place in April before the July conversation at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.
- Pushing for the whistleblower: Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Fox News yesterday that he thinks it is "impossible" for House Democrats to make their case in the impeachment probe without public testimony from the whistleblower and without it, impeachment will be "dead on arrival" in the Senate.
- Witness list: House Republicans submitted a list of witnesses they’d like to testify as part of the impeachment inquiry, which includes the anonymous whistleblower and Hunter Biden. Democrats must approve any requests submitted by Republicans and they are expected to reject the requests for Hunter Biden and the whistleblower to appear.
- Blaming Mick Mulvaney for quid pro quo: White House officials Fiona Hill and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman told lawmakers that Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, coordinated the effort to use military aid to Ukraine as leverage for investigation in his boss's political opponents, according to deposition transcripts released Friday.
- Mulvaney was a no-show: The acting White House chief of staff defied a subpoena from the House and did not show up for his closed-door testimony Friday. He cited "absolute immunity." Mulvaney dramatically confirmed last month that Trump froze nearly $400 million in US security aid to Ukraine partially to pressure the country into investigating Democrats — and proceeded hours later to deny having said so.
- Lawyers hint at John Bolton's "relevant" information: Bolton's lawyer said the former national security adviser has significant insights into matters being probed by the impeachment investigators. But Bolton’s attorney said his client will not testify until a court resolves whether he must obey a subpoena.