The latest on the Trump impeachment inquiry
Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, who is not on the House Intelligence Committee, said that he has requested to review the committee's report with his colleagues tonight.
He said he hasn’t heard back and there is no reason to believe he’d ever be allowed to review the report early.
Why this matters: Meadow's actions highlight the lengths that some of President Trump’s allies are going to in order to be prepared to defend Trump.
Meadows clearly wants to be in the loop so that he is equipped to rebut the Democrats’ report. His argument is that he was present for more of the depositions than anyone other than House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and therefore he should be allowed to review the report before it’s publicly released.
Meadows is one of the President’s closest allies on Capitol Hill and has kept the White House regularly informed about the progress of the investigation.
President Trump tweeted today that the impeachment inquiry is unifying the Republican party and "only bringing us even closer together."
Trump's tweet comes after House Democrats spent last week preparing a report that will spell out the case for impeachment. The House Intelligence Committee is expected to allow members to review it today ahead of a vote scheduled for tomorrow to approve the report.
Read his tweet:
President Trump's senior counselor Kellyanne Conway defended the White House’s decision not to send a lawyer to Wednesday’s hearing in the House Judiciary Committee, claiming the White House has been left in the dark as to what the proceedings this week will entail.
“It’s not just a hoax — what is the process, what will they be discussing?” Conway said.
“They haven’t told us everything about the lawyer, the witnesses,” Conway told reporters in the White House briefing room. “We don’t know who they are.”
Conway was asked whether the White House will send attorneys to participate in future House Judiciary Committee proceedings. The committee's chairman, Jerry Nadler, has given the White House a deadline of Friday to decide whether they will send lawyers to upcoming hearings.
“It depends on what the process is,” Conway said of sending lawyers to future hearings.
Conway called House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff a “fact witness” who should testify before the House Judiciary Committee. The ranking Republican on that Committee has called for Schiff to testify.
“I’ll tell you what, if Adam Schiff testifies, I’ll show up on behalf of the White House,” she said.
President Trump just tweeted a video of Air Force One’s departure from Joint Base Andrews and said, “The Do Nothing Democrats purposely scheduled an Impeachment Hoax hearing on the same date as NATO. Not nice!”
Trump is on his way to London for a NATO summit.
The President, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, and other allies have complained about the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearing — scheduled for Wednesday morning — beginning as Trump is overseas for the NATO summit.
Remember: The White House was invited to participate in the first hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Trump and his attorneys declined.
President Trump slammed House Democrats for scheduling an impeachment hearing during his upcoming trip to London for the NATO summit.
“The Democrats, the radical left Democrats, the do nothing Democrats decided that when I’m going to NATO, this was set up a year ago, that when I’m going to NATO, this is the exact time – this is one of the most important journeys that we make as President,” Trump said as he left the White House for London.
“And for them to be doing this, saying this and putting an impeachment on the table, which is a hoax…” Trump said, before pivoting to argue that the impeachment proceedings had united Republicans.
“It really a great thing in some ways but in other ways, it’s a disgrace,” he said.
Trump was asked why he chose not to send a White House lawyer to the House Judiciary hearing on Wednesday, despite an offer from Chairman Nadler to allow the White House to do so.
“Because the whole thing is a hoax, everybody knows it,” Trump said.
The President referred repeatedly to the comments Ukrainian President Zelensky made in a recent interview with a German publication, in which he again denied he was facing a quid pro quo from Trump.
"All you have to do is look at the words of the Ukrainian president, which he just issued," Trump said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declined to discuss impeachment at a press conference in Madrid this morning, reminding reporters that it is her longstanding practice to avoid criticizing American presidents when abroad. “We’re here to talk positively about our agenda to save the planet for future generations,” she said.
Congressional Democrats on the trip to the COP 25 attempted to present a united front on behalf of the US in favor of action on climate change, despite the Trump administration’s handling of the issue. “By coming here we want to say to everyone, we’re still in. The United States is still in,” Pelosi said of climate change efforts.
President Trump is tweeting on the impeachment hearing, saying Democrats get "3 Constitutional lawyers" while, "Republicans get one" sarcastically saying, "that sounds fair!"
Remember: It's worth noting the White House was invited to participate in the first hearing in the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday. Trump and his attorneys declined.
President Trump tweeted this morning touting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's interviews with various magazines.
Some background: In an interview with Time magazine, Le Monde, Der Spiegel and Gazeta Wyborcza, Zelensky was asked about a quid pro quo in the administration’s move to block military aid to Ukraine last summer. He said, "I never talked to the President from the position of a quid pro quo" though he also said, "If you’re our strategic partner, then you can’t go blocking anything for us."
“Look, I never talked to the President from the position of a quid pro quo,” Zelensky said, according to a partial transcript released by Time.
“That’s not my thing. … I don’t want us to look like beggars. But you have to understand. We’re at war. If you’re our strategic partner, then you can’t go blocking anything for us. I think that’s just about fairness. It’s not about a quid pro quo. It just goes without saying.”
The House is pressing forward with its impeachment inquiry into President Trump. It's set to be a busy December, with Democrats tentatively planning to hold a vote to possibly impeach the President by Christmas.
Here's a look at what we're expecting this week:
- Today: The House Intelligence Committee is expected to allow members to review the committee's impeachment report. It summarizes the panel's findings from its two-month investigation into Trump and Ukraine, in which a dozen witnesses testified publicly.
- Tomorrow: The Intelligence Committee is expected to vote to approve the impeachment report.
- Wednesday: The House Judiciary Committee will hold its first impeachment hearing. Trump and his attorneys were invited to participate, but they declined.
- Friday: House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler has given the White House a 5 p.m. Friday deadline to give a definitive answer on whether it will participate in the impeachment inquiry.