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Impeachment Inquiry into Trump 2019

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#802

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, joined two other GOP senators in criticizing the president this week after he publicly asked the Chinese government to investigate a political opponent while talking to reporters outside the White House this week.

The Maine senator was unequivocal in her statements, which came after a firefighters memorial service in Augusta on Saturday morning, joining Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Ben Sasse, R-Nevada, in breaking rank with GOP support for the president.

“I thought the president made a big mistake by asking China to get involved in investigating a political opponent,” Collins said. “It’s completely inappropriate.”

This is coming from an infamous Republican flip-flopper, but it’s still significant. The cracks in the dam are spreading…


#803

Sec of State Mike Pompeo held a press conference today while on an international tour, and made cutting remarks about the Dems being “political” and using “bully tactics” by sending over subpoenas and going after them.

The upshot was that his State Dept said they would cooperate and sent over a letter to that effect.

Funny how that works…if under the gun, you complain. But if there is something you want, you will go all out and do the same thing. See Benghazi hearings where Pompeo was a very vexing character going after Hillary. *

Mr. Pompeo said at a news conference in Athens on Saturday that the letter was delivered Friday night. He faced a Friday deadline to turn over documents pertaining to State Department dealings with Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, and other matters related to the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky.

House Democrats initiated impeachment proceedings against Mr. Trump Sept. 24 after a complaint filed by an intelligence officer under federal whistleblower laws alleged that Mr. Trump had withheld aid to Ukraine while he was pressing the country to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, including in the July phone call.

Mr. Pompeo said the letter was a first response to the subpoena, and repeated his criticism of House lawmakers for using what he called bullying tactics to push current and former officials to testify.

We’ll obviously do all the things we’re required to do by law,” Mr. Pompeo told reporters.

A House Foreign Affairs Committee official said: “Secretary Pompeo has failed to meet the deadline to produce documents required by the subpoena. However, the State Department has contacted the Committees on this matter and we hope the Department will cooperate in full promptly.”

The administration has denounced demands by the Democratic-led House for documents as a partisan exercise. Mr. Pompeo echoed that view Saturday, saying it was clear to him that the impeachment inquiry engulfing the State Department was motivated by politics.

“There’s clearly politics involved in this. This administration was incredibly focused on making sure that we worked with Ukraine in a way that was appropriate,” Mr. Pompeo said.

  • Pompeo’s role during Benghazi was horrifically aggressive and unrelenting.

(David Bythewood) #804

…oh wow, oh no, susan collins has weighed in, what will the gop do now other than what they’ve always down while she mildly protests…


#805

A lawyer for the whistle-blower whose complaint set off an impeachment inquiry of President Trump said Sunday that the same legal team was now representing a second whistle-blower, an intelligence official with firsthand knowledge of the president’s interactions with Ukraine.

The new whistle-blower “made a protected disclosure under the law and cannot be retaliated against,” Mark S. Zaid, one of the lawyers, said on Twitter.

Mr. Zaid confirmed a report by the ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos on his show, “This Week,” which said the new whistle-blower had already been interviewed by the intelligence community’s inspector general’s office, but had not yet communicated with any congressional committees.

Another member of the legal team confirmed on Twitter that the firm was now representing “multiple whistleblowers” but declined to comment further.

WaPo has this too.


#806

I love the sound of whistleblowers in the morning. :musical_note:


#807

Horrendous interview with Sen Ron Johnson on Meet the Press…Johnson spouting the R talking points, conspiracy theories…defending T. (see #StrzokPageLeakingCIA etc)

Sen Johnson was the guy who ‘winced’ when the mention of funds for Ukraine and the Biden investigation when he spoke to Ambassador Sondland. (see this WSJ mention *)

OMFG


#808

Barbara Res, Former Trump exec who worked with him as head of Construction thinks that the thought of Impeachment for T would be too much to go through, and he would hate that because “He needs to save face”…would more than likely resign.

Former Trump Organization VP expects Trump will resign


Reliable Sources

Barbara Res, a former Trump Organization vice president, tells CNN’s Brian Stelter she thinks President Donald Trump may resign rather than face possible removal from office by impeachment.


(David Bythewood) #809

Interesting speculation, but far from the first to ruminate on Trump resigning. It’s ultimately hard to know at all what he will do in the end, whether his ego or his fear will win out. Trump sees any form of admittance of guilt or apology as weakness.


#810

She’s done years of time with him…all true what you said…but given all those traits…his pride and saving face may rule him.
#impeachmentOrResignIWillBeHappy.


(David Bythewood) #811

What Putin Got From the Trump-Zelensky Phone Call

The biggest beneficiary of the Ukraine scandal is, sure enough, the Kremlin.


#812

Discusses that T’s allies benefited from negotiations made for Naftogaz…

Read on…

As Rudy Giuliani was pushing Ukrainian officials last spring to investigate one of Donald Trump’s main political rivals, a group of individuals with ties to the president and his personal lawyer were also active in the former Soviet republic.

Their aims were profit, not politics. This circle of businessmen and Republican donors touted connections to Giuliani and Trump while trying to install new management at the top of Ukraine’s massive state gas company. Their plan was to then steer lucrative contracts to companies controlled by Trump allies, according to two people with knowledge of their plans.

Their plan hit a snag after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko lost his reelection bid to Volodymyr Zelenskiy, whose conversation with Trump about former Vice President Joe Biden is now at the center of the House impeachment inquiry of Trump.

But the effort to install a friendlier management team at the helm of the gas company, Naftogaz, would soon be taken up with Ukraine’s new president by U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, whose slate of candidates included a fellow Texan who is one of Perry’s past political donors.

It’s unclear if Perry’s attempts to replace board members at Naftogaz were coordinated with the Giuliani allies pushing for a similar outcome, and no one has alleged that there is criminal activity in any of these efforts. And it’s unclear what role, if any, Giuliani had in helping his clients push to get gas sales agreements with the state-owned company.

But the affair shows how those with ties to Trump and his administration were pursuing business deals in Ukraine that went far beyond advancing the president’s personal political interests.


#813

Clearly, Barr is doing the President’s bidding by seeking his own answers, outside of the work the special investigator is doing. And Barr is ruffling some feathers as well.

WSJ article updated…

Attorney General William Barr is sparking discord in several foreign capitals, going outside usual channels to seek help from allies in reviewing the origins of a U.S. counterintelligence investigation begun during the 2016 presidential campaign.

By meeting directly with foreign leaders—rather than relying on investigator-to-investigator channels—Mr. Barr has stirred up domestic politics in some of the countries he has tapped for assistance.

In Rome, the national-security committee of Italy’s Parliament this past week asked Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to appear and answer questions about his contacts with Mr. Barr. Far-right opposition lawmakers criticized Mr. Conte for deferring to Mr. Barr’s request.

The Italian Prime Minister’s office said Mr. Conte isn’t worried about the meetings between Mr. Barr and Italy’s intelligence services, and said he would comment publicly only after he has been heard by the national-security committee of Italy’s Parliament.

In Canberra, Australian authorities said they were cooperating with Mr. Barr but disputed allegations that one of its diplomats acted inappropriately in 2016—an allegation at the center of Mr. Barr’s inquiry. Opposition lawmakers there, too, are expected to question government officials later this month about Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s phone conversation with President Trump regarding the inquiry.

In London, Mr. Barr’s personal requests have irked counterintelligence officials over a perceived thwarting of procedural norms, according to people familiar with the response from the intelligence officials. British intelligence officials have privately expressed annoyance that it appeared the U.S. Justice Department was going around them to talk to political leaders, these people said.

The Justice Department, which declined to comment for this article, said last week that Mr. Barr had asked Mr. Trump to introduce him to a number of foreign leaders to advance his review, including Mr. Morrison in Australia.

Mr. Barr’s work has come under scrutiny as Congress pursues an impeachment inquiry, triggered by Mr. Trump’s requests to a foreign counterpart to open investigations related to political rivals. U.S. lawmakers are examining whether Mr. Trump pressured Ukraine’s prime minister to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, and his son Hunter, who was on the board of a gas company in Ukraine.

Mr. Barr’s allies say the high-profile nature of the review requires that he interact directly with foreign officials and that nothing prevents him from taking a personal role in a matter he considers a priority. But current and former law-enforcement officials say Mr. Barr’s direct involvement is unusual and could strain relationships with U.S. intelligence agencies and foreign partners.


#814

Another Axios scoop Does Jonathan Swain get the gist of T’s conversations with T’s ‘friends?’

T does not like the look of an impeachment on his ‘resume.’

Hmmmmm…resignation is fine then, just come up with another praiseworthy, exceptional reason why you’d leave then.

President Trump has told friends and allies he worries about the stain impeachment will leave on his legacy.

Driving the news: In a phone call with House Republicans on Friday, Trump articulated why he really doesn’t want this. Impeachment, Trump said, is a "bad thing to have on your resume," according to a source on the call. Two other sources on the call confirmed the substance of the comment, but one said they recalled Trump phrasing it as “you don’t want it [impeachment] on your resume.”

  • After making the resume remark, Trump added, “But it’s going to make Kevin speaker,” these sources said, a reference to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s upside.

Why it matters: These two Trump quotes might seem like throwaways on what was a lengthy and discursive call with allies. But sources who have discussed impeachment candidly with the president say these comments perfectly encapsulate how Trump feels about it: He believes it could help him get re-elected and win back the House. But he doesn’t want the history books recording Donald Trump as an impeached president.

Between the lines: Some prominent political analysts, including the New York Times’ Ross Douthat, have speculated that the president might welcome articles of impeachment. Sources close to the president say this interpretation is dead wrong. Trump adamantly does not want to be impeached — because he cares, above all, about his legacy.

Behind the scenes: Many of Trump’s advisers, both inside and out of the White House, have given him their unpleasant prediction that he will almost certainly be impeached by the House of Representatives. But they have also told him they believe there is almost no chance the Senate convicts him.

  • One person who spoke to Trump in the past 10 days said he seemed resistant to that prediction and said he thought he could stop Nancy Pelosi from getting the votes to impeach. The source said Trump seemed confident that he could pile enough pressure onto House Democrats in “Trump districts” (where he won in 2016 but Democrats took back in 2018) that those incumbents would cave on Pelosi.
  • But a second person who spoke to Trump in the last few days said the president “was not in denial” and understood that the House is probably going to impeach him.

Trump’s re-election campaign and the RNC are reportedly spending $10 million on advertising targeting Joe Biden and Democrats supporting impeachment.

  • And Vice President Mike Pence will be piling additional pressure onto Democrats in Trump districts, where, per the NYT, “Mr. Pence’s aides have argued that … impeachment lacks strong support, especially when compared with kitchen-table issues.”

#815
  • About 90 former officials say whistleblower did the right thing, is entitled to protection

A group of former national security officials expressed their support for the anonymous U.S. official who blew the whistle on President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, even as Trump and his allies continued to try to discredit the whistleblower.

In an open letter published by the Wall Street Journal, about 90 officials, who served in both Republican and Democratic administrations, said the whistleblower did the right thing, and called on the government and the media to protect his or her identity.

“We are former national security officials who proudly served in a wide array of roles throughout the U.S. Government,” they wrote. “We are writing about the Intelligence Community whistleblower’s lawful disclosure, which was recently made public. While the identity of the whistleblower is not publicly known, we do know that he or she is an employee of the U.S. Government. As such, he or she has by law the right — and indeed the responsibility — to make known, through appropriate channels, indications of serious wrongdoing. That is precisely what this whistleblower did; and we applaud the whistleblower not only for living up to that responsibility but also for using precisely the channels made available by federal law for raising such concerns.

“A responsible whistleblower makes all Americans safer by ensuring that serious wrongdoing can be investigated and addressed, thus advancing the cause of national security to which we have devoted our careers. What’s more, being a responsible whistleblower means that, by law, one is protected from certain egregious forms of retaliation. Whatever one’s view of the matters discussed in the whistleblower’s complaint, all Americans should be united in demanding that all branches of our government and all outlets of our media protect this whistleblower and his or her identity. Simply put, he or she has done what our law demands; now he or she deserves our protection.”

Officials who signed the letter include former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. It also included a number of former ambassadors and former officials at the CIA, State Department and Defense Department.


(David Bythewood) #816

They link the actual letter, too, which is pretty neat, though not, it seems, the WSJ’s version of it.


#817

Wut. :unamused:

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Monday that he “absolutely” asked President Donald Trump “multiple times” to call Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, but about energy – not the Bidens – and said he is not leaving his role in the administration.

Speaking at a press conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, Perry said that he told Trump that it was in the best interest of the two nations to have discussions regarding energy issues. His response comes on the heels of reports that Trump told lawmakers Perry urged him to make the July 25 call that has become a key focus of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into the President.

"Absolutely, I asked the president multiple times. 'Mr. President, we think it is in the United States and in Ukraine’s best interest that you and the President of Ukraine have conversations and discuss the options that are there,” Perry said Monday. "So absolutely yes."

CNN previously reported that some text messages released by former US Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker showed that Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani was working to set up the call with Zelensky. The texts also show that several other US diplomats, including Volker, were working to arrange the conversation.

The Energy Department confirmed on Sundaythat Perry “supported and encouraged” Trump to speak with Zelensky on matters related to energy and the economy.

Energy issues, though, were not discussed during the July phone conversation between the two leaders, according to a rough transcript of the call released by the White House. The transcript instead revealed Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Joe Biden and the activities of the former vice president’s son, Hunter, who had been on a board of a Ukrainian natural gas company.


#818

Pentagon and OMB Subpoenaed in House Impeachment Inquiry

Subpoenas Demand Documents on President’s Decision to Withhold Critical Military Assistance Provided By Congress To Help Ukraine Counter Russian Aggression

Washington, D.C. (Oct. 7, 2019)—Today, Rep. Adam Schiff, the Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Eliot L. Engel, the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, sent a letter to Department of Defense (DOD) Secretary Mark Esper and a letter to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Acting Director Russell Vought conveying subpoenas for key documents as part of the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

“Pursuant to the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry, we are hereby transmitting a subpoena that compels you to produce the documents set forth in the accompanying schedule by October 15, 2019,” the Chairmen wrote.

The Committees are investigating the extent to which President Trump jeopardized national security by pressing Ukraine to interfere with our 2020 election and by withholding military assistance provided by Congress to help Ukraine counter Russian aggression, as well as any efforts to cover up these matters.

According to multiple press reports, at some point in July 2019, President Trump ordered Acting OMB Chief Mick Mulvaney to freeze the military aid to Ukraine, and Mulvaney reportedlyconveyed the President’s order “through the budget office to the Pentagon and the State Department, which were told only that the administration was looking at whether the spending was necessary.”

“The enclosed subpoena demands documents that are necessary for the Committees to examine this sequence of these events and the reasons behind the White House’s decision to withhold critical military assistance to Ukraine that was appropriated by Congress to counter Russian aggression,” the Chairmen wrote.

According to press reports, “Administration officials were instructed to tell lawmakers that the delays were part of an ‘interagency process’ but to give them no additional information.”

Officials at the Departments of State and Defense reportedly were “puzzled and alarmed” after learning about the White House’s directive. Defense Department officials reportedly “tried to make a case to the White House that the Ukraine aid was effective and should not be looked at in the same manner as other aid,” but “those arguments were ignored.” State and Defense Department officials reportedly contacted Congress to inform them of the freeze imposed by the White House.

In August 2019, Senator Ron Johnson was informed by Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, that if Ukraine would “get to the bottom of what happened in 2016—if President Trump has that confidence, then he’ll release the military spending.” Senator Johnson stated: “At that suggestion, I winced.” He also stated: “My reaction was: Oh, God. I don’t want to see those two things combined.”

On September 9, 2019, the Committees wrote a letter to the White House requesting documents relating to “the actual or potential suspension of military assistance to Ukraine.” The White House never responded to this request, resulting in the issuance of a subpoena last Friday.

However, two days later, on September 11, 2019, the White House released its hold on the military assistance to Ukraine.

Click here to read the letter and subpoena schedule to DOD.

Click here to read the letter and subpoena schedule to OMB.

https://intelligence.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=727


#819

https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/07/democrats-slap-pentagon-omb-with-subpoenas-for-impeachment-inquiry-000277

House Democrats on Monday issued subpoenas for documents from the Pentagon and White House budget office as part of their rapidly expanding impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

The subpoenas, which demand documents by Oct. 15, are intended to unearth details of the administration’s decision to freeze military aid to Ukraine in July — a move that came as Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, were urging Ukraine’s new president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.


#820

Bookmark this impeachment calendar :spiral_calendar:


#821

Awesome! Have been looking for something like this. It’s hard to keep up with the blizzard of events – what just happened and what’s queued up.

UPDATE: I’d call this a “must read” – or at least a “must browse.” It describes each upcoming impeachment event – hearings, depositions, subpoena deadlines, etc. and describes which ones are being blocked by the White House. It also indicates whether a hearing is open or closed door. A gold star resource.