Impeachment updates: Intel Committee reviews impeachment report

House Republicans defend Trump in impeachment report

Latest updates on the impeachment inquiry

  • Lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee are beginning to review a report on President Trump and Ukraine.
  • Republicans finished their own report on the investigation, accusing Democrats of conducting “an orchestrated campaign to upend our political system.”
  • The Judiciary Committee is gearing up for its first hearing in the impeachment probe, scheduled for Wednesday.
  • The White House says it won’t participate in Wednesday’s hearing, calling the impeachment inquiry “baseless” and “partisan.”
  • Ukraine’s president denied the July 25 call with Trump involved discussion of a “quid pro quo.”

Washington — The House Intelligence Committee is beginning to review a draft of report on the investigation into President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine on Monday, before turning over the impeachment inquiry to the House Judiciary Committee. In their own report, House Republicans defended the president’s dealings with Ukraine and accused Democrats of trying to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

Members on the Intelligence Committee returning from the Thanksgiving break could begin going over the draft on Capitol Hill on Monday evening, a committee official said. The committee will meet Tuesday at 6 p.m. to vote on adopting the report before sending it to the Judiciary Committee, along with the separate report prepared by Republican members.

Also on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denied his July 25 phone conversation with President Trump involved any discussion of a quid pro quo. “I never talked to the president from the position of a quid pro quo,” he told Time and three European publications.

The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold its first hearing in the impeachment probe on Wednesday. Lawmakers will hear from four constitutional law experts about the history of impeachment and what constitutes an “impeachable offense.” Republicans on the Judiciary Committee demanded the addition of other witnesses to showcase a “wider array of perspectives regarding impeachment.”

The White House said Sunday it won’t participate in the hearing, responding in a letter to an offer from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler. Under the House resolution governing the process, Mr. Trump or his counsel can attend proceedings and question witnesses.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone rejected the offer, saying it only “exacerbates the complete lack of due process and fundamental fairness afforded the president throughout this purported impeachment inquiry.”

Judiciary Committee announces witnesses for Wednesday’s hearing

4:17 p.m.: The House Judiciary Committee released the names of the four people who will appear in Wednesday’s impeachment hearing, which is titled “The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment.” They are:

  • Noah Feldman, a professor at Harvard Law School
  • Pamela S. Karlan, a professor of public interest law at Stanford Law School and the co-director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic
  • Michael Gerhardt, a University of North Carolina law professor of jurisprudence
  • Jonathan Turley, a professor of public interest law at George Washington University and a CBS News legal analyst

— Caroline Cournoyer

​Top Republican on Judiciary Committee slams Democrats over hearing

4:10 p.m.: Less than 48 hours before the first impeachment hearing in the House Judiciary Committee, the committee’s highest-ranking Republican accused Democrats of violating the minority party’s rights and conducting an unfair impeachment process.

In a letter to Democratic Chairman Jerry Nadler, ranking member Doug Collins complained that neither the witness list for Wednesday’s hearing nor the report from the House Intelligence Committee have been publicized. Without those, Collins said the committee will have to weigh impeachment “without any evidence for us to review.”

The Intelligence Committee, however, held weeks of closed-door and televised hearings with more than a dozen witnesses, and nearly all of the transcripts of the closed-door sessions have been released.

The Intelligence Committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday to consider the report, a draft of which will be made available to members Monday evening. Chairman Adam Schiff said last week that their findings will be given to the Judiciary Committee “soon after Congress returns from the Thanksgiving recess.”

The Judiciary Committee released the witnesses for Wednesday’s hearing shortly after the release of Collins’ letter.

Collins also pointed out that a former Democratic representative, Jane Harman, said on Sunday that “the process is being rushed.” — Caroline Cournoyer


House Republicans defend Trump on Ukraine in impeachment report

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House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes is flanked by Chairman Adam Schiff at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on November 20, 2019. JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

3:45 p.m.: House Republicans have finished a report detailing their conclusions from the initial stages of the impeachment investigation, issuing a staunch defense of President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and accusing Democrats of conducting “an orchestrated campaign to upend our political system.”

The 110-page report, written by Republican staffers on the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees, is meant to supplement the Democrats’ report on their findings.

The Republicans’ report argues that the evidence collected over nearly two months of private and public testimony does not support the allegations at the center of the impeachment inquiry, which they portray as an attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 campaign.

“The Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is not the organic outgrowth of serious misconduct; it is an orchestrated campaign to upend our political system,” it says. “The Democrats are trying to impeach a duly elected President based on the accusations and assumptions of unelected bureaucrats who disagreed with President Trump’s policy initiatives and processes.” — Stefan Becket and Arden Farhi

Read more here.

​Judiciary chairman: If Trump has “nothing to hide,” he should comply with impeachment process

Congress Russia Probe McGahn
Nadler speaks during a hearing on May 21, 2019. Patrick Semansky / AP

3:06 p.m.: House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said it’s “unfortunate” that neither President Trump nor anyone to represent him will participate in the impeachment hearing on Wednesday.

“Allowing the President to participate has been a priority for the House from the outset,” he said in a statement. “The American people deserve transparency. If the President thinks the call was ‘perfect’ and there is nothing to hide, then he would turn over the thousands of pages of documents requested by Congress, allow witnesses to testify instead of blocking testimony with baseless privilege claims, and provide any exculpatory information that refutes the overwhelming evidence of his abuse of power.” — Caroline Cournoyer

Pompeo criticizes timing of next impeachment hearing

Secretary Of State Pompeo Holds At Press Briefing On Iran At The State Department
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the media in the briefing room at the State Department, on November 26, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Getty


12:24 p.m.: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized House Democrats for continuing to hold impeachment hearings this week while the president is out of the country.

The House Judiciary Committee will conduct its first public hearing on Wednesday. Mr. Trump departed the White House for London on Monday morning, where he will attend the NATO summit through Wednesday.

Pompeo called the timing “unfortunate” and said Democrats are breaking a “long tradition” of supporting presidents when they travel overseas.

“I regret that they’ve chosen to hold these hearings at the same time that the president and our entire national security team will be traveling to Europe, to London, to work on these important matters,” he said. — Melissa Quinn


Trump predicts impeachment inquiry will be “boon” to Republicans

Trump calls impeachment a “boon” for Republicans

11:18 a.m.: Before leaving the White House for the NATO summit in London, Mr. Trump spoke with reporters about the impeachment inquiry. He called the probe a “hoax” that is hurting Democrats among voters.

“They’re getting killed in their own districts,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a tremendous boon for the Republicans. Republicans have never been so committed as they are right now, so united. So it’s really a great thing in some ways but in other ways it’s a disgrace.”

Mr. Trump also criticized Democrats for holding Wednesday’s hearing, given that he will be overseas, and noted the trip was planned months ago.

“This is one of the most important journeys that we make as president,” he said of the meeting with other world leaders, during which they will mark the 70th anniversary of the NATO alliance.

The White House informed the House Judiciary Committee on Sunday it would not participate in Wednesday’s proceedings and accused the panel of deliberately scheduling the hearing to conflict with Mr. Trump’s trip. — Melissa Quinn


Trump tweets about Zelensky’s interview

9:30 a.m. President Trump responded with a tweet to reports of the Ukrainian president’s interview with Time and other news outlets.

“Breaking News: The President of Ukraine has just again announced that President Trump has done nothing wrong with respect to Ukraine and our interactions or calls. If the Radical Left Democrats were sane, which they are not, it would be case over!” Mr. Trump wrote.

Zelensky also warned against claims by the president that Ukraine is a corrupt country and said when such comments come from the U.S., it “is the hardest of signals.”

“Everyone hears that signal. Investments, banks, stakeholders, companies, American, European, companies that have international capital in Ukraine, it’s a signal to them that says, ‘Be careful, don’t invest.’ Or, ‘Get out of there,'” Zelensky said. “This is a hard signal.” — Melissa Quinn


Zelensky says July 25 call with Trump was not from “position of a quid quo pro”

9 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated in a new interview his July 25 phone conversation with President Trump did not take place “from the position of a quid pro quo.”

Speaking with reporters from Time and three European publications, Zelensky denied that the withholding of U.S. military aid was an attempt by President Trump to pressure his administration to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. But Zelensky did criticize the Trump administration’s decision to hold back the assistance given Ukraine’s ongoing war against Russia.

“Look, I never talked to the president from the position of a quid pro quo. That’s not my thing,” Zelensky said in the interview. “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.”

Zelensky’s comments prompted a response from Mr. Trump, who again defended the controversial call and attacked congressional Democrats.

“Breaking News: The President of Ukraine has just again announced that President Trump has done nothing wrong with respect to Ukraine and our interactions or calls. If the Radical Left Democrats were sane, which they are not, it would be case over!” Mr. Trump tweeted.

Zelensky also warned against claims by the president that Ukraine is a corrupt country and said when such comments come from the U.S., it “is the hardest of signals.”

“Everyone hears that signal. Investments, banks, stakeholders, companies, American, European, companies that have international capital in Ukraine, it’s a signal to them that says, ‘Be careful, don’t invest.’ Or, ‘Get out of there,'” Zelensky said. “This is a hard signal.” — Melissa Quinn


White House won’t participate in Wednesday’s hearing

6 a.m.: In his letter Sunday night, Cipollone accused Nadler of intentionally scheduling the hearing to interfere with Mr. Trump’s trip to the NATO summit in London later this week. He called the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry “baseless” and “partisan.”

Cipollone also said Nadler had provided “little information” about the hearing.

“We understand from rumors and press reports (though not from any notice provided in your letter or in the official notice of the hearing) that the hearing will consist of an academic discussion by law professors. We understand this to mean that your initial hearing will include no fact witnesses at all,” the letter said.

Read more here.


Judiciary to hold first hearing on Wednesday

5:30 a.m.: The House Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing in the impeachment inquiry this week, as Democrats move quickly into the next phase of the proceedings.

The first hearing, titled “The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment,” will feature testimony from legal experts, Democratic committee aides said.

“The Committee intends this hearing to serve as an opportunity to discuss the historical and constitutional basis of impeachment, as well as the Framers’ intent and understanding of terms like ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,'” Nadler wrote.

Read more here.


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