Impeachment updates: Intelligence Committee votes to adopt report

Adam Schiff holds news conference to discuss impeachment report

Latest updates on the impeachment inquiry

  • The House Intelligence Committee voted to adopt a 300-page report by Democrats on President Trump’s actions toward Ukraine on Tuesday, accusing him of abusing his office and endangering national security.
  • The 13-9 vote fell along party lines.
  • The report now goes to the the Judiciary Committee, which will hold its first hearing in the impeachment probe on Wednesday.

Washington — The House Intelligence Committee voted to endorse a 300-page report written by the Democratic majority on President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, accusing the president of abuse of power and sending the impeachment inquiry to the House Judiciary Committee, which will hold its first hearing on Wednesday.

The vote Tuesday evening fell along party lines, with 13 Democrats voting to endorse the report and nine Republicans dissenting. The report was written by Democratic staffers on the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees.

“This report chronicles a scheme by the president of the United States to coerce an ally, Ukraine, that is at war with an adversary, Russia, into doing the president’s political dirty work,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said on Capitol Hill.

The report says the president “sought to undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process” and “ordered and implemented a campaign to conceal his conduct from the public and frustrate and obstruct the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry” once his actions were uncovered.

The committee will now send the report to the Judiciary Committee, along with a separate report prepared by Republican members.


​Intel Committee votes to endorse report

6:50 p.m.: The Intelligence Committee voted behind closed doors to adopt the impeachment inquiry report released earlier today. The vote was 13 in favor and 9 against, falling along strict party lines.

The majority report, along with the minority report released yesterday, will be transmitted to the House Judiciary Committee today, Schiff has said. — Rebecca Kaplan


​Democrats to focus on “ABCs of high crimes and misdemeanors” at hearing

5:23 p.m.: Democratic staffers working on the impeachment inquiry held a conference call to preview the party’s strategy heading into Wednesday’s hearing before the Judiciary Committee. Four legal experts will appear for questioning before lawmakers to “explain the scope of that constitutional standard of impeachment.”

“The hearing tomorrow will explore the extent to which this powerful, powerful evidence we now have of the president’s conduct implicates all of these dangers,” one of the staffers said. “You can think of them as the ABCs of high crimes and misdemeanors: abuses of power, betrayal of national security connected to foreign interest and corruption of our elections.”

Asked whether the questions will be limited to the material in the House Intelligence Committee’s report, one staffer said, “We will certainly have a primary focus on the Intelligence Committee report but we will see what other information comes up tomorrow,” suggesting Democrats may raise questions related to actions by the president described in the Mueller report. — Rebecca Kaplan


​Lev Parnas’ lawyer responds to Intelligence Committee report

5:17 p.m.: An attorney for Lev Parnas, one of the Giuliani associates recently indicted on charges of campaign fraud, responded to the report, saying it corroborated his client’s account.

“We are in receipt of the House Intelligence Committee’s report,” Joseph Bondy said in a statement. “At the very least it appears that Mr. Parnas’s proposed testimony regarding his involvement in Ukraine with and on behalf of Mr. Giuliani, President Trump, and others, has been corroborated through physical evidence in the form of telephone records.”

The report included records of phone calls between Parnas and Giuliani, as well as between Parnas and Nunes. CNN reported in November that Parnas was willing to tell Congress about meetings Nunes supposedly had in Vienna last year with a former Ukrainian prosecutor to discuss an investigation into Joe Biden. In a defamation lawsuit filed against CNN, Nunes categorically denied the meetings ever happened, as first reported by The Washington Times. — Grace Segers


​Phone records show numerous calls between Giuliani and White House

3:30 p.m.: Phone records from AT&T cited in the report show Rudy Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal attorney, was in contact with numbers associated with the White House and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) numerous times across three different days in April, including on the day the ambassador to Ukraine was abruptly ordered to return to Washington.

The first set of calls exchanged between Giuliani and the White House — identified as “White House Phone Number” — occurred on April 12. Giuliani called the White House twice, with the first call in the afternoon lasting just 12 seconds and the second lasting more than five minutes that evening. He also received three calls from an “OMB Phone Number.”

On April 23, Giuliani was in contact with the White House three times, with calls in the afternoon lasting no more than 18 seconds.

Finally, on April 24, the same day Mr. Trump recalled then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch from her post, Giuliani called the White House seven times, with calls starting just before 8 a.m. The calls ranged from six seconds to more than four minutes.

A number from the OMB also called Giuliani on three separate occasions that day, with the first call lasting 42 seconds and the longest spanning more than 13 minutes.

Schiff declined to detail how the panel obtained the phone records, or whether the committee obtained them from one or more people. He did, however, say the call logs demonstrate there was “considerable coordination among the parties, including the White House.” — Melissa Quinn


​Schiff says impeachment inquiry “not about Ukraine,” but about protecting U.S. democracy

3:12 p.m.: Speaking to reporters in a press conference after the release of the report, Schiff urged Americans to pay attention to the impeachment inquiry.

“This is not about Ukraine. This is about our democracy, this is about our security,” Schiff said about the investigation. “Americans should care deeply about whether the president of the United States is betraying their trust in him.”

“It’s dangerous to have a president who thinks he’s above the law,” Schiff continued. He said Mr. Trump’s actions were “signaling to any future president they can engage in whatever corruption, malfeasance” without consequences.

Schiff referenced the October press conference by acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, when he indicated that the hold on aid to Ukraine was a quid pro quo and said people should “get over it.”

“I, for one, don’t think we should get over this. I don’t think we should get used to it,” Schiff said. — Grace Segers


​Phone records show Nunes spoke with indicted Giuliani associate

2:45 p.m.: The report cites phone records showing Congressman Devin Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee and a vociferous opponent of the impeachment inquiry, spoke in April with Mr. Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Lev Parnas, an associate of Giuliani recently indicted for campaign fraud.

Phone records show that Nunes spoke with Giuliani multiple times on April 10, and with Parnas multiple times on April 12. These calls came as Giuliani was corresponding with John Solomon, a columnist for The Hill, who was publishing incendiary claims about former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

The longest phone call between Nunes and Parnas came on the evening of April 12, when records show a call lasting 8 minutes and 34 seconds.

The report also details calls between Giuliani, Parnas and Derek Harvey, an aide to Nunes, in May. — Grace Segers


​White House dismisses impeachment report

2:38 p.m.: The White House shrugged off the report, saying it reads like the “ramblings of a basement blogger.”

“At the end of a one-sided sham process, Chairman Schiff and the Democrats utterly failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing by President Trump,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. “This report reflects nothing more than their frustrations. Chairman Schiff’s report reads like the ramblings of a basement blogger straining to prove something when there is evidence of nothing.” — Grace Segers


​Key findings from the Democratic impeachment report

2:24 p.m.: The report lays out nine findings of the investigation, including:

  • The president “solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 U.S. presidential election” and “sought to undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process.”
  • Mr. Trump “sought to pressure and induce Ukraine’s newly-elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to publicly announce unfounded investigations” to benefit the president politically.
  • “President Trump ordered the suspension of $391 million in vital military assistance” to Ukraine “without any legitimate foreign policy, national security, or anti-corruption justification.
  • “Faced with the revelation of his actions, President Trump publicly and repeatedly persisted in urging foreign governments, including Ukraine and China, to investigate his political opponent.”
  • “President Trump ordered and implemented a campaign to conceal his conduct from the public and frustrate and obstruct the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry.”

Stefan Becket


House Democrats release impeachment report

House Intelligence Committee Continues Open Impeachment Hearings
The report from Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee on the impeachment inquiry into President Trump is photographed in Washington on Tuesday, December 3, 2019. Jon Elswick / AP

1:56 p.m.: Democrats on the three committees that conducted the first portion of the impeachment investigation have released the draft of their report. It runs 300 pages, and was written by Democratic staffers.

Read updates on the report here.


Trump says he would like Pompeo, Mulvaney, Perry to testify before Senate

11:08 a.m.: Speaking to reporters while attending the NATO summit in London, Mr. Trump said that he would “love” for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Energy Secretary Rick Perry testify before the Senate as part of the impeachment inquiry.

“When it’s fair, and it’ll be fair in the Senate, I’d love to have Mike Pompeo, I’d love to have Mick, I’d love to have Rick Perry,” Mr. Trump said, explaining that he did not believe the impeachment inquiry in the House to be fair to his presidency. The House has requested to hear testimony from these administration officials, who have refused to appear in closed or open hearings.

Mr. Trump also slammed House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, calling him a “maniac.”

“I think he’s a maniac. I think Adam Schiff is a deranged human being,” Mr. Trump said. — Grace Segers


White House counsel to attend Senate GOP luncheon

10:03 a.m.: White House counsel Pat Cipollone will be attending the Senate Republican luncheon on Wednesday, a spokesman for GOP Senator Mike Lee, of Utah, said, “as part of an ongoing effort to keep Senate Republicans informed about White House thinking.” — Alan He


​Schiff: Republican report “intended for an audience of one”

Monday, 6:42 p.m.: Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff reacted to the Republicans’ impeachment report, accusing the minority of ignoring evidence of wrongdoing by the president.

“The Minority’s rebuttal document, intended for an audience of one, ignores voluminous evidence that the president used the power of his office to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political rival by withholding military aid and a White House meeting the President of Ukraine desperately sought. In so doing, the President undermined our national security and the integrity of our elections,” he said.

“Tellingly, the Minority dismisses this as just part of the President’s ‘outside the beltway’ thinking. It is more accurately, outside the law and constitution, and a violation of his oath of office,” he added. — Stefan Becket


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

Monday, 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

US-POLITICS-CONGRESS-TRUMP-IMPEACHMENT
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

Monday, 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.


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