EVENT ENDED

Analysis after Gordon Sondland, Laura Cooper and David Hale's impeachment testimony

Image: Day 4 of Impeachment hearings with Laura Cooper and Gordon Sondland
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

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The fourth day of public hearings in the House's impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump saw testimony from three Trump administration officials.

Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, and David Hale, undersecretary of state for political affairs, testified before the House Intelligence Committee at just before 6 p.m. ET Wednesday. Their appearance followed testimony from U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who appeared before the committee for a hearing that began more than eight hours earlier.

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Photographer captures Trump's handwritten talking points responding to Sondland

The president brought his own talking points, written out by hand, possibly with one of those Sharpies he's known to prefer.

President Donald Trump, departing the White House on his way to Texas to visit an Apple factory, stopped in front of reporters to defend himself amid testimony by the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, by reading from handwritten notes insisting he did not want a "quid pro quo."

President Donald Trump holds notes on Ambassador Gordon Sondland's testimony as he departs the White House on Nov. 20, 2019.Erin Scott / Reuters

Trump began reading notes of what he says he spoke about during an early September phone call with Sondland, who was trying to figure out whether roughly $400 million in military aid was being linked to investigations into the Bidens.

At least some of Trump's talking points were captured by a Reuters photographer outside the White House.

"I want nothing/I want nothing/I want no quid pro quo/Tell Zellinsky (sic) to do the right thing," Trump's notes show, apparently referring to testimony from Sondland that that was the president's response when asked what he wanted from Ukraine.

Read the story.

Members to start questioning after a brief break

The second staff round of staff questions has concluded. Schiff just announced a brief break — 30 minutes — from the Sondland hearing. When the committee returns, the five-minute member round will begin. 

Katyal: Sondland further confirmed there was a quid pro quo

Now it's Dems who've left the hearing room

Several Republicans have now returned to the hearing room, but many Democrats have left. Just Schiff, Speier, Demings and Krishnamoorthi, plus Goldman, are here now. (Members are permitted to come and go from hearings as they wish.) 

Wallace: Sondland has the body language of a liberated man with nothing to lose

White House: Trump, on Sondland call, ‘wanted nothing’ from Ukraine

“Ambassador Sondland’s testimony made clear that in one of the few brief phone calls he had with President Trump, the president clearly stated that he ‘wanted nothing’ from Ukraine and repeated ‘no quid pro quo' over and over again," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Wednesday in response to the ambassador's testimony.

"In fact, no quid pro quo ever occurred. The U.S. aid to Ukraine flowed, no investigation was launched, and President Trump has met and spoken with President Zelenskiy. Democrats keep chasing ghosts.” 

Nunes says Democrats have ‘Watergate fantasies’

Nunes suggested during his second round of questioning that Democrats are trying to make the impeachment inquiry into Trump as significant as Watergate. 

Democrats have “Watergate fantasies,” he said. 

“I guess they fantasize this at night,” he added.

In fact, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said last week that Trump’s actions in Ukraine makes what happened during Watergate “look small.”

Sondland being careful to not get 'knocked with perjury'

Giuliani accuses Sondland of 'speculating'

Giuliani later deleted this tweet, which others had captured.

Most Republicans have left the room

As we work our way through this second round of staff questions, almost all the Republicans have left the hearing room.

Still present: Castor, Jordan, Ratcliffe and Stefanik. 

Everyone else has left.