House Democrats consider formal floor vote to authorize impeachment inquiry
WASHINGTON — House Democratic leaders are reaching out to members in swing districts to gauge their support for an official vote on the House floor to open an impeachment inquiry, two sources told NBC News.
Leadership is contacting the most vulnerable members first and then will discuss with the larger caucus as early as tonight at their 6:00 pm ET caucus meeting.
House Republicans and the White House have been demanding an official vote to open an inquiry. The White House has said it won't cooperate with Democrats demands until they do.
While this would be a significant development to make the inquiry more official, Democrats have argued that it is not necessary as deemed by the Constitution.
Republicans would like a vote to officially open the inquiry because it could give them more rights, including subpoena power.
Majority of college students support impeachment inquiry, new poll shows
Three quarters of all college students support the impeachment inquiry, according to a new poll out today from Axios/College Reaction Poll.
That includes 97 percent of college Democrats and a large majority of Independents, 76 percent.
But only about one in five, or 22 percent, of college Republicans favor the inquiry.
Despite the party polarization, college students are still more likely than adults to support impeachment.
And those numbers are up across all party affiliations from their last poll in May, with the biggest movement among Independents, +32 percent, who now support impeachment as much as Democrats did 3 months ago.
Bolton wanted White House lawyers alerted to Ukrainian efforts, called it 'drug deal,' witness tells Congress
Former national security adviser John Bolton was so disturbed by the efforts to get the Ukrainians to investigate President Donald Trump’s political opponents that he called it a “drug deal,” former White House official Fiona Hill reportedly told Congress on Monday.
Hill, the former top Europe expert in Trump’s White House, testified that Bolton told her over the summer that he wanted no part of the effort, which he said involved acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, a person in the room for Hill’s testimony told NBC News.
Bolton also was said to have referred to Rudy Giuliani as a "hand grenade."
Click here to read more.
State department official responsible for Ukraine to testify Tuesday
House committees are today set to hear from George Kent, the State Department official responsible for Ukraine, who was among those raising red flags about Rudy Giuliani’s smear campaign against ousted U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
On Wednesday, House investigators will interview with Michael McKinley, the former de facto chief of staff to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who resigned over what was seen as Pompeo’s failure to support career officials targeted in the Ukraine controversy.
House investigators plan to round out the week by calling in Laura Cooper, a career Defense Department official responsible for Russia and Ukraine policy. She’s expected to offer insight regarding the withheld military aid — the first witness to focus on the aid itself.
E.U. ambassador to testify that ex-Ukraine ambassador was 'great' despite Trump ouster
U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland will tell Congress on Thursday that he thought former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was "great" and that he has nothing negative to say about her job performance, despite her ouster by President Donald Trump.
A person with knowledge of Sondland’s testimony tells NBC News that Yovanovitch was an able and professional diplomat, and that he had no issues with her whatsoever. The person spoke to NBC News on the condition of anonymity.
Click here to read the full story from NBC News.
Congressman: GOP 'darn lucky' Fiona Hill deposition wasn't public
After leaving the closed door deposition with Fiona Hill, Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., spoke to reporters on camera. When asked about releasing transcripts he said "at an appropriate time in the future they will be released." He added "these are not hearings. They are depositions."
Heck also said Republicans "are darn lucky these weren’t public."
Ex-Pompeo aide expected to testify in closed session
Two officials working on the impeachment inquiry tell NBC News that a former top adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who resigned last week, is expected appear in a closed session with the House committees on Wednesday. The officials outlined the schedule ahead as follows:
Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent is expected to appear in closed session on Tuesday.
Former Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State Ambassador P. Michael McKinley is expected to appear in closed session on Wednesday.
Ambassador Sondland has been subpoenaed for Thursday.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper is expected to appear in closed session on Friday.
How will the Senate respond?
WASHINGTON — The Senate is back in session Tuesday after a two-week break, and a lot has happened in that time, including President Trump asking China to investigate the Bidens. We’re watching whether enough Republicans support a trial to stop articles of impeachment from being quickly dismissed.
The 53 members of the party would need only three of their number to vote against a dismissal motion to keep a trial going (Vice President Mike Pence would not preside over an impeachment trial to break a tie), and with senators speaking out about Trump’s requests of Ukraine and China, that's a realistic possibility.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who is retiring and has at times been critical of the President, gave a bit of a preview of how centrist Republicans could land on the question of impeachment. He released a statement last week saying, “It’s inappropriate for the president to be talking with foreign governments about investigating his political opponents, but impeachment would be a mistake. An election, which is just around the corner, is the right way to decide who should be president."
It will be interesting to see if this becomes the way Senate Republicans who are critical of the president’s actions navigate these waters. With statements like that, it’s hard to see how Democrats would ever get 20 Republicans to join them to convict.
Giuliani says he has 'nothing to do with' oligarch at edges of Trump-Ukraine affair
President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on Monday denied being involved with a Ukrainian oligarch whose ethical issues have dovetailed the ongoing impeachment inquiry into the president.
Giuliani also told NBC News he was not planning on visiting Dmitry Firtash, who is currently wanted on corruption charges in the U.S., during a trip to Vienna he planned last week.
Read what else Giuliani had to say in this NBC News story.
Rep. Matt Gaetz ejected from Fiona Hill testimony
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz tried to sit in on the closed door testimony of Trump's former Russia aide Fiona Hill, but because he is not a member of any the committees interviewing Hill, he was asked to leave by the House parliamentarian. He wouldn’t say if he would try to come to any other depositions this week.
He spoke to reporters after the ordeal:
More depositions scheduled for this week
Multiple sources familiar with the matter tell NBC News the committees leading the impeachment inquiry have scheduled the following additional depositions for this week:
Oct. 15: George Kent, deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for Ukraine.
Oct. 17: State Department counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl.
As of this writing, it’s unlikely that Kent and Brechbuhl will appear as scheduled given White House efforts to block the testimony of current Trump administration officials.