George Kent tells lawmakers he was told to 'lay low' after raising concerns about Giuliani
State Department official George Kent told lawmakers in a closed-door deposition Tuesday that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney appointed three other Trump administration officials to spearhead the president's efforts in Ukraine.
According to Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., who was present for the deposition, Kent testified that Mulvaney oversaw a meeting where he sidelined State Department officials and tapped three political appointees — Energy Secretary Rick Perry, European Ambassador Gordon Sondland and special envoy Kurt Volker — to oversee Ukraine policy for the United States.
Kent, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State who worked on Ukraine and five other countries, told congressional investigators that the trio called themselves “the three amigos” and elbowed all the other officials at State out of the way, according to Connolly.
Read more about Kent's testimony here.
Pelosi says House won't hold a vote on impeachment 'at this time'
Signaling that Democrats won’t cave to GOP demands, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that the House will not hold a formal floor vote on their impeachment inquiry into President Donald trump "at this time."
"There is no requirement that we have a vote. So at this time, we will not be having a vote," Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill following a brief closed-door Democratic caucus meeting. "And I’m very pleased with the thoughtfulness of our caucus in terms of being supportive of the path that we are on in terms of fairness, in terms of seeking the truth, in terms of upholding the Constitution of the United States."
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who joined her at the news conference, echoed her remarks and said that the Constitution is “very clear” that an initial vote is not required.
Read more on the news conference here.
Former Texas congressman cooperating with Manhattan prosecutors
Former Texas Rep. Pete Sessions said that he is cooperating with Manhattan prosecutors in a case that relates to Rudy Giuliani and his associates.
"Mr. Sessions is cooperating with the US Attorney from the Southern District of New York and will be providing documents to their office related to this matter over the next couple of weeks as requested," a spokesman for Sessions said.
Pence refuses House request to provide documents related to Ukraine call
Vice President Mike Pence’s office Tuesday said it will not comply with a request from the House to turn over documents related to President Donald Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
In a letter to the chairman of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees, Pence counsel Matthew Morgan called the request part of a “self-proclaimed impeachment inquiry,” noting that the House of Representatives has not yet taken a vote to open the inquiry.
Those chairmen sent Pence a request on October 4 asking for documents and communications pertaining to the phone call the withholding of military and security aid to Ukraine.
Read more here.
White House budget office will not comply with congressional subpoenas
The White House Office of Management and Budget Office will not comply with subpoenas from House impeachment investigators, according to an administration official.
The White House and OMB Director Russ Vought have made it clear they are not participating in the impeachment process, the official said.
"We will continue to not participate in this process which is not designed to get to the truth," Vought told Fox News in an interview last week. "It is designed to relitigate the last election and influence the next election. OMB spends every day trying to have less spending and have more deregulatory initiatives on behalf of what the president promised the American people and we're trying to keep those promises."
Schiff says there have been 'significant breaks in the White House firewall'
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Monday that "there have been real breaks, significant breaks in the White House firewall" despite the Trump administration's efforts to stonewall the impeachment inquiry.
But Schiff said he and his Democratic colleagues "fully expect on things that are more within" the administration's "control, they will stonewall us."
Schiff praised ousted U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, former Trump Russia aide Fiona Hill and others who have obeyed House subpoenas. On Tuesday, Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani told ABC News he did not plan to comply with the subpoena aimed at his work in Ukraine.
Rudy Giuliani will not comply with congressional subpoena
Rudy Giuliani won't comply with a congressional subpoena as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, an attorney for Giuliani told House investigators in a letter on Tuesday.
Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer, had been subpoenaed for documents related to his work in Ukraine, which has come under intense scrutiny after Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Last week, two of Giuliani's business associates who had been assisting him in his Ukrainian venture were arrested on campaign-finance charges.
Jon Sale, Giuliani's attorney for purposes of handling the subpoena, wrote that the former New York City mayor "will not participate because this appears to be an unconstitutional, baseless, and illegitimate 'impeachment inquiry.'" Sale called the subpoena "overbroad, unduly burdensome, and seeks documents beyond the scope of legitimate inquiry."
Read more here.