Republicans to hold vote over Adam Schiff's role in impeachment investigation
House Republicans are expected to push a vote on Monday on a resolution to censure House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. Republicans are taking issue with how Schiff is conducting the impeachment investigation. The House votes at 6:30PM ET.
Amb. Bill Taylor — the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, who in a text message called a quid pro quo over military assistance "crazy" — is set to be deposed Tuesday. NBC News reports that Taylor left Ukraine last week for Washington, D.C., after House Democrats requested he appear.
Among others invited for closed-door testimony this week are Trump administration officials in the State Department, White House budget office, National Security Council (NSC) and Defense Department. It’s not clear if all will appear as scheduled.
Mulvaney insists he didn't say Trump held up Ukraine aid for political reasons. But he did.
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney insisted Sunday that he did not say that President Donald Trump held up military aid for Ukraine for political purposes — despite acknowledging the issue at the heart of House Democrats' impeachment inquiry during a televised press conference.
"I'm flinching because that's what people are saying that I said, but I didn't say that," Mulvaney told "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace of the comments he made — and then walked back in a contradictory statement — Thursday.
Read more about Mulvaney's defense of his remarks here.
Introducing Article II: Inside Impeachment, a new politics podcast
The first episode is out now. Each week, host Steve Kornacki, national political correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC, talks with his colleagues about what's happening in Washington and why it matters for the nation.
Today, his guest is Julia Ainsley, who covers the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security. The pair discuss the closed-door nature of the House's inquiry into President Donald Trump.
New episodes of Article II: Inside Impeachment will drop every Monday, Wednesday and Friday with bonus episodes for breaking news. Listen for free wherever you get your podcasts, and learn more about the show here.
Today in The Inquiry: Impeachment defenses crumble
This week has shown the dismantling of President Trump's impeachment defense by his own people. What case have Democrat's built so far, and can the White House keep whatever is left of their defense standing?
Ex-Gov. Kasich calls for Trump's impeachment, Senate trial
Updated: Depositions schedule for next week
Here is what has been advised for the closed-door depositions next week before the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees, according to an official working on the impeachment inquiry.
- Acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor is expected to appear Tuesday, Oct. 22.
- Philip Reeker, acting assistant secretary of European and Eurasian affairs, and Michael Duffey, the associate director for national security programs at the Office of Management and Budget, are expected to testify on Wednesday, Oct. 23.
- Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper and Alexander Vindman, director of European affairs at the National Security Council, are expected to give depositions on Thursday, Oct. 24.
The committees are in discussions with other witnesses.
Scalise seeking rules change to open up committees' proceedings
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., introduced a resolution Friday to require all House members be given access to the proceedings of the committees involved in the impeachment inquiry. Given that Democrats are in control of the chamber, however, it's unlikely the measure will advance.
The move comes as House Judiciary ranking member Doug Collins, R-Ga., sent a letter about getting access to the materials. Also on Friday, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., sent a letter to House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., demanding transparency and accusing him of withholding documents from her and other Republicans on the panel.
McCarthy defends Mulvaney, calls for Schiff's censure
WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., repeatedly defended White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Friday when asked if President Donald Trump should have confidence in him after he suggested Thursday that there was a quid pro quo in the Ukraine case.
“I think you saw Mick Mulvaney clarify his statement," McCarthy said. "He said, 'Let me be clear: There was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukraine military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election. The president never told me to withhold any money until the Ukrainians did anything related to that server,'” McCarthy said.
Pressed further, McCarthy added, “I think what Mick clarified in his statement was very clear. I watched in all those transcripts of what people have been saying inside the investigation, Volker and others, there was no quid pro quo.”
McCarthy also accused House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., of repeatedly lying about the House investigation and said he should be censured — something Republicans could try to do next week.
“It is appropriate for him to be censured," McCarthy said. "The question will be, will their own members stand up for what is right? Do they think it's appropriate that the chair of the Intel Committee lied to the American public, but more importantly lying to them? How can you trust anything that he puts forth?”
State official Kent testified he raised concerns about Hunter Biden's Burisma role
State Department official George Kent told House investigators this week that he raised concerns in 2015 about the appearance of a conflict of interest about Hunter Biden, the son of then-Vice President Joe Biden, serving on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, but was ultimately rebuffed by a Biden aide, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News. Kent did not provide the name of the Biden aide during his closed-door testimony, one source said.
The Washington Post first reported on Kent's concerns. The Wall Street Journal also reports that Kent told investigators, “Regardless of whether anything is wrong, it looks terrible.”
The general view from Biden world about the reporting is that a State Department official flagging concerns about Hunter Biden’s role in Ukraine wouldn’t be unusual since there were contemporaneous reports and public op-eds written at the time about the “optics issues” resulting from his position with Burisma. For example, a New Yorker profile of Hunter Biden recently noted how his decision to take the board seat was met with unease at State and elsewhere in the Obama administration.
“Several former officials in the Obama administration and at the State Department insisted that Hunter’s role at Burisma had no effect on his father’s policies in Ukraine, but said that, nevertheless, Hunter should not have taken the board seat," the magazine's Adam Entous wrote. "As the former senior White House aide put it, there was a perception that 'Hunter was on the loose, potentially undermining his father’s message.’"
Krishnamoorthi: 'Sondland definitely pointed to Giuliani as engaging in some suspect activities'