The fast-moving impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, stemming from the president's dealings with Ukraine, involves numerous hearings, depositions and subpoenas of present and former top administration officials and other figures — and more than a few presidential tweets.
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With the impeachment script fully flipping this week, it's Pelosi who wants Americans to watch every turn of the trial of President Donald Trump, and Republicans who have abruptly stopped calling for more transparency.
"They want transparency like a hole in the head, for crying out loud," said Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J. "Transparency is not going to help them."
Jordan not concerned about changes to White House notes, claims whistleblower 'bias'
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, told reporters Wednesday that he wasn’t concerned about Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s testimony about changes in the notes released by the White House about President Donald Trump’s Ukraine call.
"No, I mean, there's a process," Jordan said. "The changes I think that were outlined in the press were not a big deal, if in fact that was the case."
Jordan also said he and other House Republicans would like to speak to the U.S. officials whose information formed the basis of the whistleblower’s complaint to determine if any of them had a bias, which he suggested was the case for the whistleblower.
"What we're focused on is determining people's credibility and what their bias and motive is," Jordan said. "We know one thing — well, there are a couple of things about this whistleblower. The Oversight Committee probably deals with more whistleblowers than any committee in Congress. You always look for two things when a whistleblower comes forward. Did they have firsthand knowledge, and what is their bias and/or motive? This individual, whomever he may be, has problems in both areas."
The inspector general of the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, wrote to acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire on Aug. 26 and mentioned an "indicia of an arguable political bias on the part of the Complainant in favor of a rival political candidate" in considering the credibility of the whistleblower's complaint. But Atkinson, a Trump appointee, determined this did not change the facts surrounding the issue, “particularly given the other information the ICIG obtained during its preliminary review” of the complaint, and concluded the complaint was "credible" and of "urgent concern."
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Josh Lederman and Anna Schecter
15d ago / 3:08 PM UTC
In Ukraine, leaders struggle to keep their heads down amid U.S. impeachment circus
KYIV, Ukraine — With Washington consumed by a frenzied political circus fueled by impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, the Ukrainian government thrust into the middle of the scandal has a single, plaintive request: Please leave us out of it.
In the Ukrainian capital, the impeachment saga has emerged as a sword of Damocles for new President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, with each new wrinkle and disclosure before Congress threatening to pull his government further into the morass. For Ukrainian leaders, there is no upside but plenty of downside to becoming the latest cudgel in Washington’s deeply polarized political battleground.
Read Ukraine special adviser Catherine Croft's opening statement
Catherine Croft, a State Department special adviser for Ukraine, began her closed-door deposition on Wednesday morning before the three House committees leading the inquiry.
Croft is expected to say she participated in a July video conference where an Office of Management and Budget official reported that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney had placed a hold on U.S. security assistance to Ukraine. The only reason given was that the order came "at the direction of the president," her opening statement says.
Croft, who joined the National Security Council in July 2017 and stayed there through the first half of 2018, is expected to tell lawmakers that she received multiple calls from Robert Livingston — a lobbyist and former GOP member of Congress who resigned in 1998 for an affair — who told her that Marie Yovanovitch, then the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, should be fired.
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15d ago / 1:21 PM UTC
Rep. Jamie Raskin on the resolution outlining the path forward
Croft is also expected to say that while working in a prior role at the at National Security Council, she would get calls from lobbyist Robert Livingston, a former congressman, saying now-former Ambassador to Ukraine Maria Yovanovitch should be fired because she was an “Obama holdover."
Meanwhile, former Volker aide Christopher Anderson is expected to testify Wednesday that Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s attempt to urge the Ukrainian government to open investigations into Trump's political rivals, including the Bidens, was discussed at a Ukraine strategy meeting at the Department of Energy in June.
The House Rules Committee is also meeting at to debate and amend the resolution to formalize the next steps of the impeachment inquiry.
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Jonathan Allen and Phil Helsel
15d ago / 2:25 AM UTC
Vindman testifies White House record left out details of Trump-Ukraine call
Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, told members of Congress Tuesday that he tried to edit a White House log of a July call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine's president to include details that were omitted, one lawmaker present at the testimony and another source familiar with it confirmed to NBC News.
In case you're just catching up on Tuesday's impeachment news, here's some of what you missed:
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, testified in front of House impeachment investigators about what he heard during Trump's call with the Ukrainian president and other matters related to the inquiry. (His appearance also sparked a bonus episode of NBC News' "Article II: Inside Impeachment" podcast, featuring congressional reporter Rebecca Shabad. Listen here.)
Democrats said Vindman's testimony was "extremely disturbing" and praised him for appearing despite attacks from the White House. He also received praise from Republicans.
House Democrats released text of the resolution that will detail their procedures as they move forward with the impeachment inquiry. They are expected to vote on the resolution on Thursday.
South Carolina Democratic Rep. Joe Cunningham, one of the last few House Democrats not to back impeachment, will be voting in support of the resolution setting procedures going forward in the impeachment inquiry, his spokesperson told NBC News.
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Alex Moe and Leigh Ann Caldwell
16d ago / 10:39 PM UTC
Updated impeachment inquiry deposition schedule
Officials working on the impeachment inquiry tell NBC News:
Catherine Croft is expected to appear in closed session on Wednesday. Christopher Anderson is expected to appear in closed session on Wednesday.
Timothy Morrison, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Europe and Russia, National Security Council, is expected to appear in closed session on Thursday.
Robert Blair, Assistant to the President and Senior Adviser to the Acting Chief of Staff, is expected to appear in closed session on Friday.
The Committees will re-notice a future date for Kathryn Wheelbarger. The Committees are in ongoing discussions with other witnesses and we look forward to their testimony.