Judiciary Committee names witnesses appearing at Wednesday's hearing
The House Judiciary Committee has released the names of the witnesses testifying Wednesday's hearing exploring the constitutional grounds for impeachment.
Witnesses for the Democrats
- Noah Feldman, the Felix Frankfurter professor of law and director of the Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli law at Harvard Law School.
- Pamela S. Karlan, the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery professor of public interest law and co-director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School.
- Michael Gerhardt, the Burton Craige distinguished professor of jurisprudence at the University of North Carolina School of Law.
Witness for the Republicans
- Jonathan Turley, the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro professor of public interest law at the George Washington University Law School.
The hearing on Wednesday will begin at 10 a.m.
Schumer slams GOP colleagues for claiming Ukraine interfered in 2016
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., ripped his Republican colleagues Monday afternoon for "increasingly outlandish claims" that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election — an apparent swipe at Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., who repeated the allegation on NBC News' "Meet the Press" on Sunday.
"Let me be clear: The charge that Ukraine had something to do with the Russian meddling in 2016 is a lie spread by Vladimir Putin," Schumer said on the Senate floor. "To get things off his back. Putin and Russian intelligence services invented that lie to muddy the waters and distract from the fact that Russia, not Ukraine, interfered in our elections."
"And now, disgracefully, we have sitting U.S. senators helping spread that propaganda in an effort to defend the president," Schumer said. "Republicans must stop claiming that Ukraine had anything to do with election interference in 2016. Repeating these claims, even speculating about them, is doing Putin’s job for him. I urge my Republican colleagues — they know who they are — to stop spreading these lies, which hurts our democracy.
On the Sunday program, Kennedy claimed multiple times that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 presidential election, prompting direct criticism from Hillary Clinton and praise from Trump.
Collins accuses Nadler of rushing impeachment process, leaving GOP in the dark
House Judiciary ranking member Doug Collins, R-Ga., sent letter Monday the committee's chairman, Jerrold Nadler, about the panel's process in the impeachment inquiry, complaining that “every letter and nearly every question" that he has raised "remains unanswered” with just 48 hours to go before the committee's first hearing.
In the letter — his sixth over the last few weeks — Collins also said Nadler still hasn't provided panel Republicans with a witness list and notes that the committee doesn't yet have a copy of the Intelligence Committee's report on its findings in the inquiry. Members of the Intelligence panel are expected to approve their report Tuesday evening.
"For the first time in history, this committee will weigh impeachment without any evidence for us to review," Collins wrote. "Any discussion with the yet-to-be identified witnesses will, therefore, be in the abstract."
"This ad hoc, poorly executed 'impeachment inquiry' will provide the Senate with ample justification for expeditiously disposing of it," Collins added.
"Once again, I request clarity on how you intend to conduct this inquiry," Collins wrote after warning that the "ad hoc, poorly executed" process would "provide the Senate with ample justification for expeditiously disposing of" the impeachment inquiry.
"As Republicans have stated before, and consistent with Chairman Schiff’s repeated statements, withholding information from the minority shall constitute evidence of your denial of fundamental fairness and due process, as well as obstruction of minority rights," Collins wrote.
Nadler questions Trump's refusal to participate in hearing
House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., criticized Trump on Monday for refusing to participate in the committee's first impeachment hearing on Wednesday, alleging the president's unwillingness to cooperate is just another sign that his claims about his dealings with Ukraine are disingenuous.
"The American people deserve transparency," Nadler said in a statement. "If the president thinks the call was 'perfect' and there is nothing to hide, then he would turn over the thousands of pages of documents requested by Congress, allow witnesses to testify instead of blocking testimony with baseless privilege claims, and provide any exculpatory information that refutes the overwhelming evidence of his abuse of power."
Trump says impeachment is uniting the GOP like never before
Trump blasts Dems for holding impeachment hearing while he’s in U.K. for NATO
President Donald Trump on Monday blasted House Democrats for holding impeachment hearings while he is at a NATO summit in London and claimed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had cleared him of wrongdoing in an interview published earlier in the day.
Speaking to reporters as he departed the White House for the summit, Trump said Democrats had "decided" to hold the upcoming hearings at "the exact time" he's in London. The president also said Zelenskiy "came out and said very strongly that President Trump did nothing wrong," adding, "that should end everything, but that will never end it."
Trump was referring to an interview that Time and a handful of European publications published Monday in which Trump's Ukrainian counterpart said, "Look, I never talked to the president from the position of a quid pro quo."
"I don’t want us to look like beggars," Zelenskiy when asked about the $400 in military aid Trump held up while he pushed the Ukrainians to investigate the Bidens and Democrats. "But you have to understand. We’re at war. If you’re our strategic partner, then you can’t go blocking anything for us. I think that’s just about fairness. It’s not about a quid pro quo. It just goes without saying."
Read the story.
Hillary Clinton slams Sen. Kennedy for 'parroting Russian propaganda'
On "Meet the Press" on Sunday with Chuck Todd, Kennedy repeated claims, disputed by U.S. intelligence agencies, that Ukrainian leaders interfered in the 2016 election.
Pompeo: Impeachment hearings should pause while Trump is abroad
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted the House on Monday for scheduling impeachment hearings while President Trump is abroad.
Pompeo said it’s “very unfortunate” for the House Judiciary Committee to hold its hearing Wednesday at the same time that Trump is representing the U.S. at this week’s NATO summit in London.
Pompeo told “Fox & Friends” that there is a long tradition of supporting a president when he is traveling overseas and shouldn’t be distracted by problems at home while discussing international issues with allies.
"I regret that they've chosen to hold these hearings at the same time that the president and our entire national security team will be traveling to Europe, to London, to work on these important matters," Pompeo said. "It's very unfortunate."
Separately, Pompeo declined to say whether he planned to step down as secretary of state to run for a U.S. Senate seat in Kansas.
The impeachment fight boils down to these four simple questions
More than two months after the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump began, you can break down the entire fight into four simple questions.
One, did the president of the United States ask another country to interfere in the upcoming 2020 election — against possible Democratic rival Joe Biden?
Two, did Trump and his administration withhold military aid and a White House visit to compel Ukraine to start this investigation into Joe Biden and his son?
Three, were those actions — first the ask of interference, then the temporary withholding of military aid — an abuse of the president’s powers?
And four — and most importantly — do those actions amount to impeachable offenses?
Get First Read's take here.