'Game changer': Top Dems say bombshell report shows need for witnesses in Senate trial
A new report revealing more of acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney's role in withholding aid to Ukraine — and efforts by top Trump administration officials to get that money released — is a "game changer" that shows the need for witness testimony in the president's impeachment trial, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday.
"This new story shows all four witnesses that we Senate Democrats have requested" were "intimately involved and had direct knowledge of President Trump's decision to cut off aid and benefit himself," Schumer, ad Democrat, told reporters in a press conference at his New York office.
"Simply put, in our fight to have key documents and witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial, these new revelations are a game changer."
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Judge dismisses ex-Bolton deputy's lawsuit over congressional subpoena
A federal judge on Monday dismissed the lawsuit of former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman over whether he had to testify under a congressional subpoena in the House impeachment inquiry.
The White House had sought to block Kupperman's testimony, and the ex-deputy to former national security adviser John Bolton sued in late October so that the courts would decide which one of those orders he needed to obey.
Judge Richard Leon of the federal district court in Washington, D.C., dismissed the case as moot because House Democrats withdrew their subpoena and promised the judge they wouldn’t hold him in contempt or refer him for prosecution.
"Have no doubt though, should the winds of political fortune shift and the House were to reissue a subpoena to Dr. Kupperman, he will face the same conflicting directives that precipitated this suit,” Leon wrote. “If so, he will undoubtedly be right back before this court seeking a solution to a constitutional dilemma that has longstanding political consequences: balancing Congress's well-established power to investigate with a president's need to have a small group of national security advisors who have some form of immunity from compelled congressional testimony.”
Kupperman also did not show up a scheduled deposition in late October before three House congressional committees involved in leading the impeachment inquiry.
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OPINION: Trump tweets that impeachment is a 'coup.' He's almost right.
President Donald Trump has taken to referring to his impeachment as a “coup.”
In October, for example, he tweeted: “As I learn more and more each day, I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP intended to take away the power of the……..People.” (That tweet is copied out verbatim, excessive ellipses included.) In his irate letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Dec. 17, Trump echoed the same sentiments: “this [attempted impeachment] is nothing more than an illegal, partisan coup that will, based on recent sentiment, badly fail at the voting booth.”
I’m not sure the president is entirely wrong to use the word “coup” to describe what’s taking place. Just not in the way he intends it.
Read more here.
Pompeo says Senate run 'not something I want to do'
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that he does not want to run for Senate in Kansas — despite signs saying otherwise.
"So Susan and I love Kansas," Pompeo said on "Fox and Friends," referring to his wife. "But it’s my intention to stay here and continue to serve as President Trump’s Secretary of State. I’ve said that consistently. I intend to keep saying it, and as long as President Trump wants me to serve in this capacity, there’s still work to do."
Pressed on if that meant he was completely ruling out a run, Pompeo said, "I’ve watched my life take turns that one would never have expected, but it’s not something I want to do. I want to stay here and continue to perform the mission that I’m serving."
Pompeo is a central figure in the events the led to the House's impeachment of the president, and some Democrats have demanded that he testify in the Senate trial. Trump blocked Pompeo from testifying in the House inquiry. The secretary of state is traveling to Ukraine on Friday to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his foreign and defense ministers as part of a broader trip to several former Soviet republics. While there, Pompeo will reaffirm U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the State Department said.
Read more here.
GOP Rep. Kinzinger says impeachment 'never comes up' in his district
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., said Monday that his constituents barely talk about President Donald Trump's impeachment and that he thinks Democrats "mistimed" the inquiry.
Kinzinger, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told Fox Business Network that impeachment "literally, when I go travel to the district, it never comes up."
"When I'm in D.C., it's the chief thing everybody's talking about," Kinzinger added. "Out here, it's not — not in Illinois. And so, I think the Democrats mistimed this, and they obviously rushed the process, and I think people see that."
Bolton, Mulvaney wanted Trump to release Ukraine aid in August: NYT
GOP Rep.: Pelosi 'ought to be ashamed of what she is doing right now'
Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., on Monday called on Pelosi to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
"She is holding it like a political tool," Collins, ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, said. "She has just shredded all acts of decency. Nancy Pelosi ought to be ashamed of what she is doing right now."
He added, "I'm hoping Nancy Pelosi will realize that she is not the person who is sole arbiter of the House rules and the Senate rules. She needs to decide that she started impeachment, she went through with impeachment, she does not like this president, she has led her conference off the cliff, I believe, in impeachment, and it is time for her to send the articles over to the Senate for the Senate to do their constitutional job."
Doug Jones could break with his party to back Trump at Senate trial.
Doug Jones, the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Alabama in 25 years, is in grave danger of losing re-election next year, and the impeachment of President Donald Trump isn't making things any easier.
So it doesn't come as a surprise that Jones is being eyed as the Democrat most likely to stand with the president in Trump's coming Senate trial.
NBC News interviewed Alabama voters to find out what they think the freshman lawmaker, facing the re-election fight of his life, should do.
Find out what they said here.
Ukraine fears Trump hold on aid exposed vulnerability in war with Russia
This summer's delay in releasing nearly $400 million in U.S. aid to Ukraine — allegations at the center of the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump— may have been temporary, but the incident is not far from the minds of those training on a wintry base in the west of the country.
Trump’s attempt to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden has also exposed the cracks in the West’s response to an emboldened Russia, inflicted permanent damage on Ukraine and heightened the risk of Moscow extending its influence in the country, according to democracy advocates and military experts.
U.S. support, in particular, is seen as essential in keeping what is widely seen as a bully in the East at bay.
“Just the presence of the American army on the territory of Ukraine, in my opinion, already scares the enemy — even without any other aid,” said Ukraine Ground Forces Sgt. Maj. Yevhen Mokhtan, who works in this multinational training facility in western Ukraine.
Read more here.