Impeachment hearing live: Testimony from Alexander Vindman, Jennifer Williams, Kurt Volker, Tim Morrison to House Intelligence Committee today – CBS News

EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland expected to testify in upcoming week

Latest updates on the impeachment inquiry

  • The House Intelligence Committee will hold its second week of public hearings in the impeachment probe, following testimony by three witnesses last week.
  • Impeachment trial likely not to end until 2020, says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
  • President Trump, responding to comments House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made in an interview Sunday with “Face the Nation,” said he would “strongly consider” submitting written testimony in Democrats’ impeachment hearing.
  • Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, is set to testify Wednesday.
  • Sondland was overheard speaking to President Trump the day after his phone call with the president of Ukraine. David Holmes, the aide who overheard the conversation, testifies in an open hearing Thursday.
  • Read what you need to know about all eight witnesses testifying this week.
  • Download the free CBS News app to stream live coverage of the impeachment hearings.

Washington — As the House Intelligence Committee prepares for its second week of public hearings in the impeachment probe, President Trump is toying with the idea of submitting his own testimony.

Mr. Trump floated the possibility in response to an interview House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did with “Face the Nation,” in which the speaker suggested the president has every opportunity to testify himself.

“Speaker of the House, Nervous Nancy Pelosi, who is petrified by her Radical Left knowing she will soon be gone (they & Fake News Media are her BOSS), suggested on Sunday’s DEFACE THE NATION…that I testify about the phony Impeachment Witch Hunt,” Mr. Trump tweeted Monday morning. “She also said I could do it in writing. Even though I did nothing wrong, and don’t like giving credibility to this No Due Process Hoax, I like the idea & will, in order to get Congress focused again, strongly consider it!”

Mr. Trump also toyed with the idea of testifying behind closed doors during former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Ultimately, he did not.

From Tuesday to Thursday, the committee plans to hear the accounts of eight witnesses appearing in five separate hearings. The witnesses include several figures with direct knowledge of the administration’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to pursue investigations that would benefit Mr. Trump politically.

Among those scheduled to appear is Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the E.U. Sondland was involved in the campaign to pressure Ukraine and testified behind closed doors to the committees leading the probe in October. Earlier this month, Sondland revised that testimony to admit he had told a senior aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military aid was “likely” contingent on announcing the investigations.

On Friday, David Holmes, a U.S. embassy official in Kiev, testified that he heard Sondland speaking to the president one day after the July 25 call between Mr. Trump and Zelensky. Holmes said he overheard the president ask about “the investigations,” and Sondland said the Ukrainians would go through with them.

Sondland is due to testify Wednesday morning.

The timeline for the impeachment process is expected to extend into the new year. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters in Louisville Monday that he thought the House would be “on this until Christmas,” and then, if the House votes to impeach Mr. Trump, it would arrive in the Senate afterward.

Holmes to testify on Thursday

US-POLITICS-CONGRESS-TRUMP-IMPEACHMENT-HOLMES
David Holmes, a State Department official, arrives to appear in a closed-door deposition hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on November 15, 2019. OLIVIER DOULIERY

5:42 p.m.: David Holmes, the State Department official who overheard a recently revealed call that has become key to the impeachment inquiry against President Trump, has been added to the list of witnesses testifying in public this week.

He appeared behind closed doors last week and will provide testimony in public on Thursday, according to an aide working on the impeachment inquiry. He will testify alongside Fiona Hill, a senior director for Russia at the National Security Council.

In his opening statement, Holmes said he overheard Mr. Trump ask a top diplomat about the status of “investigations” into his political rivals on July 26 — one day after his now-infamous July 25 call with the president of Ukraine.

The existence of this July 26 call was revealed last week by William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine who testified in public on Tuesday. Taylor said that he only found out about the overheard conversation after his October closed-door appearance before the committees conducting the inquiry. — Rebecca Kaplan

Impeachment trial likely won’t end until 2020, says Senate majority leader

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks impeachment trial will go into 2020

4:15 p.m.: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell isn’t expecting the impeachment inquiry to be over before the end of the year.

“It looks to me the House is going to be on this until Christmas, then it comes over to the Senate,” he told reporters in Louisville on Monday.

But regardless of how long the trial lasts, McConnell said he “can’t imagine a scenario which President Trump would be removed from office.”

He referred to impeachment as an “argument with the president” and called it “ridiculous because we’re going into the presidential election and the American people will have an opportunity in the very near future to decide who they want the next president to be.”

— Caroline Cournoyer

Pelosi challenges Republicans’ main anti-impeachment argument

3:46 p.m.: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to dismantle Republicans’ main argument against the impeachment inquiry.

“There are also some who say that no serious wrongdoing was committed, because the military assistance to Ukraine was eventually released. The fact is, the aid was only released after the whistleblower exposed the truth of the president’s extortion and bribery, and the House launched a formal investigation,” she wrote in a letter to Democrats on Monday.

Her letter echoes remarks she made on “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

The House Intelligence Committee received its first formal notification of the whistleblower’s complaint on September 9. Two days later, the White House lifted its months-long hold on a military assistance package meant to help Ukraine counter a Russian-backed insurgency.

But the White House had been aware of the complaint since August and convinced the acting director of national intelligence that it didn’t warrant congressional notification. The intelligence community’s inspector general, however, disagreed.

The whistleblower’s complaint itself was ultimately disclosed to the public and the full Congress in late September.

The delay in aid is central to the impeachment inquiry. Several witnesses have testified that they believe the administration was withholding the aid to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations that would benefit President Trump politically. — Camilo Montoya-Galvez

Trump says he’ll “strongly consider” submitting testimony

Mr. Trump, responding to comments House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made in an interview Sunday with “Face the Nation,” said he will “strongly consider” submitting written testimony in Democrats’ impeachment hearing.

The president made the comment on Twitter Monday morning, saying although he doesn’t want to give credibility to the probe, he likes the idea.

“Speaker of the House, Nervous Nancy Pelosi, who is petrified by her Radical Left knowing she will soon be gone (they & Fake News Media are her BOSS), suggested on Sunday’s DEFACE THE NATION…that I testify about the phony Impeachment Witch Hunt,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “She also said I could do it in writing. Even though I did nothing wrong, and don’t like giving credibility to this No Due Process Hoax, I like the idea & will, in order to get Congress focused again, strongly consider it!”

Nunes and Jordan ask Sen. Ron Johnson for Ukraine-related info

Top House Intelligence Committee Republican Rep. Devin Nunes and top House Oversight and Reform Republican Rep. Jim Jordan have written to Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, asking for any information he might have on the Ukraine situation, citing their understanding that Johnson has “firsthand” knowledge.

Last month, Johnson told the Wall Street Journal that Gordon Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to the E.U., had described to him a connection between a Ukraine commitment to investigate matters involving U.S. elections and the status of hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. aid to Ukraine. Johnson told the Journal that Mr. Trump denied any such quid pro quo.

Since then, Johnson has defended Mr. Trump’s actions. On the Sunday talk show circuit, Johnson claimed that the whistleblower “weakened” U.S.-Ukraine relations by reporting concerns, and “exposed things that didn’t need to be exposed.”

Nunes and Jordan, two key Trump allies, are now asking Johnson for any information he might have. The Republicans do not have the authority to compel testimony or issue subpoenas.

“Accordingly, because the Democrats have abandoned fundamental fairness and objectivity in their ‘impeachment inquiry,’ we reluctantly write to request any firsthand information you have about President Trump’s actions toward Ukraine between April and September 2019,” Nunes and Jordan wrote to Johnson. “We appreciate any information that you could provide.”

Trump says Schiff and Pelosi have “rigged” the rules

Mr. Trump, who has no events on his public schedule Monday, began the morning tweeting.

“Never has the Republican Party been so united as it is now. 95% A.R. This is a great fraud being played out against the American people by the Fake News Media & their partner, the Do Nothing Democrats,” the president tweeted. “The rules are rigged by Pelosi & Schiff, but we are winning, and we will win!”

On Monday, the president is scheduled to receive his intelligence briefing and meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Who’s testifying in the second week of impeachment hearings

Eight witnesses expected to testify in impeachment hearings this week

Pelosi says Trump has “every opportunity to present his case”

Nancy Pelosi suggests whistleblower complaint prompted release of Ukraine aid

5:30 a.m.: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refuted Republicans’ claims that President Trump has not had the opportunity for due process in the impeachment inquiry, saying that the president has “every opportunity to present his case.”

“The president could come right before the committee and talk, speak all the truth that he wants if he wants,” Pelosi said in an interview with “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan that aired Sunday. “He has every opportunity to present his case.”

Pelosi also said that she believed the president’s actions were worse than those of former President Richard Nixon.

“But it’s really a sad thing. I mean, what the president did was so much worse than even what Richard Nixon did, that at some point Richard Nixon cared about the country enough to recognize that this could not continue,” Pelosi said. Mr. Nixon resigned before the House could vote on impeachment.

Read more here.


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