(Washington, DC-AP) – Democrats are angry that congressional leaders were not briefed before the U.S. airstrike that killed a top Iranian military leader in Iraq.
Lawmakers are expected to get a classified briefing on the incident this week. The briefing will likely be conducted by CIA Director Gina Haspel, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Meantime, House Democrats are planning a vote this week on a war powers resolution aimed at limiting President Trump’s military actions on Iran. The House resolution would have little chance of passage in the Republican-led Senate.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the airstrike endangered U.S. service-members and diplomats by “risking a serious escalation of tensions with Iran.” The House resolution would have little chance of passage in the Republican-led Senate.
(Washington, DC) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says President Trump has been held accountable and insists that “no one is above the law.” Talking with reporters at the Capitol, Pelosi called this week’s impeachment of the President a solemn and necessary action. She said she has not decided who will prosecute the case in a Senate trial and when the articles of impeachment will be formally submitted to the Senate. Pelosi argued that the process guiding a Senate trial should be fair.
Pelosi dismissed questions about critical comments from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell suggested that House Dems are getting cold feet about sending impeachment articles to the Senate. Pelosi said she doesn’t care what Republicans think.
There are two articles of impeachment: Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress.
(Kiev-AP) – President Trump’s personal attorney is back in Ukraine seeking to shift attention off the impeachment inquiry and on to political rivals.
The New York Times reports Rudy Giuliani met with a former Ukrainian prosecutor and is a key figure in the impeachment inquiry in Budapest on Tuesday.
He’s now in Kiev meeting with other former Ukrainian prosecutors.
All three of the former prosecutors have been accused of corruption in the past. The Times says Giuliani is talking to them for a documentary series that will debunk the case for impeachment.
(Washington, DC-AP) – The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee is accusing President Trump of “witness intimidation, in real time.”
During a break in testimony in the latest public House impeachment hearing, California Democrat Adam Schiff suggested that a tweet from Trump, during the hearing, was designed to have a chilling effect on witness testimony. Trump attacked testimony from former U.S.-Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.
Trump tweeted, “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad.” Asked to respond to the tweet, Yovanovitch defended her long service as a U.S. diplomat. She said — “I actually think that where I’ve served over the years, I and others have demonstrably made things better, for the U.S. as well as for the countries that I’ve served in.”
Yovanovitch also said it is important for Ukraine to “move out of Russia’s orbit.” The veteran diplomat said Russian influences have fueled considerable corruption in Ukraine. She alleged that “foreign and corrupt interests” have “hijacked” U.S.-Ukraine policy. She also argued that the State Department has been “hollowed out from within.”
Yovanovitch was recalled earlier this year after running afoul of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who was conducting unofficial diplomacy in Ukraine. Giuliani was pressuring Ukraine to launch an investigation of Democrats.
(Washington, DC-AP) – A federal jury says President Trump’s confidante Roger Stone is guilty on all seven counts. Stone was brought to trial as part of the Mueller investigation for his attempts to learn what information WikiLeaks had on hacked Democratic emails during the 2016 election.
Stone was charged with lying to Congress, obstruction of justice and witness intimidation. The jury deliberated for less than two days.
The 67-year-old Stone could face up to 50 years in prison. Stone’s attorneys had argued that he was not intentionally dishonest.
They also claimed the case against their client was politically motivated. Stone has been a longtime friend and adviser to Donald Trump since well before he decided to run for president in 2016.
(Portland, OR-AP) – A federal judge is blocking a Trump administration policy that denies visas to immigrants without health insurance. The decision is based on claims by immigrant activists that the policy would separate immigrant families.
The White House says the policy is aimed at protecting American taxpayers from having to foot the bill for immigrants’ health care.
(Washington, DC) – Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is appearing to confirm that the Trump Administration withheld military aid to Ukraine partly over a request to open an investigation into a debunked conspiracy theory of the DNC server.
He said it was one of three conditions for the release of the money.
Mulvaney said politics always influences policy. House Democrats opened an impeachment inquiry over President Trump asking Ukraine’s president for favors, including that nation’s involvement in the 2016 election and looking into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
President Trump has said there was no quid pro quo. Mulvaney, however, said this is business as usual in foreign policy.
(Washington, DC-AP) – Senator Lindsey Graham is warning Turkey about moving troops into northern Syria. The South Carolina Republican said Turkey would face “sanctions from hell” by Congress.
He noted that sanctions would be wide, deep and devastating. There are growing concerns about Turkey plotting movements into northern Syria since President Trump announced plans to remove U.S. troops from the war-torn region. Graham chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee.
And Both of Alaska’s senators are joining with other Republicans in Congress to condemn Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Northern Syria. S
enator Lisa Murkowski called the move “abrupt and unsettling,” saying that it betrays U.S. alliances with Kurdish forces and give ISIS an opportunity to grow again. Senator Dan Sullivan said the President’s decision will lead to a power vacuum that could be filled by “Russian and Iranian proxies.”
(Washington, DC-AP) — A second whistleblower is coming forward in the Ukraine scandal. Attorneys representing the first whistleblower whose complaint about President Trump’s dealings with the Ukraine confirmed to NBC News today they represent “multiple” clients.
Attorney Andrew Bakaj said his firm is working with the whistleblowers in connection with the August 12th disclosure to the Intelligence Community Inspector General.
The original complaint triggered an impeachment inquiry by House Democrats into claims the President pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his Democratic political rival Joe Biden and his son.
Trump calls the impeachment inquiry a hoax.
(Washington, DC-AP) – President Trump has signed a budget bill to avoid a government shutdown. The White House says Trump signed the short-term spending bill Friday, which will extend government funding through November 21st.
The Senate approved the measure Thursday after it had passed the House earlier this month. The government was set to run out of money at the end of this month.