The House Intelligence Committee sent its report on President Trump and Ukraine to the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, paving the way for possible articles of impeachment.

The report, which states that the president “sought to undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process, and endangered U.S. national security,” was approved on a party-line vote.

The report also hints strongly at charges of obstruction of justice, among other crimes, but does not recommend specific articles of impeachment.

Democrats are seeking to build a case that Trump leveraged military assistance and an Oval Office meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in exchange for investigations of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, and a debunked theory alleging Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.

Earlier Tuesday, Trump called Democrats “very unpatriotic” for pursuing his impeachment while he is overseas meeting with NATO leaders.

●Democrats quietly debate expanding impeachment articles beyond Ukraine.

●House GOP defends Trump’s actions on Ukraine in dismissing impeachment probe.

●Attorney General William P. Barr disputes key inspector general finding about FBI’s Russia investigation.

2:50 a.m.
Link copied
link

Nunes says it’s ‘possible’ he spoke with Parnas, although he doesn’t recall

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said Tuesday night that it’s possible he spoke with Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani, although he doesn’t recall.

“I remember that name now, because he’s been indicted. … But it seems very unlikely I’d be taking calls from random people,” Nunes said in an interview on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity.”

Nunes’s name appeared repeatedly in the call logs released by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee earlier Tuesday.

Nunes described the phone conversations in the call logs as in keeping with his role as the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee.

“We have Americans and foreigners contact us every single day with information,” he said.

He also dismissed concerns about his contacts with Giuliani, noting that he’s known the former New York mayor “a long time.”

“We were actually laughing about how Mueller bombed out,” Nunes said of one of his phone calls with Giuliani, in an apparent reference to the testimony of former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. He added that he would have no concerns about audio of the call being made public, if a recording exists.

Nothing has emerged so far to suggest that the call was recorded.

2:20 a.m.
Link copied
link

Trump’s Ukraine actions constitute bribery, Schiff says in Washington Post interview

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff said in an interview Tuesday that Trump’s actions vis-a-vis Ukraine meet the constitutional definition of bribery — but that it’s the Judiciary Committee that must decide whether to recommend impeaching him on those grounds.

“This is certainly, I think, what the founders had in mind when they used that word in the Constitution,” Schiff (D-Calif.) said, defining “bribery” as “the offer of or performance of official acts, in exchange for something of value; the betrayal of a public trust to get something of personal or political value.

“That’s exactly what’s gone on here.”

Read more here.

1:50 a.m.
Link copied
link

Schiff says Intelligence panel is investigating whether Trump is ‘-1’ in call logs

In an exchange with reporters Tuesday night, Schiff said his panel was investigating whether Trump is the individual identified only as “-1” in the newly released call logs.

“The short answer is, we’re trying to find out,” Schiff said when asked whether it was reasonable to assume that “-1” is Trump.

“It’s certainly true that Rudy Giuliani has only one client in the White House — it’s the president of the United States,” Schiff added. “But the effort by the president to obstruct our investigation means that we’re going to have to continue to press for answers to exactly these issues. The American people have a right to know the full extent of the president’s misconduct, as well as who else was involved, and that will be part of our continuing investigative work.”

Schiff also noted that Trump was identified as “-1” in phone records during the trial of his longtime adviser, Roger Stone.

1:20 a.m.
Link copied
link

Judiciary panel’s most aggressive members ready to rumble in impeachment probe

Defenders of Trump often describe the impeachment inquiry as a “circus.”

But after the partisan theatrics expected during Wednesday’s first hearing in the House Judiciary Committee, they might need a stronger word.

When Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) gavels the room to order at 10 a.m., some of Capitol Hill’s most aggressive and colorful characters — Republicans and Democrats — will be seated on the dais, ready to inject new friction and hostility into the second phase of the inquiry.

Read more here.

12:50 a.m.
Link copied
link

House passes measure disapproving of inclusion of Russia in future G-7 summits

The House on Tuesday passed a resolution disapproving of any attempts to include Russia in future Group of Seven summits — a move that Trump has repeatedly floated.

The measure, H.Res. 546, was approved on a 339-to-71 vote.

It states that the House “disapproves of Russia’s inclusion in future Group of Seven summits until it respects the territorial integrity of its neighbors and adheres to the standards of democratic societies.”

It also calls on all leaders of G-7 countries to “oppose the readmission of Russia unless and until it has ended its occupation of all of Ukraine’s sovereign territory, including Crimea, and halts its attacks on democracies worldwide.”

At the G-7 summit in France in August, Trump capped off days of advocacy on behalf of Russia by saying that he would invite Russian President Vladi­mir Putin to next year’s G-7 summit in the United States.

12:40 a.m.
Link copied
link

Warner says there’s ‘absolutely no factual basis’ for claims of Ukrainian election interference

Sen. Mark R. Warner (Va.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, pushed back Tuesday against the debunked theory promoted by some Republicans that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 presidential race.

The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that only Russia interfered in the campaign. But in recent days, Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.) and other GOP lawmakers have argued, incorrectly, that both Russia and Ukraine interfered in 2016.

“There is absolutely no factual basis for this Ukrainian election interference/CrowdStrike nonsense,” Warner tweeted Tuesday night, referring to the cybersecurity firm that has been at the center of conservative conspiracy theories about the hacking of Democratic National Committee computers.

“Spreading this discredited conspiracy theory only serves to advance Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaign against the United States,” Warner said.

12:30 a.m.
Link copied
link

After leaving 2020 race, Harris tells Trump, ‘I’ll see you at your trial’

Trump noted the departure of Sen. Kamala Harris from the presidential race Tuesday evening, prompting the California Democrat to respond with a quip about the president’s likely Senate impeachment trial.

“Too bad. We will miss you Kamala!” Trump tweeted in response to reports that Harris had ended her White House bid.

Ten minutes later, Harris sent a tweet of her own.

“Don’t worry, Mr. President,” she said. “I’ll see you at your trial.”

12:00 a.m.
Link copied
link

McCarthy dismisses Nunes call logs, says lawmaker ‘has a right to talk to anybody’

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) dismissed the news that, according to the call logs referenced in the House Intelligence Committee’s report, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) had further ties with Giuliani than previously known.

“I don’t have a problem with Devin talking to individuals,” McCarthy said at a news conference Tuesday night in response to questions from reporters about the call logs.

He argued that Nunes did nothing wrong and said that whether the lawmaker should explain what he discussed on the phone calls is for Nunes himself to decide.

“Devin Nunes has a right to talk to anybody,” McCarthy said.

Earlier Tuesday, Schiff indirectly criticized Nunes, saying it was “deeply concerning” that there may be evidence that a lawmaker was complicit with Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine.

11:50 p.m.
Link copied
link

House Intelligence Committee sends report on Trump and Ukraine to judiciary panel

The House Intelligence Committee sent its report to the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday night, paving the way for possible articles of impeachment against Trump.

The panel approved the report on a 13-to-9 party-line vote.

The report now goes to the Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for drafting articles of impeachment against Trump.

House Republicans, in a report issued Monday, said Trump did nothing wrong.

10:30 p.m.
Link copied
link

Obama administration ethics lawyer expected to question experts during Judiciary Committee hearing

Norman Eisen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, is expected to question the four law professors who will testify at Wednesday’s Judiciary Committee hearing, according to an official working on the impeachment inquiry.

Eisen was the chief White House ethics lawyer for President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2011 and was the U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic from 2011 to 2014.

Democrats on the Judiciary Committee announced in February that they had hired Eisen and another attorney, Barry H. Berke, to work as legal consultants as they pursued investigations into Trump and his administration.

10:00 p.m.
Link copied
link

Call records show Giuliani calling White House and mystery number amid August pressure campaign on Ukraine

Records obtained by the House Intelligence Committee show several calls and text messages in early August between Giuliani and people whose phone numbers are associated with the White House and the Office of Management and Budget.

At that time, then-U. S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland were trying to set up a meeting between Trump and Zelensky that the Ukrainians were desperate to schedule.

A Ukrainian official asked Volker on Aug. 7 whether he had any “news about White House meeting date,” and Volker said he asked Giuliani to “weigh in.”

Giuliani’s calls and texts include a nearly 13-minute call with an OMB official and an unnamed number identified only as “-1” on Aug. 8. The records provide further evidence of the close involvement of Trump’s personal attorney in the machinery of the U.S. government.

The contents of the exchanges are not known, but they preceded a group text exchange on Aug. 9 in which Volker applauds Sondland for making progress toward setting up a White House meeting.

“Excellent!! How did you sway him?” Volker texted.

“Not sure i did. I think [Trump] really wants the deliverable,” Sondland responded.

Sondland later testified that the “deliverable” sought by Trump was a statement by Ukraine’s president announcing “the investigations.”

9:45 p.m.
Link copied
link

Giuliani called White House repeatedly on day American ambassador was removed

Giuliani called the White House repeatedly on the day that the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine was abruptly ordered to return to Washington, according to phone records released Monday by the House Intelligence Committee.

Giuliani has previously acknowledged that he lobbied Trump to have Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch removed from Kyiv. In an interview with The Washington Post in September, Giuliani treated his role in her ouster as a point of pride and made unsubstantiated allegations that she had worked to undermine Trump in Ukraine.

At one point, Giuliani said Yovanovitch “should be part of the investigation as collusion.”

The records show that Giuliani made a flurry of calls to the White House on April 24 — the day that Yovanovitch was summoned to Washington and told that she had lost Trump’s confidence. Giuliani called the White House at least seven times that day between 7:47 a.m. and 8:09 p.m. He also received a call from a White House number and spent more than eight minutes speaking to someone identified only as “-1” in the report.

The records do not provide any details about the nature of the calls or whether Giuliani spoke with Trump that day. On Twitter and in television appearances that day, Giuliani promoted conspiracy theories about alleged Ukraine interference in the 2016 election embraced by the president.

In her testimony, Yovanovitch adamantly denied that she had acted against Trump while serving in Ukraine and expressed dismay that U.S. officials could be removed from office over unsubstantiated claims against them.

9:30 p.m.
Link copied
link

Report says Giuliani spoke with former Nunes staffer at White House

The day he scrapped a planned trip to Ukraine in early May, Giuliani spoke with Kashyap “Kash” Patel, an official at the White House National Security Council, according to the report. Patel previously served on the staff of Nunes, the ranking Republican on the Intelligence Committee.

The phone calls between Giuliani and Patel on a day when the president’s personal attorney was occupied with Ukraine matters raise questions about whether the former Nunes staffer was working on Ukraine issues with Giuliani from the White House, outside his formal remit working in a different directorate of the National Security Council.

The report doesn’t say anything about the content of the phone call. The call with Patel came amid public uproar over a trip to Ukraine that Giuliani was planning, with the hopes of meeting Zelensky, who was then the president-elect.

After the call with Patel, according to the report, Giuliani spoke with someone on an unidentified number for more than 17 minutes and shortly thereafter spoke with Parnas, who had been helping him on issues related to Ukraine.

The same evening, Giuliani went on Fox News and said he would cancel his trip because he had come to believe that Zelensky was surrounded by “enemies of the president.”

9:20 p.m.
Link copied
link

Hoyer says Intelligence report ‘ought to alarm every American’

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said that the House Intelligence Committee’s report “ought to alarm every American.”

“The case against the President is clear; so is the responsibility of the House under our Constitution,” Hoyer said in a statement. “Now, this process moves to the Judiciary Committee, and I urge its Members to consider the same question posed to their colleagues on the Intelligence Committee: was this act of bribery acceptable behavior for a President of the United States, and is it ever permissible for a president to solicit foreign help in an election.”

“As this process moves forward, the House will perform its duty and follow the evidence where it leads,” he added.