President Trump’s reelection campaign manager Brad Parscale, meanwhile, branded the impeachment inquiry a “seditious conspiracy” on Monday and called for the resignation of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as another witness testified behind closed doors.
Parscale’s comments came as House investigators heard from Fiona Hill, the White House’s former top Russia adviser.
Earlier in the day, Trump renewed his call to unmask the whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry, which is focused on Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son at a time when U.S. military aid was being withheld from the country.
With Congress returning to Washington after a two-week recess, several other depositions are also planned, including that of Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, who is scheduled to appear Thursday under subpoena.
● House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) hints that panel may not press whistleblower to testify in person.
● Hunter Biden says he will resign from Chinese company board and won’t take foreign work if his father is president.
● Trump’s envoy to testify that the contention of ‘no quid pro quo’ came from Trump.
9:20 p.m.: Investigators mull whether to question Bolton
In a sign the impeachment inquiry is widening, investigators are discussing whether to question Bolton, according to people familiar with the matter.
Bolton was Hill’s direct superior at the National Security Council. He also led the NSC when, according to the whistleblower, lawyers in the White House Counsel’s Office directed that the transcript of Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky be moved to the council’s code-word-protected secure computer network.
Since his acrimonious departure from the Trump administration last month, Bolton has publicly criticized Trump’s handling of relations with North Korea but has said little about the unfolding Ukraine scandal.
— Karoun Demirjian
9 p.m.: Schiff praises Yovanovitch, Hill
In his remarks at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, Schiff lavished praise on Hill and Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, calling them two of the most impressive women to testify before Congress.
“They are adamantly nonpartisan,” Schiff said. “They are career public servants. And I wish that half the people in the administration or out of the administration would show the courage they’ve shown.”
In the interview with moderator Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, Schiff covered a wide range of topics related to the impeachment inquiry.
Schiff has previously suggested that lawmakers could levy fines of $25,000 a day on those who do not cooperate with subpoenas. He confirmed Monday night that Democrats have considered such a move but that no decision has been made.
Schiff repeatedly declined to speculate about the timing of the impeachment inquiry or an eventual vote on articles of impeachment, saying that it depends on the administration’s efforts to block House Democrats’ efforts to obtain documents and witness testimony.
He said that lawmakers “are going to be releasing all of these transcripts” of the depositions. And he contrasted the Mueller investigation and the current impeachment inquiry.
“The Mueller investigation took place — played out — over two years, and the public learned about it in drips and drabs,” Schiff said. As a result of that process, he added, “some of the public failed to see the seriousness of what Bob Mueller uncovered,” while in the impeachment inquiry, developments are happening much more quickly.
At one point during the interview, Schiff said he doesn’t known whether there is an audio recording of Trump’s July phone call with Zelensky — on either the U.S. or the Ukranian side.
Kristof then joked: “President Zelensky, if you’re watching, send me the audio.”
8:25 p.m.: Hill departs the Capitol
Hill, the White House’s former top Russia adviser, left the Capitol about 10 hours after her deposition began.
She had appeared under subpoena for a closed-door deposition with three House panels as part of the impeachment inquiry.
8:15 p.m.: Trump again takes aim at Schiff over remarks on whistleblower
In a tweet Monday night, Trump again took a swipe at Schiff over his remarks Sunday that it may not be necessary for the first whistleblower to testify before Congress in person.
But Trump falsely claimed that the reason was that the whistleblower “has lost all credibility because the story is so far from the facts on the Transcript.”
In fact, the whistleblower’s account closely tracks a rough transcript of the call released by the White House. Schiff said Sunday that the whistleblower’s in-person testimony might not be necessary because threats from Trump had prompted concerns about the individual’s safety and anonymity.
At the same time Trump was tweeting, Schiff was speaking at an event at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Schiff told Kristof that Trump is threatening the whistleblower “because he wants to chill anyone from exposing his wrongdoing.”
“He believes it’s his God-given right to be as corrupt as he wants and not suffer the inconvenience of being exposed,” Schiff said. “That’s not a God-given right, it’s not a constitutionally given right.”
He added: “Indeed, quite the opposite. It’s our constitutional obligation to hold him accountable. . . . We’ve been forced to go down this road by the president.”
8 p.m.: House Democrats express greater confidence about impeachment showdown with Trump
To many Democrats, it was a puzzling decision: Just days after suddenly embracing an impeachment inquiry of Trump — a moment of seeming political crisis — House leaders sent lawmakers home for their scheduled two-week recess.
But as Congress returns to work Tuesday, fears of lost momentum, internal dissension and dissipating interest in impeachment have mostly evaporated among House Democrats, who view the past two weeks as among the most damaging to Trump as they dig in for their constitutional showdown with the president.
“Donald Trump has been living in a house of cards, and it’s beginning to fall apart,” said Rep. Daniel Kildee (D-Mich.). “There was some anxiety — should we have stayed [in Washington]? … There was a little uncertainty about that. But I think we come back in a much stronger position.”
-- Mike DeBonis and Rachael Bade
7:30 p.m.: ‘Disruptive diplomat’ Gordon Sondland, a key figure in Trump impeachment furor, long coveted ambassadorship
Gordon Sondland was streaking over the West Coast in his Learjet in 2016 when the bad news came. Jeb Bush’s campaign was on the phone. He was bowing out of the race for the White House.
For more than a decade, Sondland’s home in Portland, Ore., had been a fundraising outpost for establishment Republicans, candidates he hoped would one day recognize his work corralling wealthy West Coast donors and reward him with a high-profile appointment — preferably, he told friends, an ambassadorship.
Bush was the latest to disappoint. Sondland “kept talking about it,” said a fellow Bush donor, adding that “2016 was not turning out remotely as we had expected.”
To realize his goal, Sondland made a political about-face and backed Trump, a candidate he once said was out of touch with his “personal beliefs and values on so many levels.” After the election, Sondland contributed $1 million to Trump’s inaugural. And he began calling in political favors — including from Republican National Committee chairman-turned-White House chief of ataff Reince Priebus — to convince Trump that he could be a team player.
— Aaron C. Davis, Josh Dawsey, Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Michael Birnbaum
6:30 p.m.: McKinley, Cooper expected to testify this week
Two more individuals are expected to testify this week, according to two officials working on the impeachment inquiry.
McKinley is expected to appear in closed session on Wednesday, according to the officials, who were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.
McKinley resigned his position last week amid rising dissatisfaction inside the State Department over what is seen as Pompeo’s failure to support personnel ensnared in the Ukraine controversy.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper is expected to appear in closed session on Friday, the officials said.
— Karoun Demirjian
4:45 p.m.: Schiff departs as Hill deposition continues
Schiff left the Capitol early Monday evening as the Hill deposition continued. The Intelligence Committee chairman was scheduled to deliver remarks later Monday at an event at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.
“The conversation will touch on the issues behind today’s biggest news stories, including the whistleblower’s complaint and the impeachment inquiry, the investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and its implications for 2020, the release of the Mueller report and analysis of his public testimony, the latest foreign policy issues, and more,” according to a 92nd Street Y summary of the event.
4:30 p.m.: Cheney’s remarks prompt Democratic pushback
Rep. Liz Cheney’s (R-Wyo.) claim Monday morning that the impeachment inquiry was a factor in the Turkish invasion of northeastern Syria has prompted pushback from some Democrats.
In a tweet, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) shared a link to an article about Cheney’s comments. He argued that within the past week, Trump has “endangered our troops,” “allowed ISIS to regroup,” “abandoned our allies” and “empowered” the leaders of Russia and Syria. McGovern used another name for the Islamic State.
“Instead of taking responsibility and standing up to their incompetent leader, the @GOP is blaming Democrats,” McGovern said. “Unbelievable.”
In an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” Cheney had said that “there was not an accident that the Turks chose this moment to roll across the border, and I think the Democrats have got to pay very careful attention to the damage they’re doing with the impeachment proceedings.”
3 p.m.: The full Trump-Ukraine timeline
The House of Representatives is engaged in a formal impeachment inquiry of Trump. It is focused on his efforts to secure specific investigations in Ukraine that carried political benefits for him — with indications that there might have been an explicit or implicit quid pro quo involved.
The Fix has compiled a timeline of relevant events and will continue to update it throughout the impeachment process. Read more here.
— Philip Bump and Aaron Blake
1:30 p.m.: Jordan asks what Schiff is hiding
Republicans have seized on a ruling that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) cannot participate in Monday’s deposition of Hill as they continue to argue the process should be open to the public.
Even though Gaetz is not a member of the three panels conducting the deposition, he tried to sit in on Monday. After Schiff objected, the question was put to a parliamentarian, who ruled that Gaetz would have to leave.
“@RepAdamSchiff is conducting his secretive impeachment proceedings in the basement of the Capitol, and now he’s kicked @mattgaetz out of today’s deposition,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) tweeted. “This testimony should be available to every member of Congress and every single American. What is Schiff hiding?”
12:25 p.m.: Trump highlights Hunter Biden’s decision to part ways with Chinese company
Trump returned to Twitter early Monday afternoon to highlight Hunter Biden’s announcement on Sunday that he will step down from his position as a board director of a Chinese investment company and not work for foreign firms if his father is elected president.
“Wow! Hunter Biden is being forced to leave a Chinese Company,” Trump tweeted. “Now watch the Fake News wrap their greasy and very protective arms around him. Only softball questions of him please!”
ABC News announced earlier Monday that it had conducted an interview with Hunter Biden over the weekend, parts of which would begin airing on Tuesday morning.
12:20 p.m.: Parscale ramps up anti-impeachment rhetoric
Parscale ramped up his anti-impeachment rhetoric Monday afternoon, claiming Democrats had launched “a seditious conspiracy” and calling on Pelosi to resign.
“Democrats have crossed over the line of partisan politics and have undertaken a seditious conspiracy to overthrow the people’s president,” Parscale tweeted. “Nancy Pelosi should step down for betraying her oath of office and attempting to overthrow our great Republic.”
11:40 a.m.: Lieu pushes back on GOP complaints about closed depositions
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) took to Twitter late Monday morning to push back against Republican complaints that House investigators are conducting depositions behind closed doors.
“Why does GOP keep making process arguments? Because they can’t defend the conduct of @realDonaldTrump,” Lieu tweeted. “House Impeachment investigation is like a grand jury investigation. Investigations are not done publicly. And we give more transparency by letting GOP cross examine witnesses.”
11:15 a.m.: Gaetz asked to leave Hill deposition
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who sits on the Judiciary Committee but none of the three panels conducting the impeachment inquiry, attempted Monday to sit in on Hill’s deposition “as a member of Congress,” he said, arguing that “if Adam Schiff and the House Democrats were so proud of their work, they would be willing to show it.”
Republicans have consistently been arguing that the full transcript of the depositions that the three panels have conducted as part of the impeachment inquiry should be made public, though privately some acknowledge that the exchanges will not necessarily fully undermine the Democrats’ case.
After Schiff objected to Gaetz’s presence, the question was put to a parliamentarian to decide, Gaetz said. When the parliamentarian told Gaetz he would have to leave, he did.
Speaking to reporters afterward, Gaetz continued to deride the proceedings as a “sham or charade,” lamenting that because the full House has not voted on an impeachment process, “there are no rules” and thus his presence should have been permitted.
— Karoun Demirjian
10:30 a.m.: Starr says impeachment inquiry ‘doomed to fail’
During a Monday morning appearance on Fox News Channel, former independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr said he doesn’t believe Trump committed an impeachable offense — unlike former president Bill Clinton.
Starr, whose investigation led to Clinton’s impeachment in 1998, has been a vocal critic of the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry of Trump. In previous Fox News interviews, he said Trump had shown “poor judgment” in asking Zelensky to investigate the Bidens but said nothing has risen to the level of being criminal.
“I don’t believe there’s anything close to an impeachable offense here,” Starr said. He said that Clinton, by contrast, “clearly committed crimes, federal crimes.”
The Trump impeachment inquiry, Starr added, “is doomed to fail.”
Trump later tweeted video from the interview.
9:50 a.m.: GOP lawmakers call for opening process
Ahead of Hill’s closed-door deposition Monday, several Republican lawmakers decried the process, calling for the proceedings to be more transparent to the public.
Speaking to reporters, the Republicans argued that the depositions should be open and that the full transcripts of closed-doors sessions should be publicly released.
“Our position is that the American public should know about all of the facts,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.). “We want the American public to have all of the information they should have in real time.”
“On the process and the substance, there is so much that’s so wrong on this entire clown show,” he added.
Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) described the current proceedings as a “partisan star chamber” and said Democrats are leaking “selective things they want for their narrative.”
“Where else in America does that happen?” he asked, adding: “We want the transcripts released for all the American people so they can see with their own eyes the whole context of what’s going on.”
9:30 a.m.: Attacks against Schiff are escalating online
Hours after Trump mused online about whether the Democratic lawmaker leading the impeachment inquiry, Rep. Schiff, should be “arrested for treason,” a 53-year-old mother of four in Wisconsin retweeted Trump’s post to her few hundred followers and added her own take.
“SHIFTY SHIFF NEEDS TO BE HUNG,” wrote Jean Spanbauer, a onetime supporter of President Barack Obama. She had adopted Trump’s epithet for the California Democrat, slightly misspelling his name.
“As you can see, my tweets are pretty passionate,” Spanbauer, who uses a different name online, said in an interview, adding that she doesn’t specifically wish anyone physical harm. “It hits very close to home for me. What the Democrats are doing to our president, to the office and to the people of this country is disgusting.”
As Trump and his allies have aimed increasingly caustic language at Schiff in recent days, the attacks have been echoed by supporters on social media who often take the message a step further — invoking physical violence against one of the most prominent Democrats overseeing the inquiry that threatens Trump’s presidency.
— Isaac Stanley-Becker
9:25 a.m.: Several document deadlines set this week
In addition to scheduling several depositions, House investigators have set deadlines this week for documents related to the impeachment inquiry for several people and government agencies. Some of those are all but certain to be ignored, given the White House’s letter last week saying it would not cooperate with the inquiry.
House Democrats have set Tuesday as the deadline for documents from Giuliani, Vice President Pence, the Department of Defense, and the Office of Management and Budget.
During an appearance Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said “we will do everything we can to comply” with the subpoena for documents from his department, which focused on the withholding of military aid to Ukraine.
Wednesday is the deadline for Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, the two Giuliani associates who were arrested last week on campaign finance charges. They have helped Giuliani with his investigation of the Bidens.
Friday, meanwhile, is the deadline for documents from the White House and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Trump has said Perry asked him to make the July call to Zelensky, but Perry told reporters last week he did it so that the two could talk about energy issues.
9:05 a.m.: Hill arrives on the Hill for closed-door deposition
Hill, the White House’s former top Russia adviser, has arrived on Capitol Hill for a closed-door deposition with three House panels as part of the impeachment inquiry. Her interview is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
She is appearing under subpoena.
9 a.m.: White House says Trump not expected in public today
The White House has called a travel/photo lid for the day, meaning reporters are not expected to see Trump in public on Monday.
Trump has no public events scheduled on this Columbus Day holiday. He has already tweeted several times about impeachment, but apparently he will not be commenting in person about the proceedings before Tuesday.
8 a.m.: Trump’s former top Russia adviser to testify in impeachment probe
Hill is expected to speak to House investigators behind closed doors Monday at 10 a.m. about how the administration’s Ukraine policies were influenced by Giuliani’s efforts to have the country investigate Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s son.
Hill served as the president’s top Russia and Europe adviser on the National Security Council from mid-2017 until the week before Trump and Zelensky spoke in a July 25 phone call that is at the heart of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
A transcript of the phone call shows that during the exchange, Trump asked Zelensky for a “favor,” requesting Ukrainian officials look into a debunked conspiracy theory regarding the 2016 election and the energy company Burisma, which paid Hunter Biden to sit on its board.
Hill will be the third high-ranking current or former diplomat that the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform committees will depose as part of their accelerating impeachment probe.
— Karoun Demirjian
7 a.m.: ABC News says Hunter Biden interview will air on Tuesday
ABC News announced that it had interviewed Hunter Biden over the weekend at his Los Angeles home and said portions of the interview would begin airing Tuesday morning.
Trump has been relentless in making unsubstantiated claims that Hunter Biden was involved in corrupt dealings in Ukraine and China and has made an issue of his recent public silence. Biden said through his lawyer Sunday that will step down from his position as a board director of a Chinese company this month and promised not to do any work for foreign firms if his father, Joe Biden, is elected president.
The former vice president has stood by his son and said he would be a part of his presidential campaign.
6:45 a.m. Trump renews call to disclose whistleblower’s identify
Trump on Monday renewed his call to unmask the whistleblower and seized on comments by Schiff suggesting that House Democrats may not press the anonymous U.S. intelligence official to testify in person before Congress.
In morning tweets, Trump also continued to insist that the whistleblower did not accurately describe the phone call in which Trump pressed Zelensky to investigate the Bidens at a time when the United States had withheld military aid to Ukraine.
In fact, the whistleblower’s account closely tracks a rough transcript of the call released by the White House.
“Adam Schiff now doesn’t seem to want the Whistleblower to testify,” Trump tweeted. “NO! Must testify to explain why he got my Ukraine conversation sooo wrong, not even close. Did Schiff tell him to do that? We must determine the Whistleblower’s identity to determine WHY this was done to the USA.”
Schiff, who had originally suggested it was important for the whistleblower to provide closed-door testimony, backed off that stance during an appearance Sunday on CBS News’s “Face the Nation.”
“Given that we already have the call record, we don’t need the whistleblower who wasn’t on the call to tell us what took place during the call,” Schiff said. “We have the best evidence of that.”
In Monday tweets, Trump also renewed his complaint that Schiff offered an embellished version of the call with Zelensky during a recent hearing. Schiff said that he remarks were intended to be in part parody and that Trump should have recognized that.
“Democrat’s game was foiled when we caught Schiff fraudulently making up my Ukraine conversation, when I released the exact conversation Transcript,” Trump tweeted.
White House officials have described what was released as a rough transcript, not a word-for-word recounting of what was said.
6:30 a.m.: Cheney says impeachment a factor in Turkish invasion
Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in the House, on Monday argued that the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry was a factor in the Turkish invasion of northeastern Syria.
During an interview on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends,” Cheney said that abandoning Kurdish fighters allied with the United States would have negative consequences but suggested Democrats were partly to blame for Trump’s announcement that he wouldn’t impede the Turkish invasion.
“I think that what we’re seeing happen is going to have ramifications not just in the Middle East but around the world if our adversaries begin to sense weakness, if our adversaries begin to think we won’t defend our allies, that we won’t defend our interests, that’s provocative,” Cheney said.
“But I also want to say that the impeachment proceedings that are going on and what the Democrats are doing themselves to try to weaken this president is part of this. There was not an accident that the Turks chose this moment to roll across the border, and I think the Democrats have got to pay very careful attention to the damage they’re doing with the impeachment proceedings.”
6 a.m.: The impeachment crisis shines a spotlight on Trump’s state of mind
He was hectoring and imperious. He was domineering and defiant. And he was audacious and cavalier.
In the nearly three weeks since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) opened an impeachment inquiry, President Trump has struck a posture of raw aggression. His visceral defenses of himself — at the most vulnerable point of his presidency — have shined a spotlight on Trump’s state of mind.
Like an aging rock star, the president is now reprising many of the greatest hits from his hellion days. He has bullied and projected — at times leveling against others the very charges he faces — while simultaneously depicting himself as a victim. And he has turned to ominous depictions of America, and in moments sounded an authoritarian tone.
— Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker