7:31 a.m. Trump’s chief adversary, House Speaker Nanci Pelosi (D-Calif.), makes her first public appearance of the day, arriving at an MSNBC set on a rooftop across from the U.S. Capitol. On “Morning Joe,” Day 4 is a special event. Rising sun. Brisk fall breeze. Pelosi has come with a glittery American flag brooch and talking points to hammer like a nail gun: “This is about national security.” “This is a sad time for our country.” “We have to be prayerful.” “He gave us no choice.” Attorney General William P. Barr has “gone rogue.” The bottom line: “The president of the United States used taxpayer dollars to shake down the leader of another country for his own political gain. The rest of it is ancillary.”
8:29 a.m. Trump calls on Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) to resign and “be investigated” for reading a fake transcript of the president’s call with Ukraine at a hearing yesterday. In Trump’s telling, Schiff was “supposedly reading the exact transcribed version” and “GOT CAUGHT.” Schiff, who as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee is emerging as a key point person in the impeachment drama, had actually been a bit more nuanced. He introduced the fabulism by calling it “the essence of what the president communicates.” The moment was nonetheless potentially misleading, especially because sound bites are regularly chopped without context on social media.
9:04 a.m. The White House releases a memo headlined, “The swamp is beyond parody, but the American people aren’t laughing.” The argument is that Democrats are spending their time on a “political circus” instead of “real, pressing concerns” such as strong border security, real gun safety, affordable prescription drug prices and a new North American trade deal. “You can’t make this stuff up,” the memo reads.
10:20 a.m. Not much happening at the moment. A good time to catch up on the stories you might have missed last night. A Washington Post deep dive into former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani’s efforts to cultivate “a bevy” of current and former prosecutors in Ukraine. A Post visual guide to everyone mentioned in the whistleblower report. The Atlantic’s captivating interview
with Giuliani, which Elaina Plott conducted from the back of an Uber. “It is impossible that the whistleblower is a hero and I’m not,” Giuliani told Plott. “And I will be the hero! These morons. When this is over, I will be the hero.”
10:37 a.m. Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), whose presidential campaign has been struggling to gain traction, calls
for an investigation of the State Department’s apparent role in Giuliani’s meetings with Ukranian officials. She cites Giuliani’s appearance the night before on Fox News, in which he showed text messages he claimed to be from State Department officials urging him to reach out. Harris also addresses a tweet to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, telling him to “instruct State Department staff to preserve any communications involving” Giuliani.
10:50 a.m. CNN reports the White House had offered a statement confirming a central allegation of the whistleblower complaint: Records of Trump’s call with Ukraine were moved to a separate server inside the White House. National Security Council lawyers “directed that the classified document be handled appropriately,” the White House statement reads.
11:21 a.m. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton takes a shot at Trump during an appearance at Georgetown University. “Now we know that in the course of his duties as president, he has endangered us all by putting his personal and political interests ahead of the interests of the American people,” she says.
11:30 a.m. Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law and a senior adviser on his campaign, goes on Fox News to say Democrats are “unfortunately” tarnishing their name and overplaying their hand. “Just because it might not have been something every president would have said doesn’t make it an impeachable offense,” she says of the president’s phone call to Ukraine.
11:40 a.m. The Senate convenes for a pro forma session, which is like opening a store but locking the cash register. Nothing can really happen. Like members of the House, senators began a two-week break today. Schiff has said his staff will continue working during the break.
12:14 p.m. The Post reports that a group of lawmakers in Ukraine are seeking to launch a new probe into Burisma Holdings, the gas company where Joe Biden’s son Hunter served on the board during his father’s time as vice president. The younger Biden has not been accused of wrongdoing.
12:53 p.m. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) becomes the last Democratic candidate for president who has qualified for the October debate to announce that she supports impeachment proceedings against Trump. She had been attacked Thursday night on this point by the primary opponent running for her House seat. “This inquiry must be swift, thorough, and narrowly-focused,” Gabbard says in a statement shared by a campaign adviser. “It cannot be turned into a long, protracted partisan circus that will further divide our country and undermine our democracy.”
2:17 p.m. The House Appropriations and Budget committees announce sending a letter to the White House demanding documents and answers by next week regarding the Trump administration’s “involvement in the withholding of foreign aid, including nearly $400 million in crucial security assistance funding for Ukraine.”
2:30 p.m. The Associated Press alerts that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has previously committed to holding a trial of Trump if the House votes to impeach him. “If the House were to act, the Senate immediately goes into a trial,” McConnell told NPR in March. The regular rules for conducting an impeachment trial in the Senate are spelled out in the United States Senate Manual, and they include lots of specificity: When the House delivers the impeachment articles, the senate sergeant at arms must proclaim the following words, “All persons are commanded to keep silence, on pain of imprisonment, while the House of Representatives is exhibiting to the Senate of the United States articles of impeachment against” whoever is being impeached. The chief justice of the United States “shall preside,” and the doors to the chamber “shall be kept open,” unless directed otherwise for deliberation.
3:41 p.m. Trump previews how he hopes the impeachment fight will play out in the 2020 election if Biden becomes the Democratic nominee. He posts a 30-second campaign ad. “Biden promised Ukraine a billion dollars if they fired the prosecutor investigating his son’s company,” the narrator says, over ominous music. “But when President Trump asks Ukraine to investigate corruption, the Democrats want to impeach him.” Much of this is misleading. Biden threatened to withhold aid that had been promised to Ukraine if it did not fire the prosecutor; he did not promise to give $1 billion for doing so. The Ukranian prosecutor in question did not have an active investigation of the company where Biden’s son worked at the time. Biden’s son was never a subject of the investigation. The Democrat’s current impeachment investigation focuses on Trump’s specific request to the current Ukrainian president for aid in an investigation of Biden, his political rival. Such details might get lost in a war of sound bites and paid advertising.
4:03 p.m. The House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committees announce a new subpoena of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for documents related to the Ukraine investigation that were requested earlier this month and never delivered. The letter concludes by alleging that Pompeo’s continued refusal to provide the documents “impairs Congress’ ability to fulfill its Constitutional responsibilities to protect our national security and the integrity of our democracy.”
4:58 p.m. The Washington Post reports that Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney who has been helping lead Ukraine outreach, is scheduled to make a paid appearance at a Kremlin backed conference in Armenia. Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to attend. Giuliani declined to say how much he will make. “I will try to not knowingly talk to a Russian until this is all over,” he says.
6:09 p.m. Giuliani tells reporters he will no longer attend the conference. “Just found out Putin was going and I don’t need to give the Swamp press more distractions,” he tells The Post in a text message.
6:10 p.m. Kurt Volker, Trump’s envoy to Ukraine, has resigned, reports the State Press, the student newspaper of Arizona State University. Volker is also the director of ASU’s McCain Institute for International Leadership. Giuliani had posted a reputed text message exchange with Volker on Thursday and boasted on television of their communications. House leaders announced Friday that they planned to interview Volker next week.
8:26 p.m. More comes out. The Washington Post reports that Trump told two Russian officials in a 2017 Oval Office meeting that he was unconcerned about Russian interference in the 2016 election. This assertion prompted alarm in the White House, leading officials to limit access to the remarks to an unusually small number of people. The source of this information is three former officials with knowledge of the matter.