6:12 a.m. Herbst also contradicts the Trump argument that Biden did something wrong by pushing to fire Viktor Shokin, a Ukrainian prosecutor who once investigated a company that employed Biden's son. Herbst says Shokin was an untrustworthy “corrupt prosecutor,” who the United States, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development all wanted out of the job. Herbst also notes that the Shokin affidavit saying Biden’s concerns over his son’s company caused his firing was written to aid attorneys for Dmytro Firtash, an oligarch U.S. officials are seeking to extradite on a warrant of bribery. “The folks who are pushing this conspiracy theory are citing this as proof,” Herbst says of the affidavit. “And in fact it undermines their position.”
8:32 a.m. Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, is asked a question that will not go away anytime soon. Does the former vice president have any regrets about not keeping son Hunter Biden from working for the Ukrainian firm while Biden oversaw Ukrainian policy at the White House? “No, because he didn’t do anything wrong,” Bedingfield says of the younger Biden on CNN’s “New Day.”
8:46 a.m. Former senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who quit after undermining his reelection hopes by opposing Trump, calls on other Republican senators “to risk your careers in favor of your principles.” In a Washington Post opinion piece, he describes removing Trump from office through impeachment as a tough call, but argues that opposing Trump’s reelection is a moral necessity. “Trust me when I say that you can go elsewhere for a job,” he writes. “But you cannot go elsewhere for a soul.”
9:44 a.m. Attorneys for the whistleblower who launched this process share a letter sent Saturday to the Director of National Intelligence. “The purpose of this letter is to formally notify you of serious concerns we have regarding our client’s personal safety,” it reads. The concerns were created by Trump. “I want to know . . . who’s the person that gave the whistleblower the information, because that’s close to a spy,” the president said Thursday at an event in New York. “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? With spies and treason, right? We used to handle them a little differently than we do now.”
10:36 a.m. The president’s 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton takes a stab at Trump’s Twitter crown with a seven-word tweet devoid of context. “The president is a corrupt human tornado,” it reads. She premiered the meteorological epithet last week with CBS News.
11:07 a.m. Letters have become as hip as tweets. Republican Sens. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa) and Ron Johnson (Wis.), release a new missive, dated Friday. The senators ask Attorney General William P. Barr to reveal any Justice Department investigation into alleged efforts by Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign or her allies to get Ukrainians to help dig up dirt on Trump and his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort. “Ukrainian efforts, abetted by a U.S. political party, to interfere in the 2016 election should not be ignored,” the senators write. Ukrainian officials have denied any effort to help Clinton in the 2016 election.
11:18 a.m. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) goes on CNBC to confirm what his office has previously made clear. If the House impeaches Trump, the Senate must hold a trial under Senate rule and precedent. “I would have no choice but to take it up,” McConnell says. This will come as a disappointment to Diamond and Silk, who call themselves “Trump’s Most Loyal Supporters” on Twitter. A few hours ago, they called on the GOP to “enforce the rules to end the games,” by which they meant McConnell should ignore the rules and not take up impeachment.
11:21 a.m. Ukraine’s former top law enforcement official Yuri Lutsenko, who took over after Shokin was fired, recounts yet again the efforts by Trump to pressure him to investigate the Biden family. In an interview in Kiev with the Los Angeles Times, Lutsenko says he told Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani there was no evidence that the former vice president or his son had broken Ukrainian laws. “I told him I could not start an investigation just for the interests of an American official,” he said. This restates comments he made to The Post last week. Earlier this year, Lutsenko told a conservative columnist for The Hill newspaper that he would be happy to share what he knew with Barr.
12:36 p.m. Trump’s Twitter tally today stands at 13 so far. He has denounced the “witch hunt,” called the whistleblower “Fake Whistleblower” and declared “the Bidens were corrupt!” He also raised the possibility that Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) should be arrested “for treason” for using words Trump never spoke to dramatize the president’s call to Ukraine. Trump tweets #fakewhistleblower in an effort to get the hashtag trending, but at the moment the top trending tags include #civilwarsignup and #civilwar2, both references to another tweet the president sent Sunday quoting a pastor warning of a “civil warlike fracture” if Trump is ever removed from office. Most of these tweets are not from Team Trump.
12:49 p.m. Another data point from the political twitter wars: Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) has about 25,700 retweets on his reaction to Trump’s civil war tweet, which reads, “@realDonaldTrump I have never imagined such a quote to be repeated by a President. This is beyond repugnant.” Trump’s original tweet, by contrast, only has 17,200 retweets.
2:39 p.m. In an Oval Office pool spray, Trump makes television of his morning tweets. “We’re trying to find out about a whistleblower,” Trump says. This may run counter to the whistleblower protections that are codified in law and rule. “In recognition of the importance of whistleblowing and whistleblowers to the effectiveness and efficiency of government, whistleblowing is protected by Federal laws, policies and regulations,” reads a Web page maintained by the Director of National Intelligence. “These protections ensure that lawful whistleblowers are protected from reprisal as a result of their Protected Disclosure.”
3:05 p.m. A national poll by Quinnipiac University finds that the share of American voters who support impeaching Trump has grown from 37 percent to 47 percent over one week. Among closely watched independents, the share opposing impeachment fell from 58 percent to 50 percent over the same period, while the share supporting impeachment rose from 34 percent to 42 percent. In a separate question, voters support the impeachment inquiry of Trump by a margin of 52 percent to 45 percent. That number closely tracks with Trump’s overall approval in the poll, with 53 percent disapproving of the way he is handling his job and 41 percent approving.
3:30 p.m. Schiff signs a fundraising text for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Rest assured I won’t back down from holding the president accountable, and neither will my Democratic colleagues,” he writes. “That’s why I’m reaching out.” The ask is $5.
3:55 p.m. The House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees release a subpoena demanding documents from Giuliani and three of his business associates. The documents concern 23 separate items, including communications about potential meetings with Barr or any of his associates.
4 p.m. CNN releases new national polling that closely tracks the Quinnipiac numbers. Young people are particularly drawn to the effort, with 65 percent younger than 35 saying they want to impeach and remove Trump from office, compared with 43 percent who felt that way in May.
4:07 p.m. The afternoon news dump begins. The Wall Street Journal reports that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took part in the July phone call between Trump and the new president of Ukraine. The source is a senior State Department official.
4:19 p.m. The New York Times reports that Trump pushed Australia’s prime minister to help gather information that he hopes will discredit the investigation by former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. The sources are two American officials with knowledge of the call. Australian officials tipped off the FBI in 2016 to alleged Russian overtures to a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser. The Russians were said to have boasted about having dirt on Clinton.
5:11 p.m. The Post reports that Barr has held private meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials seeking their help in a Justice Department inquiry that Trump hopes will discredit U.S. intelligence analysis of Russian interference in the 2016 election. This includes overtures to British, Australian and Italian officials. The sources are people familiar with the matter.