Nov 25, 2019

The state of play on impeachment for Thanksgiving week

Photo: Michael Brochstein/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The shortened Thanksgiving week promises far less public spectacle for the House impeachment inquiry, but it still could see several significant events.

Driving the news: A ruling is expected Monday on whether or not former White House counsel Don McGahn must testify under subpoena in the ongoing House impeachment inquiry.

  • The decision will be a key test for the Trump administration’s theory that its officials hold "absolute immunity" from congressional subpoenas.
  • House Democrats hope that some Trump administration members, including former national security advisor John Bolton, may use the ruling to justify cooperating with the inquiry.

More transcripts: The transcripts of closed-door depositions from Mark Sandy, an official in the Office of Management and Budget, and Philip Reeker, the State Department's head of European policy, could also be released.

  • Sandy told the House impeachment committees that the decision and process to freeze military aid to Ukraine was highly irregular, per CNN.
  • Reeker testified that he sought to protect former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch from a smear campaign led by President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, per the New York Times.

House Intel's report: The House Intelligence Committee is still working on its report summarizing both the closed-door and public impeachment hearings, reports Axios' Alayna Treene.

  • It'll then hand off the investigation to the House Judiciary Committee.

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House Judiciary Committee hears impeachment evidence

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Pool/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee heard the evidence behind the impeachment inquiry on Monday in a marathon nine-and-a-half hour hearing.

Why it matters: The committee is likely only days away from drafting formal articles of impeachment against President Trump — and this hearing was one of House Democrats' last chances to summarize their case against the president to the public.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 9, 2019

2 budget officials allegedly resigned over handling of Ukraine aid freeze

Photo: Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images

The House committees leading the impeachment inquiry released the remaining transcripts from their closed-door depositions on Tuesday.

Driving the news: Mark Sandy, a career official in the White House Office of Management and Budget, testified that he was told in a July 12 email that President Trump "is directing a hold on military support funding for Ukraine," but that he was not given a reason for the hold until early September. He also claimed that two staffers — one in OMB's legal division — resigned at least in part over the hold on Ukraine security assistance.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 26, 2019

McGahn appeals ruling ordering him to comply with House impeachment subpoena

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Monday that former White House counsel Don McGahn must testify under subpoena in the ongoing House impeachment inquiry, rejecting the White House's assertion that its aides are "absolutely immune" from congressional subpoenas. McGahn and the Justice Department appealed the ruling on Tuesday.

"When DOJ insists that Presidents can lawfully prevent their senior-level aides from responding to compelled congressional process and that neither the federal courts nor Congress has the power to do anything about it, DOJ promotes a conception of separation-of-powers principles that gets these constitutional commands exactly backwards. In reality, it is a core tenet of this Nation’s founding that the powers of a monarch must be split between the branches of the government to prevent tyranny."
— Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson
Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 26, 2019