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Westlake Legal Group > House Committee on Intelligence

Trump Officials Dispute Some Giuliani Call Logs in Bid to Weaken Democrats’ Case

Trump administration officials, seeking to weaken Democrats’ case for impeachment, disputed on Thursday some of the details in the House Intelligence Committee’s report about calls between President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and White House aides.

As part of its portrait of Mr. Trump’s campaign of pressure on Ukraine, the committee’s report released this week listed several calls between Mr. Giuliani and White House phone numbers, including one “associated with” the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, cited in the report simply as “O.M.B. number.”

Such calls suggested contact between Mr. Giuliani and key officials at significant moments during Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. The budget office was involved in the administration’s freeze on $391 million in security aid for Ukraine, a key lever in the president’s pressure campaign.

But the phone number is a generic White House switchboard number beginning with “395,” people familiar with the phone records said. While government directories list it as associated with the budget office, they also show the number as associated with offices in other parts of the White House, including the upper floors of the West Wing and the National Security Council.

A review of budget office call logs showed that no one spoke with Mr. Giuliani around the times of the calls in April and August, an O.M.B. official said. Mr. Giuliani did not speak with Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff and director of the budget office, whose name has come up in testimony about the aid freeze, a White House official said.

Still, administration officials have not contested the broader assertion that the impeachment report made with the call records: that Mr. Giuliani was in close contact with the White House as he carried out a shadow Ukraine policy pressing its new president to announce investigations that could benefit Mr. Trump politically.

Westlake Legal Group read-the-document-1575399772992-articleLarge Trump Officials Dispute Some Giuliani Call Logs in Bid to Weaken Democrats’ Case United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Office of Management and Budget (US) impeachment House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W

Read the House Democrats’ Report on the Impeachment Inquiry

Democrats on three House committees on Tuesday released a report documenting the impeachment case against President Trump.

Asked about the call labeling in the impeachment report, a senior Intelligence Committee official said the phone numbers appeared to be associated with the budget office based on public government directories.

The committee was still investigating the call records, including those identified in the report as connected to the budget office, said the official, who like others was not authorized to speak publicly.

The committee issued subpoenas to the White House and Mr. Giuliani asking for records that the official said would “clarify” who at the White House spoke with him. But both the White House and Mr. Giuliani defied those demands.

Mr. Giuliani has given different answers publicly about whether he spoke with anyone at the budget office.

On Tuesday, he told The New York Times that he had nothing to do with the administration’s decision to withhold aid from Ukraine, which is fighting a war against Russian-backed forces in its east, and that his conversations with officials at the budget office related to other issues.

“I never discussed military assistance,” he said. “I am expert on so many things it could have been some very esoteric subject.”

But on Wednesday, he texted CNN that he did not “remember calling O.M.B. and not about military aid never knew anything about it.”

Mr. Giuliani did not respond to a message seeking comment on Thursday.

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Giuliani, Facing Scrutiny, Travels to Europe to Interview Ukrainians

Westlake Legal Group 04dc-rudy1-facebookJumbo Giuliani, Facing Scrutiny, Travels to Europe to Interview Ukrainians Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Shokin, Viktor Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Presidential Election of 2020 Presidential Election of 2016 One America Lutsenko, Yuri V Klitschko, Vitali KIEV, Ukraine House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W BUDAPEST, Hungary Biden, Joseph R Jr Artemenko, Andrii V

WASHINGTON — Even as Democrats intensified their scrutiny this week of Rudolph W. Giuliani’s role in the pressure campaign against the Ukrainian government that is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, Mr. Giuliani has been in Europe continuing his efforts to shift the focus to purported wrongdoing by President Trump’s political rivals.

Mr. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, met in Budapest on Tuesday with a former Ukrainian prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, who has become a key figure in the impeachment inquiry. He then traveled to Kyiv on Wednesday seeking to meet with other former Ukrainian prosecutors whose claims have been embraced by Republicans, including Viktor Shokin and Kostiantyn H. Kulyk, according to people familiar with the effort.

The former prosecutors, who have faced allegations of corruption, all played some role in promoting claims about former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a former United States ambassador to Ukraine and Ukrainians who disseminated damaging information about Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, in 2016.

Those claims — some baseless and others with key disputed elements — have been the foundations of the effort by Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani to pressure the Ukrainian government to commit itself to investigations that would benefit Mr. Trump heading into his re-election campaign. That effort in turn has led to the impeachment proceedings in the House against the president.

Mr. Giuliani is using the trip, which has not been previously reported, to help prepare more episodes of a documentary series for a conservative television outlet promoting his pro-Trump, anti-impeachment narrative. His latest moves to advance the theories propounded by the prosecutors amount to an audacious effort to give the president’s supporters new material to undercut the House impeachment proceedings and an eventual Senate trial.

It was Mr. Giuliani’s earlier interactions with some of the same Ukrainian characters that set the stage for the impeachment inquiry in the first place, and also led to an investigation by federal prosecutors into whether Mr. Giuliani violated federal lobbying laws.

Mr. Giuliani’s trip has generated concern in some quarters of the State Department, coming amid scrutiny of his work with American diplomats earlier this year on the pressure campaign. His trip to Budapest and Kyiv suggests that he is unbowed by the intense scrutiny that has enveloped him and his associates, including revelations from the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday of frequent calls from Mr. Giuliani to the White House and other figures in the pressure campaign at key moments this year.

The European trip was organized around the filming of a multipart television series featuring Mr. Giuliani that is being produced and aired by a conservative cable channel, One America News, or OAN.

The series, the first two installments of which have already aired, is being promoted as a Republican alternative to the impeachment hearings, including Ukrainian “witnesses” whom House Democrats running the inquiry declined to call. Some of the Ukrainians interviewed by Mr. Giuliani were sworn in on camera to “testify under oath” in a manner that the network claims “debunks the impeachment hoax.”

Mr. Giuliani was joined in Budapest by an OAN crew, including the reporter hosting the series, Chanel Rion, who conducted an interview in the Hungarian capital with Mr. Lutsenko, according to someone familiar with the interview.

Earlier this year, Mr. Lutsenko played a formative role in what became Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign, meeting with Mr. Giuliani in New York, where he made claims about a gas company that paid Mr. Biden’s son as a board member and the dissemination of a secret ledger listing slush payments from a Russia-aligned Ukrainian political party earmarked to Mr. Manafort and others. When The New York Times revealed the payments earmarked to Mr. Manafort in August 2016, it forced him to resign under pressure from the Trump campaign.

Mr. Lutsenko, whom Mr. Giuliani considered representing as a client, is facing allegations in Ukraine of abuse of power during his years as a prosecutor and was characterized by some American officials in the impeachment inquiry as untrustworthy. But his office moved to pursue investigations sought by Mr. Trump, and he was praised by the president as a “very good prosecutor” during a July 25 phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

Mr. Lutsenko discussed some of the subjects into which Mr. Trump sought investigations during his interview on Tuesday with Ms. Rion, said the person familiar with the interview.

Also joining Mr. Giuliani and the OAN crew in Budapest were two former Ukrainian officials who have been supportive of Mr. Trump, Andrii Telizhenko and Andrii V. Artemenko.

The pair, along with a third former Ukrainian official, Mykhaylo Okhendovsky, recorded interviews at OAN’s studios in Washington late last month with Ms. Rion and Mr. Giuliani for an episode of the series that aired on Tuesday night.

The three Ukrainians questioned the Democrats’ case for impeachment during the episode. And they asserted that Mr. Trump had ample reason to ask Mr. Zelensky during their July 25 phone call to investigate the Bidens and whether Ukrainians acted improperly to damage Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The July 25 call helped trigger a whistle-blower complaint about the pressure wielded by Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani against Mr. Zelensky, and the whistle-blower complaint incited the impeachment inquiry into whether Mr. Trump abused his power for political gain.

In the OAN episode broadcast on Tuesday, Mr. Telizhenko reiterated his claims that, while working in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in 2016, he was instructed to help a Democratic operative gather incriminating information about Mr. Manafort. The Ukrainian Embassy has denied his account.

Mr. Artemenko, a former member of Parliament, and Mr. Okhendovsky, the former chairman of Ukraine’s Central Election Commission, both called into question the authenticity of the ledger listing payments to Mr. Manafort.

Ms. Rion falsely claimed on air that the Democratic operative connected to the Ukrainian Embassy, who has become a frequent target of House Republicans, provided the ledger to The Times. She declared that her interviews with Mr. Telizhenko, Mr. Artemenko and Mr. Okhendovsky “pulls the rug out from under” Democrats’ “central premise that Trump was wrong to ask about Joe Biden and the Democrat party’s starring role in Ukrainian corruption.”

Ms. Rion, Mr. Telizhenko, Mr. Artemenko and the White House did not respond to requests for comment.

Mr. Giuliani rejected any notion that it was audacious or risky for him to continue pursuing the Ukrainian mission, given the scrutiny of him by impeachment investigators and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, or S.D.N.Y.

“If S.D.N.Y. leaks and Democrats’ threats stopped me, then I should find a new profession,” he wrote in a text message on Wednesday.

Asked about his interview with Mr. Lutsenko and efforts to interview other Ukrainian prosecutors, he responded that “like a good lawyer, I am gathering evidence to defend my client against the false charges being leveled against him” by the news media and Democrats.

He accused Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which conducted impeachment hearings last month, of preventing testimony that could help Mr. Trump. “I am hoping that the evidence concealed by Schiff will be available to the public as they evaluate his outrageous, unconstitutional behavior.”

He did not respond to a question about whether he briefed Mr. Trump on his trip or his involvement in the OAN series, but he has said that he keeps Mr. Trump apprised of his efforts related to Ukraine.

In a news release Tuesday, OAN indicated that the third installment of its series with Mr. Giuliani was “currently in the works with OAN investigative staff outside the United States conducting key interviews at undisclosed safe houses.” It said the network would release additional details “upon return of OAN staff to U.S. soil.”

In Budapest, Mr. Giuliani had dinner on Tuesday night at the residence of the United States ambassador to Hungary, David B. Cornstein, a longtime friend and associate of both Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani.

A businessman who made a fortune operating jewelry counters inside department stores and worked in Mr. Giuliani’s New York mayoral administration, Mr. Cornstein has courted Viktor Orban, Hungary’s authoritarian prime minister, who in turn has provided fodder for Mr. Trump’s critical view of Ukraine.

A spokesman for the American Embassy in Budapest issued a statement describing the Tuesday night get-together as “a private dinner” hosted by the ambassador “with his longtime friend,” Mr. Giuliani, and Mr. Giuliani’s assistant. “No one else was present at the dinner.”

A reporter who showed up outside the ambassador’s residence during the dinner was turned away by a security guard.

Some State Department officials said they were tracking Mr. Giuliani’s continued efforts to engage the Ukrainians with concern. One department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a politically sensitive topic, called it “shocking” that, in the face of scrutiny of his prior efforts related to Ukraine, Mr. Giuliani was traveling internationally in continued pursuit of information from Ukrainians.

One of the former prosecutors with whom Mr. Giuliani is seeking to meet in Kyiv is Mr. Shokin, who claims his ouster was forced by Mr. Biden to prevent investigations into the gas company paying Mr. Biden’s son Hunter Biden. Allies of the oligarch who owns the gas company say they welcomed Mr. Shokin’s firing, but not because he was actively investigating the company or the oligarch. Rather, they say, he was using the threat of prosecution to try to solicit bribes.

Another prosecutor with whom Mr. Giuliani was seeking to meet, Mr. Kulyk, had compiled a seven-page dossier in English accusing Hunter Biden of corruption, and had taken steps to pursue an investigation into Burisma Holdings, the gas company on whose board Hunter Biden served. Mr. Kulyk was fired recently by Mr. Zelensky’s new top prosecutor as part of an anti-corruption initiative.

OAN’s crew hopes to interview the former prosecutors as well, Ms. Rion suggested during the first episode of the series, which aired late last month.

Kenneth P. Vogel reported from Washington, and Benjamin Novak from Budapest.

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A Mysterious ‘-1’ and Other Call Records Show How Giuliani Pressured Ukraine

WASHINGTON — In the two days before President Trump forced out the American ambassador to Ukraine in April, his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was on the phone with the White House more than a dozen times.

Phone records cited in the impeachment report released Tuesday by the House Intelligence Committee illustrate the sprawling reach of Mr. Giuliani’s campaign first to remove the ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch, then to force Ukraine’s new government to announce criminal investigations for Mr. Trump’s political gain.

That effort accelerated through the spring and summer into a full-court press to force Ukraine’s new president to accede to Mr. Trump’s wishes or risk losing $391 million in military assistance desperately needed to hold off Russian-led forces waging a separatist war in eastern Ukraine.

From March 26 to Aug. 8, as he developed an irregular foreign policy channel that eventually sidelined both National Security Council and State Department aides, Mr. Giuliani — who is not a government employee — was in touch with top-ranking officials, the newly revealed call records suggested.

He reached out to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; the national security adviser at the time, John R. Bolton; Representative Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee itself; midlevel White House officials; the Fox News host Sean Hannity; a conservative columnist; an associate who has been charged in a scheme related to Ms. Yovanovitch’s ouster; and the owner of a mysterious number, “-1.”

Investigators are trying to determine whether the unidentified phone number belongs to Mr. Trump, said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, who leads the House Intelligence Committee. If so, the phone calls with Mr. Giuliani could be further evidence of the president’s direct involvement in the Ukraine affair.

Westlake Legal Group read-the-document-1575399772992-articleLarge A Mysterious ‘-1’ and Other Call Records Show How Giuliani Pressured Ukraine Yovanovitch, Marie L United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Pompeo, Mike Patel, Kashyap Parnas, Lev Nunes, Devin G National Security Council impeachment House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W

Read the House Democrats’ Report on the Impeachment Inquiry

Democrats on three House committees on Tuesday released a report documenting the impeachment case against President Trump.

The report gave no indication of what conversations took place or how investigators obtained the telephone records, which were apparently produced in response to a subpoena to AT&T. Nonetheless, the timing and volume of the calls buttressed testimony by witnesses who portrayed Mr. Giuliani at the center of a shadow foreign policy that dismayed and baffled many in the administration.

The call records showed “considerable coordination among the parties, including the White House” to falsely portray Ms. Yovanovitch as disloyal to the president and to manipulate administration policy for his personal benefit, Mr. Schiff told reporters.

The report detailed a game of phone tag between the -1 phone number and Mr. Giuliani on Aug. 8. That same week, Mr. Giuliani was vigorously pressing State Department officials to persuade President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations into the Biden family and whether Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election.

Mr. Giuliani missed calls from -1 on Aug. 8 to two of his cellphones. Mr. Giuliani then called the White House switchboard and the White House Situation Room, before connecting with -1.

Circumstantial evidence shows that some of the -1 calls involved Mr. Trump, Mr. Schiff said, adding that his committee was working “to find out definitively.”

House investigators suspect that the number may belong to Mr. Trump in part because of phone records used as evidence in the criminal case against Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime friend and former campaign adviser who was convicted last month of seven felonies, including lying to Congress. Mr. Stone, who talked directly to Mr. Trump, received a call from a number listed only as -1, the records from his trial show.

Mr. Schiff declined to say how the committee obtained the phone records.

Mr. Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine are under intense scrutiny by federal prosecutors as well as congressional investigators. Prosecutors in New York are looking into whether he violated foreign lobbying laws in trying to oust the American ambassador and also scrutinizing any financial dealings he might have pursued with Ukrainian officials. Two of his associates — including one whose records were also in the House report, Lev Parnas — have been indicted on charges of violating campaign finance laws and other infractions.

State Department phone records cited in the House report show Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Pompeo spoke on March 26 and 28. In an interview in late November, Mr. Giuliani said he spoke to Mr. Pompeo to give him the results of his Ukraine research, including the role he believes that Ukrainians played trying to disrupt Mr. Trump’s 2016 election campaign.

At the time, Mr. Pompeo was under pressure from both Mr. Giuliani and the White House to remove Ms. Yovanovitch from her post. A month later, she was recalled to Washington, even though multiple high-ranking State Department officials testified that she had done nothing wrong.

The records of Mr. Giuliani’s calls also suggest that Mr. Nunes may have played a deeper role than was previously known in Mr. Giuliani’s efforts to manipulate the administration’s policy toward Ukraine.

On April 10, Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Nunes traded short calls before Mr. Giuliani reached Mr. Nunes and the two spoke for about three minutes.

While the subject of their conversation is not known, they were most likely speaking about Ukraine, the report suggested. In the days beforehand, Mr. Giuliani said on Fox News that Ukraine had improperly interfered in the 2016 election and posted on Twitter citing criticism of Ms. Yovanovitch and accusing Ukrainian officials of interfering in American politics.

During the impeachment hearings, Mr. Nunes led the defense of Mr. Trump, repeatedly raising questions about Ukraine’s role in the 2016 election and urging an investigation into Hunter Biden, the younger son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, who was hired onto the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Mr. Schiff raised questions about Mr. Nunes’s role. “It is, I think, deeply concerning that at a time when the president of the United States was using the power of his office to dig up dirt on a political rival, that there may be evidence that there were members of Congress complicit in that activity,” Mr. Schiff said.

Mr. Nunes ignored questions about the call records in the Capitol, and his spokesman did not respond to requests for comment. But Republican leaders backed him on Tuesday. “Devin Nunes has a right to talk to anybody,” Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the top Republican in the House, told reporters.

Mr. Giuliani also spoke with current and former members of Mr. Nunes’s staff, including Kashyap Patel, who left Mr. Nunes’s office in February and joined the National Security Council staff to work on issues involving the United Nations and other international organizations. The two men had a 25-minute call on May 10, according to the records, despite the fact that Mr. Bolton, then the national security adviser, had said that no one in his office should be talking to Mr. Giuliani, according to congressional testimony.

Mr. Patel had no formal responsibility for Ukraine policy, and Fiona Hill, then a senior aide to Mr. Bolton, had raised questions about whether he was straying from his official portfolio. She asked Charles Kupperman, then Mr. Bolton’s top deputy, in late May whether Mr. Patel had assumed a role in Ukraine matters but received no answer, according to the impeachment report.

After The New York Times published an article in October about Ms. Hill’s testimony, Mr. Patel filed a defamation lawsuit against the news organization. In that lawsuit, Mr. Patel denied he “played a role in shadow foreign policy” aimed at pushing Ukraine to pursue investigations sought by Mr. Trump.

A National Security Council spokesman declined to comment when asked about Mr. Giuliani’s phone call with Mr. Patel.

Nicholas Fandos and Kenneth P. Vogel contributed reporting.

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Impeachment Report Says Trump Solicited Foreign Election Interference

WASHINGTON — House Democrats on Tuesday released a 300-page impeachment report asserting that President Trump abused his power by trying to enlist Ukraine to help him in the 2020 presidential election. The report said that Mr. Trump “placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the United States,” seeking to undermine American democracy and endangering national security.

The document, drawn up by the House Intelligence Committee that has led the inquiry into Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, left it to another panel to decide whether to recommend his impeachment and removal. But it laid out in searing fashion what are all but certain to be the grounds on which the Democratic-led House moves to impeach the president.

The lengthy document outlined more than two months of public and private testimony from diplomats and other administration officials who described a campaign by the president and his allies to pressure Ukraine for investigations of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other Democrats, while withholding nearly $400 million in military assistance and a White House meeting for Ukraine’s president.

“The impeachment inquiry into Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States, uncovered a monthslong effort by President Trump to use the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election,” said the report, released ahead of a vote Tuesday evening by the Intelligence Committee to formally approve it. It asserts that Mr. Trump’s “scheme subverted U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine and undermined our national security in favor of two politically motivated investigations that would help his presidential re-election campaign.”

Westlake Legal Group read-the-document-1575399772992-articleLarge Impeachment Report Says Trump Solicited Foreign Election Interference washington dc Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B House Committee on the Judiciary House Committee on Intelligence

Read the House Democrats’ Report on the Impeachment Inquiry

Democrats on three House committees on Tuesday released a report documenting the impeachment case against President Trump.

The report also lays out what it calls an “unprecedented campaign of obstruction of this impeachment inquiry” by Mr. Trump, in light of his move to prevent the release of documents from agencies including the State Department, the Department of Defense and the White House budget office and instructing potential witnesses not to cooperate.

“The damage to our system of checks and balances, and to the balance of power within our three branches of government, will be long-lasting and potentially irrevocable if the president’s ability to stonewall Congress goes unchecked,” the report concluded. “Any future president will feel empowered to resist an investigation into their own wrongdoing, malfeasance, or corruption, and the result will be a nation at far greater risk of all three.”

The report is a watershed moment for the months-old inquiry. Its delivery sets in motion the next phase in the impeachment of Mr. Trump, accelerating a constitutional clash that has happened only three times in the nation’s history. Both parties are poised for a fierce, partisan debate in the House Judiciary Committee over whether the president should be removed from office.

The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin its debate on Wednesday with a public hearing that features four constitutional scholars discussing the historical standards for impeachment and their assessment about whether Mr. Trump’s actions constitute “high crimes and misdemeanors” that warrant his removal from office.

Lawyers for the Intelligence Committee are expected to formally present the report to the Judiciary panel and answer questions from its members in the coming days, though no hearing has been scheduled. Mr. Trump’s Republican allies on Capitol Hill released their own report on Monday, condemning the Democratic impeachment effort as illegitimate, and asserting that the president was not seeking personal political advantage when he pressed Ukraine’s leaders to investigate his rivals, but was instead urging the country to address corruption.

In London for a NATO meeting, Mr. Trump accused Democrats of trying to overturn the results of the 2016 elections, saying the impeachment inquiry “turned out to be a hoax.”

“It’s done for purely political gain,” Mr. Trump continued. “They’re going to see whether or not they can do something in 2020, because otherwise they’re going to lose.”

The Intelligence Committee is also expected to vote to transmit all the raw evidence it collected to the Judiciary Committee. Though Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the Intelligence panels, has indicated that investigative work could continue, the report largely brings an end his committee’s inquiry, which began after Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally opened the impeachment inquiry in late September.

The Judiciary Committee will also consider potential evidence presented by other investigative committees — and renew an earlier debate among Democrats over whether Mr. Trump should be impeached for his attempts to thwart attempts by Robert S. Mueller III, the former special counsel, to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and any connections to the Trump campaign.

If a majority of the House voted to approve articles of impeachment, which would be drafted by the Judiciary Committee, the president would be impeached. The proceedings would move to the Senate for a trial. Two-thirds of senators would have to vote to convict Mr. Trump to end his presidency.

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Intelligence Panel to Release Impeachment Report Soon After Thanksgiving

WASHINGTON — Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee plan to deliver a report soon after Thanksgiving making the case for impeaching President Trump, the chairman said on Monday, moving quickly to escalate what he called “urgent” evidence of wrongdoing by the president.

Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the Intelligence Committee chairman, wrote in a letter to colleagues that after two months of inquiry amid consistent stonewalling by Mr. Trump, his panel has uncovered “massive amounts of evidence” pointing to misconduct and “corrupt intent” by the president.

The evidence will be detailed in a report being drafted for public release and transmittal to the House Judiciary Committee shortly after lawmakers return from their holiday break, Mr. Schiff wrote. The Judiciary panel is expected to promptly draft and debate articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump based on its findings.

“The president has accepted or enlisted foreign nations to interfere in our upcoming elections, including the next one; this is an urgent matter that cannot wait if we are to protect the nation’s security and the integrity of our elections,” Mr. Schiff wrote.

His committee has collected dozens of hours of testimony supporting the underlying allegation at the center of the impeachment inquiry: that the president used the powers of his office to pressure Ukraine to discredit his political rivals — by pressuring its leader to announce investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and an unsupported theory that Democrats conspired with Ukraine to interfere in the 2016 election.

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-investigation-tracker-promo-1570214529724-articleLarge-v4 Intelligence Panel to Release Impeachment Report Soon After Thanksgiving Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B House Committee on the Judiciary House Committee on Intelligence

Testimony and Evidence Collected in the Trump Impeachment Inquiry

The status of the documents and witness testimony being collected by congressional investigators.

“As the evidence conclusively shows, President Trump conditioned official acts — a White House meeting desperately desired by the new Ukrainian president and critical U.S. military assistance — on Ukraine announcing sham, politically motivated investigations that would help President Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign,” Mr. Schiff said, encapsulating what is likely to be the core of Democrats’ report.

Mr. Schiff did not put a precise date on the delivery of his report to the Judiciary Committee, but the rough timeline he outlined would put Democrats on track to vote on impeachment articles by the end of the year, barring unexpected complications or a collapse in support within their caucus. If they are successful, a trial to determine whether Mr. Trump will be acquitted or removed from office would follow in the Senate.

At this point, Democrats expect to get little to no Republican support. The president’s allies have united firmly behind him to argue either that the facts laid out by senior diplomats and administration officials are incorrect, or that they simply do not merit impeachment.

The Judiciary Committee is expected in the coming days to announce public impeachment hearings to take place next week to hear the evidence on Ukraine and to begin to draft and debate impeachment articles, which are roughly analogous to charges in a courtroom trial. They could also convene sessions with expert witnesses to define impeachable offenses and offer Mr. Trump and his legal team a chance to present a defense or exculpatory evidence.

Mr. Schiff said that his committee would continue investigative work as it drafts its written report, and he said he could not rule out additional witness depositions or public hearings. The committee already conducted 17 private witness interviews and questioned a dozen of those witnesses in public in nationally televised hearings over the last two weeks.

“Even as we draft our report, we are open to the possibility that further evidence will come to light, whether in the form of witnesses who provide testimony or documents that become available,” Mr. Schiff said.

He also indicated that the Intelligence Committee was compiling a “catalog the instances of noncompliance with lawful subpoenas” as a part of its report so the Judiciary Committee could consider drafting an article of impeachment charging the president with obstructing Congress. Mr. Schiff noted in his letter that the Judiciary Committee approved an article along those lines in 1974 as it recommended the impeachment of Richard M. Nixon.

Republicans are said to be drafting their own dissenting views to accompany the report.

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New Documents Reveal Details of Pompeo’s Role in Ukraine Affair

Westlake Legal Group merlin_163180182_ee094740-6437-4488-a6b2-1349cc553dd5-facebookJumbo New Documents Reveal Details of Pompeo’s Role in Ukraine Affair Yovanovitch, Marie L United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Pompeo, Mike House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates

WASHINGTON — Internal State Department emails and documents released late Friday further implicate Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a campaign orchestrated this year by President Trump and his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to pressure Ukraine for political favors.

The emails indicate that Mr. Pompeo spoke at least twice by telephone with Mr. Giuliani in March as Mr. Giuliani was urging Ukraine to investigate Mr. Trump’s rivals, and trying to oust a respected American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch, who had been promoting anticorruption efforts in the country. Mr. Pompeo ordered Ms. Yovanovitch’s removal the next month. One call between Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Pompeo was arranged with guidance from Mr. Trump’s personal assistant, the documents suggest.

The documents also show that the State Department sent members of Congress a deliberately misleading reply about Ms. Yovanovitch’s departure after they asked about pressure on her. As part of the effort to oust her, Mr. Giuliani and his associates encouraged news outlets favorable to the president to publicize unsubstantiated claims about Ms. Yovanovitch’s disloyalty to Mr. Trump.

The documents, and recent congressional testimonies in the impeachment inquiry, tie Mr. Pompeo closely to efforts by Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani to persuade the Ukrainian government to announce investigations that could help Mr. Trump politically. Those include investigations into the family of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a Democratic presidential candidate, and unfounded claims that Ukrainian officials worked to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. As Mr. Trump sought those investigations, he and his team held up $391 million of military aid critical to Ukraine — which is in a grinding war against Russian-backed separatists — and a coveted White House meeting.

The release of the documents, obtained by a liberal watchdog group that had filed a public records request, came as Mr. Pompeo refused to voluntarily hand over State Department documents about Ukraine to the House committees leading the impeachment inquiry. Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on Wednesday that Mr. Pompeo was engaged in a Watergate-style “obstruction of this investigation.”

The State Department released the documents in response to a lawsuit brought by the liberal watchdog, American Oversight, whose founders include lawyers who worked in the Obama administration.

Austin Evers, the executive director of the group, said that the documents revealed “a clear paper trail from Rudy Giuliani to the Oval Office to Secretary Pompeo to facilitate Giuliani’s smear campaign against a U.S. ambassador.”

Mr. Pompeo has refused to answer questions about his role in the Ukraine affair. The State Department did not reply on Saturday to detailed questions about the documents or witness testimonies in the inquiry that put the secretary at the center of the matter.

The documents bolstered testimony delivered Wednesday by Gordon D. Sondland, the American ambassador to the European Union and a player in the pressure campaign on Ukraine. He told lawmakers in a public hearing that Mr. Pompeo had full knowledge of the campaign and even approved certain hard-line tactics. Mr. Pompeo and his top aides “knew what we were doing, and why,” Mr. Sondland said, noting that “everyone was in the loop.” He recited email exchanges he had had with Mr. Pompeo on the pressure campaign.

Last month, Mr. Pompeo acknowledged he took part in the July 25 telephone call between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

The documents, testimony and interviews with Mr. Giuliani paint a portrait of a secretary of state who not only had intimate knowledge of the pressure campaign against Ukraine and the effort to undermine and remove a respected ambassador, but took part in her ouster despite warnings about the campaign from lawmakers and a half-dozen former ambassadors to Ukraine.

The emails released Friday show that Mr. Giuliani’s assistant reached out to Mr. Trump’s assistant seeking “a good number” for Mr. Pompeo. “I’ve been trying and getting nowhere through regular channels,” Mr. Giuliani’s assistant wrote. Mr. Trump’s assistant forwarded the inquiry to a State Department official, and one call between Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Pompeo took place within days, the emails show.

The emails also show that Mr. Pompeo was scheduled to call Representative Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, and a key ally of the president’s, just a few days after he spoke with Mr. Giuliani.

The emails do not have details of the telephone conversations.

But in an interview last month, Mr. Giuliani acknowledged that he spoke to Mr. Pompeo in late March — the same period as the calls listed in the emails released Friday — to relay information he had gathered during his Ukrainian research.

In connection with one such conversation, Mr. Giuliani said he provided Mr. Pompeo a timeline listing what he considered to be key events implicating targets of Mr. Trump, including the Bidens, Ms. Yovanovitch and Ukrainians whom Mr. Giuliani said had disseminated damaging information about Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

Shortly after, Mr. Pompeo “called and said, ‘Do you have any backup?’” Mr. Giuliani said in the interview.

In response, Mr. Giuliani said, he had someone hand-deliver to Mr. Pompeo’s office an envelope containing a series of memos detailing claims made by a pair of Ukrainian prosecutors in interviews conducted by Mr. Giuliani and his associates in January.

Mr. Pompeo “said he was referring it for investigation,” Mr. Giuliani said, adding that he had since heard that the matters detailed in the memos were referred to the State Department’s inspector general and the F.B.I.

Last month, the department’s inspector general turned over to congressional impeachment investigators a package of materials, including the memos and the timeline, in a Trump Hotel-branded envelope, prompting widespread puzzlement on Capitol Hill about its provenance.

The memos and the timeline were among the materials included in the document release on Friday.

Mr. Giuliani said the memos were written by a retired New York City police detective who works for Mr. Giuliani’s security consulting business and were modeled after the so-called 302 forms that F.B.I. agents file after conducting interviews.

“My guy ­— a former first-grade detective — wrote up what would be the 302,” Mr. Giuliani said. “They’re knockoffs of the 302s,” he added.

The memos include a mix of facts and unsubstantiated claims. They cite documents from Latvia and billing invoices. And they misspell the name of one of the Ukrainian prosecutors.

The memos indicate that the police detective was present for the interviews, as were Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, Soviet-born associates who helped Mr. Giuliani connect to the prosecutors and gather information from Kyiv. Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman were indicted last month on campaign finance charges, in a case that is tied to an investigation into Mr. Giuliani for possible violations of lobbying laws.

Since at least spring 2018, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman had pushed for Ms. Yovanovitch’s ouster.

The effort gained traction this spring when figures in the conservative news media claimed without evidence that Ms. Yovanovitch had privately disparaged Mr. Trump, and also cited the allegations by the Ukrainian prosecutors.

A letter to the State Department from two senior Democratic lawmakers in the House dated April 12 — just days before Ms. Yovanovitch was ordered to leave her post — said they were concerned by “outrageous efforts by Ukrainian officials to impugn” her. Ms. Yovanovitch, a career official, has served as an ambassador for Republican and Democratic presidents.

The reply from the agency, dated June 1, left the impression that Ms. Yovanovitch departed her post on May 20 because she had been scheduled to rotate out after three years, rather than indicating that she had been forced to leave.

The documents also include a letter dated April 5 from six former United States ambassadors to Ukraine to top State Department officials under Mr. Pompeo. In the letter, the former ambassadors said that they were “deeply concerned” about the charges against Ms. Yovanovitch that had emerged in the news media reports and that the accusations were “simply wrong.”

In late March, Ms. Yovanovitch told the third-ranking State Department official, David Hale, that she felt she could no longer continue in her role unless the department issued a statement in her defense. Mr. Hale briefed Mr. Pompeo about the conversation the next day, he testified to House investigators last week.

After looking into the right-wing campaign against Ms. Yovanovitch — even contacting Sean Hannity, the Fox News personality, to ask for details of wrongdoing — Mr. Pompeo believed that “there was no evidence” to support the allegations, Mr. Hale said in an earlier private testimony to lawmakers. But Mr. Pompeo ultimately chose not to issue a statement of support. (Mr. Hannity has denied any such call.)

John Sullivan, the deputy secretary of state, told senators last month that top State Department officials were aware of the smear campaign against Ms. Yovanovitch. Mr. Sullivan said he believed Mr. Giuliani was behind it.

In his retelling, Mr. Sullivan asked Mr. Pompeo why the president wanted to remove Ms. Yovanovitch. “I was told that he had lost confidence in her, period,” Mr. Sullivan said.

Representative Eliot Engel of New York, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and one of the lawmakers who sent the letter to Mr. Pompeo expressing concern over the smear campaign, said he initially found the department’s response “equally frustrating and baffling.”

“Now that we know more facts it makes sense: Secretary Pompeo was apparently helping the president with his scheme to get political help from the Ukrainians, and Ambassador Yovanovitch was standing in the way,” Mr. Engel said. “Six months later, Mr. Pompeo continues to defend the president’s behavior and defy congressional subpoenas for relevant information at the expense of the public servants he is unwilling to lead and defend.”

Mr. Pompeo has doubled down recently on his support of Mr. Trump’s demands on Ukraine. In several instances last month, Mr. Pompeo repeated an unsubstantiated claim by Mr. Trump — that Ukraine may have run an interference operation in the 2016 election. American intelligence officials and Fiona Hill, a Russia expert who served on Mr. Trump’s National Security Council, say that the falsehood has infected American discourse as part of a yearslong disinformation campaign by Russia.

Catie Edmondson contributed reporting.

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New Documents Reveal Details of Pompeo’s Role in Ukraine Affair

Westlake Legal Group merlin_163180182_ee094740-6437-4488-a6b2-1349cc553dd5-facebookJumbo New Documents Reveal Details of Pompeo’s Role in Ukraine Affair Yovanovitch, Marie L United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Pompeo, Mike House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates

WASHINGTON — Internal State Department emails and documents released late Friday further implicate Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a campaign orchestrated this year by President Trump and his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to pressure Ukraine for political favors.

The emails indicate that Mr. Pompeo spoke at least twice by telephone with Mr. Giuliani in March as Mr. Giuliani was urging Ukraine to investigate Mr. Trump’s rivals, and trying to oust a respected American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch, who had been promoting anticorruption efforts in the country. Mr. Pompeo ordered Ms. Yovanovitch’s removal the next month. One call between Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Pompeo was arranged with guidance from Mr. Trump’s personal assistant, the documents suggest.

The documents also show that the State Department sent members of Congress a deliberately misleading reply about Ms. Yovanovitch’s departure after they asked about pressure on her. As part of the effort to oust her, Mr. Giuliani and his associates encouraged news outlets favorable to the president to publicize unsubstantiated claims about Ms. Yovanovitch’s disloyalty to Mr. Trump.

The documents, and recent congressional testimonies in the impeachment inquiry, tie Mr. Pompeo closely to efforts by Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani to persuade the Ukrainian government to announce investigations that could help Mr. Trump politically. Those include investigations into the family of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a Democratic presidential candidate, and unfounded claims that Ukrainian officials worked to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. As Mr. Trump sought those investigations, he and his team held up $391 million of military aid critical to Ukraine — which is in a grinding war against Russian-backed separatists — and a coveted White House meeting.

The release of the documents, obtained by a liberal watchdog group that had filed a public records request, came as Mr. Pompeo refused to voluntarily hand over State Department documents about Ukraine to the House committees leading the impeachment inquiry. Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on Wednesday that Mr. Pompeo was engaged in a Watergate-style “obstruction of this investigation.”

The State Department released the documents in response to a lawsuit brought by the liberal watchdog, American Oversight, whose founders include lawyers who worked in the Obama administration.

Austin Evers, the executive director of the group, said that the documents revealed “a clear paper trail from Rudy Giuliani to the Oval Office to Secretary Pompeo to facilitate Giuliani’s smear campaign against a U.S. ambassador.”

Mr. Pompeo has refused to answer questions about his role in the Ukraine affair. The State Department did not reply on Saturday to detailed questions about the documents or witness testimonies in the inquiry that put the secretary at the center of the matter.

The documents bolstered testimony delivered Wednesday by Gordon D. Sondland, the American ambassador to the European Union and a player in the pressure campaign on Ukraine. He told lawmakers in a public hearing that Mr. Pompeo had full knowledge of the campaign and even approved certain hard-line tactics. Mr. Pompeo and his top aides “knew what we were doing, and why,” Mr. Sondland said, noting that “everyone was in the loop.” He recited email exchanges he had had with Mr. Pompeo on the pressure campaign.

Last month, Mr. Pompeo acknowledged he took part in the July 25 telephone call between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

The documents, testimony and interviews with Mr. Giuliani paint a portrait of a secretary of state who not only had intimate knowledge of the pressure campaign against Ukraine and the effort to undermine and remove a respected ambassador, but took part in her ouster despite warnings about the campaign from lawmakers and a half-dozen former ambassadors to Ukraine.

The emails released Friday show that Mr. Giuliani’s assistant reached out to Mr. Trump’s assistant seeking “a good number” for Mr. Pompeo. “I’ve been trying and getting nowhere through regular channels,” Mr. Giuliani’s assistant wrote. Mr. Trump’s assistant forwarded the inquiry to a State Department official, and one call between Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Pompeo took place within days, the emails show.

The emails also show that Mr. Pompeo was scheduled to call Representative Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, and a key ally of the president’s, just a few days after he spoke with Mr. Giuliani.

The emails do not have details of the telephone conversations.

But in an interview last month, Mr. Giuliani acknowledged that he spoke to Mr. Pompeo in late March — the same period as the calls listed in the emails released Friday — to relay information he had gathered during his Ukrainian research.

In connection with one such conversation, Mr. Giuliani said he provided Mr. Pompeo a timeline listing what he considered to be key events implicating targets of Mr. Trump, including the Bidens, Ms. Yovanovitch and Ukrainians whom Mr. Giuliani said had disseminated damaging information about Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

Shortly after, Mr. Pompeo “called and said, ‘Do you have any backup?’” Mr. Giuliani said in the interview.

In response, Mr. Giuliani said, he had someone hand-deliver to Mr. Pompeo’s office an envelope containing a series of memos detailing claims made by a pair of Ukrainian prosecutors in interviews conducted by Mr. Giuliani and his associates in January.

Mr. Pompeo “said he was referring it for investigation,” Mr. Giuliani said, adding that he had since heard that the matters detailed in the memos were referred to the State Department’s inspector general and the F.B.I.

Last month, the department’s inspector general turned over to congressional impeachment investigators a package of materials, including the memos and the timeline, in a Trump Hotel-branded envelope, prompting widespread puzzlement on Capitol Hill about its provenance.

The memos and the timeline were among the materials included in the document release on Friday.

Mr. Giuliani said the memos were written by a retired New York City police detective who works for Mr. Giuliani’s security consulting business and were modeled after the so-called 302 forms that F.B.I. agents file after conducting interviews.

“My guy ­— a former first-grade detective — wrote up what would be the 302,” Mr. Giuliani said. “They’re knockoffs of the 302s,” he added.

The memos include a mix of facts and unsubstantiated claims. They cite documents from Latvia and billing invoices. And they misspell the name of one of the Ukrainian prosecutors.

The memos indicate that the police detective was present for the interviews, as were Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, Soviet-born associates who helped Mr. Giuliani connect to the prosecutors and gather information from Kyiv. Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman were indicted last month on campaign finance charges, in a case that is tied to an investigation into Mr. Giuliani for possible violations of lobbying laws.

Since at least spring 2018, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman had pushed for Ms. Yovanovitch’s ouster.

The effort gained traction this spring when figures in the conservative news media claimed without evidence that Ms. Yovanovitch had privately disparaged Mr. Trump, and also cited the allegations by the Ukrainian prosecutors.

A letter to the State Department from two senior Democratic lawmakers in the House dated April 12 — just days before Ms. Yovanovitch was ordered to leave her post — said they were concerned by “outrageous efforts by Ukrainian officials to impugn” her. Ms. Yovanovitch, a career official, has served as an ambassador for Republican and Democratic presidents.

The reply from the agency, dated June 1, left the impression that Ms. Yovanovitch departed her post on May 20 because she had been scheduled to rotate out after three years, rather than indicating that she had been forced to leave.

The documents also include a letter dated April 5 from six former United States ambassadors to Ukraine to top State Department officials under Mr. Pompeo. In the letter, the former ambassadors said that they were “deeply concerned” about the charges against Ms. Yovanovitch that had emerged in the news media reports and that the accusations were “simply wrong.”

In late March, Ms. Yovanovitch told the third-ranking State Department official, David Hale, that she felt she could no longer continue in her role unless the department issued a statement in her defense. Mr. Hale briefed Mr. Pompeo about the conversation the next day, he testified to House investigators last week.

After looking into the right-wing campaign against Ms. Yovanovitch — even contacting Sean Hannity, the Fox News personality, to ask for details of wrongdoing — Mr. Pompeo believed that “there was no evidence” to support the allegations, Mr. Hale said in an earlier private testimony to lawmakers. But Mr. Pompeo ultimately chose not to issue a statement of support. (Mr. Hannity has denied any such call.)

John Sullivan, the deputy secretary of state, told senators last month that top State Department officials were aware of the smear campaign against Ms. Yovanovitch. Mr. Sullivan said he believed Mr. Giuliani was behind it.

In his retelling, Mr. Sullivan asked Mr. Pompeo why the president wanted to remove Ms. Yovanovitch. “I was told that he had lost confidence in her, period,” Mr. Sullivan said.

Representative Eliot Engel of New York, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and one of the lawmakers who sent the letter to Mr. Pompeo expressing concern over the smear campaign, said he initially found the department’s response “equally frustrating and baffling.”

“Now that we know more facts it makes sense: Secretary Pompeo was apparently helping the president with his scheme to get political help from the Ukrainians, and Ambassador Yovanovitch was standing in the way,” Mr. Engel said. “Six months later, Mr. Pompeo continues to defend the president’s behavior and defy congressional subpoenas for relevant information at the expense of the public servants he is unwilling to lead and defend.”

Mr. Pompeo has doubled down recently on his support of Mr. Trump’s demands on Ukraine. In several instances last month, Mr. Pompeo repeated an unsubstantiated claim by Mr. Trump — that Ukraine may have run an interference operation in the 2016 election. American intelligence officials and Fiona Hill, a Russia expert who served on Mr. Trump’s National Security Council, say that the falsehood has infected American discourse as part of a yearslong disinformation campaign by Russia.

Catie Edmondson contributed reporting.

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They Toil Gladly Offstage. Impeachment Lands Them in the Spotlight.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 21dc-scene-articleLarge They Toil Gladly Offstage. Impeachment Lands Them in the Spotlight. Vindman, Alexander S United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Taylor, William B Jr House Committee on Intelligence Hill, Fiona (1965- ) Cooper, Laura K

Fiona Hill, President Trump’s former top adviser on Russia and Europe, on Thursday. As with other witnesses, she framed her service to the United States in terms of her immigrant experience. Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — They are, in a sense, the permanent, beating, bipartisan heart of the government of the United States.

They are deeply credentialed, polyglot, workaholic and respectful before Congress. They are graduates of Harvard and West Point, and veterans of Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. They take meticulous notes, are on key phone calls and give “readouts.”

Of the dozen witnesses who have testified in the House impeachment inquiry, 10 are career professionals — members of the “deep state” that President Trump derides — who normally toil far from television. But over the past two weeks of hearings, they have been enduring, if not enjoying, rare turns in the spotlight on Capitol Hill, at times in defiance of the White House.

They have put faces on a Washington bureaucracy often dismissed and disparaged. Their stories are compellingly human, uniquely American, often immigrant.

“I am an American by choice, having become a citizen in 2002,” Fiona Hill, the former top Europe and Russia expert at the White House, and one of three immigrants among the 10, told the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday. “I was born in the northeast of England, in the same region that George Washington’s ancestors came from.” As with other witnesses, she was eager to frame her service to the United States in terms of her immigrant experience.

“I can say with confidence that this country has offered me opportunities I never would have had in England,” said Ms. Hill, the descendant of coal miners. “I grew up poor, with a very distinctive working-class accent. In England in the 1980s and 1990s, this would have impeded my professional advancement.”

A similar note of first-generation gratitude came from Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the National Security Council’s Ukraine expert who testified Tuesday. He said he never could have spoken up about his concerns — that a phone call between Mr. Trump and the president of Ukraine was inappropriate — had his father not fled the Soviet Union four decades ago. On the contrary, he offered that as a reason he felt compelled to appear.

“In Russia, my act of expressing concern to the chain of command in an official and private channel would have severe personal and professional repercussions,” Colonel Vindman said. “Offering public testimony involving the president would surely cost me my life.”

The theme carried unmistakable subtexts. Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine, spoke of how undermined she felt when she learned of a smear campaign against her, ostensibly because she was viewed as unhelpful to Mr. Trump — “bad news” in his words.

“What U.S. ambassador could be blamed for harboring the fear that they can’t count on our government to support them,” Ms. Yovanovitch said last week, in an opening statement that also included a chronicle of how her father fled the Soviets and how her mother grew up “stateless” in Nazi Germany. “Their personal histories, my personal history, gave me both deep gratitude toward the United States and great empathy for others like the Ukrainian people who want to be free.”

The Republicans were not always impressed. Representative Devin Nunes of California, the ranking Republican on the Intelligence Committee, made repeated references to the witnesses “auditioning” for the right to play in “the Democrat’s star chamber.”

But an essential part of the witnesses’ refrain was that they have served multiple presidents of both parties. Anodyne in some ways, the point makes a statement central to the identity of so many civil servants who populate every administration.

“I take great pride in the fact that I am a nonpartisan foreign policy expert, who has served under three different Republican and Democratic presidents,” Ms. Hill told the committee.

Laura K. Cooper, a career Pentagon official, said on Wednesday, “I have proudly served two Democratic and two Republican presidents.”

William B. Taylor Jr., the top American diplomat in Ukraine, let people know where he stood last week exactly three paragraphs into his opening statement. “I am nonpartisan and have been appointed to my positions by every president from President Reagan to President Trump,” he said.

An uglier subtext questioned their patriotism. Colonel Vindman, who was born in Ukraine and came to the United States when he was 3, faced doubts about what nation he was actually committed to serving. In that hearing, Steve Castor, the counsel for the panel’s Republicans, pressed him about whether he considered accepting a job offer as the defense minister of his birth country.

Colonel Vindman said it would have been a great honor but quickly shot down the prospect. “I am an American,” he said. “I came here when I was a toddler and I immediately dismissed these offers.”

Although none of the witnesses were angling for cable news gigs, by the close of the last hearing on Thursday, they had become unwilling symbols of the Washington “establishment” — tarred as embedded resistors by a president who is just trying to “shake things up.”

In a sense, they have also become proxies inside a larger battle at the heart of the impeachment debate.

Molly Montgomery, a former Foreign Service officer who did not testify, said the hearings revealed a “huge gap between the reality that is experienced by public servants on the ground and the rhetoric in the political world.”

Ms. Montgomery, whose last position was as special adviser for Europe and Eurasia to Vice President Mike Pence, said she was heartened to see so many “everyday Americans” on social media express their appreciation, even awe, over so much of the testimony in recent days.

“The one silver lining here,” she said, “is that the American people are getting to see firsthand that there are Americans who serve all over the world, under difficult circumstances. And that they are just as patriotic and just as admirable as anyone who wears a uniform.”

Despite the aversion of the witnesses to anything that might suggest grandstanding or partisanship, it did not preclude some of them from expressing points of view. Ms. Hill was adamant Thursday that she would not take part in any “alternative narrative” promoted by Mr. Trump and some Republican allies on the committee that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

“These fictions are harmful even if they are deployed for purely domestic political purposes,” Ms. Hill said of these notions.

She issued a broader plea. “When we are consumed by partisan rancor,” she said, “we cannot combat these external forces as they seek to divide us against each other.”

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The Impeachment Witnesses Not Heard

Westlake Legal Group 21dc-assess-facebookJumbo The Impeachment Witnesses Not Heard United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Pompeo, Mike Pence, Mike Mulvaney, Mick impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Bolton, John R

WASHINGTON — In recent days, lawmakers were told that when President Trump ramped up his campaign to pressure Ukraine into helping him against his domestic political rivals, he directed advisers to his personal lawyer. “Talk with Rudy,” he instructed. But one thing lawmakers will not do is talk with Rudy.

Rudolph W. Giuliani was hardly the only offstage character during two weeks of impeachment hearings that ended on Thursday. Lawmakers also heard that Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo were in the loop, that Mick Mulvaney organized the political equivalent of a “drug deal” and that John R. Bolton was adamantly against it.

But among those missing from the House Intelligence Committee’s witness list, besides Mr. Giuliani, are Mr. Pence, Mr. Pompeo, Mr. Mulvaney and Mr. Bolton. Not that the panel’s Democratic majority was unwilling to talk with the vice president, secretary of state, acting White House chief of staff or former national security adviser. Democratic leaders have decided not to wage a drawn-out fight to force them to testify over White House objections.

Instead, as the committee wrapped up its public hearings on Thursday, House Democrats have opted for expeditious over comprehensive, electing to complete their investigation even without filling in major gaps in the story. It is a calculated gamble that they have enough evidence to impeach Mr. Trump on a party-line vote in the House and would risk losing momentum if they took the time to wage a court fight to compel reluctant witnesses to come forward.

But it leaves major questions unresolved. Was Mr. Pence told about a suspected link between security aid and investigations of Mr. Trump’s political opponents, as one witness testified? Did Mr. Pompeo sign off on it? Did Mr. Mulvaney facilitate the scheme? Did Mr. Bolton ever bring his objections directly to the president? Several current and former officials rushed out statements through aides or lawyers taking issue with testimony about them, but none of them volunteered to offer their own versions of the truth under oath.

Democrats have concluded that in the face of White House refusal to cooperate, it is better to press ahead and simply address the refusal of witnesses like Mr. Mulvaney to testify as a plank in a possible article of impeachment alleging obstruction of Congress.

“They should be coming before us,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday. “They keep taking it to court, and no, we’re not going to wait until the courts decide. That might be information that’s available to the Senate, in terms of how far we go and when we go. But we can’t wait for that because, again, it’s a technique. It’s obstruction of justice, obstruction of Congress.”

Even some Republican strategists said she had a point. “As a political matter, the longer this goes, it is a real opportunity for Republicans to paint Democrats as unconcerned about the issues voters care more about, and I think Nancy Pelosi is well aware of that,” said Brendan Buck, who was counselor to former Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

But it leaves some frustrated about the missing pieces. “An impeachable offense should be compelling, overwhelmingly clear and unambiguous,” said Representative Will Hurd of Texas, one of the few Republicans willing to criticize the president and at one point seen as theoretically open to the possibility of impeachment. “And it’s not something to be rushed or taken lightly. I have not heard evidence proving the president committed bribery or extortion.”

With the White House defying the House, Mr. Mulvaney has refused to comply with a subpoena for his testimony while Mr. Pence and Mr. Pompeo have defied subpoenas for documents. Mr. Bolton has declined an invitation to testify and has not been subpoenaed but is awaiting the result of a lawsuit filed by his former deputy, Charles M. Kupperman, asking a judge to decide whether he should listen to the House or the White House.

That case is due for oral arguments in a Federal District Court in Washington on Dec. 10, but even if the judge rules quickly it could be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, which would take time.

Another lawsuit seeking to force Donald F. McGahn II, the former White House counsel, to testify in response to an earlier House subpoena in a previous matter may be decided by a judge on Monday. But it too could be appealed, and Mr. Bolton’s lawyer has suggested that it might not apply to his client since there are separate national security concerns at stake.

None of which would suit the fast-track timetable envisioned by House Democrats. Although more witnesses could still be called, the Intelligence Committee concluded its scheduled public hearings after 12 witnesses and will now focus on drafting a report on the matter. It could also use the coming days to renew its press for the administration to turn over long-sought documents that have become more significant in light of the testimony.

From there, the committee’s report will go to the House Judiciary Committee, which traditionally handles impeachment and will then hold hearings of its own, but generally on constitutional and legal issues rather than fact-finding of its own. After it drafts articles of impeachment, the committee would vote on them and send them to the House floor, where Democrats anticipate a vote by Christmas.

In theory, if witnesses like Mr. Bolton do agree to testify or are compelled by a court, they could still be called before the Judiciary Committee. And for that matter, if the House does impeach Mr. Trump and sends the case to the Senate for a trial that would open sometime after the new year, additional witnesses could still be called then, too.

But the two weeks of public hearings showed how much remains fluid. Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union and a key figure in the pressure campaign, amended his original closed-door testimony after other witnesses contradicted him. Others like William B. Taylor Jr., the acting ambassador to Ukraine; Kurt D. Volker, the special envoy for Ukraine; and Laura K. Cooper, a Defense Department official, offered new information after their original interviews when reminded by their staff or other witnesses.

Some of those who have not testified are aggrieved at their portrayals over the last two weeks. Mr. Mulvaney protested testimony on Thursday by Fiona Hill, a former Bolton deputy, that put him at the center of the pressure campaign.

“Fiona Hill’s testimony is riddled with speculation and guesses about any role that Mr. Mulvaney played with anything related to Ukraine,” his lawyer, Robert N. Driscoll, said in a statement. But the statement did not explain what role he did play, leaving the committee to guess.

In Mr. Mulvaney’s case, he has made statements that Democrats, at least, will consider evidence even if it was not under oath. During a briefing for reporters last month, Mr. Mulvaney admitted that Mr. Trump suspended $391 million in American security aid to Ukraine in part to force Ukraine to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory involving Democrats during the 2016 presidential campaign. Mr. Mulvaney later tried to take it back.

Those comments as well as statements by the offices of officials like Mr. Pence and Energy Secretary Rick Perry raise the question of whether they have effectively waived any claim of immunity from testifying because they have publicly addressed the matter, according to lawyers. But Democrats may not take the time to litigate the question.

Representative Tom Malinowski, a New Jersey Democrat who serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee that was involved in the Ukraine investigation at an earlier stage, pointed to Mr. Mulvaney’s public acknowledgment about the link between aid and an investigation as well as other testimony about figures like Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pompeo.

“I very much want to hear from them,” he said. “But if they lack the courage of their colleagues to testify under oath, we can assume that what we’ve learned about their views and actions is true.”

An impeachment proceeding is not the same as a criminal court process, of course, and the standard of evidence is not the same. The House can move forward with whatever evidence a majority considers sufficient. And to the extent that the processes can be compared, an impeachment would be the political equivalent of an indictment, signaling that there is enough evidence to merit a trial in the Senate, though not necessarily enough to convict.

Still, even in the relatively quick investigation conducted in the two months since Ms. Pelosi formally opened the impeachment inquiry, the basic facts of what happened have been established and to a greater or lesser degree verified by different witnesses.

“The reality is there’s not much ambiguity about what took place here,” Mr. Buck said. “We know what happened, and now members and voters have to decide whether it rises to the level of removing him.”

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Republicans Seek to Muddy Impeachment Evidence as Their Defense of Trump

Westlake Legal Group 20DC-REPUBS-facebookJumbo Republicans Seek to Muddy Impeachment Evidence as Their Defense of Trump United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Sondland, Gordon D (1957- ) Schiff, Adam B Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Republican Party Nunes, Devin G impeachment House Committee on Intelligence Foreign Aid Ethics and Official Misconduct Biden, Hunter

WASHINGTON — Republicans mounted an array of defenses of President Trump at this week’s impeachment hearings — making arguments that at times seemed to conflict with one another logically, but that dovetailed in a key way: All served to undermine Democrats’ allegations that Mr. Trump abused his power.

In angry statements from the hearing dais, lines of questioning to witnesses and comments during breaks to reporters, Republicans sought to poke holes in the strength of evidence that Mr. Trump personally put a condition on the government committing official acts — namely, that Ukraine publicize investigations that could benefit him.

But at other times, Republicans suggested that Mr. Trump’s pursuit of those investigations was justified — reading into the record related facts and allegations about Ukrainian actions in 2016 and about the Ukrainian gas company Burisma and its decision to give Hunter Biden, the son of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a lucrative board seat.

Republicans’ tactics seemed geared to play to different audiences — independent voters, hard-core Trump supporters and the president himself. The approach underscored a political asymmetry about the proceedings: The Democrats are trying to paint a coherent picture, while Republicans need only muddy it — and they have lots of ways to do so.

Indeed, at still other times, Republicans dismissed the entire impeachment inquiry as a witch hunt and tried to associate it with the fact that the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, found insufficient evidence of any criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia’s 2016 election manipulation operation.

“You have to keep that history in mind as you consider the Democrats’ latest catalog of supposed Trump outrages,” the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Devin Nunes of California, said on Wednesday.

The Republicans sharpened their counterarguments and defenses as Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, delivered damaging testimony about what he witnessed as one of the Trump proxies orbiting Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, as they pushed Ukraine to announce the investigations.

Mr. Sondland said there was a clear quid pro quo that attached a condition — a public announcement of the investigations — to a potential official action by Mr. Trump, inviting President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to the White House. But Mr. Sondland said no one told him that Mr. Trump was also holding up a package of military aid to Ukraine for the same purpose, though he assumed that was the explanation.

In opening questioning to Mr. Sondland, Mr. Nunes seemed to make the case that Mr. Trump had good reason to seek investigations. He asked Mr. Sondland whether he was aware of a series of facts and various allegations about Hunter Biden and Burisma, and about Ukrainians who expressed support for Hillary Clinton or opposition to Mr. Trump.

“So knowing all these facts from high-ranking Ukrainian officials, ambassador, it probably makes a little more sense now as to why the president may think that there’s problems with Ukraine and that Ukraine was out to get him?” Mr. Nunes asked Mr. Sondland.

“I understand your — I understand your point, yes, Mr. Chairman,” Mr. Sondland replied.

But if the premise of Mr. Nunes’s line of questioning was that it was righteous to seek the investigations, a line of questioning that followed, by the Republicans’ top staff lawyer, Stephen R. Castor, pointed to a different conclusion: The important point was that there was no clear proof that Mr. Trump himself was behind the pressure.

Mr. Castor marched Mr. Sondland through a lengthy series of questions to emphasize the point that Mr. Trump never personally told him there was any quid pro quo — highlighting that Mr. Sondland had no clear proof that the president was personally orchestrating anything untoward.

“So the president never told you about any preconditions for aid to be released?” Mr. Castor asked.

“No,” Mr. Sondland replied.

“The president never told you about preconditions for a White House meeting?” Mr. Castor followed up.

“Personally, no,” Mr. Sondland said.

Mr. Sondland said his understanding that Mr. Trump was offering a White House meeting to Mr. Zelensky on the condition that he announce investigations was based on what Mr. Giuliani told him. Pressed on how he could know that, Mr. Sondland replied that Mr. Trump had directed him to talk to Mr. Giuliani about the matter.

Other Republican lawmakers including, Elise Stefanik of New York, repeated Mr. Castor’s line of questioning and its implication that no direct evidence of Mr. Trump’s motivations had emerged.

Left unsaid was that Mr. Trump was keeping other potential witnesses whom he spoke to about Ukraine from testifying — including Mr. Giuliani; his former national security adviser, John R. Bolton, who was opposed to blocking the aid and met one on one with Mr. Trump about it in August; and his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, who relayed the order to block the aid to the bureaucracy.

Later in the hearing, Representative Adam B. Schiff, the California Democrat who leads the Intelligence Committee, pushed back against any suggestion that Mr. Trump’s proxies were carrying out a rogue Ukraine policy.

“I do not believe that the president would allow himself to be led by the nose by Rudy Giuliani or Ambassador Sondland or anybody else,” Mr. Schiff asserted. “I think the president was the one who decided whether a meeting would happen, whether aid would be lifted, not anyone who worked for him.”

Several Republicans pushed Mr. Sondland to reiterate his account of a conversation he had with Mr. Trump on Sept. 9. Mr. Sondland recounted that he directly asked Mr. Trump what he wanted from Ukraine, and the president, in a surly mood, responded that he wanted “nothing” from Mr. Zelensky, wanted no quid pro quo, and only wanted Mr. Zelensky to do “the right thing” that he had run for office on — apparently a reference to fighting corruption.

On Sept. 11, two days after that conversation, Mr. Trump finally released the aid to Ukraine. Because Mr. Zelensky had not announced any investigations, defenders of Mr. Trump have said that means there was no quid pro quo.

Critics have responded that Mr. Trump released the security assistance only after he learned that a whistle-blower was trying to tell Congress that the president was using his official powers to force Ukraine to do something for his own personal benefit, noting that someone who gets caught trying to commit a crime is still guilty even if the plot is discovered and thwarted.

But Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio and a fierce defender of Mr. Trump, tried that argument again on Wednesday. He thunderously demanded that Mr. Sondland tell him when Mr. Zelensky made an announcement of investigations as part of the quid pro quo, leading Mr. Sondland to reply that it never happened.

“They didn’t have to do anything,” Mr. Jordan said in disgust. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

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