Impeachment updates: Mulvaney subpoenaed by House Intel Committee

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State Department official’s testimony details efforts to pressure Ukraine

The latest news on the impeachment inquiry

  • An attorney for the anonymous whistleblower has sent a cease-and-desist letter to White House counsel Pat Cipollone, warning the president’s “rhetoric and activity” has put his client and client’s family in danger.
  • Democrats subpoenaed acting White House chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to appear before the joint committees. However, they decided not to subpoena former national security adviser John Bolton.
  • The House Intelligence Committee will hold the first open hearings of the impeachment inquiry next week, featuring public testimony from three key witnesses.
  • The House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney for a previously scheduled deposition on Friday morning, an official working on the impeachment inquiry told CBS News.

Washington — The House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney for Friday’s previously scheduled deposition, an official working on the impeachment inquiry told CBS News late Thursday.

“Mr. Mulvaney has the opportunity to uphold his oath to the nation and constitution by testifying tomorrow under oath about matters of keen national importance,” the official said. “We hope Mr. Mulvaney does not hide behind the President’s ongoing efforts to conceal the truth and obstruct our investigation.”

The White House confirmed to CBS News that Mulvaney will not be complying with the subpoena.

During a White House press briefing in October, Mulvaney appeared to admit the administration had in fact sought a quid pro quo with Ukraine.

“[Did] he also mention to me, in the past, that the corruption related to the DNC server?” Mulvaney told reporters, referring to the president. “Absolutely, no question about that. But that’s it. And that’s why we held up the money.”

Earlier Thursday, multiple sources confirmed to CBS News that President Trump had wanted Attorney General William Barr to hold a news conference saying he didn’t break any laws during his July 25 call with the Ukrainian president.

Barr ultimately declined to do so, although the Justice Department did release a statement alongside the release of a rough transcript summary of the call saying that the Office of Legal Counsel had found no evidence of wrongdoing. However, an anonymous whistleblower submitted a complaint to the government expressing concern about the call, and that complaint prompted the impeachment inquiry of the president.

The president’s desire to publicly be cleared by Barr was first reported by The Washington Post. Mr. Trump called the Post story a “fake Washington Post con job” in a tweet Thursday morning. He also called it “pure fiction” about “Bill Barr & myself,” and said, “We both deny the story.” However, Barr has not yet denied the story, and the Justice Department has not responded.

A top State Department official told the House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry that Rudy Giuliani waged a “campaign of slander” against a former ambassador to Ukraine, one that was “without basis, untrue, period.” George Kent, according to a transcript of his testimony before Congress released today, said other officials were “engaged in an effort to undermine her standing by claiming that she was disloyal” as far back as 2018.

By March 2019, Kent said Giuliani’s “campaign of slander” against Yovanovitch was “almost unmissable,” as the former New York mayor used TV appearances and his Twitter account to attack the ambassador. He said Giuliani’s accusations were “without basis, untrue, period.”

Kent also testified that three officials declared they were in charge of Ukraine policy after a White House meeting in May: Sondland, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, a career foreign service officer.

The first public hearings in the impeachment inquiry will take place next week, featuring testimony from three witnesses.

The committee will hear from the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, and Kent next Wednesday, November 13. Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will testify before the committee two days later.

“Those open hearings will be an opportunity for the American people to evaluate the witnesses themselves,” House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff told reporters at the Capitol. — Paula Reid contributed reporting

​Trump says he may release transcript of different call with Ukraine’s Zelensky

10:35 a.m. Speaking to reporters on the South Lawn Friday morning, the president said he may release the transcript of another call he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“I’ll give it to them,” the president said, adding he has “no problem” giving it to House investigators.

The president said that call took place before the infamous July 25 phone call that launched the impeachment probe.

Moments later, the president seemed to add a caveat, however, noting he “may” release the transcript of his earlier call with Zelensky.

Jordan to be announced as an addition to House Intelligence Committee

9:35 a.m.: Congressman Jim Jordan, one of the president’s strongest defenders in Congress, will be announced as an addition to the House Intelligence Committee today. Congressman Rick Crawford will be leaving the committee, allowing Jordan to take his place. –– Olivia Gazis and Arden Farhi

Mulvaney will not comply with House subpoena

8:15 a.m.: The White House confirmed to CBS News that Mulvaney will not comply with the subpoena by the House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry.

“Past Democrat and Republican Administrations would not be inclined to permit Senior Advisers to the President to participate in such a ridiculous, partisan, illegitimate proceeding – and neither is this one,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said. — Sara Cook

Ivanka Trump: Whistleblower’s identity “not particularly relevant”

7:00 a.m.: Ivanka Trump weighed in on the House impeachment inquiry of her father in an interview with the Associated Press published Friday morning.

In the interview, she appeared to disagree with her father on the importance of naming the whistleblower who wrote a complaint about the July 25 call with the Ukrainian president. She said that the whistleblower’s identity is “not particularly relevant” to the inquiry.

“This is a third party who was not privy to the call and did not have firsthand information,” Trump said about the whistleblower. “That is what was the catalyst for all of this discussion. But to me, it’s not particularly relevant aside from what the motivation behind all of this was.” — Grace Segers

Whistleblower’s lawyer sends cease-and-desist letter to White House counsel

6:30 a.m.: An attorney for the anonymous whistleblower has sent a cease-and-desist letter to White House counsel Pat Cipollone, warning that President Trump’s “rhetoric and activity” has put his client and client’s family in danger. Zaid provided a copy of the letter to CBS News.

The letter lists statements made by Mr. Trump on September 26 as well as other later comments that Zaid says “seek to intimidate my client — and they have.” CNN first reported the letter.

Zaid says those comments amount to “tampering with a witness or informant,” which is a violation of the law.

“It goes without saying, although it appears that it must be said, that the Office of the President is the most powerful elected office in the nation,” the letter said. “The occupant of the office is often referred to as the ‘Leader of the Free World,’ representing the principles and ideals of liberty and freedom,” the letter reads. “As the leader of the world’s remaining global superpower, the words of the President carry great weight and have the ability to change the course of history.”

Read the letter here.

–Arden Farhi and Caroline Linton

Kent says Giuliani waged “campaign of slander” against former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine

House releases transcript of testimony by top State Department official George Kent

6:00 a.m.: A top State Department official told the House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry that Rudy Giuliani waged a “campaign of slander” against a former ambassador to Ukraine, one that was “without basis, untrue, period.”

According to the transcript of his testimony before the joint committees, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, George Kent, said Rudy Giuliani’s campaign against the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, went back as far as 2018, while she was the ambassador.

By March 2019, Kent said Giuliani’s “campaign of slander” against Yovanovitch was “almost unmissable,” as the former New York mayor used TV appearances and his Twitter account to attack the ambassador. He said Giuliani’s accusations were “without basis, untrue, period.”

Kent said the situation “was clearly a crisis” that was “threatening to consume” the U.S. relationship with Ukraine, particularly after Donald Trump Jr. tweeted an attack on Yovanovitch.

He also testified that three officials declared they were in charge of Ukraine policy after a White House meeting in May: Sondland, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, a career foreign service officer. — Stefan Becket

Read more here.

House Intelligence Committee issues subpoena to Mulvaney

Thursday, 10:45 p.m.: The House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney for a deposition on Friday, an official working with the impeachment committee confirmed to CBS News. Mulvaney isn’t likely to appear.

On Tuesday, the chairs of the three committees conducting the impeachment inquiry sent a letter asking Mulvaney to appear before the committees on Friday.

“Based on evidence gathered in the impeachment inquiry and public reporting, we believe that you possess substantial first-hand knowledge and information relevant to the House’s impeachment inquiry,” the letter said.

Mulvaney, who is also director of the Office of Management and Budget, previously defied a subpoena for documents.

During a White House press briefing in October, Mulvaney appeared to admit the administration had engaged in a quid pro quo with the government of Ukraine.

“[Did] he also mention to me, in the past, that the corruption related to the DNC server?” Mulvaney told reporters, referring to the president. “Absolutely, no question about that. But that’s it. And that’s why we held up the money.”

Mulvaney later tried to walk back his remarks.

State Department to offer aid for legal bills to employees testifying in impeachment inquiry

Thursday, 6:35 p.m.: The impeachment inquiry is likely to cost taxpayers more than expected.

A State Department official told CBS News State Department Reporter Christina Ruffini on Thursday that the federal agency will offer financial aid to its employees who have incurred legal costs because of the impeachment hearings.

It’s unclear whether the aid will extend to former as well as current employees or to those who have refused to testify. While 14 officials have given closed-door testimony so far, 13 others rejected requests to appear before the impeachment committees. Most of the witnesses have been current or former State Department officials. — Christina Ruffini

Read more here.

Trump wanted Barr to hold a press conference saying the president did not break any laws

Thursday, 8:27 a.m.: President Trump wanted Attorney General William Barr to hold a press conference saying the president did not break any laws during the July 25 phone call, when he urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate a political rival, CBS News has confirmed.

Barr ultimately declined to do so, although the Justice Department did release a statement alongside the release of a rough transcript summary of the call saying that the Office of Legal Counsel found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Mr. Trump’s desire for Barr to state publicly that the president had broken no laws was first reported by The Washington Post. The whistleblower complaint expressing concern about the call has been the impetus for an ongoing impeachment inquiry. Barr has largely stayed absent from the spotlight since the impeachment inquiry was opened.

On Thursday morning, Mr. Trump denied that Barr had declined his request to hold a press conference, calling the story a “fake Washington Post con job.”

“Bill Barr did not decline my request to talk about Ukraine. The story was a Fake Washington Post con job with an “anonymous” source that doesn’t exist. Just read the Transcript. The Justice Department already ruled that the call was good. We don’t have freedom of the press!” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. — Paula Reid and Grace Segers

https://www.cbsnews.com/live-news/trump-impeachment-house-intelligence-committee-subpoenas-mick-mulvaney-2019-11-08-live-updates/

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