The latest on the Trump impeachment inquiry
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference on Tuesday that when it comes to President Trump “all roads seem to to lead to Putin.”
“The fact that we would be here in an inquiry that relates to the president asking a foreign government to help the president in his reelection by granting or withholding the timing of military assistance that had been voted on by the Congress is just, has so many violations in it. It undermines our national security. We were sending that military assistance because of Ukraine needing that vis-à-vis Russia. All roads seem to lead to Putin with the President, isn’t it so?”
Pelosi added that she is very “pleased” with the work that House Democrats did over their two-week recess said she is very proud of House Intel Chair Adam Schiff and the rest of the committee for their work over the two-week recess.
“I want to say how proud I am of him and the members of the Intelligence committee,” she said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is taking reporters' questions now.
Earlier, a congressional aide told CNN Pelosi will hold off on calling a full House vote for now to authorize a formal impeachment inquiry.
She is not ruling it out, this source cautioned — leaving her with the option to do so in the future.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will hold off on calling a full House vote for now to authorize a formal impeachment inquiry, a congressional aide confirms to CNN.
Note: She is not ruling it out, this source cautioned — leaving her with the option to do so in the future — but is not moving on it right now.
She delivered this message to her caucus in their ongoing closed door meeting this evening.
Earlier today: Multiple sources told CNN that there were disagreements among Pelosi’s team during the closed door meeting and among key committee chairs about whether to hold an impeachment inquiry vote — one reason why there will not be a vote as of now, multiple sources told CNN.
At a larger meeting of the caucus, House Intel Chair Rep. Adam Schiff said the committee has been working quickly but thoroughly and did not specify an exact time frame. He explained why they have had these in closed sessions but said there could be open sessions and may bring witnesses back.
Behind closed doors at a leadership meeting tonight, there were disagreements among House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s team and among key committee chairs about whether to hold an impeachment inquiry vote — one reason why it seems unlikely there will be a vote as of now, multiple sources told CNN.
At a larger meeting of the caucus, House Intel Chair Adam Schiff said the committee has been working quickly, but thoroughly, and did not specify an exact timeframe.
Schiff explained why they have had these in closed sessions but said there could be open sessions and may bring back witnesses.
State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent told lawmakers that he was told by a supervisor to lay low after he raised complaints about Rudy Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine undermining US foreign policy, according to Rep. Gerry Connolly, a senior member of the House Oversight Committee.
According to Connolly, Kent said Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine going around the State Department “undermined 28 years of US efforts to try to promote the rule of law in Ukraine.”
Kent testified that at a May meeting at the White House organized by acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, officials were told that three people would be in charge of Ukraine policy: Kurt Volker, EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland and Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
Kent told lawmakers that he was responsible for six countries, including Ukraine. After he was warned to lay low, he said he took time off to attend his daughter’s wedding and go hiking in Maine, according to Connolly. When he returned he said he focused on the other countries.
Leaving House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and other Democrats say they there has been no decision on holding an impeachment inquiry vote.
Hoyer also said he didn’t believe a vote is necessary.
Pelosi is expected to hold a news conference shortly.
In a letter from his counsel, Vice President Pence announced he won't comply with a request from Democrats to turn over documents related to his role in the Ukraine scandal.
This was widely expected, but is now official.
Matthew Morgan, the counsel to the vice president, said in this letter that some of what was asked for in the request are "clearly not vice-presidential records."
"As detailed in the White House Counsel Letter, the House of Representatives has not authorized any 'impeachment inquiry,'" Morgan wrote.
CNN Political Director David Chalian talks about tonight's CNN debate in Ohio in the latest episode of "The Daily DC: Impeachment Watch" podcast.
Chalian also looks at:
- Hunter Biden's interview with ABC News. The son of former Vice President Joe Biden said he used "poor judgment" in serving on the board of a Ukrainian gas company because it has become a political liability for his father.
- President Trump's defiance on impeachment. Is it going to cost him with moderates?
Chalian is joined by CNN White House Correspondent Abby Phillip and CNN Political Commentator Maria Cardona.
As of this afternoon, Gordon Sondland is still expecting to show up Thursday and speak to impeachment investigators, according to a person familiar with the EU ambassador’s preparations.
Sondland's legal team has publicly pointed to the State Department regarding any document requests — saying State would be the entity to turn any discussions of official business over to the Hill.
Sondland hasn't heard from the White House or State Department with requests to block all or parts of his testimony Thursday, the person said. Last week, the State Department stopped Sondland from speaking to Hill investigators, prompting them to subpoena him.
Sondland, the source said, is pushing back on the idea that the White House's national security advisers expressed alarm about a possible quid pro quo with Ukraine — saying that Fiona Hill and John Bolton never made it known to Sondland that they were concerned.
Emails between Sondland and Fiona Hill, Trump's former Russia specialist, were "cordial" and "collegial," with the ambassador keeping her updated on his activities in Ukraine, the person said.