The latest on the Trump impeachment inquiry
Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a resolution today condemning the process of the House impeachment inquiry.
The resolution, co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, calls on the House to hold a vote to initiate the inquiry, so House Republicans can participate in proceedings and President Trump can call witnesses, Graham tweeted.
“I have introduced a resolution today with Senator McConnell and the purpose of the resolution is to let the House know that the process you’re engaging in regarding the attempted impeachment of President Trump is out of bounds, is inconsistent with due process as we know it …. and is a substantial deviation from what the House has done in the past regarding impeachment of other presidents.” Graham said at a press conference today on Capitol Hill.
CNN’s Lauren Fox pressed Graham on whether he is confident that the Hill and the White House are on the same page when it comes to impeachment messaging and whether the Hill is leading the messaging strategy.
Graham responded, “I talked to chief of staff Mulvaney, I think they’re working on getting a messaging team together.”
One thing to note: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry last month.
Sen. Lindsey Graham called the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Trump "dangerous to the future of the presidency" during a press conference today on Capitol Hill.
Graham used a series of slides to compare the Trump impeachment inquiry to how the inquiry into President Clinton was conducted.
Graham called the Trump inquiry a "secret proceeding" and "a rogue action."
"The process in the house today is dangerous to the future of the presidency," Graham said. "God help future presidents."
Graham buttressed his claims with a series of tweets laying out the Graham-McConnell resolution which calls for the House to vote to initiate a formal impeachment inquiry.
Some context: Democrats plan on holding public hearings with some witnesses who have been deposed as part of their plan to provide some transparency to the inquiry.
It is possible, sources say, that public hearings could begin in mid-November. It is also possible, they could slip until after Thanksgiving.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, said today that acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged the White House needs help with impeachment messaging.
Graham, who just returned from a meeting at the White House, was asked if he expressed concerns about their inability to message on impeachment.
“Yes I did. I met with Mick Mulvaney. He said, ‘Keep talking to us.' We’re getting there. Yes, the message has been received and they’re making corrective action but he actually mentioned that," Graham said.
President Trump hosted several Republican senators at the White House today for lunch, a person familiar told CNN.
Here's who was at the lunch:
- Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson
- Utah Sen. Mike Lee
- Georgia Sen. David Perdue
- Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander
- Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt
- South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham
- South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott
- Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy
- Ohio Sen. Rob Portman
- South Dakota Sen. John Thune
The White House is urging all federal agencies to cancel their subscriptions to the New York Times and the Washington Post, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said today.
This follows President Trump's recent indication that the White House would "terminate" its existing subscriptions with the two newspapers, which have been the frequent target of the administration's criticism through Trump's candidacy and presidency.
"The New York Times, which is a fake newspaper -- we don't even want it in the White House anymore. We're going to probably terminate that and the Washington Post," Trump said on Fox News' "Hannity" Monday evening.
They're fake," the President added. "You take a look at the New York Times and you take a look at the kind of reporting they do, it was all — it turned out to be all wrong."
Grisham said in a statement that "not renewing subscriptions across all federal agencies will be a significant cost saving for taxpayers — hundreds of thousands of dollars."
Trump isn't the first president to boycott a newspaper in the People's House. President John F. Kennedy canceled White House subscriptions to the New York Herald Tribune over perceived bias.
The New York Times and the Washington Post declined to comment.
Here are the latest developments in the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump:
- Graham rejects testimony: Earlier this week, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, testified that he had been told that President Trump had withheld military aid for Ukraine in exchange for publicly announcing investigations that could help him politically. Today, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham rejected the testimony, calling it “hearsay.” Graham argued that Taylor only talked to Gordon Sondland, the US Ambassador to the European Union, about his conversation with Trump.
- Trump tweets support: The President thanked House Republicans “for being tough, smart, and understanding in detail the greatest Witch Hunt in American History.” His message comes just a day after roughly two-dozen House Republicans stormed a closed-door deposition in secure House Intelligence Committee spaces to challenge the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry.
- Possible public hearings: Democrats plan on holding public hearings with some witnesses who have been deposed as part of their plan to provide some transparency to the impeachment inquiry. The hearings could begin in mid-November or after Thanksgiving depending on the witnesses.
Republican sources claim diplomat Bill Taylor's testimony was a game changer and is "reverberating" up on Capitol Hill.
And according to one GOP source, Taylor's testimony "points to quid pro quo."
More context: Taylor testified Tuesday that he had been told President Trump would withhold military aid to the country until it publicly declared investigations would be launched that could help his reelection chances — including into former Vice President Joe Biden, according to a copy of Taylor's opening statement obtained by CNN.
Your questions, answered
If the House goes to court to litigate the White House’s refusal to comply with subpoenas, how long would it take? Could the House go direct to the Supreme Court?
Litigation takes time — perhaps more time than House Democrats realistically have.
First, House Democrats would have to file suit in federal district court (the lowest, trial-level federal court). It likely would take months to get a ruling at this level. For example, the House Judiciary Committee filed suit to enforce a subpoena on former White House counsel Don McGahn in early August 2019 and the district court has not yet ruled, over two months later.
After the district court rules, the losing side then has the right to appeal the case to the federal court of appeals. It likely would take at least a few months to complete briefing and argument and to receive a ruling, even if the process were expedited. Then, after the court of appeals rules, the losing party can seek review in the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court does not have to take any particular case, and in fact only takes a very small percentage of them. If the Supreme Court declines the case, it would take at least a few weeks to issue the declination; if the Supreme Court takes the case, it likely would take several months to brief and argue the case, and to receive a final ruling.
There is a mechanism through which House Democrats could seek to expedite the process by effectively skipping the middle layer of review (the court of appeals). Under a Supreme Court rule, a party can apply to bring a case direct from the district court to the Supreme Court “only upon a showing that the case is of such imperative public importance as to justify deviation from normal appellate practice and to require immediate determination in this Court.” The Supreme Court rarely grants such expedited review, but it did so in the famous 1974 US v. Richard Nixon case where the Court ordered the White House to comply with a subpoena from a special prosecutor and produce the incriminating White House tapes.
Your questions, answered
If the House impeaches and the Senate convicts the President, does he have any options to appeal or contest his removal?
On the face of the Constitution, there is no way for a president or other federal official to appeal an impeachment and conviction. Article I of the Constitution gives the House “sole power of impeachment” and the Senate “sole power to try all impeachments,” and makes no mention of any right of appeal. In fact, the Constitution specifies only one role for the Judiciary Branch in the impeachment process: the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over a Senate trial.
Nonetheless, President Trump has suggested by tweet that he might contest an impeachment in the Supreme Court. But the Supreme Court already has ruled that it has no role in reviewing impeachments. In a 1993 case Nixon v. United States, federal judge Walter Nixon appealed his impeachment by the House and conviction by the Senate to the Supreme Court. The Court firmly rejected Nixon’s case, ruling that the Constitution commits impeachment and removal solely to Congress and that the Court plays no role in reviewing impeachment proceedings.