Whistleblower alleges White House coverup

By Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 7:56 p.m. ET, September 27, 2019
13 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
10:12 a.m. ET, September 27, 2019

Democrats hope to potentially impeach by Thanksgiving

From CNN's Manu Raju

The exact details about how House Democrats will proceed with their impeachment inquiry are still unclear, but we have a general sense of how it will work.

Democrats hope to wrap the inquiry up by years’ end, and the goal is to potentially impeach by Thanksgiving.

Here's what we know about the next steps:

  • Getting information: The House Intelligence Committee will send letters out for documents to glean more information about the handling of the whistleblower complaint and the President’s communications — and may issue subpoenas to get information, including potentially to the State Department to get info about Rudy Giuliani’s communications with Ukraine.
  • The articles of impeachment: Once they’ve exhausted their options — either by getting information or if the White House stonewalls — Democrats may move forward with articles of impeachment, potentially over obstruction of justice, obstruction of Congress and abuse of power. But the exact details and the exact calendar have yet to be sorted out.
  • The vote: At that point, the House Judiciary Committee would vote on the articles of impeachment and send it to the full House.
10:01 a.m. ET, September 27, 2019

The House is set to go into recess. Some Democrats have been told to be ready to stay in DC.

From CNN's Manu Raju

Members of the House Intelligence Committee have been told to be prepared to potentially return to Washington during the upcoming two-week recess as Democrats try to wrap up the impeachment inquiry this fall, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Here's why: It’s possible the committee could hear testimony from the whistleblower and again from Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, according to lawmakers. Other witnesses are possible, but it’s unclear yet who will come.

9:45 a.m. ET, September 27, 2019

Democratic senator calls for Mike Pompeo to testify about the Trump-Zelensky call

From CNN's Nicole Gaouette

Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images
Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is asking for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to immediately testify about the President's call with the Ukrainian president.

In a letter to Pompeo, Menendez wrote that it “remains unclear what, if anything, you and the State Department did in response to this unacceptable behavior.”

Menendez also demanded justification as to why Rudy Giuliani was involved and details on his engagement with  Special Envoy Kurt Volker.

“In his call with President Zelensky, the President repeatedly encouraged a foreign leader to speak with his private personal attorney. Not a government official, not a diplomat, not a representative of the State Department. His personal attorney,” Menendez wrote. “As Secretary of State, you are charged with carrying out foreign policy for the United States. Yet it appears that our policy with Ukraine was effectively outsourced to a private individual pursuing the personal vendettas of the President.”

9:18 a.m. ET, September 27, 2019

SOON: Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats will hold a news conference at 9:30 a.m. ET.

The news conference to mark 200 days of Senate inaction on H.R. 1, The For The People Act.

A statement described the act as "a historic reform package to restore the promise of our nation’s democracy, clean up corruption in Washington, expose secret foreign money in our politics, crack down on lobbyists and Washington insiders, strengthen America’s election security, protect the right to vote and return power back to the American people with clean, citizen-owned elections."

It's not clear if Pelosi will take questions about the impeachment inquiry.

8:49 a.m. ET, September 27, 2019

Remember: The impeachment process can take months

From CNN's Zachary B. Wolf

An engraving showing the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson in the Senate on March 13, 1868
An engraving showing the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson in the Senate on March 13, 1868 Library of Congress

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has not given a timeframe for the impeachment inquiry process, but she told her colleagues it would be done "expeditiously." Rep. Jerry Nadler, the current chair of the House Judiciary Committee, has hoped to conclude it by the end of the year.

However, this process can take months. Take the three US presidents who have faced impeachment as examples:

  • For Andrew Johnson, the entire process lasted 94 days, from first congressional action to Senate acquittal, lasted from February 22, 1868 to May 26, 1868.
  • For Richard Nixon, it lasted 184 days. The House approved the impeachment inquiry on February 6, 1974 and Nixon announced he'd resign on August 8, 1974.
  • For Bill Clinton, it lasted 127 days. The House approved the impeachment inquiry on October 8, 1998, and the Senate acquitted him on February 12, 1999.
8:32 a.m. ET, September 27, 2019

Nancy Pelosi says Attorney General William Barr "has gone rogue"

From CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Attorney General William Barr "has gone rogue."

“I do think the Attorney General has gone rogue. He has for a long time now. And since he was mentioned in all of this, it’s curious that he would be making decisions about how the complaint would be handled," she told CNN.

She first made the "rogue" comment during an interview with MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" earlier today.

Pelosi also said she was “very worried” about the source of the whistleblower complaint, adding that “what the President said goes beyond irresponsible; it’s dangerous.”

“Whistleblowers have an important role to play in unfolding – revealing wrongdoing in our government,” Pelosi said.

8:22 a.m. ET, September 27, 2019

What happens next in the House's impeachment inquiry

From CNN's Zachary B. Wolf

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi earlier this week announced the House is launching a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

So what happens now? Here's a look at how the impeachment inquiry — and the possible impeachment — will unfold.

  • Starting the process: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has instructed six House committees already investigating Trump to proceed "under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry."
  • The inquiry: Each of the six committees — Judiciary, Intelligence, Ways and Means, Financial Services, Oversight and Foreign Affairs — will look at different elements of Trump's presidency, his past and his businesses. This process is to see if Trump's conduct warrants impeachment.
  • The articles of impeachment: Each of the committees will provide input to include in articles of impeachment that would be written up under the House Judiciary Committee, which would vote on whether to refer them to the full House of Representatives. 
  • The House vote: After that committee vote, the articles, if approved, are given special status on the House floor and it requires a simple majority of voting lawmakers to approve them. At this point, Trump would face a choice shared by only three other presidents: be impeached and fight for your office in the Senate or resign. 
  • The Senate trial: After the House votes to impeach a President, the Constitution calls for a trial in the US Senate. But there is some question as to whether Republicans in the Senate would even bother since they likely have the votes to easily dismiss the charges.
8:04 a.m. ET, September 27, 2019

More than 300 former national security officials call Trump's Ukraine actions a "profound" concern

More than 300 former national security officials have signed onto a statement calling President Trump’s actions concerning Ukraine "a profound national security concern.” 

“As national security professionals, many of us have long been concerned with President Trump’s actions and their implications for our safety and security. Some of us have spoken out, but many of us have eschewed politics throughout our careers and, as a result, have not weighed in publicly,” the statement began. 

They added:

“The revelations of recent days, however, demand a response.”

Those who signed the statement include...

  • A former Deputy Secretary of State
  • Two former Under Secretaries of State
  • A former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center
  • Several career ambassadors
7:53 a.m. ET, September 27, 2019

A day-by-day look at how the Ukraine controversy unfolded

From CNN's Kevin Liptak, Paul LeBlanc and Olanma Mang

The growing Trump-Ukraine controversy stems from a whistleblower complaint that deals, at least in part, with a phone call the President had with the nation's leader, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Here's a timeline of the major developments in the story:

  • July 25: Trump and Zelensky talk on the phone.
  • Aug. 12: A whistleblower files a complaint with the intelligence inspector general.
  • Aug. 30: Trump considers blocking $250 million in military aid to Ukraine, effectively pausing disbursement of the funds during a formal review process.
  • Sept. 2: Deadline for Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to send whistleblower complaint to Congress — he does not send it.
  • Sept. 9: The intelligence community inspector general notifies House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff of an "urgent concern" that DNI has overruled. Three House committees launch investigation of efforts by Trump, his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and others to pressure the Ukrainian government to assist the President's reelection efforts. The committees request information about Trump's July phone call with Zelensky.
  • Sept. 12: The administration hold on Ukraine aid is lifted.
  • Sept. 18: The intelligence community inspector general and the acting DNI say they will brief the House Intelligence Committee.
  • Sept. 22: Trump acknowledges that he discussed Joe Biden in a July call with Zelensky.
  • Sept. 23: Trump tells reporters at the United Nations that his conversations with Ukraine's leaders were without fault and said he wanted the world to see what he said.
  • Sept. 24: Pelosi announces formal impeachment inquiry into Trump. The President tweets the White House will release a transcript of his call with Zelensky.
  • Sept. 25: The White House releases a transcript of Trump's call with Zelensky. The Whistleblower's complaint is delivered to Capitol Hill and the whistleblower tentatively agrees to meet with congressional lawmakers.
  • Sept. 26: The acting DNI briefs the House Intelligence Committee.