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Trump impeachment inquiry live updates: Pelosi details evidence of what she calls Trump’s ‘shakedown’ of Ukrainian leader as GOP seeks censure of Schiff

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Democrats have also planned a busy week of closed-door depositions, including an appearance Tuesday by Bill Taylor, the top official at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine. In text messages with other U.S. diplomats, Taylor raised alarms about the White House holding back military aid to Ukraine and pressing for investigations into the 2016 U.S. election and an energy company that employed former vice president Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden.

●Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney continues to back away from a quid pro quo, as a top diplomat defends Trump personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani’s role in Ukraine.

11:15 a.m.: Trump congressional allies renew attacks on process

Ahead of a busy week of planned depositions, Trump’s congressional allies renewed their attacks on the impeachment inquiry and the Democrats leading it.

“This PROCESS has been a joke & the SUBSTANCE has been NOTHING to impeach POTUS for,” tweeted Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), noting that the “super secret” depositions were being held in a Capitol basement. “This coup attempt will fail!”

On Fox News, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) also emphasized the location of the hearings, saying they were being conducted “in the basement of the Capitol, where no one can see.” He said the process has been unfair and unlike other impeachment inquiries.

“On process, this is not your average investigation,” Jordan said. “This is about impeaching the president of the United States 13 months before an election because they’re afraid he’s going to win in 2020.”

Democrats say the closed-door depositions are necessary so witnesses don’t have the advantage of hearing one another’s testimony.

11 a.m.: Giuliani associate released from jail

Lev Parnas, one of two associates of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani accused of violating campaign finance laws, was released from jail in Alexandria on Monday morning after paying a $200,000 cash bond.

“I have the truth on my side, and God is with me,” Parnas said as he left the courthouse with his wife, Svetlana, son Aaron and a private security guard.

Parnas’s new attorney, Edward MacMahon, successfully argued last week that the initial $1 million bond set by a magistrate judge was excessively high.

Like his co-defendant Igor Fruman, who was released last week, Parnas is required to remain in his Florida home except for court appearances and is under GPS monitoring. Both are set to appear in court in New York on Wednesday.

10:30 a.m.: Trump Jr. puts spotlight on GOP members not backing censure

Donald Trump Jr. attempted Monday to put pressure on Republicans who haven’t signed onto an effort to censure Schiff.

The president’s eldest son retweeted a list of 23 House Republicans who are not backing the resolution as co-sponsors. The Twitter thread urged Trump supporters to “Check if your Representative is on this list and call them NOW!”

Trump Jr., an outspoken opponent of the impeachment inquiry, has repeatedly taken aim at Schiff on Twitter, including blasting him as “#FullofSchiff.”

9:55 a.m.: Pelosi’s office accuses Trump of having ‘betrayed his oath of office, betrayed our national security’

Pelosi’s office released a four-page “fact sheet” citing the most compelling evidence of what Democrats have cast as a gross abuse of power by Trump.

The citations are divided into three categories: “the shakedown,” “the pressure campaign” and “the cover up.”

As evidence of a “shakedown,” the fact sheet cites quotes from the rough transcript from Trump’s July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which it says “paints a damning picture of Trump abusing his office by pressing a foreign government to interfere in our 2020 elections.”

Trump, the document contends, “has betrayed his oath of office, betrayed our national security and be­trayed the integrity of our elections for his own personal political gain.”

The evidence of a “pressure campaign” includes several texts from State Department officials, including one in which Taylor says, “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assis­tance for help with a political campaign.”

As of evidence of a “cover up,” the document points to the complaint filed by the whistleblower that sparked the impeachment inquiry.

In it, the anonymous U.S. intelligence official asserts that senior White House officials “intervened to ‘lock down’ all records of the phone call” and loaded the transcript into “a separate electronic system … used to store and handle clas­sified information of an especially sensitive nature.”

9:45 a.m.: GOP Rep. Biggs says censure resolution will let Schiff know ‘how disappointed we are’

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the lead sponsor of the resolution seeking to censure Schiff, said forcing debate on the issue would let Schiff “know himself how disappointed we are.”

Biggs’s comments came during an interview on Fox News hours before the House is expected to take up the censure resolution, which is backed by 173 Republicans.

Biggs argued that it is also important for Democrats to go on record about an impeachment process that he criticized for largely taking place behind closed doors.

“It gives the Democrats an opportunity to show where they are on due process, and they get to say, ‘Look we’re perfectly content with closed-door impeachment inquiry,’ or they get to say, ‘This isn’t quite right, and we want to do it the right way.’”

Schiff has said the closed-door depositions are necessary so that witnesses don’t have the benefit of hearing one another’s testimony. Questions are being asked by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers and staff, and Schiff has said transcripts will be made public later.

Biggs said Republicans have lost confidence in Schiff.

“He’s not a fair arbiter, and that’s part of what this goes to,” Biggs said. “He’s kind of poisoned the well here.”

9:20 a.m.: Trump continues to insist his golf club is the best location for G-7

Trump continued to insist Monday that his private Miami golf club would have been the best place to host next year’s international Group of Seven summit, two days after he backed off the plan amid criticism from impeachment-weary Republicans.

“Doral in Miami would have been the best place to hold the G-7, and free, but too much heat from the Do Nothing Radical Left Democrats & their Partner, the Fake News Media!” Trump tweeted. “I’m surprised that they allow me to give up my $400,000 Plus Presidential Salary! We’ll find someplace else!”

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Trump reversed course late Saturday after he was told by conservative allies that Republicans were struggling to defend him on multiple fronts. Democrats had mulled adding the alleged emoluments violation to the articles of impeachment they are preparing.

8:35 a.m.: Trump suggests House Democrats should vote to censure Schiff

Trump sought to press House Democrats to join their Republican colleagues in voting for a resolution to censure Schiff on Monday.

“Censure (at least) Corrupt Adam Schiff!” Trump tweeted. “After what he got caught doing, any pol who does not so vote cannot be honest … are you listening Dems?”

Democrats, who control the chamber, are expected to turn back the resolution.

Trump has repeatedly attacked Schiff for a statement in a hearing last month in which he embellished the transcript of the July phone call in which Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Bidens.

Schiff later said his remarks were intended as a parody and that Trump and others who have criticized him should have recognized that.

8:15 a.m.: New poll finds 51 percent of U.S. adults support ousting Trump

Another new poll finds growing support for ousting Trump from office.

Fifty-one percent of American adults support Trump’s impeachment and removal from office, according to the survey released Monday by the Public Religion Research Institute. That is up from 47 percent in mid-September before the impeachment inquiry was announced.

The poll finds that 93 percent of Republicans oppose impeachment and removal, a figure virtually unchanged from the previous survey. But support for impeachment among Democrats has jumped 10 percentage points, to 88 percent.

Independents remained divided, with 49 percent now favoring impeachment, according to the poll.

Support for impeachment and removal has ranged from 43 percent to 52 percent in other independent national polls released this month.

8 a.m.: House Democrats seek to derail resolution censuring Schiff

House Democrats will seek Monday to derail a Republican-backed resolution seeking to censure Schiff for how he has handled the impeachment inquiry.

Republicans pressed the issue last week but lawmakers decided to postpone a vote following the death of House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), who was admired on both sides of the aisle.

The resolution, introduced by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), takes issue with Schiff’s remarks at a Sept. 26 hearing. Schiff embellished the transcript of the July phone call in which Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Bidens.

Schiff later said his remarks were intended as a parody and that Trump and others who have criticized him should have recognized that.

The resolution, which has the backing of Trump and the House Republican leadership, also takes aim at Schiff for other actions, including some related to the investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

Shortly after 6:30 p.m., House Democrats are expected to move to table the resolution. If successful, that would prevent a vote on the resolution itself.

Trump urged support for the resolution last week and took fresh aim at Schiff in a tweet on Sunday night.

“Adam Schiff is a Corrupt Politician!” Trump wrote in a tweet that also included a clip of a television interview in which House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) urged a censure of Schiff.

7 a.m.: Series of closed-door depositions planned this week

House investigators are planning closed-door depositions from a parade of witnesses this week, starting Tuesday with acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor, considered by Democrats to be a key figure in the probe.

Taylor, in text messages with two other U.S. diplomats, raised alarms about the White House holding back military aid to Ukraine, calling it “crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign” and a “nightmare scenario.”

On Wednesday, lawmakers are expected to hear from Ambassador Philip Reeker, acting assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs, and Michael Duffey, associate director of national security programs at the Office of Management and Budget. Duffey’s signature was on the letters reapportioning the Ukraine aid.

On Thursday, Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of defense whose portfolio includes Russia and Ukraine, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director of European Affairs on the National Security Council, are expected to testify.

6:30 a.m.: Trump to hold first Cabinet meeting since launch of inquiry

Trump is scheduled to convene his first Cabinet meeting since House Democrats launched the impeachment inquiry.

The White House has advised that part of the meeting will be open to reporters, which could provide Trump an opportunity to offer his latest thoughts on impeachment and other issues. He has no other public events on his schedule Monday.

6 a.m.: Trump shares clips from a sympathetic Fox News program

Trump went on Twitter late Sunday night to share multiple clips from “The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton,” a Fox News program with a sympathetic bent toward what Trump is facing in the impeachment inquiry.

In one clip, host Steve Hilton accuses Democrats of engaging in “partisan politics dressed up as principle” and decries “a parade of bureaucrats stepping out of the shadows to attack President Trump.”

“Their loyalty is to their bureaucratic establishment agenda,” Hilton says of the “unaccountable bureaucrats” who provided testimony last week to House investigators.



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