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Oct 8, 2019 13:41:07   #
Geo
 
Administration blocks ambassador from testifying on Ukraine — live updates

BY EMILY TILLETT, KATHRYN WATSON, STEFAN BECKET, GRACE SEGERS
UPDATED ON: OCTOBER 8, 2019 / 1:10 PM / CBS NEWS
________________________________________
Key facts and latest news
• At the direction of the State Department, the U.S. ambassador to the E.U. did not appear for testimony before House lawmakers. President Trump said he would "love" to send Gordon Sondland to testify, but not before what he called a "totally compromised kangaroo court."
• Democrats are weighing extreme measures to conceal the whistleblower's identity in a potential interview in part because they fear at least one Republican on the committee might reveal the individual's identity to the White House.
• On a July call between Mr. Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr. Trump urged Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. Before the call, the president instructed acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to hold off on releasing military aid to Ukraine that had been appropriated by Congress.
• Soon after the July call, White House officials moved a record of the call to a highly classified computer system, severely restricting who could access it.
________________________________________
Washington -- U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who was scheduled to be interviewed by House committees Tuesday as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry, was ordered not to appear for his deposition by the State Department, according to a statement issued by his attorney. Sondland was mentioned in the original whistleblower complaint and is a key witness to the Trump-Ukraine dealings.
Sondland's lawyer Robert Luskin said in the statement that Sondland "is profoundly disappointed that he will not be able to testify today." Luskin said the ambassador had traveled from Brussels for the testimony and made arrangements with committee staff to appear. Sondland "believes strongly that he acted at all times in the best interests of the United States" and remains ready to testify "on short notice," Luskin said.
Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, addresses the media during a press conference in Bucharest on September 5, 2019.DANIEL MIHAILESCU / AFP/GETTY IMAGES
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff told reporters on Tuesday that Sondland was in possession of documents on his "personal device" related to Ukraine, which he said the State Department is withholding from the committee.
Trump Impeachment Inquiry More
• House committees issue new subpoenas in Ukraine probe — live updates
• This week's Trump impeachment inquiry developments
• Democrats subpoena White House in impeachment inquiry
• White House subpoenaed in impeachment probe
"The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents, we consider yet additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress," Schiff said.
Meanwhile, the House Intelligence Committee is considering "extraordinary moves" to protect the whistleblower's identity in a still-unscheduled upcoming interview, according to one lawmaker.
"We have to take all precautions, because we cannot burn his or her identity," Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi told CBS News.
The potential measures -- including obscuring the whistleblower's appearance and voice -- were first reported by The Washington Post on Monday. -- Nancy Cordes and Grace Segers
________________________________________
________________________________________
House Democrats say they'll subpoena Sondland
11:47 a.m.: The three Democratic chairmen leading the impeachment inquiry say they plan to subpoena Sondland, after he declined to appear Tuesday.
Schiff, Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel and Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings announced their intention to subpoena Sondland for his testimony and documents on Tuesday. "
"We consider this interference to be obstruction of the impeachment inquiry," they wrote.
________________________________________
Top House Democrats slam Trump for "obstructing" impeachment inqiury
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on October 8, 2019.JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS
11:45 a.m.: Three top House Democrats -- Schiff, Engel and Cummings -- slammed the White House's efforts to block Sondland from testifying in a closed-door session on his knowledge of Mr. Trump's Ukraine dealings.
In a joint statement released by the committee chairs, they said the White House's efforts to block Sondland's testimony shows their attempts "to impede and obstruct the impeachment inquiry."
According to a statement by Sondland's attorney, the direction to not appear came from the State Department, just hours before he was to testify.
"These actions appear to be part of the White House's effort to obstruct the impeachment inquiry and to cover up President Trump's misconduct from Congress and the American people. Ambassador Sondland's testimony and documents are vital, and that is precisely why the Administration is now blocking his testimony and withholding his documents," the committee chairs said.
Now, Schiff, Engel and Cummings say they will move to issue a subpoena for Sondland's testimony and any related documents.
"We consider this interference to be obstruction of the impeachment inquiry," they added.
________________________________________
Schiff says State Department is withholding documents from Congress
9:39 a.m.: Schiff says that Sondland has texts and documents on his "personal device" relating to Ukraine that the State Department is withholding from Congress. He told reporters the committee views the government's refusal to allow Sondland to testify as evidence of obstruction.
"The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents, we consider...additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress," Schiff said. "The American people have a right to know if President Trump is working for their interests or in his own political interests."
However, Republican committee members defended the State Department's decision to block Sondland's testimony, complaining that Democrats had treated former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker unfairly during his testimony before the committee last week. They also called for the full transcript of Volker's testimony before the committee to be released.
Trump confirms that he was involved in decision not to allow Sondland to testify
9:23 a.m.: In two tweets on Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump confirmed that he was involved in the decision not to allow Sondland to testify before the House Intelligence Committee.
"I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify, but unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where Republican's rights have been taken away, and true facts are not allowed out for the public ... to see. Importantly, Ambassador Sondland's tweet, which few report, stated, "I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo's of any kind." That says it ALL!" Mr. Trump wrote.
According to a statement by Sondland's attorney, the Department of State directed him not to appear for his interview before the House Joint Committee. The order came just hours before his scheduled meeting.
CBS News contributor Jonathan Turley noted that Mr. Trump's stated opposition to Sondland's testimony before the committee could undermine claims of executive privilege. The president tweeted that he didn't want him testifying before a "a totally compromised kangaroo court."
Saying that he doesn't trust the committee is different that claiming executive privilege, which is based on protecting confidential communications and diplomatic relations. The former, Turley pointed out, is not a ground for refusal if a subpoena were to be issued.
Gordon Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to E.U., will not appear before Congress
8:26 a.m.: Sondland will not be appearing for his scheduled congressional interview today, after the State Department ordered him not to appear.
According to a statement by Sondland's attorney, the direction came just hours before he was to testify.
"Ambassador Sondland had previously agreed to appear voluntarily today, without the need for a subpoena, in order to answer the Committee's questions on an expedited basis. As the sitting U.S. Ambassador to the EU and employee of the State Department, Ambassador Sondland is required to follow the Department's direction," Sondland attorney, Robert Luskin, said in a statement. He said the ambassador was "profoundly disappointed" that he was not able to testify.
"Sondland believes strongly that he acted at all times in the best interests of the United States, and he stands ready to answer the Committee's questions fully and truthfully," Luskin added.
Sondland was mentioned in the original whistleblower complaint and is considered a key witness in the president's dealings with Ukraine.
Text messages released last week between Sondland and other U.S. diplomats discussed efforts to get the Ukrainians to draft a statement agreeing on investigations into Burisma, the energy company that hired Joe Biden's son Hunter, and Ukraine's alleged involvement in the 2016 U.S. election. The Ukrainians hoped to secure a White House meeting with President Trump.
But after Politico reported on August 29 that the president had decided to pause U.S. aid for Ukraine, Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, wrote, "I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign."
Sondland replied that Taylor was "incorrect about President Trump's intentions," saying the president had been "crystal clear: no quid pro quo's of any kind."
Former senior White House aides: Trump not receiving good advice on Ukraine, Syria
6:57 a.m.: CBS News has spoken to several former senior administration aides over the last few days, including former senior White House advisers who have been largely critical of how the White House has been handling recent situations including the Ukraine call, the release of the call's summary, the impeachment inquiry and now Syria.
The former senior advisers believe that there is a dearth of advisers in the current White House who have the ability or willingness to dissuade the president from bad political decisions.
"There is no one really left who can say, 'that's a bad idea,'" one former senior Trump aide said. -- Fin Gomez, Sara Cook and Weijia Jiang
Trump calls impeachment inquiry a "scam"
President Trump speaks after a signing ceremony for a trade agreement with Japan in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Monday, October 7, 2019, in Washington.EVAN VUCCI / AP
Monday, 4:54 p.m.: After signing a pair of trade deals with Japan at the White House, the president took questions from reporters and called the impeachment probe a "scam."
"The impeachment inquiry is a scam. The conversation that I had with the Ukrainian president, Zelensky, was a very good, it was a very cordial conversation," Mr. Trump said.
He again criticized House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff for paraphrasing his remarks on the call during a congressional hearing last week, calling him a "fraud." -- Stefan Becket
GOP senator says Trump "should not have raised the Biden issue" on Ukraine call
Senator Rob Portman speaks to reporters outside Wyoming High School in Wyoming, Ohio, on June 22, 2017.AFP CONTRIBUTOR / AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Monday, 4:21 p.m.: Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio said the president raising the prospect of investigating the Bidens on the July 25 call with the president of Ukraine was "not appropriate" but said he doesn't think it rises to the level of an impeachable offense.
"The president should not have raised the Biden issue on that call, period. It's not appropriate for a president to engage a foreign government in an investigation of a political opponent," Portman said in an interview with The Columbus Dispatch published Monday. "I don't view it as an impeachable offense. I think the House frankly rushed to impeachment assuming certain things."
The president called Portman "honorable" last week after Portman said he was given a "consistent reason" for the delay in releasing Ukraine aid. -- Stefan Becket
Pentagon and Office of Management and Budget subpoenaed
Monday, 12:39 p.m.: The Pentagon and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have been subpoenaed for documents in House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel wrote to Defense Secretary Mark Esper and OMB Acting Director Russell Vought on Monday informing them of the subpoenas.
"Pursuant to the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry, we are hereby transmitting a subpoena that compels you to produce the documents set forth in the accompanying schedule by October 15, 2019," the chairmen wrote in their letter.
The White House was also subpoenaed for documents late Friday.
At least one week before Mr. Trump spoke by phone with the Ukrainian president in late July, he instructed his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to hold off on releasing nearly $400 million in military aid for Ukraine that had already been appropriated by Congress. A senior administration official with direct knowledge of the Trump administration's actions regarding the funds previously confirmed to CBS News the delay in military aid.

| Reply
Oct 8, 2019 13:54:04   #
BigMike (a regular here)
 
Geo wrote:
Administration blocks ambassador from testifying on Ukraine — live updates

BY EMILY TILLETT, KATHRYN WATSON, STEFAN BECKET, GRACE SEGERS
UPDATED ON: OCTOBER 8, 2019 / 1:10 PM / CBS NEWS
________________________________________
Key facts and latest news
• At the direction of the State Department, the U.S. ambassador to the E.U. did not appear for testimony before House lawmakers. President Trump said he would "love" to send Gordon Sondland to testify, but not before what he called a "totally compromised kangaroo court."
• Democrats are weighing extreme measures to conceal the whistleblower's identity in a potential interview in part because they fear at least one Republican on the committee might reveal the individual's identity to the White House.
• On a July call between Mr. Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr. Trump urged Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. Before the call, the president instructed acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to hold off on releasing military aid to Ukraine that had been appropriated by Congress.
• Soon after the July call, White House officials moved a record of the call to a highly classified computer system, severely restricting who could access it.
________________________________________
Washington -- U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who was scheduled to be interviewed by House committees Tuesday as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry, was ordered not to appear for his deposition by the State Department, according to a statement issued by his attorney. Sondland was mentioned in the original whistleblower complaint and is a key witness to the Trump-Ukraine dealings.
Sondland's lawyer Robert Luskin said in the statement that Sondland "is profoundly disappointed that he will not be able to testify today." Luskin said the ambassador had traveled from Brussels for the testimony and made arrangements with committee staff to appear. Sondland "believes strongly that he acted at all times in the best interests of the United States" and remains ready to testify "on short notice," Luskin said.
Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, addresses the media during a press conference in Bucharest on September 5, 2019.DANIEL MIHAILESCU / AFP/GETTY IMAGES
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff told reporters on Tuesday that Sondland was in possession of documents on his "personal device" related to Ukraine, which he said the State Department is withholding from the committee.
Trump Impeachment Inquiry More
• House committees issue new subpoenas in Ukraine probe — live updates
• This week's Trump impeachment inquiry developments
• Democrats subpoena White House in impeachment inquiry
• White House subpoenaed in impeachment probe
"The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents, we consider yet additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress," Schiff said.
Meanwhile, the House Intelligence Committee is considering "extraordinary moves" to protect the whistleblower's identity in a still-unscheduled upcoming interview, according to one lawmaker.
"We have to take all precautions, because we cannot burn his or her identity," Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi told CBS News.
The potential measures -- including obscuring the whistleblower's appearance and voice -- were first reported by The Washington Post on Monday. -- Nancy Cordes and Grace Segers
________________________________________
________________________________________
House Democrats say they'll subpoena Sondland
11:47 a.m.: The three Democratic chairmen leading the impeachment inquiry say they plan to subpoena Sondland, after he declined to appear Tuesday.
Schiff, Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel and Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings announced their intention to subpoena Sondland for his testimony and documents on Tuesday. "
"We consider this interference to be obstruction of the impeachment inquiry," they wrote.
________________________________________
Top House Democrats slam Trump for "obstructing" impeachment inqiury
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on October 8, 2019.JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS
11:45 a.m.: Three top House Democrats -- Schiff, Engel and Cummings -- slammed the White House's efforts to block Sondland from testifying in a closed-door session on his knowledge of Mr. Trump's Ukraine dealings.
In a joint statement released by the committee chairs, they said the White House's efforts to block Sondland's testimony shows their attempts "to impede and obstruct the impeachment inquiry."
According to a statement by Sondland's attorney, the direction to not appear came from the State Department, just hours before he was to testify.
"These actions appear to be part of the White House's effort to obstruct the impeachment inquiry and to cover up President Trump's misconduct from Congress and the American people. Ambassador Sondland's testimony and documents are vital, and that is precisely why the Administration is now blocking his testimony and withholding his documents," the committee chairs said.
Now, Schiff, Engel and Cummings say they will move to issue a subpoena for Sondland's testimony and any related documents.
"We consider this interference to be obstruction of the impeachment inquiry," they added.
________________________________________
Schiff says State Department is withholding documents from Congress
9:39 a.m.: Schiff says that Sondland has texts and documents on his "personal device" relating to Ukraine that the State Department is withholding from Congress. He told reporters the committee views the government's refusal to allow Sondland to testify as evidence of obstruction.
"The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents, we consider...additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress," Schiff said. "The American people have a right to know if President Trump is working for their interests or in his own political interests."
However, Republican committee members defended the State Department's decision to block Sondland's testimony, complaining that Democrats had treated former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker unfairly during his testimony before the committee last week. They also called for the full transcript of Volker's testimony before the committee to be released.
Trump confirms that he was involved in decision not to allow Sondland to testify
9:23 a.m.: In two tweets on Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump confirmed that he was involved in the decision not to allow Sondland to testify before the House Intelligence Committee.
"I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify, but unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where Republican's rights have been taken away, and true facts are not allowed out for the public ... to see. Importantly, Ambassador Sondland's tweet, which few report, stated, "I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo's of any kind." That says it ALL!" Mr. Trump wrote.
According to a statement by Sondland's attorney, the Department of State directed him not to appear for his interview before the House Joint Committee. The order came just hours before his scheduled meeting.
CBS News contributor Jonathan Turley noted that Mr. Trump's stated opposition to Sondland's testimony before the committee could undermine claims of executive privilege. The president tweeted that he didn't want him testifying before a "a totally compromised kangaroo court."
Saying that he doesn't trust the committee is different that claiming executive privilege, which is based on protecting confidential communications and diplomatic relations. The former, Turley pointed out, is not a ground for refusal if a subpoena were to be issued.
Gordon Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to E.U., will not appear before Congress
8:26 a.m.: Sondland will not be appearing for his scheduled congressional interview today, after the State Department ordered him not to appear.
According to a statement by Sondland's attorney, the direction came just hours before he was to testify.
"Ambassador Sondland had previously agreed to appear voluntarily today, without the need for a subpoena, in order to answer the Committee's questions on an expedited basis. As the sitting U.S. Ambassador to the EU and employee of the State Department, Ambassador Sondland is required to follow the Department's direction," Sondland attorney, Robert Luskin, said in a statement. He said the ambassador was "profoundly disappointed" that he was not able to testify.
"Sondland believes strongly that he acted at all times in the best interests of the United States, and he stands ready to answer the Committee's questions fully and truthfully," Luskin added.
Sondland was mentioned in the original whistleblower complaint and is considered a key witness in the president's dealings with Ukraine.
Text messages released last week between Sondland and other U.S. diplomats discussed efforts to get the Ukrainians to draft a statement agreeing on investigations into Burisma, the energy company that hired Joe Biden's son Hunter, and Ukraine's alleged involvement in the 2016 U.S. election. The Ukrainians hoped to secure a White House meeting with President Trump.
But after Politico reported on August 29 that the president had decided to pause U.S. aid for Ukraine, Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, wrote, "I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign."
Sondland replied that Taylor was "incorrect about President Trump's intentions," saying the president had been "crystal clear: no quid pro quo's of any kind."
Former senior White House aides: Trump not receiving good advice on Ukraine, Syria
6:57 a.m.: CBS News has spoken to several former senior administration aides over the last few days, including former senior White House advisers who have been largely critical of how the White House has been handling recent situations including the Ukraine call, the release of the call's summary, the impeachment inquiry and now Syria.
The former senior advisers believe that there is a dearth of advisers in the current White House who have the ability or willingness to dissuade the president from bad political decisions.
"There is no one really left who can say, 'that's a bad idea,'" one former senior Trump aide said. -- Fin Gomez, Sara Cook and Weijia Jiang
Trump calls impeachment inquiry a "scam"
President Trump speaks after a signing ceremony for a trade agreement with Japan in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Monday, October 7, 2019, in Washington.EVAN VUCCI / AP
Monday, 4:54 p.m.: After signing a pair of trade deals with Japan at the White House, the president took questions from reporters and called the impeachment probe a "scam."
"The impeachment inquiry is a scam. The conversation that I had with the Ukrainian president, Zelensky, was a very good, it was a very cordial conversation," Mr. Trump said.
He again criticized House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff for paraphrasing his remarks on the call during a congressional hearing last week, calling him a "fraud." -- Stefan Becket
GOP senator says Trump "should not have raised the Biden issue" on Ukraine call
Senator Rob Portman speaks to reporters outside Wyoming High School in Wyoming, Ohio, on June 22, 2017.AFP CONTRIBUTOR / AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Monday, 4:21 p.m.: Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio said the president raising the prospect of investigating the Bidens on the July 25 call with the president of Ukraine was "not appropriate" but said he doesn't think it rises to the level of an impeachable offense.
"The president should not have raised the Biden issue on that call, period. It's not appropriate for a president to engage a foreign government in an investigation of a political opponent," Portman said in an interview with The Columbus Dispatch published Monday. "I don't view it as an impeachable offense. I think the House frankly rushed to impeachment assuming certain things."
The president called Portman "honorable" last week after Portman said he was given a "consistent reason" for the delay in releasing Ukraine aid. -- Stefan Becket
Pentagon and Office of Management and Budget subpoenaed
Monday, 12:39 p.m.: The Pentagon and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have been subpoenaed for documents in House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel wrote to Defense Secretary Mark Esper and OMB Acting Director Russell Vought on Monday informing them of the subpoenas.
"Pursuant to the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry, we are hereby transmitting a subpoena that compels you to produce the documents set forth in the accompanying schedule by October 15, 2019," the chairmen wrote in their letter.
The White House was also subpoenaed for documents late Friday.
At least one week before Mr. Trump spoke by phone with the Ukrainian president in late July, he instructed his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to hold off on releasing nearly $400 million in military aid for Ukraine that had already been appropriated by Congress. A senior administration official with direct knowledge of the Trump administration's actions regarding the funds previously confirmed to CBS News the delay in military aid.
Administration blocks ambassador from testifying o... (show quote)


Just prior to this Schiff announced to the cameras that any attempt to prevent a witness from testifying would result in a "Nixonian" obstruction of justice charge...so Trump let homeboy come all the way to Washington and an hour before his testimony tells him he won't be testifying...

...so logically, I would say Trump is goading your pathetic Democrat House "leaders" to impeach him...

...so get on widdit chickens!

| Reply
Oct 8, 2019 13:55:23   #
Auntie Dee (a regular here)
 
The 1st point answers the question!

At the direction of the State Department, the U.S. ambassador to the E.U. did not appear for testimony before House lawmakers. President Trump said he would "love" to send Gordon Sondland to testify, but not before what he called a "totally compromised kangaroo court."

We are viewing Democratic THEATER! Nothing more, there is NO Impeachment Inquiry, an inquiry cannot begin until a vote on it has been taken. The House flouts the rules and the MSM covers for them!

| Reply
Oct 8, 2019 13:59:59   #
byronglimish (a regular here)
 
Geo wrote:
Administration blocks ambassador from testifying on Ukraine — live updates

BY EMILY TILLETT, KATHRYN WATSON, STEFAN BECKET, GRACE SEGERS
UPDATED ON: OCTOBER 8, 2019 / 1:10 PM / CBS NEWS
________________________________________
Key facts and latest news
• At the direction of the State Department, the U.S. ambassador to the E.U. did not appear for testimony before House lawmakers. President Trump said he would "love" to send Gordon Sondland to testify, but not before what he called a "totally compromised kangaroo court."
• Democrats are weighing extreme measures to conceal the whistleblower's identity in a potential interview in part because they fear at least one Republican on the committee might reveal the individual's identity to the White House.
• On a July call between Mr. Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr. Trump urged Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. Before the call, the president instructed acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to hold off on releasing military aid to Ukraine that had been appropriated by Congress.
• Soon after the July call, White House officials moved a record of the call to a highly classified computer system, severely restricting who could access it.
________________________________________
Washington -- U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who was scheduled to be interviewed by House committees Tuesday as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry, was ordered not to appear for his deposition by the State Department, according to a statement issued by his attorney. Sondland was mentioned in the original whistleblower complaint and is a key witness to the Trump-Ukraine dealings.
Sondland's lawyer Robert Luskin said in the statement that Sondland "is profoundly disappointed that he will not be able to testify today." Luskin said the ambassador had traveled from Brussels for the testimony and made arrangements with committee staff to appear. Sondland "believes strongly that he acted at all times in the best interests of the United States" and remains ready to testify "on short notice," Luskin said.
Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, addresses the media during a press conference in Bucharest on September 5, 2019.DANIEL MIHAILESCU / AFP/GETTY IMAGES
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff told reporters on Tuesday that Sondland was in possession of documents on his "personal device" related to Ukraine, which he said the State Department is withholding from the committee.
Trump Impeachment Inquiry More
• House committees issue new subpoenas in Ukraine probe — live updates
• This week's Trump impeachment inquiry developments
• Democrats subpoena White House in impeachment inquiry
• White House subpoenaed in impeachment probe
"The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents, we consider yet additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress," Schiff said.
Meanwhile, the House Intelligence Committee is considering "extraordinary moves" to protect the whistleblower's identity in a still-unscheduled upcoming interview, according to one lawmaker.
"We have to take all precautions, because we cannot burn his or her identity," Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi told CBS News.
The potential measures -- including obscuring the whistleblower's appearance and voice -- were first reported by The Washington Post on Monday. -- Nancy Cordes and Grace Segers
________________________________________
________________________________________
House Democrats say they'll subpoena Sondland
11:47 a.m.: The three Democratic chairmen leading the impeachment inquiry say they plan to subpoena Sondland, after he declined to appear Tuesday.
Schiff, Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel and Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings announced their intention to subpoena Sondland for his testimony and documents on Tuesday. "
"We consider this interference to be obstruction of the impeachment inquiry," they wrote.
________________________________________
Top House Democrats slam Trump for "obstructing" impeachment inqiury
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on October 8, 2019.JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS
11:45 a.m.: Three top House Democrats -- Schiff, Engel and Cummings -- slammed the White House's efforts to block Sondland from testifying in a closed-door session on his knowledge of Mr. Trump's Ukraine dealings.
In a joint statement released by the committee chairs, they said the White House's efforts to block Sondland's testimony shows their attempts "to impede and obstruct the impeachment inquiry."
According to a statement by Sondland's attorney, the direction to not appear came from the State Department, just hours before he was to testify.
"These actions appear to be part of the White House's effort to obstruct the impeachment inquiry and to cover up President Trump's misconduct from Congress and the American people. Ambassador Sondland's testimony and documents are vital, and that is precisely why the Administration is now blocking his testimony and withholding his documents," the committee chairs said.
Now, Schiff, Engel and Cummings say they will move to issue a subpoena for Sondland's testimony and any related documents.
"We consider this interference to be obstruction of the impeachment inquiry," they added.
________________________________________
Schiff says State Department is withholding documents from Congress
9:39 a.m.: Schiff says that Sondland has texts and documents on his "personal device" relating to Ukraine that the State Department is withholding from Congress. He told reporters the committee views the government's refusal to allow Sondland to testify as evidence of obstruction.
"The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents, we consider...additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress," Schiff said. "The American people have a right to know if President Trump is working for their interests or in his own political interests."
However, Republican committee members defended the State Department's decision to block Sondland's testimony, complaining that Democrats had treated former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker unfairly during his testimony before the committee last week. They also called for the full transcript of Volker's testimony before the committee to be released.
Trump confirms that he was involved in decision not to allow Sondland to testify
9:23 a.m.: In two tweets on Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump confirmed that he was involved in the decision not to allow Sondland to testify before the House Intelligence Committee.
"I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify, but unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where Republican's rights have been taken away, and true facts are not allowed out for the public ... to see. Importantly, Ambassador Sondland's tweet, which few report, stated, "I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo's of any kind." That says it ALL!" Mr. Trump wrote.
According to a statement by Sondland's attorney, the Department of State directed him not to appear for his interview before the House Joint Committee. The order came just hours before his scheduled meeting.
CBS News contributor Jonathan Turley noted that Mr. Trump's stated opposition to Sondland's testimony before the committee could undermine claims of executive privilege. The president tweeted that he didn't want him testifying before a "a totally compromised kangaroo court."
Saying that he doesn't trust the committee is different that claiming executive privilege, which is based on protecting confidential communications and diplomatic relations. The former, Turley pointed out, is not a ground for refusal if a subpoena were to be issued.
Gordon Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to E.U., will not appear before Congress
8:26 a.m.: Sondland will not be appearing for his scheduled congressional interview today, after the State Department ordered him not to appear.
According to a statement by Sondland's attorney, the direction came just hours before he was to testify.
"Ambassador Sondland had previously agreed to appear voluntarily today, without the need for a subpoena, in order to answer the Committee's questions on an expedited basis. As the sitting U.S. Ambassador to the EU and employee of the State Department, Ambassador Sondland is required to follow the Department's direction," Sondland attorney, Robert Luskin, said in a statement. He said the ambassador was "profoundly disappointed" that he was not able to testify.
"Sondland believes strongly that he acted at all times in the best interests of the United States, and he stands ready to answer the Committee's questions fully and truthfully," Luskin added.
Sondland was mentioned in the original whistleblower complaint and is considered a key witness in the president's dealings with Ukraine.
Text messages released last week between Sondland and other U.S. diplomats discussed efforts to get the Ukrainians to draft a statement agreeing on investigations into Burisma, the energy company that hired Joe Biden's son Hunter, and Ukraine's alleged involvement in the 2016 U.S. election. The Ukrainians hoped to secure a White House meeting with President Trump.
But after Politico reported on August 29 that the president had decided to pause U.S. aid for Ukraine, Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, wrote, "I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign."
Sondland replied that Taylor was "incorrect about President Trump's intentions," saying the president had been "crystal clear: no quid pro quo's of any kind."
Former senior White House aides: Trump not receiving good advice on Ukraine, Syria
6:57 a.m.: CBS News has spoken to several former senior administration aides over the last few days, including former senior White House advisers who have been largely critical of how the White House has been handling recent situations including the Ukraine call, the release of the call's summary, the impeachment inquiry and now Syria.
The former senior advisers believe that there is a dearth of advisers in the current White House who have the ability or willingness to dissuade the president from bad political decisions.
"There is no one really left who can say, 'that's a bad idea,'" one former senior Trump aide said. -- Fin Gomez, Sara Cook and Weijia Jiang
Trump calls impeachment inquiry a "scam"
President Trump speaks after a signing ceremony for a trade agreement with Japan in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Monday, October 7, 2019, in Washington.EVAN VUCCI / AP
Monday, 4:54 p.m.: After signing a pair of trade deals with Japan at the White House, the president took questions from reporters and called the impeachment probe a "scam."
"The impeachment inquiry is a scam. The conversation that I had with the Ukrainian president, Zelensky, was a very good, it was a very cordial conversation," Mr. Trump said.
He again criticized House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff for paraphrasing his remarks on the call during a congressional hearing last week, calling him a "fraud." -- Stefan Becket
GOP senator says Trump "should not have raised the Biden issue" on Ukraine call
Senator Rob Portman speaks to reporters outside Wyoming High School in Wyoming, Ohio, on June 22, 2017.AFP CONTRIBUTOR / AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Monday, 4:21 p.m.: Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio said the president raising the prospect of investigating the Bidens on the July 25 call with the president of Ukraine was "not appropriate" but said he doesn't think it rises to the level of an impeachable offense.
"The president should not have raised the Biden issue on that call, period. It's not appropriate for a president to engage a foreign government in an investigation of a political opponent," Portman said in an interview with The Columbus Dispatch published Monday. "I don't view it as an impeachable offense. I think the House frankly rushed to impeachment assuming certain things."
The president called Portman "honorable" last week after Portman said he was given a "consistent reason" for the delay in releasing Ukraine aid. -- Stefan Becket
Pentagon and Office of Management and Budget subpoenaed
Monday, 12:39 p.m.: The Pentagon and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have been subpoenaed for documents in House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel wrote to Defense Secretary Mark Esper and OMB Acting Director Russell Vought on Monday informing them of the subpoenas.
"Pursuant to the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry, we are hereby transmitting a subpoena that compels you to produce the documents set forth in the accompanying schedule by October 15, 2019," the chairmen wrote in their letter.
The White House was also subpoenaed for documents late Friday.
At least one week before Mr. Trump spoke by phone with the Ukrainian president in late July, he instructed his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to hold off on releasing nearly $400 million in military aid for Ukraine that had already been appropriated by Congress. A senior administration official with direct knowledge of the Trump administration's actions regarding the funds previously confirmed to CBS News the delay in military aid.
Administration blocks ambassador from testifying o... (show quote)


Yo Deorge...you people are pushing forward on a Inquisition style government.

Adam Schiff is a tyrannical dictator at his position.

He runs his courtroom in a Nazi procedures.

As Mueller the Milker proved...with you proggies, there are no right answers.

You people determine guilt by imagination and Forgo the burdensome clause of Due Process.

You people claim that the President is not following the constitution.

All the while you people wipe your Schumers with it.

| Reply
Oct 8, 2019 14:29:24   #
ExperienceCounts
 
I wouldn't give an inch before I had to. They cannot even "Quote" a printout of his actual, factual words correctly before Congress. That is both slander and perjury.

| Reply
Oct 8, 2019 14:37:12   #
Louie27 (a regular here)
 
Geo wrote:
Administration blocks ambassador from testifying on Ukraine — live updates

BY EMILY TILLETT, KATHRYN WATSON, STEFAN BECKET, GRACE SEGERS
UPDATED ON: OCTOBER 8, 2019 / 1:10 PM / CBS NEWS
________________________________________
Key facts and latest news
• At the direction of the State Department, the U.S. ambassador to the E.U. did not appear for testimony before House lawmakers. President Trump said he would "love" to send Gordon Sondland to testify, but not before what he called a "totally compromised kangaroo court."
• Democrats are weighing extreme measures to conceal the whistleblower's identity in a potential interview in part because they fear at least one Republican on the committee might reveal the individual's identity to the White House.
• On a July call between Mr. Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr. Trump urged Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. Before the call, the president instructed acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to hold off on releasing military aid to Ukraine that had been appropriated by Congress.
• Soon after the July call, White House officials moved a record of the call to a highly classified computer system, severely restricting who could access it.
________________________________________
Washington -- U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who was scheduled to be interviewed by House committees Tuesday as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry, was ordered not to appear for his deposition by the State Department, according to a statement issued by his attorney. Sondland was mentioned in the original whistleblower complaint and is a key witness to the Trump-Ukraine dealings.
Sondland's lawyer Robert Luskin said in the statement that Sondland "is profoundly disappointed that he will not be able to testify today." Luskin said the ambassador had traveled from Brussels for the testimony and made arrangements with committee staff to appear. Sondland "believes strongly that he acted at all times in the best interests of the United States" and remains ready to testify "on short notice," Luskin said.
Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, addresses the media during a press conference in Bucharest on September 5, 2019.DANIEL MIHAILESCU / AFP/GETTY IMAGES
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff told reporters on Tuesday that Sondland was in possession of documents on his "personal device" related to Ukraine, which he said the State Department is withholding from the committee.
Trump Impeachment Inquiry More
• House committees issue new subpoenas in Ukraine probe — live updates
• This week's Trump impeachment inquiry developments
• Democrats subpoena White House in impeachment inquiry
• White House subpoenaed in impeachment probe
"The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents, we consider yet additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress," Schiff said.
Meanwhile, the House Intelligence Committee is considering "extraordinary moves" to protect the whistleblower's identity in a still-unscheduled upcoming interview, according to one lawmaker.
"We have to take all precautions, because we cannot burn his or her identity," Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi told CBS News.
The potential measures -- including obscuring the whistleblower's appearance and voice -- were first reported by The Washington Post on Monday. -- Nancy Cordes and Grace Segers
________________________________________
________________________________________
House Democrats say they'll subpoena Sondland
11:47 a.m.: The three Democratic chairmen leading the impeachment inquiry say they plan to subpoena Sondland, after he declined to appear Tuesday.
Schiff, Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel and Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings announced their intention to subpoena Sondland for his testimony and documents on Tuesday. "
"We consider this interference to be obstruction of the impeachment inquiry," they wrote.
________________________________________
Top House Democrats slam Trump for "obstructing" impeachment inqiury
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on October 8, 2019.JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS
11:45 a.m.: Three top House Democrats -- Schiff, Engel and Cummings -- slammed the White House's efforts to block Sondland from testifying in a closed-door session on his knowledge of Mr. Trump's Ukraine dealings.
In a joint statement released by the committee chairs, they said the White House's efforts to block Sondland's testimony shows their attempts "to impede and obstruct the impeachment inquiry."
According to a statement by Sondland's attorney, the direction to not appear came from the State Department, just hours before he was to testify.
"These actions appear to be part of the White House's effort to obstruct the impeachment inquiry and to cover up President Trump's misconduct from Congress and the American people. Ambassador Sondland's testimony and documents are vital, and that is precisely why the Administration is now blocking his testimony and withholding his documents," the committee chairs said.
Now, Schiff, Engel and Cummings say they will move to issue a subpoena for Sondland's testimony and any related documents.
"We consider this interference to be obstruction of the impeachment inquiry," they added.
________________________________________
Schiff says State Department is withholding documents from Congress
9:39 a.m.: Schiff says that Sondland has texts and documents on his "personal device" relating to Ukraine that the State Department is withholding from Congress. He told reporters the committee views the government's refusal to allow Sondland to testify as evidence of obstruction.
"The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents, we consider...additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress," Schiff said. "The American people have a right to know if President Trump is working for their interests or in his own political interests."
However, Republican committee members defended the State Department's decision to block Sondland's testimony, complaining that Democrats had treated former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker unfairly during his testimony before the committee last week. They also called for the full transcript of Volker's testimony before the committee to be released.
Trump confirms that he was involved in decision not to allow Sondland to testify
9:23 a.m.: In two tweets on Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump confirmed that he was involved in the decision not to allow Sondland to testify before the House Intelligence Committee.
"I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify, but unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where Republican's rights have been taken away, and true facts are not allowed out for the public ... to see. Importantly, Ambassador Sondland's tweet, which few report, stated, "I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo's of any kind." That says it ALL!" Mr. Trump wrote.
According to a statement by Sondland's attorney, the Department of State directed him not to appear for his interview before the House Joint Committee. The order came just hours before his scheduled meeting.
CBS News contributor Jonathan Turley noted that Mr. Trump's stated opposition to Sondland's testimony before the committee could undermine claims of executive privilege. The president tweeted that he didn't want him testifying before a "a totally compromised kangaroo court."
Saying that he doesn't trust the committee is different that claiming executive privilege, which is based on protecting confidential communications and diplomatic relations. The former, Turley pointed out, is not a ground for refusal if a subpoena were to be issued.
Gordon Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to E.U., will not appear before Congress
8:26 a.m.: Sondland will not be appearing for his scheduled congressional interview today, after the State Department ordered him not to appear.
According to a statement by Sondland's attorney, the direction came just hours before he was to testify.
"Ambassador Sondland had previously agreed to appear voluntarily today, without the need for a subpoena, in order to answer the Committee's questions on an expedited basis. As the sitting U.S. Ambassador to the EU and employee of the State Department, Ambassador Sondland is required to follow the Department's direction," Sondland attorney, Robert Luskin, said in a statement. He said the ambassador was "profoundly disappointed" that he was not able to testify.
"Sondland believes strongly that he acted at all times in the best interests of the United States, and he stands ready to answer the Committee's questions fully and truthfully," Luskin added.
Sondland was mentioned in the original whistleblower complaint and is considered a key witness in the president's dealings with Ukraine.
Text messages released last week between Sondland and other U.S. diplomats discussed efforts to get the Ukrainians to draft a statement agreeing on investigations into Burisma, the energy company that hired Joe Biden's son Hunter, and Ukraine's alleged involvement in the 2016 U.S. election. The Ukrainians hoped to secure a White House meeting with President Trump.
But after Politico reported on August 29 that the president had decided to pause U.S. aid for Ukraine, Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, wrote, "I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign."
Sondland replied that Taylor was "incorrect about President Trump's intentions," saying the president had been "crystal clear: no quid pro quo's of any kind."
Former senior White House aides: Trump not receiving good advice on Ukraine, Syria
6:57 a.m.: CBS News has spoken to several former senior administration aides over the last few days, including former senior White House advisers who have been largely critical of how the White House has been handling recent situations including the Ukraine call, the release of the call's summary, the impeachment inquiry and now Syria.
The former senior advisers believe that there is a dearth of advisers in the current White House who have the ability or willingness to dissuade the president from bad political decisions.
"There is no one really left who can say, 'that's a bad idea,'" one former senior Trump aide said. -- Fin Gomez, Sara Cook and Weijia Jiang
Trump calls impeachment inquiry a "scam"
President Trump speaks after a signing ceremony for a trade agreement with Japan in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Monday, October 7, 2019, in Washington.EVAN VUCCI / AP
Monday, 4:54 p.m.: After signing a pair of trade deals with Japan at the White House, the president took questions from reporters and called the impeachment probe a "scam."
"The impeachment inquiry is a scam. The conversation that I had with the Ukrainian president, Zelensky, was a very good, it was a very cordial conversation," Mr. Trump said.
He again criticized House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff for paraphrasing his remarks on the call during a congressional hearing last week, calling him a "fraud." -- Stefan Becket
GOP senator says Trump "should not have raised the Biden issue" on Ukraine call
Senator Rob Portman speaks to reporters outside Wyoming High School in Wyoming, Ohio, on June 22, 2017.AFP CONTRIBUTOR / AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Monday, 4:21 p.m.: Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio said the president raising the prospect of investigating the Bidens on the July 25 call with the president of Ukraine was "not appropriate" but said he doesn't think it rises to the level of an impeachable offense.
"The president should not have raised the Biden issue on that call, period. It's not appropriate for a president to engage a foreign government in an investigation of a political opponent," Portman said in an interview with The Columbus Dispatch published Monday. "I don't view it as an impeachable offense. I think the House frankly rushed to impeachment assuming certain things."
The president called Portman "honorable" last week after Portman said he was given a "consistent reason" for the delay in releasing Ukraine aid. -- Stefan Becket
Pentagon and Office of Management and Budget subpoenaed
Monday, 12:39 p.m.: The Pentagon and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have been subpoenaed for documents in House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel wrote to Defense Secretary Mark Esper and OMB Acting Director Russell Vought on Monday informing them of the subpoenas.
"Pursuant to the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry, we are hereby transmitting a subpoena that compels you to produce the documents set forth in the accompanying schedule by October 15, 2019," the chairmen wrote in their letter.
The White House was also subpoenaed for documents late Friday.
At least one week before Mr. Trump spoke by phone with the Ukrainian president in late July, he instructed his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to hold off on releasing nearly $400 million in military aid for Ukraine that had already been appropriated by Congress. A senior administration official with direct knowledge of the Trump administration's actions regarding the funds previously confirmed to CBS News the delay in military aid.
Administration blocks ambassador from testifying o... (show quote)


One fact that is evident is, the Dems are afraid to take the impeachment to the House because they may not have enough votes. Another reason is that they would then have to let the other party question the Dems witness's and the Republicans would also be able to have witness's before the house. I think they are afraid of one or the other circumstance which would blow their chance of impeachment. The way they are doing it is just a way to make it an drawn out affair where they can get political points, simply because will never be able to get the information they think they could get, from someone in the Trump administration. This has become such a sad state of affairs for the county to watch.

| Reply
Oct 8, 2019 14:46:32   #
bilordinary (a regular here)
 
Geo wrote:
Administration blocks ambassador from testifying on Ukraine — live updates

BY EMILY TILLETT, KATHRYN WATSON, STEFAN BECKET, GRACE SEGERS
UPDATED ON: OCTOBER 8, 2019 / 1:10 PM / CBS NEWS
________________________________________
Key facts and latest news
• At the direction of the State Department, the U.S. ambassador to the E.U. did not appear for testimony before House lawmakers. President Trump said he would "love" to send Gordon Sondland to testify, but not before what he called a "totally compromised kangaroo court."
• Democrats are weighing extreme measures to conceal the whistleblower's identity in a potential interview in part because they fear at least one Republican on the committee might reveal the individual's identity to the White House.
• On a July call between Mr. Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr. Trump urged Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. Before the call, the president instructed acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to hold off on releasing military aid to Ukraine that had been appropriated by Congress.
• Soon after the July call, White House officials moved a record of the call to a highly classified computer system, severely restricting who could access it.
________________________________________
Washington -- U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who was scheduled to be interviewed by House committees Tuesday as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry, was ordered not to appear for his deposition by the State Department, according to a statement issued by his attorney. Sondland was mentioned in the original whistleblower complaint and is a key witness to the Trump-Ukraine dealings.
Sondland's lawyer Robert Luskin said in the statement that Sondland "is profoundly disappointed that he will not be able to testify today." Luskin said the ambassador had traveled from Brussels for the testimony and made arrangements with committee staff to appear. Sondland "believes strongly that he acted at all times in the best interests of the United States" and remains ready to testify "on short notice," Luskin said.
Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, addresses the media during a press conference in Bucharest on September 5, 2019.DANIEL MIHAILESCU / AFP/GETTY IMAGES
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff told reporters on Tuesday that Sondland was in possession of documents on his "personal device" related to Ukraine, which he said the State Department is withholding from the committee.
Trump Impeachment Inquiry More
• House committees issue new subpoenas in Ukraine probe — live updates
• This week's Trump impeachment inquiry developments
• Democrats subpoena White House in impeachment inquiry
• White House subpoenaed in impeachment probe
"The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents, we consider yet additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress," Schiff said.
Meanwhile, the House Intelligence Committee is considering "extraordinary moves" to protect the whistleblower's identity in a still-unscheduled upcoming interview, according to one lawmaker.
"We have to take all precautions, because we cannot burn his or her identity," Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi told CBS News.
The potential measures -- including obscuring the whistleblower's appearance and voice -- were first reported by The Washington Post on Monday. -- Nancy Cordes and Grace Segers
________________________________________
________________________________________
House Democrats say they'll subpoena Sondland
11:47 a.m.: The three Democratic chairmen leading the impeachment inquiry say they plan to subpoena Sondland, after he declined to appear Tuesday.
Schiff, Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel and Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings announced their intention to subpoena Sondland for his testimony and documents on Tuesday. "
"We consider this interference to be obstruction of the impeachment inquiry," they wrote.
________________________________________
Top House Democrats slam Trump for "obstructing" impeachment inqiury
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on October 8, 2019.JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS
11:45 a.m.: Three top House Democrats -- Schiff, Engel and Cummings -- slammed the White House's efforts to block Sondland from testifying in a closed-door session on his knowledge of Mr. Trump's Ukraine dealings.
In a joint statement released by the committee chairs, they said the White House's efforts to block Sondland's testimony shows their attempts "to impede and obstruct the impeachment inquiry."
According to a statement by Sondland's attorney, the direction to not appear came from the State Department, just hours before he was to testify.
"These actions appear to be part of the White House's effort to obstruct the impeachment inquiry and to cover up President Trump's misconduct from Congress and the American people. Ambassador Sondland's testimony and documents are vital, and that is precisely why the Administration is now blocking his testimony and withholding his documents," the committee chairs said.
Now, Schiff, Engel and Cummings say they will move to issue a subpoena for Sondland's testimony and any related documents.
"We consider this interference to be obstruction of the impeachment inquiry," they added.
________________________________________
Schiff says State Department is withholding documents from Congress
9:39 a.m.: Schiff says that Sondland has texts and documents on his "personal device" relating to Ukraine that the State Department is withholding from Congress. He told reporters the committee views the government's refusal to allow Sondland to testify as evidence of obstruction.
"The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents, we consider...additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress," Schiff said. "The American people have a right to know if President Trump is working for their interests or in his own political interests."
However, Republican committee members defended the State Department's decision to block Sondland's testimony, complaining that Democrats had treated former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker unfairly during his testimony before the committee last week. They also called for the full transcript of Volker's testimony before the committee to be released.
Trump confirms that he was involved in decision not to allow Sondland to testify
9:23 a.m.: In two tweets on Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump confirmed that he was involved in the decision not to allow Sondland to testify before the House Intelligence Committee.
"I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify, but unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where Republican's rights have been taken away, and true facts are not allowed out for the public ... to see. Importantly, Ambassador Sondland's tweet, which few report, stated, "I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo's of any kind." That says it ALL!" Mr. Trump wrote.
According to a statement by Sondland's attorney, the Department of State directed him not to appear for his interview before the House Joint Committee. The order came just hours before his scheduled meeting.
CBS News contributor Jonathan Turley noted that Mr. Trump's stated opposition to Sondland's testimony before the committee could undermine claims of executive privilege. The president tweeted that he didn't want him testifying before a "a totally compromised kangaroo court."
Saying that he doesn't trust the committee is different that claiming executive privilege, which is based on protecting confidential communications and diplomatic relations. The former, Turley pointed out, is not a ground for refusal if a subpoena were to be issued.
Gordon Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to E.U., will not appear before Congress
8:26 a.m.: Sondland will not be appearing for his scheduled congressional interview today, after the State Department ordered him not to appear.
According to a statement by Sondland's attorney, the direction came just hours before he was to testify.
"Ambassador Sondland had previously agreed to appear voluntarily today, without the need for a subpoena, in order to answer the Committee's questions on an expedited basis. As the sitting U.S. Ambassador to the EU and employee of the State Department, Ambassador Sondland is required to follow the Department's direction," Sondland attorney, Robert Luskin, said in a statement. He said the ambassador was "profoundly disappointed" that he was not able to testify.
"Sondland believes strongly that he acted at all times in the best interests of the United States, and he stands ready to answer the Committee's questions fully and truthfully," Luskin added.
Sondland was mentioned in the original whistleblower complaint and is considered a key witness in the president's dealings with Ukraine.
Text messages released last week between Sondland and other U.S. diplomats discussed efforts to get the Ukrainians to draft a statement agreeing on investigations into Burisma, the energy company that hired Joe Biden's son Hunter, and Ukraine's alleged involvement in the 2016 U.S. election. The Ukrainians hoped to secure a White House meeting with President Trump.
But after Politico reported on August 29 that the president had decided to pause U.S. aid for Ukraine, Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, wrote, "I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign."
Sondland replied that Taylor was "incorrect about President Trump's intentions," saying the president had been "crystal clear: no quid pro quo's of any kind."
Former senior White House aides: Trump not receiving good advice on Ukraine, Syria
6:57 a.m.: CBS News has spoken to several former senior administration aides over the last few days, including former senior White House advisers who have been largely critical of how the White House has been handling recent situations including the Ukraine call, the release of the call's summary, the impeachment inquiry and now Syria.
The former senior advisers believe that there is a dearth of advisers in the current White House who have the ability or willingness to dissuade the president from bad political decisions.
"There is no one really left who can say, 'that's a bad idea,'" one former senior Trump aide said. -- Fin Gomez, Sara Cook and Weijia Jiang
Trump calls impeachment inquiry a "scam"
President Trump speaks after a signing ceremony for a trade agreement with Japan in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Monday, October 7, 2019, in Washington.EVAN VUCCI / AP
Monday, 4:54 p.m.: After signing a pair of trade deals with Japan at the White House, the president took questions from reporters and called the impeachment probe a "scam."
"The impeachment inquiry is a scam. The conversation that I had with the Ukrainian president, Zelensky, was a very good, it was a very cordial conversation," Mr. Trump said.
He again criticized House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff for paraphrasing his remarks on the call during a congressional hearing last week, calling him a "fraud." -- Stefan Becket
GOP senator says Trump "should not have raised the Biden issue" on Ukraine call
Senator Rob Portman speaks to reporters outside Wyoming High School in Wyoming, Ohio, on June 22, 2017.AFP CONTRIBUTOR / AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Monday, 4:21 p.m.: Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio said the president raising the prospect of investigating the Bidens on the July 25 call with the president of Ukraine was "not appropriate" but said he doesn't think it rises to the level of an impeachable offense.
"The president should not have raised the Biden issue on that call, period. It's not appropriate for a president to engage a foreign government in an investigation of a political opponent," Portman said in an interview with The Columbus Dispatch published Monday. "I don't view it as an impeachable offense. I think the House frankly rushed to impeachment assuming certain things."
The president called Portman "honorable" last week after Portman said he was given a "consistent reason" for the delay in releasing Ukraine aid. -- Stefan Becket
Pentagon and Office of Management and Budget subpoenaed
Monday, 12:39 p.m.: The Pentagon and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have been subpoenaed for documents in House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel wrote to Defense Secretary Mark Esper and OMB Acting Director Russell Vought on Monday informing them of the subpoenas.
"Pursuant to the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry, we are hereby transmitting a subpoena that compels you to produce the documents set forth in the accompanying schedule by October 15, 2019," the chairmen wrote in their letter.
The White House was also subpoenaed for documents late Friday.
At least one week before Mr. Trump spoke by phone with the Ukrainian president in late July, he instructed his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to hold off on releasing nearly $400 million in military aid for Ukraine that had already been appropriated by Congress. A senior administration official with direct knowledge of the Trump administration's actions regarding the funds previously confirmed to CBS News the delay in military aid.
Administration blocks ambassador from testifying o... (show quote)


Wow, you really have your poop packed, don't you? commie puke.

| Reply
Oct 8, 2019 14:50:34   #
byronglimish (a regular here)
 
bilordinary wrote:
Wow, you really have your poop packed, don't you? commie puke.


I like the way you sugar coat it.

| Reply
Oct 8, 2019 14:51:15   #
woodguru (a regular here)
 
BigMike wrote:
Just prior to this Schiff announced to the cameras that any attempt to prevent a witness from testifying would result in a "Nixonian" obstruction of justice charge...so Trump let homeboy come all the way to Washington and an hour before his testimony tells him he won't be testifying...

...so logically, I would say Trump is goading your pathetic Democrat House "leaders" to impeach him...

...so get on widdit chickens!
Just prior to this Schiff announced to the cameras... (show quote)


They are trying to, and this obstruction if there is nothing there isn't helping get this over with any quicker.

And you miss the part where the white house told him not to testify, the part that is criminal obstruction.

| Reply
Oct 8, 2019 16:23:50   #
Seth (a regular here)
 
BigMike wrote:
Just prior to this Schiff announced to the cameras that any attempt to prevent a witness from testifying would result in a "Nixonian" obstruction of justice charge...so Trump let homeboy come all the way to Washington and an hour before his testimony tells him he won't be testifying...

...so logically, I would say Trump is goading your pathetic Democrat House "leaders" to impeach him...

...so get on widdit chickens!
Just prior to this Schiff announced to the cameras... (show quote)



| Reply
Oct 8, 2019 16:25:01   #
Seth (a regular here)
 
byronglimish wrote:
Yo Deorge...you people are pushing forward on a Inquisition style government.

Adam Schiff is a tyrannical dictator at his position.

He runs his courtroom in a Nazi procedures.

As Mueller the Milker proved...with you proggies, there are no right answers.

You people determine guilt by imagination and Forgo the burdensome clause of Due Process.

You people claim that the President is not following the constitution.

All the while you people wipe your Schumers with it.
Yo Deorge...you people are pushing forward on a In... (show quote)


Well said.

| Reply
Oct 8, 2019 16:33:31   #
BigMike (a regular here)
 
byronglimish wrote:
I like the way you sugar coat it.


Ya...get to the point!

| Reply
Oct 8, 2019 16:36:05   #
BigMike (a regular here)
 
woodguru wrote:
They are trying to, and this obstruction if there is nothing there isn't helping get this over with any quicker.

And you miss the part where the white house told him not to testify, the part that is criminal obstruction.


YES! YOU GET IT! (He can be taught, people!)

Schiff...said...testify...or...else...

Trump...said...or...else!

What about this escapes you? Trump defied Schiff and it's Schiff's move.

| Reply
Oct 8, 2019 16:43:22   #
Seth (a regular here)
 
woodguru wrote:
They are trying to, and this obstruction if there is nothing there isn't helping get this over with any quicker.

And you miss the part where the white house told him not to testify, the part that is criminal obstruction.


Wrong as usual, Mr. Wood.

Until they can legally subpoena someone, which would mean an official impeachment inquiry voted on by the entire House chamber, the administration has more authority over him (his boss, Mike Pompeo, is a cabinet member, in case you forgot) than Adam Schitt and His Kommie Kangaroo Kourt® waiting like spiders in a web, slobbering on themselves in the House.

Meanwhile, Representative Schitt and his merry munchkins expect to hold a stacked deck inquisition wherein only his hand picked professional liars can decide who can be called in to testify, and as we saw recently, Democrat committee chairs have no problem with using their positions (ala Elijah Goings Cummings), to disrupt, distort or just plain stomp down any Republican lines of questioning.

What your ilk is really "exercised" over is the fact that the president isn't stupid enough to allow such a travesty to take place.

To all intents and purposes, it would seem that the Democrats have mistaken the Communist Manifesto for the United States Constitution.

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Oct 8, 2019 16:49:28   #
BigMike (a regular here)
 
Auntie Dee wrote:
The 1st point answers the question!

At the direction of the State Department, the U.S. ambassador to the E.U. did not appear for testimony before House lawmakers. President Trump said he would "love" to send Gordon Sondland to testify, but not before what he called a "totally compromised kangaroo court."

We are viewing Democratic THEATER! Nothing more, there is NO Impeachment Inquiry, an inquiry cannot begin until a vote on it has been taken. The House flouts the rules and the MSM covers for them!
The 1st point answers the question! br br At the ... (show quote)


Trump's making them do it. He's set someone up. Domino effect.

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