legal-affairs

Former ambassador calls Trump's efforts to investigate Bidens 'unacceptable'
Volker says he didn't realize probes into Ukraine company were actually code for a politically motivated investigation

Kurt Volker, left, former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, and Timothy Morrison, former senior director for Russian affairs at the National Security Council, are sworn in at the House Intelligence Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, told lawmakers  Tuesday that he should have surmised President Donald Trump's calls for a Ukrainian probe were actually code for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, a chief political rival. 

During the fourth public impeachment hearing into Trump's dealings with Ukraine, Volker said he knew that Biden's son Hunter was once on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma but did not think investigations into the company were essentially probes into the Biden family. 

‘I don’t know any of these people’: 3 takeaways as Trump watches impeachment saga
Williams gives VP cover after his spox noted ‘she doesn’t directly report to the vice president’

President Donald Trump talks to the media on the South Lawn upon his return to the White House via Marine One on Nov. 3. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)

The third day of public impeachment hearings temporarily transformed President Donald Trump into a history professor as he and his surrogates tried to discredit government witnesses and panned House Democrats.

Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who oversees European matters at the National Security Council, told the House Intelligence Committee that Trump’s talk on a July 25 call with Ukraine’s president of his government investigating U.S. Democrats was “inappropriate” and a “partisan play.” He also panned attacks on other witnesses as “callow and cowardly,” appearing to criticize his commander in chief. Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, called that telephone conversation “unusual” because Trump was focused on a domestic political matter.

Republicans abandon tradition of whistleblower protection at impeachment hearing
Efforts to out the Ukraine whistleblower could have a chilling effect, put U.S. security at risk, experts say

From left, Chairman Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and minority counsel Steve Castor attend the House Intelligence Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Trump in Longworth Building on Tuesday, November 19, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

On Oct. 8, Alan Souza, the lead Republican lawyer on the House Intelligence Committee, wrote an email to Mark Zaid, the lawyer representing the person who first anonymously disclosed concerns that President Donald Trump was pressuring Ukraine for his own political gain.

In the email, Souza assured Zaid that the panel “always maintains the confidentiality of the whistleblower,” according to a reference to the email in a Nov. 6 letter to the committee from Zaid’s law firm that is reproduced on its website.

Fired Capitol Police officer loses sex discrimination lawsuit
Jury finds gender was a factor, but not the only one, and rejects compensatory damages

Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine, right, and former Chief Matthew Verderosa testified in the gender discrimination trial. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Fired Capitol Police officer Chrisavgi Sourgoutsis’ gender was a motivating factor in her dismissal, but the force still would have terminated her, a federal jury found in rejecting her sexual discrimination lawsuit.

Tuesday’s verdict means Sourgoutsis failed to prove she would have remained on the force, but for her sex. The jury denied her bid for compensatory damages, and found she did not prove she was fired for testifying in a sexual harassment investigation into her supervisor.

New polls show impeachment hearings having minimal impact on public sentiment
One survey finds more independents oppose impeachment after first week of hearings

From left, Reps. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Scott Perry, R-Pa., attend Tuesday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Two polls released Tuesday show the House’s impeachment hearings are having minimal impact on public sentiment, with one conducted over the weekend revealing opposition to impeachment growing among independents.

A Politico/Morning Consult poll conducted Nov. 15 to 17 after the first week of public hearings found 47 percent of respondents support the House impeaching President Donald Trump, compared to 44 percent who oppose such action.

Trump calls Pelosi ‘incompetent’ for launching impeachment inquiry
White House official says Trump ‘is expected to sign’ short-term spending bill

President Donald Trump argues at December meeting about border security with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as Vice President Mike Pence looks on in the Oval Office. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Continuing their yearslong feud, President Donald Trump on Tuesday called Speaker Nancy Pelosi “incompetent” over House Democrats’ impeachment probe.

The president also lashed out at the media, saying their coverage of his unscheduled visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Saturday shows news outlets are “sick.” There also were indications from the president’s staff that he will not trigger another government shutdown later this week.

Ben Sasse presses prison bureau director on Jeffrey Epstein death, guards sleeping on the job
‘It’s about the fact that that bastard wasn’t able to testify against his other co-conspirators’

Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the bureau on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

On the day that two federal correctional officers were charged in connection with failing to properly monitor sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide in a New York jail cell, Sen. Ben Sasse had particularly strong words for the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

“As alleged, the defendants had a duty to ensure the safety and security of federal inmates in their care at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. Instead, they repeatedly failed to conduct mandated checks on inmates, and lied on official forms to hide their dereliction,” Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement announcing the indictments.

Trump ally grills key witnesses in impeachment inquiry on whistleblower
National security officials testifying Tuesday among those who listened to the now-infamous July 25 call

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director of European affairs at the National Security Council, and Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, arrive for the House Intelligence Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Trump on Tuesday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The third day of public impeachment testimony grew heated Tuesday when Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, pressed Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman on conversations he had with an intelligence official about the now infamous July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Chairman Adam B. Schiff shut down the line of questioning, asserting that it was an attempt to disclose the identity of the whistleblower whose anonymous report sparked Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

Man who threatened to shoot Ilhan Omar pleads guilty
Patrick Carlineo Jr., of Addison, N.Y., faces 10 years in prison and $250,000 fine

The man who threatened to shoot Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., pleaded guilty on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A New York man who threatened in March to shoot Rep. Ilhan Omar in the head pleaded guilty in federal court for threatening to assault and murder a U.S. official and being a felon in possession of firearms.

Patrick Carlineo Jr., of Addison, New York, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both. Carlineo entered his plea Monday in U.S. District Court in the Western District of New York in Rochester.

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 19
Congressional investigators hearing from two aides who listened in on Trump’s July call with Zelenskiy

Jennifer Williams, left, special adviser for Europe and Russia to Vice President Mike Pence, and Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director for European Affairs at the National Security Council, are sworn in Tuesday before testifying in the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House Intelligence Committee heard Tuesday afternoon from two witnesses called by Republicans on the panel in its impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, the National Security Council’s former senior director for Europe and Russia policy both gave testimony Tuesday afternoon.