rules-and-procedure

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 20
Sondland testifies he was working at Trump’s direction with Giuliani on Ukraine pressure campaign

U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland arrives to testify during the House Select Intelligence Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Gordon Sondland, who has become a central figure in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, testified Wednesday that he was acting at Trump’s direction when he carried out a campaign to pressure Ukraine into investigating the president’s p0litical rival.

Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, told the House Intelligence Committee that is conducting the impeachment inquiry that he worked with Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, at the “express direction” of the president.

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.

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 18
Trump says he’ll consider testifying ahead of a packed hearing schedule this week

House Intelligence Committee Republican members Elise Stefanik and Jim Jordan talk during the  hearing on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump with former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch on Friday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats want to get grand jury materials from former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation in part to see if President Donald Trump lied in written answers, an attorney said Monday.

House General Counsel Doug Letter made the comments while arguing before a federal appeals court in Washington, that the House should get access to the normally secret materials as part of its impeachment investigation. A lower court ordered the Justice Department to turn over the materials, and the Trump administration has appealed.

One of Government Publishing Office’s most important customers might soon be in charge
Hugh Halpern has confirmation hearing to be GPO director

Hugh Halpern, nominee to serve as director of the Government Publishing Office, testified at the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Not every nominee shows up for a confirmation hearing ready to show off his own personal copy of the House Manual. Then again, not every nominee is Hugh Halpern.

Halpern, the longtime Republican staff director of the House Rules Committee and subsequently director of floor operations for Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, is President Donald Trump’s nominee to run the Government Publishing Office.

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 14
Each side’s impeachment strategy emerges in first day of hearings; Pelosi invites Trump to testify

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and other House Republicans conduct a news conference after the first day of impeachment inquiry public hearings on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Two central figures in the new evidence linking President Donald Trump more closely to the U.S.’s request for Ukraine to investigate the president’s political rivals are scheduled to testify before lawmakers in the coming days.

Acting Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor told lawmakers in the first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry on Wednesday that one of his aides overheard Trump asking Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland over the phone about the status of “the investigations” just a day after his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Capitol Ink | Front Row Seat

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 13
Two career diplomats first to offer public testimony, Trump tweets counteroffensive

William Taylor, the senior U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, are sworn in at the House Intelligence Committee hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Two career diplomats who told congressional investigators behind closed doors of their concerns over President Donald Trump’s withholding of military aid to Ukraine and the “irregular channel” in dealing with the country conducted by Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani testified today in the first public hearings in the House’s impeachment investigation.

William Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, told investigators in a closed-door deposition in October that Trump used a stalled $400 million aid package to leverage Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and the involvement of his son Hunter Biden in a Ukrainian energy company. And George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, told the committees conducting the investigation in his closed-door deposition that it was his understanding that Trump wanted the Ukrainians to investigate the Bidens and whether the country tried to influence the 2016 election.

Capitol Ink | More talking points

December stopgap funding seems likely path forward for long-delayed appropriations
Another three- to four-week extension is expected as lawmakers hash out differences

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., left, said he had a “positive discussion” with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., about the path forward for stalled spending bills. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressional leaders and the White House agree they’ll need another three or four weeks to wrap up negotiations on 12 annual spending bills, and are likely to extend stopgap funding to Dec. 13 or Dec. 20, a decision that may finally propel the fiscal 2020 appropriations process forward.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby said he had a “positive discussion” with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland on Thursday. Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer said in floor remarks that “we’re seeing some positive signs that we can get the process back on track.”

Impeachment deposition bickering offers preview of brinkmanship to come in public hearings
Jordan, Schiff exchanges on process illustrate distrust between the parties

Rep. Jim Jordan has questioned the process, such as members' ability to ask questions, during depositions. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The first closed-door deposition in the House’s impeachment inquiry opened with a partisan squabble about whether members would be able to question witnesses. The bickering showed a distrust between Democrats and Republicans that has consumed the deliberations ever since. 

That is unlikely to go away anytime soon as lawmakers prepare for public hearings that are expected to begin later this month. Some of the process questions Republicans raised that led to partisan disputes in the depositions have seemingly been put to bed, while others may spill into public hearings.