impeachment inquiry

Cummings unites lawmakers, for the moment, as impeachment inquiry trudges forward
Probe that late Maryland Democrat helped lead continued with witness depositions Thursday

A memorial for the late House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings is seen in the committee’s Rayburn Building hearing room on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House lawmakers dialed down the partisan rancor, at least for a day, as they honored the life of Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, who died early Thursday at age 68. But the impeachment inquiry, of which the Maryland Democrat was a key leader, is forging ahead.

The investigation into President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine has stoked anger among Republicans who view the probe as illegitimate. Democrats’ frustrations with the president’s conduct and his supporters in Congress are only growing. The death of Cummings, held in deep respect on both sides of the aisle, didn’t put the partisan fighting completely to rest, but it did quell the most inflammatory elements for the moment.

House Republicans aim to force vote on Schiff censure
Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs is leading the effort, with GOP leadership backing

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., backed by House Republicans, will attempt to force a vote on a censure of House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff.

Rep. Andy Biggs will attempt to force a vote on his resolution to censure House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff on the House floor this week, having initiated the process Wednesday.

Biggs’ censure effort has the backing of House Republican leaders — an uncommon alliance between the party’s establishment and the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.

Hoyer: Democrats not using inherent contempt, hope to conclude impeachment inquiry this year
Inherent contempt could be seen as ‘arbitrary’ move to enforce subpoenas, which courts are already upholding, Hoyer says

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, seen navigating through a crowd of tourists as he heads into the speaker's office last month, said Wednesday that Democrats will not use their inherent contempt power to enforce subpoenas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Wednesday ruled out Democrats using inherent contempt to enforce subpoenas and became the most senior Democrat to say the chamber should wrap up its impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump by the end of 2019.

“We made a judgment that we want the American people to understand that we are pursuing not arbitrary action but considered and thoughtful action,” the Maryland Democrat said. “I don’t mean to say by that that inherent contempt is by definition arbitrary but it may be perceived as arbitrary.”

Schiff takes his show on the road
On friendly turf, Intel chair defends impeachment inquiry

“There is nothing enjoyable about this,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee that is taking the lead on the impeachment inquiry. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

NEW YORK — Rep. Adam Schiff hasn’t had much fun lately.

The leader of the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine has spent recent weeks in a constant struggle with the White House over testimony and documents. He’s squared off with Republican colleagues who have questioned his motives and assailed his missteps. And he is one of several Democrats shown being “killed” by Trump in a fake video screened for the president’s supporters at an event in Florida last week.

Road Ahead: Turkey sanctions unite chambers; impeachment ramps up with Congress’ return
After a two-week recess, lawmakers return to a full plate

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to balance work on the impeachment inquiry with other priorities. Above, Pelosi with fellow California Democrat Adam B. Schiff, the House Intelligence chairman, on Oct. 2. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Congress is returning from its two-week recess and although both chambers were expected to take up bipartisan proposals against President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, a Monday night executive order may change the calculation.

Opposition to the president’s move had united lawmakers despite the ongoing impeachment inquiry that has ratcheted up partisan divisions. Key congressional Republicans have slammed Trump’s decision to remove U.S. forces from northern Syria, where the troops have been a shield for U.S.-allied Kurds in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group. But the announcement Monday night of an executive order slapping new sanctions on Turkey over its military operations against Kurdish forces in Syria has the support of South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham.

PAC would return contribution tied to Trump impeachment probe — if it only could
Donors helped Giuliani push for Ukraine investigation into Joe Biden and his son

A PAC that supported West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s failed 2018 Senate bid discovered Thursday that it had received a contribution tied to two men who helped President Donald Trump's private lawyer push for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When a PAC that supported a failed West Virginia Senate candidate found out it may have received an illegal contribution tied to two men at the center of the Trump impeachment controversy, the first reaction was to give it back.

There’s just one problem: It’s broke.

Former Rep. Pete Sessions met with indicted Giuliani associates, accepted donations
Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were arrested on campaign finance violations

Former Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, met with and accepted campaign donations from two men indicted this week on campaign finance charges. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, who just last week announced a new bid for the House, appears to play a role in the indictment Thursday of two Soviet-born businessmen who are also subjects of the House impeachment inquiry.

While the indictment does not mention Sessions by name or charge him of any crime, he told a Texas radio show on Sunday that he met with them and Federal Election Commission documents show he accepted campaign donations from them last cycle. 

McCarthy asks Pelosi to suspend impeachment inquiry until she defines procedures
Minority leader says Democrats are limiting Republican participation and not following precedent

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi to suspend Democrats' impeachment inquiry until she defines procedures to govern it. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy sent a letter Thursday to Speaker Nancy Pelosi requesting she suspend Democrats’ impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump “until transparent and equitable rules and procedures are established to govern the inquiry.”

“Unfortunately, you have given no clear indication as to how your impeachment inquiry will proceed — including whether key historical precedents or basic standards of due process will be observed,” the California Republican wrote. “In addition, the swiftness and recklessness with which you have proceeded has already resulted in committee chairs attempting to limit minority participation in scheduled interviews, calling into question the integrity of such an inquiry.”

House Democrats enlist risky legal move in impeachment probe
‘Adverse inference’ that missing evidence is damaging evidence carries political pitfalls

House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., joined by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks Wednesday during a news conference on the impeachment inquiry. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats have brandished a legal concept to help speed through an impeachment inquiry and pin wrongdoing on the Trump administration — but the strategy might create weaknesses in their case farther down the path to removing President Donald Trump from office.

“Adverse inference” usually plays out in civil lawsuits if one of the parties withholds some evidence, such as if they refuse to testify or if they destroy documents. In those situations, a judge can tell jurors that they can presume the missing evidence would have been bad for the side that didn’t provide it.

Watch: Trump live-tweets Pelosi’s press conference
Pelosi and Schiff discussed impeachment and policy during a news briefing. Apparently, Trump was watching

Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., joined by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)