Trump Says He Wants Top Officials to Testify: Impeachment Update

(Bloomberg) — The House Intelligence Committee plans Tuesday to consider its report on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, a day before the House Judiciary Committee holds its first hearing on constitutional issues.

Here are the latest developments:

Trump Says He Wants Top Officials to Testify (11:05 a.m.)

Trump said he wants top administration officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to testify in the impeachment inquiry, but only during a Senate trial.

“I want them to testify but I want them to testify in the Senate,” Trump told reporters during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of a NATO summit in London on Tuesday.

Trump has refused to allow administration officials to testify to House committees conducting the inquiry.

Trudeau sat quietly for several minutes as Trump angrily defended himself, again insisting that his July 25 call with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelenskiy was “perfect.” The call touched off a whistle-blower complaint that Trump had abused his power by asking Zelenskiy to investigate his political rivals.

The president lashed out again at House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, who is leading the current phase of the probe, calling him a “maniac” and a “deranged human being.”

Democrats Take Aim at Trump Defense (11:05 a.m.)

Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee took aim at key elements of Trump’s potential impeachment defense, including the claim by some Republicans that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.

During a hearing on U.S. policy toward Russia, top committee Democrat Bob Menendez asked State Department official David Hale, “Are you aware of any evidence Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election?”

“I am not,” Hale said, adding later that it would be to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advantage to push the narrative that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the U.S. vote.

Hale also told Senator Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, that Russia is continuing to try to interfere in U.S. elections.

Senator Chris Murphy, who traveled to Ukraine earlier this year, asked Hale whether it was U.S. policy to investigate cybersecurity company CrowdStrike or the connections of former Vice President Joe Biden’s family to Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings, as Trump pressed Ukraine’s president to do.

Murphy of Connecticut also asked Hale whether Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani was currently involved in any diplomatic discussions with Ukraine. Hale said Giuliani was not.

“Part of the defense of the president’s actions will be that those requests were in fact appropriate,” Murphy said. “It’s relevant that since the uncovering of those demands have been made, they are no longer part of official U.S. policy.” — Daniel Flatley

White House Counsel to Join Senate GOP Lunch (10:13 a.m.)

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone plans to join Senate Republicans during their lunch meeting on Wednesday, the same day the House Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing on the impeachment inquiry.

“As part of an ongoing effort to keep Senate Republicans informed about White House thinking, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone will attend this Wednesday’s steering lunch,” said Conn Carroll, a spokesman for Senator Mike Lee of Utah.

Cipollone has been playing a leading role in reaching out to senators in recent weeks, including a meeting late last month at the White House with Senate GOP allies of Trump to discuss how long an impeachment trial might last. Those attending included Senators John Kennedy of Louisiana, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Ted Cruz of Texas.

Cipollone previously informed House Democrats that Trump’s team wouldn’t take part in the initial hearing. — Laura Litvan

Catch Up on Impeachment Coverage

Key Events

The House Judiciary Committee will hear on Wednesday from Harvard law professor Noah Feldman, Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan, University of North Carolina law professor Michael Gerhardt and George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. Feldman is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist.A report by GOP lawmakers said the Democratic-led House investigation of Trump failed to establish any impeachable offenses and instead paints a picture of “unelected bureaucrats” disagreeing with the president’s style, world view and foreign policy decisions.Gordon Sondland’s transcript is here and here; Kurt Volker’s transcript is here and here. Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch’s transcript is here and here; the transcript of Michael McKinley, former senior adviser to the secretary of State, is here. The transcript of Holmes, a Foreign Service officer in Kyiv, is here.The transcript of William Taylor, the top U.S. envoy to Ukraine, is here and here. State Department official George Kent’s testimony is here and here. Testimony by Alexander Vindman can be found here, and the Hill transcript is here. Laura Cooper’s transcript is here; Christopher Anderson’s is here and Catherine Croft’s is here. Jennifer Williams’ transcript is here and Timothy Morrison’s is here. Philip Reeker transcript is here. Mark Sandy’s is here.

–With assistance from Laura Litvan and Daniel Flatley.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jordan Fabian in Washington at jfabian6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Laurie Asséo

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