The Latest on President Donald Trump and the House impeachment inquiry (all times local):
President Donald Trump is accusing Democrats of trying to “steal” the 2020 election in a new television ad, as he fends off an impeachment probe by House Democrats.
The ad also attacks Democratic front-runner Joe Biden, highlighting his efforts to make U.S. aid to Ukraine contingent on that country firing its chief prosecutor. The ad claims that the fired prosecutor was investigating the former vice president’s son.
In fact, the prosecutor had failed to pursue any major anti-corruption investigations, leaving Ukraine’s international donors deeply frustrated. In pressing for the prosecutor’s ouster, Biden was representing the official position of the U.S. government, which was shared by other Western allies and many in Ukraine.
Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager, says, “This is a Joe Biden scandal and the Democrats are trying to use it to steal the election.”
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway is dismissing questions of whether President Donald Trump would identify a whistleblower at the heart of an impeachment inquiry.
The whistleblower filed a complaint alleging that Trump abused the power of his office to “solicit interference from a foreign country” in next year’s U.S. election.
Conway was asked Friday if the president would release the name. She tells reporters, “nobody is even discussing that.” She also says “what matters is the person has protection under the law.”
Trump has denounced people who might have talked to the whistleblower as “close to a spy.” Then he tweeted that it was sounding more like “the so-called Whistleblower isn’t a Whistleblower at all.”
Conway also dismissed a question of whether the White House was organizing an impeachment war room, saying the president is “the most battle-tested person I’ve ever met.”
Three House committees have jointly issued a subpoena to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for documents related to the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
The chairmen of the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committees set an Oct. 4 deadline for Pompeo to produce the documents, including many that the lawmakers have been seeking for weeks.
The committees also sent a separate letter notifying Pompeo that they have scheduled depositions for five State Department officials over the next two weeks, including former ambassadors Marie “Masha” Yovanovitch and Kurt Volker.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said months ago that if the House goes ahead and impeaches President Donald Trump, the Senate “has no choice” but to conduct a trial to determine whether the president is removed from office.
The Kentucky Republican told NPR that “if the House were to act, the Senate immediately goes into a trial.” McConnell made the comments long before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House would begin an impeachment inquiry into the president.
McConnell had not previously indicated whether the Senate would act on any articles of impeachment, though the Constitution anticipates that it would. It’s commonly assumed that the GOP-held chamber would acquit Trump just as Democrats held together in 1999 to deny the GOP House from winning a conviction of President Bill Clinton.
McConnell is among the few senators remaining in the chamber who participated in the 1999 Clinton impeachment trial.
This item has been corrected to show that McConnell spoke to NPR months ago, not Friday.
As they begin an investigation into President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, members of the House intelligence committee may be working through a two-week congressional recess that starts Friday.
Illinois Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat on the panel, said committee members are prepared to return. California Rep. Jackie Speier, also on the committee, said she’s already canceled some of her previous commitments.
The Democrats are seeking to keep momentum as the committee is suddenly at the center of an investigation that their caucus will use to inform impeachment proceedings. Members of the committee said they expect to eventually interview White House aides and others linked to a whistleblower complaint made public Thursday.
The complaint showed Trump repeatedly urging the Ukrainian president to investigate political rival Joe Biden and his family.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is voicing concern over President Donald Trump’s comments that suggested retaliation against people who helped an intelligence whistleblower. The whistleblower’s complaint about Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s leader is at the center of the House impeachment probe.
White House officials took extraordinary steps to “lock down” information Trump’s call, even moving the transcript to a secret computer system, according to the complaint.
Trump lashed out Thursday, saying whoever provided information to the whistleblower is “close to a spy.” Trump suggested that was treason, an act punishable by death.
Pelosi told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Friday she’s “concerned about some of the president’s comments about the whistleblower.”
She said the House panels conducting the impeachment probe will make sure there’s no retaliation against people who provided information.