The Latest: Schiff says whistleblower wants to speak on Hill
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and a whistleblower complaint (all times local):
The chairman of the House intelligence committee says a whistleblower who has been blocked by the Trump administration would like to speak to Congress.
The whistleblower, whose identity is unknown, lodged a formal complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community, but the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, determined that it could not be forwarded to Congress.
The complaint at least partly involves President Donald Trump’s interactions with the leader of Ukraine.
California Rep. Adam Schiff said Tuesday the committee has been contacted by the whistleblower’s counsel and “their client would like to speak to our committee and has requested guidance from the Acting DNI as to how to do so.”
Schiff said the committee is in touch with the counsel and looks forward to the testimony “as soon as this week.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi isn’t tipping her hand about impeachment ahead of an announcement later Tuesday.
But she offered hints when speaking at The Atlantic Festival in Washington, saying: “Now we have the facts, we’re ready for later today.”
She said, “We have gotten to this different place, use any metaphor,” offering “crossing the Rubicon” and a “new day is dawning” as examples.
She added, “This is a very serious, in a class of its own, (the) discussion that we’re having about the conduct of the president of the United States.”
Pelosi spoke as Democratic support for Trump’s impeachment is surging, stemming from his pressure on Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is reiterating that Congress should start “impeachment inquiries” into President Donald Trump, but is stopping short of calling for a start to efforts to remove the president. Still, he calls it “likely.”
Speaking at a campaign event in Davenport, Iowa, the Vermont senator says, “Enough is enough.”
His comments come as House Democrats in Washington appear to be moving closer to launching impeachment proceedings after Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.
Sanders says: “Today, I hope very much that the Judiciary Committee will go forward with an impeachment inquiry.”
Sanders had previously expressed support for inquiries into the president, but expressed reservations that the drawn-out impeachment process would be a political boon to Trump.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will make an announcement Tuesday afternoon after she meets with House chairmen and members of the Democratic caucus.
Her comments come as more than a dozen Democrats, many of them moderates, have endorsed impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
The calls come as Democrats have questioned whether Trump improperly used his office to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate political rival Joe Biden’s family. The administration is withholding a whistleblower complaint at least partly related to that matter from Congress.
Joe Biden’s presidential campaign says the candidate plans Tuesday to call for Congress to impeach President Donald Trump if the administration does not cooperate fully with all ongoing House investigations and subpoenas.
Biden plans to speak this afternoon from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.
Trump has suggested this week that he did indeed bring up Biden and his son, Hunter, in a telephone conversation with the Ukrainian president over the summer. The phone conversation is the subject of a whistleblower’s complaint that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son. There is no evidence that either Biden did anything wrong.
Joe Biden plans today to frame the situation as just the latest in a line of Trump’s abuses of presidential power.
Georgia Rep. John Lewis, the Democratic civil rights icon, has endorsed impeachment proceedings in the House after withholding his opinion on the matter for several months.
Lewis said in a speech on the House floor Tuesday morning that “we cannot delay” and now is the time to act. His comments as Democrats have questioned whether President Donald Trump improperly used his office to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate political rival Joe Biden and his son.
Lewis is one of the most influential Democrats in his caucus and an ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has so far discouraged impeachment. His comments come as several other Democrats endorsed proceedings Tuesday. Lewis said he’s been “patient while we have tried every other path” and “the future of our democracy is at stake.”
Three House Democratic committee chairmen are asking the White House for documents on President Donald Trump’s actions related to Ukraine.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel wrote White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and threatened an “escalated” fight if documents aren’t turned over by Thursday.
The committees have been pushing the Trump administration to turn over a whistleblower complaint that is at least in part related to Trump’s conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in which Trump is said to have pushed for investigations into Joe Biden and his son.
The documents they are requesting include a transcript of Trump’s July 25 call with Zelenskiy.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer says he will seek a vote Tuesday on a resolution calling for the Trump administration to provide Congress with a whistleblower complaint that has so far been withheld.
The complaint is linked to President Donald Trump’s interactions with the leader of Ukraine. Trump asked the country to investigate the family of Democratic political rival Joe Biden.
Schumer said he would call for the Senate to pass the resolution by unanimous consent, a request likely to be blocked by Senate Republicans.
Also Tuesday, New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, demanded the Trump administration investigate the nearly $400 million in Ukrainian assistance that was held up while Trump was urging the country to investigate Biden.