Taylor testified in his opening statement that he was told Trump wanted the aid linked to Ukraine’s willingness to investigate the 2016 election and the Bidens.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), meanwhile, pushed back against Trump’s claim that the two had discussed Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president.
Taylor is the latest official to be deposed behind closed doors as Democrats seek to build their case against Trump. On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) distributed a “fact sheet” outlining what her office called a gross abuse of presidential power, including a “shakedown,” a “pressure campaign” and a “coverup.”
●Trump slams Democrats and chides Republicans as allies criticize his erratic impeachment response.
●Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban helped sour Trump on Ukraine.
●House asks a judge to toss a Trump lawsuit to shield his New York state tax returns from lawmakers.
9:45 p.m.: Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans press Schiff for access to transcripts
The 21 Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee sent a letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) on Tuesday requesting access to transcripts of the depositions and interviews conducted during the impeachment inquiry.
Led by Rep. Michael McCaul (Tex.), the top Republican on the foreign affairs panel, the lawmakers called it “outrageous and unjustifiable” of Schiff to deny them “those basic documents, which are critical to our ability to meaningfully prepare for and participate in this investigation.”
“We require the same access to the same documents in the same format, as is enjoyed by you and your staff. . . . I urge you to remedy this procedural injustice immediately, so that I am not forced to pursue public efforts to correct it, including by seeking a privileged vote on the House Floor,” the lawmakers wrote.
Leading Democrats have said they intend to release transcripts of the depositions and call some witnesses back to testify publicly.
9:00 p.m.: It’s ‘not a very good day for the president,’ Rep. Maloney says
After Taylor’s testimony concluded, several Democrats said the day’s events had dire implications for Trump.
“It’s obviously not a very good day for the president,” Rep. Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.) said after emerging from the closed session with Taylor.
“Bill Taylor is a West Point graduate who served as an infantry officer in the 101st Airborne in Vietnam. . . . Guys like Bill Taylor don’t pull their punches,” said Maloney, a member of the House Intelligence Committee. “Today, you’ve got a very credible witness providing critical testimony.”
Even so, Maloney said he’s not ready to call for an impeachment vote.
“While the evidence that has emerged to date is extremely damaging for the president and seems to paint a clear picture of presidential abuse of power, we still don’t have all the facts, and it’s our job to get them,” he said.
He called on the State Department to produce the documents that Taylor submitted in support of his testimony. “The man took copious notes,” he said. “The State Department should cough them up and stop stonewalling.”
In an appearance on MSNBC, Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.) also claimed that Taylor’s testimony provided significant evidence that Trump had endangered national security for his own political gain.
“What was so disturbing today is just, the weight of evidence is so overwhelming that it’s a sad day for any patriot to have a president doing this. . . . To see a president just put our vital interests like that at risk for his own political ends is something that we just can’t stand for as Americans,” Levin said.
7:30 p.m.: House Freedom Caucus members meet with Trump
About two-dozen members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus met with Trump at the White House Tuesday, two lawmakers told The Washington Post.
Their message for the president, according to Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.): “Basically, we have his back, but we’re not in control. They control the game.” Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) also confirmed that the meeting took place.
The meeting was not called specifically to address impeachment strategy, although the topic dominated the discussion, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The House Freedom Caucus was formed in 2015, when Republicans still held the House majority. Its roughly three-dozen members hold considerable sway among the House Republican conference and have played a pivotal role in major political and policy battles, including last year’s partial government shutdown.
Trump’s message to lawmakers at Tuesday’s meeting, according to DesJarlais: “We need to be tough because [Democrats] are fighting dirty and have been fighting dirty. We try to take the high road in general, but maybe it’s time to take the gloves off.”
DesJarlais said he left the meeting without a clear sense that the White House has an impeachment strategy.
“I don’t know how you stop this,” he said. “Once Nancy Pelosi said that they were going to go forward, how do they not? . . . It’s going to be partisan and there’s going to be an election next November to decide the presidency. . . . I definitely think he would like us to stay united.”
7:10 p.m.: Taylor concludes his testimony
Taylor wrapped up his testimony at 7:05 p.m., more than nine hours after he arrived at the Capitol, according to a person familiar with the matter.
6:45 p.m.: Meeks on 1998 ‘lynching’ comment: ‘There are certain words I am more at liberty to invoke than Donald J. Trump’
Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-N.Y.) defended himself Tuesday night after critics pointed out his use of the phrase “political lynching” during the impeachment of former president Bill Clinton in 1998.
“Yes, I said those words, but context matters,” Meeks said in a statement Tuesday evening. “There is a difference when that word is used by someone of my experience and perspective, whose relatives were the targets of lynch mobs, compared to a president who has dog-whistled to white nationalists and peddled racism.”
He added: “This is the birther president, who called African nations s—holes and urban cities infested. Those he called ‘very fine people’ in Charlottesville were the kind of people who lynched those who looked like me. So, yes — there are certain words I am more at liberty to invoke than Donald J. Trump.”
6:30 p.m.: Hurd says Giuliani should testify
Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tex.) said Tuesday that Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, should testify about his actions regarding the effort to pressure Ukraine.
Hurd, who has occasionally criticized Trump and is not seeking reelection in 2020, also said that Gordon Sondland, Trump’s ambassador to the European Union, should come back to answer some questions. Sondland testified last week.
“I think people will have to come back in. . . . I think Sondland, and also I think someone we should hear from is Rudy Giuliani, to understand what he was doing and who he was talking to and to sort all of these issues out,” Hurd said. “What did the Ukrainians know when?”
Hurd added that his own decision on whether Trump should be impeached will hinge on whether there was a violation of the law.
Asked whether he found Taylor credible, Hurd replied, “He’s an expert on Ukraine. He’s a former ambassador, so he’s somebody who understands this. . . . There are some places it’s clear he heard something and other places it [wasn’t].”
6:20 p.m.: Trump ‘has done nothing wrong,’ White House says
In response to reports on Taylor’s testimony, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham defended Trump in a statement Tuesday night.
“President Trump has done nothing wrong — this is a coordinated smear campaign from far-left lawmakers and radical unelected bureaucrats waging war on the Constitution,” Grisham said. “There was no quid pro quo.”
Grisham described Taylor’s testimony as “just more triple hearsay and selective leaks from the Democrats’ politically-motivated, closed door, selective hearings.” Both Democrats and Republicans from three House committees have been present for witness testimony during the impeachment inquiry.
5:40 p.m.: Taylor made clear Trump engaged in quid pro quo, Democrats say
The Democratic National Committee said Tuesday night that Taylor’s testimony “made it clear that Trump engaged in a quid pro quo.”
“Republicans have no more excuses,” Daniel Wessel, the DNC’s deputy war room director, said in a statement. “The Trump administration chose Bill Taylor for this position. Taylor served a previous Republican president. And yet, today he testified that the president extorted a foreign country in order to sway an election. Trump must be held accountable.”
5:10 p.m.: Justice Dept. argues that appeals court ruling on Trump’s accounting records has no bearing on case involving his IRS tax records
Justice Department officials told a federal judge on Tuesday that a recent appeals court ruling upholding Congress’s power to seek eight years of Trump’s business records from his accounting firm should have no bearing on their request to throw out a separate House lawsuit seeking Trump’s tax returns from the IRS.
In a 2-to-1 ruling on Oct. 12, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the House Oversight Committee’s subpoena to Mazars USA for Trump’s records as a valid exercise of Congress’s broad investigative and lawmaking powers.
The House agreed to hold off on enforcing the subpoenas while Trump’s appeal is pending.
4:45 p.m.: Some Democrats described Clinton’s impeachment as a ‘lynch mob’
After Democrats and some Republicans roundly condemned Trump’s description of the House impeachment inquiry as a “lynching,” videos and news archives were unearthed of Democrats using the phrase “lynch mob” in the late 1990s to describe Republicans who were seeking former president Bill Clinton’s impeachment.
In 1998, now-Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) told the Associated Press: “I wish we could get this over with quickly. In pushing the process, in pushing the arguments of fairness and due process the Republicans so far have been running a lynch mob.”
He also told the National Journal: “We shouldn’t participate in a lynch mob against the president. Neither should we be seen as die-hard defenders of the president if it’s true he committed terrible crimes.”
Former representative Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) was quoted in the Baltimore Sun saying: “This feels today like we’re taking a step down the road to becoming a political lynch mob. Find the rope, find the tree and ask a bunch of questions later.”
Democratic Reps. Meeks and Danny K. Davis (Ill.) and former congressman Charles B. Rangel (N.Y.) each made remarks on the House floor calling the treatment of Clinton a “lynching” or a “lynch mob.”
“What we are doing here is not a prosecution, it is a persecution and indeed it is a political lynching,” Meeks said.
“I will not vote for this lynching in the people’s House,” Davis said.
“The whole idea is a lynch mob mentality that says this man has to go,” Rangel said.
Notably, both Meeks and Davis condemned Trump’s remarks on Twitter on Tuesday.
“I don’t expect Trump to be sensitive to the weight of that word, or see how insulting and hurtful it is to invoke it here. I do expect Republicans to not even dare defend this language. I do expect this administration to comply with our constitutional right to issue subpoenas,” Meeks wrote.
And Davis tweeted: “The highest office holder should think about these words. The rural south where I was born has a tarnished and painful history…there is no comparison.”
3:40 p.m.: Trump never should have used the word ‘lynching,’ Schumer says
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) was among those sharply criticizing Trump on Tuesday for using the word “lynching” to describe the impeachment inquiry.
Asked during Senate Democrats’ weekly news conference whether he believes Trump understands the history of the word, Schumer replied, “I have no idea, but he never should have used the word. Never.”
Schumer was also asked about McConnell’s claim that he never had a conversation with Trump about the president’s phone call with the leader of Ukraine.
“I’ll let the two of them figure that out for themselves,” Schumer said with a laugh. He added: “When President Trump says something, I think people’s initial reaction — unless you’re a devout Trump supporter — is skepticism.”
3:30 p.m.: Read Taylor’s opening statement
In his testimony before impeachment investigators Tuesday, Taylor said that upon arriving in Kyiv last spring, he became alarmed by secondary diplomatic channels involving U.S. officials that he called “weird,” according to a copy of his lengthy opening statement obtained by The Washington Post.
Read his opening statement here.
3 p.m.: Anonymous author of Trump ‘resistance’ op-ed to publish a tell-all book
The author of an anonymous column in the New York Times in 2018, who was identified as a senior Trump administration official acting as part of the “resistance” inside the government, has written a tell-all book to be published next month.
The book, which will be published on Nov. 19, comes at a treacherous period for Trump, as the House continues its fast-moving impeachment inquiry into his alleged abuse of power.
2:35 p.m.: Taylor says he was told Trump wanted Ukraine aid to be contingent on public declaration to investigate Bidens, 2016 election
Taylor gave “damning” testimony before impeachment investigators Tuesday about what Democrats have called a quid pro quo in which Trump held up military aid for Ukraine to get that country’s help investigating his political rivals, lawmakers said.
“In August and September of this year, I became increasingly concerned that our relationship with Ukraine was being fundamentally undermined by an irregular, informal channel of US policy-making and by the withholding of vital security assistance for domestic political reasons,” Taylor said in an opening statement.
— Anne Gearan, Karoun Demirjian and Rachael Bade
2:30 p.m.: Rubio defends White House response to impeachment inquiry
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) stuck to GOP talking points in his defense of the White House’s handling of the impeachment inquiry, asserting that Trump’s options are limited because the Democrats aren’t conducting a fair process.
“I don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing,” Rubio said. “They’re not allowed in the room, they’re not allowed to have attorneys there, they’re not allowed to have anybody there listening to the evidence that’s being presented against them. So I’m not sure what more they can do.”
Rubio also claimed that Democrats are “taking pieces of testimony that further the Democratic narrative and putting it out there.”
House Democrats and Republicans on the committees of jurisdiction have been given equal time to question witnesses in the closed-door depositions.
2:25 p.m.: McConnell contradicts Trump on praise of call with Ukrainian president
Trump has said McConnell told him his call with the Ukrainian president at the center of the impeachment inquiry was “the most innocent phone call” and was “perfect.”
But when asked about it Tuesday, McConnell said, “I don’t recall any conversations with the president about that phone call.”
“We’ve not had any conversations on that subject,” McConnell told reporters at the Capitol. Asked whether Trump was lying, he demurred. “You’d have to ask him,” McConnell said.
1:45 p.m.: Democrats seek to bolster Taylor’s credibility
Several Democrats sought to bolster Taylor’s credibility in public statements Tuesday as the senior diplomat testified behind closed doors.
“I had a two hour dinner with Bill Taylor when I was in Kiev last month,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) tweeted. “What an impressive man – a true patriot who didn’t have to come out of retirement to accept this difficult assignment. But he did, because he loves his country.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D-Md.), an Army Reservist, tweeted video of a CNN interview from Monday in which he noted that he and Taylor had served together in Iraq.
“Duty, sacrifice and service are the hallmarks of his life,” Brown wrote in his tweet. “He always put our country first.”
“President Trump tried to stop him from testifying,” Brown added. “By defying Trump attempt to obstruct, Amb. Taylor once again shows what a true patriot looks like.”
1:15 p.m.: Biden calls Trump tweet ‘despicable’
Biden became the latest Democratic presidential candidate to chastise Trump, calling his comparison of the impeachment inquiry to lynching “despicable.”
“Impeachment is not ‘lynching,’ it is part of our Constitution,” Biden said in a tweet. “Our country has a dark, shameful history with lynching, and to even think about making this comparison is abhorrent. It’s despicable.”
Earlier Tuesday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) called Trump’s tweet “shameful,” South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg called it “disgusting” and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) described it as “beyond disgraceful.”
Former congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-Tex.), meanwhile, suggested Trump’s terminology was telling.
“The legacy of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, and suppression is alive and well in every part of this country — including in the White House where the president is a white supremacist,” O’Rourke tweeted.
12:05 p.m.: Susan Collins says Trump ‘never should have made that comparison’
While several Republican lawmakers sought to distance themselves from Trump’s characterization of the impeachment inquiry as a “lynching,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) offered more pointed criticism.
“‘Lynching’ brings back images of a terrible time in our nation’s history, and the President never should have made that comparison,” Collins tweeted.
11:50 a.m.: Michael Steele takes Trump and Graham to task
Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele took both Trump and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) to task late Tuesday morning for comparing the impeachment process to a “lynching.”
“@realDonaldTrump and @LindseyGrahamSC this is a lynching,” Steele, who is black, wrote in a tweet that included a photo of a lynching. “Trump this is not happening to you and it’s pathetic that you act like you’re such a victim; but it did happen to 147 black people in your state Lindsey. ‘A lynching in every sense’? You should know better.”
Steele’s tweet came shortly after Graham defended Trump’s assessment and said the impeachment inquiry was “a lynching in every sense.”
11:30 a.m.: Gidley insists Trump wasn’t comparing his plight to those of African Americans in the South during ‘dark times’
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley insisted Tuesday that Trump’s reference to lynching was not comparing his treatment during the impeachment process to what happened to African Americans in the South during “dark times” in U.S. history.
“The president’s not comparing what happened to him with one of our darkest moments in American history. He’s just not,” Gidley told reporters at the White House. “What he’s explaining, clearly, is the way he’s been treated by the media since he announced for president. … He has used many words to describe the way he has been relentlessly attacked.”
Asked if he condemns lynching, Gidley did not answer directly.
“Again, the president was clearly articulating the way he feels about the way you guys have been treating him from day one.”
Several questions later, Gidley again insisted Trump was “not comparing himself to those dark times” of lynching in the South.
“He’s receiving zero due process from Democrats on the Hill. That’s what he’s talking about. It’s very clear,” Gidley said.
11:15 a.m.: White House spokesman touts Trump’s record on issues affecting African Americans when asked about ‘lynching’ tweet
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley sought to highlight Trump’s record on what he called issues important to African Americans during a television interview Tuesday in which he was asked whether Trump would consider taking down his tweet describing the impeachment process as a lynching.
“Let’s talk about what the president has actually done for the African American community as opposed to so many who just talk about it,” Gidley said during an appearance on Fox News.
He said federal funding for historically black colleges and universities is at “historic levels” because of “what this president decided to do with the funds.”
“This president has also set up opportunity zones in the inner cities that have gone on to lift all boats, especially those of African Americans, whose wages have increased at a higher percentage than those across the country,” Gidley said.
He also cited Trump’s support of a criminal justice bill.
Pressed again on whether Trump would consider changing his description of the impeachment process, Gidley didn’t directly answer.
“The president wasn’t trying to compare himself to the horrific history in this country at all,” he said.
10:45 a.m.: Taylor appearing under subpoena
Taylor is appearing before House investigators under subpoena, an official working on the impeachment inquiry said Tuesday.
“In light of an attempt by the State Department to direct Ambassador William Taylor not to appear for his scheduled deposition, and efforts by the State Department to also limit any testimony that does occur, the House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena to compel his testimony this morning,” said the official, who requested anonymity to discuss closed-door proceedings.
The official said Taylor had complied with the subpoena and was fielding questions from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers and staff.
10:40 a.m.: McCarthy distances himself from Trump’s ‘lynching’ comment
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) distanced himself Tuesday from Trump’s description of the impeachment inquiry as a “lynching” but continued to hammer Democrats for what he and other leading Republicans characterized as an unfair process.
“That’s not the language I would use,” McCarthy said when asked at a news conference about Trump’s tweet. “I don’t agree with that language. It’s pretty simple.”
He and his GOP colleagues continued to highlight the fact that the Democrats are conducting closed-door depositions, arguing that it is an abuse of power.
“Every American ought to be alarmed that they’re literally trying to reverse the results of the 2016 election behind closed doors,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said.
House Democrats have defended their use of closed-door depositions, comparing their work to that of a grand jury. Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers from three committees have been present for the testimony.
Leading Democrats have said they intend to release transcripts of the depositions and call some witnesses back to testify publicly. Trump would have additional rights in a public Senate trial, they argue.
10:15 a.m.: Lindsey O. Graham says impeachment is ‘a lynching in every sense’
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) defended Trump’s use of the term ‘lynching’ to describe the impeachment process.
“So yeah, this is a lynching in every sense,” Graham said at the Capitol. “This is un-American. I’ve never seen a situation in my lifetime as a lawyer where somebody’s accused of major misconduct who cannot confront the accuser, call witnesses on their behalf and have the discussion in the light of day so the public can judge.”
Graham was an impeachment manager during the Senate trial of President Bill Clinton in 1998.
10 a.m.: Chair of Congressional Black Caucus responds to Trump
Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, responded to Trump’s comparison of the impeachment inquiry to lynching with a pair of pointed tweets.
“You are comparing a constitutional process to the PREVALENT and SYSTEMATIC brutal torture of people in THIS COUNTRY that looked like me?” she wrote.
“Every time your back is up against the wall, you throw out these racial bombs,” Bass said in a second tweet. “We’re not taking the bait. While we CONTINUE our business here in DC, why don’t you take a trip to the @MemPeaceJustice in Alabama and LEARN SOMETHING.”
Her tweet used the Twitter handle for the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which, according to its website, is “dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence.”
9:45 a.m.: Neither party wins positive marks for handling of impeachment
Neither party wins positive marks from Americans for their handling of the impeachment inquiry, though Republicans fare worse, according to a new poll.
Forty-three percent approve of how Democrats are handling the inquiry, while 49 percent disapprove, according to the poll released Tuesday by CNN that was conducted by SSRS.
By contrast, 30 percent of Americans approve of the way Republicans are handling the impeachment inquiry, while 57 percent disapprove.
9:30 a.m.: Democrats consider response to Trump’s ‘lynching’ description
Leading Democrats started talking Tuesday morning about how to respond to Trump calling the impeachment inquiry a “lynching,” with one leaving open the possibility of a vote on the floor to condemn his remarks.
“We’re talking about what the response is,” House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said. “The problem is, this president minute-by-minute saying things that are outrageous, and the problem is keeping up with the outrages.”
Asked if Trump was trying to distract from other issues, Hoyer said, “All the time. All the time.”
House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) said he planned to discuss Trump’s tweet with the Congressional Black Caucus and left open the possibility of a floor vote condemning Trump’s characterization.
“I resent it tremendously,” Clyburn said. “I think that what we see here once again is this president attempting to change the narrative by using what I consider to be real caustic terms in order to change the conversation. To compare the constitutional process to something like lynching is far beneath the office of president of the United States.”
Pelosi did not respond to questions from reporters at the Capitol about the issue.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, called the tweet “terrifying.”
“It’s completely disoriented and deranged,” Raskin said. “Impeachment is a lawful, constitutional process. It is not criminal in nature. . . . If he is impeached and removed, he will not spend one day in jail as a result of congressional action much less be harmed in any physical way. So it’s an obscene analogy.”
Raskin recommended Trump visit the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Ala.
9:25 a.m.: Taylor arrives at Capitol for deposition
Taylor has arrived at the Capitol for his scheduled deposition before three House panels conducting the impeachment inquiry.
His testimony may fill in some blanks about the activities of U.S. officials who appear to have sought Ukrainian help at the behest of Trump and Giuliani, although it was not clear how much Taylor knew.
8:45 a.m.: Trump swiftly condemned for use of term ‘lynching’
Trump’s use of the term lynching drew swift condemnation Tuesday morning from Democrats and civil rights leaders.
“You think this impeachment is a LYNCHING? What the hell is wrong with you?” tweeted Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.). “Do you know how many people who look like me have been lynched, since the inception of this country, by people who look like you. Delete this tweet.”
“Example No. 5286 as to why this President is unfit for office,” Rush added in a separate tweet.
“You are a disgrace,” Rep. David Trone (D-Md.) said in a tweet responding to Trump.
Julián Castro, a former Cabinet secretary under President Barack Obama and 2020 presidential candidate, said in a tweet that it was “beyond shameful to use the word ‘lynching’ to describe being held accountable for your actions.”
Kristin Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, cited some history in a tweet responding to Trump.
“A lynching?!” she wrote. “4,743 people were lynched in the US between 1882 – 1968, incl. 3,446 African Americans. Lynchings were crimes against humanity and an ugly part of our nation’s history of racial violence and brutality. Sickened to see Trump’s gross misappropriation of this term today.”
8:05 a.m.: Clyburn chastises Trump for use of term ‘lynching’
House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Trump’s use of the term “lynching” to describe the impeachment inquiry offended his sense of history.
“That is one word that no president ought to apply to himself,” Clyburn said after being read Trump’s tweet during a CNN interview. “This president is hopefully an anomaly.”
Asked if the word offends his sense of history, Clyburn replied, “Very much so.”
“I’m not just a politician up here,” said Clyburn, who is African American. “I’m a Southern politician. I’m a product of the South. I know the history of that word. That is a word that we ought to be very, very careful about using.”
7:55 a.m.: Trump calls impeachment inquiry a ‘lynching’
Trump on Tuesday called the impeachment inquiry a “lynching,” a racially loaded reference certain to inflame Democrats.
Trump used the term in a morning tweet in which he suggested he was not being afforded due process by the Democrat-led House.
“So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights,” he tweeted. “All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!”
7:25 a.m.: Trump highlights poll of battleground states
Trump on Monday highlighted a poll released this week that found that voters in six battleground states oppose impeaching and removing him from office by a margin of 10 percentage points.
The New York Times-Siena College survey found that in the six closest states carried by Trump in 2016, registered voters support the impeachment inquiry by a five-point margin, 50 percent to 45 percent. But those same voters oppose impeaching Trump and removing him from office, 53 percent to 43 percent.
In a morning tweet, Trump quoted “Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade discussing the poll.
“I thought a very revealing poll was done by The New York Times,” Trump quoted Kilmeade as saying. “By about a 10 point margin, those in battleground states polled are against impeaching the President, and if Nancy Pelosi doesn’t take note of that, maybe she is the third rate politician.”
Trump disparaged Pelosi at a White House meeting last week. Accounts differed over whether he called her a “third-rate politician” or a “third-grade politician.”
Several recent national polls have showed higher levels of support for removing Trump from office than the survey of voters in battleground states.
Fifty percent of Americans expressed support for impeaching Trump and removing him from office in a poll released Tuesday by CNN that was conducted by SSRS.
7 a.m.: Taylor scheduled for closed-door deposition
House investigators are scheduled to hear Tuesday from Taylor, who raised alarms in text messages to other diplomats about a holdup in military aid while Trump was pressing Ukraine to investigate political rivals.
In his text messages, Taylor called it “crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign” and a “nightmare scenario.”
Democrats consider him among the key witnesses in the impeachment probe. He will be the latest official to be deposed behind closed doors by three House panels leading the inquiry.
Taylor’s texts are prominently featured in a four-page fact sheet released Monday by Pelosi’s office that accuses Trump of a gross abuse of power, including a “shakedown,” a “pressure campaign” and a “coverup.”
Taylor took the job of acting ambassador to Ukraine on a temporary basis earlier this year after the sitting ambassador was abruptly recalled from her post in what she told the committees was political retaliation by the Trump administration.
Taylor is a potentially damaging witness for Trump, because he appears to have no political or personal incentive to protect the administration. Unlike other State Department witnesses, he has neither his government career nor his personal standing with Trump at stake.
Taylor is expected to return to his senior position at the U.S. Institute for Peace sometime next year.
6:30 a.m.: Reeker deposition rescheduled for Saturday
House Democrats plan a rare Saturday deposition of Ambassador Philip Reeker, acting assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs, another witness in the impeachment probe.
Reeker’s deposition was one of several this week rescheduled due to events honoring the late congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), according to an official working on the impeachment inquiry.
6 a.m.: Trump shares tweets of disappointed Republicans
Trump went on Twitter on Monday night to share tweets from several Republicans who voiced disappointment in the party-line vote in the House to “table” a resolution seeking to censure Schiff for his handling of the impeachment inquiry.
“As a cosponsor of the resolution to censure Rep. Adam Schiff, I was disappointed Nancy Pelosi did not even allow a vote on the House floor tonight,” wrote Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) in one tweet shared by Trump. “We need transparency and accountability, not closed door secret meetings. What are they afraid of the American people seeing?”
Schiff also took to Twitter to respond to the failed Republican effort.
“It will be said of House Republicans, When they found they lacked the courage to confront the most dangerous and unethical president in American history, They consoled themselves by attacking those who did,” he wrote.