Live updates: Republicans resume attacks on Trump impeachment inquiry; key witness expected to defy subpoena

Live updates: Republicans resume attacks on Trump impeachment inquiry; key witness expected to defy subpoena

Kupperman listened in to the July 25 call in which Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. That call is at the center of the impeachment inquiry.

●Trump seizes on Baghdadi raid to paint Democrats as dangerous leakers — and it’s likely to inflame tensions amid a rancorous impeachment inquiry.

9:40 a.m.: Sondland goes to Capitol Hill to review testimony

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, has appeared on Capitol Hill to review the transcript of his Oct. 17 deposition before House investigators. Reviews are routine for such depositions.

Sondland, a Trump campaign donor who has emerged as a central figure in the Ukraine scandal, testified that Trump delegated American foreign policy on Ukraine to his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani.

9:30 a.m.: Kupperman fails to appear for closed-door deposition

Kupperman failed to show for an impeachment inquiry deposition as he sought a court ruling to resolve a dispute over testifying.

The former Bolton deputy had faced a congressional subpoena and a warning from Democrats that a failure to appear could result in a contempt citation.

Kupperman filed a lawsuit Friday asking a federal judge to resolve conflicting orders from Congress and the White House over his testimony. Over the weekend, his attorney Charles Cooper reiterated Kupperman’s desire to have the courts resolve the dispute before he appears.

8:50 a.m.: Trump attacks Schiff, says he committed a ‘criminal act’

Trump took renewed aim at House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) on Monday, calling him a “corrupt politician” and accusing him of having committed a “criminal act” during a congressional hearing last month.

During an Intelligence Committee hearing, Schiff, who is leading the impeachment inquiry, presented an embellished version of Trump’s call with Zelensky. He later said it was meant as a parody, something that he said should have been apparent to Trump.

“Adam Schiff went before Congress and Adam Schiff, what he did will never be forgotten: he made up a conversation,” Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews as he prepared to head to Chicago. “They say he has immunity because he’s a member of Congress. People shouldn’t be allowed to do that. What he did, that’s a criminal act.”

Trump also defended his decision not to brief Schiff about the military operation targeting Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the founder and leader of the Islamic State, before announcing his death publicly.

“They were talking about why didn’t I give the information to Adam Schiff and his committee, and the answer is, I think Adam Schiff is the biggest leaker in Washington,” Trump said. “He’s a corrupt politician. He’s a leaker like nobody’s ever seen before.”

8:45 a.m.: Trump praises Giuliani for ‘looking for corruption’

Trump continued to stand by his personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani, telling reporters Monday that he considers him a “good man.”

“He was the greatest mayor in New York City history,” Trump said before departing for Chicago on Air Force One. “But he’s been a great crime fighter. He’s always looking for corruption, which is what more people should be doing. He’s a good man.”

Giuliani has become a key figure in the Ukraine scandal because of his repeated efforts to press Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. Two associates of Giuliani, who assisted with him in Ukraine, have also been arrested recently for campaign finance violations.

8:20 a.m.: Trump heads to Chicago for law enforcement event, fundraisers

As House investigators seek to resume their work on Monday, Trump is heading to Chicago to address a conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and hold fundraisers.

Trump left the White House at 8:17 a.m. and plans to return late in the afternoon. This is his first trip to Chicago since becoming president. He frequently blames the city’s Democratic leadership for its relatively high crime rate.

7:30 a.m.: RNC chairwoman calls impeachment inquiry a ‘charade’

Trump’s Republican allies resumed their attacks Monday on the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry, with Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel calling it a “charade” in a morning tweet.

Echoing other Republican attacks from recent weeks, McDaniel took issue with several aspects of the process, including the lack of a vote to launch the inquiry, which is not required by the Constitution.

McDaniel also accused Democrats of having “no defined scope” and “no specific rules.”

“#StopTheSchiffShow!” she tweeted, referring to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.).

Stephen K. Bannon, Trump’s former White House chief strategist, also attacked Schiff on Monday during an appearance on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.”

“This is much ado about nothing,” said Bannon, who has launched a podcast to push back against the inquiry. “This is Schiff and a radical group of Democrats that are throwing the country into a constitutional crisis over the Christmas holidays. We’re hurtling toward a constitutional crisis.”

7 a.m.: Despite subpoena, former White House national security adviser unlikely to testify on Capitol Hill

Kupperman, who served as a deputy to Bolton, is not expected to show up on Capitol Hill on Monday, despite a congressional subpoena and a warning from Democrats that a failure to appear could result in a contempt citation.

On Friday, Kupperman filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to resolve conflicting orders from Congress and the White House over his testimony. Over the weekend, his lawyer Charles Cooper reiterated Kupperman’s desire to have the courts resolve the dispute before he appears.

House Democrats pushed back. On Saturday, three committee chairs sent Cooper a letter arguing the lawsuit lacked merit and had been coordinated with the White House. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.) and acting Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) called Kupperman’s suit “an obvious and desperate tactic by the president to delay and obstruct the lawful constitutional functions of Congress and conceal evidence about his conduct from the impeachment inquiry.”

Cooper responded with a strong letter of his own Saturday night, saying the lawsuit had not been “even discussed” with anyone at the White House.

6:30 a.m.: Republican senators feel anxious and adrift defending Trump

Republican senators are lost and adrift as the impeachment inquiry enters its second month, navigating the grave threat to Trump largely in the dark, frustrated by the absence of a credible case to defend his conduct and anxious about the historic reckoning that likely awaits them.

Recent days have delivered the most damaging testimony yet about Trump and his advisers commandeering Ukraine policy for the president’s personal political goals, which his allies on Capitol Hill sought to undermine by storming the deposition room and condemning the inquiry as secretive and corrupt.

Those theatrics belie the deepening unease many Republicans now say they feel — particularly those in the Senate who are dreading having to weigh their consciences against their political calculations in deciding whether to convict or acquit Trump should the Democratic-controlled House impeach the president.

— Robert Costa and Philip Rucker

6 a.m.: Sen. Johnson, ally of Trump and Ukraine, surfaces in crucial episodes in the saga

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) met in July with a former Ukrainian diplomat who has circulated unproven claims that Ukrainian officials assisted Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, a previously unreported contact that underscores the GOP senator’s involvement in the unfolding narrative that triggered the impeachment inquiry of Trump.

In an interview this week, Andrii Telizhenko said he met with Johnson for at least 30 minutes on Capitol Hill and with Senate staff for five additional hours. He said discussions focused in part on “the DNC issue” — a reference to his unsubstantiated claim that the Democratic National Committee worked with the Ukrainian government in 2016 to gather incriminating information about then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Telizhenko said he could not recall the date of the meeting, but a review of his Facebook page revealed a photo of him and Johnson posted on July 11.

“I was in Washington, and Sen. Johnson found out I was in D.C., and staff called me and wanted to do a meeting with me. So I reached out back and said, ‘Sure, I’ll come down the Hill and talk to you,’ ” Telizhenko told The Washington Post on Wednesday.

An individual close to Johnson confirmed that staff for one of his committees met with Telizhenko as part of an ongoing investigation into the FBI and its probes of the 2016 election, but declined to say whether the senator was involved.

The meeting points to Johnson’s emerging role as the member of Congress most heavily involved in the Ukraine saga that has engulfed the White House and has threatened Trump with impeachment.

— Elise Viebeck and Dalton Bennett

5 a.m.: Chants of ‘Lock him up’ and ‘Impeach Trump’ greet the president at Nationals game

Trump was booed during Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday night when he made a rare public appearance in a luxury ballpark suite in ­Democrat-dominated Washington.

When the president was announced on the public address system after the third inning as part of a tribute to veterans, the crowd roared into sustained booing — hitting almost 100 decibels. Chants of “Lock him up” and “Impeach Trump” then broke out at Nationals Park, where a sellout crowd was watching the game between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros.

The president appeared unmoved, waving to fans and soon moving to chat with House ­Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in his luxury box along the third base line.

Trump, who has virtually never been seen in Washington outside the White House, his own hotel and a handful of other highly controlled settings, came with the first lady, a coterie of Republican members of Congress and top aides, who could be seen smiling, chatting and posing for selfies throughout the game. He entered without fanfare about eight minutes before first pitch, only spotted by a few in the crowd.

— Maura Judkis and Josh Dawsey

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