Caitlinmacneal_profile2019

Caitlin MacNeal

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Articles by Caitlin

Hello TPM members and welcome to the weekend.

The second week of public impeachment hearings was chock-full of bombshells. Kurt Volker shifted his story a bit, and Gordon Sondland showed up on Capitol Hill with a refreshed memory as well. And career officials like Fiona Hill and Alexander Hill laid out a damning picture of the Ukraine pressure campaign.

Here’s what happened in Prime this week:

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Hello TPM members and welcome to the weekend.

The House Intelligence Committee held its first public hearings in the impeachment probe this week, in which Ukraine diplomat Bill Taylor revealed a new episode in the Ukraine scandal and former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch calmly slapped down Republican conspiracy theories. But while the hearings on Wednesday and Friday were the main event, we also saw developments in the cases over Trump’s tax returns and some new details about the push to add a citizenship question to the census.

Here’s what happened in Prime this week:

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The Week In Impeachment

Public hearings: The House held its first two public hearings in the impeachment probe this week, with members grilling career diplomats about the highly unusual actions they witnessed from the Trump administration. On Wednesday, Ukraine diplomat Bill Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent testified about the ouster of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and Rudy Giuliani’s involvement in relations with Ukraine. Taylor surprised the room with a new revelation: one of his staffers overheard President Trump on the phone asking EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland about “the investigations.” News broke later that a second embassy staffer also overheard the phone call.

On Friday, ousted Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch testified about the circumstances under which she was abruptly recalled from her post. In the hearing, Yovanovitch revealed that she received the fateful phone call demanding her return to the U.S. during an event honoring a murdered Ukrainian anti-corruption activist. She also picked apart the Republican talking point that the Ukrainians sought to damage Trump during the 2016 election.

New transcripts: The House released more transcripts early this week, and we rounded up the highlights from the depositions of Defense Department official Laura Cooper, Kurt Volker aide Christopher Anderson and former Volker aide Catherine Croft.

Mulvaney booted from lawsuit: Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney tried to join a lawsuit brought by former Deputy National Security Adviser Charles Kupperman asking a federal judge to rule whether he must comply with a House subpoena or follow White House orders to stay mum. Yet Kupperman and former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who plans to follow the judge’s order in Kupperman’s case, objected. Mulvaney ultimately dropped his attempt to glom onto the case.

Trump rage: As the impeachment probe chugs along, Trump has reportedly turned his anger over the whistleblower on the inspector general for the intelligence community, who first alerted Congress to the whistleblower complaint. The New York Times reported that Trump has discussed firing Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson for being disloyal.

Coming up: House investigators scheduled two more closed-door depositions for this week. David Holmes, the embassy staffer who reportedly told Taylor that he overheard Sondland’s call with Trump, will be deposed Friday. Mark Sandy, a career official at the Office of Management and Budget, will be deposed on Saturday.

On the Senate side: An early estimate from Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr (R-NC) indicates that the Senate impeachment trial could last six to eight weeks.

In Other News

Trump’s tax returns: We saw news in three separate cases regarding Trump’s financial information this week. On Monday, a federal judge dismissed the President’s lawsuit seeking to New York state from releasing his tax returns to Congress. Trump could still file a similar lawsuit in New York.

On Wednesday, the full D.C. U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to review a decision by the three-judge panel of the appeals court upholding a congressional subpoena of Trump’s tax returns, setting the case up for potential Supreme Court action. Trump then sought an emergency ruling from the Supreme Court blocking the subpoena from being enforced while the court decides whether to take the case.

On Thursday, Trump asked the Supreme Court to block Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance from obtaining Trump’s state tax returns.

Roger Stone guilty: A jury on Friday found Roger Stone guilty on all seven counts he faced in his case stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

 

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Hello TPM members and welcome to the weekend.

In yet another big week for the impeachment inquiry, two key witnesses testified that President Trump and his allies pressured Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and the 2016 election by dangling a meeting with Trump and military aide. The Justice Department also appeared in court for two separate lawsuits over the House’s subpoena power.

Here’s what happened in Prime this week:

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Our design team this week put together a really fantastic interactive that tracks who has testified/turned over documents in the impeachment probe and who is refusing to cooperate.

With so many closed door depositions and witnesses’ cooperating status changing constantly, this chart makes it easy to understand just how far along the probe is on any given day. And we’re able to update it in real time, so it will be a great resource through the duration of the inquiry.

Check it out here.

 

Hello TPM members and welcome to the weekend.

It was yet another big week for the impeachment inquiry. Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, testified that military aid for Ukraine was contingent on the country’s president announcing probes that would benefit President Trump politically. New details on the exploits of Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman surfaced as well.

Here’s what happened in Prime this week:

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Big week for the impeachment probe: On Tuesday, Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, delivered the most damning testimony in the impeachment inquiry yet. In his opening statement, he told House investigators that the Trump administration told Ukraine that military aid would be contingent on officials in the country opening a probe into the Ukrainian company with ties to Joe Biden’s son.

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, who Taylor alleged spoke to both Trump and Ukrainian officials about the quid pro quo, disputed Taylor’s characterization of the conversations. Tim Morrison, a National Security Council official expected to testify in the impeachment probe next week, may settle the question in his testimony. He spoke to Sondland directly about the ambassador’s role in the Ukraine pressure campaign and was present on President Trump’s notorious call with the Ukrainian president.

Also this week, top Pentagon official Laura Cooper testified in the House impeachment inquiry, and Senate Democrats submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Justice Department in an attempt to obtain documents related to the Ukraine pressure campaign.

Trump fights demand for financial info: Lawyers for President Trump and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office appeared in court on Wednesday for oral arguments in a case regarding Trump’s financial information. Trump is trying to block state prosecutors from obtaining his financial information from the accounting firm Mazars USA. Trump’s lawyers argued to the U.SSecond Circuit Court of Appeals that the Constitution protects Trump from state criminal investigations, even if Trump shoots someone. Yes, really.

Emoluments problems: Even though Trump walked back his decision to hold next year’s G-7 summit at his Doral resort, Senate Democrats who filed a lawsuit accusing the President of violating the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause plan to use the initial decision to bolster their case. Over on the other side of the Capitol, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee issued a subpoena to the General Services Administration for information related to Trump’s hotel in D.C. as part of the panel’s probe into whether Trump’s ownership of the hotel violates the Emoluments Clause.

Lingering Mueller probe news: Documents released this week by the Justice Department revealed that neither former White House Counsel Don McGahn nor Donald Trump Jr. testified in front of the grand jury convened by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Roger Stone rebuffed: An appeals court on Tuesday dismissed a request from Trump ally Roger Stone to loosen the gag order imposed by the federal judge overseeing his case. Stone was banned from using social media and from using family and friends as spokespeople after he violated the judge’s ruling on public comments several times.

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Hello TPM members and welcome to the weekend.

As the House steadily deposed witnesses for its impeachment inquiry behind closed doors, providing only a few new details in the way of leaks, the White House made news right out in the open. White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged that President Trump’s decision to hold up aid to Ukraine was linked to his push for the country to investigate a conspiracy theory about 2016 election meddling.

Here’s what happened in Prime this week:

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