Wake Up To Politics - October 9, 2019
I'm Gabe Fleisher, reporting live from WUTP World HQ in my bedroom. It’s Wednesday, October 9, 2019. 27 days until Election Day 2019. 117 days until the 2020 Iowa caucuses. 391 days until Election Day 2020. Have comments, questions, suggestions, or tips? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. G'mar Chatimah Tovah and an easy fast to all observing Yom Kippur today.
White House refuses to cooperate with impeachment probe
From the Associated Press:
"The White House declared it will halt any and all cooperation with what it termed the 'illegitimate' impeachment probe by House Democrats, sharpening the constitutional clash between President Donald Trump and Congress."
"Trump attorneys on Tuesday sent a lengthy letter to House leaders bluntly stating White House refusal to participate in the inquiry that was given a boost by last week’s release of a whistleblower’s complaint that the president sought political favors from Ukraine."
"'Given that your inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections, the Executive Branch cannot be expected to participate in it,' White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote."
"That means no additional witnesses under administration purview will be permitted to appear in front of Congress or comply with document requests, a senior official said."
"The White House is objecting that the House has not voted to begin an impeachment investigation into Trump. It also claims that Trump’s due process rights are being violated."
..."House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has insisted the House is well within its rules to conduct oversight of the executive branch under the Constitution regardless of a formal impeachment inquiry vote."
"'Mr. President, you are not above the law,' Pelosi said in a statement Tuesday night. 'You will be held accountable."
More impeachment news:
--- "Democrats on Tuesday issued a subpoena to U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland hours after he failed to show up for a scheduled deposition before three House committees."
"The subpoena seeks Sondland's testimony as well as documents related to President Donald Trump’s apparent efforts to have Ukrainian officials investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son." (NBC News)
--- "A White House official who listened to President Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s leader described it as 'crazy,' 'frightening' and 'completely lacking in substance related to national security,' according to a memo written by the whistle-blower at the center of the Ukraine scandal, a C.I.A. officer who spoke to the White House official."
"The official was 'visibly shaken by what had transpired,' the C.I.A. officer wrote in his memo, one day after Mr. Trump pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine in a July 25 phone call to open investigations that would benefit him politically." (The New York Times)
--- "President Donald Trump directed Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and two top State Department officials to deal with his private attorney Rudy Giuliani when the Ukrainian President sought to meet Trump, in a clear circumvention of official channels, according to two sources familiar with the conversation."
"Trump believed Ukraine was still rampantly corrupt and said that if President Volodymyr Zelensky wanted to meet with him, Giuliani would have to be convinced first, one source said." (CNN)
--- "Donald Trump has enlisted former Representative Trey Gowdy to work with the White House team combating the U.S. House’s impeachment inquiry into the president, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday." (Bloomberg)
Bipartisan panel releases new report on Russia interference: "Kremlin-directed operatives opened champagne when Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016, according to a communication disclosed in a new Senate Intelligence Committee report outlining Russia’s sweeping social media efforts to help him win."
"'We uncorked a tiny bottle of champagne ... took one gulp each and looked into each other’s eyes .... We uttered almost in unison: "We made America great,"' one operative at the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency said in the message obtained by the Republican-led committee."
"The long-pending report by the Intelligence panel concluded that Russia directed an aggressive social media campaign to hurt Democrat Hillary Clinton and help Trump in the 2016 presidential election and warns similar efforts to interfere in U.S. politics are still under way. It was a bipartisan endorsement of the finding made by U.S. intelligence agencies and often questioned by Trump." (Bloomberg)
New Democratic primary poll: "With the next Democratic debate only a week away, [Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth] Warren and [former Vice President Joe] Biden both keep their top of the pack positions in the Democratic primary, with Warren receiving support from 29 percent of Democratic voters and independent voters who lean Democratic and Biden getting 26 percent support. [Vermont Sen. Bernie] Sanders seems to be the only other candidate left in the mix with the two frontrunners, receiving 16 percent of the vote. No other candidate tops 4 percent." (Quinnipiac University poll)
--- Warren has now edged ahead of Biden in the RealClearPolitics average of national Democratic primary polls.
Sanders to slow down campaign after heart attack: "Senator Bernie Sanders, in a striking concession for a leading presidential candidate, said on Tuesday that he planned to slow down his pace on the campaign trail after suffering a heart attack a week ago, and acknowledged that voters would likely consider his health when deciding whether to support him."
"'I think we’re going to change the nature of the campaign a bit,' Mr. Sanders told reporters after a visit with a local cardiologist. 'Make sure that I have the strength to do what I have to do.'" (The New York Times)
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Today at the White House
--- At 3:15 p.m., President Trump signs executive orders "on transparency in Federal guidance and enforcement."
--- Vice President Mike Pence travels to Iowa today. At 3 p.m., he delivers remarks on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) at Manning Farms. At 3:45 p.m., he meets with community leaders in Waukee. At 6 p.m., he delivers remarks at a fundraiser for Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) in West Des Moines.
Today in Congress
--- The House and Senate are on recess through October 15.
Today at the Supreme Court
--- The justices of the Supreme Court will not meet for oral arguments or a conference today.
Today on the trail
--- Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) holds a town hall with employees of Eversource in Manchester, New Hampshire.
--- Former Vice President Joe Biden holds town halls in Rochester and Manchester, New Hampshire.
--- Sen. Cory Booker joins congressional candidate J.D. Scholten in Spirit Lake, Iowa, to kick off Scholten's "Don't Forget About Us" Tour.
--- Former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) attends town meetings organized by local Democrats in Pelham and Westmoreland, New Hampshire.
--- Spiritual author Marianne Williamson visits Charleston, South Carolina. She will participate in an event with Teen Voices Matter and then hold an event at Unity of Charleston.
*All times Eastern