What’s next in the impeachment inquiry as Congress returns

What’s next in the impeachment inquiry as Congress returns

The inquiry moved ahead Monday with testimony expected from Semyon Kislin, an associated of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, and Fiona Hill, the former Russian Federation adviser on the National Security Council.

House Democrats are seeking to interview White House budget director Russell Vought on October 25, according to a copy of the letter to the Office of Management and Budget obtained by ABC News, the latest sign that they are increasingly focused on the withholding of almost $400 million in military aid to Ukraine as part of their impeachment investigation. On Friday, the lawmakers have scheduled an interview with Laura Cooper, who is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia. Trump denies there was a link.

Put a lid on it: The White House called a "travel/photo lid" extremely early Monday - at 9 a.m.

Democrats as part of the impeachment inquiry are looking at the State Department as they investigate Trump's suggestion that Ukraine investigate the business dealings of Joe Biden's family.

Giuliani has defended his actions as proper in his role as Trump's lawyer.

Mr Giuliani faces a Tuesday deadline to produce documents related to the Ukraine matter subpoenaed by the House Intelligence Committee. He has not said whether he will comply.

Sonland was scheduled to testify last week but Trump blocked him from doing so.

Mr Sekulow had praised Mr Gowdy last week as "a great asset" to the legal team.

Last week, the panels also heard from former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who testified about her understanding of Giuliani's efforts to oust her from office earlier this year.

The complaint filed to the inspector general of the intelligence community claimed Trump pressed Zelensky to launch an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Democrats have accused Mr Trump of pressuring a vulnerable USA ally to dig up dirt on a domestic rival after withholding US$391 million (S$535.15 billion) in U.S. security aid meant to help combat Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of Ukraine.

Host Margaret Brennan sought to clarify if Schiff was saying he believed that simply agreeing to meet with Ukrainian President Zelensky was the quid pro pro, and not just the military aid.

At a news conference at the United Nations General Assembly last month, Trump said he made a decision to withhold the aid because of concerns about corruption, later adding that he wanted other European allies to pay for military aid to Ukraine as well.

Also on Monday, Trump complained about Schiff's parody of his July 25 call with the Ukrainian president - a move by the chief Democratic investigator the president has repeatedly used to try and discredit the probe into his presidency.

Gordon Sondland, Trump's ambassador to the European Union, who was a part of the conversations about Trump and Zelensky, will testify on Thursday.

Mr. Sondland, who told another US diplomat in September that there was no quid pro quo between the president's decision to hold up almost $400 million in aid to Ukraine and his desire for Kyiv to mount certain investigations, is expected to tell lawmakers when he testifies later this week that he made that assertion based off the president's word, according to a person familiar with the ambassador's planned testimony.

Quid pro quo is a Latin term meaning a favour for a favour.

The talks have centered on how to protect the whistleblower, who is publicly unknown, and prevent retaliation, given that Trump has said he wants to know the person's identity. Trump also appeared to pressure Zelenskiy to work with the Justice Department and his personal lawyer to conduct investigations linked to the 2016 election and Biden, a potential 2020 rival.

Negotiations between representatives for the whistleblower and congressional committees were deadlocked over Senate Intelligence Committee requests that the individual provide testimony in person, while the House committees were willing to exchange questions and answers in writing, according to two people familiar with the negotiations.

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