Russia

Updated at 11:38 p.m. ET

Planned votes on two articles of impeachment against President Trump were delayed late Thursday night by Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He asked members to consider how they want to vote and to reconvene at 10 a.m. Friday.

Ranking minority member Rep. Doug Collins and others protested that Nadler had upset the committee's plans without consulting them.

The Judiciary Committee had sparred for more than 12 hours Thursday ahead of expected votes.

Updated on November 18 at 4:30 p.m. ET

The House impeachment inquiry begins its second week of public hearings with the Intelligence Committee scheduled to hear testimony from nine more witnesses over three days.

When the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine was abruptly removed from her post this year, some Democratic lawmakers called it "a political hit job." Now the congressman in charge of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump is making the case that Marie Yovanovitch's ouster is part of the story of a president abusing his power in relations with Ukraine.

Yovanovitch will be the sole witness Friday, the second day of the inquiry's public hearings over whether Trump used military aid as leverage to pressure Ukraine into investigations that would benefit him politically.

Two witnesses seen as crucial to the case against President Trump in the impeachment inquiry testified Wednesday.

Much of what was said by acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and George Kent, the State Department's top official on Ukraine policy, was previously known from their lengthy depositions released last week.

But there were some new things — and several moments that stood out. Here are seven:

1. A new detail from a new witness emerges

Updated at 12 p.m. ET

The impeachment inquiry into President Trump turned its spotlight on Monday on four top White House officials, asking them to testify behind closed doors as Democrats probe whether Trump held up military aid as leverage to get Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.

But none of them showed up, citing legal advice.

How big a deal was this week's House vote formalizing the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Trump?

It could be quite a big deal indeed.

As has been noted, the vote opens the impeachment inquiry to public view and responds to complaints about its secrecy. The vote also may, in the view of legal scholars, strengthen the case for courts to enforce congressional subpoenas that have been issued — or soon will be.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives voted Thursday 232-196 to pass a resolution formalizing its impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Just two Democrats voted no — Reps. Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey.

Amid the debate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called it a "sad day."

Updated at 4:29 p.m. ET

Republican members of Congress disrupted the closed-door proceedings of the House impeachment inquiry, preventing a Pentagon official from giving her testimony.

Arguing that the inquiry's interviews should not be held behind closed doors, GOP lawmakers entered the secure area in the Capitol Wednesday where witnesses are typically questioned.

The story of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman unfolds like a globe-trotting mystery over more than a year.

When the two associates of President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, were arrested at an airport this month for campaign finance violations, it wasn't immediately clear how — or even if — those activities were related to the impeachment inquiry into Trump.

But even before their arrest by the FBI, the two Soviet-born men were among the people whom Congress wanted to interview.

Updated at 4:04 p.m. ET

The National Rifle Association acted as a "foreign asset" for Russia in the period leading up to the 2016 election, according to a new investigation unveiled Friday by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

Drawing on contemporaneous emails and private interviews, an 18-month probe by the Senate Finance Committee's Democratic staff found that the NRA underwrote political access for Russian nationals Maria Butina and Alexander Torshin more than previously known — even though the two had declared their ties to the Kremlin.

Ryland Barton

Democrats have been trying to pressure Mitch McConnell to take up election security measures that passed out of the House of Representatives earlier this year, but the Senate majority leader has shown little willingness to do so.

In his home state of Kentucky, McConnell has been dogged by protesters calling him “Moscow Mitch”—one of the few epithets he dislikes. A billboard in his hometown of Louisville now urges his constituents to “Tell Mitch McConnell: Stop Blocking Election Security Funding.”

Kentucky Democrats: 'Just Say Nyet to Moscow Mitch'

Jul 31, 2019
J. Tyler Franklin

Democrats in Mitch McConnell's home state are pitching "Moscow Mitch" merchandise to try and capitalize on a bitter dispute involving the Kentucky senator over election security legislation.

The Kentucky Democratic Party said Wednesday it's launching the "Moscow Mitch" webstore in a dig at the Senate majority leader.

The party is selling red T-shirts for $25. They depict a picture of McConnell wearing a Cossack hat with the "hammer and sickle" symbol. The shirt declares "Just say Nyet to Moscow Mitch" in yellow, Soviet-style letters.

Updated at 9:20 p.m. ET

Congress has delayed testimony by former special counsel Robert Mueller one week to permit lawmakers to get more time to question him, committee leaders said on Friday.

Mueller had been scheduled to appear on the morning of July 17 before the House Judiciary Committee and then that afternoon before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

That was put on hold after grumbling by some members of Congress over the rules of procedure for the sessions.

Sydney Boles

A large whiteboard in an Ashland, Kentucky, unemployment office is covered with a list of companies that are currently hiring. Senior career counselor Melissa Sloas said that just a few years ago, that board was a lot emptier.

This corner of eastern Kentucky has long struggled to make up for losses in mining and manufacturing. Unemployment in the Ashland area is still around 6.3 percent, well above the state average. Career center employees said workers are anxious about the closure of longtime employer AK Steel, which announced in January it would close its Ashland plant this year.


Braidy Industries

Russian aluminum company Rusal announced Monday it plans to invest in a new Kentucky aluminum mill to be built near Ashland in eastern Kentucky. The $200 million investment in Braidy Industries is Rusal’s first U.S. project since the Trump administration lifted U.S. sanctions placed against the company.

Rusal had been sanctioned by the U.S. government because its major controller, Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, faces accusations of “a range of malign activity around the globe” by Russia, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. Those actions include interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and meddling in neighboring Ukraine.


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