Key facts and latest news
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to House committees scheduling depositions from State Department officials, calling it an attempt to "bully" diplomats.
- House committee chairs warned Pompeo not to obstruct the impeachment inquiry.
- The State Department inspector general planned to brief committee staff on documents on Wednesday.
- In a July phone call, President Trump urged the president of Ukraine to open an investigation targeting Joe Biden.
- Soon after the call, White House officials moved a record of the call to a highly classified computer system, severely restricting who could access it.
Washington -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused House Democrats of trying to "bully" and "intimidate" State Department officials by scheduling depositions about their involvement with President Trump's call with the Ukrainian president on short notice.
On Friday, three House chairmen wrote to Pompeo informing him they had set dates for joint depositions of five State Department officials named in the whistleblower complaint about the Ukraine call. The first officials were scheduled to be deposed this week.
Pompeo responded on Tuesday, writing in a letter to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel that the committee had not given the officials adequate time to prepare.
"I am concerned with aspects of your request, described more fully below, that can be understood only as an attempt to intimidate, bully, and treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State, including several career Foreign Service Officers," Pompeo wrote.
Pompeo also indicated he would respond to a separate subpoena requesting documents related to the call by the deadline of Friday. On Monday, Pompeo was revealed to have been on the call between Mr. Trump and the Ukrainian president, a development first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The chairmen issued a response of their own later Tuesday, accusing Pompeo of stonewalling their investigation and intimidating witnesses.
"He should immediately cease intimidating Department witnesses in order to protect himself and the President," they said in a statement.
Later Monday, a House Intelligence Committee official said one of the officials, ex-envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, will appear behind closed doors as planned on Thursday. Another official, former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, will now appear on October 11 instead of Wednesday as originally planned.
Ex-Watergate prosecutor Jon Sale representing Giuliani
7:09 p.m.: Jon Sale, a former assistant special prosecutor during the Watergate scandal, is representing Rudy Giuliani as he navigates various congressional probes. During Watergate, Sale worked on grand jury proceedings and trial litigation, according to a biography on his current firm's website.
Sale also served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and in the District of Connecticut, as well as a chief assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Sale was also a senior counselor on Giuliani's failed presidential bid in 2008.
Giuliani was hit with a subpoena on Monday from three House committees seeking documents related to his dealings with Ukraine. -- Emily Tillett
State Department inspector general to brief committee staff on Ukraine docs
6:03 p.m.: The State Department's internal watchdog invited congressional committee staff to attend a briefing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday "to discuss and provide staff with copies of documents related to the State Department and Ukraine."
Inspector General Steve Linick invited Democratic and Republican staffers from eight House and Senate committees to attend the briefing. A copy of the invitation seen by CBS News was designated "urgent," and said the inspector general "obtained the documents from the Acting Legal Advisor of the Department of State."
Several senior congressional aides from the committees said they don't know what is in the documents and that the invitation came as a surprise to them.
"It could be anything," one aide said. -- Nancy Cordes
House Intel says ex-Ukraine envoy will testify as planned
4:50 p.m.: The special envoy to Ukraine who abruptly resigned his post after his apparent entanglement with Rudy Giuliani came to light will appear as scheduled for a deposition before House lawmakers on Thursday, a House Intelligence Committee official said.
Kurt Volker resigned Friday amid scrutiny over his supposed role in facilitating contacts between Giuliani and various Ukrainian officials. He was scheduled to appear before the House committees leading the impeachment probe on Thursday and will appear behind closed doors as planned, the official said.
The official said former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will now appear on October 11, under an agreement reached with her counsel. She was previously scheduled to appear on Wednesday.
Both officials are among the five included in Pompeo's earlier letter to the committees protesting the demand for their testimony. -- Olivia Gazis and Stefan Becket
Top Democratic senator questions Pence and Perry's involvement
4:26 p.m.: The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee wrote a pair of letters to Vice President Mike Pence and Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Tuesday asking them for information about their interactions with Ukrainian officials.
Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey highlighted a meeting between Pence and the president of Ukraine on a trip to Poland in early September.
"When asked by a reporter on that trip whether you could 'assure Ukraine that the hold-up of that money has absolutely nothing to do with efforts, including by Rudy Giuliani, to try to dig up dirt on the Biden family,' you did not answer the question," Menendez wrote. "While I hope that he was alone in making such an inappropriate request, your statements regarding your discussions with Ukraine officials raise questions whether you may have helped carry that message."
Menendez also asked Perry to provide details of his experience leading the U.S. delegation to Zelensky's inauguration in May. The whistleblower said Mr. Trump ordered Pence not to go and instead sent Perry.
"President Trump's phone call and the allegations in the whistleblower complaint raise serious questions about the messages that were communicated on behalf of President Trump to the government of Ukraine," Menendez wrote in his letter to Perry. -- Stefan Becket
House chairmen accuse Pompeo of witness intimidation
2:32 p.m.: The chairmen of three House committees demanding documents from Pompeo and depositions of State Department officials responded to the secretary's letter Tuesday afternoon, accusing him of obstructing their investigation.
"Secretary Pompeo was reportedly on the call when the President pressed Ukraine to smear his political opponent. If true, Secretary Pompeo is now a fact witness in the House impeachment inquiry," the chairmen wrote. "He should immediately cease intimidating Department witnesses in order to protect himself and the President."
The letter came from the chairmen of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Intelligence Committee and Oversight and Reform Committee -- Eliot Engel, Adam Schiff and Elijah Cummings, respectively.
"Any effort to intimidate witnesses or prevent them from talking with Congress -- including State Department employees -- is illegal and will constitute evidence of obstruction of the impeachment inquiry," the lawmakers continued. "In response, Congress may infer from this obstruction that any withheld documents and testimony would reveal information that corroborates the whistleblower complaint."
The chairmen said they are "committed to protecting witnesses from harassment and intimidation, and we expect their full compliance and that of the Department of State." -- Stefan Becket
Fact checking Trump's whistleblower claims
1:31 p.m.: Over the last few days, the president has espoused a number of claims and theories as he attempts to refute the whistleblower's complaint and discredit the anonymous individual whose complaint is central to the impeachment inquiry announced last week by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Read our fact check of the president's claims here. -- Kathryn Watson
Ukrainian president says he's never met Giuliani
12:20 p.m.: Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, said he has never met nor spoke with Rudy Giuliani, and reiterated he did not feel pressured to investigate the Bidens.
Speaking to reporters in the Ukrainian capital, Zelensky also said he was never given a reason for why American aid was withheld. Mr. Trump ordered a delay of nearly $400 million in military aid for Ukraine to combat Russian aggression, finally releasing the funds in September after months of pressure from Congress, including Republicans.
In his call with Zelensky in July, Mr. Trump said he would put the Ukrainian leader in touch with Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr.
Zelensky met with Mr. Trump in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly last week and said "nobody pushed" him to investigate the former vice president and his son. He said Monday that Ukraine "cannot be ordered to do anything. We are an independent country." -- Erin Lyall in Kiev
Grassley says whistleblower should be protected
11:25 a.m.: Senator Chuck Grassley, the most senior Republican in the Senate, defended the whistleblower, saying the individual followed procedure and should be allowed to remain anonymous.
"This person appears to have followed the whistleblower protection laws and ought to be heard out and protected," Grassley said in a statement. "We should always work to respect whistleblowers' requests for confidentiality. Any further media reports on the whistleblower's identity don't serve the public interest -- even if the conflict sells more papers or attracts clicks."
Grassley also pushed back against critics of the intelligence community inspector general, who they say mishandled the whistleblower complaint.
"When it comes to whether someone qualifies as a whistleblower, the distinctions being drawn between first- and second-hand knowledge aren't legal ones," Grassley said. "It's just not part of whistleblower protection law or any agency policy. Complaints based on second-hand information should not be rejected out of hand, but they do require additional leg work to get at the facts and evaluate the claim's credibility."
Grassley said "inquiries that put impeachment first and facts last don't weigh very credibly. Folks just ought to be responsible with their words." -- Stefan Becket
Pompeo responds to Democrats' demand for depositions
10:51 a.m.: In a letter to the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Democrats of trying to "intimidate" and "bully" State Department officials with a request for testimony about their involvement in the Ukraine call. Pompeo said the committee's request does not provide enough time for the department and its employees to adequately prepare.
Pompeo, who is traveling in Italy, wrote that the request "can be understood only as an attempt to intimidate, bully, and treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State, including several career Foreign Service Officers."
He added, "Let me be clear: I will not tolerate such tactics, and I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State."
On Friday, three committee chairs wrote to Pompeo informing him they had scheduled depositions for five officials: former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, former special envoy Kurt Volker, Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent, State Department Counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl and U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland. All five officials were mentioned in the whistleblower complaint.
Volker resigned abruptly from his post as special envoy for Ukraine on Friday and is scheduled to be deposed on Thursday.
The chairmen also issued a subpoena for documents from Pompeo related to the call. -- Emily Tillett
Ukrainian Giuliani ally details conversations about Biden and DNC
9:00 a.m.: Andriy Telizchenko, who worked for the prosecutor general and the Ukrainian embassy in Washington, says he discussed the DNC and the Biden family in discussions with Giuliani. His name is mentioned in both the Giuliani subpoena and the whistleblower's complaint, where it's alleged he met with Giuliani and is an ally of former Prosecutor Yuriy General Lutsenko.
Telizchenko argued in an interview with CBS News that he is not an ally of Lutsenko, and said that is an indication the whistleblower didn't really understand the situation.
"It says in the whistleblower statement that I'm an ally of Lutsenko. The person who wrote this, they say he's a Ukrainian expert... It's the total opposite," Telizchenko said. "Putting me as an ally of Mr. Lutsenko, it's a misinterpretation of what this person understands of Ukraine. Who was pushing these stories out into the public?"
He told CBS News he met with Giuliani three times for several hours at a time in the U.S. Their first meeting last five or six hours. Money never exchanged hands, but, according to Telizchenko, "he offered me a coke and a cigar."
Telizchenko said he contacted Giuliani because he wanted to discuss the DNC's alleged activity in Ukraine and that in their meetings Giuliani also asked him about the Bidens and the incoming Zelensky administration:
"We talked about the DNC, collusion, we talked about the Biden family, what my insights were," he said.
"He asked about it but we didn't discuss it in depth... I want you to just find out what's happening in Ukraine, was there a connection, what was their process, was there an investigation happening, will there be an investigation happening with the new government. So I was giving him my insights on the new government, on Mr. Zelensky, what he might do, what he might not do."
Telizchenko thinks investigations should be reopened into all Burisma, Biden and DNC activities in Ukraine, because the U.S. "can't trust any of the former prosecutor generals." He claimed he is willing to give all his evidence to American agencies and is willing to testify in Congress as long as it's open committee so no one "twists" his words. -- Erin Lyall and Roxana Saberi
Trump suggests Democrats, media pushing "hoax" of Ukraine call
7:50 a.m.: Mr. Trump started his morning by weighing into the Ukraine call controversy early Tuesday, tweeting that the Democratic party and news media are working in concert to perpetuate their latest "hoax."
"The congratulatory phone call with the Ukrainian President was PERFECT," Mr. Trump wrote. Earlier, he tweeted an un-sourced U.S. map seemingly showing overwhelming GOP support with a banner that reads "Try to impeach this."
The president has no public events on his official schedule Tuesday.
Hillary Clinton says impeachment is the "'right thing to do"
7:30 a.m.: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Stephen Colbert she believes the impeachment inquiry is the right thing to do. She appeared on "The Late Show" with her daughter Chelsea Clinton to promote their new book Monday night.
During her appearance, Clinton called out Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who CBS News confirmed was listening to the president's call with the Ukrainian president, saying he should have been the first person to say something was wrong. She also says it's the job of the Secretary of State to know what the president is going to say.
Clinton explained that a lot of preparation usually goes into these types of calls, but thinks that scenario is unlikely this time since the president has trouble "following instructions."
She also pointed out that while presidents and secretaries of state in the past have used special envoys to deliver messages, these discussion are usually carefully thought out. She says from what she's seen, careful thinking isn't one of Giuliani's "strong points." -- Emily Tillett and Gillian Morley
Warner says he concerned about threat to whistleblower's life
6:40 a.m. Senator Mark Warner, vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, tells CBS News' Nancy Cordes he's concerned Mr. Trump is putting the whistleblower's life at risk as he continues to suggest he wants a meeting over social media with the so-called "spy."
"I think this is a clear example of reprisal," Warner said. "I think the potential threat to this whistleblower's life is a realistic concern."
Warner's comments come as Mr. Trump told reporters he was actively trying to uncover the whistleblower's identity.
"Well, we're trying to find out about a whistleblower, when you have a whistleblower that reports things that were incorrect," the president said Monday. "As you know, and you probably now have figured it out, the statement I made to the president of Ukraine, a good man, a nice man, new, was perfect. It was perfect. But the whistleblower reported a totally different statement."
Later Monday night, the inspector general for the intelligence community issued a statement defending the whistleblower from critics, saying the individual acted appropriately and had first-hand knowledge of the events in question.
Kiev mayor says Giuliani is one of the "most famous men in Ukraine"
6:15 a.m.: Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kiev, said Giuliani needs no introduction in his country, calling him one of the most "famous" men in Ukraine due to his business dealings. Klitschko is named in Giuliani's congressional subpoena and is a long-time friend of the former New York City mayor.
He told CBS News that Giuliani never discussed former Vice President Joe Biden or Hunter Biden with him and never asked for his help in looking into election interference in 2016.
Klitschko told CBS News the two are "old friends" and Giuliani is "the best mayor in the world." He also denied that any money passed hands between the two, despite multiple reports to the contrary. Giuliani was reportedly "consulting" for Klitschko in the run up to his own election.
"I'm responsible not only for international politics, I'm mayor of Kiev, I'm responsible for my city and we need knowledge, we need experience from people [on] how to make our city much more successful, much more modern," Klitschko explained when pressed about his relationship to the former mayor. -- Erin Lyall and Roxana Saberi
Kurt Volker will appear before House Committees Thursday
10:43 p.m. Former U.S. Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker will testify in a deposition before three House committees Thursday, as noted in documents that were issued Friday by Congress, CBS News confirms, according to three sources, two of whom are Arizona State University officials. MSNBC first reported that he would appear Thursday.
Volker resigned from his position Friday after his name appeared in the whistleblower complaint, which alleged that he had gone to Kiev in late July, met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian political figures and advised them on "how to 'navigate'" the demands Mr. Trump made of Zelensky.
The committees also scheduled depositions for other witnesses mentioned in the whistleblower complaint, but it is not yet clear whether they will appear. -- Olivia Gazis and Nancy Cordes
Inspector general says whistleblower followed procedure when filing complaint
5:52 p.m.: The intelligence community inspector general concluded the whistleblower who filed a complaint involving the president's Ukraine call acted appropriately and by the book, pushing back on insinuations by a number of Republicans that the individual didn't follow federal rules for whistleblower disclosures.
"In summary, regarding the instant matter, the whistleblower submitted the appropriate Disclosure of Urgent Concern form that was in effect as of August 12, 2019, and had been used by the ICIG since May 24, 2018," the inspector general's office concluded Monday. "The whistleblower stated on the form that he or she possessed both first-hand and other information. The ICIG reviewed the information provided as well as other information gathered and determined that the complaint was both urgent and that it appeared credible."
Some Republicans in the Senate are questioning why the intelligence community last year changed its rules allowing whistleblower protections for those who don't necessarily have first-hand knowledge. Republicans have argued the whistleblower's claims aren't based on eyewitness testimony, even though the whistleblower's complaint and the call summary with Ukraine's president are consistent.
The inspector general's office noted the whistleblower claimed to have both direct and second-hand knowledge of the matters detailed in the complaint. -- Kathryn Watson
Barr and Trump asked foreign officials for help investigating origin of Russia probe
5:54 p.m.: Attorney General William Barr has asked Mr. Trump to reach out to a number of foreign officials to request assistance in the Department of Justice's review of the origins of the Mueller probe, a department spokeswoman said Monday.
Barr asked Mr. Trump to call Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to alert him that the attorney general would be reaching out, a department official told CBS News. The New York Times first reported the two leaders had spoken.
John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, is heading up a review of the FBI and CIA's activities in 2016. The status of that review, which Barr ordered in May, is unclear at this time.
"Mr. Durham is gathering information from numerous sources, including a number of foreign countries. At Attorney General Barr's request, the President has contacted other countries to ask them to introduce the Attorney General and Mr. Durham to appropriate officials," Kerri Kupec, a Department of Justice spokeswoman, said in a statement.
The department official declined to say which other countries were involved. The Washington Post said the other countries included the United Kingdom, and a source familiar with the matter said Barr traveled to Italy last week to discuss the review.
The Justice Department official said other countries have been helpful in regards to the Durham review and said no "pressing" has been required to obtain their cooperation.
Mr. Trump continues to be frustrated by the Russia probe, which arguably posed the greatest threat to his presidency until the House launched its impeachment probe last week.
The Times reported the White House restricted access to a transcript of Mr. Trump's call with the Australian prime minister, akin to what was done with records of his call with Ukraine's president. -- Clare Hymes and Kathryn Watson
Read earlier updates here.