What’s new: 3 more Trump officials subpoenaed to testify

Politics

President Donald Trump walks from Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., following a trip to South Carolina on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

WASHINGTON (AP) — For only the fourth time in U.S. history, the House of Representatives has started a presidential impeachment inquiry. House committees are trying to determine if President Donald Trump violated his oath of office by asking a foreign country to investigate a political opponent.

A quick summary of the latest news:

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

— Impeachment investigators issued subpoenas Friday to three more Trump administration officials , demanding their testimony in the probe of Trump’s efforts to force Ukraine to feed him damaging information about one of his Democratic political opponents. The chairs of the House committees leading the impeachment inquiry subpoenaed two officials of the White House Office of Management and Budget: acting director Russell Vought and Michael Duffey, who oversees national security programs. They also subpoenaed State Department counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl. Investigators asked all three earlier this month to testify, but none have appeared.

— Trump suggested Secretary of State Mike Pompeo erred by hiring the senior diplomat who provided damaging testimony to impeachment investigators in Congress. It was rare public criticism by Trump of his secretary of state. Trump was speaking to reporters at the White House when he was asked about senior diplomat Bill Taylor. Pompeo hired Taylor to run the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine after the Trump administration forced out the ambassador in May. Taylor testified Tuesday about an administration effort to withhold military aid to Ukraine in exchange for political dirt on Trump’s rivals.

— A judge on Friday ordered the Justice Department to give the House secret grand jury testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation , handing a victory to Democrats who want the material for the impeachment inquiry. In ordering the department to turn over the material by Oct. 30, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell affirmed the legality of the impeachment inquiry itself. The Mueller materials could reveal previously hidden details to lawmakers about Trump’s actions during the 2016 election and become part of the impeachment push.

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WHAT’S NEXT

Acting Assistant Secretary of State Phil Reeker testifies before the House committees on Saturday.

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NUMBERS THAT MATTER

As of Friday, 27 House members are giving up their seats in 2020. Three have resigned and 24 others have announced plans to retire or seek elective office elsewhere.

Eighteen of the retirements and all three resignations are from Republicans, some of whom could buck their party if articles of impeachment come before the House for a vote. Democrats may not need their help, though — they have 234 members and need only 217 for the majority required. So far, 228 have told The Associated Press that they support the impeachment inquiry. Republican-turned-independent Justin Amash of Michigan has also said he supports the probe.

See where the surveyed members stand with this online tool:

http://apne.ws/TJ9E5Gi

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WORTH WATCHING

The basics of the impeachment process are explained in under two minutes in this AP-produced animated video:

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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