The inquiry by the Justice Department’s inspector general found no evidence of the political conspiracy alleged by President Trump but uncovered flaws in how the case was handled.
Michael S. SchmidtOne of our takeaways: The report debunks Trump’s accusation that Obama played a role in the investigation. It shows that Obama and top White House officials played no role in the decision to open the investigation or the Page FISA.
White House lawyers briefed President Trump in late August about the complaint, people familiar with the matter said.
Michael S. SchmidtNEW: Two weeks before Trump released the Ukraine aid, White House lawyers briefed him on whistle-blower’s complaint — a key detail about what Trump knew when he made a critical decision at the heart of impeachment investigation. @maggieNYT@julianbarnes
Michael S. SchmidtICYMI: Guitarist and former White House counsel Don McGahn played with Winger this weekend at the MGM National. Winger had two platinum albums -- one in '88 the other in '90. h/t @playbookplus
Gordon D. Sondland will testify that he pressured Ukraine for investigations at President Trump’s “express direction,” and with signoff from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The ambassador also says he raised concerns with Mike Pence about an...
The diplomat at the center of the impeachment inquiry looped in the secretary of state at key moments as American officials pushed for investigations sought by President Trump.
Michael S. SchmidtNEW: Pompeo knew about Sondland and Volker's efforts to get the Ukrainians to put out a statement that they hoped would appease Trump. Pompeo also OKed a plan to have Zelensky make commitment to Trump in person to unlock logjam between the two countries.
The president blames Michael Atkinson, whom he appointed, for finding the anonymous whistle-blower’s complaint on his interactions with Ukraine to be credible.
Michael S. SchmidtNEW: Trump has discussed firing the inspector general for the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson. The president believes Atkinson was disloyal when he deemed the whistleblower's complaint credible and reported it to Congress. #déjàvu? w/@maggieNYT
John Eisenberg played down aides’ complaints about Ukraine policy.
Michael S. SchmidtNEW: WH counsel Cipollone told top NSC lawyer Eisenberg in July to talk to Trump about NSC aides' concerns that Ukrainians were being unduly pressured. Eisenberg never did that nor reported the complaints to DOJ, believing no crime had been committed.
In a substantial update to his initial account, Gordon D. Sondland recounted how he told Ukrainian officials military aid was tied to their commitment to investigations President Trump wanted.
Michael S. SchmidtNEWS: Sondland has provided new testimony to impeachment investigators. He says he told a top Ukranian official in September that to get the aid unlocked the Ukrainians would likely need to put out a statement committing to the investigations.
Investigators have been building their case rapidly. But the closer they get to the president, the more complicated their work will become.
Michael S. SchmidtImpeachment will all come down to whether the Dems can win over enough Republican senators to convict Trump. To do that, the Dems will likely need the people closest to Trump to implicate him. Suddenly that has become increasingly difficult. w/@npfandos
Amid intensifying scrutiny of his own work, the former New York mayor met recently with senior Justice Department officials on behalf of a client in a foreign bribery case.
Michael S. SchmidtNEW: The many roles of the president’s lawyer: Giuliani -under investigation himself-met in recent weeks w/ sr DOJ officials to discuss a foreign bribery case for one of his clients that Giuliani described as “very, very sensitive.” w/@kenvogel@ktbenner