WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump (all times local):
Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says a whistleblower who filed a complaint about President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine “ought to be heard out and protected” and his or her requests for confidentiality should be respected.
Trump said Monday that “we’re trying to find out” the whistleblower’s identity even though the person is protected by the Whistleblower Protection Act.
Some Republicans have criticized the whistleblower for relying in part on information from White House aides. Grassley says such second-hand information “should not be rejected out of hand.”
Grassley says “no one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistleblower first and carefully following up on the facts.”
The Iowa senator is a longtime advocate for whistleblowers and the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says in a letter to the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Democrats are trying to “intimidate” and “bully” State Department employees and that depositions scheduled by the panel are “not feasible.”
Three House committees have scheduled depositions with five current and former State Department officials over the next two weeks, including former ambassador to Ukraine Marie “Masha” Yovanovitch and Kurt Volker, the Ukrainian envoy who resigned last week.
The chairmen of the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committees set an Oct. 4 deadline for Pompeo to produce documents related to their investigation of President Donald Trump’s interactions with Ukraine. The probes are part of an impeachment inquiry.
House Democrats are moving aggressively against Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani as part of their impeachment inquiry.
Giuliani has been at the heart of President Donald Trump’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden’s family.
On Monday they issued a subpoena to the former New York mayor for text messages, phone records and other communications that they referred to as possible evidence. They also are seeking documents and depositions from three of Giuliani’s business associates.
The circle of officials with knowledge of Trump’s phone call to Ukraine’s president widened with the revelation that a Cabinet official, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, listened in on the July 25 conversation. That call and the circumstances surrounding it are fueling the new Democratic drive for impeachment.