Former White House aide meets with House lawmakers
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.
Here’s a quick summary of the latest news:
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
— Fiona Hill, a former top National Security Council expert on Russia, answered questions from House lawmakers behind closed doors. She resigned from the White House National Security Council over the summer, and her appearance came despite the Trump administration’s vow to halt any and all cooperation with the impeachment probe.
— Facing intense scrutiny from Trump and his Republican allies, Hunter Biden said he will step down from the board of directors of a Chinese-backed private equity firm at the end of the month as part of a pledge not to work on behalf of any foreign-owned companies should his father win the presidency.
Lawmakers return Tuesday after a two-week break back in their home states and districts. Investigating committees expect to hear from Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, on Thursday. The committees are also seeking closed-door depositions with George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state in the European and Eurasian Bureau, and Ulrich Brechbuhl, a State Department counselor.
NUMBERS THAT MATTER
The House of Representatives has impeached 19 federal officials — including two presidents, a senator, a cabinet secretary and a Supreme Court justice. The rest were federal judges. President Richard Nixon, who faced a likely impeachment and grim prospects in a Senate trial, resigned in 1974 before the House could vote.
Of the 19 impeached by the House, only eight — all judges — were convicted by the Senate and removed from office. Three other judges resigned before or during their Senate trials. Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached but acquitted by the Senate.
Sen. William Blount of Tennessee, impeached in 1797 for conspiring to help Great Britain’s bid to seize Spanish-controlled territory in Florida and Louisiana, was expelled by his Senate colleagues and his trial was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. By then he had already found a new job — as a state senator in Tennessee.
As former National Security Council Russia expert Fiona Hill gave closed-door testimony to House investigators Monday, Republicans continued to press for the public release of transcripts from the proceedings rather than forcing Americans to rely on what Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, called “cherry-picked” information released by House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.