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Trump Impeachment Inquiry: Latest Updates


But the individual has hired the same legal team as the first whistle-blower. That, and the claim of “firsthand knowledge,” suggests testimony that might bolster the impeachment case against Mr. Trump and further undermine one of his main defense claims: that the accusations against him are based on inaccurate, secondhand information.

The New York Times reported on Friday that an intelligence official who has more direct knowledge of Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine than the first whistle-blower, and who had grown alarmed by the president’s behavior, was weighing whether to come forward. The second official was among those interviewed by the intelligence community inspector general to corroborate the allegations of the original whistle-blower, one of the people briefed on the matter said.

— Annie Karni and Nicholas Fandos

Read more: Legal Team Says It Represents a Second Whistle-Blower Over Trump and Ukraine

Peter Baker, the chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, surveyed 10 former White House chiefs of staff under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama and found that none recalled any circumstance under which the White House had solicited or accepted political help from other countries, and all said they would have considered the very idea out of bounds.

One day in October 1992, four Republican congressmen showed up in the Oval Office with an audacious recommendation. President George Bush was losing his re-election race, and they told him the only way to win was to hammer his challenger Bill Clinton’s patriotism for protesting the Vietnam War while in London and visiting Moscow as a young man.

Mr. Bush was largely on board with that approach. But what came next crossed the line, as far as he and his team were concerned. “They wanted us to contact the Russians or the British to seek information on Bill Clinton’s trip to Moscow,” James A. Baker III, Mr. Bush’s White House chief of staff, wrote in a memo later that day. “I said we absolutely could not do that.”

Read more from Mr. Baker’s report here.

The escalating impeachment drama between Congress and the White House that has all but doomed hopes of most legislative progress this fall has instead enhanced the prospects for approval, within weeks, of one major initiative: a sweeping new trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Top lawmakers in both parties and others closely following the talks said substantial progress had been made in resolving the remaining sticking points over the pact, and that a decisive House vote on the accord to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement could occur before Congress departs for Thanksgiving.


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