November 20, 2019, 0:11

The Note: Impeachment pace picks up as Pelosi calls a bluff

The Note: Impeachment pace picks up as Pelosi calls a bluff

The TAKE with Rick Klein

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If President Donald Trump wants a focus on the facts of the case rather than the process, he’s about to get his wish.

So will Democrats who are making the case for impeachment, who get a double-dose of substance and potential momentum on Tuesday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is set to outline the procedural steps from here. That points toward a House vote later this week to authorize public hearings on impeachment — an answer to Republican challenges that Democrats put votes behind their efforts.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., gestures while speakings during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Oct. 17, 2019.

Behind closed doors, meanwhile, comes a new twist. A member of the National Security Council — a current White House official, testifying against the wishes of his bosses — will say that he listened to the infamous call between Trump and the Ukrainian president, and was concerned that it could set in motion events that “would all undermine U.S. national security.”

“I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen,” Lt. Col Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s Director of European Affairs, will tell House impeachment investigators on Tuesday, according to prepared testimony obtained by ABC News.

This is the kind of testimony Democrats see moving public opinion when — and if — impeachment hearings go public. It comes from the kind of witness that will be harder for Republicans to tear down as momentum builds.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

Trump may hope the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi will put an end to the political backlash surrounding his decision to hurriedly pull U.S. troops from Syria, but tough questions regarding Turkey’s actions in the region and the fate of the Kurdish population remain.

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Donald Trump makes a statement in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Oct. 27, 2019.

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives is expected to both debate and vote on a bipartisan bill, which, if passed by Congress and signed into law, would call on the U.S. government to again impose sanctions against top-tier Turkish officials involved in the country’s invasion of northern Syria.

“Being a NATO member means that Turkey is treaty bound to safeguard the principles of democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law, and importantly, should be united with other NATO allies in efforts for collective defense and the preservation of peace and security,” the legislation currently reads.

The bill calls Turkey’s military invasion “unacceptable” and demands Turkey retreat.

The move in the House comes a week after a short pause in fighting which had led the president to lift the temporary sanctions that his administration had previously put in place. A bipartisan group of senators has also pushed for sanctions in recent days.

Moreover, congressional investigators will likely continue to dig-in on the role former Kurdish allies may have played in providing information to the U.S. on al-Baghdadi’s location.

The TIP with Zohreen Shah

One of the presidential candidates who has joined the call to fight climate change, is now fleeing its effects.

“We’re evacuated. We’re evacuated,” Sen. Kamala Harris told a room full of reporters on Monday, thousands of miles away from her Brentwood, California, home.

Etienne Laurent/EPA via Shutterstock

A view of the Getty Fire spreading in the hills behind the Getty Center in Los Angeles, Oct. 28, 2019.

Harris frequently speaks about visiting parts of California where fires have ravaged neighborhoods — and even leveled one town — but this is one of the first times she has spoken about her own home being affected by the very climate change force she frequently speaks about.

“If we do not act in the next 12 years, it will be to our collective detriment, it’s a large part of my focus is on what we need to do to save this God-given planet,” Harris said recently.

ONE MORE THING

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s director of European Affairs who listened to President Donald Trump’s July call with the Ukrainian president, was “concerned” by Trump’s comments in the conversation and reported his concerns to a White House lawyer, according to a copy of his opening remarks to House impeachment investigators, obtained by ABC News. He is scheduled to testify on Tuesday.

ABC News’ “Start Here” Podcast. Tuesday morning’s episode features ABC News Senior Foreign correspondent Ian Pannell, who tells us what the U.S. Middle East strategy looks like now in the wake of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death. Then, ABC News Senior Congressional correspondent Mary Bruce explains why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is holding a vote on the impeachment process. http://apple.co/2HPocUL

ABC News’ “The Investigation” podcast. President Donald Trump’s first homeland security adviser and current ABC News contributor, Tom Bossert, tells The Investigation co-hosts, Chris Vlasto and John Santucci, that President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is in a position to give the president “bad advice.” Bossert provides an insider’s look at the Trump administration’s relationship with government institutions and talks about miscommunication within the administration. https://apple.co/2BlcX0N

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

  • President Donald Trump has lunch with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at 12:45 p.m. in the White House. He greets the 2019 recipients of the Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in the Oval Office at 1:45 p.m. Later, he leads a roundtable with supporters at 6:30 p.m. and then he delivers remarks at a joint fundraising committee reception at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.
  • Vice President Mike Pence participates in a live-fire training exercise and capability demonstration at 8:05 a.m. (CDT) in Fort Hood, Texas. He then participates in a veterans transition roundtable at 9 a.m. Afterwards, he delivers remarks to service members and veterans at 9:40 a.m. Later, he attends a fundraising luncheon at 1:45 p.m. in Austin, Texas.
  • Lt. Col Alexander Vindman, director for European Affairs on the National Security Council, is scheduled to appear on Capitol Hill in a closed session at 9:30 a.m.
  • Marianne Williamson participates in the “Wake Up with Pride Queer Coffee and Conversations” at 9:30 a.m. in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Later, she tours the Urban Divinity School at noon in Greenville, South Carolina. She then attends “The Spirit of Politics” event in Greenville, South Carolina, at 6 p.m.
  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, participates in a press conference at noon in New York City.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., leads a town hall at 4:30 p.m. in Laconia, New Hampshire.
  • Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., hosts a town hall at 6:10 p.m. in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
  • South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg hosts a grassroots event at 7:30 p.m. in Boston.
  • Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley receives the 2019 Irving Kristol Award at the AEI Annual Dinner in Washington.
  • Sourse: abcnews.go.com

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