congressional-operations

Impeachment deposition bickering offers preview of brinkmanship to come in public hearings
Jordan, Schiff exchanges on process illustrate distrust between the parties

Rep. Jim Jordan has questioned the process, such as members' ability to ask questions, during depositions. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The first closed-door deposition in the House’s impeachment inquiry opened with a partisan squabble about whether members would be able to question witnesses. The bickering showed a distrust between Democrats and Republicans that has consumed the deliberations ever since. 

That is unlikely to go away anytime soon as lawmakers prepare for public hearings that are expected to begin later this month. Some of the process questions Republicans raised that led to partisan disputes in the depositions have seemingly been put to bed, while others may spill into public hearings. 

Impeachment testimony details Republicans’ process fight, in public and behind closed doors
State Department lawyers passed on chance to set boundaries, says Yovanovitch's counsel

Rep. Mark Meadows speaks to reporters outside a scheduled deposition related to the House's impeachment inquiry in the Capitol Visitor Center on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The first release of transcripts of closed-door testimony in the impeachment probe of President Donald Trump on Monday brought into stark relief the procedures governing the depositions — a significant turning point in the inquiry because House Republicans have made questioning the process a cornerstone of their defense of the president.

The arguments Republicans have aired outside of the secure facility in the Capitol basement — that Trump administration lawyers should be present, that the impeachment inquiry is not valid and lacks due process for the president — were clearly represented as a boiling over of frustrations from behind closed doors in the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility.

Catherine Croft impeachment testimony revives Bob Livingston’s spotlight
Former speaker-designate resigned over sexual impropriety during Clinton impeachment saga

Catherine Croft, a specialist on Ukraine with the State Department, arrives for a closed-door deposition in the Capitol as part of the House's impeachment inquiry on Oct. 30, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Catherine Croft’s testimony in the impeachment inquiry Wednesday brought up a name famous for drama that played out during a previous impeachment: former Republican Rep. Robert L. Livingston.

While the twists and turns of the Trump presidency and turmoil on Capitol Hill sometimes seem unprecedented, Livingston’s legacy is a reminder that as much as political Washington changes, it also remains the same.

Saga is not over for Katie Hill’s office, staff and constituents
California Democrat announced resignation plans over the weekend

California Democratic Rep. Katie Hill is resigning after just nearly nine months in office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Timing, even in resignations, is everything.

Rep. Katie Hill has announced she will resign from the House, but the timing of her exit will determine a range of next steps — including her staffers’ future plans, how her constituents will be served in her absence and even her final paycheck.

Second Oversight Democrat announces bid to replace Elijah Cummings
Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts joins Rep. Jackie Speier of California seeking Oversight Committee gavel

Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., announced Monday he would seek to become the next chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. (Tom William/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Stephen Lynch announced Monday that he will run to be the next chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform after Chairman Elijah Cummings died two weeks ago.

The Massachusetts congressman is the second Democrat on the committee to seek the gavel. California Rep. Jackie Speier announced last week she was in the running to head the committee. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York to replace Cummings in an acting capacity based on Maloney’s seniority, Pelosi’s office said last week.

Photos of the Week: Amid impeachment battle, members pay respect to Cummings
The week of Oct. 25 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

House Judiciary Committee members, from left, Reps. David Cicilline, D-R.I., Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and Joe Neguse, D-Colo., arrive for the House Democrats’ caucus meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday morning. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

This week the Capitol was consumed with impeachment depositions, the storming of the SCIF, and a guy named Zuckerberg.

Republicans breeze past security protocols, occupy secure impeachment area
Cell phones in secure spaces and committee sit-in raises House Ethics questions

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., at podium, speaks during a news conference outside the Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of defense, deposition related to the House’s impeachment inquiry on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. The Republican members were calling for access to the deposition. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Defying established security protocols, a cadre of House Republicans led by Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Rep. Matt Gaetz stormed the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) in the Capitol Visitor Center on Wednesday, where the top Pentagon official overseeing U.S. policy in Ukraine was giving her deposition for the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Hours into a standoff between frustrated Republicans and Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry, a handful of GOP members remained sitting in the SCIF, refusing to leave.

Paying respects to Elijah Cummings at the Capitol? Here’s what you need to know
Crowds expected to honor the late Democratic congressman from Baltimore

A memorial for the late House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The public can pay its respects on Thursday, Oct. 24, as Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings lies in state in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Public viewing will follow a private ceremony at 11 a.m.

Visitors must enter through the Capitol Visitor Center on the East Front of the Capitol. Attendees can start lining up Thursday morning on First Street Northwest and Southwest, between Constitution and Independence avenues, or on Second Street Northeast and Southeast, between East Capitol Street and Independence Avenue Southeast.

Democrats could tie paychecks to testimony in impeachment inquiry
Little-used provision would deny pay to administration officials seen as stonewalling House investigators

House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, and the heads of the Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees, in an Oct 1. letter raised the possibility of senior administration officials not getting paid for any time spent stonewalling congressional investigators. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats are threatening to force Trump administration officials’ compliance with their impeachment inquiry by targeting something they hold dear: their paychecks.

Democrats have twice referenced using an obscure provision in the annual Financial Services spending bill, referred to as Section 713, that says any federal employee who “prohibits or prevents, or attempts or threatens to prohibit or prevent” another official from communicating with lawmakers shouldn’t be paid during that time.

Republican effort to censure Adam Schiff halted
The censure resolution was introduced by Arizona Republican Andy Biggs, who leads the House Freedom Caucus

House Republicans' attempt to censure Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., was tabled Monday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans tried to force a vote Monday evening to censure House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, accusing the California Democrat of purposely misleading the public in his comments on the Intelligence Committee’s interactions with a whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry.

The House voted 218-185 on a motion from House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer to table, or dispose with, the censure effort, without a direct vote on the substance of the Republicans’ claims.