👋 Away Message: So we had a little scheduling snafu here at WTF HQ, where both myself and Joe (voice of the pod) double-booked ourselves with personal and professional obligations next week. Oopsie! Not a very great job using a calendar on my part, I guess. On the other hand, it appears the government isn't going to be open for business anyway... Unless something truly WTF-y happens, I'll see you all again on Tuesday, October 10th, because Monday is a holiday (Indigenous Peoples' Day).
In the mean time, try our little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding and for being here. I'm going to miss you.
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1/ The House Judiciary Committee accused Trump of “multiple federal crimes” and argued that Trump “betrayed the nation by abusing his high office.” The 658-page report labels Trump’s behavior “both constitutional and criminal in character” and recommends two articles of impeachment: abuse of power for holding up nearly $400 million worth of security aid and a White House meeting until Ukraine agreed to announce investigations into Biden and 2016 election interference, and obstruction of Congress, saying “Trump’s obstruction of Congress does not befit the leader of a democratic society. It calls to mind the very claims of royal privilege against which our founders rebelled.” The House is expected to vote Wednesday on whether to impeach Trump. (New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Politico)
READ: House Judiciary Committee report on impeachment. (Washington Post)
Trump suggested that Nancy Pelosi’s teeth were falling out while she was answering a question about why bribery wasn’t included as one of the articles of impeachment against Trump. (Washington Post)
The House told a federal appeals court that it still needs access to Robert Mueller’s confidential grand jury information for use in the impeachment proceedings. The House argued that the grand jury information allegedly contains “certain redacted materials [that] pertain to a Trump Campaign member’s dealings with Ukraine, and bear on whether the President committed impeachable offenses by soliciting Ukrainian interference in the 2020 Presidential election.” (CNN)
Two more vulnerable House Democrats plan to vote to impeach Trump. In total, 15 Democrats from 31 districts won by Trump in 2016 have publicly pledged to back articles of impeachment. (Politico / Wall Street Journal)
Rep. Jeff Van Drew announced that he is switching parties and will become a Republican after attending a personal meeting with Trump on Friday. Van Drew has long been a vocal opponent of impeaching Trump. Six of his aides announced their resignation from his office following the news. Van Drew helped flip his GOP district in southern New Jersey during the last election. (Politico / CNN)
2/ Sen. Chuck Schumer requested that former national security adviser John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney testify as witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial. In a letter to Mitch McConnell, Schumer outlined a number of procedural demands that Democrats say will make for a fair Senate trial. In addition to Mulvaney and Bolton, Schumer also called for testimony from Robert Blair, one of Mulvaney’s senior aides, and Michael Duffey, a top official from the Office of Management and Budget. Under Schumer’s proposal, the trial proceedings would begin on Jan. 6 and House impeachment managers would begin making their case on Jan. 9. (Washington Post / Politico / NBC News / Axios)
Schumer called it “totally out of line” for McConnell to take cues from the White House for the Senate impeachment trial. McConnell and White House counsel Pat Cipollone have discussed plans to coordinate a strategy for the impeachment trial in the Senate. (CNN)
Sen. Lindsey Graham predicts Trump’s impeachment will “die quickly” in Senate, because he “will do everything I can to make it die quickly.” Graham added: “I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here.” (CNN)
3/ The Trump administration plans to announce the withdrawal of roughly 4,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The U.S. currently has between 12,000 and 13,000 troops in Afghanistan and the withdrawal would leave between 8,000 and 9,000 troops in the country. The announcement is expected as early as this week, but officials have refused to say when the withdrawal will begin. (NBC News)
4/ Trump threatened to not participate in the presidential debates. Trump – without evidence – accused the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates of bias, claiming it’s “stacked with Trump Haters & Never Trumpers.” (Wall Street Journal)
poll/ 43% of voters say they approve of the job Trump is doing – his best job approval rating ever – while 52% disapprove. (Quinnipiac)
poll/ 50% of registered voters want Trump impeached and removed from office, 4% want Trump impeached but not removed, and 41% oppose impeaching him altogether. (Fox News)
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