Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Tuesday that the House will not formally vote to begin an impeachment inquiry, but that has not slowed progress on House efforts to gather evidence that could lead to President Trump’s impeachment. Two former diplomatic hands will be meeting with House lawmakers on Wednesday, and others plan to show up this week in defiance of the White House’s blanket rejection of any compromise with House Democrats.
A former Pompeo aide will discuss his departure during his impeachment testimony.
Michael McKinley, who until last week was a top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is scheduled to be grilled Wednesday about why he abruptly left his post at the State Department, as closed-door testimony to the House’s impeachment inquiry continues to gather momentum.
The veteran diplomat is not expected to shed direct light on the activities of Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, to pressure Ukraine’s government to dig up damaging information about Mr. Trump’s political rivals, or on Gordon Sondland, the Trump loyalist and ambassador to the European Union.
Mr. Sondland is scheduled to appear before the committees Thursday.
But Mr. McKinley is the latest in a steady stream of diplomats and White House officials to appear before the committees despite Mr. Trump’s vow not to cooperate with the inquiry. His role as a senior State Department leader could help shed light on Mr. Pompeo’s knowledge of the activities by Mr. Giuliani and others.
In the past week, witnesses have described a shadow foreign policy led by Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Sondland and Rick Perry, the secretary of energy, that was designed to sideline the diplomats with formal responsibility over relations with Ukraine.
Mr. Pompeo has defended the administration’s actions regarding Ukraine, saying that the impeachment inquiry has sparked a “silly gotcha game” in Washington.
Volker returned to the Capitol to review his testimony.
Kurt Volker, who served as Mr. Trump’s envoy to Ukraine before resigning late last month, was back at the Capitol Wednesday after testifying two weeks ago for more than eight hours.
Mr. Volker’s return on Wednesday, which had not been disclosed earlier, was for the purpose of reviewing the transcript of his earlier deposition, according to a person familiar with the situation. It is not unusual for witnesses in congressional investigations to be given an opportunity to review the official transcript of what they said.
Mr. Volker was not expect to provide additional testimony to lawmakers on Wednesday.
Trump sees a weak Democratic field with “no choice” but to pursue impeachment.
While some political pundits suggest Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., or Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota won the Democratic debate on Tuesday, President Trump weighed in early Wednesday morning and declared no winners — and then he tied the presidential race to impeachment.
Among the 12 candidates vying to be the presidential nominee to face Mr. Trump in 2020, Mr. Trump said “You would think there is NO WAY” any could be president.
The candidates on Tuesday said words “impeach” or “impeachment” 27 times in the three-hour debate. In a series of early morning Twitter posts on Wednesday, Mr. Trump denounced the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry as “totally illegal and absurd” and threatened that the economy would tank if any of the Democratic candidates won the election.
“Our record Economy would CRASH, just like in 1929, if any of those clowns became President!,” he tweeted.
Catch up on impeachment: What you need to know about the inquiry.
President Trump repeatedly pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate people and issues of political concern to Mr. Trump, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Here’s a timeline of events since January.
A C.I.A. officer who was once detailed to the White House filed a whistle-blower complaint on Mr. Trump’s interactions with Mr. Zelensky. Read the complaint.