President Trump will travel to Lake Charles, La., on Friday evening for his second rally in two days. But while the president will continue to excoriate the impeachment process, House Democrats continue to move steadily forward with fact-finding. After issuing a raft of new subpoenas on Thursday, Democratic leaders are waiting for word on whether several witnesses will testify in coming days. Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former American ambassador to Ukraine, is scheduled to appear today.
Ambassador Sondland will testify next week over the State Department’s objections, his lawyer says.
Gordon D. Sondland, the American ambassador to the European Union, has agreed to comply with a House subpoena and testify next week, despite the State Department’s instruction to him not to appear before lawmakers, Mr. Sondland’s lawyer said Friday. He was prepared to testify on Tuesday, but the Trump administration directed him not in the 11th hour.
“Ambassador Sondland has at all times acted with integrity and in the interests of the United States,” his lawyers said in a statement Friday. “He has no agenda apart from answering the Committees’ questions fully and truthfully.”
Lawmakers have requested documents related to Ukraine, but Mr. Sondland’s attorneys said he would not be able to provide them because doing so would violate federal law and State Department regulations.
Impeachment investigators want to know more about Mr. Sondland’s role in the pressure campaign to get Ukraine to investigate one of Mr. Trump’s political rivals and other inquiries that could personally benefit the president.
In judge’s dissent, did a Trump appointee bolster impeachment?
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 on Friday against the White House’s effort to crush an effort by House Democrats to extract Mr. Trump’s tax returns from his accounting firm, Mazars USA.
That had nothing to do with the House’s impeachment inquiry, but the dissenter, a Trump appointee, Judge Neomi Rao, raised it, saying that the House’s efforts were clearly looking for illegality and therefore those efforts should be done through an impeachment inquiry.
“Impeachment provides the exclusive method for Congress to investigate actions of illegal conduct by impeachable officials, particularly with the aid of compulsory process,” she wrote.
As Democrats consider how wide their inquiry should be, Judge Rao may have given them an invitation to expand the scope of their “compulsory process.”
Maryland’s Republican governor supports the impeachment inquiry.
Maryland’s Republican governor, Larry Hogan, is nobody’s idea of a stalwart supporter of President Trump, but his embrace of the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry on Thursday night was not helpful to the Republican effort to delegitimize the investigation.
“I think we do need an inquiry because we have to get to the bottom of it,” Mr. Hogan, a moderate Republican, said on P.B.S.’ Firing Line. “I’m not ready to say I support impeachment and the removal of the president, but I do think we should have an impeachment inquiry.”
Along with the governors of Massachusetts and Vermont, Mr. Hogan is part of the “Never Trump” Republican gubernatorial brigade. Mr. Hogan did implore Democrats to use “a fair, objective” process, but he did not say moving forward should depend on new rules.
“I don’t see any other way to get the facts,” he said.
A clearer picture emerges of Giuliani’s helpers in Ukraine.
The indictment of two associates of Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, added new details to the narrative at the heart of the impeachment inquiry. The two men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, helped Mr. Giuliani navigate connections in Ukraine in pursuit of evidence that would undercut the legitimacy of the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and lift Mr. Trump against his political rivals heading into 2020.
The two men also appear to have made illegal campaign donations to Representative Pete Sessions, Republican of Texas, from whom Mr. Parnas sought support in pressing the Trump administration to remove the United States ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch. Some Trump allies believed Ms. Yovanovitch was trying impede their effort to dig up damaging information about former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter, according to a former Ukrainian official.
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.