Monday was the quietest day we'll have all week, with both a federal holiday today and the (relative) calm before the storm of public impeachment hearings starts on Wednesday. Today did bring the official schedule for those public hearings, with House Intelligence chair Adam Schiff's office announcing that things will kick off at 10am Wednesday with the dual testimony of William Taylor, acting US ambassador to the Ukraine, and George Kent, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Taylor's closed-door testimony included a detailed outline of the "irregular channels" of communication with Ukraine run by Rudy Giuliani. Kent's previous testimony attested to a "campaign of lies" that lead to the firing of former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who testifies in the open on Friday. This is really happening—set your DVRs. (Source: CNN)
Despite the federal holiday, transcripts from the last month of closed-door depositions continued to be released. Today saw the release of transcripts of testimony from Laura Cooper—deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia—and Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson, two State Department Ukraine specialists. The transcripts continue to flesh out an understanding of both the hold placed on aid to Ukraine that sits at the center of the impeachment inquiry as well as the involvement of the president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, in Ukrainian affairs. In his testimony Anderson said that National Security Advisor John Bolton "made a joke about every time Ukraine is mentioned, Giuliani pops up." So basically, Giuliani is like the Candyman, only terrible. (Source: Washington Post)
While the final lineup of people called to testify in this phase of the impeachment inquiry is still being settled, one person we officially won't hear from is the whistleblower who kicked everything off with their report to Congress in September. Republicans—and the president himself (more on that in a sec)—have wanted to call the whistleblower, but in responding to their request, Adam Schiff said that the Intelligence Committee "will not facilitate efforts by President Trump and his allies in Congress to threaten, intimidate, and retaliate against the whistleblower" and that the whistleblower has a right to remain anonymous. That's going to go over great I am sure. (Source: CNN)
Even though hearings begin in two days, the Republican strategy for the impeachment continues to evolve, with Representative Jim Jordan temporarily assigned to the House Intelligence Committee so he can sit in on the open hearings. Jordan was one of the Republicans that lead the occupation of the secure room where depositions were being held last month as a way of protesting the closed-door nature of the hearings—despite the fact that he had full access to the hearings as the head Republican on the House Oversight Committee. "You want your best contributors for 'showtime,'" one Republican told Politico. "Jordan is definitely a showman." Stares. (Source: Politico)
Finally, the president spent much of the day tweeting about the impeachment proceedings, including saying that "the Whistleblower, his lawyer, and Corrupt politician Schiff should be investigated for fraud!" He paused his tweeting to take part in New York's Veterans Day Parade. When he started again a few hours later, he accused Adam Schiff of having "fabricated my phone call, he will fabricate the transcripts that he is making and releasing!" I'm sure the rest of the week is going to go great. (Source: Twitter)
What's coming next: Over the weekend President Trump claimed that on Tuesday he would release a summary transcript of another call he had with Ukrainian president Zelensky. Maybe that will happen? If not, expect more transcripts from testimony to be released by Democrats, more accusations from Republicans about the proceedings not being fair, and more planning by Democrats for those proceedings to proceed anyway. We're just two days away now.