For the first time, the impeachment inquiry reached directly into the White House on Friday as Democrats subpoenaed officials about contacts with Ukraine. "We deeply regret that President Trump has put us—and the nation—in this position, but his actions have left us with no choice," wrote the three Democratic House chairmen, Reps. Elijah Cummings, Adam Schiff, and Eliot Engel, in issuing Friday's subpoena after White House resistance to the panel's request for witnesses and documents, per the AP. Fighting the inquiry, the White House was expected to send a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arguing that Congress couldn't mount its impeachment investigation without first having a vote to authorize it. But Pelosi insists the House is well within its rules. In the letter accompanying the subpoena, the three chairmen agreed: "Speaker Pelosi has confirmed that an impeachment inquiry is underway, and it is not for the White House to say otherwise." Democrats have already sent a separate extensive request for documents to Vice President Mike Pence about his own contacts with Ukraine. More that's swirling:
- There's someone who blew past his own subpoena deadline: Mike Pompeo. The secretary of state was supposed to have had Ukraine-related documents over to House Democrats by Friday, but an official with the House Foreign Affairs Committee tells USA Today that that date came and went with no paperwork from Pompeo. "The State Department has contacted the committees on this matter, and we hope the department will cooperate in full promptly," says the official, who notes negotiations continue.
- The New York Times had its own stunner Friday: A second Ukraine whistleblower may soon be on the books. And this new intelligence official—who was interviewed by the intelligence community's inspector general during the probe into the first whistleblower, and who's weighing whether to file his own complaint—could prove even more dangerous for the president: He's said to have "more direct information" about Trump's Ukraine dealings than the first whistleblower. This news emerged as Trump continues to insist he has the right to meet that first accuser, said to be a CIA official.
- Meanwhile, a "substantial reduction" in staff size has apparently been mandated at the National Security Council. Sources say the order from Trump was relayed by acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and Robert O'Brien, the president's new national security adviser. The reported reasoning behind the staff cuts: "the transition to O'Brien's leadership as well as Trump's desire to increase efficiency at the agency," per Bloomberg.
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