The Latest: Schiff says he’ll release interview transcripts

Politics

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks with the media after the Senate Policy Luncheon in Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the impeachment inquiry (all times local):

7:20 p.m.

The lead House impeachment investigator says he will release transcripts of the closed-door interviews lawmakers have conducted with current and former administration officials.

California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff says in a letter to colleagues that investigators will unveil the transcripts when “it will not jeopardize” the investigation.

Schiff says he expects to hold public hearings, but isn’t saying who the witnesses might be.

Schiff chairs the House Intelligence Committee. Members from that and other House panels have been questioning officials about President Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential Democratic presidential candidate.

Republicans attending the private depositions have complained about the sessions’ secrecy and claimed Democrats have run them unfairly.

Democrats say secrecy is needed to prevent witnesses from coordinating their stories.

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6:10 p.m.

A former top State Department aide has told impeachment investigators that he resigned last week because he “could no longer look the other way” as colleagues were denied professional support and respect.

Michael McKinley was a career foreign service officer and top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He said Wednesday that he was “disturbed” by administration efforts to obtain negative information on political opponents.

The testimony is according to a former colleague of McKinley’s familiar with the testimony. The person requested anonymity to discuss the confidential interview.

House Democrats’ impeachment probe is focused on efforts by President Donald Trump to urge Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden and his family.

McKinley said the department failed to support foreign service employees caught up in the Ukraine inquiry.

— Mary Clare Jalonick

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4:25 p.m.

Senate Republicans got a civics lesson on their roles in an impeachment trial. Rule No. 1: No talking in class.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell led the lesson Wednesday as the chamber’s top Republican and one of a handful of Republicans remaining in the Senate from the 1999 impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.

McConnell promised that “we intend to do our constitutional responsibilities” and warned that senators won’t be allowed to speak because they are jurors. McConnell said such silence “would be good therapy for a number of them.”

McConnell has vowed in a fundraising pitch that “the way impeachment stops is with a Senate majority with me as majority leader.”

Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota says, “One of the hardest things for senators to accept is they are not in charge of their own chamber.”

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12:20 a.m.

House Democrats are showing no signs of easing up on the fast-moving impeachment inquiry targeting President Donald Trump.

Lawmakers attending closed-door interviews say testimony from State Department officials and those in other foreign policy posts is largely corroborating the account of the government whistleblower whose complaint sparked the probe.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appears not to be willing to give in to Republican demands for a formal vote on the impeachment inquiry.

Pelosi told reporters Tuesday that the investigation is raising new questions about Trump’s relationship with Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. She says that with Trump, “all roads seem to lead to Putin.”

Trump calls the impeachment inquiry an “illegitimate process.”

Scheduled to appear on Wednesday is a former top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Michael McKinley.

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