From: The New York Times <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, Sep 26, 2019 at 10:07
Subject: Special Briefing Editing: The Whistle-Blower Complaint
The Trump Impeachment Inquiry: What We Learned So Far Today
Hello, and welcome to today's special edition of the Morning Briefing.
A whistle-blower complaint from an anonymous U.S. intelligence officer was released today, after days of revelations about Mr. Trump's dealings with Ukraine. (Read the full complaint here.)
The declassified complaint states, "In the course of my duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election."
It continues, "I am also concerned that these actions pose risks to U.S. national security and undermine the U.S. government's efforts to deter and counter foreign interference in U.S. elections."
Other allegations from the whistle-blower:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, speaking to reporters today, said the administration's reported efforts to conceal the call amounted to a "cover-up."
Maguire's Congressional testimony
Joseph Maguire, who assumed his post of acting director of national intelligence last month, testified before the House Intelligence Committee this morning.
"I think the whistle-blower did the right thing," Mr. Maguire testified. "I think he followed the law."
Mr. Maguire faced repeated questions from Democrats about his decision to consult with the White House and the Department of Justice — especially since the president and the attorney general were the subjects of the complaint — before bringing the matter to Congress. In response, he said the situation was "totally unprecedented."
Asked directly if he or his office had spoken to Mr. Trump about the complaint, Mr. Maguire hesitated, saying he spoke frequently with Mr. Trump. Pressed, he said it would be "inappropriate" for him to divulge any of his conversations with the president.
What President Trump and Republicans are saying
In a series of public appearances on Wednesday that veered from bristling with anger to uncharacteristically subdued, Mr. Trump insisted that he did nothing wrong and was once again the victim of "a total hoax."
"It's a joke," Mr. Trump said. "Impeachment for that?"
Today, he urged his party on Twitter to "STICK TOGETHER, PLAY THEIR GAME, AND FIGHT HARD REPUBLICANS. OUR COUNTRY IS AT STAKE!"
Representative Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the intelligence panel, went on the attack during Mr. Maguire's testimony. He accused Democrats of initiating another "information warfare operation against the president."
But some members of the president's own party said the allegations were "troubling."
Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee who read the whistle-blower complaint on Wednesday, said Republicans "ought not be rushing to circle the wagons and say there's no there there, when there's obviously a lot that is troubling there."
Senator Mitt Romney of Utah also said that the summary of the phone call was "deeply troubling." And Representative Mike Turner of Ohio criticized Mr. Trump over the phone call with the Ukrainian leader. "Concerning that conversation, I want to say to the president, this is not O.K.," Mr. Turner said during the hearing today. "That conversation is not O.K."
But they remain in the minority, as most Republicans said they believed Mr. Trump had done nothing wrong.
Where does the House stand on the impeachment inquiry?
The Times's latest count is that 217 Democratic representatives, along with one independent, support the inquiry. Another 17 oppose the inquiry or are undecided. Among Republicans, 135 representatives oppose the inquiry or are undecided, while 63 have not responded to our question on their position. Our live House tracker has an updated count.
If the House votes on articles of impeachment, a simple majority, or 218 votes, would be needed to impeach. Here's how impeachment works.
Answers to your questions
Readers sent in 1,500 questions about the Ukraine dispute and the impeachment process. Our reporters answered a selection.
Here's what else we're reading
Gail Collins, a Times Op-Ed columnist, on Mr. Giuliani as the world's worst best friend.
Time's animated cover of Mr. Trump painting himself into a corner.
The tabloid front page of the day goes to The Daily News.
And tweet of the day:
You can reach the briefings team at email@example.com.