whistleblowers

Cuyahoga County may make it easier for employees to report whistleblower complaints within county government.

County council gave a first reading to revised reporting safeguards Monday evening.

Councilman Dale Miller, a Democrat who introduced the measure, said it grew out of talks with county Inspector General Mark Griffin. The changes are intended to give potential whistleblowers more comfort in coming forward with complaints, Miller said.

President Trump has been criticized after retweeting a post to his 68 million followers on Twitter that included a name linked to the alleged whistleblower whose complaint about the president's dealings with Ukraine prompted the impeachment inquiry.

At the time of the complaint, the individual was an intelligence community official who sounded the alarm about Trump's pressure campaign with Ukraine that House Democrats cited in impeaching the president for alleged abuse of power.

In recent days, President Trump and his allies have amplified their calls for the whistleblower who sparked the impeachment inquiry to be identified, presenting the question of whether it would be a crime for the president to unmask the anonymous whistleblower.

According to four former top federal government officials who worked in intelligence and national security, the answer is no.

The anonymous whistleblower whose complaint prompted the impeachment inquiry into President Trump has agreed to answer written questions under oath from House Republicans. The offer came as President Trump called on Sunday for news organizations to identify the name of the whistleblower.

Updated at 8:45 p.m. ET

The White House will not participate in Congress' ongoing impeachment inquiry, it said Tuesday, stepping up a political and legal standoff between the executive and legislative branches of government.

In a blistering eight-page letter to Democratic congressional leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, White House counsel Pat Cipollone repeatedly mocked the Democrats' process.

The legal team representing the whistleblower whose complaint sparked an impeachment inquiry against President Trump now says it is representing a second whistleblower described as an intelligence official with firsthand knowledge of the allegations against the president.

Updated at 10:01 a.m. ET

Senior U.S. diplomats debated the propriety of a White House strategy aimed at pressuring Ukraine for political investigations in exchange for assistance and engagement with President Trump, new documents show.

The Democratic chairmen of three House committees investigating President Trump released dozens of text messages late Thursday from top State Department officials handling European and Ukrainian affairs.

House Democrats are set to launch a new phase of their impeachment inquiry on Thursday when former Ambassador Kurt Volker, until recently a top State Department representative to Ukraine, is scheduled to meet with investigators.

Then, on Friday, the intelligence community's inspector general, Michael Atkinson, is due on the Hill.

More witnesses are expected next week, all for depositions behind closed doors with members of Congress and their staff.

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET

President Trump held a press conference Wednesday with visiting Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, as the impeachment probe into Trump's conduct intensifies.

Trump faced questions about the House inquiry that was sparked by a whistleblower complaint that accuses Trump of pressuring Ukraine's president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Updated at 1:38 p.m. ET

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has publicly acknowledged that he was listening to the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that has sparked an impeachment inquiry.

"I was on the phone call," Pompeo said Wednesday in Rome.

The cry for an impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump began with a relative handful of voices crying out in the wilderness, but, in short order, impeachment has turned into a runaway train.

Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET

Majority Democrats in the House subpoenaed President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, on Monday for documents related to his communications with Ukraine.

The House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena for information about the role Giuliani played in Trump's request of Ukraine's president to investigate the family of former Vice President Joe Biden.

Lee Alderson in front of his barbershop in the Hilltop.
Nick Evans / WOSU

Ohio’s U.S. representatives are splitting along party lines as Congress moves forward with an impeachment inquiry of President Trump over his soliciting of political favors from Ukraine. In Central Ohio, the physical distance is short between lawmakers sitting at different ends of that spectrum.

Updated at 7:20 p.m. ET

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, now the lead lawmaker in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump, says his panel will be working through the scheduled upcoming two-week congressional recess.

"I can tell you it's going to be a very busy couple of weeks ahead," Schiff told reporters. The chairman said the committee is scheduling hearings and witness interviews, as well as working on document requests and possible subpoenas.

A tumultuous week in Washington has set the stage for an intense new congressional investigation into President Trump — and what could prove to be a historic clash between the White House and Congress.

The outlines are now clear about conduct that no one, including Trump, disputes: The president asked his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate the family of Vice President Joe Biden, a potential political rival in the 2020 presidential election.

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