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The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing Monday for committee lawyers to present findings of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. >> Read more trending news Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, announced the Monday hearing on the day House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, announced that House Democrats will begin to draft articles of impeachment against Trump. According to Nadler, both Democratic counselors and Republican lawyers for the Judiciary Committee and Intelligence Committees will have time to present their findings. Democrats in the House launched the impeachment inquiry in September to investigate whether Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a July phone call to announce investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter and their connection to a Ukrainian energy company in exchange for an invitation to the White House and a military aid package. Livestream Live updates Closing statements 6:42 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Collins again says Adam Schiff should have been at the hearing and testifying. He says he wants to know who decided to release the information about the meta-data for phone calls that were gathered by the Intelligence committee. He references the Department of Justice inspector general report. Nadler says we know some things with certainty: That the president was at the center of the scheme; the military aid to Ukraine was released after his scheme became known; he ordered everyone in the executive branch to defy subpoenas. “The danger to our Democracy is clear and our duty is clear,' Nadler says. Nadler declares the hearing adjourned. Getting blunter 6:25 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Goldman, answering a question, lays out his opinion bluntly “... The president is trying to cheat to win the next election.” The whistleblower surfaces again 6 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Greg Steube, R-Florida, and Goldman argue over the whistleblower. Steube asks if Goldman knows who the whistleblower is? He refuses to answer. Steube asks which members if the Intelligence Committee the whistleblower talked with. Goldman says that doesn’t matter. Steube asks if the whistleblower will be testifying. Goldman said his testimony is unnecessary. He says 17 witnesses have testified with firsthand knowledge of the call and the circumstances around the call. What is wrong with inference? 5:48 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, is trying to establish that what Republicans call hearsay is actually direct evidence. “Is there a problem with drawing inferences?” Garcia asks. Goldman says people draw inferences about evidence every day in courts across the country. He could not say no 5:27 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Goldman was asked if he thought Zelensky could say 'no' to what Trump wanted him to do. Goldman said no, he didn’t think Zelensky would have felt he could say no. Nor could he say even today that he felt pressured by Trump asked him to do, Goldman said. ‘Good heavens, no’ 5:07 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Rep. Debbie Lesko asks Castor if any fact witness proved bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors against Trump. “Good heavens, no,” he answers. Speeches over questions 4:58 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Many of the past few congressmen on both sides have opted to give speeches instead of asking questions. Swalwell has his answer 4:35 pm ET Dec. 9, 2019: Rep. Eric Swalwell asks Goldman a series of questions about the phone call, the aid, the meeting and other aspects about Ukraine, all of which are answered by the words “Donald Trump.” Gaetz asks about donations, tweets 4:26 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, questions Goldman about his donations to Democratic candidates. Goldman says he has donated to Democratic campaigns. Gaetz goes on to ask him about tweets he posted against Trump. He displays a tweet on a board and asks Goldman if he regrets posting it. Goldman tried to explain that the tweet was sent before he was counsel to the Intelligence Committee. Jordan asks about Sondland and the phone information 3:44 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Rep. Jordan is disparaging EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland as a hearsay witness, saying the Democrats built their case around a person who had to clarify his testimony. He also asks Goldman why they published phone records from the president’s attorney and from Rep. Adam Schiff’s political opponent, Rep. Devon Nunes. See the clip here. Gohmert foregoes questions, gives opinion 3:35 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Rep. Gohmert says he will not ask questions, but he has pointed comments to offer. Gohmert has been upset about the way the hearing has been conducted today. He complained, again, that Berke was allowed to both testify and question a witness. The hearing has restarted 3:11 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: The hearing has continued with five-minute questioning by members. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, is up first and references Sen. Joesph McCarthy, the late senator who alleged that communists and Soviet spies had infiltrated the federal government, universities, film industry and other areas of American life. Sensenbrenner continued to talk about the collection of meta-data from phone calls that is referenced in the Intelligence Committee impeachment report. The recess continues 3 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: The hearing is about 25 minutes into a 15-minute recess. Why was the phone information collected and released? 2:25 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: After the Republican’s initial questioning ends, the five-minute questioning period begins. Nadler begins the questioning by asking Goldman to set the record straight regarding phone records obtained by the Intelligence Committee. Goldman says the records were found randomly and that information collected is only meta-data – not actual phone conversations. Collins gets his turn and asks Goldman why Rep. Devon Nunes’ name was released to the public in the Intelligence Committee report as someone connected to others involved in the Ukraine matter. He says all it was was a coordinated “smear campaign.” Collins says including the information in the report is a “drive-by.” “And that is beneath you,” he says to Goldman. Collins explodes on Goldman 1:45 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Ranking Member Collins gets his turn to question Goldman and CAstor and starts with Goldman. The two get into a heated exchange over phone number subpoenas. Berke and Castor have pointed exchange 1:25 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: This hearing has been the most contentious one so far. In one exchange, Berke said Castor mischaracterized the Jennifer Williams’ testimony. Williams is an aide to Vice President Mike Pence. Berke said that the GOP impeachment report said Williams thought the call between Trump and Zelensky was “unusual.” “Isn’t it a fact that she said the call struck her as ‘unusual and inappropriate’? Isn’t that what she said?” Berke said. “It wasn’t a block quote,” Castor said. Berke is back and Republicans are mad 12:50 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Barry Berke is back in the hearing room to ask questions of the two witnesses. The Republicans are outraged that Berke is allowed to question the witnesses since he was a witness earlier in the day. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, argues with Nadler saying he was a judge for a long time before he was in Congress and he knows it is not right for a witness to suddenly become a judge in a case. Castor turns to whistleblower 12:35 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Castor also says he believes the whistleblower “recast” what he was told about the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian president Zelensky. He said that recast of the material caused others to change their testimony. Giuliani to turn over findings to Republicans in Congress; attorney general 12:28 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Giuliani said he plans to give Republicans in Congress and Attorney General William Barr findings from his trip last week to Ukraine where he said he met with people who have evidence of corruption involving the Bidens and other Democrats. “I was going to do an outline and present it at the convenience of the Republicans in Congress and the attorney general at the end of this week,” Giuliani said during an interview on “War Room: Impeachment,” a podcast hosted by Steve Bannon, a former Trump adviser. Castor talks about Hunter Biden, Ukraine’s attempts to influence the 2016 election 12:18 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Castor begins his testimony by once again saying that there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Trump. He said the Democrats have tried to piece together charges against Trump when there is no evidence he asked for anything in return for a meeting with the new Ukrainian president or for military aid to help them in their fight against Russia. Castor then turned to Joe and Hunter Biden. Castor said Hunter Biden was one of the “well-connected Democrats” Burisma sought to bring in while under investigation by not only Ukrainian officials but also U.S. officials. “Hunter Biden reportedly received between $50,000 and $83,000 a month (from Burisma, the Ukraine energy company). His father was the Obama administration point man for Ukraine at the time,” Castor said. “He’s getting this gigantic paycheck for what?” Trump had a “legitimate basis” to raise a concern that people in Ukraine tried to influence the 2016 election in Hillary Clinton’s favor. Hearing resumes 12:01 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: The hearing has resumed. Stephen Castor is now testifying for the Republicans. Goldman: ‘Trump launched an unprecedented campaign of obstruction’ 11:35 a.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Goldman uses his 30 minutes to layout the Democrats’ case against Trump, saying he lied, abused his power and obstructed Congress. “We are here today because Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States, abused the power of his office, the American presidency, for his political and personal benefit,” Goldman said. “As part of this scheme, President Trump applied increasing pressure on the president of Ukraine to publicly announce two investigations helpful to his personal reelection efforts.” Goldman said Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, in his recent trip to Ukraine has shown that the president is continuing to abuse his power. “President Trump’s persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security.” He went on to say, “When faced with the opening of an official impeachment inquiry into his conduct, President Trump launched an unprecedented campaign of obstruction of Congress — ordering executive branch agencies and government officials to defy subpoenas for documents and testimony.” A recess is called - after a vote 11:30 a.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: While the chairman can call for a recess, a Democrat on the committee calls for one and that request ends up in an argument and a vote. The result is that the committee is recessed for 15 minutes. Who is Daniel Goldman? 11 a.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: The man who will present the Democrats’ argument was once an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York. He prosecuted mobsters and insider traders. Goldman says in his testimony, “The July 25 call was neither the start nor the end of President Trump’s efforts to use the powers of his office for personal political gain.” What Castor said 10:40 a.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Castor testifies: 'First, the summary of the July 25 phone call reflects no conditionality or pressure. President Zelensky never vocalized any discomfort or pressure on the call. Contrary to Democrat allegations, President Trump was not asking for a “favor” that would help with his re-election. He was asking for assistance in helping our country move forward from the divisiveness of the Russia collusion investigation.' 'Second, since President Trump has declassified and publicly released the call summary, President Zelensky said publicly and repeatedly that he felt no pressure. He said it on September 25 at the United Nations General Assembly. He said it in an interview published on Oct. 6. He said it during an all-day media availability on Oct. 10. 'Third, at the time of the July 25 call, senior officials in Kyiv did not know that the security assistance was temporarily paused. Trump is tweeting 10:20 a.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: President Donald Trump is tweeting during the hearing. In this case, retweeting himself. Who is Stephen Castor? 10:10 a.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Stephen Castor is offering the Republican response to the Democrat’s impeachment argument. He has been an investigator in GOP inquiries into Operation Fast and Furious and the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. He begins his comment saying the process to impeach is “baloney.” ‘The facts are clear’ 10:05 a.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Berke says, “The facts are clear that President Trump put his own political and personal interests over the nation’s interest.' At the end of his statement, Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, challenges Berke’s testimony saying he has impugned Trump and requests portions of his testimony be stricken. Here is the man who interrupted the hearing Here is Collins’ opening statement: Here is Nadler’s opening statement: Opening statements 9:50 a.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Following opening statements by Nadler – who undercut Republican arguments that the process is unfair by saying Trump had been invited to the hearing but declined to attend – and Rep. Doug Collins, ranking member of the committee, Berke begins by saying his son asked him if the president had to be a good person to be president. Berke says he answered no, he or she doesn’t have to be a good person, but it is hoped that he or she will be. He goes on to recount the testimony given at hearings before the House Intelligence Committee. Berke says Trump has done everything he has been accused of, especially of putting himself before country. Collins, in his opening statement, says that the process is nothing more than a political vendetta. Who is Barry Berke? 9:40 a.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Barry Berke is a New York-based corporate attorney who took a leave of absence in February from the firm of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel to work for the staff of the House Judiciary Committee. He was the attorney who questioned former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski when Lewandowski appeared before Congress. A request for another hearing 9:35 a.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Arizona, requests, for the second time, a point of order to ask for a hearing where the Republicans can call witnesses. Nadler says it is not the proper time to make such a request. An argument breaks out with Rep. Matt Gaetz engaging in a testy exchange with Nadler. Nadler goes on to recognize Barry Berke, counsel for the Democrats, to give his opening statement. Sitting silent 9:20 a.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: A few House Republicans sat down in seats behind the witness table in a silent protest before the start of the hearing. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, Rep. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, and Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, sat down moments before the hearing. The seats, per Democratic rules, were to remain empty. A protester interrupts 9:09 a.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: As Nadler opens the hearing he is interrupted twice, once by a committee member who objects to the rules Nadler is explaining, then by a man who begins yelling that he, Nadler, is a traitor. The man is escorted from the room. The hearing is beginning 9:08 a.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Nadler has gaveled the hearing open. How the hearing will go 8:52 a.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: The opening statements will be made by attorney Barry Berke for the Democrats and Stephen Castor for the Republicans. Daniel S. Goldman, who is the Democratic counsel for the House Intelligence Committee and questioned witnesses during that committee’s hearings, will then present the case for impeachment. Castor, who questioned witnesses in previous hearings for the Republicans, will present the case against impeachment. As in previous hearings, committee members will have a chance to ask questions. This could take a while. There are 41 members of the committee. Hearing begins at 9 a.m. 8:35 a.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: The second, and seemingly last, impeachment hearing by the House Judiciary Committee will begin at 9 a.m. ET. Attorneys for both the Democrats and the Republicans will be heard. Democrats will be laying out the case for impeaching President Donald Trump and Republicans will be explaining why they feel Trump’s actions do not rise to the level of impeachment. Live updates are beginning 8 a.m. ET Dec. 9, 2019: Good morning! Welcome to live updates from the second Judiciary Committee impeachment inquiry. We will be following all the testimony from today’s proceedings. The hearing begins at 9 a.m. ET.
Longtime WSB Radio, Atlanta Reporter Pete Combs has died after a short illness. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in September, just over a month after his 60th birthday and was in hospice care near Atlanta when he died. Combs had two stints at WSB. He reported and anchored for the heritage news station from 2006-2015, and returned in May, 2018 to report for WSB and ABC News Radio, covering events in Atlanta and the Southeastern US. In between, he reported and anchored for KOMO-AM, Seattle. Combs also reported for CBS News Radio as a freelance journalist from 2003-2015. His earlier career path was typical of many broadcasters, who tend to move from city to city. There were stops in Tulsa, Pittsburg and Topeka, Kansas, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Dallas, Charlotte and other towns. He was a journalist for many legendary news operations including WGST-AM, Atlanta, KRLD-AM and the Texas State Network, Dallas, USA Radio News, Dallas, WINK-AM Fort Myers, FL, and WBT-AM, Charlotte. He also reported for TV station in Charlotte and Tulsa during the early 1990s. After his arrival in Atlanta in 2006, WSB sent him to big stories in the region-and occasionally to far flung places. His last travel assignment was to cover Hurricane Dorian as it approached the Carolina coast last summer for ABC and WSB. But sometimes he went much further. In July 2011, he reported on NASA’s final Space Shuttle Mission from the Kennedy Space Center. In January, 2010, he went to Haiti to report on the earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of people for WSB and CBS. Just a few months later, and closer to home, he wound up in the Gulf, commandeering a boat and reporting on the BP Oil Spill, up close and personal, for WSB, CBS and the radio stations of the Cox Radio Group. He covered numerous hurricanes for WSB, CBS and ABC while based in Atlanta. Longtime WSB News Director Chris Camp was glad to get Combs back to Atlanta last year. He calls him a “reporter’s reporter” who knew a good story and always had his bag packed and ready to go. That included the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in the Florida panhandle, where, he says, “I’m not sure if Pete ever gave anyone the shirt off his back but he did give up his shoes to a poor soul who’d survived the storm but lost everything.” He says Combs returned in December for follow up reporting. “He was struck by all the blue tarps on damaged roofs in place of homes and businesses with Christmas decorations.” The result was an award winning documentary, appropriately called Blue Tarp Christmas. When Combs returned to WSB last year, it was under a joint agreement with ABC News Radio that provided WSB with another in-house journalist while giving the network a dedicated radio reporter in the South. Andrew Kalb was ABC’s Executive Director of Programming and News at the time and calls Combs a “unique all-star storyteller. You always wanted to hear more Pete. It didn’t matter what the story was. When the opportunity came about to have Pete join ABC News Radio, it was a very easy decision. He was among the best at his craft….and an even better person.” Marshall Adams was the Program Director at WBT, Charlotte, when he –and CBS- hired Combs for the legendary station’s news department, and to give the network another reporter in the Southeast- in 2005. Adams recalls his first assignment…the aftermath of a drag racing crash that wrecked a Dairy Queen store. “Pete brought the story alive -- trotting around the building during live shots tethered to a cell phone headset, waving his arms and 'showing' listeners the damage, stamping his lively storytelling skills on an event that without him would have been told flat. I listened from the front seat of the news car and knew we had something special.” His other assignments there included coverage of what was expected to be Billy Graham’s last Crusade in New York, and Hurricane Ophelia, when he brought back an invoice for the motel room door he knocked down after locking himself out. “He didn’t want to miss a live shot,” Adams says, with a laugh. “The station sent the motel owner a check, quickly. “Pete’s expense reports,” he says, “were always intriguing.” CBS News Radio Correspondent Peter King covered several stories with Combs, and remembers sharing a hotel room with him in Kenner, Louisiana, during the BP Gulf oil spill. He says, “One morning, Pete was doing live reports for several of the Cox radio stations, not just WSB. He was really scrambling to keep up and was SO busy, he had a network reporter-me-fetching his coffee every few minutes! He never let me forget that I’d been his ‘coffee boy’ for a morning!” King says they had already become lifelong friends in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley in 2004, and though they often lived in separate states, he says they saw each other often on assignment-or during personal visits. “He was a fine reporter, extremely industrious, and never turned down an assignment. He was dedicated to a fault. But he was also a good human being and our bond went far beyond our work. We helped each other through all kinds of personal and professional things and you couldn’t have found a better listener than Pete.” Combs loved technology and gadgets and was always on top of new ones that could help him get his job done, but occasionally, they worked too well. WSB’s Camp recalls he bought a strong battery powered lamp to be used in a power outage, when he was working out of one of the station’s news vehicles. “It was so hot, he melted the back seat of the truck! We never had it repaired and we laughed about it many times.” Combs’ career includes 5 Edward R Murrow Regional Awards, and nearly three dozen other awards from Associated Press Broadcasters Associations in Georgia, Florida and Oklahoma as well as other organizations starting in 1985. Combs was a licensed pilot and an avid aviation enthusiast who wrote and produced podcasts for the National Business Aviation Association, and founded two companies, Human Factor Productions and Earful Productions. He also reported while serving as Senior Editor for Aero-News.Net in the early 2000s. Family members recall that he loved great restaurants, great food, especially barbeque, and wine. In his spare time, he also loved playing his guitar, although his sister, Cathy Williamson, remembers that he played “Stairway to Heaven” one too many times during junior high and says she nearly hit him over the head with it to make him stop. Combs was an Air Force veteran, serving as a Broadcast Information Specialist in the US and overseas. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from Georgia State University, attending classes while working professionally in Atlanta. When he learned that his cancer was spreading rapidly, Combs’ friends say, he kept his sense of humor (enjoying the gift of a Looney Toons DVD Box set during his final weeks) and never gave up hope. He was buoyed by text and Facebook messages on a special “Pete’s Journey” page set up by his wife, Karen, for friends and family. CBS’s King says during their last visit, Combs said he hoped the two of them would be able to watch the Atlanta Braves opening day game for 2020 together. Perhaps more prophetically, he told him that he knew his time was probably short, and that “every day is a gift.” Combs was born in Arlington, Virginia, on August 8th, 1959, but considered Tulsa Oklahoma, his home town. He’s survived by his wife, Karen Hewett Combs, the co-founder and President of the couple’s Earful Productions, their dog, a silky coat, wire hair Doxie named Stella, his son Daniel, of Seattle WA, Morgan Roberson of Peachtree City, Blake Floyd of McDonough, a brother, Stephen, and his wife, Ann, of Keller, TX, and a sister, Cathy Williamson of Houston, TX. Funeral or Memorial arrangements will be announced when plans are complete.