Meanwhile, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) is planning to release transcripts of closed-door depositions that have been occurring on Capitol Hill as early as next week.
●Americans sharply divided over whether to impeach and remove Trump from office, Post-ABC poll finds.
9:20 a.m. Trump allies point to new jobs report
As Trump touted the latest jobs report, some of his Republican allies pointed to the numbers to argue against impeachment.
“While the Do Nothing Democrats waste all their time on a sham impeachment scheme, @realDonaldTrump is actually delivering results for hardworking American families,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said in a tweet in which he noted that the addition of 128,000 jobs in October exceeded expectations.
Vice President Pence echoed Scalise’s sentiment about 30 minutes later.
“While the Democrats spent all of their time over the last month on a partisan impeachment sham, our Administration has been working for the American people!” he tweeted.
“This is far greater than expectations. USA ROCKS!” Trump said in a tweet of his own.
The report showed that the United States added 128,000 jobs in October as the jobless rate ticked up to 3.6 percent, a performance that outperformed analyst forecasts during a month in which a strike by autoworkers at General Motors, one of the largest private employers strikes in recent years, weighed on the economy.
9:05 a.m.: Pelosi says impeachment isn’t about Trump’s personality or politics
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) shared a clip of her appearance Thursday night on “The Late Show” during which she discussed the impeachment process with host Stephen Colbert.
“Our inquiry into @realDonaldTrump’s betrayal of his oath of office is deadly serious,” Pelosi wrote in a tweet that included the clip. “This isn’t about his personality or his politics. It is about our duty to #DefendOurDemocracy.”
8:35 a.m.: Jeffries dubs House Republicans “#CoverUpCaucus”
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), an ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in House leadership, on Friday chided Republicans for voting en bloc against the resolution setting the parameters for the next stage of the impeachment inquiry.
“Every single House Republican voted against the rule of the law,” he tweeted. “What are they hiding from the American people?”
Jeffries added a hashtag: “#CoverUpCaucus”
8:30 a.m.: Trump shares assessments of conservative allies
Trump returned to Twitter on Friday morning to share assessments of the impeachment inquiry from conservative allies in Congress and the media.
That included a two-week old tweet from Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.).
“I’ve sat through EVERY interview so far of this so called ‘impeachment inquiry’ & the President hasn’t done anything to possibly impeach him for. NOTHING,” Zeldin said in his Oct. 18 tweet, which Trump retweeted Friday morning.
In another tweet, Trump quoted talk show host Mark Levin calling the impeachment inquiry “the biggest, most disgusting scandal.”
“[I]t’s all on the Democrat Party that has highjacked the Impeachment process, our tax dollars, the House of Representatives, to push their 2020 Election. That’s what’s going on,” Levin said, according to Trump’s tweet.
“Cannot be said any better!” Trump added in his own words.
7:50 a.m.: Scalise complains of ‘Soviet-style justice’ in Democratic rules
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) pushed back Friday on a rule adopted by Democrats that would allow House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) to impose restrictions on Trump’s lawyers once impeachment proceedings begin before his panel.
Under a three-page summary of procedural safeguards for the president released earlier this week, the president’s lawyer is given the right to attend Judiciary Committee hearings and question witnesses who testify.
But Democrats included a significant caveat: Should Trump “unlawfully refuse” to comply with subpoenas issued by the investigating committees, Nadler would “have the discretion to impose appropriate remedies” — including the denial of Trump’s requests to call or question witnesses.
“I equate it to Soviet-style justice,” Scalise said during an interview on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.” “This is the United States of America. We deserve better than this.”
Scalise also echoed Trump’s contention that Democrats are trying to impeach him because they can’t beat him at the ballot box.
“They’re infatuated with impeaching the president because they’re afraid he’ll get reelected,” Scalise said.
7 a.m.: GOP continues to tout unity on resolution vote
Republicans are continuing to tout their unity in voting against a House resolution Thursday that set the parameters for the next stage of the impeachment process.
Early Friday morning, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel shared a tweet by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) relaying that “100% voted AGAINST impeachment sham.”
Two Democrats joined Republicans in voting against the resolution, which passed 232 to 196. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), who left the Republican Party in July, joined most Democrats in voting for the resolution.
“This president will be in power for only a short time, but excusing his misbehavior will forever tarnish your name,” Amash tweeted before the vote. “To my Republican colleagues: Step outside your media and social bubble. History will not look kindly on disingenuous, frivolous, and false defenses of this man.”
7 a.m.: Trump to rally faithful in Mississippi
Trump is headed Friday to Mississippi, a state he won overwhelming in 2016, to hold a “Keep America Great Rally.” Other recent campaign rallies have provided an opportunity for Trump to air grievances about the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry.
Trump is traveling to Tupelo to support Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, the GOP nominee for governor on the ballot on Tuesday.
Reeves is in a surprisingly tight race against Jim Hood, the state’s attorney general since 2003 and the only Democrat who holds statewide office in Mississippi.
6:30 a.m.: Americans sharply divided over whether to impeach and remove Trump from office, Post-ABC poll finds
As the House moves to a new, more public phase of its impeachment inquiry, the country is sharply divided along partisan lines over whether Trump should be impeached and removed from office, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The poll finds that 49 percent of Americans say the president should be impeached and removed from office, while 47 percent say he should not. That finding is almost identical to support for impeachment in a poll by The Post and the Schar School taken earlier in October.
Among Democrats, support for removing the president from office is overwhelming, with 82 percent in favor and 13 percent opposed. Among Republicans, it is almost the reverse, with 82 percent opposed and 18 percent in favor, even as the president’s approval rating reached a new low among members of his party. Independents are closely divided, with 47 percent favoring removal and 49 percent opposed.
— Dan Balz and Emily Guskin
6:15 a.m.: Pelosi calls impeachment probe ‘very sad’ but necessary
Stephen Colbert had one question for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) about Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian president that has now become central to an impeachment inquiry: “When you heard what was said in that telephone call, what was your first reaction?”
“I prayed for the United States of America,” Pelosi said on “The Late Show” on Thursday night. “We don’t want to impeach a president. We don’t want the reality that a president has done something that is in violation of the Constitution.”
In an interview hours after the House passed guidelines for the public portion of the impeachment inquiry, Pelosi deflected criticisms from GOP leaders and the White House about a process she argued is “very sad” but necessary.
“This is a sad thing for our country,” Pelosi said. “We do this prayerfully, with great seriousness. Nobody goes to Congress to impeach a president.”
6 a.m. : Schiff once wanted to be a screenwriter. Can he give the Trump presidency a Hollywood ending?
When Schiff was a young assistant U.S. attorney living in Los Angeles, he did what everyone does when they move to Hollywood. He wrote a screenplay.
He spent hours at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, reading the scripts for “Silence of the Lambs” and “Witness” in the library (it was the ’90s). He leaned on his courtroom experience, thinking back on snippets of dialogue during trials as he typed out a crime thriller. The prosecutor was the hero, naturally. He called it “Minotaur,” and, if you ask Schiff, it was pretty good.
“I got an offer of an option from Nick Wechsler,” Schiff said, leaning back in a leather chair inside his Capitol Hill office late last month. “He produced ‘The Player,’ remember that movie with Tim Robbins?”
Schiff turned down the offer, he said. He doesn’t remember it being a huge sum of money, and anyway, he was getting into a different kind of storytelling business: politics.
Read more of The Post’s profile of Schiff here.
5:30 a.m.: Trump wants a modern-day ‘fireside chat,’ says he’ll read the rough transcript of the Ukraine call on live TV
A week into President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first term, the Great Depression was underway and banks were closing fast. Roosevelt took to the airwaves. His goal: to communicate his agenda and calm a reeling public. The tactic became one of Roosevelt’s trademarks, dubbed his “fireside chats.”
On Thursday, hours after the contentious House vote backing the impeachment inquiry, Trump suggested a fireside chat of his own.
“This is over a phone call that is a good call,” Trump said, referring to the investigation’s origins in an interview with the Washington Examiner. “At some point, I’m going to sit down, perhaps as a fireside chat on live television, and I will read the transcript of the call, because people have to hear it. When you read it, it’s a straight call.”
In the 80-minute Oval Office interview, Trump told Examiner reporters and editors that he would remain defiant in the face of the inquiry.
“You are setting a terrible precedent for other presidents,” Trump said, responding to a question about whether he would honor congressional document requests and subpoenas.
He told the outlet his defense strategy would rely on the White House’s account of his call with Zelensky. There would be T-shirts, too, he said, bearing the new slogan: “Read the transcript.”
5 a.m.: Schiff says witness transcripts could be released as early as next week
Schiff said Thursday night that he expects to begin publicly releasing transcripts from closed-door depositions as early next week.
Schiff’s comments came during an appearance on MSNBC in which he noted that the resolution passed by the full House earlier Thursday allows him to release the transcripts.
“I would expect that process to begin as early as next week,” Schiff told host Rachel Maddow.