House Democrats have subpoenaed President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, seeking documents related to his work in Ukraine. Last week, Giuliani admitted on television that he had urged the Ukrainian government to investigate Trump’s political rival Joe Biden. This comes as House Democrats continue to build their case for impeaching the president following a whistleblower complaint filed by an intelligence officer who was detailed to work at the White House at one point. The whistleblower complaint focused on a July 25 phone call during which Trump asked the Ukrainian president to do him a “favor” by investigating the actions of Democrats, including Joe Biden and his son Hunter. On Monday, The Wall Street Journal revealed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was among the administration officials who were on the call.
Evidence is growing that the Trump administration pressured other nations, including Australia, Britain and Italy, to take steps to help Trump politically. The New York Times reports Trump personally pressed Australia’s prime minister to help Attorney General William Barr with a probe aimed at discrediting the Mueller investigation. Barr also traveled to Italy last week, where he reportedly pressed Italian officials to help his probe. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Italy today.
This all comes as President Trump is continuing to threaten lawmakers pushing impeachment. On Monday, Trump suggested House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff should be arrested for treason. Trump also publicly admitted he is trying to find out the identity of the anonymous whistleblower — in possible violation of whistleblower protection laws.
Reporter: “Mr. President, do you now know who the whistleblower is, sir?”
President Donald Trump: “Well, we’re trying to find out about a whistleblower, when you have a whistleblower that reports things that were incorrect.”
Attorneys for the whistleblower are saying they have “serious concerns” for their client’s safety. On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate would hold a trial if the House impeaches the president.
Hong Kong protesters returned to the streets today as China marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Hong Kong police fired live ammunition at protesters for the first time since the street protests began 17 weeks ago. One protester was shot in the chest. Police also fired tear gas and water cannons, while protesters were seen throwing Molotov cocktails. This comes as Reuters reports there are now up to 12,000 Chinese troops in Hong Kong — twice as many as when the protests began. Meanwhile in Beijing, China held what has been described as one of the country’s largest military parades ever to mark 70 years since Mao Zedong declared the creation of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949. President Xi Jinping spoke earlier today in Tiananmen Square.
President Xi Jinping: “On our journey forward, we must adhere to the principle of peaceful reunification and 'one country, two systems,' maintain long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macau, push for peaceful development of cross-strait relationships, unite all Chinese people to continue to work hard for the complete reunification of our nation.”
Anti-government protests are continuing in Haiti. Much of the capital Port-au-Prince has been locked down for the past two weeks. At least four people have been shot and killed in recent days, after Haitian police opened fire on protesters, using live ammunition and tear gas. The protesters are demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse. This is Haitian activist David Oxygène.
David Oxygène: “The people are fighting, and the government is repressing it. The town is on the street to dismiss Jovenel. To expel Jovenel means a solution to hunger. To dismiss Jovenel means a solution to the murders in the popular neighborhoods, as we see in La Saline, Tokyo, Grande Ravine and Fort National. Being on the street is a political battle against the system.”
In Somalia, the militant group al-Shabab is claiming responsibility for attacking a U.S. drone base and an Italian military convoy on Monday. Meanwhile, Amnesty International is accusing the United States of killing three Somali civilian farmers in an airstrike in March. The U.S. claimed the strike had targeted members of al-Shabab.
In Nigeria, the imprisoned journalist and former presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore pleaded not guilty to treason and other charges on Monday. He has been jailed since early August after calling for protests against Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. Sowore, who founded the New York-based news outlet Sahara Reporters, briefly spoke to reporters on Monday before being pulled away by Nigerian security agents.
Omoyele Sowore: “That is why Nigeria must fight for its soul and assure that the revolution, that gives our people the chance to have control of their own” —
Omoyele Sowore: “Revolution!”
Omoyele Sowore: “Revolution!”
The Trump administration has blocked Cuba’s health minister from attending a regional meeting of the World Health Organization in Washington. This comes as part of an increasing crackdown by the Trump administration on Cuba. Last week, the U.S. placed sanctions on former Cuban President Raúl Castro, along with his children, for supporting the Venezuelan government. The United States also recently expelled two Cuban diplomats assigned to the United Nations. Meanwhile, Cuba is facing a severe fuel shortage due to crippling U.S. sanctions.
New York Republican Congressmember Chris Collins has resigned. He and his son are expected to plead guilty today to accusations of insider trading involving an Australian biotechnology company for which Collins served on the board. Collins was the first Republican congressmember to support Donald Trump’s run for the White House.
In campaign news, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has announced he raised a massive $25 million in the third quarter. It is the biggest fundraising quarter for any Democratic candidate so far this year. Sanders has now received donations from 1.4 million individuals, more than any other Democratic candidate.
In news from Missouri, lawyers for a death row prisoner scheduled to be executed tonight are urging the Missouri governor to halt the execution. Lawyers warn the execution of Russell Bucklew may be “especially gruesome.” Bucklew has a rare condition which causes unstable, blood-filled tumors to grow in his head, neck and throat. His lawyers say the tumors may burst during the execution, causing him to possibly suffocate.
In Seattle, climate protesters shut down four Chase Bank branches on Monday to protest JPMorgan Chase’s funding of the fossil fuel industry. Eleven people were arrested. According to one count, JPMorgan Chase has loaned $196 billion to fossil fuel corporations since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015.
In San Francisco, police arrested 37 animal rights activists Monday after they occupied a Whole Foods Market for more than three hours. The group Direct Action Everywhere accused Whole Foods and its parent company Amazon of purchasing food from factory farms where criminal animal abuse has been exposed. During the protest, activists erected a 15-foot-tall cutout of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s head on top of the store’s roof.
California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed the nation’s first law to allow for college athletes to be paid for endorsement deals and to hire agents. The law is set to go into effect in 2023. In a statement, Newsom said, “Colleges and universities reap billions from these student athletes’ sacrifices and success but block them from earning a single dollar. That’s a bankrupt model — one that puts institutions ahead of the students they are supposed to serve.”
This week marks the 100th anniversary of the Elaine massacre, when white vigilantes in Arkansas massacred hundreds of African Americans in one of the deadliest incidents of racial violence in the nation’s history. The massacre began after black sharecroppers attempted to organize with the Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America to demand higher pay for cotton. A new memorial to the victims of the massacre was recently unveiled in the county seat of Helena, Arkansas.