Advertisement
  1. Florida Politics
  2. /
  3. The Buzz

Pam Bondi expected to join White House as part of impeachment communications team, report says

The role is described as temporary.
ANDREW HARNIK | AP [AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, file) [ANDREW HARNIK | AP]
Published Nov. 6
Updated Nov. 6

WASHINGTON — The White House is beefing up its communications staff as it tries to grapple with the ongoing House impeachment investigation.

Pam Bondi, the former attorney general of Florida, and Tony Sayegh, a former Treasury Department spokesman, are expected to join the White House communications team to work on “proactive impeachment messaging” and other special projects, a senior administration official told the Associated Press.

RELATED: Think you know what’s next for Pam Bondi? You have no idea.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal staffing, said that the roles would be temporary and that Bondi and Sayegh would be working as special government employees.

The announcement comes as the impeachment inquiry enters a new, public phase. Earlier Wednesday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff announced that the first round of public, televised hearings will begin next Wednesday. Meanwhile, transcripts of closed-door interviews already conducted with top administration officials are being released.

The White House has been torn over how best to respond to the quickly moving investigation as they try to defend a president who has always believed that he is his best spokesman.

RELATED: Is Pam Bondi auditioning for Fox News while still working for Florida taxpayers?

Some outside allies and some inside the White House have been pushing for a more coordinated response, with some suggesting the West Wing should set up a formal impeachment “war room” like the one former President Bill Clinton used during his impeachment proceedings.

But others have argued that such a move would be unnecessary and wrongly signal that the White House sees the investigation as an existential threat. While the White House believes that Democrats may have enough votes to impeach Trump in the House, which the party controls, they do not believe there are enough votes in the Republican-majority Senate to ultimately convict him and remove him from office.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway confirmed last week that the White House was considering bringing on additional staff focused on impeachment.

“I think if this is something intense, but single-focused, albeit temporary, there’s an argument for bringing in a few extra hands and minds onto the team,” she said, comparing the plan then under consideration to the efforts to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and to pass the Republican tax cut plan.

Still, she stressed that any effort would be limited.

“The president’s made very clear we don’t need a war room,” she said.

The first round of public testimony will come from a trio of officials: Top Ukraine diplomat William Taylor, career diplomat George Kent and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. All three have previously testified behind closed doors.

Democrats are investigating Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and whether his requests for investigations into Democratic political rivals as the U.S. was withholding military aid from the country constitute an abuse of power.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg delivers a Veterans Day address at a campaign event, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, in Rochester, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) ELISE AMENDOLA  |  AP
    State rep. Ben Diamond: Mayor Pete is ‘the type of leader that can really bring our country together’
  2. Former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz and U.S. Rep. Val Demings have prominent roles in the impeachment of President Donald Trump. [AP Photos]
    Pam Bondi, Matt Gaetz, Val Demings and more will factor prominently in the coming weeks. Here’s how.
  3. Career Foreign Service officer George Kent, testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, during the first public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) ANDREW HARNIK  |  AP
    Kent was one of the most high-ranking career officials who had knowledge about elements of the alleged White House effort.
  4. President Donald Trump speaks at the Economic Club of New York at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) ANDREW HARNIK  |  AP
    The explanation gets complicated.
  5. Jomari DeLeon, is pictured at at Gadsden Correctional Facility in Quincy, Florida August 7, 2019. Jomari is three years into a 15-year sentence for drug trafficking. She sold 48 tablets of prescription tablets over two days to an undercover officer. JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |  Times
    Florida lawmakers agreed the state’s old drug sentencing laws went too far. But that means nothing to people serving time.
  6. Sen. Travis Hutson presents his Job Growth Grant Fund legislation to the Senate Education Committee on Nov. 12, 2019. The Florida Channel
    The original version would have targeted charter schools only.
  7. Florida Senator Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, was the sponsor of a law that was to go into effect Friday that would have created new requirements for abortion doctors that could have limited the number of clinics. But the U.S. Supreme Court threw out similar Texas restrictions, raising doubt about the fate of Florida's new law. [Scott Keeler | Times]
    The delay, which kicks a vote on the bill into mid-December, could stall what may be one of state lawmakers’ most contentious decisions on a political live wire going into a presidential election...
  8. A flag supporting President Donald Trump flutters near the University of Florida's Century Tower before an Oct. 10 appearance on campus by Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle. A controversy over the political nature of the event has led to calls for the impeachment of Student Body President Michael C. Murphy, who helped set it up. Courtesy of Chris Day
    A push to oust Student Body President Michael Murphy comes after an email surfaces, suggesting he worked with the Trump campaign to bring a political speech to campus.
  9. Morton Myers, 40, is an entrepreneur, a lifelong Clearwater resident and now a candidate for mayor who comes from a family of Scientologists. He says he is not a practicing Scientologist and is running to bring change and representation to all residents. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Morton Myers says he’s not an active member. But with family on Scientology’s staff, he says he’s uniquely positioned to find middle ground with the church.
  10. FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 file photo, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi speaks to reporters outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington, after meeting with President Donald Trump about about responses to school shootings. Bondi is preparing to defend Trump against accusations that he pressured a foreign government to aid his re-election campaign. And she’s stepping down from a lobbying where she represented foreign interests (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE  |  AP
    “People are going to discover all over again what Pam Bondi’s made of,” says the consultant who engineered her foray into politics 10 years ago.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement