Impeachment Inquiry Timeline and Unclassified Materials
On September 24th House Democrats announced a formal impeachment inquiry in response to a whistleblower’s allegations that President Donald Trump engaged in behavior that undermines the integrity of our elections, the dignity of the office he holds, our national security, and our Constitution. As events surrounding the impeachment inquiry move forward, I urge you to stay updated on major developments and read related documents for yourself, which I’ve included below.
My oath of office is to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and I will continue to do everything I can to live up to this sacred pledge.
January 15th – The House of Representatives passed a resolution that I voted for that formally names the impeachment managers who will act as prosecutors in the Senate trial and make the case for the President’s removal from office. The managers are Reps. Adam Schiff of California, Jerrold Nadler of New York, Zoe Lofgren of California, Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Val Demings of Florida, Jason Crow of Colorado, and Sylvia Garcia of Texas. You can read more about the managers and their qualifications here.
January 14th – The House Committees that conducted the impeachment inquiry released new evidence provided by Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani who was indicted for funneling Russian funds through a shell company to interfere in American elections. The new documents show that Mr. Giuliani undertook his efforts to obtain information from Ukrainian officials to damage President Trump’s political rivals with the President’s “knowledge and consent.” The documents also revealed that Mr. Parnas appeared to have an associate surveil Ambassador Yovanovitch.
December 19th – The House adopted two articles of impeachment against the President of the United States. You can read Rep. Eshoo's remarks delivered on the House floor here.
December 16th – The Judiciary Committee filed a report (here) detailing how President Trump’s use of security assistance as leverage to solicit Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 election constitutes an abuse of power and is an impeachable offense. The report also explains how the President’s unprecedented obstruction of Congress undermines the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution.
December 13th – After more than 14 hours of debate over multiple days, the House Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment against the President Trump and forwarded them to the full House. You can watch footage of the Judiciary Committee’s meeting (here).
December 9th – The Judiciary Committee held a hearing with staff from the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees who summarized the findings of their investigations and urged the Committee to draft articles of impeachment. Daniel Goldman, the lead attorney for the Majority Staff of the Intelligence Committee, called the President’s behavior “a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security.” The White House was allowed to participate but chose not to do so. You can watch footage of the hearing here.
December 7th – The House Judiciary Committee released a staff report (here) analyzing the Constitutional grounds for impeachment, similar to a report from the Nixon impeachment in 1974. The report concludes that impeachment protects the country from officials who threaten democracy and the rule of law by using their public office for personal benefit, including abuse of power, betrayal involving foreign governments, and corruption.
December 6th – Over 500 law professors released an open letter (here) declaring that President Trump had betrayed his oath of office and committed impeachable offenses. The legal scholars wrote that impeachment is warranted because by interfering with the 2020 election, the President undermined the democratic process that is intended to hold him accountable.
December 5th – Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced in a televised address that she has instructed the chairs of the relevant committees to begin drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump. Quoting the Declaration of Independence and five Founding Fathers, she told the country that the President’s abuse of power leaves Congress no other choice because his actions threaten our democracy.
December 4th – The House Judiciary Committee held an impeachment hearing with four law professors to discuss the constitutional basis for impeachment. Three of the witnesses testified unequivocally that the President committed impeachable offenses. Stanford Law Professor Pamela Karlan (here) described the President’s actions as “an especially serious abuse of power because it undermines democracy itself.” Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman (here) testified that the abuse of power for personal gain is precisely what the Framers considered an impeachable offense.
Michael Gerhardt (here), a law professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, stressed that Congress has a duty to hold the President accountable, telling the Committee, “If what we’re talking about is not impeachable, then nothing is impeachable.” The lone dissenter was George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley (here), who said that despite his past criticism for President Trump and his policies, he believes the House has not established sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to justify impeachment. You can watch footage of the hearing here.
December 3rd – The House Intelligence Committee released a report with its findings from their impeachment inquiry. The report concluded that President Trump used the power of his office to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election, placing his own political interest above the national interest. It provides a chronology of the facts gleaned from witness testimonies, demonstrating clearly how President Trump conditioned a White House meeting and security assistance on Ukraine agreeing to open investigations into the Biden family and supposed Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. The timeline shows that the congressionally approved aid was not released until the White House learned about the whistleblower complaint in early September.
The report also concluded that the President engaged in unprecedented obstruction of Congress by ordering federal agencies to disregard all voluntary document requests, challenging the authority of Congress to hold investigations, ignoring subpoenas, and intimidating witnesses. You can read the full report here.
December 1st – White House Counsel Pat Cipollone sent a letter (here) to the House Judiciary Committee refusing to participate in the Committee’s impeachment hearing on December 4th which will examine the constitutional grounds for impeachment. Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler invited (here) the President and his attorneys to participate in the hearing by questioning witnesses, raising objections to testimony, and presenting evidence to the Committee. The White House did not say whether it would participate in subsequent hearings.
November 21st – The House Intelligence Committee held its final hearing in the impeachment inquiry with David Holmes, a career diplomat in the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, and Dr. Fiona Hill, the former Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs on the National Security Council. Dr. Hill testified that the President’s interest in Ukrainian investigations of his political opponents was a “domestic political errand” that undermined official U.S. national security policy. Mr. Holmes described a phone call he overheard on July 26th in which the President asked Ambassador Sondland if the Ukrainians had agreed to the investigation of his political opponent. You can read the opening statements of Mr. Holmes (here) and Dr. Hill (here) and watch footage of the hearing (here).
November 20th – U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland testified at a House Intelligence Committee hearing and said explicitly that there was a quid pro quo in which security assistance to Ukraine was conditioned on investigations into President Trump’s political opponents. Ambassador Sondland also testified that the President directed him to work with Rudy Giuliani and that both Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Pompeo were “in the loop” regarding the President’s conditions placed on Ukraine. You can read his opening statement (here) and watch the footage of the hearing (here).
The Committee also heard from Laura Cooper, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, and David Hale, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Deputy Assistant Secretary Cooper testified that Ukrainian officials asked her about the status of the security assistance on July 25th, the same day as President Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. Under Secretary Hale told the Committee that President Trump himself gave the order to withhold the security assistance, corroborating the testimony of other witnesses. You can read the opening statement of Deputy Assistant Secretary Cooper (here) and watch footage of the hearing (here). Under Secretary Hale did not prepare an opening statement.
November 19th – The House Intelligence Committee held two open hearings in its impeachment inquiry. In the morning, the Committee heard testimony from two officials who listened to President Trump’s July 25th call with Ukraine’s President Zelensky: Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, and Jennifer Williams, a foreign policy advisor to the Vice President. Both witnesses expressed concerns about the President’s demand that the Ukrainian government investigate the President’s political opponent. You can read the opening statements of Colonel Vindman (here) and Jennifer Williams (here) and watch footage of the hearing here (here).
In the afternoon, Kurt Volker, the former Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, and Tim Morrison, Deputy Assistant to the President, testified to the Committee. Ambassador Volker revised his previous testimony to clarify that he heard U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland mention investigations to Ukrainian officials and that he should have realized the connection between these investigations and Hunter Biden. You can read the opening statements of Ambassador Volker (here) and Mr. Morrison (here) and watch footage of the hearing here (here).
November 16th – The House Intelligence Committee released the transcripts from its closed hearings with Tim Morrison (here), Deputy Assistant to the President, and Jennifer Williams (here), a foreign policy advisor to the Vice President. Mr. Morrison confirmed that Ambassador Sondland told Ukrainian officials directly that U.S. military aid was conditioned on a public commitment from Ukraine’s government to interfere in our 2020 elections. Ms. Williams confirmed that President Trump specifically mentioned the firm that employed Hunter Biden on the July 25th call which she found “unusual and inappropriate.”
November 15th – The House Intelligence Committee held an open hearing with Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine. Ambassador Yovanovitch described how Rudy Giuliani conducted a smear campaign that led to her removal and testified that the President’s tweets during the hearing that attacked her reputation were “intimidating.” You can read her open statement here (here) and watch footage of the hearing here (here).
November 13th – Today, the House Intelligence Committee held the first public hearing of the official impeachment inquiry. Mr. George P. Kent, a senior State Department official in charge of Ukraine policy, and Ambassador William B. Taylor, the acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, addressed the whistleblower’s allegations that President Trump withheld foreign aid to Ukraine while asking for an investigation into his political rival. You can read the opening statements of Mr. Kent (here) and Ambassador Taylor (here) and watch footage of the hearing here.
November 7th – House investigators released the testimony of George P. Kent, the senior State Department official in charge of Ukraine policy. Mr. Kent told investigators he and other diplomats were sidelined by the Administration on policy matters regarding Ukraine. You can read his testimony here.
Jennifer Williams, a national security aide to Vice President Mike Pence, testified in a closed-door deposition with House investigators. Ms. Williams listened to President Trump’s July 25th call with the President of Ukraine.
Former National Security Adviser John Bolton did not appear for a scheduled meeting with House investigators. The Committees conducting the impeachment inquiry said they will not issue a subpoena but will use his refusal to appear as evidence of President Trump’s obstruction of Congress.
November 6th – House investigators released the testimony of William B. Taylor Jr., the top American diplomat in Ukraine. His testimony outlines a quid pro quo pressure campaign on Ukraine that the President has repeatedly denied. You can read his testimony here.
November 5th – U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland revised his previous testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, and now affirms that the President engaged in a quid pro quo. Ambassador Sondland‘s testimony reads: “I said that resumption of the U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anticorruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.” You can read more about his testimony by reviewing official documents released by the House Committees conducting the investigation.
The Committees conducting the inquiry also released to the public the testimony of US Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker which revealed that Ukrainian officials asked to be put in touch with Rudy Giuliani to gain access to the President. Mr. Volker said he was not aware of a quid pro quo agreement. You can read his testimony here.
Four White House officials refused to appear during scheduled depositions. An Administration official said John Eisenberg, Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs, did not appear due to executive privilege. Robert Blair, Assistant to the President and Senior Adviser to Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney; Brian McCormack, Associate Director for Natural Resources, Energy, and Science at the Office of Management and Budget; and Michael Ellis, a National Security Council lawyer, were the other three who refused to appear.
October 31st – The House voted to formally establish rules and procedures for the public phase of the impeachment inquiry. This resolution allows for public hearings, the release of transcripts from closed-door hearings, and opportunities for the President’s lawyers to question witnesses. You can read the resolution here.
October 30th – Catherine Croft, a career diplomat assigned to the White House, testified before investigators that lobbyist and former Congressman Robert Livingston repeatedly said that former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Yovanovitch should be fired because he perceived her to be associated with Democrats.
The Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight and Reform Committees sent interview requests to former National Security Adviser John Bolton, National Security Council Chief Counsel John Eisenberg, and Mr. Eisenberg’s deputy, Michael Ellis. Mr. Bolton’s lawyer informed investigators that he would not appear voluntarily.
October 29th – Army Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, testified that the White House transcript of the July 25th call between President Trump and the President of Ukraine were incomplete. He shared his concerns with his superiors and told investigators that he “did not think it was proper” for the President to ask Ukraine to investigate a political rival. You can read his full opening statement here.
October 28th – Speaker Pelosi announced the House will vote on Thursday to establish the format of public hearings on the impeachment inquiry conducted by the Intelligence Committee.
Former Deputy National Security Adviser Charles Kupperman rebuked a Congressional subpoena and failed to appear before House impeachment investigators. He filed a lawsuit on 10/25, asking a judge to rule whether he was required to follow the Congressional subpoena or the White House’s demands to ignore it.
October 23rd – Roughly two dozen House Republicans protested the scheduled testimony of Laura K. Cooper, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense. The protesting lawmakers broke House rules and delayed the Intelligence Committee’s hearing by five hours. The testimony began only after the protesters left the secured hearing room. The Deputy Assistant Secretary did not deliver an opening statement.
The Chairs of the Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight Committees sent a letter to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan regarding the Department’s failure to comply with a congressional subpoena. The Members wrote that they “consider the refusal to comply with a duly authorized congressional subpoena as obstruction of the lawful functions of Congress and of the impeachment inquiry.”
October 22nd – William B. Taylor Jr., the acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, testified that President Trump engaged in a quid pro quo. He asserted that the President made U.S. military aid contingent upon the Ukrainian government investigating his political rival. Mr. Taylor’s testimony contradicts the Trump Administration’s repeated claims that they did not engage in a quid pro quo. You can read Mr. Taylor’s opening statement here.
Over 300 legal scholars wrote an open letter on the impeachment inquiry, urging the President and his administration to comply with the House’s investigation. You can read their full letter here.
October 17th – Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, said that the Trump administration withheld nearly $400 million in military aid to pressure Ukraine to further President Trump’s political interests. His assertion undercut President Trump’s repeated denials of a quid pro quo that linked American military aid to investigations that could benefit the President politically. Later in the day, Mr. Mulvaney took back his comments.
The U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, testified under subpoena to investigators that President Trump delegated American foreign policy on Ukraine to his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani. Ambassador Sondland claimed he was “disappointed by the President’s direction that we involve Mr. Giuliani,” in Ukrainian affairs, which contradicts other testimony from foreign policy officials that assert Ambassador Sondland participated in the President’s efforts to secure an investigation. You can read Ambassador Sondland’s opening statement here.
October 16th – Michael McKinley, a former top aide to Secretary of State Pompeo, testified that he resigned from his position after the President ordered the removal of Maria Yovanovitch, Ambassador to Ukraine. He told investigators that his resignation “was the result of two overriding concerns: the failure, in my view, of the State Department to offer support to Foreign Service employees caught up in the impeachment inquiry on Ukraine, and, second, by what appears to be the utilization of our ambassadors overseas to advance a domestic political objective.”
October 14th – Deputy Assistant Fiona Hill, the White House’s former top Russia adviser, told impeachment investigators that Rudolph Giuliani ran a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine to benefit President Trump’s personal interests. In a nine-hour, closed-door session, Deputy Assistant Hill testified that she and then-National Security Adviser John Bolton were so alarmed by the Trump Administration’s efforts to encourage Ukraine to open up investigations, Bolton instructed Hill to alert a White House lawyer.
October 11th – Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch told congressional investigators she was removed from her position by President Trump because of “a concerted campaign against me.” You can read her opening statement here. Next week, the House Committees leading the impeachment inquiry are expected to interview Dr. Fiona Hill, President Trump’s former Russia adviser; George Kent, State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary; and T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, U.S. State Department Counselor. In a surprise development, Gordan Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, announced he will testify before the House Committees leading the impeachment inquiry after previously being blocked from testifying by the White House.
October 10th – Seventeen former Watergate special prosecutors authored an Op-Ed in the Washington Post stating that President Trump should be impeached. The prosecutors wrote that the three articles of impeachment during the Watergate scandal (one for obstruction, one for abuse of power, and one for contempt of Congress) could be specified against President Trump for his “serious and persistent abuses of power that, in our view, satisfy the constitutional standard of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.'” You can read their full Op-Ed here.
October 9th – The Intelligence, Judiciary, and Oversight Committees sent a letter and issued subpoenas to two business associates of Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. Both Soviet-born, Parnas and Fruman are donors to a pro- Trump fundraising committee and helped Rudy Giuliani’s efforts to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. Parnas and Fruman were arrested late Wednesday on criminal charges of violating campaign finance rules, including funneling Russian money into President Trump’s campaign. A subpoena was also issued to Secretary of Energy Rick Perry for documents related to his reported involvement in conveying or reinforcing the President’s requests to Ukraine.
October 8th – White House Attorney Pat A. Cipollone sent a letter to Members of Congress refusing any cooperation in the impeachment inquiry. The Speaker of the House responded to the letter, warning the White House that “continued efforts to hide the truth of the President’s abuse of power from the American people will be regarded as further evidence of obstruction.”
The White House blocked U.S. Ambassador Gordon Sondland from appearing before the House Committees conducting the impeachment inquiry. Text messages provided to House investigators last week by Kurt Volker, the former Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, revealed that Ambassador Sondland helped pressure Ukraine’s government to interfere in our 2020 elections. The Committee chairs leading the investigation consider the move by the White House an obstruction of their inquiry. They will be issuing subpoenas to Ambassador Sondland for his testimony and documents.
October 7th – The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on Oversight and Reform subpoenaed documents from the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget regarding the Administration’s efforts to force Ukraine to interfere with our 2020 election, its decision to withhold security assistance to, and actions taken to cover up these matters. You can read the letters here and here.
Ninety former national security officials, who served in both Democratic and Republican Administrations, write an open letter to the American people in support of the Intelligence Community whistleblower and defends the whistleblower’s right to be protected from retaliation. You can read a copy of their letter by clicking here.
October 4th – The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on Oversight and Reform ordered Vice President Mike Pence to turn over all documents regarding the Administration’s efforts to force Ukraine to interfere with our 2020 election, its decision to withhold security assistance to, and actions taken to cover up these matters. You can read the subpoena letter here.
The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on Oversight and Reform subpoenaed documents from the White House regarding its efforts to force Ukraine to interfere with our 2020 election, its decision to withhold military assistance to Ukraine, and actions taken to cover up these matters. You can read the subpoena letter here.
October 3rd –Ambassador Kurt Volker, former Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, testified before the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on Oversight and Reform of the House regarding the Administration’s efforts to force Ukraine to interfere with our 2020 election, its decision to withhold military assistance to Ukraine, and actions taken to cover up these matters.
The three Committees subsequently sent a letter to all Members of the House of Representatives with a transcript of text messages the Committees obtained from Ambassador Volker regarding military assistance to Ukraine. You can read the letter and text messages here.
October 2nd – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo publicly acknowledged that he was listening to the July 25th call in which President Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
The State Department Inspector General held a briefing for Congressional staff regarding the Administration’s efforts smear the former Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. President Trump recalled the Ambassador from her position on May 20, 2019.
October 1st – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent a letter to House Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel acknowledging receipt of a subpoena and request for deposition. Secretary Pompeo stated that the depositions are an attempt by the Committees to “…intimidate, bully, and treat improperly, the distinguished professionals of the Department of State” and refused to make the officials available. You can read the letter here.
September 30th – The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on Oversight and Reform subpoenaed documents from President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Guiliani, regarding the Administration’s efforts to force Ukraine to interfere with our 2020 election, its decision to withhold military assistance to Ukraine, and actions taken to cover up these matters. You can read the subpoena letter to here.
September 30th – The Office of Inspector General of the Intelligence Community released a statement confirming the credibility and urgency of the whistleblower complaint and disputing charges alleging that the whistleblower did not have firsthand knowledge of the conduct and events described in the complaint. You can a read the statement here.
September 27th – The Intelligence Committee, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on Oversight and Reform subpoenaed documents from Secretary of State Pompeo regarding the Administration’s efforts to force Ukraine to interfere with our 2020 election, its decision to withhold security assistance to Ukraine, and actions taken to cover up these matters. The Committees also notified Secretary Pompeo that depositions for five State Department officials have been scheduled. You can read the subpoena letter to here and deposition letter here.
September 27th – Over 300 former national security and foreign policy officials release a letter voicing grave concerns over President Trump’s activities with Ukraine. You can read a copy of their letter here.
September 26th – Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence about the whistleblower complaint and stated, “First, I want to stress I believe the whistle-blower and the inspector general have acted in good faith throughout. I have every reason to believe that they have done everything by the book and followed the law.” Acting Director Maguire’s testimony is here.
September 26th – The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a declassified version of the whistleblower complaint and the Intelligence Community Inspector General letter regarding the complaint. You can both letters here and here.
August 12th – A whistleblower filed a formal complaint with the Chairmen and Senate Select Committees on Intelligence alleging “that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”
July 25th – President Trump spoke with Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, by phone. A summary of the call is later released by the White House, revealing that President Trump attempted to abuse his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 election. You can find the summary of the call here.
My website will be updated with new developments and information regarding the House Impeachment Inquiry. I encourage you to stay updated and read the materials for yourself.