Dec 18, 2019 - Politics & Policy

The road to Trump's impeachment

President Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky shake hands
Trump and Zelensky shake hands during a meeting in New York in September. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

In six months, a phone call between President Trump and Ukraine's president escalated into a full-blown crisis that is culminating in Trump's impeachment.

What's next: Assuming the House approves articles of impeachment later tonight, Trump will face a trial in the Senate next month — which is likely to end in his acquittal, since Senate Republicans have already been openly dismissive about the merits of the case against him.

How we got here:

  • July 18: State Department and Pentagon are informed Trump is withholding $392 million in military aid to Ukraine, but not told why.
  • July 25 phone call: Trump asks Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden — Trump's potential 2020 election rival — and his son Hunter. That request is not made public to Americans.
  • Aug. 12: A whistleblower, who works inside the U.S. intelligence community, files a complaint alleging that Trump used "the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 election."
  • Sept. 11: The administration quietly lifts the hold on aid to Ukraine under pressure from lawmakers including Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), but without public explanation.
  • Sept. 24: Pelosi announces a formal impeachment inquiry.
  • Sept. 25: White House releases a partial transcript of the July 25 call, hours before Trump and Zelensky meet face to face at the UN General Assembly.
    • Zelensky says he didn't feel pressured during the call.
  • Sept. 26: The whistleblower complaint is released.
  • Oct. 3–Nov. 16: Current and former Trump administration officials with knowledge of Trump's Ukraine activity are grilled behind closed doors by members of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees.
  • Nov. 13–21: Current and former Trump administration officials testify publicly before the House Intelligence Committee.
  • Dec. 4: Legal experts testify before the House Judiciary Committee on the constitutional basis for and against the impeachment of Trump.
  • Dec. 9: The House Judiciary Committee hears the evidence behind the impeachment.
  • Dec. 13: The House Judiciary Committee approves articles of impeachment against Trump.
  • Dec. 18: The full House of Representatives debates and votes on the articles of impeachment.

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