Oct 6, 2019

Pompeo says State Department will follow law in Trump impeachment inquiry

Mike Pompeo in Greece, Oct. 5. Photo: Costas Baltas/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on a trip to Greece Saturday that the State Department will follow the law in the House impeachment investigation into President Trump's attempts to push Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, according to AP.

Why it matters: Pompeo previously accused Democrats of "intimidating" State Department officials who had been asked to cooperate and said the dates for the witness interviews the House had scheduled were "not feasible." In response, the chairs leading the inquiry warned that defiance would be considered "evidence of obstruction." Pompeo will allow Democrats to interview several witnesses next week, per AP.

Details: Among the witnesses being interviewed next week is Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union who helped draft a statement that would have committed Ukraine's president to investigate the Ukrainian energy company on whose board Hunter Biden had served.

  • Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will testify on Oct. 11. Rudy Giuliani told the Wall Street Journal last week that he considered Yovanovitch to be an obstacle to his efforts to push Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and that he informed Trump of his concerns shortly before she was abruptly recalled in May 2019.

Yes, but: "The Trump administration and House Democrats often disagree about what the law requires, leaving open the question of how Pompeo may interpret Democrats’ demands for key information about Trump’s handling of Ukraine," per AP.

  • Axios first reported last week that the White House is planning to send Speaker Nancy Pelosi a letter arguing that Trump and his team can ignore lawmakers' demands until she holds a full House vote formally approving an impeachment inquiry.

Go deeper: U.S. envoys drafted statement committing Ukraine president to Biden probe

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Trump administration directs EU ambassador not to appear for House deposition

United States Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. Photo by Daniel Mihailscu/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration directed the U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland not to appear for a scheduled deposition with House Democrats on Tuesday, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: Democrats want to question Sondland about his role in President Trump's pressure campaign on Ukraine to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and Biden's son, Hunter.

Go deeperArrowOct 8, 2019

House Democrats' impeachment roadmap

An excerpt from House Democrats' document request for Fiona Hill.

Ahead of this week's subpoenas and depositions, new documents obtained by Axios show how Democrats are taking the impeachment inquiry in two tightly focused directions: Ukraine and obstruction of justice.

Why it matters: There are new temptations for Democrats to broaden the scope of their inquiry after developments last week including President Trump's gift to Turkey, new questions about coordination with the Chinese over Hunter Biden, and the dramatic airport arrests of two of Rudy Giuliani's associates with Eastern European backgrounds and their indictments on campaign finance violations.

Go deeperArrowOct 13, 2019

Trump-Ukraine scandal: The key players, dates and documents

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The House's impeachment inquiry has been driven forward by new disclosures of what exactly President Trump wanted the government of Ukraine to do — revealed in 3 key documents, but nonetheless distorted and disputed along the way.

We've gathered the key players, events and disclosures of the Trump-Ukraine saga in one place to clear up what's happened so far and examine where we go from here.

Go deeperArrowOct 8, 2019