Dec 5, 2019

Trump: When I asked Ukraine to "do us a favor," I meant the U.S.

President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a Sept. 25 meeting in New York. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

As House Democrats step up their impeachment inquiries, President Trump sought to clarify via Twitter Wednesday night the context of his infamous July 25 phone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart, President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Flashback: A memo of Trump's call with Zelensky shows the Ukrainian president brought up the possibility of buying more U.S. Javelin missiles for Ukraine's war against Russia, before Trump says: "I would like you to do us a favor though."

  • Trump then asked Zelensky to look into Ukraine's alleged involvement in the 2016 election, and to work with his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

Why it matters: The term "us" and what Trump meant by it is a central point in the impeachment inquiry.

  • While Trump insisted Wednesday he meant the U.S., House Democrats say in their draft report released Tuesday that he abused the power of his office to press Ukraine to investigate a potential 2020 rival to the benefit of his re-election campaign.
  • The Democrats concluded "that he obstructed Congress' authority by ordering witnesses to defy subpoenas in the impeachment inquiry," Axios' Alayna Treene notes.

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House Democrats unveil articles of impeachment against Trump

Nancy Pelosi and top House Democratic committee chairs, Dec. 10. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

What's next: The House Judiciary Committee will mark up the articles on Wednesday and will formally vote on them by the end of this week, setting up a full House vote on impeachment next week before Congress breaks for Christmas recess.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 10, 2019

Democratic impeachment report claims Trump abused his power

Photo: Samuel Corum-Pool/Getty Images

House Democrats conclude in a draft report released Tuesday that President Trump abused the power of his office to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations beneficial to his re-election campaign — and that he obstructed Congress' authority by ordering witnesses to defy subpoenas in the impeachment inquiry.

Why it matters: The report will serve as an outline for some, if not all, of the articles of impeachment that the House could vote on as early as mid-December.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 3, 2019

Read Adam Schiff's opening statement in the Vindman-Williams impeachment hearing

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) set the stage with his opening statement in the House impeachment inquiry's public hearing featuring Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council's top Ukraine expert, and Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Pence.

The big picture: Schiff focused on Vindman's and Williams' firsthand knowledge of many of the events at the heart of the impeachment inquiry — specifically the fact that they both listened in on the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019