Dec 18, 2019

The road to Trump's impeachment

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.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Ukraine aid frozen soon after Trump's call with Zelensky, emails show

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

The Office of Management and Budget is pushing back on suggestions that an email requesting the Pentagon withhold military aid to Ukraine 91 minutes after President Trump's phone call with Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky was anything other than procedural.

Why it matters: Allegations that Trump froze nearly $400 million of congressionally approved military aid in order to pressure Ukraine to investigate a potential 2020 rival are central to the impeachment case against the president. But an OMB spokeswoman said, "It’s reckless to tie the hold of funds to the phone call. As has been established and publicly reported, the hold was announced in an interagency meeting on July 18." 

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 23, 2019

Poll: Majority of Americans believe top Trump aides should testify

President Trump during a meeting in the Cabinet Room on Dec. 16. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Washington Post and ABC released a poll Tuesday that found 49% of those surveyed said President Trump should be impeached and removed from office, and 71% think he should allow senior administration officials to testify in a likely Senate impeachment trial.

Why it matters: The poll shows that Americans — on the eve of the full House vote on impeachment articles — remain strongly divided on impeachment after weeks of public testimony and committee hearings.

Go deeperArrowDec 17, 2019

Trump impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Donald Trump is now the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.

The big picture: The legislative ending seems clear — he's headed for acquittal in the Senate as early as next month and won't be removed from office. But this seals his place in history.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 19, 2019