impeachment continues
January 15, 2020

Impeachment may be heading to the Senate, but the House's job isn't done yet.

The House is slated to vote to send two articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate on Wednesday, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) naming seven impeachment managers who are slated to take them there. But one of those managers, House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), rightly pointed out that the House will continue to investigate Trump even after the articles have left the chamber.

In his House floor speech in support of the articles, Nadler noted that Trump has "refused to allow a single document to be turned over to the House in response to our impeachment subpoenas" and "prevented us from hearing from key witnesses." These preclude the Senate from holding "a fair trial," Nadler said. Nadler said he does expect more witnesses to testify for the Senate, and added that the impeachment managers maintain "broad authority to submit to the Senate any additional evidence the House may acquire on its own" once the trial has begun.

The House is expected to pass the measure allowing the articles to be sent to the Senate, and the impeachment trial is scheduled to start there on Tuesday. Kathryn Krawczyk

January 2, 2020

Unredacted documents obtained by Just Security appear to show the Pentagon was concerned by President Trump's decision to withhold military aid to Ukraine.

Defense Department officials worried the move, at the center of Trump's impeachment, would violate requirements that money be spent as allocated by Congress. Trump is accused of leveraging the aid to pressure Ukraine into investigating Democrats for his political benefit.

Michael Duffey, associate director of national security programs at the Office of Management and Budget, told Pentagon officials there was "clear direction from POTUS to continue to hold" the aid when asked in August, though no rationale was explained. Later, when the hold was lifted and Duffey was asked why, he said it was "not exactly clear but president made the decision to go."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the revelations that Trump was apparently directly involved in withholding the aid "further expose the serious concerns raised by Trump administration officials about the propriety and legality of the president's decision to cut off aid to Ukraine to benefit himself." Schumer called for further testimony in a Senate impeachment trial, The Washington Post reports.

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), meanwhile, called the documents "incriminating" and said they "corroborate" testimony from the House impeachment inquiry.

November 15, 2019

President Trump has released a new Ukraine transcript, but some things don't add up.

While the White House in April said Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky discussed fighting corruption in their first phone call after Zelensky's election, a memo of the call released Friday didn't mention corruption once. White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley still defended the second release in a later statement, and then blamed any discrepancies on Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who is testifying publicly next week in the impeachment probe.

In the April readout, the White House said Trump "expressed his commitment" to work with then just-elected Zelensky to "strengthen democracy, increase prosperity, and root out corruption." And after receiving criticism for the mismatch, Gidley pushed its authorship onto Vindman, saying it was "prepared by the National Security Council's Ukraine expert." In this case, that would be Vindman.

Vindman already gave a closed-door deposition to House impeachment investigators last month, and reportedly said the other rough transcript of the July Trump-Zelensky call left out critical words and phrases regarding the Bidens. Kathryn Krawczyk

October 31, 2019

Diplomat William Taylor's testimony had lawmakers on both sides of the aisle concerned.

Now, it's likely that concern over President Trump's dealings with Ukraine will only grow. That's because Taylor only testified that he'd heard of a suggested quid pro quo between Trump and Ukraine, and Timothy Morrison confirmed Thursday he'd also heard about it.

Morrison worked as an aide to the National Security Council until his abrupt Tuesday resignation, and he testified for the House's impeachment inquiry Thursday. He was on the call between Trump and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky and after it ended, "promptly asked the NSC legal adviser and his deputy to review it," per his opening statement. Morrison said his concerns about the Ukraine call revolved around a possible leak and how that would affect Congress and Ukrainian relations. "I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed," he said.

Morrison also corroborated how Taylor remembered a briefing the aide gave to him regarding EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, saying "the substance of the statement, as it relates to conversations he and I had, is accurate." Taylor testified that he'd spoken with Sondland, who "told me that President Trump had told him that he wants President Zelensky to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election." "'Everything' was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance,'" Taylor later said Sondland told him. Kathryn Krawczyk

October 7, 2019

The House's impeachment inquiry just went through another growth spurt.

The House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight committees sent letters to the Pentagon and the Office of Management and Budget on Monday, subpoenaing them for documents related to Trump's dealings with Ukraine. The requests open up another front in House Democrats' impeachment investigation of Trump, following the committees' subpoenas of Rudy Giuliani, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and the White House itself.

Specifically, the committees are seeking documents, notes, and conversations regarding Trump's July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and any dealings with Ukrainian officials from Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the letter says. From Acting OMB Director Russell Vought, the committees have requested any documents from this year related to freezing security aid for Ukraine and conversations regarding the decision to do so. Both requests have an Oct. 15 deadline.

Trump's phone call with Zelensky shows that he pushed the Ukrainian leader to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, perhaps for political purposes. Trump has claimed there was no promise of a "quid pro quo" for the Biden dirt, but a whistleblower alleged and officials confirmed aid for Ukraine was withheld around that same time for unexplained reasons. Kathryn Krawczyk

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