Updated on Nov. 14 at 10:24 p.m. ET
The Democratic-led House of Representatives is pursuing an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Here is the key information you need in order to understand an increasingly complicated affair.
First, some background: While momentum toward impeachment had been building among Democrats for months, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced an inquiry in September — after a whistleblower complaint about a White House phone call with Ukraine. The House formalized the inquiry and outlined their path forward with a vote on Oct. 28. The first open hearing in the inquiry is scheduled for Nov. 13.
In a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Trump asked for an investigation into a debunked conspiracy theory about the 2016 election and into potential 2020 rival and former Vice President Joe Biden. The White House is also accused of withholding military aid to Ukraine for Trump's personal political gain. Trump maintains that he has done nothing wrong.
Timeline: The Ukraine Affair
Who And What: Key People And Concepts
Since the original whistleblower complaint was released, the list of names of those connected to Trump's call with Zelenskiy or to broader Ukraine policy has grown substantially.
From the president to career diplomats to private lawyers, here is a quick guide to people connected to the events being investigated.
In-depth profiles and features:
- John Bolton: Democrats now have an unlikely ally
- Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman: A complicated web connects two Soviet-born businessmen with the inquiry
- Rick Perry: How the energy secretary became a key figure
- Adam Schiff: The surprising face of the impeachment inquiry
- Gordon Sondland: The ambassador whose texts put him at the center of the Ukraine scandal
- Kurt Volker: Ex-U.S. special envoy to Ukraine caught in whirlwind of impeachment inquiry
- Marie Yovanovitch: How the former ambassador became a target in Ukraine
- Volodymyr Zelenskiy: How Ukraine's president wound up in the middle
- Quid pro quo: From simple exchange to shakedown, here's how the phrase evolved
- Trump and the CIA: How the relationship between Trump and his spy chiefs soured
Documents: Primary Sources
Written words are central to the Ukraine affair. The significance of the whistleblower's original complaint and the White House's record of its call with Ukraine are debated, but the text is public. Here are the documents to refer to as the inquiry proceeds:
Texts and memos
- Call: The White House memo of Trump's July call with Zelenskiy (Sept. 25)
- Aid: The Pentagon letter on military aid to Ukraine (Sept. 25)
- Complaint: The whistleblower complaint (Sept. 26)
- Texts: Batch of texts between diplomats released by House Democrats (Oct. 4)
- Letter: A fact check of the White House legal argument (Oct. 9)
- The Other Call: The log of Trump's April call with Zelenskiy (Nov. 15)
Corroborating The Whistleblower Complaint
The whistleblower's complaint has largely been corroborated by witness testimony, public statements and media reports. Read an annotation of the document.
- Christopher Anderson, former special adviser for Ukraine negotiations
- Laura Cooper, deputy defense secretary
- Catherine Croft, former Ukraine adviser on the National Security Council
- Fiona Hill, former White House adviser on Russia
- George Kent, deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs
- Michael McKinley, former State Department adviser
- Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to EU
- William Taylor, acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine
- Alexander Vindman, top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council
- Kurt Volker, former Ukraine envoy
- Marie Yovanovitch, ex-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine
Nov. 13: William Taylor, George Kent
Taylor Says Trump Asked About Ukraine 'Investigations'
Nov. 15: Marie Yovanovitch
Yovanovitch Says Trump Comments In July Call Felt Like A 'Threat'
Nov. 19: Jennifer Williams, Alexander Vindman, Kurt Volker, Tim Morrison
Nov. 20: Gordon Sondland, Laura Cooper, David Hale
Nov. 21: Fiona Hill