It all started with a phone call between President Donald Trump and the newly elected president of Ukraine, Volodomyr Zekenskiy in July. That call, Democrats allege, shows the U.S. president engaging in quid pro quo with his Ukrainian counterpart — holding up planned military aid the Eastern European country was already expecting in exchange for an investigation into the Democrats, Presidential candidate Joe Biden and his lobbyist son Hunter. An anonymous whistleblower complaint filed in August further emboldened Democrats, providing the spark that ultimately set off the House impeachment probe.
Republicans, meanwhile, largely maintain that the call was an ordinary one with none of the ethical violations seen by Democrats. They also say Democrats are shirking due process with closed door hearings.
Now entering its sixth week, The House impeachment investigation into President Trump is set to continue into a new phase featuring open hearings and the chance for Trump to call his own witnesses.
Here’s a recap of what happened last week:
MONDAY Oct. 28 — Former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman did not testify in a closed-door hearing as scheduled, defying a subpoena; a vote was set for later in the week on a resolution establishing the format for the rest of the impeachment inquiry; White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said actions taken by House investigators prior to the vote would be illegitimate.
TUESDAY, Oct. 29 — In prepared remarks obtained by the media, Army Lieutenant Colonel and Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council Alexander Vindman told House committees that he raised concerns about the president’s attempts to get Ukrainian officials to investigate the Democrats and presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter; Democrats introduced a resolution outlining the next phase of the impeachment inquiry, including a call for open hearings and a final vote on impeachment to be conducted by the House Judiciary Committee; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the move a response to pressure from Republicans “to try to handle this in a more transparent way that meets basic standards of due process that every American would be entitled to.”
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 30 — Former National Security Adviser John Bolton was asked to appear behind closed doors in a week by three House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry, but his lawyer said he would not testify without a subpoena; a top Trump administration adviser on Russian and European affairs who listened in on the president’s call with Ukraine, Tim Morrison, resigned a day before he was set to testify before House committees on Thursday.
THURSDAY, Oct. 31 — In a vote mostly along party lines, a resolution was passed 232 to 196 in the House outlining the next steps for the impeachment inquiry, including establishing rules that Democrats can prevent the president’s lawyers from calling witnesses; Republican minority whip Steve Scalise said the “Soviet-style” rules violate due process; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there was no cause for “any glee or comfort” in the impeachment inquiry; White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said at the White House that the president did nothing wrong; an attorney for former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman asked a federal judge in Washington to resolve whether Kupperman can be forced to testify in the face of White House officials telling him not to.
FRIDAY, Nov. 1 — An AP-NORC poll found more Americans approve than disapprove of the impeachment investigation into the president’s actions; House committees asked Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who said he will resign by the end of the year, to testify behind closed doors Wednesday; in response, an Energy Department spokesperson said Perry would only be willing to do an open hearing with Energy Department lawyers also present; Trump said “Democrats, the media and the deep state are desperate to stop us” at a rally in Tupelo, Mississippi.
SATURDAY, Nov. 2 — Nothing of note.
SUNDAY, Nov. 3 — Trump told reporters at the White House that “the whistleblower should be revealed”; a lawyer for the whistleblower said his client is willing to answer written questions under oath, but would not reveal his identity.