Impeachment: What You Need to Know

A Timeline of Events Regarding the Impeachment Inquiry of President Trump

Keegan Kerr and Alex Badger

Our country is in the midst of a historic impeachment process, and new reports are coming out daily. If you are having trouble keeping up with the latest news, we don’t blame you. Below is a quick timeline to get you up-to-date in no time:


But first, here are some of the major players in the impeachment investigation:


Mick Mulvaney: Chief of Staff

Mike Pompeo: Secretary of State

Kurt Volker: Former representative to Ukraine

Gordon Sondland: Ambassador to the EU

Bill Taylor: Ambassador to Ukraine

George Kent: State Department official

Volodymyr Zelensky: President of Ukraine


July 25th: In a phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky of Ukraine, Trump suggests Zelensky should investigate political opponent and possible 2020 Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden. (In 2014, Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, took a job with the Ukrainian gas company “Burisma” while Joe Biden was Vice President.) 


August 12th: A whistleblower complaint is filed to the Inspector General. “In the course of my official duties,” read the complaint, “I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.” The complaint alleges that the Trump administration was withholding military aid until Zelensky announced an investigation into Burisma. 


August 28th: An article published in Politico claimed that the United States was withholding over $250 million in military aid to Ukraine. This was the first such media report on the issue. 


September 9: The Inspector General notifies the House Intelligence Committee of the whistleblower complaint. That same day, a group of House committees request documents from the State Department related to Ukranian affairs. 


September 24: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announces a formal impeachment inquiry into the Trump administration’s actions regarding Ukranian policy. It marks the third time in U.S. history that the House of Representatives has opened an impeachment inquiry into a President. 


September 25: The White House releases a rough transcript of the July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky. In the transcript, Trump asks Zelensky to “do us a favor” by opening investigations. However, no explicit quid pro quo was conveyed by Trump. (The rough transcript is not a verbatim recount of the conversation, but rather a collection of recollections and notes taken by others on the call.)


September 27: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is subpoenaed by three House committees. Also that day, special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker resigns, reportedly so he could be more free to testify before Congress. 


September 30: Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is subpoenaed by the House Intelligence Committee. Giuliani reportedly had close contact with top Ukrainian officials and helped coordinate U.S. policy towards Ukraine. 


October 4: The White House is subpoenaed for documents relating to Ukraine. 


October 8: The White House informs the House of Representatives in a letter that it will not comply with the impeachment inquiry. They claim that the impeachment inquiry is illegitimate and unconstitutional since the House had not voted on a resolution before opening it. 


October 17: In a press conference, Mulvaney tells reporters there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine over military assistance being withheld until investigations were announced. He later tries to walk back these remarks. 


October 11 – October 31: A number of closed-door testimonies are given by former and current State Department and White House officials. Marie Yavonovitch, Fiona Hill, George Kent, Bill Taylor, Kurt Volker, and Gordon Sondland are some of the biggest names to testify. 


October 31: House passes a formal impeachment resolution in a 231-196 vote largely along party lines. This is not Articles of Impeachment; rather just a formality to further legitimize the already ongoing inquiry. 


November 5: Gordon Sondland revises his testimony in a letter to House committees, saying he now remembers telling a Ukrainian official that military aid was contingent on announcing investigations into the Biden’s and 2016 U.S. election interference. 


November 13:  First public impeachment hearings begin with testimonies from Bill Taylor and George Kent. 


November 20: Gordon Sondland confirms a quid pro quo, saying: “I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a ‘quid pro quo?’ As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes.” He also implicates President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, saying “Everyone was in the loop.”


Note: The unfolding events in Washington D.C. to the average high schooler may seem unimportant and far away, but they impact all of our lives. If you are an upperclassman, you will likely be able to vote for the 2020 election, so it’s important that you stay educated on all the issues.