After months of investigations and public hearings, the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry into President Donald J. Trump has entered its next phase. Starting at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT, the House Rules Committee will debate how to proceed with a vote on the two articles of impeachment against Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. If the articles are passed, the Senate will then hold a trial to either convict or acquit Trump on those charges.
If the House of Representatives votes to impeach Trump, he will be the third president — after Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, as Richard Nixon resigned from office before he was formally impeached — in United States history to face potential removal from office.
How We Got Here: The Impeachment Story
Investigators for the House of Representatives looked into whether Trump abused his public office for private gain, specifically in his dealings with Ukraine. From attempting to pressure the Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden (and his son Hunter) for corruption and asking Zelensky to investigate the conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine than interfered in the 2016 election — on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s campaign — to White House officials concealing records of phone correspondence on July 25 between Trump and Zelensky, a number of government officials already testified about these impeachable offenses to Congress behind closed doors.
These witnesses have testified that Trump and his allies — including his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, United States Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, the United States’ former Special Representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker, and outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry — leveraged military aid to Ukraine under the condition that Zelensky publicly announce the investigations Trump wanted.
The Testimony So Far
After over a month of investigation led by the Democrats, there were over a dozen closed-door depositions. 17 of the transcripts from those depositions have been released, with testimony from:
- Fiona Hill (former White House aide)
- George Kent (Deputy Assistant Secretary of State)
- Michael McKinley (former Senior Adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo)
- Gordon Sondland (United States Ambassador to the EU)
- Bill Taylor (former Ambassador and the top United States diplomat in Ukraine)
- Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman (National Security Council’s top Ukraine expert)
- Kurt Volker (former United States Special Representative to Ukraine)
- Marie Yovanovitch (former United States Ambassador to Ukraine)
- Christopher Anderson (former Special Adviser for Ukraine at the State Department)
- Laura Cooper (Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia)
- Catherine Croft (Special Adviser for Ukraine at the State Department)
- Jennifer Williams (Senior Adviser to Vice President Mike Pence)
- Tim Morrison (National Security Council’s top Russia and Europe adviser)
- David Hale (United States Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs)
- David Homes (aide to Bill Taylor)
- Philip Reeker (Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs)
- Mark Sandy (White House Office of Management and Budget official)
As for the public hearings, the first week saw George Kent, Bill Taylor, and Marie Yovanovitch testify. The second week of public hearings saw Jennifer Williams, Alexander Vindman, Kurt Volker, Tim Morrison, Gordon Sondland, Laura Cooper, David Hale, Fiona Hill, and David Holmes all give their testimony.
Earlier this month, the Judiciary Committee additionally heard from expert witnesses on the matter. As laid out by CNN at the time:
“The Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the ‘constitutional grounds for Presidential impeachment,’ with a panel of expert witnesses testifying. Neither President Donald Trump nor his attorneys will participate in Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing, they said late Sunday. White House counsel to the President Pat Cipollone said they would respond separately to the Friday deadline about their participation in future hearings.”
The “panel of expert witnesses” included four legal scholars (three selected by Democrats, one selected by Republicans):
- Noah Feldman (Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law and Director, Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law – Harvard Law School)
- Pamela S. Karlan (Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law and Co-Director, Supreme Court Litigation Clinic – Stanford Law School)
- Michael Gerhardt (Burton Craige Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence -The University of North Carolina School of Law)
- Jonathan Turley (J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law – The George Washington University Law School)
Where and How to Watch
Today’s House Rules Committee hearing will be broadcast live on C-SPAN, as well as all the major cable news networks. They will also be livestreamed on the PBS NewsHour website and the C-SPAN website.