The House impeachment inquiry focused on President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine has consumed Washington since late September.
Democrats are investigating whether Trump made military aid to Ukraine contingent on Kiev launching an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential 2020 opponent. The president has repeatedly denied any quid pro quo in his interactions with Ukraine.
The following is a timeline of key events that have shaped the impeachment probe, including information drawn from public disclosures and reports, the whistleblower complaint and congressional testimony. This timeline will be updated as the inquiry progresses.
Volodymyr Zelensky is elected president of Ukraine.
Maria Yovanovitch is informed that she has been recalled as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. She later testifies she was told by the No. 2 State Department official that Trump had lost confidence in her and that there had been a “concerted campaign” to remove her.
The New York Times reports that Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is planning to travel to Ukraine in the coming days to push for investigations that could benefit Trump politically. The probes are said to focus on the origins of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and Hunter Biden’s involvement with Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm.
Giuliani says on Fox News that he has canceled his trip to Ukraine because he would be “walking into a group of people that are enemies of the president.”
Trump tells Vice President Pence to cancel a planned trip to Ukraine for Zelensky’s inauguration.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry leads a delegation to Ukraine to attend Zelensky’s inauguration. The delegation includes then-U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Perry, Sondland, Volker and Johnson meet with Trump and urge him to invite Zelensky to the White House. Trump is skeptical, saying Ukraine tried to take him “down.” He cites conversations with Giuliani and tells the delegation to talk with him.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asks William Taylor, a career foreign service officer, to come out of retirement to head the U.S. embassy in Ukraine. Taylor agrees and returns to Ukraine on June 17.
Trump pens a letter to Zelensky congratulating him on his election victory and offers a meeting at the White House.
Sondland tells Taylor over the phone that Zelensky needs to make clear to Trump that he was not standing in the way of “investigations.”
Sondland, Volker, Perry, and Taylor all participate in a conference call with Zelensky. Taylor subsequently raises concerns about regular interagency participants not being on the call.
Volker meets with top Zelensky aide Andriy Yermak for coffee in Washington, D.C., and agrees to connect Giuliani with Yermak.
Then-national security adviser John Bolton, Sondland, Perry, Volker and other U.S. officials meet with Ukrainian officials at the White House. Sondland connects “investigations” with a White House meeting for Zelensky, which bothers Bolton and prompts him to cut short the meeting. Bolton later refers to the meeting as a “drug deal.” National Security Council official Fiona Hill reportedly testifies later that Bolton told her to notify the NSC’s chief lawyer about the meeting. Sondland says in later testimony that neither Bolton nor Hill shared “misgivings” with him about the interactions with the Ukrainian officials.
Taylor meets with Ukrainian officials in Kiev, who tell him they heard from Giuliani that another phone call between Trump and Zelensky was unlikely to happen. They express their disappointment to Taylor.
The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) informs U.S. officials that nearly $400 million in security assistance to Ukraine had been suspended, without providing an explanation.
Volker has breakfast with Giuliani and Lev Parnas, a Giuliani associate who helped him investigate Biden and who is later indicted on campaign finance charges. Volker connects Giuliani and Yermak by text message and suggests they schedule a joint phone call.
Volker, Sondland and Taylor discuss the upcoming phone call between Trump and Zelensky over text message. Volker writes at the time that it is “most imp” for Zelensky “to say that he will help investigation—and address any specific personnel issues—if there are any.”
Taylor has a phone conversation with Ukrainian official Oleksandr Danyliuk, who says Zelesnky did not want to be used as a pawn in a U.S. reelection campaign.
Taylor texts Sondland and says Zelensky is “sensitive about Ukraine being taken seriously, not merely as an instrument in Washington domestic, reelection politics.” Sondland insists they “need to get the conversation started and the relationship built, irrespective of the pretext.”
Giuliani and Yermak speak over the phone. Volker later texts Sondland that Giuliani is now “advocating” for a phone call between Trump and Zelensky.
Volker advises Yermak over text message that he heard from the White House “assuming President Z convinces [T]rump he will investigate/’get to the bottom of what happened’ in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington.”
Trump has a phone call with Zelensky. According to a rough transcript later released by the White House, Trump asks Zelensky to “look into” Biden and his son, Hunter, over his work in Ukraine. Trump also references a conspiracy theory related to Ukraine’s alleged involvement in the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server and says he will put Zelensky in contact with Attorney General William Barr and Giuliani.
Volker and Sondland meet with Zelensky in Ukraine.
Giuliani travels to Madrid to meet with Yermak. Volker later testifies that both called him afterward and did not mention Biden.
Giuliani calls Volker and Sondland. The two diplomats him to reassure Trump he should invite Zelensky to the White House. Giuliani says he thought Zelensky needed to make a statement about fighting corruption.
Sondland texts Volker that the White House was ready to get dates for a White House meeting, saying “potus really wants the deliverable.” He suggests they ask Yermak “for a draft statement … so that we can see exactly what they plan to cover.”
Volker texts Giuliani asking that they speak by phone “to make sure I advise Z correctly as to what he should be saying.” Giuliani replies saying he will call him.
Trump tells reporters that Zelensky has been invited to the White House and he believes Zelensky will come “very soon,” calling him a “very reasonable guy.”
Yermak asks Volker for dates for a White House visit and says he believes it is “possible to make this declaration that mention all these things” that they discussed on a prior call. He says they will schedule a press briefing that includes outlining “Burisma and election meddling in investigations.” Volker replies that it “sounds great.”
A whistleblower in the U.S. intelligence community files a complaint reporting a matter of “urgent concern” related to the July 25 call with Zelensky. The individual accuses Trump of soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 election by raising Biden on the call.
Volker and Sondland discuss a proposed Ukrainian statement over text message, which states in part: “We intend to initiate and complete a transparent and unbiased investigation of all available facts and episodes, including those involving Burisma and the 2016 U.S. elections.” Sondland says it is “perfect” and asks that they send it to Yermak.
Yermak shares a draft statement with Volker about corruption. It does not mention Burisma or the 2016 election. Giuliani later says he believed the statement should specifically mention “Burisma” and “2016.” Volker later says in testimony there was no mention of Biden.
NSC official Tim Morrison tells Taylor in a phone call that Trump “doesn’t want to provide any assistance at all” to Ukraine.
Intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson notifies Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire of the whistleblower complaint reporting an “urgent concern,” saying an initial review found the whistleblower’s information to be credible. Maguire and the Justice Department disagree that the complaint meets the legal definition of an urgent concern, preventing Atkinson from sharing details with Congress.
Politico reports that the Trump administration has placed a hold on $250 million in military aid to Ukraine.
Taylor writes a cable to Pompeo describing a “folly” in withholding aid to Ukraine and says he would not defend such a policy.
Yermak calls Taylor and expresses concern over the hold on security assistance. He also texts Volker the URL of the Politico article and says he needs to talk with him. Volker responds, “absolutely.”
Trump cancels a planned trip to Warsaw, Poland, due to Hurricane Dorian. He was slated to meet with Zelensky during the trip.
Pence meets Zelensky in Warsaw. Pence does not address reports about the hold on the military aid, but he describes the U.S.-Ukraine relationship as strong and pledges to “continue to stand with the people of Ukraine on your security, on territorial integrity, including Ukraine’s rightful claim in Crimea.”
Taylor texts Sondland and asks, “Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigations?” Sondland asks Taylor to call him.
Taylor hosts Johnson and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) during their visit to Ukraine. They meet with Zelensky and he asks about the withheld security assistance. The senators stress the importance of bipartisan support for Ukraine and said Zelensky should not jeopardize it by getting drawn into U.S. domestic politics.
Morrison tells Taylor about a phone conversation he learned of between Sondland and Trump during which Trump allegedly told Sondland he was not asking for a “quid pro quo” but insisted that Zelensky say publicly he is opening investigations into Biden and 2016 election interference.
Sondland tells Taylor that Trump told him that Zelensky must “clear things up and do it in public” but that it was not a “quid pro quo.” Sondland tells Taylor that he told Yermak and Zelensky that there was no quid pro quo but that they would be at a “stalemate” if Zelensky didn’t “clear things up” publicly. Sondland says Zelensky agreed to make a public statement in a CNN interview. Sondland also likens Trump to a businessman who is a about to sign a check to someone who owes him something.
Taylor texts Volker and Sondland: “The nightmare is they give the interview and don’t get the security assistance. The Russians love it. (And I quit.)”
Taylor texts Sondland, “As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.” Sondland replies hours later, “I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind.” Sondland later testifies that he called Trump before responding and that Trump told him there “is no quid pro quo.”
The Trump administration delivers security assistance to Ukraine.
Oleksandr Danyliuk, then the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, tells Taylor that Zelensky does not plan to make a public statement on “investigations.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) subpoenas the acting intelligence chief for the whistleblower complaint, accusing the department of withholding it violation of the law.
The Washington Post reports that Trump’s communications with a foreign leader triggered the whistleblower complaint.
Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general, testifies privately before the House and refuses to answer questions about the complaint.
The Washington Post reports that the whistleblower complaint involves Ukraine.
Giuliani denies and then admits asking Ukraine to investigate Biden in a CNN interview.
Trump calls the whistleblower complaint a “ridiculous story” and alleges the is a “partisan,” while acknowledging he does not know the individual.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Trump repeatedly pressured Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden and urged him about eight times to work with Giuliani on an investigation.
Trump appears to acknowledge raising Biden on the July 25 call with Zelensky. He insists to reporters that the call was “perfect” and that there was “no quid quo pro,” something he repeats regularly in the weeks following.
Trump admits that he directed the suspension of aid to Ukraine, but said he did so out of concern European nations were not contributing enough.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announces a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump, accusing him of betraying his oath of office.
The White House releases a rough transcript of the July 25 call with Zelensky.
Trump meets with Zelensky on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Asked about the phone call, Zelensky tells reporters “nobody pushed” him and says he doesn’t “want to be involved” in U.S. elections.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) says it received a referral from the intelligence community inspector general that the Zelensky call could constitute a violation of campaign finance law, but that the DOJ criminal division reviewed the record of the call and found no such violation.
The whistleblower complaint is released publicly and Maguire testifies before Congress. Schiff opens his remarks by embellishing Trump’s call with Zelensky, earning him repeated attacks from the president in the following weeks.
House committees subpoena the State Department for documents and notify Pompeo that depositions have been scheduled with Yovanovitch, Volker, Sondland, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent and State Department counselor Ulrich Brechbuhl.
Pompeo says the committees’ request for testimony from the State Department officials raises “significant” legal and procedural concerns and that the deposition dates are not feasible. He also accuses Democrats of trying to intimidate State Department officials.
The New York Times reports that the whistleblower contacted Schiff’s office for guidance before filing the complaint, giving Democrats early warning of the accusations. Trump seizes on the report, suggesting Schiff helped draft the complaint. The whistleblower’s attorneys say Schiff had no involvement in the preparation of the complaint.
Trump urges China to investigate the Bidens.
Volker testifies in connection with the impeachment inquiry. He says he was never aware of nor took part in an effort to urge Ukraine to investigate Biden. Three House committees later release text messages provided by Volker.
Atkinson testifies privately before the House about the whistleblower complaint.
House committees subpoena the White House for documents.
House committees subpoena the Pentagon and OMB for documents.
The White House tells House Democrats it will not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, arguing the probe lacks due process and is “illegitimate.” The White House also accuses House Democrats of an effort to “overturn the results of the 2016 election.”
Pence denies Trump’s efforts to have Ukraine pursue investigations were tied in any way to decisions on releasing security aid to Ukraine, and says the conversations were focused on “corruption.” Pence denies discussing Biden with Ukraine.
House committees subpoena Giuliani and Perry for documents.
Yovanovitch testifies in connection with the impeachment inquiry under subpoena.
Hill testifies in connection with the House impeachment inquiry under subpoena.
Hunter Biden, in an interview with ABC News, denies wrongdoing in his relationship with Burisma but says he regrets exposing his father to political attacks.
Giuliani, Pence, OMB and the Pentagon all decline to provide documents pursuant to House subpoenas.
Kent testifies in connection with the House impeachment inquiry under subpoena.
Michael McKinley, a former Pompeo aide, testifies in connection with the House impeachment inquiry.
Mulvaney says at a televised White House press conference that the U.S. military aid had been held up in part because Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate the DNC server. Mulvaney walks back his remarks later that day, insisting there was no quid pro quo and accusing the media of misinterpreting his remarks.
Sondland testifies in connection with the House impeachment inquiry under subpoena, after evading a voluntary appearance on instructions from the Trump administration. He says he does not remember any discussions with the White House about withholding the military aid in return for help with Trump’s reelection campaign.
Perry says he will not comply with the subpoena, describing the impeachment inquiry as invalid. His response comes a day after he announced his resignation, effective “later this year.”
Taylor testifies in connection with the House impeachment inquiry, describing a quid pro quo related to the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia Laura Cooper testifies in connection with the House impeachment inquiry. Her appearance is delayed for several hours as House Republicans protest the practice of closed-door hearings in the impeachment probe.
House Democrats subpoena two OMB officials — Russell Vought and Michael Duffey — and Brechbuhl to compel them to appear for depositions in November.