By Editor-In-Chief Gabriella Barthe
Over the last three weeks an impeachment inquiry has been underway focusing on President Trump’s actions toward the Ukraine and seeking foreign involvement in the upcoming presidential election. A lot has unfolded in that time frame, and for those who haven’t paid attention as information has surfaced it is easy to fall behind. The following is an outline of the highlights in the Trump Impeachment Investigation.
On September 24, 2019 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment investigation into the President of the United States, Donald Trump. The investigation announcement followed claims of corruption and the withholding of aid funds to Ukraine.
In the time since this formal announcement was released, the White House has released a whistleblower complaint, and Trump has publicly accused Chairman Adam Schiff of orchestrating the whole ordeal.
On October 3, Trump remarked publicly on the whole situation urging China to investigate the Bidens adding fuel to the fire. On the South Lawn, Trump told reporters, “China should start an investigation into the Bidens, because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine.”
In just one short day Volker gave text messages from U.S. diplomats to Congress pointing to attempted persuasion of Zelenskiy to investigate the Bidens in exchange for official invitation to the White House as part of the official impeachment inquiry while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo failed to produce his own documents relating to the Ukraine. The House issued the deadline in the subpoena on September 27.
By that afternoon, the White House was issued a subpoena by House Democrats for Ukraine documents due to Trump administration officials’ refusal to turn over requested materials. A few days later Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought received subpoenas for documents surrounding these communications with Ukraine.
Despite this process, the White House refused to comply with the impeachment inquiry and argued that the House Democrats have been conducting an invalid and unconstitutional investigation. As a response, House Democrats issued more subpoenas to individuals involved with the dealings with Ukraine.
Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, Giuliani associate businessmen who worked in the effort to encourage the investigation into the Bidens by Ukraine, were arrested on October 10. Both were found by FBI officials with one way tickets to leave the United States at Dulles airport in Virginia.
Fruman and Parnas, along with David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin are facing an indictment including charges of conspiracy, falsification or records, and false statements made to the Federal Election Commission.
Following this blow, Trump’s administration lost the federal court appeal related to his accounting firm documents and United States ambassador to the E.U. agreed to a closed-door interview in direct opposition to the wishes of the State Department.
After testifying to the House, it was revealed that U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was ousted in May and that Ukraine’s chief former prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko was identified as the official who directed the plot to oust Yovanovitch.
Since then, Hunter Biden has stepped down from the Chinese-backed firm BHR and announced publicly that should his father be elected president he would abstain from any business with foreign-owned companies.
Giuliani has since refused to turn over any information requested of the impeachment inquiry due to views of it being “baseless and illegitimate,” while the White House has made formal attempts to limit what Trump’s former Russia analyst, Fiona Hill could testify to Congress.
Due to concerns over the White House’s involvement in pressuring the impeachment inquiry, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced this week that they will be postponing a vote. The arraignment of Les Parnas and Igor Fruman has been postponed until October 23, 2019.
More information is still to come regarding the investigation, and there is sure to be a lot of people watching as it all unfolds.