Resources Relating the Impeachment Inquiry

Last updated 10.8.19 (Jump to new additions)

Who are the main people involved in this story

Donald Trump

President of the United States and whose call to the Ukrainian President on July 25, 2019 initiated the whistle blower complaint and the current impeachment inquiry

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

President of Ukraine elected in April 2019. Ukraine was invaded by Russia in 2014. Russia has occupied or annexed parts of Ukrainian territory. The US has provided Ukraine with support to resist this invasion.

William Barr

Attorney General of the United States under Donald Trump. The Attorney General is the Chief law enforcement officer of the US. He is not the President's private attorney.

Rudolph Giuliani

Former mayor of New York City and currently the personal lawyer of Donal Trump. Giuliani has no official position within the US government.

Mike Pompeo

The Secretary of State for the United States under Donald Trump

Joe Biden

Former Vice-President of the United States under President Obama. Biden served as the administration's point man on Ukraine after the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Hunter Biden

Joe Biden's son. Hunter Biden took a seat on the board of directors of the Ukranian natural gas firm Burisma in April, 2014

Victor Shokin

The former prosecutor general of Ukraine

Kurt Volker

The Former US Special Envoy to Ukraine who served during the events of summer 2019. A carreer diplomat.*

Gordon Sondland

Current US ambassador to the European Union. A political appointee*

Bill Taylor

Current US US chargé d'affaires to Ukraine. A carreer deplomat.*

*The distinction between carreer officials and political appointees is made to distinguish between people who are career civil servants, and thus serve during the administrations of many different presidents, and political appointees, who are chosen to serve during the term of a specific president. Political appointees generally only serve in the administration in which they are appointed. This distinction is made across all departments in the federal bureaucracy. For example, scientists working for the Department of the Interior studying fire management are career officials, whereas the Secretary of the Interior is a political appointee.

Primary source documents

The US Constitution.

The Constitution establishes the legal basis for impeachment and removal. Relevant sections highlighted. The relevant passages are contained in Article I Section 2, Article I Section 3, Article II Section 4 and Article 3 Section 2.

The Intelligence Community’s Inspector General’s letter to Joseph Maguire (acting Director of National Intelligence) August 26, 2019. From the Politifact website.

This outlines the whistle blower’s complaint and the reasons the IG considered the issue and “urgent concern.”

The whistle blower’s complaint

Remarks by President Trump Upon Air Force One Arrival - Prince George’s County, MD, September 26, 2019

A White House press release of the transcript of remarks made by the President during the week the whistelblower's complaint was released.

Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between the Presidents of the United States and Ukraine, July 25, 2019

This is the phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelenskyy that is at the center of the whistle blower complaint.

Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community’s Statement on Processing of Whistle blower Complaints, September 30, 2019

The ICIG made this press release on September 30, 2019 to counter false claims made about the whistle blower and the whistle blower law.

Text messages between US and Ukainian officials released by the Democratic leadership of the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committees, October 4, 2019, reproduce in and annotated by the New York Times. (added 10.5.19)

A series of text messages exchanged by Bill Taylor (US chargé d'affaires to Ukraine), Gordon Sondland (US ambassador to the EU) and Kurt Volker (US Special Envoy to Ukraine) relating to issues relating to US Ukrainian relations.

Secondary sources (news stories and analysis)

White House Declares War on Impeachment Inquiry, Alleging Effort to Undo Trump’s Election, by Nicholas Fandos, Peter Baker and Michael S. Schmidt, New York Times, October 8, 2019 (added 10.8.19)

New York times story describing a letter sent to the Democratic leadership in Congress stating that the Trump administration would not comply with the impeachment inquiry, stating that it was "unconstitutional." For what the Constitution says about impeachment, see the highlighted parts of Articles I and II of the US Constitution.

Witness in Trump-Ukraine Matter Ordered Not to Speak in Impeachment Inquiry, Michael S. Schmidt and Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, October 8, 2019 (Added 10.8.19)

A news story on The Trump administrations's refusal to allow a key witness to events surrounding the Trump-Ukraine matter to testify before the Dmocrats House impeachment Inquiry.

Trump Denies Quid Peo Quo for Ukraine, but Envoys Had Their Doubts, Peter Baker, New York Times, October 4, 2019 (added 10.4.19)

An Article in the New York Times by Peter Baker, the Times' Chief White House correspondent. This article describes recently released text messages and the congressional testimony of Kurt Volker, former US special Envoy to Ukraine, that indicate American how career diplomats worried that the Trump administration was conditioning improved relations between the US and Ukraine on Ukraine's willingness to cooperate on matters relating to President Trump's requests made to President Zelenskyy during the July 25 telephone call.

'Atlantic': Prominent Americans Shouldn't Leverage Their Names For Payoffs, NPR, 10.3.19 (added 10.3.19)

An interview with Sarah Chayes critical of Hunter Biden's profiting off of the Biden name by taking a seat on the board of Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company. Chayes indicates that, while this practice is legal and quite common, is is a deeply problematic practice. Chayes is careful to distinguish between her criticism and the debunked accusations that the Joe Biden used his office as the Vice President to protect his son. Chayes is a former fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, a former advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a former reporter for NPR. The book referenced in this piece is titled Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens National Security

Lawfare Podcast on Ukraine (added 10.3.19)

This is an excellent background piece on Ukrainian politics and recent history. Probably one of the most useful resources I have found to put the events surrounding the impeachment inquiry into a Ukrainian context. Alina Polyakova is the Director of the Project on Global Democracy and Emerging Technology at the Brookings Institution.

What Trump and Zelensky said in their July 25 phone call, Jeanine Santucci, USA Today, September 25, 2019

This is a concise article summarizing the basic facts of the Ukraine call situations as of September 25, 2019. This is a good article to start with, but it offers little depth.

How to understand the Whistle blower Complaint, David Kris, Lawfare, September 27, 2019

This is a very long but useful article. It describes a chronology of events that led to the current situation an analysis of the facts of the situation and a road map of what likely will happen in the future (in terms of the impeachment process). The author is an attorney who served in the Department of Justice under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Time line: Trump, Giuliani, Biden and Ukraingate (updated), Viola Gienger and Ryan Goodman, Just Security, September 24, 2019.

This is a story provides a comprehensive time line of events relating to the current situation including the actions of Hunter and Joe Biden, President Trump and Rudolph Giuliani. Gienger is a journalist and an expert on east European affairs. Goodman is the Editor in Chief of Just Security and is a professor of Law at New York University.

Trump and Giuliani’s Quest for Fake Ukraine “Dirt” on Biden: an Explainer, Viola Gienger, Just Security, September 10, 2019

This story explores the merits of the allegations made by the President against Joe Biden and his son Hunter.