U.S. House impeachment hearings: How we got here
Key events leading up to Wednesday's impeachment hearings
At 8:00 a.m. Mountain Time on Wednesday, November 13, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence began impeachment hearings regarding allegations that President Donald Trump asked a foreign power to investigate a political rival and exerted pressure on that foreign power to comply.
Both South Dakota Representative Dusty Johnson and Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney voted against authorizing the impeachment inquiry that the Intelligence Committee hearings are part of.
Here are the key events that led up to the Wednesday hearing:
Monday, Aug. 12 – An as-yet unidentified whistleblower files a complaint with intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson regarding a phone conversation between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Monday, Sept. 9 – Inspector General Atkinson notifies House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of an “urgent concern.” Three House committees launch investigations into the whistleblower’s allegations that President Trump and others asked for Ukrainian government assistance to investigate business dealings by Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter in Ukraine.
Tuesday, Sept. 24 – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorses the impeachment hearings.
Wednesday Sept. 25 – The White House releases a transcript of the July 25 call between President Trump and President Zelenskiy.
Thursday, Sept. 26 – The whistleblower complaint is made public.
Thoughout October – House Democrats on the three committees conducting impeachment investigations hear testimony from current and former Trump administration personnel, as well as civil servants. The White House and House Republicans claim the secretive testimony denies President Trump due process.
Thursday, Oct. 31 – The full House of Representatives votes on an almost straight party-line vote to proceed with a formal impeachment inquiry. Both South Dakota Representative Dusty Johnson and Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney vote against the measure.
Based in part on the testimony presented at the upcoming hearings, the House of Representatives may choose to – or choose not to – impeach, or formally charge, the President with treason, bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanors – the three standards set forth in the U.S. Constitution for the removal of a President from office.
If impeached, the President’s case would be heard and voted upon by the U.S. Senate. Only if convicted by the Senate can a president be removed from office.