Here’s what to watch for in the impeachment inquiry

President Trump in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Oct. 9.
President Trump at the White House.
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)
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Three House committees have issued subpoenas, scheduled depositions and set deadlines for documents as investigators seek information on whether President Trump improperly pressured Ukraine to investigate a political rival in exchange for U.S. military aid.

Although the impeachment inquiry began less than a month ago, it has uncovered considerable evidence. Here are some highlights:

  • Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community’s inspector general, testified at a closed-door meeting of the House Intelligence Committee in September. He testified before the committee again on Oct. 4.
  • Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, was subpoenaed to appear before the House Intelligence Committee. He testified publicly on Sept. 26.
  • Kurt Volker, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO, resigned, met with investigators and turned over text messages and documents.
  • Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo was subpoenaed to deliver documents by Oct. 4 but he missed the deadline. He told reporters that the State Department intends to follow the law in the probe. He also objected to House Democrats’ requests for depositions from current and former State officials.
  • The White House said it would refuse to participate in the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, calling it illegitimate and “unconstitutional.”
  • Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, testified for more than eight hours at a closed-door session with lawmakers on Friday. Yovanovitch had defied White House efforts to block her testimony and told investigators that Trump was behind the decision to abruptly recall her from Kyiv in May based on “unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.”
  • Semyon “Sam” Kislin was summoned by investigators to produce documents and voluntarily appear for a deposition on Monday because of his ties to Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer. The businessman, his attorney reportedly told CNN, was “being cooperative” and has “reached an understanding” to avoid a closed-door deposition for now.
  • Fiona Hill, a former White House advisor on Russia, testified behind closed doors on Monday for more than 10 hours. She told lawmakers that former national security advisor John Bolton had described Giuliani as a “hand grenade who is going to blow everybody up” in regard to his activity in Ukraine, according to a person familiar with the testimony. She also reportedly said that she had strongly objected to the removal of Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine.

Here’s a look at what’s ahead. This list will be updated.

For more context, please review our timeline of the inquiry as well as our guide of people and terms to know.

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Tuesday, Oct. 15

Deposition: George Kent, deputy assistant secretary of State

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The official who serves in the State Department’s European and Eurasian Bureau, where he oversees policy in Ukraine among other regions, is expected to be interviewed by investigators.

Subpoena deadline: Rudolph W. Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer

Rudolph W. Giuliani in 2018.
Rudolph W. Giuliani in 2018.
(Charles Krupa / Associated Press)

Giuliani was subpoenaed to provide documents less than a week into the inquiry but he was not ordered to testify. The former mayor of New York City has become a key figure in the inquiry due to his meetings and messages with Ukrainian officials on behalf of Trump.

Documents request deadline: Vice President Mike Pence

Vice President Mike Pence in Waukee, Iowa, on Oct. 9.
Vice President Mike Pence in Waukee, Iowa, on Oct. 9.
(Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

Pence was asked to hand over documents 10 days into House Democrats’ inquiry.

Katie Waldman, a spokeswoman for Pence, dismissed the Democrats’ request as not serious, given its scope, and dubbed it “just another attempt by the Do Nothing Democrats to call attention to their partisan impeachment.”

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Subpoena deadline: Secretary of Defense Mark Esper

Acting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in July.
Then-acting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in July.
(Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

House Democrats issued a subpoena for documents from Esper, who oversees the Pentagon, in an effort to learn more about the White House decision to withhold nearly $400 million in security aid from Ukraine that had been appropriated by Congress. The aid was being blocked when Trump held his famous July 25 call with Ukraine’s president.

Subpoena deadline: Russell Vought, acting White House budget director

Russell Vought, acting White House budget director, speaks during a news briefing March 11.
Russell Vought, acting White House budget director, speaks during a news briefing March 11.
(AFP/Getty Images)

Like Esper, investigators subpoenaed Vought for documents that would shed light on the reasoning behind the White House’s decision to withhold aid from Ukraine.

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Wednesday, Oct. 16

Deposition: Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union

House Democrats ordered Sondland to testify about President Trump’s actions in regard to Ukraine. The deposition is scheduled at 9:30 a.m. The State Department had blocked Sondland from giving a voluntary deposition.

Deposition: Michael McKinley, a former top aide to Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo

The career foreign service officer resigned Friday and is scheduled to testify behind closed doors Wednesday.

Subpoena deadline: Two business associates of Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who helped Giuliani’s efforts to investigate Democrat Joe Biden in Ukraine, were arrested Oct. 9 on campaign finance charges, including funneling Russian money to President Trump’s 2020 campaign. Before the arrests, the two men already had signaled that they would not agree to give voluntary depositions on Oct. 10 to the House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry.

Parnas and Fruman are from former Soviet republics and live in South Florida, according to the Miami Herald. They were indicted by federal prosecutors in New York.

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John Dowd, who represents Parnas and Fruman, said before the arrests that Parnas would not respond to a House request for documents by the requested deadline, calling the request “overly broad and unduly burdensome.” Dowd said his clients would engage in a “rolling production of nonprivileged documents.”

The two men were then subpoenaed for documents with an Oct. 16 deadline.

Images posted on Facebook show President Trump with Lev Parnas, top left photo, at the White House. The photos and video were posted on May 1, 2018.
Images posted on Facebook show President Trump with Lev Parnas, top left photo, at the White House. The photos and video were posted on May 1, 2018.
(Campaign Legal Center)

An image posted on Facebook shows Igor Fruman, far right, with, from left, Donald Trump Jr., Tommy Hicks Jr. and Lev Parnas. The photo was posted on May 21, 2018.
An image posted on Facebook shows Igor Fruman, far right, with, from left, Donald Trump Jr., Tommy Hicks Jr. and Lev Parnas. The photo was posted on May 21, 2018.
(Campaign Legal Center )

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Thursday, Oct. 17

Deposition: Ulrich Brechbuhl, State Department counselor

Brechbuhl, who was named in the whistleblower complaint as having listened in on President Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s leader, is scheduled to testify before Democrats.

Deposition: Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union

President Trump with Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, in July 2018 in Brussels.
President Trump with Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, in July 2018 in Brussels.
(Associated Press)

House Democrats had subpoenaed Sondland to testify after the Trump administration blocked him from giving a voluntary deposition. The order was also intended to force the top diplomat to turn over documents and text messages, apparently from a private device, regarding Trump’s dealings with Ukraine by Oct. 14, but Sondland’s lawyer said federal law and State Department regulations prohibited his client from doing so.

“Ambassador Sondland does not control the disposition of his documents. By federal law and regulation, the State Department has sole authority to produce such documents, and Ambassador Sondland hopes the materials will be shared with the Committees in advance of his Thursday testimony,” his lawyer said in a statement.

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Friday, Oct. 18

Deposition: Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia

Cooper is scheduled to be interviewed by lawmakers as part of the inquiry.

Subpoena deadline: White House via Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s acting chief of staff

Investigators subpoenaed the White House for documents in one of the most significant escalations of the aggressive impeachment inquiry,

“The White House has refused to engage with — or even respond to — multiple requests for documents from our committees on a voluntary basis. After nearly a month of stonewalling, it appears clear that the president has chosen the path of defiance, obstruction and cover-up,” top Democrats wrote in a letter to Mulvaney.

Subpoena deadline: Rick Perry, energy secretary

Perry was subpoenaed for documents on Oct. 10. “Recently, public reports have raised questions about any role you may have played in conveying or reinforcing the President’s stark message to the Ukrainian President,” the investigators wrote. “These reports have also raised significant questions about your efforts to press Ukrainian officials to change the management structure at a Ukrainian state-owned energy company to benefit individuals involved with Rudy Giuliani’s push to get Ukrainian officials to interfere in our 2020 election.”


Alexa Díaz is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times based in Washington, D.C. She grew up in Pomona and graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism.