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What’s happening in the impeachment inquiry: State Department official to testify

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 gather information on whether President Trump improperly pressured Ukraine to investigate a political rival in exchange for U.S. military aid.

Philip Reeker, acting assistant secretary of European and Eurasian affairs at the State Department, is scheduled to appear for a deposition on Saturday. Reeker would be another diplomat to testify in the probe who could shed light on Trump’s actions in Ukraine. In previous interviews, former Ambassador Yovanovitch testified that Trump was behind the decision to abruptly recall her from Kyiv. The former White House advisor on Russia, Fiona Hill, also testified about Giuliani’s involvement in Ukraine and reportedly said she had strongly objected to the removal of Yovanovitch.

Philip Reeker
U.S. Ambassador Philip Reeker, shown in 2009 in Skopje, Macedonia.
(Boris Grdanoski / Associated Press)

Here’s a look at what else is ahead. For more context, please review our timeline of the inquiry as well as our guide to people and terms to know. You can also subscribe our impeachment-focused list of deposition dates, subpoena deadlines and testimony times to add them to your iOS or Google calendar.

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Monday

Charles Kupperman, former deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs

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Kupperman, who served as a deputy to national security adviser John Bolton before he stepped into the acting role after Bolton’s ouster, is scheduled to appear for a closed-door interview with lawmakers. Although he is no longer part of the administration, it is possible he was on the July 25 call between President Trump and Ukraine’s president that is part of the investigation.

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Tuesday

Deposition: Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director of European Affairs for the National Security Council

Vindman, who was part of the Trump administration delegation that attended the inauguration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier this year, is scheduled to be deposed as part of the investigation.

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Wednesday

Deposition: Kathryn Wheelbarger, acting assistant secretary of Defense for international security affairs

Thomas Waldhauser, Joseph Votel, Kathryn Wheelbarger
Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Kathryn Wheelbarger, right, and U.S. Africa Command Commander Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, center, listen as U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. Joseph Votel, left, testifies before the House Armed Services Committee on in Washington in March.
(Susan Walsh / AP)

Wheelbarger oversees policy issues related to Europe and Russia, among other regions.

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Thursday

Deposition: Timothy Morrison, Russia and Europe director for the National Security Council

Morrison, who also serves as a special assistant to the president, is scheduled to testify. If Morrison appears for the deposition, he will be the first White House aide to testify after the Trump administration said it would not cooperate with the inquiry.

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TK:

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Here are highlights of what’s already happened:
  • After the White House said it would refuse to participate in the inquiry, the Defense Department, Office of Management and Budget, and the State Department have followed suit, defying subpoenas for documents.
  • Rudolph W. Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, has made it clear he will not comply with Democratic subpoenas.
  • Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, testified 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.”
  • Fiona Hill, a former White House advisor on Russia, testified 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.
  • George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of State responsible for Ukraine, testified that the White House put Ukraine policy into the hands of Kurt Volker, Gordon Sondland and Rick Perry, who called themselves “the three amigos.”
  • Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, was subpoenaed after the Trump administration blocked him from giving a voluntary deposition. Sondland testified that he disagreed with Trump’s directive for Giuliani to manage crucial foreign policy on Ukraine and that Trump repeatedly ordered him to work with the lawyer.
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Here’s who has been tapped for information:

Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community’s inspector general

Atkinson testified at a closed-door meeting of the House Intelligence Committee on Sept. 19. He testified before the committee again Oct. 4.

Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence

Maguire was subpoenaed to appear before the House Intelligence Committee. He testified publicly on Sept. 26.

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testifies before Congress
Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testifies before Congress Sept. 26.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Steve Linick, State Department inspector general

Linick briefed legislative staff behind closed doors on Oct. 2, and he turned over a packet of what Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, described as conspiracy theories about Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 election that had apparently been sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Kurt Volker, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO

Volker resigned, met with investigators on Oct. 3 and turned over text messages and documents.

Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine, leaves a closed-door interview with House investigators
Kurt Volker leaves a closed-door interview with House investigators on Oct. 3.
(Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press)

Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo

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. Pompeo also objected to House Democrats’ requests for depositions from current and former State officials.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks with the media in Rome on Oct. 2.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks with the media in Rome on Oct. 2.
(Andrew Medichini / Associated Press)

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

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, Soviet-born political donors who helped in 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, they signaled that they would not agree to give voluntary depositions or turn over documents to the House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry. They were then subpoenaed for documents.

Donald Trump Jr., Tommy Hicks Jr., Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman in a Facebook screen shot
Igor Fruman, right, is shown with, from left, Donald Trump Jr., Tommy Hicks Jr. and Lev Parnas. The screen shot is of a May 21, 2018, Facebook post.
(Campaign Legal Center)

Trump Impeachment Giuliani’s Fixers
A Facebook screen shot shows President Trump with Lev Parnas, top left, at the White House. Photos and video were posted on May 1, 2018.
(Campaign Legal Center)

Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine

Defying White House efforts to block her testimony, Yovanovitch met with lawmakers on Oct. 11.

Then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kyiv.
Then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch appears March 6 in Kyiv with Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s president at the time.
(Mikhail Palinchak / Presidential Press Service Pool Photo)

Semyon ‘Sam’ Kislin

Kislin was summoned by investigators to produce documents and voluntarily appear for a deposition on Oct. 14 because of his ties to Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer. The businessman, his attorney told CNN, was “being cooperative” and had “reached an understanding” to avoid a closed-door deposition.

Fiona Hill, a former White House advisor on Russia

Hill testified Oct. 14 behind closed doors for more than 10 hours. A person familiar with the testimony said Hill told impeachment investigators she had strongly objected to the ouster of Yovanovitch.

Fiona Hill leaves Capitol Hill on Oct. 14.
Fiona Hill leaves Capitol Hill on Oct. 14 after testifying before congressional lawmakers.
(Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press)

George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of State responsible for Ukraine

Kent testified on Oct. 15.

Vice President Mike Pence

Pence, facing a deadline request of Oct. 15 for documents, refused to comply.

APphoto_Pence
Vice President Pence speaks at the American Legion National Convention in August in Indianapolis.
(Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

Russell Vought, acting White House budget director

Vought did not comply with a subpoena for documents by the Oct. 15 deadline.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper

Esper, who oversees the Pentagon, did not respond to a subpoena for documents by the Oct. 15 deadline.

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

Michael McKinley, a former top aide to Secretary of State Pompeo

McKinley, Pompeo’s de facto chief of staff who recently resigned, testified on Oct. 16.

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

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. On Oct. 17, Sondland testified before House Democrats.

Gordon Sondland arrives for deposition during impeachment inquiry in Washington
Gordon Sondland, center, arrives for his deposition on Oct. 17.
(Jim Lo Scalzo /EPA-EFE/REX)

White House via Mick Mulvaney, acting chief of staff

Investigators subpoenaed the White House for documents in one of the most significant escalations of the impeachment inquiry. Democrats wrote in a letter to Mulvaney: “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.”

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney holds a news conference
Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney at an Oct. 17 news conference at the White House.
(Michael Reynolds / EPA-EFE/REX )

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.”

On Oct. 17, Perry told President Trump he planned to resign.

la-1496783165-ukjiwu1507-snap-image
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry speaks at a conference in Beijing in 2017.
(Andy Wong / Associated Press)

William “Bill” Taylor, acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine

Taylor testified Tuesday morning in a voluntary deposition. The top U.S. diplomat had raised concerns in text messages about the executive branch’s actions in Ukraine, including that he thought it was “crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”

470114_LA-NA-POL_William-Taylor_KDM_
William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, arrived at the Capitol to testify Tuesday behind closed doors in the House impeachment inquiry.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper

Cooper, who is responsible for policy concerning Russia and Ukraine, appeared for a deposition on Wednesday. Two dozen Republicans crashed the closed-door session, delaying it by several hours.

Laura Cooper arrives for deposition during impeachment inquiry at US Capitol, Washington, USA - 23 Oct 2019
Laura Cooper arrives for her deposition amid the U.S. House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry into President Trump outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Oct. 23.
(JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/REX/JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/REX)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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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.