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Trump, Ukraine and Impeachment: The Inside Story of How We Got Here

the House of Representatives
Trump administration
the National Security Council
the State Department
White House
House Ways and Means Committee
Capitol Hill
Trump White House
the White House’s
the European Union
Fox News
Oval Office
the National Security Council.“Tell
Trump International Hotel
an Office of Management and Budget
the Defense Ministry
the National Security Council’s
Central Intelligence Agency
the Defense Department
The White House

Sharon LaFraniere
Andrew E. Kramer
Volodymyr Zelensky
Robert S. Mueller III’s
Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Rudolph W. Giuliani
William B. Taylor Jr.
George P. Kent
Marie L. Yovanovitch
Gordon D. Sondland
Hunter Biden
Mike Pence
Rick Perry
Kurt D. Volker
Paul Manafort
John R. Bolton
Fiona Hill
Alexander S. Vindman
Andriy Yermak
Alexander Danyliuk
Mick Mulvaney
John A. Eisenberg
Timothy Morrison
Mike Pompeo
Danny Hakim
Michael S. Schmidt
Susan Beachy
Kitty Bennett


West Wing

the White House Situation Room
the Oval Office
the Situation Room

the United States
New York
United States.”In

World War II

Positivity     36.00%   
   Negativity   64.00%
The New York Times
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In his zeal to win Mr. Zelensky’s compliance, the president ousted the American ambassador to Ukraine, froze congressionally approved military aid, shut out foreign-policy experts in the National Security Council and sidestepped the State Department to set up a back-channel to Kiev with his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. She nonetheless was abruptly recalled to Washington in May, a decision Mr. Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state, called dispiriting.Ms. Yovanovitch testified that she did not know exactly why, but she believed that Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Trump saw her as an obstacle to their strategy for Ukraine.Even before she was ousted, Mr. Giuliani and the president were leveling charges on Fox News against one of Mr. Trump’s main Democratic rivals, Joseph R. If Mr. Trump could promote the Ukraine theory, he might be able to undercut the evidence that the Russians had tried to get him elected, and put to rest questions about his legitimacy.Soon after Mr. Zelensky’s election, Mr. Giuliani’s allies relayed a message that the president’s lawyer wanted to meet with him. It was the beginning of a five-month high-wire act in which Mr. Zelensky tried to mollify Mr. Trump and his messengers, yet hang on to the support of members of Congress and diplomats who told him not to get mired in American politics.Initially, the Ukrainian leader put Mr. Giuliani off, a move that went over badly. In a subsequent appearance on Fox News, Mr. Giuliani suggested that Mr. Zelensky had surrounded himself with “enemies of the president and in some cases enemies of the United States.”In what some saw as a sign of Mr. Trump’s personal displeasure, a White House aide later said, Mr. Trump’s team also downgraded the American delegation to Mr. Zelensky’s May 20 inauguration, replacing Vice President Mike Pence as the group’s senior official with Energy Secretary Rick Perry.Three days later, fresh from Mr. Zelensky’s swearing-in, Mr. Sondland, the European Union ambassador, and Kurt D. He did not like taking instructions from Mr. Giuliani, he testified, but Mr. Giuliani made it clear he spoke for the president.What Mr. Trump wanted, Mr. Giuliani told him, was a public declaration that Ukraine was investigating two matters: Burisma, the firm that had hired Hunter Biden, and whether Ukraine had meddled in the 2016 election. The Ukrainians included Andriy Yermak, a top aide to Mr. Zelensky, and Alexander Danyliuk, Mr. Bolton’s counterpart in Kiev.All went well until the Ukrainians raised one of Mr. Zelensky’s most important issues: An invitation to the White House that Mr. Trump had promised in a letter after Mr. Zelensky was elected. The president told Mr. Zelensky that the United States had done much for his nation and raised the “favor” he wanted: the inquiries into the 2016 election and the Bidens.What the Bidens had done “sounds horrible to me,” he said, according to a White House reconstructed transcript of the call. Apparently pleased, Mr. Trump later told reporters that the new Ukrainian leader was “a very reasonable guy.”But Colonel Vindman, the national security expert on Ukraine who was taking notes on the conversation in the Situation Room, was staggered by the implications of Mr. Trump’s remarks. Mr. Yermak, Mr. Zelensky’s aide, said the White House should set a date for Mr. Zelensky’s meeting with Mr. Trump before the Ukrainians released a statement.Only after American officials explicitly told the Ukrainians that the military aid depended on that announcement did their resistance finally crumble.Colonel Vindman, the national security aide, had drafted a memo for Mr. Bolton to give Mr. Trump in a meeting on Aug. 16. Mr. Pence said only that he would raise it with Mr. Trump.But Mr. Sondland, who also was at the event, took Mr. Yermak aside to deliver an explicit message: The Ukrainians should not expect the money if Mr. Zelensky did not publicly announce the investigations.“It kept getting more insidious,” Mr. Sondland testified.

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