The testimony released so far tells a story of the hijacking of the policy process and the conditioning of U.S. policy on political favors to Donald Trump.
Margaret L. Taylor is a senior editor and counsel at Lawfare and a fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. Previously, she was the Democratic Chief Counsel and Deputy Staff Director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 2015 through July 2018.
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Lawfare contributors have summarized each of the released 15 deposition transcripts. Read them here.
On Oct. 29, Chairman of the House Rules Committee James McGovern introduced House resolution H.Res.660, along with a fact sheet, outlining procedures going forward for the impeachment inquiry into the president.
Russell Vought, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), announced on Twitter that he and Michael Duffy, an OMB political appointee, are refusing to be deposed by House committees pursuing an impeachment investigation. With this in the news, it is worth revisiting OMB’s delay in releasing nearly $400 million in foreign assistance to Ukraine.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is approaching a fork in the road on the House’s impeachment inquiry. The White House has indicated an unwillingness to cooperate with the inquiry, and so the House has to decide whether to litigate or negotiate over documents and testimony or move forward without them. The House already possesses strong enough evidence to move to a vote on articles of impeachment, and Pelosi can decide to do so quickly.
The more information becomes public about L’Affaire Ukrainienne, the wider and deeper the controversy becomes. Late on Oct. 3, Congress released perhaps the most damning information yet: excerpts from a trove of encrypted text messages provided by former Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker as part of his closed testimony earlier that day before those House committees leading the impeachment inquiry.
The House of Representatives is out of session this week and is not scheduled to return until Oct. 15. Most members are back in their districts—and many of them will be explaining to their constituents their position on the House’s impeachment inquiry, which picked up serious steam last week in the wake of news about the president’s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. But several House committees—Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight and Reform—are nonetheless energetically engaged in gathering statements and evidence in support of the impeachment inquiry.