The Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry are calling testimony from the acting envoy to Ukraine the “most damning” yet, implicating President Trump himself in a quid pro quo over military aid to the country. William B. Taylor Jr., a career diplomat who has served under both Democratic and Republican administrations, prepared a 15-page opening statement for investigators on Tuesday. He described his testimony as “a rancorous story about whistle-blowers, Mr. Giuliani, side channels, quid pro quos, corruption and interference in elections.” In his statement, Mr. Taylor documented two divergent channels of United States policymaking in Ukraine, “one regular and one highly irregular.” He said Mr. Trump had used the shadow channel to make America’s relationship with Ukraine — including a $391 million aid package — conditional on its government’s willingness to investigate one of his political rivals, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., and his family. The question of a quid pro quo for the military aid has been pursued by House Democrats since the beginning of the impeachment inquiry. In Mr. Taylor, investigators have a former ambassador testifying under oath that the allegations are true. Guest: Nicholas Fandos, who covers Congress for The New York Times. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.Background coverage: Here are six key takeaways from Mr. Taylor’s opening statement to impeachment investigators.This is the evidence collected and requested in the impeachment inquiry so far.
Members of the American diplomatic corps testified about the state of U.S. foreign policy in private hearings on Capitol Hill this week. According to our national political correspondent, their testimonies revealed “a remarkably consistent story” about the ways in which career diplomats have been sidelined to make room for Trump administration officials. The conduct of those officials, and the nature of the directives they received, is at the center of the House impeachment investigation.We look back at a week inside the U.S. Capitol as that inquiry enters a pivotal phase. Guest: Nicholas Fandos, who covers Congress for The New York Times. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Background coverage: Gordon D. Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, told impeachment investigators on Thursday that President Trump delegated Ukraine policy to his personal lawyer Rudolph Giuliani.Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, threw Washington into turmoil on Thursday when he first confirmed, then retracted, that Mr. Trump had withheld military aid to pressure Ukraine.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has begun a formal impeachment investigation of President Trump, saying he “must be held accountable.” We spoke to our colleague who was at the announcement and to one of the lawmakers who helped convince Ms. Pelosi that it was time. Guests: Nicholas Fandos, who covers Congress for The New York Times, and Representative Mikie Sherrill, Democrat of New Jersey. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Background reading: Though the outcome is uncertain, the inquiry raises the possibility that Mr. Trump could become only the fourth president in American history to face impeachment.After months of caution from House Democrats, why is this happening now? “They believe the new accusations against Mr. Trump are simple and serious enough to be grasped,” our colleague Carl Hulse writes in a news analysis.Here’s how the impeachment process works.