WASHINGTON, DC – For only the fourth time in U.S. history, the House of Representatives has started a presidential impeachment inquiry. House committees are trying to determine whether President Donald Trump violated his oath of office by asking Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden and his family and to investigate the country's involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
A quick summary of the latest news and what's to come:
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
—A State Department envoy told lawmakers it was his "clear understanding" the U.S. government intended to withhold military aid from Ukraine until the country committed to investigations sought by President Donald Trump, according to a transcript released Wednesday.
—The White House is beefing up its communications staff as it tries to grapple with the ongoing House impeachment investigation.
—The State Department's third-ranking official testified Wednesday for more than six hours in the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry. David Hale had been expected to tell lawmakers that political considerations were behind the agency's refusal to deliver a robust defense of the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.
Democratic lawmakers have invited former national security adviser John Bolton to appear before a panel Thursday, though Bolton's lawyer has said he would not come without a subpoena.
NUMBERS THAT MATTER
So far this week, nine Trump administration officials have defied House investigators by failing to show up at closed-door hearings for depositions.
That number may grow, as Bolton, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and top national security aides have also been summoned to appear.
Some who have already shown up will get a command performance: The committees running the inquiry have scheduled public proceedings next week to hear from three diplomats who have already testified privately.
Newly released transcripts of the deposition of top Ukraine diplomat William Taylor, who is one of those scheduled to testify at an open hearing next week:
Previously released transcripts:
Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union:
Kurt Volker, former U.S. envoy to Ukraine:
Michael McKinley, former adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo:
Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine: