Our reporters in Washington spent the week covering and making sense of the latest developments in the impeachment inquiry. If you didn’t have time to watch the hearings on Capitol Hill, here are some articles to quickly catch you up.
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What we learned:
“Clear quid pro quo”: Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, testified on Wednesday. Mr. Sondland, a wealthy hotelier from Oregon, told the committee that President Trump directed the Ukraine pressure campaign, that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed off, and that Vice President Mike Pence was told about an apparent link between Ukraine’s military aid and the investigations the president desired. He confirmed that there was a “clear quid pro quo” for a White House meeting between Mr. Trump and Ukraine’s president.
An “unusual and inappropriate” call: Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert at the National Security Council, and Jennifer Williams, an adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, testified jointly on Tuesday. They were the first witnesses in the public hearings who listened in to President Trump’s July 25 phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. Ms. Williams called the conversation “unusual and inappropriate,” while Colonel Vindman said it was “wrong.”
“Fictional narrative”: That’s what Fiona Hill, Mr. Trump’s former top adviser on Russia and Europe, called the story that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election. She criticized Republicans on Thursday for propagating that line of thinking, telling the House panel that the story — which Mr. Trump has embraced — was planted by Russia and dangerously played into Moscow’s hands, by sowing political divisions in the United States that adversaries are eager to exploit. She and David Holmes, the political counselor to the American ambassadors in Ukraine, testified on Thursday.
“Three Amigos”: Kurt D. Volker, the president’s former special envoy for Ukraine, has been referred to as one of the “three amigos,” along with Mr. Sondland and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. But, when he testified on Tuesday, he bristled at being lumped together with the other two men. “I’ve never used that term and frankly cringe when I hear it,” he said. He also told the panel he was not part of an irregular foreign policy channel with Ukriane.
Meet the witnesses
If you want to know more about any of this week’s witnesses, we’ve got you covered. Here are profiles of them.
Gordon Sondland, United States ambassador to the European Union
Fiona Hill, president Trump’s former top adviser on Russia and Europe
Kurt Volker, pictured above, former special envoy to Ukraine
David Holmes, an official from the American Embassy in Ukraine
Laura Cooper, the Pentagon’s Russia-Ukraine expert
David Hale, a top State Department official
Analysis: A White House Now ‘Cannibalizing Itself’
Of Tuesday’s testimony from Colonel Vindman and Ms. Williams, Peter Baker, our chief White House correspondent writes:
“With the president’s allies joining in, the two aides found themselves condemned as nobodies, as plotting bureaucrats, as traitors within and, in Colonel Vindman’s case, as an immigrant with dual loyalties. Even for a president who rarely spares the rhetorical howitzer, that represents a new level of bombardment.
Mr. Trump has publicly disparaged cabinet secretaries, former aides and career officials working elsewhere in the government, but now he is taking aim at people still working for him inside the White House complex by name.