Everything You Need to Know About the Impeachment Inquiry

Shreya Mapadath, Staff Writer

The past few months have been a political hailstorm, beginning with a whistleblower complaint against incumbent President Trump and quickly escalating to an impeachment inquiry. New developments surface by the day, but here is a brief timeline of the events that have transpired thus far. 


Aug. 12: A member of the intelligence community files a whistleblower complaint with the following accusation: “In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.” The complaint refers to a phone call between President Donald Trump and President Zelensky of Ukraine on July 25th in which Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden, a major domestic political rival, and his son for corruption. 


Aug. 29: The Defense Departments states there has been a hold placed on $250 million of military aid to Ukraine.


Sept. 9: Three house committees launch an investigation on whether Trump and Rudy Giuliani, his lawyer, pressured the Ukrainian government to assist in Trump’s reelection efforts. 


Sept. 11: Senator Rob Portman requests Trump to release security aid to Ukraine, which the administration does the same night. 


Sept. 24: Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, announces the beginning of an impeachment inquiry.


Sept. 25: The White House releases a memo of the phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky. It is not a word-for-word transcript, but rather notes taken by staff who were present. 


Sept. 26: A redacted version of the whistleblower complaint is released. 


Oct. 6: ABC News reports that Mark Zaid, the whistleblower’s attorney, is now representing a second whistleblower. 


Will the president be impeached? 

Although the story is still developing, speculation continues over whether recent events will lead to President Trump’s impeachment and subsequent removal from office.

 In order for a president to be impeached, a simple majority is required in the House of Representatives. The next step in the process takes place in the Senate, where a ⅔ majority is needed to convict. 

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has long maintained that impeachment would be too divisive of an action to take. However, her stance, as well as those of more moderate House Democrats, appears to have shifted. Pelosi recently released a statement that said,“If the president has done what has been alleged, then he is stepping into a dangerous minefield with serious repercussions for his administration and our democracy.” 

It seems likely that the House of Representatives, which is currently in the control of Democrats, will vote to impeach President Trump. The same can not be said about the vote to convict in the Republican-controlled Senate.

In the midst of the constantly growing story, it remains highly unclear whether the current accusations will truly result in the impeachment and eventual conviction of President Trump.