Here are the most important takeaways from every day of Trump's impeachment hearings

Sonam Sheth
impeachment hearings adam schiff

Pool/Saul Loeb via Reuters


  • Over five days, a dozen current and former Trump administration officials testified publicly before the House Intelligence Committee in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
  • Testimonies covered Trump's phone call with Ukraine, quid pro quo, former Ukrainian ambassador Marie Yovanovitch's job loss, conspiracy theories relating to former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.
  • Several key figures, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former national security adviser John Bolton, were implicated in pressuring Ukraine with Trump.
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The televised hearings for President Donald Trump's impeachment inquiry are over for now.

Over five days spread across two weeks, 12 current and former Trump administration officials testified publicly before the House Intelligence Committee.

The hearings, some of which were explosive, revealed new information implicating Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former national security adviser John Bolton in pressuring Ukraine.

Testimonies covered Trump's phone call with Ukraine, the possibility of quid pro quo, former Ukrainian ambassador Marie Yovanovitch being smeared and losing her job, conspiracy theories involving former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Here's what matters most from the impeachment hearings.

Day 1, Wednesday, November 13: Bill Taylor revealed a previously unknown phone call between Trump and Gordon Sondland about "the investigations", and confirmed the quid pro quo of Trump withholding military aid to get Ukraine to investigate Biden.

Reuters/Erin Scott

Two witnesses testified: Bill Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, a top State Department official overseeing Ukraine policy.

  • Taylor revealed a previously unknown July 26 phone call between Trump and Gordon Sondland, the US's ambassador to the EU, in which they discussed the status of "the investigations" Trump wanted. Sondland told Trump that Zelensky would do anything he wanted and that he "loves your ass."
    • A member of Taylor's staff who overheard the call asked Sondland afterward what Trump thought of Ukraine. Sondland replied that Trump "cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for."
  • Taylor directly confirmed a quid pro quo in which Trump withheld security assistance and a White House meeting while demanding Zelensky publicly commit to investigating the Bidens and Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.
  • Kent blew a hole through all of Trump's talking points and said there was no factual basis to support allegations of Ukrainian election interference, or that the Bidens engaged in any wrongdoing.

Read our full takeaways from Day 1 »

And our live-blog to see how events unfolded in real time »



Day 2, Friday, November 15 : Marie Yovanovitch said she was ousted from her job as the ambassador to Ukraine in a "smear campaign" while Trump attacked her on Twitter.

Associated Press

One witness testified: Marie Yovanovitch, the ousted US ambassador to Ukraine.

  • Yovanovitch took aim at Trump and Giuliani and said they carried out a "smear campaign" to oust her because she refused to help them strong-arm Ukraine.
  • The former ambassador "was shocked, absolutely shocked, and devastated" by what Trump said about her in a July 25 call with Ukraine's president.
    • On the call, in addition to pressuring Zelensky to investigate the Bidens and the 2016 election, Trump mentioned Yovanovitch and said she was "bad news," adding that "she's going to go through some things."
    • Yovanovitch said a person who saw her reading the memo of the call said "the color drained from my face. I think I even had a physical reaction. Even now, words fail me."
  • Trump publicly attacked Yovanovitch while she testified. Yovanovitch said she found his comments "very intimidating."

Read our full takeaways from Day 2 »

And our live-blog to see how events unfolded in real time »



Day 3, Tuesday, November 19: Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams called Trump's phone call with Ukraine "inappropriate", and Kurt Volker and Tim Morrison — two witnesses Republicans called to testify — undercut the party's defenses.

Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

Four witnesses testified: Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council; Jennifer Williams, a foreign service aide detailed to Vice President Mike Pence; Tim Morrison, the NSC's former official in charge of overseeing Russia and Europe policy; and Kurt Volker, the US's former special representative to Ukraine.

  • Vindman and Williams directly listened in on Trump's July 25 phone call. They both said they found it "unusual" and "inappropriate." Their testimony directly undercut Trump's claim that the call was "perfect."
  • Vindman, a Purple Heart recipient whose family fled the Soviet Union and arrived in the US as refugees when he was a toddler, was accused of dual loyalty.
    • Steve Castor, the minority counsel, embarked on a line of questioning that seemed to imply that because Vindman was offered the position of defense minister in Ukraine, he had some loyalty to Ukraine.
    • But the former army officer shot Castor down: "I'm an American. I came here when I was a toddler, and I immediately dismissed these offers. I did not entertain them."
  • Volker dramatically altered his testimony from what he told Congress behind closed doors.
    • When he first testified, Volker categorically denied that any investigations into Joe Biden, Burisma Holdings, or the 2016 election were raised during a July 10 White House meeting with Ukrainian officials.
    • Volker acknowledged that Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the EU, brought up the investigations and that he found it "inappropriate."
  • Volker and Morrison, who were both on the GOP witness list, ended up giving testimony that hurt the Republicans' case.
    • Morrison expressed disappointment with Trump's July 25 phone call. Volker acknowledged a link between Trump's mentions of "Burisma" and how that was really code for the Bidens.

Read our full takeaways from Day 3 »

And our live-blog to see how events unfolded in real time »



Day 4, Wednesday, November 20: Laura Cooper testified that her staff received multiple inquiries showing Ukraine felt pressured by Trump, while Gordon Sondland implicated Trump, Mike Pompeo, and John Bolton in the Ukraine pressure campaign.

Associated Press

Three witnesses testified: Gordon Sondland, the US's ambassador to the European Union, Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Defense, and David Hale, the undersecretary of state for political affairs at the State Department.

  • Cooper revealed bombshell new information about how her staff received three separate inquiries from Ukrainian officials and Congress about the status of Ukraine's military aid on July 25, the same day Trump spoke with Zelensky.
    • Trump has insisted there was no way Zelensky could have felt pressured during their call, because Ukraine didn't even know about the frozen aid until Politico publicly reported on it in late August. Cooper's revelation blew up that defense.
  • Sondland threw everyone under the bus and implicated Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and former national security adviser John Bolton in the Ukraine pressure campaign. "Everyone was in on it," Sondland testified.
  • The Republicans' witness undercut their case (again).
    • Hale was on the GOP witness list but, like Volker and Morrison before him, he didn't exactly help the Republicans.
    • Hale testified that Trump and the Office of Management and Budget — which ordered the aid freeze at Trump's directive — were at odds with every other federal agency on the decision. He also vehemently defended Yovanovitch against Trump and Giuliani.

Read our full takeaways from Day 4 »

And our live-blog to see how events unfolded in real time »



Day 5, Thursday, November 21: Fiona Hill and David Holmes shot down conspiracies that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 US election. Both said they were shocked with Trump's call and disappointed with Yovanovitch's ousting.

Erin Scott/Reuters

Two witnesses testified: Fiona Hill, the National Security Council's former top Russia analyst, and David Holmes, a key State Department aide.

  • Both witnesses described how "shocked," "saddened," and "deeply disappointed" they were with Trump's July 25 phone call to Zelensky.
  • They forcefully defended Yovanovitch from the "shameful" smear campaign carried out against her by the president and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
    • Holmes said the attacks on here were "unlike anything I've ever seen in my professional career."
  • Hill suggested Sondland misled Congress in his testimony, and said his claim that he didn't know Burisma was code for the Bidens was "not credible."
  • Hill described a stunning conversation with Sondland in which they clashed over who was in charge of Ukraine policy. At one point, Hill said she told Sondland, "Gordon, I think this is all going to blow up." Speaking to Congress, she said, "And here we are."
  • Both witnesses slammed the conspiracy theory promoting the idea that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election. Hill was particularly forceful in her denunciation.
    • "I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a US adversary and that Ukraine — not Russia — attacked us in 2016," Hill said. "These fictions are harmful, even if used for domestic purposes."

Read our full takeaways from Day 5 »

And our live-blog to see how events unfolded in real time »