A Timeline of Events That Led to Trump Impeachment Inquiry

President Donald J. Trump waves after talking with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, and walks to board Marine One to begin his trip to Kentucky. | Official White House Photo/Joyce N. Boghosian

What led to President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry?

The U.S. House of Representatives is currently conducting an inquiry into whether Trump should be impeached for using the privileges of his office to pressure a foreign country to damage a political rival.

Investigations into Trump, Ukraine, and former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, reveal a complicated web of characters and events.

To help you keep the gist of this ongoing news story straight, here is a timeline of the main events that led to the Trump impeachment inquiry:

1991: The Soviet Union collapses. Ukraine becomes an independent nation.

February 2014: A revolution in Ukraine ousts its pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych.

Petro Poroshenko becomes Ukraine’s new president. U.S. President Barack Obama makes Vice President Joe Biden his point man on relations with the new pro-Western government.

February, March 2014: Russia invades Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

April 2014: Joe Biden travels to Ukraine and announces U.S. aid aimed at lessening Ukraine’s reliance on Russian energy.

May 2014: Hunter Biden joins the board of a Ukrainian gas company, Burisma. The company is owned by Mykola Zlochevsky, who was Yanukovych’s ecology minister, and was being investigated for corruption at the time.

May 2016: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hires Paul Manafort as his campaign chairman. Manafort had consulted pro-Russian Yanukovych before he was ousted.

June 2016: A private internet security firm, CrowdStrike, hired by the Democrat National Committee to investigate its hacked computer servers concludes that Russia was the culprit.

July 2016: U.S. intelligence communities agree with CrowdStrike’s conclusion. (A conspiracy theory develops at this point among fringe right-wing figures that CrowdStrike is controlled by Ukraine and it was Ukraine, not Russia, that hacked the servers. Subsequent investigations by Congress, the Justice Department, and Robert Mueller agree with CrowdStrike’s conclusions.)

January 20, 2017: Trump becomes president.

May 2017: Special counsel Robert Mueller appointed to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.

July 13, 2018: Mueller indicts 12 Russian agents for hacking the DNC.

September 2018: As part of the Mueller investigation, Manafort pleads guilty to conspiracy against the U.S. and laundering millions of dollars while working for Yanukovych.

April 21, 2019: Poroshenko loses in the Ukrainian presidential election to Volodymyr Zelensky, a TV comedian, who ran on an anti-corruption platform.

May 1, 2019: The New York Times publishes an article on the Bidens and Ukraine authored by NYT reporter Kenneth Vogel and Ukrainian reporter Iuliia Mendel. The Manafort case, they wrote, “exposed a seedy side of the lucrative Western consulting industry in Ukraine.”

Vogel and Mendel also note that Trump allies, partly led by Trump’s personal lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, were working to bring greater awareness to the Hunter Biden scandal.

The report pointed out that a Ukrainian prosecutor before the election had reopened the investigation into Hunter Biden, which “was seen in some quarters as an effort by the prosecutor general, Yuriy Lutsenko, to curry favor from the Trump administration for his boss and ally, the incumbent president, Petro O. Poroshenko.”

Hunter Biden provided a statement for the article, saying he was stepping down from his position at Burisma because he was “being attacked by Rudy Giuliani and his minions for transparent political purposes.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Napp Nazworth