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September 25, 2019

Origins of the impeachment inquiry



Directions: Check out the latest updates below. Read the summary, watch the video above which discusses the House starting an impeachment inquiry (transcript here) and answer the discussion questions.


Update (9/28): 

Why the House is moving so quickly on Trump impeachment inquiry

AP fact check: Trump’s distortions on Ukraine, whistleblower

Who’s who in the Trump impeachment inquiry?

Update (9/27): On Thursday, Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testified in front of the House Intelligence Committee Thursday regarding an intelligence community whistleblower’s complaint about President Trump’s interactions with a foreign leader. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, joins Judy Woodruff to discuss his concerns that Trump tried to cover up misconduct.

Whistleblower alleges White House tried to suppress Zelenskiy call details (video)

Former DOJ official calls Trump’s Ukraine phone call ‘fundamentally wrong’ (video)

Kellyanne Conway claims Trump’s transparency proves he did nothing wrong in Ukraine call (video)

‘Sense of urgency’ on whistleblower complaint will drive subpoenas, says Schiff (video)

In private, Trump ‘lashing out’ about whistleblower complaint (video)

Americans split on support for Trump impeachment inquiry (article 9/27/2019)

9 things we learned from the Trump whistleblower complaint (article 9/26/2019)

Update (9/26): On Wednesday, a five-page memo was released which described Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s president. The memo revealed new details of Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine. The text shows that immediately after Volodymr Zelensky brought up military aid, Trump asked him for “a favor.”

What lawmakers learned from Trump’s Ukraine call memo (video)

What’s next for the Trump impeachment inquiry? (article 9/25/2019)

Read the full White House notes describing Trump’s call with Ukraine’s president (article) 


Summary: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally announced the beginning of an impeachment inquiry Tuesday after a whistleblower alleged that the president tried to influence a foreign leader to aid his reelection. At the United Nations, President Donald Trump faced questions about his own actions, and he seemed to confirm and defend the fact that he withheld hundreds of millions of dollars from Ukraine.

Discussion questions:

1) Essential question: Why is impeachment a part of the political process in America?

2) What do you know about the previous cases of impeachment in U.S. history? Why has impeachment rarely been used? (check out the AP and Vox links below)

3) Why did Nancy Pelosi announce an official impeachment inquiry?

4) What was President Trump’s reaction to news of the impeachment inquiry?

5) What was the allegation made by the whistleblower regarding Ukrainian aid?

6) Why did Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testify in front of the House Intelligence Committee on Thurs., Sept 26th, regarding an intelligence community whistleblower’s complaint?

7) Watch the video to answer the questions about the memo released on Wednesday: What lawmakers learned from Trump’s Ukraine call memo

*What did the memo say?

*Were there parts of the memo that concerned you? Which parts and why?

*Why is it against the law for U.S. leaders to pressure another country’s government for information on their political opponents? How does this action undermine democracy?

*What is Trump’s reaction to the memo? Democratic leadership’s?

8) Do you think an impeachment inquiry is warranted? Why or why not?

9) Media literacy: Congressional reaction to the impeachment hearing has largely fallen along partisan lines. What can you do to make sure you understand various opinions?


If time allows, choose an additional article or video that best matches the needs of your class.

Article: How Trump is responding to the impeachment inquiry

Article: A look at past impeachment proceedings and how they’ve ended

Video: Spanberger: ‘So many troubling threads’ in Trump allegations that full investigation is needed (Democrat perspective)

Video: Rep. Harris: Releasing Trump’s Ukraine call transcript ‘right thing to do’ (Republican perspective)

You may want to check out Vox’s “Impeaching the president, explained.” (7 mins)



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