WASHINGTON (AP) — For only the fourth time in U.S. history, the House of Representatives has started a presidential impeachment inquiry. House committees are trying to determine if President Donald Trump violated his oath of office by asking a foreign country to investigate a political opponent.
A quick summary of the latest news:
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
— Republicans briefly brought House Democrats' impeachment investigation to a halt Wednesday as around two dozen GOP House members stormed into a closed-door deposition with a Defense Department official. Democrats said the move compromised national security as some of the Republicans brought electronic devices into a secure room. The GOP maneuver delayed a deposition with Laura Cooper, a senior Defense Department official who oversees Ukraine policy, until midafternoon.
— More than two months before the phone call that launched the impeachment inquiry, Ukraine's newly elected leader was already worried about pressure from the U.S. president to investigate his Democratic rival Joe Biden.
— Two Rudy Giuliani associates, both wearing American flag lapel pins, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges they used foreign money to make illegal campaign contributions to politicians and committees to advance their business interests.
— William Taylor, a career diplomat, went behind closed doors in the basement of the Capitol on Tuesday and told a tale that added up to the ultimate oxymoron — a 10-hour bureaucratic thriller. His plot devices were not cloak and dagger, but memos, text messages — and detailed notes.
The impeachment probe will take a pause of sorts as Congress pays its respects to former Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. Cummings' body will lie in state on Thursday in the U.S. Capitol. A wake and funeral for Cummings is planned for Friday in Baltimore.
NUMBERS THAT MATTER
Some 228 House Democrats, plus one Republican-turned-independent, say they support the impeachment inquiry process, but so far only 65 members have told The Associated Press that they would vote to impeach President Donald Trump if articles of impeachment were brought before the full House. Three House seats are currently vacant, bringing the number of votes needed for a majority to 217.
Explore where members who have been surveyed stand with this online tool: http://apne.ws/TJ9E5Gi
About two dozen House Republicans crashed Wednesday's closed-door deposition in the Democratic-led Trump impeachment probe on Capitol Hill, demanding more transparency and bringing the testimony of a key Defense Department official to a temporary halt: https://youtu.be/nK6GL2bVPwU .