The House of Representatives opened historic impeachment hearings on Wednesday, with William B. Taylor Jr. and George P. Kent, senior career civil servants, caught in the crossfire. Democrats underscored the constitutional import of the proceedings, while Republicans branded the whole investigation into President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine a sham. Mr. Taylor and Mr. Kent — carefully, if cinematically — detailed the emergence of a shadow foreign policy, one which had the capacity to determine the fate of an ally in the face of Russian aggression.
We discuss what this phase of the impeachment inquiry could mean for the president — and for the 2020 election.
Guest: Michael S. Schmidt, who covers national security and federal investigations for The New York Times. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.
Background reading:Mr. Taylor said that, in a call with Gordon D. Sondland, the American ambassador to the European Union, President Trump had made clear he cared “more about the investigations of Biden” than Ukraine’s security.Here are key moments from the first public impeachment hearing.
On the first day of public hearings in the Trump impeachment inquiry, lawmakers questioned two diplomats, and laid out two competing narratives about the investigation. This is the first episode in our new series on the impeachment inquiry. For more information, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.
This morning, the House of Representatives begins public hearings in the impeachment inquiry against President Trump. Before those hearings get underway, we sat down with someone who’s unafraid to ask all the questions we’ve been too embarrassed to say out loud.
Guests: Michael S. Schmidt, who covers national security and federal investigations for The New York Times, spoke with Bianca Giaever, a producer for “The Daily,” and Leo, a third grader, to answer his questions about the impeachment inquiry. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.
Background reading:In the first nationally televised hearings of the impeachment inquiry, Democrats will look to make the case that Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine constitute high crimes and misdemeanors.These will be the first presidential impeachment hearings in more than two decades. Here’s how this inquiry is likely to be different than the last.Meet the public officials likely to be most prominent in the inquiry.
Today, the Supreme Court begins hearing arguments about whether the Trump administration acted legally when it tried to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The Obama-era program known as DACA shields immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, known as Dreamers, from deportation.
In this episode, we explore why the outcome of the case may turn on a small act of rebellion by one of President Trump’s former cabinet members.
Guest: Julie Hirschfeld Davis, the congressional editor of The New York Times. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.
Background reading:Elaine C. Duke, a former Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, refused to echo the White House’s policy justifications for ending DACA. Her decision led to a Supreme Court case addressing presidential power over immigration.Meet two of the nearly 700,000 Dreamers whose families, homes and jobs may be affected by the justices’ ruling.
The question of whether President Trump leveraged military assistance to Ukraine for personal gain is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry. Today, we speak with our Ukraine correspondent on why that assistance was so important to Ukraine — and the United States — in the first place.
Guest: Andrew E. Kramer, who covers Ukraine for The New York Times and is based in Moscow. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.
Background reading:Petro O. Poroshenko, who was Ukraine’s president until May, knew his country’s independence hinged on American support. So he waged a campaign to win over President Trump.As vice president, Joe Biden tried to press Ukraine’s leaders to clean up corruption and reform the energy industry. The story of that effort has been overtaken by his son’s work for a Ukrainian gas company.
Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, told impeachment investigators he knew “nothing” about a quid pro quo in Ukraine.
Now Mr. Sondland, a blunt-spoken hotelier, has changed tack. In a new four-page sworn statement released by the House, he confirmed his role in communicating President Trump’s demand that Ukraine investigate the Bidens in exchange for military aid.
Today, we discuss the road to Mr. Sondland’s sudden reversal, and what his new testimony means for the impeachment investigation.
Guest: Michael S. Schmidt, a Washington correspondent for The Times who covers national security and federal investigations. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.
Background reading:Mr. Sondland’s reversal offers a potentially critical piece of evidence to investigators trying to determine whether Mr. Trump abused his power.Late-night show hosts mocked Mr. Sondland, saying he had reversed his testimony after remembering “one important detail: that I don’t want to go to jail for perjury.”
In 2013, Aimee Stephens watched her boss read a carefully worded letter.
“I have felt imprisoned in a body that does not match my mind. And this has caused me great despair and loneliness,” she had written. “With the support of my loving wife, I have decided to become the person that my mind already is.”
Ms. Stephens was fired after coming out as transgender. Now, she is the lead plaintiff in a Supreme Court case that will determine the employment rights of gay and transgender workers across the nation.
Guests: Adam Liptak, who covers the Supreme Court for The New York Times, and Aimee Stephens, the lead plaintiff in the transgender discrimination case heard by the Supreme Court. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.
Background reading:The forthcoming Supreme Court ruling hangs on justices’ interpretation of wording in the Civil Rights Act that prohibits employment discrimination “because of sex.”The case came to the Supreme Court from a federal appeals court, which found in favor of Ms. Stephens last year.
Kentucky’s unpopular Republican governor, Matthew G. Bevin, was facing a losing battle. So he turned to President Trump, and a polarized political landscape, for help. Today, we look at why Tuesday’s race for governor in Kentucky is drawing outsized attention, what it may tell us about the politics of impeachment, and how a state race became a national test.
Guest: Jonathan Martin, a national political correspondent for The New York Times. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.
Background reading:Matthew G. Bevin, the incumbent governor in Kentucky, was deeply unpopular after blaming striking teachers for violence against children.Mr. Bevin pivoted away from his own agenda to make the race for governor a referendum on national politics.Andrew G. Beshear, Mr. Bevin’s Democratic challenger, has claimed victory, but Mr. Bevin has not conceded. Explore our map of the results: A few thousand votes separate the candidates after all precincts reported.
The New York Times and Siena College conducted a major new poll, tackling the biggest questions about the 2020 presidential race: How likely is President Trump to be re-elected and which Democrat is best positioned to defeat him?
The results reveal that the president remains highly competitive in the battleground states likeliest to decide his re-election, with Democratic candidates struggling to win back the support of white working-class voters who backed Mr. Trump in 2016.
The poll also presents a snapshot of how the top Democratic candidates might fare in the general election — a critical question for Democratic voters hoping to take back the White House.
Guest: Nate Cohn, a domestic correspondent for The Upshot at The New York Times. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.
Background reading:The new poll suggests Senator Elizabeth Warren might struggle with some battleground swing voters, and found evidence that both gender bias and ideological doubts were hurting her.The top Democratic presidential candidates are locked in a close race in the Iowa caucuses, a key early test in the nomination race. But there, Ms. Warren currently has a slight edge. Here are five theories about what “electability” means in the 2020 race.
In just three months, the first election of the Democratic presidential race will be held in Iowa.
Over the weekend, the party held its most important political event yet in the prelude to that vote — including a fabled annual dinner attended by almost every remaining candidate in the campaign. At this dinner in 2007, Barack Obama, then a senator, delivered a searing critique of Hillary Clinton’s electability, helping him pull ahead in the polls. Candidates this time around were hoping for a similar campaign-defining moment.
We traveled to Des Moines to find out how the candidates are trying to stand out in a crowded field and to try to discern who might have the political support, financial might and organizational prowess to become the nominee.
Guest: Reid J. Epstein, a campaigns and elections reporter for The Times based in Washington D.C.
Clare Toeniskoetter and Monika Evstatieva, producers for “The Daily,” who traveled to Des Moines to speak with campaign supporters.
For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.
Background reading:With the Iowa caucuses fast approaching, the ideological debate has remained the same, but the key players have shifted, with Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Elizabeth Warren appearing to have gained momentum. The latest poll in Iowa suggested that Ms. Warren had seized much of Bernie Sanders’s youthful following. Here are five takeaways from the survey.
The House of Representatives voted to begin the next phase of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump — one which will be open to public scrutiny. Two Democrats in the House broke ranks and voted against the resolution, which outlined rules for the impeachment process. That was the only complication to an otherwise clean partisan split, with all House Republicans voting against the measure. The tally foreshadowed the battle to come as Democrats take their case against the president fully into public view. Today, we discuss what the next phase of the inquiry will look like. Guest: Julie Hirschfeld Davis, the congressional editor for The New York Times. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.
Background reading:House Democrats decided they now have enough confidence in the severity of the underlying facts about Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine to open the inquiry to the public, despite the risk that doing so would further polarize the electorate. This is a timeline of the events that prompted the impeachment inquiry.Here’s how Democrats and Republicans voted on the impeachment rules resolution.
In testimony before a House committee on Wednesday, Dennis A. Muilenburg, Boeing’s chief executive, said, “If we knew everything back then that we know now, we would have made a different decision.” Congress is investigating two crashes of Boeing 737 Max jets which killed 346 people, cost the company billions of dollars and raised new questions about government oversight of aviation. So what did Boeing executives know about the dangers of the automated system implicated in the crashes — and when did they know it? Guest: Natalie Kitroeff, who covers the economy for The Times. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.
Background reading:Boeing successfully lobbied to reduce government oversight of airplane design.Evidence presented to House investigators on Wednesday revealed that Boeing was aware of potentially “catastrophic” concerns about the 737 Max’s safety before the first crash.
When Juul was created, the company’s founders told federal regulators that its product would save lives. Those regulators were eager to believe them. Today, part two in our series on the promise and the peril of vaping.
Guest: Sheila Kaplan, an investigative reporter for The New York Times covering the intersection of money, medicine and politics. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.
Background reading:Here’s the first episode in this two-part series, describing how one man’s mysterious death changed our understanding of vaping and its consequences.The federal government has repeatedly delayed or weakened efforts to regulate e-cigarettes, allowing a new generation to become addicted to nicotine.
After a five-year international manhunt, the leader of the Islamic State, who at one point controlled a caliphate the size of Britain, was killed in a raid by elite United States forces in Syria over the weekend.
Today, we explore the life and death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — and the legacy he leaves behind. Guest: Rukmini Callimachi, who covers terrorism and the Islamic State for The Times, in conversation with Natalie Kitroeff. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.
Background reading:Kurdish forces were essential in the mission to track and identify Mr. al-Baghdadi. President Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from northern Syria threw the operation into turmoil.Some survivors of Islamic State brutality said Mr. al-Baghdadi’s death came too late. “He deserves a worse and more abhorrent death,” one added.
When John Steffen died, his family had little doubt that a lifetime of cigarette smoking was to blame. Then, the Nebraska Department of Health got an unusual tip.
Today, we begin a two-part series on the promise and the peril of vaping. Guest: Julie Bosman, a national correspondent for The New York Times, spoke with Kathleen Fimple and her daughter, Dulcia Steffen, in Omaha, Nebraska. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.
Background reading:John Steffen trusted vaping could help him quit smoking. Instead, he became one of vaping’s first victims in Nebraska. Vaping can cause lung damage resembling toxic chemical burns, according to researchers at the Mayo Clinic.
At a rally in New York City last weekend, Senator Bernie Sanders drew the largest crowd of his presidential campaign — at a moment when his candidacy may be at its most vulnerable. After a heart attack this month, Mr. Sanders faced a challenge in convincing voters that he had the stamina to run both a campaign and the country. His first rally since his hospital stay attracted supporters still resentful of his loss in 2016, and of a party establishment they feel favored Hillary Clinton over Mr. Sanders in the primary. The question for Democratic candidates now is how to respond to this grievance and harness the fervor of Sanders supporters to mobilize support for the Democratic Party more broadly.
Background coverage:Revitalized by an endorsement from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders proclaimed “I am back” as he rebooted his campaign after a health scare.The response to Sanders’s rally from public housing residents in Queens exposed the race and class tensions in a gentrifying slice of New York City.
Before the career diplomats working in Ukraine discovered a “highly irregular” power structure around President Trump determined to undermine and derail them, a Trump cabinet secretary said the same thing happened to him.
Today, David J. Shulkin, former secretary of Veterans Affairs, speaks about his experience with “a dual path of decision making in the White House” and how falling out of favor with President Trump’s political appointees ended his tenure. Guest: David J. Shulkin, a former secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs in the Trump administration. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.
Background listening and reading:Mr. Shulkin’s story matches a pattern described that career diplomats have described to the impeachment inquiry. Here’s a “Daily” episode about their testimony.Back channels to the White House are at the heart of the investigation.
The Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry are calling testimony from the acting envoy to Ukraine the “most damning” yet, implicating President Trump himself in a quid pro quo over military aid to the country. William B. Taylor Jr., a career diplomat who has served under both Democratic and Republican administrations, prepared a 15-page opening statement for investigators on Tuesday. He described his testimony as “a rancorous story about whistle-blowers, Mr. Giuliani, side channels, quid pro quos, corruption and interference in elections.” In his statement, Mr. Taylor documented two divergent channels of United States policymaking in Ukraine, “one regular and one highly irregular.” He said Mr. Trump had used the shadow channel to make America’s relationship with Ukraine — including a $391 million aid package — conditional on its government’s willingness to investigate one of his political rivals, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., and his family. The question of a quid pro quo for the military aid has been pursued by House Democrats since the beginning of the impeachment inquiry. In Mr. Taylor, investigators have a former ambassador testifying under oath that the allegations are true.
Background coverage:Here are six key takeaways from Mr. Taylor’s opening statement to impeachment investigators.This is the evidence collected and requested in the impeachment inquiry so far.
Yesterday on “The Daily,” we met Kamalle Dabboussy, who said his daughter had been tricked by her husband into joining the Islamic State. His daughter and three grandchildren are being held in a Syrian detention camp for the relatives of ISIS fighters.
When we left off, Mr. Dabboussy had just received a call from a journalist that suggested his family’s situation was about to become far more precarious. President Trump had announced that he would withdraw U.S. troops from the Syrian border, and Kurdish forces who had been guarding the prisons were expected to abandon their posts, leaving the detainees’ lives in imminent danger.
Today, we follow Mr. Dabboussy’s struggle to convince the Australian government that his daughter and her children are worth saving — despite their ties to the Islamic State.
Guest: Livia Albeck-Ripka, a reporter for The Times in Melbourne, Australia, spoke with Kamalle Dabboussy, whose daughter Mariam is trapped in Syria with her children. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.
Background coverage:Here’s the first episode in this two-part series, in which we introduced Kamalle Dabboussy and his fight to bring his family home from a war zone.Mr. Dabboussy is one of a cohort of parents in Australia lobbying the government to help release their loved ones from detention camps in northern Syria.
Since the fall of the Islamic State, many of the group’s fighters and their families have been held in prison camps controlled by U.S.-allied Kurdish forces. Parents around the world have been trying to get their children and grandchildren out of the camps and back to their home countries. Now, the fate of those detainees has become an urgent question after President Trump’s abrupt recall of American troops from the Syrian border.
We follow one father as he fights to get his daughter, a former ISIS bride, and her children back to Australia.
Guest: Livia Albeck-Ripka, a reporter for The Times in Melbourne, Australia, spoke to Kamalle Dabboussy, whose daughter Mariam is trapped in Syria with her three children. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.
Background coverage:“There will be ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish people from Syria, and the American administration will be responsible for it,” said Mazlum Kobani, a Kurdish military commander, when asked about a full American withdrawal from northern Syria.President Trump is now said to be considering leaving a few hundred troops in eastern Syria to defend against an ISIS resurgence.