Your impeachment score: 0
Special counsel Robert S.Mueller III is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible coordination with your campaign. You need additional legal help.
Giuliani comes on board. He takes a leading role advocating for your positions on television.
Giuliani doesn't join your team, but he's still out there on cable news, defending your positions. Maybe, though, this is enough to avoid impeachment.
End of 2018
Giuliani starts poking around on Ukraine, meeting with sketchy former officials and generating an unfounded theory about wrongdoing by former vice president Joe Biden. In the spring, he's making the case on TV and his arguments are mirrored in columns by The Hill's John Solomon, which then make their way onto Fox News.
You become immersed in the Giuliani narrative about what he believes happened in Ukraine—even though it's not accurate.
Since Giuliani is your attorney, you're still kept in the loop.
Since Giuliani isn't even part of your team, his arguments stay at a distance.
Giuliani and others start publicly targeting Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch for criticism.
With you on the sidelines, the State Department (after speaking with Giuliani) decides to cut Yovanovitch loose. There's now a diplomatic vaccuum in Ukraine.
Your advocacy for Yovanovitch ensures that she remains, continuing to put pressure on corruption in the country.
Your direct decision to oust Yovanovitch makes clear how closely you're tracking events in the country and will make later efforts to pin the blame elsewhere more difficult.
Volodymyr Zelensky wins the Ukrainian presidential election. In a call with him, he repeatedly asks that you send a high-profile official to his inauguration.
Vice President Pence attends, sending a strong message to Russia about U.S. support for Ukraine.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry attends. Any Russian observer may assume that Ukraine isn't a critical priority for the U.S.
The delegation that comes back from the inauguration—a group including officials who will later refer to themselves as the 'three amigos'—tells you that they're confident Zelensky will address corruption. You're nonetheless somewhat skeptical.
An irregular channel is established through which Giuliani can advocate for his position.
Your hands-on approach with your irregular channel will be a significant problem once efforts to pressure Ukraine come to light.
Instead of establishing an irregular channel for dealing with Ukraine, you allow the normal diplomatic process to move forward, avoiding any appearance of prejudice.
The Department of Defense announces a $250 million military aid package to Ukraine.
The aid package will move forward, as expected.
You decide that the large aid package shouldn't go forward, and instruct your acting chief of staff to put a hold on it in early July.
Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, one of the amigos, informs Ukrainian officials during a White House meeting that a desired meeting with Zelensky in Washington will only follow the announcement of investigations useful to Trump. This statement raises immediate alarm bells within the administration.
The aid halt becomes known more widely in the administration, triggering new concerns.
After weeks of back and forth, a call with Zelensky is planned following his party's dominant performance in parliamentary elections.
Sondland informs Ukraine special enovy Kurt Volker to tell a Zelensky aid that a White House meeting depends on an investigation. Volker passes the message along.
Because he's been focused on the issue, Sondland independently informs Ukraine special enovy Kurt Volker to tell a Zelensky aide that a White House meeting depends on an investigation. Volker passes the message along.
The call begins.
On the call, you and Zelensky exchange pleasantries. He makes it clear that he's interested in buying arms, opening up an opportunity for leverage.
Are you explicit in tying the aid to the meeting?
You explicitly tell Zelensky: No 2016 investigation, no meeting.
You explicitly tell Zelensky: No Biden investigation, no meeting.
You explicitly tell Zelensky: No 2016 or Biden investigations, no meeting.
You ask Zelensky to investigate a rumor you heard about a server in Ukraine.
You ask Zelensky to investigate a rumor you heard about Joe Biden and his son.
You ask Zelensky to investigate rumors you heard about a server in Ukraine and about Joe Biden.
Sondland and Volker work on a statement from Ukraine announcing the investigations.
A whistleblower who's spoken with a number of administration officials is concerned enough about what they're hearing to file a formal complaint.
The stoppage in aid becomes public.
You are informed about the whistleblower complaint.
Sondland tells Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) that he thinks the aid stoppage will only be lifted if Ukraine announces investigations.
Sondland tells a senior aide to Zelensky that the aid stoppage will only be lifted if Ukraine announces investigations.
Sondland asks you what you want in order to release the aid.
Your reason makes clear that the aid isn't tied to probes—and establishes an important record of denial.
Your failure to explain the halt will raise further questions down the line.
Your failure to explain the halt will raise further questions down the line—and your insistence that there was 'no quid pro quo' seems more defensive than anything.
According to the law, the whistleblower complaint must be released to Congress.
Your willingness to share the complaint reinforces that you are open to criticism and aren't worried about ramifications.
Withholding the complaint will later be seen as an effort to keep improper activity out of sight.
By mid-September, your administration is moving forward. Ukraine is sort of a mess, but it's not something that poses an immediate risk to your presidency. Congratulations: You navigated Ukraine diplomcay effectively.
By mid-September, there are enough rumblings about what's going on in Ukraine to warrant questions by Democrats in Congress. They announce an investigation into what happened there, but it's one of many similar investigations that are already underway. It’s not ideal, but not anything exceptional for your administration.
By mid-September, there is so much smoke hanging over your interactions with Ukraine that congressional Democrats see sufficient political support to launch a full impeachment probe centered on the issue. Your presidency will probably survive, given the composition of the Senate, but you run a real risk of being only the third president in history to be impeached.