House To Hold First Public Impeachment Hearings Next Week
House Democrats announced Wednesday they will hold the first public impeaching hearings next week, thus ending the closed-door deposition phase of their investigation into President Donald Trump‘s dealings with Ukraine.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) — the House Intelligence Committee chairman whose panel is spearheading the impeachment probe — said the first testimony will be held on Nov. 13. The first two figures to be interviewed will be William Taylor, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, and George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of State. Both of them are expected to reveal crucial information regarding Trump’s negotiations with Ukraine.
Two days later, Marie Yovanovitch — another former top diplomat to Ukraine — will testify. Yovanovitch was forced out as ambassador to the country after Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani pushed for her ouster. Yovanovitch said this week she felt threatened by Trump and Giuliani. These testimonies will follow the key admissions provided by of the ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland. On Tuesday, Sondland updated his testimony to reveal he was aware of and played a key role in the quid pro quo Trump committed that involved withholding military aid to Ukraine and a White House meeting with the country’s president until its leader investigated Joe Biden and his son. Taylor was the first figure to directly link Trump to the quid pro quo with Ukraine. The full transcript of Taylor’s closed-door testimony was released on Wednesday.
Ambassador Taylor’s testimony reveals how, through a shadow foreign policy channel, Trump withheld military assistance and a White House meeting from Ukraine until Ukrainian officials agreed to announce investigations to help Trump politically.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) November 6, 2019
The House Intelligence Committee is set to lead many other public hearings while Democrats continue to build their case that Trump abused his authority by soliciting help from Ukraine and other foreign governments to investigate his political rivals. Last week, the House passed a resolution that formalized and established rules and procedures for the impeachment inquiry. House Democrats are now one step closer to impeaching Trump.
Trump and his lawyers will likely fight any efforts that House Democrats take towards removing him from office, especially when the Judiciary Committee takes over the process and formally introduces and amends articles of impeachment.