Published: Tue, November 19, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump impeachment inquiry: witnesses line up for first public hearings

Trump impeachment inquiry: witnesses line up for first public hearings

Public hearings in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump kicked off Wednesday as two Trump administration officials appeared before the House Intelligence Committee.

Trump has said the call was "perfect" and contained no explicit "quid pro quo".

"Do you agree with me that we shouldn't impeach a president for exercising his constitutional authority?" "Our answer to these questions will affect not only the future of this presidency, but the future of the presidency itself".

The new subplot about the overheard phone conversation was one of a small number of new details to emerge from Democrats' first open hearing in their impeachment inquiry into Trump on Wednesday.

Trump said he was too busy to watch Wednesday and denied having the phone call.

William B. Taylor, former USA envoy to Ukraine.

The hearing, playing out on live television and in the partisan silos of social media, provided the nation and the world a close-up look at the investigation. Trump said Wednesday that he didn't know anything about it. Republicans said nothing really happened - the military aid was ultimately released after Congress complained.

"It's a witch hunt".

Well, we've arrived. Public hearings begin this morning in the impeachment inquiry, marking only the fourth time in American history that such proceedings have occurred.

"Whether President Trump sought to condition official acts, such as a White House meeting or US military assistance, on Ukraine's willingness to assist with two political investigations that would help his re-election campaign?"

Mostly, the five-hour hearing emphasized aspects of the narrative about the Ukraine affair that already have emerged from closed depositions.

Both sides will be playing to a sharply polarized electorate as they move deeper into a six-week-old investigation that has shadowed Trump's presidency with the threat of being removed from office even as he campaigns for a second term.

Harry styles throws major shad at former bandmate Zayn Malik
Niall , Liam , Louis ." before drifting off and struggling to remember the fifth member's name. "Uh. Harry Styles isn't afraid of poking a little fun at himself, or his former One Direction bandmates.

On the docket: House Democrats announced Tuesday night that they want to hear from eight witnesses over three days next week. He is David Holmes, the political counsellor at the embassy in Kyiv, according to an official unauthorized to discuss the matter and granted anonymity.

Each of these witnesses provided lengthy closed door depositions in recent weeks, and the transcripts of their testimony has been released, giving us a good idea of what Democrats and Republicans are likely to ask during public, televised hearings.

Taylor also said some of his staff were at a restaurant with Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and that Sondland called Trump from the restaurant and the staff could hear Trump on the phone asking about "the investigations".

Taylor, a West Point graduate and former Army infantry officer in Vietnam, responded: "I don't consider myself a star witness for anything".

Yovanovitch, a long-serving well-respected diplomat who was recalled as the US ambassador to Ukraine in May after what has been described as a smear campaign backed by Trump and Giuliani, will testify Friday.

Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., also said Democrats have lost all credibility following former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections. He told investigators that he learned about Trump's desire for investigations from other diplomats and couldn't explain to Ukrainians why their military assistance had been withheld. Kent also said he raised concerns in 2015 that Hunter Biden's role at the company could create the perception of a conflict of interest. She will give public testimony on Friday.

Kent also addressed concerns regarding the allegations against Joe Biden that Trump had asked Ukraine to investigate.

Kent said he never saw any efforts by USA officials to shield from scrutiny a Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma, where Hunter Biden, son of Joe Biden, sat on the board.

"We will do everything necessary to protect the whistleblower's identity", Schiff declared.

The Constitution sets a dramatic but vague bar for impeachment, and there's no consensus yet that Trump's actions at the heart of the inquiry meet the threshold of "high crimes and misdemeanours".

Murtaugh told The Hill on Tuesday that some $15 million had come from online donations within three days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) formally announced the impeachment inquiry on September 24. But she pressed ahead after the whistleblower's complaint. "And that he will be held accountable".

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