BREAKING NEWS: Televised impeachment hearings begin NEXT WEEK as Adam Schiff says current top diplomat in Ukraine who said there was a 'quid pro quo' ......
Nov. 06, 2019
The public phase of Democratic-run impeachment hearings is about to begin, with three key witnesses scheduled to appear next week, Rep. Adam Schiff announced.
First to speak in a hearing involving three Democratic-run committees will be Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, who raised alarms in internal messages about holding up U.S. military aide.
Taylor testified last month that he was told that U.S. security military aid to the country was contingent on Kiev putting out a statement they were investigating the Bidens and the 2016 election.
His testimony was buttressed on Tuesday by ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, who testifies he personally told a top Ukrainian official the aid was likely contingent on a public statement about investigating corruption.
Among those testifying before the cameras will be Marie Yavanovich, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was pushed out of her post after a campaign to undermine her by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Yavanonovich testified in private that she was never told why she was removed from her post.
The first witness to speak to the nation will be Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine who wrote in a a text message he thought it was 'crazy' to link U.S. military support to that country with a push for investigations related to a political campaign.
George Kent, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs also will testify.
'Today, Chairman Adam Schiff announced that on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, and Friday, November 15, 2019 the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence will hold its first open hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald J. Trump,' House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement, saying additional details would come later.
According to leaked testimony, Taylor testified that, 'President Trump did insist that President Zelensky go to a microphone and say that he is opening investigations of Biden and 2016 election interference, and that President Zelenskyy should want to do this himself.'
Taylor said Trump wanted to put Zelensky in a 'public box' of committing to those probes before sitting down with him, The Washington Post reported.
He also told lawmakers about a 'parallel' foreign policy outside of regular chanels that he found highly unusual.
In a statement he described a phone call with Sondland. 'During that phone call, Amb. Sondland told me that President Trump had told him that he wants President Zelensky to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election,' he said.
Amid what Democrats call a 'shadow' foreign policy on Ukraine, Kent, a top diplomat on Ukraine issues, testified that he was left out of the loop.
Kent, is the deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.
'Here is a senior State Department official responsible for six countries, one of which is Ukraine, who found himself outside of a parallel process that he felt was undermining 28 years of U.S. policy and promoting the rule of law in Ukraine,” Rep. Gerry Connolly told the New York Times after his testimony.
But Republicans, who have been defending President Trump amid the inquiry, will have some material to work with during the hearing.
Kent also reportedly testified that he raised concerns back in 2015 during the Obama administration when Joe Biden's son, Hunter, took a lucrative position on the boar of Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
House Intelligence chair Rep. Adam Schiff of California wrote on Twitter: 'Next week, the House Intelligence Committee will hold its first open hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry. On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, we will hear from William Taylor and George Kent. On Friday, November 15, 2019, we will hear from Marie Yovanovitch. More to come.'
Democrats haven't specified where the hearings will be head or if members of all three committees conducting an impeachment probe will be allowed to participate.
The televised spectacle has the potential to grip the nation in a way that closed hearings in a basement room of the Capitol have not. Televised impeachment hearings of Richard Nixon were considered critical to moving public opinion against the president.