First pub­lic hear­ings an­nounced

USA TODAY International Edition - - FRONT PAGE - Ni­cholas Wu and Christal Hayes

The pub­lic phase of the im­peach­ment in­quiry into whether Pres­i­dent Trump abused his power by pres­sur­ing a for­eign gov­ern­ment into in­ves­ti­gat­ing a po­lit­i­cal ri­val is set to be­gin next Wed­nes­day, the House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee an­nounced.

WASH­ING­TON – The first set of pub­lic hear­ings in the im­peach­ment in­quiry into Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump will hap­pen next week, the House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee an­nounced on Wed­nes­day.

“Next week, the House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee will hold its first open hear­ings as part of the im­peach­ment in­quiry,” said In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee Chair­man Adam Schiff on Twit­ter, ad­ding that more hear­ings were to come.

Schiff, speak­ing to re­porters out­side the se­cure room in the Capi­tol base­ment where State Depart­ment official David Hale was tes­ti­fy­ing, said that the open hear­ings will al­low the pub­lic to see the ev­i­dence and hear from wit­nesses them­selves and “make their own de­ter­mi­na­tions.”

The Oct. 31 vote to for­mal­ize the im­peach­ment process laid out a for­mat for the pub­lic phase of the in­quiry.

The first hear­ings will be held on Nov. 13 with Am­bas­sador Wil­liam Tay­lor and Deputy As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary Ge­orge Kent.

Tay­lor is the head Amer­i­can diplo­mat in Ukraine and has told con­gres­sional in­ves­ti­ga­tors be­hind closed doors that a White House meet­ing be­tween Trump and Ukrainian Pres­i­dent Volodymyr Ze­len­sky as well as se­cu­rity aid would be con­di­tioned on in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Democrats.

Kent, the State Depart­ment official over­see­ing Eu­ro­pean and Eurasian pol­icy, said he raised red flags within the depart­ment about the influence of Trump’s per­sonal at­tor­ney Rudy Gi­u­liani in Ukraine pol­i­cy­mak­ing.

Am­bas­sador Marie Yo­vanovitch will tes­tify pub­licly on Nov. 15. Yo­vanovitch, who was dis­missed as the U. S. Am­bas­sador to Ukraine fol­low­ing crit­i­cism in con­ser­va­tive me­dia am­plified by figures like Don­ald Trump Jr., told in­ves­ti­ga­tors she was told to tweet sup­port for Trump if she wanted to keep her job.


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