First public hearings announced
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 first 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 first 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 official 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 first 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 official overseeing European and Eurasian policy, said he raised red flags within the department about the influence 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 amplified by figures like Donald Trump Jr., told investigators she was told to tweet support for Trump if she wanted to keep her job.