First Public Impeachment Hearings Set to Take Place

Tags: Currents Trump, World News

Currents News Staff

Today on Capitol Hill, the first public impeachment hearings in Congress in more than two decades will take place. Democrats have invited two witnesses to testify today – while Republicans seek to poke holes in their case.

“Those open hearings will be an opportunity for the American people to evaluate the witnesses for themselves,โ€ said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.

Democrats will kick off this next phase with the public testimony of Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, a State Department official who oversees U.S. policy in Ukraine.

Their accounts of the Trump administration’s actions regarding Ukraine are intended to set up the Democrats’ case that President Trump conditioned military aid and a White House visit on a promise that Ukraine would investigate his political rival Joe Biden and the 2016 election.

Republicans, per a memo circulated to the caucus, will argue that the summary of the July 25th phone call that prompted the whistleblower complaint at the core of the impeachment inquiry doesn’t show pressure, that both leaders have said there was no pressure and that Ukraine’s government wasn’t aware there was a hold on aid on July 25th.

They’re also likely to argue that Taylor and Kent don’t offer a firsthand, direct account of the President’s conversation, or intent.

“You can’t actually know what was really said when you’re relying on third- and fourth-hand information,โ€ said Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York.

Trump would be just the third U.S. President to be impeached by the house. Removal from office would be up to the senate, where his republican party holds a majority.