U.S. Congress Holds First Open Trump Impeachment Hearing
On Wednesday, November 13, the U.S. House of Representatives began an open hearing as part of an investigation into impeachment against President Donald Trump.
On 10 in the morning, the first public hearings began with the participation of William Taylor, who heads the US embassy in Ukraine, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent, writes “Voice of America".
At the beginning of the meeting, the head of the Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, addressed the meeting with an opening address. He highlighted the highlights of the Congressional investigation and emphasized its importance to the country.
Adam Schiff accused President Donald Trump of exerting pressure on Ukraine to induce it to launch an investigation into one of the main potential rivals of the president in the 2020 election of the year - former vice president Joe Biden - before allocating 391 one million dollars for military assistance to Ukraine opposing pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country.
“If this is not behavior, (entailing) impeachment, then what is it?” Schiff said about the telephone conversations of Donald Trump with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and the events surrounding them.
Schiff emphasized that the public hearing "is intended to reveal the facts to the American people."
Subsequently, Republican lawmaker Devin Nunes criticized the way Democrats oversee the committee and the House of Representatives in general.
In particular, Nunes spoke out against allegations of cooperation between Trump's campaign headquarters and Russia.
Nunez called the ongoing hearings "a theatrical performance broadcast on television." According to him, this performance is harmful to the country.
In his opening statement, George Kent said Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others were campaigning to tarnish the reputation of former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Jovanovic.
He also said that Giuliani’s attempts to “carry out politically motivated investigations” had an impact on relations with Ukraine. Kent added that he did not consider it appropriate for the United States to ask other countries to conduct “electoral, politically-associated investigations of opponents in power.”
According to the witness, American officials have consistently sought to restart the investigation against the founder of the Burisma company in Ukraine. According to Kent, the United States believes that Ukrainian prosecutors received bribes for closing this investigation. Kent added that he expressed concern that Hunter Biden’s work in the company suggested a conflict of interest, but he never noticed any attempts to protect the company in the United States.
William Taylor said he was told of a conversation between US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland and Assistant Zelensky, during which Sondland said that Ukraine would not receive military assistance until Zelensky promised to conduct an investigation into the Burisma company.
Taylor also said that a White House employee told him on Friday that he had heard Trump ask Sondland about the “investigations” during the July 26 telephone conversation. According to the source, Sondland said that Trump is more concerned with investigations into Biden than Ukraine.
At the conclusion of the speeches of Kent and Taylor, Adam Schiff began to ask witnesses questions. Later, the chief Republican on the committee, Devin Nunes, asked questions from witnesses.
According to the schedule of the hearings, five minutes are allotted to the questions of each of the committee members: Republicans and Democrats ask questions in turn.
As previously reported, during the hearing various materials should be presented: excerpts from transcripts, text messages, news articles and posts on social networks.
The hearing is scheduled for completion by 16.30.
In anticipation of the hearings, Republicans and Democrats in Congress expressed their forecasts and assessments.
“This is a calm, prayer-filled, important day for our country,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday night. “This is a sad day, and I would like for us not to have to worry about it.”
A few hours later, President Trump himself spoke out: “A contrived show trial.”
“Why is such attention given to witnesses who have received second-hand and third-hand information, many of whom are Trump’s haters and whose lawyers are Trump’s haters, when it’s enough to read the transcript of the conversation with the Ukrainian president and find out everything first hand?” The president wrote in one from tweets.
On Friday, November 15, the former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Jovanovic will give public testimony, and next week, the following witnesses should speak on November 19, 20 and 21: Jennifer Williams, assistant vice president of Mike Pence; Lt. Col. Alexander Windman, Head of the Department of European Affairs at the National Security Council; former Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Walker; National Security Council Officer Tim Morrison; US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia Laura Cooper; Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale and senior director of the National Security Council for Europe and Russia, Fiona Hill.
As notes "Voice of America“, Witnesses invited to open hearings on these dates have already testified during closed sessions.
On Monday, November 11, Trump called the investigation “a completely one-sided witch hunt” and said he could unveil the transcript of his first conversation with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in April, shortly after Zelensky’s election.
Trump insists that his conversation with Zelensky was "impeccable" and that he did not commit any violations. The president and his party members are also outraged that Democrats are not sufficiently involving Republicans in the investigation process.
The head of the Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, invited the Republicans to submit their list of witnesses, but refuses to call two people whose testimonies are of most interest to the Republicans: Hunter Biden and an intelligence officer who submitted a memo in connection with the conversation between Trump and Zelensky.
Trump on Monday was indignant on Twitter: “Schiff doesn't give witnesses, lawyers, or due process to the Republicans!”
Schiff, in turn, states that the Trump administration is obstructing the investigation by not allowing summoned witnesses to testify and not providing the required documents.
As ForumDaily wrote earlier:
- On September 20, the congressmen became interested in a telephone conversation between President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky and US President Donald Trump as part of an investigation into whether Trump and his lawyer Rudolf Giuliani tried put pressure on Ukraine in order to help Trump's election campaign in 2020 year.
- 24 September Democrats announced the start of an official request for US impeachment, which was triggered by a conversation between Ukrainian and American leaders.
- 25 September US State Department published conversation transcript President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky and President of the United States Donald Trump.
- On September 26, an anonymous informant stated in his complaint that in the USA tried to hide the content of the conversation trump and Zelensky.
- 28 September Special Representative of the US State Department for Ukraine Kurt Walker resigned.
- 3 October стало известноthat the level of approval of US President Donald Trump has risen to 49 percent - this is the highest figure in 2019 year.
- 7 October US President demanded “immediate impeachment”House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The head of the White House accused her of "serious crimes and misconduct, and possibly of high treason."
- 9 October in the White House officially announced refusal to cooperate with the investigation on the possibility of declaring impeachment to US President Donald Trump, which is held by Democrats in the House of Representatives. The presidential administration considers these accusations to be "baseless" and "unconstitutional."
- 31 October US House of Representatives approved the resolutionaccording to which the investigation into the possibility of impeachment to US President Donald Trump goes to the public stage.
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