Public impeachment hearings to begin next week

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Donald Trump

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The latest news on the impeachment inquiry

  • The House Intelligence Committee will hold the first open hearings of the impeachment inquiry next week, featuring public testimony from three key witnesses.
  • House Democrats released transcripts of the testimony from former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland.
  • White House lawyers are expected to take the lead on defending the president in the impeachment inquiry as it moves to its public phase.
  • Democrats sent a letter to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney requesting he appear before impeachment inquiry committees on Friday.

Washington — The House Intelligence Committee announced the first public hearings in the impeachment inquiry will take place next week, featuring testimony from three witnesses.

The committee will hear from William Taylor, the U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, and Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent on Wednesday. Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will testify before the committee on Friday.

“Those open hearings will be an opportunity for the American people to evaluate the witnesses themselves,” House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff told reporters at the Capitol.

Schiff also said the committees would also be releasing on Wednesday a transcript of testimony by Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine who raised concerns about U.S. policy toward the country.

On Tuesday, the U.S. ambassador to the E.U. revised earlier testimony to the House committees leading the impeachment probe, saying he now recalls telling a top Ukrainian official that the release of military aid “likely” required the country to announce anti-corruption investigations into President Trump’s rivals.

Gordon Sondland, in an addendum to his October testimony, claimed his memory has been “refreshed” after reviewing others’ testimony. Now, in revised testimony dated Monday, November 4, Sondland said he recalls that aid to Ukraine was, according to his understanding, conditioned on Ukraine making a public anti-corruption statement.

Sondland initially told lawmakers he was unaware Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani was targeting former Vice President Joe Biden by urging Ukrainian officials to open an investigation into Ukrainian gas company Burisma, which had put Biden’s son on its board of directors.

In the addendum, Sondland said he now remembers a September conversation with Andrey Yermak, an aide to Ukraine’s president, in which he “said that the resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.”

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