House Intelligence Wraps its Public Impeachment Hearings – Your Reps Want to Hear From You
How do you feel after the public hearings?
by Countable's Trump Impeachment Coverage | 11.22.19
- The House Intelligence Committee has wrapped all its scheduled public impeachment hearings, hearing from 12 witnesses over the past two weeks.
- Why the probe? The hearings were prompted by allegations that President Donald Trump conditioned diplomatic and military aid to Ukraine on Kiev's willingness to announce investigations into his political rivals. Namely: On a July 25 call, Trump asked Ukrainian President Vladomyr Zelensky to work with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter (who was on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma.) Trump also asked Zelensky to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election.
- What's next? Head here: House Democrats Plan Next Steps in Trump Impeachment Probe
The main takeaways from each hearing
- William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat for Ukraine, testified Wednesday that a State Department staffer told him that he overheard Trump asking Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland about "investigations" he wanted Kiev to pursue that might help him in the 2020 election. This call took place on July 26, a day after the now-infamous phone call between Trump and President Zelensky.
Nov. 15: Marie Yovanovitch's testimony
- Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, told House investigators last month that she felt “threatened,” “concerned,” and uncomfortable after learning that Trump singled her out during a phone call with Zelensky.
- Just as Yovanovitch was testifying, the president tweeted:
- House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) read the tweets in the hearing about 20 minutes after Trump posted them, adding that "some of us here take witness intimidation very seriously."
Nov. 19, a.m.: Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams' testimony
- Vindman, the National Security Council's top Ukraine expert, and Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, said they found the July 25 call "improper" and "unusual," respectively.
Nov. 19, p.m.: Kurt Volker and Tim Morrison's testimony
- Former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker said allegations against Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, are a "conspiracy theory."
- Former NSC official Tim Morrison testified that he wasn't concerned about anything said on the July 25 call. The exchange: Steve Castor, GOP lawyer: "I want to turn our attention back to the July 25 call. You were in the room. Did anything concern you on the call?" Morrison: "No."
- Morrison later testified that Sondland informed him that military aid to Ukraine was conditioned on Zelensky announcing investigations.
Nov. 20, a.m. Gordon Sondland's testimony
“Was there a ‘quid pro quo?’” Sondland said in his opening remarks. “The answer is yes.”
- Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland testified that Trump conditioned a meeting with Zelensky on "a public statement from President Zelensky committing to investigations of Burisma and the 2016 election."
"We all understood that these prerequisites for the White House call and White House meeting reflected President Trump's desires and requirements."
- Sondland testified that he worked with Giuliani "at the express direction" of President Trump on matters involving Ukraine.
- He added that he believed resumption of congressionally-approved military aid to the country, and a meeting with Zelensky, came to be conditioned on Biden-linked investigation.
Nov. 20, p.m.: Laura Cooper and David Hale's testimony
- On November 11, the transcript of Cooper's closed-door deposition was released. Cooper, a Pentagon official, testified that later that day, members of her staff presented her with two unclassified State Department emails revealing that the Ukrainian embassy inquired about the military aid on July 25—the day of Trump's now-infamous cal with Zelensky.
- Fiona Hill, former senior director for Europe and Russia at the NSC, criticized Republican lawmakers on Thursday for spreading a "fictional narrative" that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that meddled in the 2016 presidential elections.
- "Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country — and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did," Fiona said in her opening statement.
"This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves."
What do you think?
The hearings are public for the benefit of the public—you. Now’s the time to tell your reps what you think of the impeachment probe and what you hope to see happen next. Take action above, and share your thoughts below.
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