Democrats will hold the first public hearings in the impeachment inquiryinto President Donald Trump next week, marking what appears to be a targeted shift from fact-finding to a public information campaign.
Three key officials will testify in an open forum about their concerns regarding Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, said Adam Schiff, the head of the House Intelligence Committee.
The interim ambassador to Ukraine William Taylorand Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent will testify on November 13. On November 15 the committee will depose Marie Yovanovitch, the former US Ambassador to Ukraine.
The three diplomats have sounded the alarms regarding the release of US security aid to Ukraine being made contingent on Kyiv publicly announcing it would execute the politically-motivated investigations that Trump had demanded.
The diplomats have already testified behind closed doors during the first phase of the investigation.
Yovanovitch, who was ousted by Trump in May of this year, told investigators that she had been told to “watch my back” and that people were “looking to hurt” her.
Kent and Taylor have testified regarding their concerns about Yovanovitch’s removal as the president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, took the lead on Ukraine policy.
Schiff said in his statement that the witnesses will demonstrate that “the most important facts are largely not contested” in the inquiry.
The impeachment inquiry focuses on whether Trump and his agents put pressure on Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to open an investigation into Joe Biden, the president’s political rival, in return for military aid.
mmc/XX (AP, dpa, Reuters)
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