Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie “Masha” Yovanovitch will appear before House lawmakers beginning at 9 a.m. Friday for the second public hearing in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
How to watch
The House Intelligence Committee will stream video on YouTube, and PBS will carry the hearings live, as will C-SPAN3, C-span.org and C-SPAN Radio. Viewers can also watch the livestream on NYPost.com.
NBC, ABC and CBS plan to interrupt regular broadcasting with special reports on the hearings.
Fox News, CNN and MSNBC plan more extensive coverage, and several news sites will also livestream the proceedings, only the fourth time in US history that the House has held such hearings.
Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, and Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the panel, will start the hearing with their opening statements.
Yovanovitch will then be sworn in and will deliver her opening statement.
Schiff and Nunes are expected to cede part of their time to Daniel Goldman, the committee’s director of investigations, and Steve Castor, GOP counsel for the House Oversight Committee.
The hearing will then move to questioning from individual members, alternating periods of five minutes between both parties. Schiff can add additional rounds at his discretion.
Who is Yovanovitch?
Yovanovitch, who joined the foreign service in 1986 and served under three presidents, was sworn in as ambassador to Ukraine in August 2016.
She was accused without evidence by Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, and others of trying to undermine the president and blocking efforts to investigate Democrats like former Vice President Joe Biden.
In May, she was ousted and told by the deputy secretary of state that Trump “had lost confidence in her.” She was replaced by Bill Taylor.
In closed-door testimony last month, she told lawmakers that Giuliani worked with Yuriy Lutsenko, a former prosecutor in Ukraine, to allege she stood in the way of probes into supposed Ukrainian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign and Burisma, the energy company that had employed Biden’s son, Hunter.
Yovanovitch also was mentioned in the president’s July 25 call with his Ukrainian counterpart. Trump said she was “bad news” and “going to go through some things,” according to the White House summary of the call.
What are the two sides saying?
House Democrats argue that Trump abused his authority in pressing the Ukrainian government to investigate the Bidens.
Trump also pushed for a probe into the 2016 election, believing it was Ukraine and not Russia that meddled in the contest.
Republicans insist the evidence does not support the allegations that “Trump pressured Ukraine to conduct investigations into the president’s political rivals” and does not support the allegations that “Trump covered up misconduct or obstructed justice,” the GOP wrote in a memo on strategy.
GOP lawmakers have called the House probe a sham, while the president himself has called it an attempted coup.
What happens next?
Democrats consider the open hearings crucial to building public support for a formal impeachment vote against Trump.
House investigators can still call other witnesses to testify, most likely Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an Army officer assigned to the National Security Council, and Fiona Hill, a former White House adviser on Russia.
Both testified behind closed doors of their concerns about the Trump administration’s effort to push Ukraine to investigate Democrats.
Eventually, the Intelligence Committee will send a report of its findings to the Judiciary Committee, which would decide whether to pursue articles of impeachment against the president.
If that occurs, the Republican-controlled Senate would hold a trial on the charges. Republicans have so far shown little stomach for removing Trump from office, which would require a two-thirds vote in the Senate.
A House vote on impeachment could come by Christmas.
The post Trump impeachment hearings: Who’s testifying and what you need to know appeared first on New York Post.