First public impeachment inquiry hearings begin

Posted at 9:32 AM, Nov 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-13 15:44:01-05

WASHINGTON D.C. — Wednesday marks the first time that impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump will be open to the public.

The House Intelligence Committee will speak with two Trump administration officials on Wednesday about the administration's policy in Ukraine.

Set to testify are Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent — who oversaw the administration's policy on European and Eurasian affairs — and William Taylor, America's top diplomat in Ukraine.

Kent said during closed testimony that he had previously raised concerns about former vice president and Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden's son Hunter's employment by a Ukranian energy company Burisma Holdings. He also raised concerns about an alleged "campaign of lies" being disseminated by Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

Taylor's private testimony perhaps was the most damming that has been released thus far. He testified that he had a "clear understanding" that there was a quid pro quo between the United States' defense aid to Ukraine in exchange for Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky announcing an investigation into the Bidens.

At the heart of the impeachment inquiry is a whistleblower complaint that alleges Trump threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine unless Zelensky agreed to open a corruption investigation into the son of former Vice President Biden.

Read more here: Impeachment inquiry hearings go live on TV as House interviews George Kent, William Taylor