Schiff: Public Impeachment Hearings to Begin Next Week

The Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee says, beginning next week, Americans will hear directly from key witnesses in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.A statement from Adam Schiff said the committee will hear from Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent when public hearings start next Wednesday.  In closed door testimony to impeachment investigators, Taylor said he was told the White House would only free military U.S. aid to Ukraine if it publicly promised to investigate Democrats and the Bidens.  A full transcript of Taylor’s testimony is be released later in the day, according to Schiff.Schiff said the committee will hear Friday from former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.  She has said she was told by a Trump administration official that she should tweet out support for President Donald Trump if she wanted to save her job, according to a transcript of her closed-door testimony to lawmakers made public Monday.Yovanovitch, a career diplomat, was removed from her post in Ukraine in May, several months ahead of schedule. Trump described Yovanovitch as “bad news” in his July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.Yovanovitch told lawmakers that she was shocked and felt threatened when she found out that Trump spoke about her in the phone call.  A whistleblower complaint regarding the call sparked the impeachment probe.  The Democratic-led probe is centered on whether Trump withheld $391 million in military aid to Ukraine unless it investigated one of Trump’s chief 2020 Democratic political rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden, and son Hunter Biden, who worked for a Ukrainian natural gas company.  



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