Politics: Public impeachment testimony is set to begin. Here are the lawmakers to watch - - PressFrom - US
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Politics Public impeachment testimony is set to begin. Here are the lawmakers to watch

12:25  13 november  2019
12:25  13 november  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

Trump calls on Ukraine whistleblower to come forward

  Trump calls on Ukraine whistleblower to come forward Trump calls on Ukraine whistleblower to come forward .The impeachment focuses on Trump's request in a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy for an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival, and his son. Lawmakers are also looking at testimony that Trump withheld $391 million in U.S. aid from Ukraine to pressure Zelenskiy to launch, and publicly announce, such a probe.

WASHINGTON – Public hearings are set to begin Wednesday in the impeachment inquiry into allegations that President Donald Trump Republicans lawmakers on the committee will try to cast doubt on the testimony from the trio of diplomats – and Here are the committee members to watch

How to Watch : The New York Times will stream the testimony live, and a team of reporters in He told lawmakers that he knew at that time that “more Ukrainians would undoubtedly die without the U.S. assistance.” Here are the lawmakers to watch as the impeachment process unfolds.

Video by Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Public hearings are set to begin Wednesday in the impeachment inquiry into allegations that President Donald Trump used military aid as leverage to pressure Ukraine into conducting investigations that stood to benefit him politically. 

The House Intelligence Committee will conduct the hearings this week, which are scheduled to include testimony from Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine; William Taylor, who replaced Yovanovitch as the top American diplomat in Ukraine; and George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary at the State Department who oversees policy in a half-dozen former Soviet states, including Ukraine. 

White House dismisses impeachment transcripts: Trump 'has done nothing wrong'

  White House dismisses impeachment transcripts: Trump 'has done nothing wrong' The White House claimed Tuesday that newly released transcripts showed there is “even less evidence” underscoring House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s interactions with Ukraine than previously known. © The Hill White House dismisses impeachment transcripts: Trump 'has done nothing wrong' "Both transcripts released today show there is even less evidence for this illegitimate impeachment sham than previously thought," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.

The House set to begin public hearings against the president – who has struggled furiously to prevent the investigation. “This will only be the fourth time in more than 225 years that Congress has considered the impeachment of a president.”

He told lawmakers that he knew at that time that “more Ukrainians would undoubtedly die without the U.S. assistance.” The July 25 call. Here are the lawmakers to watch as the impeachment process unfolds. Mr. Trump repeatedly pressured Mr. Zelensky to investigate people and issues of political

In their closed-door testimony, Yovanovitch, Taylor and Kent raised concerns about the efforts of Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to push Ukraine toward opening investigations related to former Vice President Joe Biden and 2016 election interference. Taylor testified that the military aid was frozen for the explicit purpose of compelling Ukraine to begin the probes, contradicting Trump's claim that there was never a "quid pro quo."   

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Impeachment inquiry: Who are the 15 witnesses in the Trump impeachment inquiry and what have they said?

Republicans lawmakers on the committee will  try to cast doubt on the testimony from the trio of diplomats – and on the impeachment inquiry in general. They are likely to try to change the focus by insisting that Trump had a legitimate concern about alleged corruption involving Biden and his son Hunter. 

Here are the committee members to watch: 

Adam Schiff 

Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., was a leading Trump critic during the investigations into Russian election meddling, predicting after the midterm elections that Trump could "be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time" when he leaves office. He said in a USA TODAY op-ed that the president appeared to be "compromised" by Russia.

In the Ukraine case, Schiff said Trump is guilty of "abusing his power to the detriment of our national security and doing so to get yet another foreign country to intervene in our election."

Republicans called on Schiff to step down after the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller did not lead to official charges against the Trump campaign. They have repeated calls for him to resign amid the impeachment inquiry, implying that he manipulated witnesses. Trump alleged he doctored the transcripts in the case, despite the fact that Republicans were present for the testimony. 

Devin Nunes 

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee and preceded Schiff as chairman, a role he used to defend Trump during the Russia probe. Nunes temporarily stepped aside from his leadership role during the probe amid an ethics complaint that said he briefed White House officials on classified material in the case without first sharing it with the committee. 

Nunes called the impeachment inquiry a one-sided political "sham." Saturday, he submitted a list of proposed Republican witnesses that included Hunter Biden and witnesses he said could support Trump and Giuliani's theory that Ukraine, not Russia, was the true culprit behind meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

Nunes asked for the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint helped spark the inquiry to publicly testify so Trump can "confront his accusers" and Republicans could find out who "may have fed the information" to him or her. 

Jim Jordan 

Jim Jordan standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. © J. Scott Applewhite/AP Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee, moved to the Intelligence Committee this month to help lead the defense of the president during the public hearings. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Jordan's addition would "ensure more accountability and transparency in this sham process." 

During the initial hearings in the inquiry, Jordan repeatedly used his opening statements to condemn what he called the Democrats' unfair process in the impeachment probe. 

Like Nunes, Jordan said the whistleblower should be compelled to testify, writing in a USA TODAY op-ed that "Americans should assess for themselves the credibility and motivations of the individual who initiated the inquiry." 

Eric Swalwell 

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., had been a zealous advocate for Trump's impeachment even before the Ukraine allegations became public, joining other Democrats who said the potential acts of obstruction of justice outlined by Mueller warranted the president's removal. 

Swalwell, who was briefly among the large field of Democratic presidential primary candidates, is a former prosecutor who will be eager to put the Trump administration on trial. 

Will Hurd 

Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, is a moderate Republican who has bucked the president, calling Trump's depiction of a crisis on the U.S.-Mexican border a "myth." Hurd, the lone African American Republican in the House, called Trump's tweet telling four minority congresswomen to "go back" to their countries of origin "racist and xenophobic." 

Hurd has been highly critical of Democrats' handling of the impeachment process and backed calls for Hunter Biden to testify. The former CIA officer does not support the push to force the whistleblower to be unmasked. 

Hurd will be a lawmaker to watch for any signs that Republicans from swing districts could break ranks and turn on Trump.

During an interview this week on "Fox News Sunday," Hurd said he believed Trump was trying to crack down on corruption in Ukraine, but "trying to get information on a political rival to use in a political campaign is not something a president or any official should be doing" and "would be a violation of the law."

John Ratcliffe

This summer, Trump pushed for Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, to become his director of national intelligence, but even Republicans said he was too partisan for the role. 

Ratcliffe gained national attention for his aggressive questioning of Mueller.

"Donald Trump is not above the law. He's not. But he damn sure shouldn't be below the law," he said, scolding the former special counsel. 

Here are the other members of the committee: 

Democrats   

  • Rep. Jim Himes, 4th District of Connecticut
  • Rep. Terri Sewell, 7th District of Alabama
  • Rep. Andre Carson, 7th District of Indiana
  • Rep. Jackie Speier, 14th District of California
  • Rep. Mike Quigley, 5th District of Illinois
  • Rep. Joaquin Castro, 20th District of Texas
  • Rep. Denny Heck, 10th District of Washington
  • Rep. Peter Welch, Vermont at-large
  • Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, 18th District of New York
  • Rep. Val Demings, 10th District of Florida
  • Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, 8th District of Illinois

Republicans  

  • Rep. Mike Conaway, 11th District of Texas
  • Rep. Mike Turner, 10th District of Ohio
  • Rep. Brad Wenstrup, 2nd District of Ohio
  • Rep. Chris Stewart, 2nd District of Utah
  • Rep. Elise Stefanik, 21st District of New York

Contributing: Christal Hayes and Bartholomew D. Sullivan

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Public impeachment testimony is set to begin. Here are the lawmakers to watch

Staffer who overheard Trump call with Sondland testifies in closed hearing .
David Holmes, an aide to Ambassador Bill Taylor, overheard a July 26 call between Trump and Gordon Sondland about UkraineHolmes is a counselor for political affairs at the U.S. embassy in Kiev, according to the embassy's website.

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