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Politics Key takeaways from day 5 of the public impeachment hearings

08:42  22 november  2019
08:42  22 november  2019 Source:   abcnews.go.com

Support for Trump's impeachment unchanged after hearings begin: Reuters/Ipsos poll

  Support for Trump's impeachment unchanged after hearings begin: Reuters/Ipsos poll The televised impeachment hearings that began this week in the U.S. House of Representatives do not appear to have changed many minds about President Donald Trump, with public support for his impeachment about the same before and after the first U.S. diplomats testified, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. © Reuters/TOM BRENNER U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on honesty and transparency in healthcare prices inside the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington The national online poll, which ran from Thursday to Friday morning, showed that 44% of U.S.

Testifying on Thursday were Fiona Hill, former senior director for Europe and Russia on the White House's National Security Council and David Holmes, a political counselor at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine. Lt. Col.

The House on Wednesday convened its first impeachment hearing in more than 20 years. Testifying was William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, the State Department's top career official tasked with Ukraine policy.

It's day No. 5 of the House impeachment hearings and the last day of testimony scheduled by Democrats so far.

a person holding a knife: Former White House national security aide Fiona Hill, and David Holmes, a U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, right, testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 21, 2019. © Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Former White House national security aide Fiona Hill, and David Holmes, a U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, right, testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 21, 2019.

Testifying on Thursday were Fiona Hill, former senior director for Europe and Russia on the White House's National Security Council and David Holmes, a political counselor at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the Army officer and Ukraine expert at the NSC who testified earlier this week, reported to Hill. Holmes worked in Ukraine and reported to Ambassador Bill Taylor, the top diplomat in Ukraine, who testified last week.

Ivanka Trump Tweets Out Fake de Tocqueville Quote to Bash Impeachment as a ‘Decline of Public Morals’

  Ivanka Trump Tweets Out Fake de Tocqueville Quote to Bash Impeachment as a ‘Decline of Public Morals’ “A decline of public morals in the United States will probably be marked by the abuse of the power of impeachment as a means of crushing political adversaries or ejecting them from office.” Those words, Ivanka Trump claimed, were spoken by Alexis de Tocqueville in 1835. In a Thursday evening tweet, the first daughter used the quotation to bash the impeachment hearings against her father, President Donald Trump.

It's week No. 2 in public hearings on the House impeachment inquiry, and the public gets to hear from witnesses who were listening to President Donald Trump's July 25 phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Testifying Tuesday morning were Army Lt. Col.

Here are five key takeaways from the fourth day of public impeachment hearings against Donald Trump Republican members of the intelligence committee seemed surprised at Sondland’s testimony and at a loss for how to cross-examine him.

Here are five key takeaways:

Trump's former Russia expert warned Republicans were pushing a 'fictional narrative' on Ukraine

In stark terms, Hill warned that Russia was benefiting from the "fictional narrative" pushed by President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans that is it was Ukraine -- not Russia -- that tried to interfere in the 2016 election.

(MORE: Key takeaways from the impeachment hearings on day 4 of public testimony)

While some Ukrainian politicians did support Hillary Clinton over Trump, U.S. intelligence and a bipartisan Senate inquiry found the primary culprit of election interference was Russia, which engaged in a widespread, invasive and secretive campaign to sway voters in support of Trump. 

Voters voice doubts over impeachment hearings: 'This is just useless politics'

  Voters voice doubts over impeachment hearings: 'This is just useless politics' Many voters in Georgia doubt anything will change when the impeachment hearings conclude."I'm not a politician. I can't say that he should be removed, but he's guilty," Robin Walton told ABC News on her way to Sunday services at Ebenezer Baptist Church in downtown Atlanta. "You cannot extort or bribe a foreign government into getting dirt on a political opponent to sabotage our free elections.

19, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing . Pence aide said she was surprised Trump called her out by name. The other witness on Tuesday was Jennifer Williams an adviser to Vice "I see you are wearing your dress uniform, knowing that's not the uniform of the day , you normally wear a suit to the

FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast: Impeachment Hearings Day 3 - The Phone Call. Another key shift in his testimony came with respect to whether this effort was a political one. Schiff took time at the beginning of the hearing to warn Republicans against impugning Vindman’s That argument is already undermined by multiple pieces of evidence — including Giuliani’s public comments and the

Trump rebuffed those findings and pressured Ukraine to investigate a debunked theory that Ukraine was really to blame.

"This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves," Hill testified on Thursday. "The unfortunate truth is that Russia was the foreign power that systematically attacked our democratic institutions in 2016."

Hill testified that this these findings were "beyond dispute," even if some details remain classified. 

"I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine -- not Russia -- attacked us in 2016," Hill added.

She also said Russia's assault on U.S. democracy was ongoing.

(MORE: Read opening statements of Fiona Hill and David Holmes for impeachment hearing )

"Right now, Russia's security services and their proxies have geared up to repeat their interference in the 2020 election," she said. "We are running out of time to stop them."

Democrats warn State Dept against punishing individuals who testify in impeachment hearings

  Democrats warn State Dept against punishing individuals who testify in impeachment hearings A group of Senate Democrats is urging top State Department officials to commit that individuals who testify as part of the House impeachment inquiry hearings won't face retaliation over their remarks.Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the committee's ranking member, sent a letter on Tuesday to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and Undersecretary of State Brian Bulatao urging them to publicly commit to protecting department officials who testify from any potential professional blowback.

Here are seven takeaways from Wednesday’s hearing with Taylor and Kent. 1. Bill Taylor’s Aide Was Told That Trump Cares More About Ukraine has been receiving security assistance from the U.S. in order to protect itself from Russia, which is why Trump’s freezing of the assistance astonished Taylor.

Trump impeachment hearing key moments: Day 3. Schiff took time at the beginning of the hearing to warn Republicans against impugning Vindman’s The House Intelligence Committee concluded the third day of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

The White House countered on Thursday that it was never Trump's suspicion of Ukraine that emboldened Russia, but the impeachment inquiry itself. A White House official told reporters, "Democrats are playing into Russia's hands by trying to undermine the legitimacy of the duly elected president and overturn the voice of American voters."

Hill said Sondland's efforts in Ukraine were a 'domestic political errand'

At one point, Hill described an angry confrontation with Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, who she felt inappropriately interjected himself on Ukraine policy.

Slideshow by photo services

"I actually said to him, 'Who put you in charge of Ukraine?'" she testified. "And I'll admit, I was a bit rude. And that's when he told me, 'the president,' which shut me up."

She said that what angered her was that he wasn't coordinating with the experts on Ukraine, Russia and Europe at the National Security Council. But when she saw him testify on Wednesday, she said it hit her that Sondland was operating with the explicit permission of the president's top advisers. 

Sondland testified on Wednesday to pressing the Ukrainian government into announcing the investigations that Trump wanted and, at one point, told them nearly $400 million in military aid was on the line. He said he was working with Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and that "everyone was in the loop," including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"He was absolutely right because he was being involved in a domestic political errand, and we were being involved in national security foreign policy and those two things had just diverged," Hill testified on Thursday.

Holmes described, in vivid detail, the Trump-Sondland phone call in Kyiv

Holmes was the State Department staffer who took notes on meetings between U.S. and Ukrainian officials, including Sondland, during meetings in Kyiv.

Holmes described going to lunch with Sondland and other staffers afterward. Sitting on a restaurant terrace, across the table from Sondland, Holmes said he could hear from Sondland's cellphone, Trump's voice shouting -- his "very distinctive personality."

Trump asked Sondland whether he was in Ukraine, Holmes told lawmakers on Thursday. 

Sondland "said 'yes,' I'm here in Ukraine and then Ambassador Sondland said 'he loves your a**. He'll do anything you want. He's going to do the investigation,'" Holmes testified.

Holmes says Energy Secretary Perry excluded embassy personnel in talks with Ukraine

Perry, who announced his resignation last month as energy secretary, has ignored a congressional subpoena for documents on his role in Ukraine. The Energy Department says Perry was only aware of an administration effort led, in part by Sondland, to press Ukraine on anti-corruption efforts.

But Holmes provided details on Perry's involvement in Ukraine, including that his staff "excluded" embassy personnel from listening in on meetings with Ukrainian officials. Perry, along with diplomat Kurt Volker and Sondland, were picked by Trump to work with his personal lawyer, Giuliani, on Ukraine issues, according to testimony by Volker and Sondland.

(MORE: Key players in the Trump impeachment probe and what they testified to Congress)

Holmes also testified that Perry, a former Texas governor with deep contacts in the energy sector, passed along a list to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of "people he trusts" who could help the country with energy reform.

The Associated Press reported earlier this fall that Perry tried to put a previous campaign donor on the board of a Ukrainian gas company. Perry told reporters, "we get asked for our recommendations about people who are experts in areas" and that his recommendation were "folks who have expertise in particular areas."

Holmes told lawmakers on Thursday that after Perry passed along his recommendations, he met with "key Ukrainian energy-sector contacts" without diplomatic staff present. 

"Embassy personnel were excluded from these later meetings by Secretary Perry's staff," Holmes testified.

Perry's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bolton described as 'pained,' resigned to Giuliani

Hill worked for John Bolton, the conservative defense hawk who abruptly resigned in September as Trump's national security adviser. And throughout her testimony, Hill made clear that Bolton wasn't in line with what Sondland and Giuliani were trying to do.

It was Bolton who told Hill to report Sondland and Giuliani's pressure campaign on Ukraine to legal counsel, she said. And he specifically told Hill to relay the message that he opposed, "whatever drug deal" the Sondland and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney were cooking up.

In a statement released to reporters on Thursday, Mulvaney’s lawyer said that Hill's testimony is "riddled with speculation and guesses about any role that Mr. Mulvaney played with anything related to Ukraine."

At one point, she testified that she remembered talking to Bolton about Giuliani's false and public "smear campaign" against then-Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Hill said she asked Bolton if there was anything they could do.

Bolton, "basically indicated with body language that there was nothing much that we could do about it," Hill testified on Thursday. "And he then, in the course of that discussion, he said, that Rudy Giuliani was a hand grenade that was going to blow everybody up."

ABC News' Stephanie Ebbs and Jordyn Phelps contributed to this report.

SNL: Jon Hamm’s Bill Taylor Brings ‘Pizzazz’ to Impeachment Hearings .
NBC’s Saturday Night Live took a shot at NBC News in the first moments of its cold open sketch this week when a C-SPAN voiceover noted that “some people” felt the first impeachment hearings were “lacking in pizzazz.” With that in mind, the show presented a soap opera version of the proceedings called “Day of Our Impeachment.” And they found the perfect leading man in Jon Hamm, who took on the role of Ukraine ambassador Bill Taylor. “I don’t just kiss and tell,” he declared. “I kiss and tell and I take notes.” The overly dramatic theatrics played out over Maria Yovanovich’s testimony and a new “bombshell revelation” from Taylor.

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