The first public impeachment hearing will begin today at 10:00 a.m. before the House Intelligence Committee, with Democrats attempting to make their case that President Trump abused the power of the presidency by delaying military aid to Ukraine in a quid pro quo to pressure the country's president to investigate the Bidens. Ukrainian President Zelensky, however, has said he felt no pressure during the phone call and that the transcript of the call was accurate.
The witnesses that will testify Wednesday are former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor and George Kent, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch is scheduled to testify on Friday.
Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) will be making an opening statement, followed by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the ranking Republican on the committee.
Schiff and Nunes will have 45 minutes each to question witnesses in the first part of the hearing. They can also delegate the questioning to a committee lawyer instead, which Schiff has indicated he'll do.
Schiff will determine if there is a need for an additional 90 minute staff round or to move on to lawmaker questions.
Once the staff question round or rounds conclude, the format will revert to one similar to a traditional congressional hearing, with lawmakers getting five minutes each to ask questions. (NBC)
Republicans are expected to argue that the career diplomats' information is not based on direct interactions with the president.
On Tuesday, President Trump questioned why so much emphasis was being put on "2nd and 3rd hand witnesses."
.....”no pressure” put on him to investigate Sleepy Joe Biden even though, as President, I have an “obligation” to look into corruption, and Biden’s actions, on tape, about firing the prosecutor, and his son’s taking millions of dollars, with no knowledge or talent, from a.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2019
....Ukrainian energy company, and more millions taken from China, and now reports of other companies and countries also giving him big money, are certainly looking very corrupt (to put it mildly!) to me. Both Bidens should be forced to testify in this No Due Process Scam!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2019
President Trump's schedule is clear in the morning until noon, when he meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The length of the hearing is to be determined, but could last until late afternoon.