Washington – Democrats will hold the first open hearings in Congress next week as part of the impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump, Adam Schiff, the Head of the House Intelligence Committee, on Wednesday said.
This is what appears to be a targeted pivot from fact-finding to a public information campaign.
Schiff says that three key officials will testify in an open forum.
On Nov. 13, the interim ambassador to Ukraine, William Taylor, will be questioned and on Nov. 15 the committee will publicly depose Marie Yovanovitch.
Yovanovitch is the former ambassador to Kiev, who was pushed out by Trump. George Kent, a diplomat, will also testify.
The impeachment inquiry is focused on whether Trump and his agents pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open a probe into Joe Biden – the president’s political rival- in return for military aid.
Democrats accuse the president of abusing power for personal gain, alleging he was seeking dirt on Biden to give his own political campaign a boost.
Taylor already spoke with lawmakers behind closed doors, though parts of his testimony have been released, in which he expresses concern about the White House’s pressure on Ukraine.
Yovanovitch appears to have been pushed out of office over her refusal to play ball with the White House.
Trump denies there was a quid pro quo in Ukraine, insisting he was only interested in fighting corruption.
However, the mounting evidence shows he had a particular interest in a company linked to Biden’s son and that he was also pursuing a debunked conspiracy theory about the 2016 election.
Biden’s son, Hunter, was paid handsomely for being on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.