A three day, nine witness impeachment hearing blitz comes to a conclusion on Thursday, as lawmakers will hear from a former Russia expert on the National Security Council, and a Foreign Service Officer who currently works at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, as Republicans and Democrats continue to consume these proceedings like people living on different planets.
After Wednesday's testimony with Ambassador Gordon Sondland, this session will feature Fiona Hill, who worked on the National Security Council until this July, and David Holmes, who overheard Sondland's phone conversation with President Trump, in which Mr. Trump reportedly asked about Ukraine announcing investigations sought by the President.
Here's the latest on the impeachment hearings:
7:45 am. If you missed the end of the Gordon Sondland hearing on Wednesday, members of the public audience gave him a standing ovation, and extended applause as he left the hearing room. There was a similar reaction last Friday for ex-Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
7:30 am. The news from the evening hearing evidently did not sit well with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), as more than an hour after the hearing ended, Jordan tweeted out his skepticism about Cooper's testimony, and the discovery of her staff.
7:25 am. The day after the July 25 phone call, a group of top U.S. officials gathered in Washington to meet about military aid to Ukraine. The number three official in the State Department testified last night that a White House budget official made clear aid to Ukraine was on hold - under orders from the President.
7:15 am. The biggest piece of news to come out of last night's impeachment hearing was about when Ukraine officials found out that U.S. aid was being delayed. Pentagon official Laura Cooper said her staff had uncovered emails which showed Ukraine embassy officials in Washington asking what was going on with U.S. aid money. Those emails were sent on - July 25. Why is that important? That's the same day President Trump had his phone call with the leader of Ukraine.
7:00 am. If you missed the Sondland hearing on Wednesday, you missed one of the more unique hearings in some time on Capitol Hill. Sondland sharpened his previous testimony, accusing Rudy Giuliani of a quid pro quo in which he pressed Ukraine to announce investigations backed by President Trump, in exchange for a White House meeting with the President.
When the hearing began, the top Republican said Sondland would be smeared - presumably by Democrats. But it was GOP lawmakers who scrapped with the Ambassador over his testimony, where he all but said that President Trump had ordered a hold on aid to Ukraine, in order to get the government to announce investigations of Hunter Biden, and the conspiracy theory that Ukraine - and not Russia - had interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections.
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