Politics

Explosive Testimony Unfolds in First Public Impeachment Hearing

Two top U.S. officials revealed under oath their knowledge of President Trump's attempts to enlist a foreign power to help him win the 2020 election. 

In explosive testimony during Congress's first public impeachment hearing in 20 years, two top U.S. officials revealed under oath their knowledge of President Trump's attempts to enlist a foreign power to help him win the 2020 election. 

Senior U.S. diplomats William Taylor and George Kent on Wednesday also detailed their first-hand knowledge of Rudy Giuliani's "shadow diplomacy" to personally benefit Trump. 

Taylor, U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, has testified candidly about Trump’s request to the Ukrainian government to fabricate dirt on the Bidens. During Wednesday's testimony, he said that it’s “crazy” for a president to withhold security aid to help their political ambitions. 

Kent, deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, offered insight into Rudy Giuliani's “shadow ageda” to get former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch removed from her role. On Friday, Yovanovitch will testify.

Democrats' counsel Daniel Goldman later asked Taylor, "In your decades of military service and diplomatic service representing the United States around the world, have you ever seen another example of foreign aid conditioned on the personal or political interests of the President of the United States?

"No, Mr. Goldman, I have not," Taylor replied.

Trump’s past actions were also brought back into the spotlight this week after Rick Gates testified that Roger Stone was giving Trump direct updates on the timing of the 2016 WikiLeaks releases. He also testified that Manafort said Trump was being kept updated on the release of the emails, with the campaign coordinating its own messaging and attacks on Hillary Clinton around these releases with its insider information. Gates worked closely with Stone and Trump’s 2016 campaign manager Paul Manafort.
 
There have only been three attempts to impeach a president in the country’s history, which makes the proceedings in the following weeks particularly historic. The current hearings are expected to last about two weeks.

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