UPDATED 1:55 PM PT — Monday, November 18, 2019
The House Intelligence Committee will hold more public hearings this week in the ongoing impeachment probe. Testimonies will start Tuesday and will continue through Thursday. During that time, eight witnesses will take the stand.
“The American public, for the first time, will be really paying attention to the body language and the exact language, verbal language, of these witnesses. It’s one thing to read the private remarks on paper weeks after the fact, it’s another thing to see them face questions live on television.”
— Eric Tucker, correspondent – Associated Press
Among them is Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, Vice President Mike Pence’s aide Jennifer Williams, former Special Representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker, and outgoing National Security Council Senior Director of European and Russian Affairs Tim Morrison.
Most notably, Tuesday’s hearings all feature witnesses who were reportedly on the president’s July phone call with Ukraine with first-hand knowledge except for former special envoy Volker. He and outgoing National Security Council Director Morrison privately testified largely in defense of the administration’s Ukraine foreign policy during closed-door testimonies back in October.
On Wednesday, EU ambassador Gordon Sondland, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia Laura Cooper, and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale are set to give their testimonies. In this round of hearings all eyes will be on ambassador Sondland, who is considered a key witness to the investigation and reportedly one of three individuals who was tasked with carrying out President Trump’s policy in Ukraine.
Finally on Thursday, former National Security Counsel Senior Director Fiona Hill will close out the week. Hill was in attendance during a July 10th White House meeting with former National Security Agency Director John Bolton, ambassador Sondland, and top Ukrainian officials who are at the center of debate.
Conflicting reports from U.S. officials describe the meeting, on one hand, as diplomatic and, on the other, as concerning. The marathon of hearings will move the House one step closer to its ultimate vote on impeachment.