GOP memo outlines party's plan to defend Trump ahead of public hearings

GOP memo outlines party's plan to defend Trump ahead of public hearings

The Republicans also accused committee Democrats of lacking transparency and hiding information from the American people.

House Democrats have alleged that Trump sought an illegal "quid pro quo" from Kiev by threatening to withhold military aid to pressure the country into opening an investigation into former US Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter's business dealings regarding Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings.

Here's a guide to who is testifying, what they'll be asked about and why it matters. The Judiciary Committee then sends the articles of impeachment to the entire House for a vote. With Democrats in control of the House of Representatives, impeachment appears highly likely, as soon as the end of 2019.

William Taylor is the top US diplomat to Ukraine, the chargé d'affaires. That suggests that, if the evidence is strong enough, Democrats will easily pass the impeachment resolution.

Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a Democrat, is unlikely to summon either to testify, and even some Republicans have opposed the push from Mr Trump and some of his supporters that the whistleblower be identified.

Former Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker departs following a closed-door deposition led by the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on October 3, 2019.

Laura Cooper, a deputy assistant secretary of defense who oversaw the US military assistance program for Ukraine, told lawmakers in sworn testimony that President Trump's special envoy to Kyiv, Kurt Volker, told her about the effort on or around August 20.

Taylor's testimony in the closed sessions has been considered among the most damaging to the president.

"My sense is that all of the senior leaders of the US national security departments and agencies were all unified in their - in their view that this assistance was essential", said Cooper, an assistant defense secretary.

Anderson also worked closely with Marie Yovanovitch, who was recalled from her post as US ambassador to Ukraine in the spring after a vocal campaign against her apparently led by Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

"I had been making, and continue to make, this point to all of my Ukrainian official contacts".

She claimed that in a meeting with former Ukraine Special Envoy Kurt Volker, he "did mention something to me that, you know, was the first about somehow an effort that he was engaged in to see if there was a statement that the government of Ukraine would make that would somehow disavow any interference in USA elections and would commit to the prosecution of any individuals involved in election interference".

Whether the public testimony of multiple career diplomats changes that is not clear.

The official apportionment notice from OMB did not arrive until July 25, Cooper testified - the same day Trump and Zelensky spoke via phone.

Also Wednesday, there will be open testimony from George Kent, who will talk about Giuliani's efforts to get former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch removed from her post. Kent said the effort to smear Yovanovitch was part of a "campaign of lies" by Giuliani.

"There's a reason we let murderers and robbers and rapists go free when their due process rights have been violated", Thornberry said on ABC's "This Week".

They're hoping testimony from Taylor, a non-partisan chosen by the Trump administration to work on the Ukraine file, will help bolster their case.

"A senior administration official confirmed to McClatchy that Pam Bondi, former Florida attorney general, and Tony Sayegh, a former Treasury Department official, 'are expected to join the White House communications team to work on proactive impeachment messaging, and other special projects as they arise'". Rep. Peter T. King of NY made a point of stating his intention to vote against impeaching Trump in his retirement announcement Monday, a troubling sign for Democrats.

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