Questioning begins in first public Trump impeachment hearing
Updated: 2019-11-14 16:53:58 KST
The top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, William Taylor, who was widely seen as the Democrats' "star witness", has revealed fresh new information.
In a televised public hearing on Wednesday, Taylor testified that his staff heard President Trump speaking on the phone to the U.S. ambassador to the EU at a restaurant the day before President Trump's July 25th phone call with Ukraine's new leader.
"Ambassador Sondland told me that President Trump had told him that he wants President Zelensky to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.
Taylor then testified that Sondland told President Trump that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward.
Underlining that he found it to be a confusing, unusual arrangement for making U.S. policy toward Ukraine, Taylor also told House lawmakers that he noticed there were two policy channels operating with Ukraine, a "regular" one, and a highly "irregular" one.
In addition, a top State Department official, George Kent also testified that he didn't witness any efforts by any U.S. official to shield Burisma from scrutiny.
"In fact, I and other U.S. officials consistently advocated reinstituting a scuttled investigation of Zlochevsky, Burisma's founder, as well as holding the corrupt prosecutors who closed the case to account."
Not surprisingly, the man at the center of the inquiry was not happy at all, calling it a sham.
"It's a witch hunt. It's a hoax. I'm too busy to watch it. So I'm sure I'll get a report. There's nothing, I have not been briefed. No. There's nothing there."
In a later press conference, Trump denied making any phone call.
In this week's hearing schedule, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, will testify on Friday.
The public hearings will lead to a vote in the House.
If that passes, it will move to the Senate.
Two-thirds of the Republican-controlled Senate would then have to vote to remove President Trump from office.
KIM Da-mi, Arirang News.