The impeachment inquiry of U.S. President Donald Trump shifts into higher gear this week when a parade of officials will face questioning by Democratic lawmakers seeking details that could link Trump to a pressure campaign against Ukraine potentially for his political benefit.
The House Intelligence Committee will host its second week of public hearings in the impeachment probe, featuring testimony from some of the key players in the Ukraine affair.
From Tuesday to Thursday, the committee plans to hear the accounts of eight witnesses appearing in five separate hearings. The witnesses include several figures with direct knowledge of the administration’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to pursue investigations that would benefit President Trump politically.
They include Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, whose direct interactions with Trump are likely to be a main focus in the investigation of whether the president made security aid to Ukraine contingent on it agreeing to dig up dirt on a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
NPR reports that in what was at times dramatic testimony, the trio of diplomats recounted how private citizens, including the president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, impacted the Trump administration’s posture toward Ukraine. Though none of the three was on the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that set off the impeachment inquiry, Democrats say their accounts helped illustrate how Trump sought to leverage security assistance for Ukraine to secure a public commitment from Zelenskiy to investigate Joe Biden, Trump’s potential 2020 rival and the former vice president.
Via CBS / Reuters / NPR