First public hearings in Trump impeachment probe feature top US diplomat in Ukraine

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent and former US Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor will

house testimony ukraine

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent and former US Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor will testify today before the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry.

The proceedings stem from accusations that President Trump threatened to withhold $400 million in military aid from Kyiv unless Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy agreed to investigate US presidential candidate Joe Biden.

The most recent ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, will testify on Friday. She asserts that she was abruptly removed from her post for standing in the way of investigations focused on Biden.

All three testimonies will likely support the allegations of presidential abuse of power. For its part, the White House has vowed not to cooperate with the inquiry’s proceedings.

With the 2020 elections less than a year away, many centrist Democrats representing swing states or districts remain concerned that supporting impeachment could hurt them electorally, especially among independent voters and moderate Republicans who oppose Trump. Even if the House votes to impeach Trump, he would need to be convicted by the Republican-controlled Senate to be removed. Almost regardless of the evidence presented, a Senate conviction remains extremely unlikely before next year’s elections.

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