Trump Impeachment Hearing Updates

The Trump impeachment hearings began just over 2 months ago, and it has been massive news in the political arena. This set of hearings is the first impeachment process in 21 years, the last was Bill Clinton who was impeached for perjury to a grand jury and obstruction of justice. President Trump may face charges of obstruction of justice if the House Judiciary Committee decides to proceed with the impeachment process. For the past week, many major news networks have been showing coverage of the many hours of hearings that the House Intelligence Committee have overseen. The Committee has conducted these hearings to retrieve the truth to the best of their ability, and so that when submitting their report to the Judiciary Committee they can present their honest recommendation with the facts that they have heard. Most of the talks have centered around President Trump actions regarding the withholding of aid from Ukraine to force the Ukrainian President to look into former Vice President Biden, a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

The hearings revealed many different variations of the truth from many different sources. The House Intelligence Committee heard from many people with valuable information relating to the incidents in question, these people included former Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland; Kurt Volker, a member of a special envoy to Ukraine; Energy Secretary Rick Perry; William Taylor, acting U.S Ambassador to Ukraine; Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine; George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs; David Holmes, a State Department aide who overheard a phone conversation between Sondland and the president on July 26; Fiona Hill, formerly the top Russia specialist on the National Security Council; David Hale, the undersecretary of state for political affairs at the State Department; Laura Cooper, a deputy assistant secretary at the Defense Department; Tim Morrison, the former National Security Council aide who heard the July 25 call; Jennifer Williams, a foreign service aide detailed to Vice President Pence’s office who listened in on the July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky; Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine specialist on the National Security Council. Many of those testifying either heard the call directly and believed there was some form of misconduct by the President or were previously involved with the Ukrainian government and could offer insight into how the situation should have been handled. Most of the witnesses believed that there was some form of unprofessionalism conducted by either the President himself or someone he had appointed to the situation. The basis of the investigation was the contents of a phone call between President Trump and the Ukrainian President, Zelensky, which was listened to by many different parties from foreign service aides to members of the National Security Council. The White House released a transcript of the call in September, but the transcript seems to have raised more questions than answers. During the call, Trump alluded to a deal of reciprocity between the United States and the Ukraine, Trump said “ … but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine,” following this statement, Trump proceeded to bring up the idea of the Ukrainian government opening an investigation into former Vice President Biden and Biden’s dealings with Burisma, an energy company, in exchange for this investigation Trump promised Zelensky engagement and about $391 million in military assistance.

Currently, the hearings have concluded, but the Committee may resume their investigation if they feel they are in need of more information or witness testimony. The Committee Chair Adam Schiff must submit the Committee’s report to the House Judiciary Committee before anything can proceed beyond the testimonies. If the House Judiciary Committee decides to continue with charges against the President, President Trump may face a Democratic-controlled House of Representatives that will vote on whether he should be tried by the Republican-controlled Senate and be removed from office or acquitted. The Senate must have a two-thirds majority to impeach a public official, but that is unlikely in this case because the Senate is controlled by the would-be defendant’s party. Stay tuned to the Hi-Life for updates on President Trump’s impeachment trial!