US Ambassador Gordon Sondland (C) arrives at the US Capitol October 17, 2019, in Washington, DC. - Sondland will appear before Congress for a closed deposition on the Ukraine scandal. (Photo by Olivier Douliery / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

Democrats prep for second week of hearings in impeachment inquiry

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.

Among those scheduled to appear is Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the E.U. Sondland was involved in the campaign to pressure Ukraine and testified behind closed doors to the committees leading the probe in October. Earlier this month, Sondland revised that testimony to admit he had told a senior aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military aid was “likely” contingent on announcing the investigations.

On Friday, David Holmes, a U.S. embassy official in Kiev, testified that he heard Sondland speaking to the president one day after the July 25 call between Mr. Trump and Zelensky. Holmes said he overheard the president ask about “the investigations,” and Sondland said the Ukrainians would go through with them.

Sondland is due to testify Wednesday morning.

Nunes and Jordan ask Sen. Ron Johnson for Ukraine-related info
Top House Intelligence Committee Republican Rep. Devin Nunes and top House Oversight and Reform Republican Rep. Jim Jordan have written to Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, asking for any information he might have on the Ukraine situation, citing their understanding that Johnson has “firsthand” knowledge.

Last month, Johnson told the Wall Street Journal that Gordon Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to the E.U., had described to him a connection between a Ukraine commitment to investigate matters involving U.S. elections and the status of hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. aid to Ukraine. Johnson told the Journal that Mr. Trump denied any such quid pro quo.

Since then, Johnson has defended Mr. Trump’s actions. On the Sunday talk show circuit, Johnson claimed that the whistleblower “weakened” U.S.-Ukraine relations by reporting concerns, and “exposed things that didn’t need to be exposed.”

Nunes and Jordan, two key Trump allies, are now asking Johnson for any information he might have. The Republicans do not have the authority to compel testimony or issue subpoenas.

“Accordingly, because the Democrats have abandoned fundamental fairness and objectivity in their ‘impeachment inquiry,’ we reluctantly write to request any firsthand information you have about President Trump’s actions toward Ukraine between April and September 2019,” Nunes and Jordan wrote to Johnson. “We appreciate any information that you could provide.”

Trump says Schiff and Pelosi have “rigged” the rules
Mr. Trump, who has no events on his public schedule Monday, began the morning tweeting.

“Never has the Republican Party been so united as it is now. 95% A.R. This is a great fraud being played out against the American people by the Fake News Media & their partner, the Do Nothing Democrats,” the president tweeted. “The rules are rigged by Pelosi & Schiff, but we are winning, and we will win!”

On Monday, the president is scheduled to receive his intelligence briefing and meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Who’s testifying in the second week of impeachment hearings
Tuesday morning: Jennifer Williams and Alexander Vindman
Tuesday afternoon: Kurt Volker and Tim Morrison
Wednesday morning: Gordon Sondland
Wednesday afternoon: Laura Cooper and David Hale
Thursday: Fiona Hill

Pelosi says Trump has “every opportunity to present his case”

5:30 a.m.: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refuted Republicans’ claims that President Trump has not had the opportunity for due process in the impeachment inquiry, saying that the president has “every opportunity to present his case.”

“The president could come right before the committee and talk, speak all the truth that he wants if he wants,” Pelosi said in an interview with “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan that aired Sunday. “He has every opportunity to present his case.”

Pelosi also said that she believed the president’s actions were worse than those of former President Richard Nixon.

Transcript: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on “Face the Nation”
“But it’s really a sad thing. I mean, what the president did was so much worse than even what Richard Nixon did, that at some point Richard Nixon cared about the country enough to recognize that this could not continue,” Pelosi said. Mr. Nixon resigned before the House could vote on impeachment.

Author: CBS NEWS
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