5 things we learned from Yovanovitch's testimony in the impeachment inquiry
- Friday's hearing only amplified the questions for Gordon Sondland, the American ambassador to the European Union, who is scheduled to appear Wednesday.
- Even as Friday's hearing was unfolding, an aide from the US embassy in Kiev was appearing in closed deposition to detail a phone call he overheard between Sondland and Trump that places the President closer to the alleged pressure campaign.
- Meanwhile, Republicans portrayed Trump as the one who was trying to clean up Ukraine by asking the new Ukrainian president to launch investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company named Burisma.
- During the two public hearings, Republicans have sought to bolster the credibility of the future witness they believe can rebut claims Trump committed bribery in his dealings with Ukraine.
The first week of public impeachment hearings just wrapped up. Here are the main takeaways
- After more than a month of closed-door depositions, the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump burst into public view this week, giving the American people their first chance to hear directly from three key witnesses in the probe.
- With more public and private hearings still being scheduled, the most recent testimony marks the start of a new phase of Democrats' investigation of Trump's efforts to have Ukraine launch probes involving his political rivals.
- Taylor testified about a phone call between Trump and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the E.U., that concerned the president's demand for Ukraine to announce investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and and his son Hunter.
- Yovanovitch pushed back on another claim from Trump and his allies when she testified that the pressure on Ukraine in 2014 by Biden, who was serving as vice president, was in line with official U.S. policy.
Marie Yovanovitch calls Trump's attacks on her during hearing 'very intimidating'
- Trump tweeted as former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch's testimony was underway that "everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad," which prompted a response minutes later from House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, who allowed Yovanovitch to react to Trump's latest criticisms.
- While Yovanovitch's testimony is not directly tied to the freezing of aid and dangling of a White House meeting amid a push for Ukraine to open investigations into Trump's political opponents, Democrats say her removal marks the start of the shadow diplomacy campaign that sparked their impeachment inquiry into Trump and Ukraine.
- The closed-door testimony of that Taylor aide, David Holmes, could offer Democrats tantalizing new evidence that connects Trump more directly to the push for Ukraine to open investigations that would benefit him politically.
What the impeachment hearing tells us about the path forward
- He was told that Ukrainians were ready to "move forward" on those investigations, during a phone call with US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, which Taylor's aide overheard at a restaurant in Kiev and relayed to his boss.
- David Holmes, Taylor's aide who overheard Trump asking about the investigations and asked Sondland about Trump's views on Ukraine, will provide closed-door testimony as part of the House impeachment inquiry on Friday.
- Mulvaney told reporters last month to "get over it," referring to the alleged quid pro quo, and said "there's going to be political influence in foreign policy." But Taylor told lawmakers that in his 50 years of public service, he had never seen another example of foreign aid being conditioned on the personal or political interests of a president.
- Taylor said that his aide had overheard that direct conversation between Sondland and Trump in which the President asked for an update on the Ukrainians announcing investigations.
After Schiff refers to debunked 'CrowdStrike conspiracy,' security company's stock jumps 11%
- Hours after Rep. Adam Schiff led off the impeachment hearing on Wednesday with reference to the "discredited 2016 CrowdStrike conspiracy theory," shares of the cybersecurity company closed up 11%, its biggest rally in four months.
- CrowdStrike's name was likely invoked by Trump at the time because the company assisted the Democratic National Committee in investigating a 2016 hack by Russian operatives, who were trying to influence the presidential elections.
- Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and the representative running Wednesday's proceedings, brought up CrowdStrike in the context of Trump's efforts to put pressure on Ukrainian leaders on the July 25 call with Zelensky.
- Trump asked Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential Democratic rival for the 2020 election, and his son Hunter, who was on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma.