The Impeachment Continues
by Kylee Soberdash
Transcripts of depositions and testimonies from the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry were released on Nov. 11 and 13, including that of Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson, who were two advisors to Kurt Volker, the former U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine negotiations.
Democrats chose the first witnesses to give their depositions and answer questions publicly on Nov. 6. The first public hearing occurred on Nov. 13 at 10 a.m. and included the testimonies of William Taylor, the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, and George Kent, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasian Affairs.
During Taylor’s testimony, he revealed new information he received from a person on his staff. He said his staffer allegedly overheard a phone call between the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, and President Trump on July 26 in which Trump asked Sondland about “investigations.” He supposedly meant investigations President Trump and his attorney, Rudy Guiliani, asked the president of Ukraine to begin regarding the Biden family and involvement Ukraine may have had in the 2016 election.
Taylor went on to say the staffer asked Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine. Sondland allegedly said: “Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden.”
Taylor testified about the White House Acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney. Taylor said Mulvaney was part of an “irregular” communications channel between the White House and Kiev.
During Kent’s testimony, he alleged Giuliani’s actions were “infecting” U.S. foreign policy. Kent also testified there is no factual basis surrounding the allegations that Ukraine interfered with the 2016 election.
The former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, testified on Nov. 15 at 9 a.m.
This is the first impeachment inquiry to take place publicly.
Dr. Beverly Gaddy, an Associate Professor of Political Science, commented on the unprecedented nature of the public proceedings.
“We must recognize that there are no “typical” impeachments. There have only been a couple in history, so [there is] very little precedent. Also, they have been very different from one another. … Thirdly, the House has the “sole power of impeachment,” so they (rightly) have the constitutional authority to proceed in whatever manner they deem most fit,” Dr. Gaddy said. “Precedents are irrelevant. And this includes any manner of public testimony.”
The morning after Taylor and Kent’s testimony, President Trump tweeted, “this is a phony show-trial. There is zero due process, none.”
Dr. Gaddy explained the rules of due process do not apply during an impeachment inquiry.
“An impeachment is not a criminal proceeding,” she said. “There is no such thing as “due process” in impeachment, because it is not a criminal proceeding. Criminal protections such as cross-examination, etc., also do not apply.”
The House of Representatives will announce the scheduling of further testimonies, and there is no set time limit for them. They will be broadcast publicly on all national news networks and C-SPAN.
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