The following is an excerpt from Blaze Media’s Capitol Hill Brief email newsletter:
After weeks of closed-door testimony, the House’s impeachment efforts go public today with the first open hearing of the House Intelligence Committee on the matter. Today’s hearing begins at 10 a.m. Eastern and will feature acting Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and deputy assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eastern Europe George Kent. The committee will have a livestream here. Republicans circulated a memo of impeachment talking points earlier this week, and Democrats responded with their own rebuttal talking points.
Due to his closed-door testimony, William Taylor has emerged as one of Democrats’ key witnesses, even though his quid pro quo claims were disputed in other testimony and he cited the New York Times as a source for his understanding of President Donald Trump’s motivations toward the Ukraine. Kent, who has been in the foreign service since 1992, testified about his concerns about Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s effect on U.S.-Ukraine policy; he also said that the Obama administration took the lead on the firing of the Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating the energy company where Hunter Biden served as a board member and that it’s appropriate for the U.S. to evaluate the level of corruption in countries receiving foreign aid.
While the witnesses aren’t expected to provide any new information that they haven’t already given behind closed doors, the public nature of the hearing will finally allow the American people to actually see them testify and decide for themselves whether or not that testimony holds up against a public cross-examination from House Republicans.