7 Moments That Stood Out From The 1st Day Of The Trump Impeachment Hearings thumbnail

7 Moments That Stood Out From The 1st Day Of The Trump Impeachment Hearings

Top State Department official George Kent (left) and acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor are sworn in to testify during the first public Trump impeachment hearing on Wednesday.

Andrew Harnik/AP

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Andrew Harnik/AP

Top State Department official George Kent (left) and acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor are sworn in to testify during the first public Trump impeachment hearing on Wednesday.

Andrew Harnik/AP

Two witnesses, seen as crucial to the case against President Trump in the impeachment inquiry, testified Wednesday. Much of what was said by acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and George Kent, the State Department’s top official on Ukraine policy, was previously known from their lengthy depositions released last week. But there were some new things — and several moments that stood out. Here are seven: 1. A new detail from a new witness emerges Taylor revealed that in the past week, a member of his staff shared some new information with him about a call between President Trump and European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

Can’t see the video? Click here. “Following the call with President Trump,” Taylor said, “the member of my staff asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of (Joe) Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for.”

Multiple congressional sources identified David Holmes as the aide to Taylor. Holmes is scheduled to testify in a closed-door session on Friday. It’s unclear if he would also be called to testify in an open session. 2. Trump felt he was wronged and Ukraine owed him On President Trump’s now-infamous call with Ukrainian President Zelenskiy, Trump said, “[T]he United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal necessarily …”

Can’t see the video? Click here. Taylor testified that Sondland explained to him that Trump was a businessman, and that a businessman expected something in return when writing a check. Taylor said he didn’t think that made sense, because Ukraine didn’t owe Trump anything.

Still, Taylor tried to explain the president thought he was, in fact, owed something after what he saw as people in Ukraine being against him during the 2016 election. “There was a feeling by President Trump,” Taylor said, adding, “that he had a feeling of having been wronged by the Ukrainians, and so this was something that he thought they owed him to fix that wrong.” 3. The controversy about the Bidens Kent noted that during the Obama administration, he raised concerns about the potential perception of a conflict of interest of Hunter Biden serving on the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, while his father, Joe Biden, was handling Ukraine policy as vice president. He said nothing was done about it.

Can’t see the video? Click here. But he dismissed the notion that Joe Biden did anything wrong. Asked if there was any factual
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