RECAP: First Day of Public Hearings in Impeachment Inquiry

Day one of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry against president Trump got underway with testimony from two career diplomats who served both political parties.

The top American diplomat in Ukraine testified that a member of his staff overheard a phone call between President Trump and European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

Bill Taylor told lawmakers the president asked Sondland about what he called the investigations.

The president is accused of trying to trade U.S. military aid to Ukraine for an investigation into Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son.

“Following the call with President Trump, 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 Biden,” Taylor said.

Because Taylor didn’t hear the president’s conversation first-hand, Republicans find his testimony is just hearsay.

“You didn’t listen in on the call?  President Trump’s and President Zelensky’s call?” Republican Rep Jim Jordan said.

“I did not,” Taylor replied.

“You never talked with Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney?”

“I never did.”

“You never met the President.”

“That’s correct.”

“This is what I can’t believe,” Jordan said. “And you’re their star witness.”

George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs also testified.

Both he and Taylor called freezing aid a threat to U.S. National Security.

For his part, President Trump calls the hearing a sham and says he hasn’t watched it.