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Public hearings in the House impeachment inquiry are set to begin. We talk with top reporters about who the American people are likely to hear from, and what effect the hearings might have.
Paula Reid, CBS News White House correspondent focusing on the Justice Department and legal affairs. (@PaulaReidCBS)
Emma Dumain, covers Congress and congressional leadership for McClatchy. (@Emma_Dumain)
From The Reading List
Vox: "Why Democrats think the benefits of open impeachment hearings outweigh the costs" — "The evidence against President Donald Trump is overwhelming.
"Witness after witness after witness in the House Democrat-led impeachment inquiry has outlined a clear quid pro quo in which Trump and his administration withheld US military aid from Ukraine in order to compel the new Ukrainian president to open investigations that would benefit Trump politically in the 2020 presidential election.
"And yet House Democrats announced this week that they’ll begin holding public hearings starting next week — prolonging the investigation and, crucially, a vote on whether or not to impeach the president.
"The question, then, is why? Why continue the probe and commit to days of open testimony that will almost certainly devolve into a partisan political circus? Especially when some Democrats involved in the inquiry say they already have enough to impeach Trump?
"According to Democratic House members and aides I spoke to, there are two main reasons. First, they believe that the process of impeaching a president requires a completed probe. 'We have a responsibility to follow through with the full investigation,' Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), a member of the House Intelligence Committee that leads the inquiry, told me Thursday."
New York Times: "Top Ukraine Diplomat Testified Giuliani Spearheaded Pressure for Investigations" — "The top American diplomat in Ukraine identified Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, as the instigator behind the drive to get Ukraine’s president to announce investigations into Mr. Trump’s political rivals, telling impeachment investigators last month that Mr. Giuliani was acting on behalf of the president.
"House Democrats on Wednesday released a transcript of the private testimony by the diplomat, William B. Taylor Jr., as they named him as the first of several witnesses who will testify publicly next week in a slate of impeachment hearings. They will begin laying out a case that Mr. Trump abused his office to secure political favors from Ukraine.
"Lawmakers plan to question Mr. Taylor and George P. Kent, a senior American diplomat who oversees policy in the region, during a televised joint session on Wednesday. Then on Friday, they will hear from Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former American ambassador to Ukraine, about her abrupt recall to Washington this spring amid a campaign to smear her as disloyal."
McClatchy Newspapers: "Trump readies for public phase of impeachment inquiry with new hires, Hill meetings" — "In a quest to streamline its messaging on a fast-moving Democratic impeachment inquiry, the White House has hired two top communications specialists to lead their public response and is sending aides to Republican strategy meetings on Capitol Hill.
"A senior administration official confirmed to McClatchy that Pam Bondi, former Florida attorney general, and Tony Sayegh, a former Treasury Department official, 'are expected to join the White House communications team to work on proactive impeachment messaging, and other special projects as they arise.'
"'The roles within the White House will be temporary and they would be working as Special Government Employees,' the official added, referring to a temporary work classification."
CBS News: "Trump wanted Barr to clear his name on Ukraine by holding news conference" — "President Trump wanted Attorney General William Barr to hold a press conference saying the president had not broken any laws during the July 25 phone call during which he urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate political rival Joe Biden, CBS News has confirmed, according to multiple sources.
"Barr ultimately declined to do so, although the Justice Department did release a statement alongside the release of a rough transcript summary of the call saying that the Office of Legal Counsel had found no evidence of wrongdoing.
"Mr. Trump's desire for Barr to state publicly that the president had broken no laws was first reported by The Washington Post. The whistleblower complaint expressing concern about the call was the impetus for an ongoing impeachment inquiry. Barr has largely been absent from the spotlight since the impeachment inquiry was opened."
This program aired on November 11, 2019.
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