Americans will soon know at least some of what has been going on behind closed doors in the impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump.
On Sunday, Rep. Jackie Speier, a Democrat from California, said that within the next five days, the transcripts of depositions taken so far will be released to the public. During an appearance on Face the Nation, Speier said that “all of the transcripts” will be made public within the coming week, though she didn’t know the timeline for when they would be released. It was also not clear if the transcripts will be released in their entirety or in redacted form.
Speier said that the transcripts will be very revealing, eliminating any doubt that President Trump put forward a quid pro quo in his dealings with Ukraine as he sought for the country to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.
“[T]hey’re going to be very telling to the American people,” she said, via Politico. “There is no question now whether there was a quid pro quo, and now the question the Republicans are trying to throw out is, ‘Well, was there corrupt intent?'”
Republicans in Congress have been pressing their Democratic counterparts to open up the impeachment inquiry, complaining that the proceedings were taking place behind closed doors. A group of Republicans even staged a protest where they stormed a secure room where a deposition was taking place, demanding that they be allowed to take part.
Critics have pointed out that Democrats are following the rules for committee investigations that Republicans had put in place back in 2015, when they were leading multiple investigations of Hillary Clinton. They also point out that Republicans have been given equal time to question witnesses.
But the move to release the depositions seems to take on the main complaint from Republicans. Democrats last week also held a vote to formalize the impeachment process, blunting another criticism from Republicans that there had not been a vote to actually kick off the proceedings.
As part of the vote, Democrats set the stage for public hearings to take place, likely starting later this month.
In her appearance on Sunday, Speier said that these will likely start taking place as early as mid-November.
“We have one more week of interviews that will take place and then I’m pretty confident we’re going the move into a public hearing setting in which the House Intelligence Committee, along with the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Oversight Committees, will start to place in the public’s hands the information,” she said.