As President Donald Trump gears up for the first round of public testimony by several officials called as witnesses in the impeachment probe that stemmed from his dealings with Ukraine, House Democrats announced on Tuesday that an additional eight witnesses will offer public testimony the following week, including an aide to Vice President Mike Pence.
According to The Hill, Jennifer Williams, an aide in Pence’s office, was one of very few witnesses to break with the White House’s standing policy of noncompliance with House Democrats in the ongoing impeachment probe. Williams was reportedly one of the officials with firsthand knowledge of the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
As they further their efforts to convince U.S. Congress and the public that Trump was involved in a quid pro quo exchange with Zelensky, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff revealed that following this week’s round of public hearings, next week will include eight more.
In addition to Williams, the list for next week’s phase of public hearings includes former NSC senior director for Europe and Russia Fiona Hill, and Alexander Vindman, a Ukraine expert on the National Security Council.
According to CBS News, former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker will be among those participating in next week’s panel, as will senior director of European and Russian affairs at the National Security Council Tim Morrison. Rounding out the eight new public testimonies will be Gordon Sondland, Laura Cooper, and David Hale, who will all testify next Wednesday.
Sondland recently revised his previous testimony and per reports, “likely” thinks that Trump purposely withheld nearly $400 million in military aid from Ukraine in exchange for opening a corruption probe into former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, who was a board member of a Ukrainian energy company.
Democrats argue that the potential exchange of military aide for information on Biden’s son amounted to abusing his power to gain a political advantage over Joe Biden, who is likely positioned to be a top political opponent for the president in the 2020 election.
Beginning Wednesday of this week, the first public hearing will be held, with Bill Taylor, a Ukraine diplomat, and top U.S. State Department official George Kent kicking off what could be a revealing week for both parties.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, earlier this week House Republicans sent a wish list of witnesses they wanted as part of the probe, including the anonymous whistleblower who ignited the announcement of an official impeachment inquiry, along with Hunter Biden.
Schiff immediately shot down the list of requested witnesses, vowing to protect the whistleblower while accusing Republicans of attempting to initiate “sham” investigations into top Democrats.