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For the past two months, the U.S. has been swept away in a frenzy regarding the potential impeachment of President Donald J. Trump. Last week, public hearings in the impeachment inquiry began following an extended period of closed-door sessions. Events regarding the inquiry have unfolded so rapidly that many people have struggled to keep track of who’s already testified and how their testimonies have made a difference. Below, learn about six key witnesses who have already testified.
1. Jennifer Williams
Jennifer Williams serves as a special adviser to Vice President Mike Pence for Europe and Russia. Her role has given her close proximity to affairs between the Trump administration and Ukraine, a country that Trump has attempted to pressure into investigating his 2020 presidential race competitor Joe Biden. Williams described Trump’s conversations with Ukraine as “unusual and inappropriate.”
2. David Hale
David Hale is the third-ranking official within President Trump’s State Department. His closed-door testimony lasted more than six hours. Because his testimony occurred in private and transcripts have not been released, it is not fully clear what he said during his extensive testimony. His involvement in the Ukraine scandal stems from the dismissal of a longtime ambassador to Ukraine whose testimony has also been key.
3. Fiona Hill
Fiona Hill is President Trump’s former top Russia adviser. She testified that Mick Mulvaney, acting White House Chief of Staff, had set up a quid pro quo and cut aid to Ukraine. Hill also said that Ambassador Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, was harmful to U.S. counterintelligence efforts.
4. Gordon Sondland
Sondland himself testified behind closed doors. He confirmed the existence of a quid pro quo without connecting it to President Trump. Instead, he insisted that cutting aid to Ukraine resulted from the country not providing a vital anti-corruption statement. He even said that the sort of quid pro quo of which Trump has been accused would indeed be illegal if seen through.
5. Kurt Volker
Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine, had the same proximity as Sondland to the matters at the heart of the Ukraine scandal. Volker testified that Rudy Guiliani, Trump’s personal lawyer who was present for the phone call that sparked the scandal, pushed “debunked” theories to force Ukraine into investigating the Bidens.
6. Marie Yovanovitch
Perhaps the most important witness to date, Marie Yovanovitch is the Ukraine ambassador who was unexpectedly dismissed earlier this year. Trump’s opponents have alleged that her dismissal paved the way for an illegal back channel through which Guiliani and Trump could organize their efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating the Bidens. Trump has gone out of his way to publicly attack her.
Who’s testifying next?
Yovanovitch’s testimony came last Friday as part of the first week of public impeachment hearings. All the other witnesses listed have given closed-door testimonies and will speak publicly in this week’s open impeachment hearings. Jennifer Williams will testify tomorrow morning, with Kurt Volker following tomorrow afternoon. Gordon Sondland will testify Wednesday morning, with David Hale following that afternoon. Public hearings will conclude this week with Fiona Hill’s testimony Thursday morning.
Where do you stand on the impeachment inquiry? Sound off in the comments!