Impeachment inquiry hearings wrap up until further notice
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– The impeachment inquiry testimony is over for now but could continue after the holiday. Thursday, we heard from former National Security Council Russia Expert Fiona Hill and Ukraine diplomat David Holmes.
Once again, we saw President Donald Trump respond to these hearings on Twitter.
This time, President Donald Trump is defending his hearing ability after David Holmes recalls a telephone conversation he overheard between Ambassador Gordon Sondland and President Trump.
Holmes said he could hear it because the President was speaking loudly.
“I then heard President Trump ask, so, he is going to do the investigation? Ambassador Sondland replied that he is going to do it, adding that President Zelensky will do anything you ask him to do,” said Holmes.
To this, the President responded in a tweet, “I have been watching people making phone calls my entire life. My hearing is, and has been, great. Never have I been watching a person making a call, which was not on speakerphone, and been able to hear or understand a conversation. I’ve even tried, but to no avail. Try it live!”
Political expert Adam Wren said witnesses throughout the hearings made what happened clear.
“President Trump used the power and authority of his office to try to incentivize Ukraine to investigate his chief political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden,” said Wren.
But is that impeachable and worthy of the President’s removal? Wren said that’s up to Congress to decide.
Republican Senator Mike Braun said he isn’t convinced. He said these hearings are entirely political.
“Are you insinuating that some of these witnesses are lying when you say that this is entirely political?” asked reporter Kayla Sullivan.
“No,” responded Braun. “I’m saying I believe all the witnesses are giving their opinion, their interpretation.”
Sen. Braun said he needs more concrete evidence.
“I look at questions like, do you think this is an impeachable offense? Did the president actually say there was a quid pro quo?” said Braun.
He later said, “If there is further evidence that would come forward, either exculpatory or you know blaming the president with a closer connection, you’ve got to be open to that.”
Wren said even if the President is impeached, it likely won’t impact voters in 2020.
“His supporters will kind of wear this impeachment as a badge of honor and his detractors will kind of hold this over his head for the rest of his tenure,” said Wren.
Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified this week he shared with Vice President Mike Pence his concerns about the delay in military aid to Ukraine.
Wren said he isn’t sure about how this impeachment inquiry will impact Pence.
“If he gets into an interview and sort of has to deal with tough questions from a reporter or journalist,” said Wren. “I’m really interested to see how this moves forward and how he is able to handle it and what that does to his position on the ticket.”
Wren says Trump could choose another running mate before the 2020 election.
He thinks more testimony will continue after Thanksgiving and eventually, the President will be impeached.
However, it will come down to Senators to decide whether to remove him from office.