Shared November 13, 2019
In a pillared House chamber at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, in the shadow of the 2020 presidential and congressional elections, House Democrats are set to host the first public hearing involving the potential impeachment of a president since November 19, 1998 -- and, they insist, they aren't happy about it.
"It’s a sad day," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, told Fox News on Tuesday. "A calm day. A prayerful day." For his part, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., called the hearings a "solemn undertaking" in a letter to colleagues.
Behind the scenes, House Democrats were predicting a "phenomenal week," Fox News is told. At the same time, Republicans have been preparing a methodical and vigorous cross-examination of Democrats' witnesses, whose accounts of President Trump's alleged wrongdoing have been based largely on hearsay and intuition.
Capitol Hill security officials told Fox News they're not anticipating the kinds of organized protests that rocked the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh last year, but sources on both sides of the aisle have cautioned that the day will be unpredictable. The proceedings are to be held in the cavernous House Ways and Means Committee hearing room at the Longworth House Office Building.
With the bang of a gavel, Schiff will open the impeachment hearings Wednesday into Trump's alleged pressure on Ukraine to investigate 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden's dealings in the country. The former vice president, a Democrat, has boasted about pressuring Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor, as his son Hunter Biden held a lucrative role board of a Ukrainian natural gas company despite having little relevant expertise.
A whistleblower's complaint about Trump's July 25 telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ignited the impeachment investigation. During the hearing Wednesday, a key exchange during that 30-minute call, which has been outlined in a Sept. 24 transcript released by the White House, could take center stage. Zelensky has said he felt no pressure during the call.
"I would like you to do us a favor though," Trump said at one point in the call, after a mention of U.S. military aid to Ukraine. Ukraine apparently was not aware that the U.S. was withholding new military aid until August, approximately two weeks before the U.S. ultimately released the aid and well after Trump's phone call with Zelensky.
Jordan to Rosenstein: Why are you keeping info from us?
Day 7, Part 8: Republicans question witnesses on evidence in impeachment inquiry
"I'M ABOUT TO GAVEL YOU DOWN": Schiff warns Jordan during impeachment hearing
Hannity: Deep state in deep legal jeaopardy
SPYING ON TRUMP: Lindsey Graham UNLOADS On FISA IG Report on President Trump
Lawmaker yells at Gowdy: This is not Benghazi!
Tucker: Left hates when Trump tells the truth
Nadler shuts down Jordan during hearing: I'm speaking
See critical moments from the impeachment hearing
Exchange between Rep. Matt Gaetz and Reverend Al Sharpton
Day 6, Part 8: Collins and Republican counsel question witnesses
Tucker: Impeachment witnesses had no evidence, only opinions
WATCH: Democratic counsel’s questioning of committee lawyers | Trump impeachment hearings
'WE DON'T BELIEVE YOU': Jim Jordan CALLS OUT Schiff For Knowing Who's The Whistleblower
JIM JORDAN GAVELED DOWN: Jordan REPEATEDLY interrupts witness
Gaetz explodes at impeachment witnesses: You don't get to interrupt me
TOTAL CHAOS: President Trump Impeachment Hearing Goes Off The Rails