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Impeachment witnesses to detail Trump's Ukraine call

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published 3 weeks ago - Duration: 02:17s

Impeachment witnesses to detail Trump's Ukraine call

The first week of televised impeachment hearings did not feature witnesses with direct knowledge of a controversial phone call at the hear of the probe.

That changes this week.

Zachary Goelman reports.

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Impeachment witnesses to detail Trump's Ukraine call

EDITOR'S NOTE: AN EARLIER VERSION OF THIS STORY INCORRECTLY STATED THAT DAVID HOLMES TESTIFIED ON SATURDAY.

THIS VERSION CORRECTS THE TIMING OF THAT TESTIMONY.

REUTERS APOLOGIZES FOR THE ERROR.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday (November 17) offered a blunt assessment following the the first week of televised presidential impeachment hearings.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI, SAYING: "I think truth has had a good week.

I think patriotism has had a good week.

And I think the constitution has had a good week.

I don't think the president has had a good week." Lawmakers heard from public testimony from three civil servants into whether President Donald Trump abused his power by pressuring a vulnerable ally to do his personal bidding.

Democrats alleged Trump may have withheld almost $400 million in military air to Ukraine in order to press Kiev into launching investigations into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and Biden's son.

Trump has denied wrongdoing.

Republican Representative Jim Jordan on Sunday told CBS that so far Democrats have failed to produce any evidence the president broke the rules.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN, SAYING: "No one's testified that there's been a quid-pro-quo.

Everyone's got second, third-hand, fourth-hand information." But testimony this week drew a tighter circle around Trump and his ambassador to the European Union, Gordan Sondland.

One witness, acting ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor, relayed how Sondland took a call from the Trump where the president could be overheard asking whether Ukrainian president would pursue the probe into the Bidens.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTING U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE, WILLIAM TAYLOR, SAYING:"The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone asking Ambassador (Gordon) Sondland about the investigations.

Ambassador Sondland told President Trump the Ukrainians were ready to move forward.

Following the call with President Trump, the member of my staff asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine.

Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden that Giuliani was pressing for." That staff member, David Holmes, testified about this call behind closed doors last week.

Trump has said he recalls no such phone call with Sondland.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "I know nothing about that.

First time I've heard it." The impeachment probe was triggered by a whistleblower report over a July 25 phone call between Trump and President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

In a White House summary of the call, Trump asks Zelenskiy to investigate Biden and Biden's son.

On Tuesday the hearings will feature two people who listened in on the call: a foreign policy adviser to the vice president, and a member of the National Security Council.

Transcripts of their closed-door testimony show believe the White House summary left out specific references Trump made to a Ukrainian company linked to Biden's son, Hunter.

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