What’s Next: Impeachment Hearings Enter Crucial Stretch

Nov 18, 2019, 8:39 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 4:49 pm

Republican counsel Steve Castor listens to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) during a hearing with witness U.S...

Republican counsel Steve Castor listens to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) during a hearing with witness U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill November 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. In the second impeachment hearing held by the committee, House Democrats continue to build a case against U.S. President Donald Trump’s efforts to link U.S. military aid for Ukraine to the nation’s investigation of his political rivals. (Photo by Joshua Roberts - Pool/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joshua Roberts - Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House impeachment hearings are entering a crucial second week as Democrats are set to hear from eight additional witnesses about President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. Three State Department officials have already testified about their concerns as Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate Democrats and withheld military aid from the country.

What’s ahead on the impeachment schedule:


The House intelligence committee, which is conducting the impeachment hearings, has set a breakneck schedule ahead of the Thanksgiving recess.

Eight more witnesses will testify, some in back-to-back hearings on the same day. Among them will be Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council official who said he raised concerns in the White House about Trump’s push for investigations; Gordon Sondland, Trump’s European Union ambassador, who spoke to the president about the Ukraine policy; and Fiona Hill, a former Russia adviser to the White House who told lawmakers about former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s concerns about Ukraine.

All of the witnesses testifying have already spoken to investigators in closed depositions, some of them for 10 hours or more.



Perhaps the most anticipated witness is Sondland, since he spoke multiple times to the president about Ukraine policy. Sondland will testify alone on Wednesday morning.

Other witnesses’ testimony suggests Sondland was intimately involved in discussions over whether Trump held up the military aid to Ukraine to try to pressure the county’s president to announce the investigations into Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading 2020 candidate, and his son, Hunter.

Testimony last week revealed that at least three people overheard a July phone call in which Trump and Sondland discussed efforts to push for the investigations. One of those people, David Holmes, the political counsel at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, said he heard Trump’s voice through the earpiece of the phone because the president was talking so loud, according to testimony obtained by The Associated Press. Sondland called Trump as they dined at a Kyiv restaurant for lunch.

Holmes said that Sondland told Trump on that call that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy would do the investigations and would do “anything you ask him to.”

The overheard call came a day after a call between the two presidents that is at the heart of the Democratic probe. In that call, Trump directly asked Zelenskiy to investigate the Democrats.

Trump has said he has no recollection of the overheard call and has suggested he barely knew Sondland, a wealthy donor to his 2016 campaign. But Democrats are hoping Sondland sheds new light on the discussions.



The intelligence committee will hear from both Sondland and former Ukrainian envoy Kurt Volker this week — two of the so-called “three amigos” who had taken the lead on Ukrainian policy outside normal channels. The third “amigo” was Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who has refused to provide documents or testify in the impeachment probe on Trump’s orders.

Several of the diplomats who were supposed to be in charge of Ukraine policy have testified about their concerns as the men appeared to coordinate with Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

Volker, who will testify on Tuesday afternoon, was closely involved in negotiations with Ukrainian officials as they tried to figure out how to meet Trump’s demands.



In addition to the State Department officials, the nation will hear for the first time from aides who were privy to turmoil within the White House over Ukraine.

On Tuesday morning, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council aide, and Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence detailed from the State Department, will testify. Two former NSC aides, Tim Morrison and Fiona Hill, will testify Tuesday afternoon and Thursday morning, respectively. Morrison will testify alongside Volker, who was also involved in White House meetings.

Vindman and Hill both told investigators behind closed doors about a July meeting at the White House in which Sondland told Ukrainian officials that Zelenskiy would have to open an investigation into the Bidens if he wanted a meeting with Trump at the White House.

“There was no ambiguity,” said Vindman, an Army officer detailed to the White House who showed up at the deposition in his military uniform.

Hill testified that former National Security Adviser John Bolton abruptly ended the meeting when Sondland brought up the investigations. She said Bolton later compared the ask to “a drug deal.”



The intelligence committee is expected to wrap up its part of the impeachment probe in the coming weeks. After that, the three committees will submit a report to the Judiciary panel, which will oversee the impeachment process.

Judiciary is expected to hold its own hearings and, eventually, vote on articles of impeachment. Democrats say they are still deciding whether to write them.

Next would come a floor vote, and if articles of impeachment are approved by the House, there would then be a Senate trial.

House Democrats are hoping to finish the process by the end of the year. A Senate trial, if called for, would likely come in 2020.


Associated Press writers Jill Colvin, Lisa Mascaro and Matthew Lee contributed to this report.

KSL 5 TV Live


FILE - Abortion rights demonstrators attend a rally at the Texas state Capitol in Austin, Texas, Ma...

Paul J. Weber, Associated Press

Texas Supreme Court pauses lower court’s order allowing pregnant woman to have an abortion

The Texas Supreme Court has put on hold a judge’s ruling that approved an abortion for a pregnant woman whose fetus has a fatal diagnosis.

6 hours ago

Attorney General Sean Reyes...

Suzanne Bates, Deseret News

Utah AG Sean Reyes announces he will not run for reelection, says he believes women who have accused Tim Ballard

Reyes said he ‘apologized’ to the women that his relationship with Ballard made them feel ‘powerless and without a voice to fight back’

11 hours ago

FILE - President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, leaves after a court appearance, July 26, 2023, in ...

Lindsay Whitehurst, Associated Press

Hunter Biden is indicted on 9 tax charges, adding to gun charges

Hunter Biden has been indicted on tax charges in California as a special counsel investigation into the business dealings of President Joe Biden’s son intensifies against the backdrop of the 2024 election.

14 hours ago

(L-R) Dr. Claudine Gay, President of Harvard University, Liz Magill, President of University of Pen...

Collin Binkley, AP Education Writer

Harvard president apologizes for remarks on campus antisemitism

The president of Harvard University has apologized for her remarks at a congressional hearing on antisemitism, saying she got caught up in a heated exchange and failed to properly denounce threats of violence against Jewish students.

18 hours ago

FILE - Republican presidential candidates from left, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Gov....

Bill Barrow and Jonathan J. Cooper, Associated Press

The GOP debate field asked about Trump, but two candidates focused on Nikki Haley

The latest Republican presidential debate has demonstrated how firm Donald Trump's grip remains on their party.

1 day ago

FILE - Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. commemorates Hispanic Heritage Month...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

Henderson agrees to extend Utah ballot access deadline to March 5 after RFK Jr. lawsuit

Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson said she will give independent presidential candidates until at least March 5, 2024, to turn in the required signatures in order to gain ballot access in the state after Robert F. Kennedy Jr. alleged the original deadline of Jan. 8, 2024, was unconstitutional.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

What’s Next: Impeachment Hearings Enter Crucial Stretch