The third day of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump continued Tuesday, as four more witnesses — Jennifer Williams, Vice President Mike Pence’s special adviser on European and Russian affairs; Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council; Kurt Volker, former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine; and Tim Morrison, former senior director for European affairs on the NSC — testified before the House Intelligence Committee in an open session.
Vindman told the panel he was so concerned about Trump’s July 25 phone call urging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, he felt it was his “duty” to report it. Testimony from Morrison and Volker was not as damaging to Trump.
For a recap of what was a marathon day of testimony, see links to Yahoo News’ original coverage as well as instant analysis from reporters in Washington, D.C., and beyond in the blog below.
President Trump speaks before a Cabinet meeting at the White House Tuesday. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)
The White House responds
Statement from White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham:
“Today’s second hearing is over, and the Democrats’ central allegation in this impeachment sham has again been completely debunked. Specifically, Ambassador Volker confirmed under oath that he had no indication whatsoever of anything that resembled a quid-pro-quo, corroborating his previous deposition testimony that ‘there was no linkage like that.’ With the Democrats’ poll-tested ‘quid-pro-quo’ and ‘bribery’ narratives in shambles, the American public should not be forced to endure this charade for one more second.”
Note: The statement is misleading. In his opening remarks Tuesday, Volker amended his closed-door testimony, saying he now does not dispute that U.S. military aid was linked to Ukraine announcing investigations, but insists he didn’t know that at the time.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., as Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., looks on during Tuesday's impeachment hearing. (Erin Scott/Reuters)
As he did at the opening, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the ranking Republican on the panel, attacked the impeachment inquiry as a Democrat-led "circus."
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., highlighted Kurt Volker's amended testimony, noting that the ambassador acknowledged does not dispute that U.S. military aid was linked to Ukraine announcing investigations.
Aside from a flurry of retweets, including one attacking Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, President Trump did not provide running Twitter commentary during Tuesday's impeachment hearings. He did, however, declare it a victory of sorts for Republicans in a tweet issued at the tail end of the proceedings.
Poll: Hearings won't many change minds
According to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released Tuesday, 65 percent of survey respondents said they can't imagine "any information or circumstances during the impeachment inquiry" that would make them change their minds about impeachment. Just 30 percent said there's a chance that new information could sway their opinion.
Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, questions Volker during Tuesday's impeachment hearings. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)