Two senior State Department officials said attempts by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and others to instigate politically motivated investigations in Ukraine and denigrate U.S. diplomats were damaging to both U.S. and Ukraine.
William Taylor, the acting ambassador to Ukraine, described his shock when he was informed that the president through acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney had ordered a hold on assistance to Ukraine on July 18—a week before a telephone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that has become a central focus of the House impeachment inquiry.
Both men testifying today have previously given closed-door depositions to the three committees that have been leading the impeachment inquiry, and the general outlines of their testimony is already known. But providing it before television cameras gives the public its first opportunity to gauge their credibility and the seriousness of the allegations.
It is crucial to note that these two “star witnesses” do not have firsthand information—they are secondhand informants that are sharing information of what they “heard”. With stammering lips, each witness gives and recites their testimony sharing their personal opinion on policy and the president’s acts—there has yet to be solid evidence of a quid pro quo. The question that must be answered: are secondhand witnesses true witnesses?
Folks, as you listen to Mr. Taylor and Mr. Kent today, remember: neither of these witnesses have any serious firsthand knowledge of the key events.
Taylor didn't even speak to @realDonaldTrump during any of this. Kent admitted he had no firsthand info of any order from POTUS.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) November 13, 2019
The first day of the impeachment hearings can be watched here below: