What’s next: Impeachment hearings enter crucial stretch

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Associated Press: "Democrats invite Trump to testify in impeachment inquiry" - "Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited President Donald Trump to testify in front of investigators in the House impeachment inquiry ahead of a week that will see several key witnesses appear publicly".

The House impeachment hearings are entering a crucial second week as Democrats are set to hear from eight additional witnesses about Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

A new ABC News/Ipsos poll found that 70% of Americans think Trump's request of "a favor" from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate the business dealings of former Vice President Joe Biden's family in Ukraine, was improper.

Holmes' statement confirmed the testimony from Bill Taylor, the top USA diplomat in Ukraine, who revealed the July 26 phone call with lawmakers at his own public testimony last Wednesday, saying Holmes had informed Taylor about it after Taylor first appeared on Capitol Hill behind closed doors last month. Sondland called Trump as they dined at a Kyiv restaurant for lunch. The third "amigo" was Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who has refused to provide documents or testify in the impeachment probe on Trump's orders.

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. Pelosi said lawmakers would "look forward" to seeing any information from Trump "that is exculpatory, that means ex, taking away, culpable, blame". Hill was in attendance during a July 10th White House meeting with former National Security Agency Director John Bolton, ambassador Sondland, and top Ukrainian officials who are at the center of debate.

Arizona Rep. hides Epstein message in impeachment hearing tweets
Epstein was found dead in a Manhattan jail cell in August while he was awaiting his federal trial for sex trafficking minors. As the first public impeachment hearing got under way, it was unclear what prompted the timing of Gosar's message.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, European affairs director at the National Security Council, and Jennifer Williams, Vice President Pence's special adviser on Europe and Russian Federation, are scheduled to appear on Tuesday morning.

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

On Thursday, Fiona Hill, the former National Security Council Russia adviser, is scheduled to appear.

Ellen Weintraub, the Federal Election Commission chairwoman, has said this year that it is illegal for anyone to ask for, accept or receive "anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a USA election".

Judiciary is expected to hold its own hearings and, eventually, vote on articles of impeachment. They have sought to poke holes in Democrats' case and noted that witnesses thus far have not clearly stated that anything the president did amounted to an impeachable offense. A Senate trial, if called for, would likely come in 2020.

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