Donald Trump impeachment: first public hearing a win for Democrats

Donald Trump impeachment: first public hearing a win for Democrats. By Cameron Stewart.

It was the composed and chronological testimony from the top US diplomat in Ukraine William Taylor that had the most impact.

Taylor’s day by day account outlined a shadowy irregular channel of US diplomacy in Ukraine headed by President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani and including diplomats Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker.

Taylor described in detail how this group worked at odds with official embassy channels and of how they worked to inform Ukraine officials that US military aid was contingent upon a public investigation into the Bidens. …

In the end, the first day of public hearings gave the Democrats what they wanted — credible and sober evidence delivered on national television about President Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine into helping him politically. …

The most effective Republican rebuttal was by committee member Jim Jordan who pointed out that despite Taylor and Kent’s testimony, the case against the president is based largely on hearsay. …

Republicans will base their defence on attacking the process of the inquiry while portraying witnesses as biased, or their evidence unreliable.

This will be the pattern for the weeks of testimony that lie ahead. It will be a bumpy, partisan ride leading a divided Washington closer towards an almost certain outcome – a vote along party lines in the house to impeach America’s 45th president, only to see him acquitted in the Senate.