WASHINGTON — The impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump continues, and starting next week, it all goes public.
For the first time, key witnesses will testify in open hearings as Democrats lay out their case for impeachment. Republicans are strategizing their defense of the President as more closed-door hearings happened Thursday.
Jennifer Williams, a top foreign policy aide to Vice President Mike Pence was the latest official to speak with Congressional investigators. The other invited witness, former National Security Advisor John Bolton was a no-show.
“What’s going on in Washington DC today is a disgrace,” said Vice President Mike Pence. He pushed back against the inquiry as Republicans mount their defense.
“And I know as the facts continue to come out, people will see that the President did nothing wrong,” said Pence.
House Democrats will soon finish up their series of closed-door hearings. Starting next week, the testimony goes public, where Republicans, including Ohio’s Jim Jordan, say they’ll call for the whistleblower to appear in person. That suggestion prompted blowback from Democrats.
“The intelligence community and Congress must continue to do all we can to protect the current whistleblower’s identity and personal safety,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA).
The Senate is also now looking ahead, as the likelihood of impeachment grows, with Republicans there defending the President.
“What i can tell you about the trump Ukraine policy is that it was incoherent, it depends on who you talk to. They seem to be incapable of forming a quid pro quo, so no, I think the whole process is a sham,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
Senate Democrats, though, are capitalizing on what they say is a weak defense of the President by the GOP.
“They’re worried. They’re really, really worried about where this is going,” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA).