The second public hearing in the impeachment inquiry will be held Friday with former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie “Masha” Yovanovitch appearing before House lawmakers.
For more than a month, Democrats have investigated whether President Donald Trump used the powers of his office to pressure Ukraine to help his reelection by announcing investigations into his political rivals.
Yovanovitch is the third official to publicly testify in the inquiry after sitting for a closed door deposition last month.
What time does the hearing start?
At 9 a.m., on Friday, November 15, the House Intelligence Committee hearing will be gaveled in. (All times are in Eastern Standard).
What is the hearing’s schedule and format?
The hearing on Friday is expected to follow a format similar to Wednesday’s public hearing with US career diplomats Bill Taylor and George Kent.
Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California and the committee’s chairman, and Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the panel, will start the hearing with their opening statements.
Yovanovitch will then be sworn in and get to deliver her opening statement.
Schiff and Nunes are expected to cede part of their time to Daniel Goldman, the panel’s director of investigations, and Steve Castor, the House Oversight Committee GOP counsel, both of whom participated in the questioning of Taylor and Kent.
Additional rounds of questioning are possible. Each lawmaker on the committee will then get five minutes to ask Yovanovitch questions.
Who is Yovanovitch?
Yovanovitch joined the foreign service in 1986 and went on to serve in ambassadorships under three presidents.
She was sworn in as ambassador to Ukraine in August 2016, and held that role until she was unexpectedly removed in May. Taylor replaced her as the former top US diplomat in Ukraine.
She was accused without evidence by Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and others of trying to undermine the President and blocking efforts to investigate Democrats like former Vice President Joe Biden.
What has the witness said so far?
Yovanovitch testified in private before House investigators on October 11.
According to the transcript of her testimony, Yovanovitch said she was “shocked” and “apprehensive” when she learned that Trump told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on that infamous July call that she was “going to go through some things.”
She testified that she was informed that Trump personally requested that she be recalled back to the US from her post in Kyiv.
Yovanovitch told lawmakers that she first learned from Ukrainian officials in late 2018 about attempts by Giuliani and his associate, the ex-prosecutor general of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko, to damage her reputation.
She said that she was warned in February by a Ukrainian official to “watch my back,” pointing to the efforts from Giuliani and his associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who were indicted last month on campaign finance charges.
Yovanovitch also told Congress that she pushed the State Department to speak up and defend her amid the attacks from Giuliani and his associates, but her requests went unanswered amid concerns about how Trump might respond, possibly by using Twitter.