(NBC News) Public impeachment hearings against President Trump are underway.
Democrats laid out their case Wednesday that the president abused his power by pressuring Ukraine for his own political gain.
“The matter is as simple and as terrible as that,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said in his opening statement.
Republicans, meanwhile, attacked the whole process.
“What we will witness today is a televised theatrical performance,” California’s Rep. Devin Nunes said.
William Taylor, the top U.S. Envoy in Ukraine, testified that president Trump froze critical military aid in a bid to force a public announcement of investigations into his rivals, including Joe Biden.
“To withhold that assistance for no good reason, other than help with a political campaign, made no sense,” Taylor testified. “It could not be explained. It was crazy.”
Taylor added that a staff member overheard a phone call between President Trump and his ambassador to the European Union.
“The member of my staff asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden,” Taylor said.
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