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Pictures | Thu Nov 14, 2019 | 10:55am IST

Inside the Trump impeachment hearings

George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs and William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, are sworn in during a House Intelligence Committee public hearing in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 13, 2019. The impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump goes public with two diplomats making their appearance before the House Intelligence committee, both of whom have expressed alarm in closed-door testimony about Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

REUTERS/Erin Scott

George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs and William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, are sworn in during a House Intelligence Committee public hearing in the impeachment inquiry against...more

George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs and William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, are sworn in during a House Intelligence Committee public hearing in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 13, 2019. The impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump goes public with two diplomats making their appearance before the House Intelligence committee, both of whom have expressed alarm in closed-door testimony about Trump's dealings with Ukraine. REUTERS/Erin Scott
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In a disclosure that drew the most attention, Bill Taylor, acting ambassador to Ukraine, pointed to Trump's keen interest in getting the eastern European ally to investigate Biden, a former vice president, and reiterated his understanding that $391 million in U.S. security aid was withheld from Kiev unless it cooperated.

Taylor said a member of his staff overheard a July 26 phone call between Trump and Gordon Sondland, a former Trump political donor appointed as a senior diplomat, in which Trump asked about those investigations and Sondland told him the Ukrainians were ready to proceed.

After that conversation - which occurred a day after Trump had asked Ukraine's president during a phone call to conduct the investigations - the staff member asked Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, what Trump thought about Ukraine, Taylor said.

"Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for," Taylor testified, referring to Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

In a disclosure that drew the most attention, Bill Taylor, acting ambassador to Ukraine, pointed to Trump's keen interest in getting the eastern European ally to investigate Biden, a former vice president, and reiterated his understanding that $391...more

In a disclosure that drew the most attention, Bill Taylor, acting ambassador to Ukraine, pointed to Trump's keen interest in getting the eastern European ally to investigate Biden, a former vice president, and reiterated his understanding that $391 million in U.S. security aid was withheld from Kiev unless it cooperated. Taylor said a member of his staff overheard a July 26 phone call between Trump and Gordon Sondland, a former Trump political donor appointed as a senior diplomat, in which Trump asked about those investigations and Sondland told him the Ukrainians were ready to proceed. After that conversation - which occurred a day after Trump had asked Ukraine's president during a phone call to conduct the investigations - the staff member asked Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, what Trump thought about Ukraine, Taylor said. "Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for," Taylor testified, referring to Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
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Ukrainian Ambassador William Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent testify. Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS

Ukrainian Ambassador William Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent testify. Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS

Ukrainian Ambassador William Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent testify. Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS
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Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said: "If we find that the president of the United States abused his power and invited foreign interference in our elections or if he sought to condition, coerce, extort or bribe an ally into conducting investigations to aid his re-election campaign and did so by withholding official acts, a White House meeting or hundreds of millions of dollars of needed military aid, must we simply 'get over it?', referring to a statement Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney made in remarks to reporters. "If this is not impeachable conduct, what is?"

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said: "If we find that the president of the United States abused his power and invited foreign interference in our elections or if he sought to condition, coerce, extort or...more

Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said: "If we find that the president of the United States abused his power and invited foreign interference in our elections or if he sought to condition, coerce, extort or bribe an ally into conducting investigations to aid his re-election campaign and did so by withholding official acts, a White House meeting or hundreds of millions of dollars of needed military aid, must we simply 'get over it?', referring to a statement Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney made in remarks to reporters. "If this is not impeachable conduct, what is?" REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
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In opening remarks, Republican ranking member Devin Nunes (L, seen with legal counsel Steve Castor) dismissed the impeachment inquiry's first public hearings as "a televised theatrical performance staged by the Democrats" and a "low-rent Ukrainian sequel" to (Special Prosecutor Robert) Mueller's Russian investigation. Nunes said no hearings should be held until three questions are answered - "what is the full extent of the Democrats' prior coordination with the whistleblower; what is the full extent of Ukraine's election meddling against the Trump campaign; and, third, why did Burisma hire Hunter Biden, what did he do for them, and did his work affect the Obama administration?"

Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via REUTERS

In opening remarks, Republican ranking member Devin Nunes (L, seen with legal counsel Steve Castor) dismissed the impeachment inquiry's first public hearings as "a televised theatrical performance staged by the Democrats" and a "low-rent Ukrainian...more

In opening remarks, Republican ranking member Devin Nunes (L, seen with legal counsel Steve Castor) dismissed the impeachment inquiry's first public hearings as "a televised theatrical performance staged by the Democrats" and a "low-rent Ukrainian sequel" to (Special Prosecutor Robert) Mueller's Russian investigation. Nunes said no hearings should be held until three questions are answered - "what is the full extent of the Democrats' prior coordination with the whistleblower; what is the full extent of Ukraine's election meddling against the Trump campaign; and, third, why did Burisma hire Hunter Biden, what did he do for them, and did his work affect the Obama administration?" Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via REUTERS
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George Kent, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, in his opening statement: "I do not believe the United States should ask other countries to engage in selective, politically associated investigations or prosecutions against opponents of those in power, because such selective actions undermine the rule of law regardless of the country."

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

George Kent, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, in his opening statement: "I do not believe the United States should ask other countries to engage in selective, politically associated investigations or prosecutions...more

George Kent, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, in his opening statement: "I do not believe the United States should ask other countries to engage in selective, politically associated investigations or prosecutions against opponents of those in power, because such selective actions undermine the rule of law regardless of the country." REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Republican Representative Jim Jordan, who sought to portray Taylor as lacking firsthand knowledge of Trump's dealings with Ukraine, which are at the focus of the House of Representatives' impeachment investigation. Under questioning by Jordan, Taylor said he had never met Trump and was not on the July 25 phone call in which the American president asked his Ukrainian counterpart to open a corruption investigation into a political rival, Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden. "That's what I can't believe: You're their star witness," Jordan said. "I've seen church prayer chains that are easier to understand than this."

Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS

Republican Representative Jim Jordan, who sought to portray Taylor as lacking firsthand knowledge of Trump's dealings with Ukraine, which are at the focus of the House of Representatives' impeachment investigation. Under questioning by Jordan, Taylor...more

Republican Representative Jim Jordan, who sought to portray Taylor as lacking firsthand knowledge of Trump's dealings with Ukraine, which are at the focus of the House of Representatives' impeachment investigation. Under questioning by Jordan, Taylor said he had never met Trump and was not on the July 25 phone call in which the American president asked his Ukrainian counterpart to open a corruption investigation into a political rival, Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden. "That's what I can't believe: You're their star witness," Jordan said. "I've seen church prayer chains that are easier to understand than this." Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS
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Ambassador Bill Taylor, charge d'affaires at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, in his opening statement: "I found a confusing and unusual arrangement for making U.S. policy toward Ukraine. There appeared to be two channels of U.S. policymaking and implementation, one regular and one highly irregular."

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Ambassador Bill Taylor, charge d'affaires at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, in his opening statement: "I found a confusing and unusual arrangement for making U.S. policy toward Ukraine. There appeared to be two channels of U.S. policymaking and...more

Ambassador Bill Taylor, charge d'affaires at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, in his opening statement: "I found a confusing and unusual arrangement for making U.S. policy toward Ukraine. There appeared to be two channels of U.S. policymaking and implementation, one regular and one highly irregular." REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Republican Counsel Stephen Castor spoke of Hunter Biden's qualifications to serve on the board of the Ukrainian energy firm: "He's getting paid $50,000 a month but we don't know if he had any experience, spoke the language or moved to Ukraine."

Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS

Republican Counsel Stephen Castor spoke of Hunter Biden's qualifications to serve on the board of the Ukrainian energy firm: "He's getting paid $50,000 a month but we don't know if he had any experience, spoke the language or moved to Ukraine." Saul...more

Republican Counsel Stephen Castor spoke of Hunter Biden's qualifications to serve on the board of the Ukrainian energy firm: "He's getting paid $50,000 a month but we don't know if he had any experience, spoke the language or moved to Ukraine." Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS
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Democratic Rep. Jim Himes (R) commented on his Republican colleagues' strategy during the hearing: "Faced with very serious allegations of presidential misconduct, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle don't engage or defend that conduct. Rather, they spin theories about black ledgers and Steele dossiers and startling revelations that Ukrainians might have been upset when a presidential candidate suggested that perhaps he would let the Russians keep Crimea."

REUTERS/Al Drago

Democratic Rep. Jim Himes (R) commented on his Republican colleagues' strategy during the hearing: "Faced with very serious allegations of presidential misconduct, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle don't engage or defend that conduct....more

Democratic Rep. Jim Himes (R) commented on his Republican colleagues' strategy during the hearing: "Faced with very serious allegations of presidential misconduct, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle don't engage or defend that conduct. Rather, they spin theories about black ledgers and Steele dossiers and startling revelations that Ukrainians might have been upset when a presidential candidate suggested that perhaps he would let the Russians keep Crimea." REUTERS/Al Drago
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A text exchange between Bill Taylor, charge d'affaires at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, and U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland shows on a screen as Taylor (R) testifies. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

A text exchange between Bill Taylor, charge d'affaires at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, and U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland shows on a screen as Taylor (R) testifies. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

A text exchange between Bill Taylor, charge d'affaires at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, and U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland shows on a screen as Taylor (R) testifies. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Bill Taylor (L) and George Kent (R) are sworn in to testify. Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via REUTERS

Bill Taylor (L) and George Kent (R) are sworn in to testify. Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via REUTERS

Bill Taylor (L) and George Kent (R) are sworn in to testify. Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via REUTERS
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Democratic Representative Peter Welch attends the hearings. Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS

Democratic Representative Peter Welch attends the hearings. Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS

Democratic Representative Peter Welch attends the hearings. Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS
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Ranking member Devin Nunes (L) speaks with Representative Jim Jordan (C) and Republican Counsel Stephen Castor (R). Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS

Ranking member Devin Nunes (L) speaks with Representative Jim Jordan (C) and Republican Counsel Stephen Castor (R). Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS

Ranking member Devin Nunes (L) speaks with Representative Jim Jordan (C) and Republican Counsel Stephen Castor (R). Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS
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Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) and committee member Devin Nunes (R-CA). REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) and committee member Devin Nunes (R-CA). REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) and committee member Devin Nunes (R-CA). REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Ambassador Bill Taylor and George Kent arrive to testify.
REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Ambassador Bill Taylor and George Kent arrive to testify. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Ambassador Bill Taylor and George Kent arrive to testify. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
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A map of Ukraine is seen displayed during the hearing. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

A map of Ukraine is seen displayed during the hearing. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

A map of Ukraine is seen displayed during the hearing. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) looks past ranking member Devin Nunes (R-CA) and a committee attorney at newly installed Republican committee member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) looks past ranking member Devin Nunes (R-CA) and a committee attorney at newly installed Republican committee member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) looks past ranking member Devin Nunes (R-CA) and a committee attorney at newly installed Republican committee member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Drag queen Pissi Myles poses in a hallway near the House Intelligence Committee hearing. REUTERS/Erin Scott

Drag queen Pissi Myles poses in a hallway near the House Intelligence Committee hearing. REUTERS/Erin Scott

Drag queen Pissi Myles poses in a hallway near the House Intelligence Committee hearing. REUTERS/Erin Scott
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Signs are placed behind seats of committee members. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Signs are placed behind seats of committee members. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Signs are placed behind seats of committee members. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Television news crews set up for live reports ahead of the hearing. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Television news crews set up for live reports ahead of the hearing. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Television news crews set up for live reports ahead of the hearing. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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The spiral staircase down to House Intelligence Committee rooms can be seen reflected over the Capitol Dome ahead of the hearings. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The spiral staircase down to House Intelligence Committee rooms can be seen reflected over the Capitol Dome ahead of the hearings. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The spiral staircase down to House Intelligence Committee rooms can be seen reflected over the Capitol Dome ahead of the hearings. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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