The impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump is moving into a new phase.
The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on holding public hearings and is indicating they think they have enough evidence to recommend removing Trump from office. The move comes as investigators heard from a key White House witness in the case.
CGTN’s White House correspondent Nathan King reports.
Alexander Vindman is the first witness to be interviewed. He was on the now-infamous July telephone call between the U.S. and Ukrainian President. It was on that call U.S. President Trump asked for an investigation into his political rival Joe Biden’s family.
According to Vindman’s opening statement, he found that call alarming. It reads in part,
“I was concerned by the call. I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine.”
Vindman, a Ukrainian immigrant and decorated army veteran wounded in Iraq, twice complained that the call threatened U.S. national security.
Trump dismissed Vindman, a White House employee, as a “Never Trumper.”
Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress are taking impeachment proceedings to the next level. They published a resolution to be voted on Thursday, which will pave the way for public hearings and cross-examination of witnesses, a transparency that Republican lawmakers had pressed for.
Senator Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senate Majority Leader said, “I think the next step is to see where the House is now going, obviously they responded to the pressure that we put on them, to try to handle this in the most transparent way that meets basic standards of due process that every American would be entitled to.”
Whether this impeachment inquiry becomes a full-blown impeachment investigation, and whether there’s a trial in the Senate to remove the U.S. President from office, is still to be decided. But what is happening now shows that this impeachment inquiry is about to become much bigger and much more public.