WASHINGTON, D.C. (KDKA) – Dramatic testimony about alleged corruption moved the impeachment inquiry of President Trump from closed doors to the public eye.
“I discovered a weird combination of encouraging, confusing and ultimately alarming circumstances,” Ambassador Bill Taylor testified on Wednesday.
Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, testified President Trump leveraged key U.S. military aid needed by Ukraine against the Russians to force Ukraine to investigate a political rival, Joe Biden and his son.
“I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” said Taylor.
Taylor testified that one of his aides asked U.S. Ambassador Gordon Sondland what the President thought of Ukraine.
“Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden,” Taylor testified.
Republicans call the impeachment inquiry a witch-hunt, claiming the diplomats’ testimony was hearsay.
“The two witnesses in today’s hearing admitted their testimony is based on hearsay,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, a Butler Republican.
“The fact that these are the Democrats’ star witnesses further illustrates that this impeachment inquiry is little more than political theater intended to damage President Trump politically.”
U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, a Forest Hills Democrat, had a different take.
“Today, the public’s getting a chance to see two career diplomats testify under oath about how this president tried to pressure a foreign government to influence an upcoming election here in the United States,” said Doyle.
“No one is above the law. The president must be held accountable for his actions.”
Next on Friday will be testimony from former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.
She says she was a victim of a smear campaign by some in the White House who wanted Ukraine to deliver political dirt.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff reminded his colleagues that, in the end, they will have to decide whether any president, not just this one, can invite a foreign country to intervene in American elections.