UCF Global Perspectives


U.S. Diplomats Testify in Public Impeachment Inquiry

Taylor Jenko, Lester N. Mandell Diplomacy Fellow, Diplomacy

November 15, 2019

On Wednesday, Ambassador William Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent testified before the House Intelligence Committee in the first public testimony of the impeachment inquiry. 13.8 million viewers watched members of congress question Taylor and Kent about a July 25 phone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy (Reuters). President Trump asked Zelenskiy to investigate democratic political rival Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden who was a board member of Ukrainian energy company Burisma (AP). After publicly announcing the investigation, $391 million in congressionally approved aid would be sent to support Ukrainian military forces against Russia-backed separatists (Reuters).
During the testimony, Kent said “In my opinion, those attacks undermined U.S. and Ukrainian national interests and damaged our critical bilateral relationship (NYTimes). Republicans on the Committee argued President Trump withheld the aid over concerns of Ukrainian election interference and corruption (NYTimes). On Thursday, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the President Trump had admitted to bribery and therefore committed an impeachable offense (Reuters).

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