Politics

Democrats Schedule 2 Additional Closed-Door Depositions in Impeachment Inquiry

Democrats announced Wednesday that they have scheduled two additional closed-door depositions this week as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, even as the inquiry has begun public hearings.

According to Axios, the two slated to testify before House intelligence committees in closed-door depositions are David Holmes, an official at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, and Mark Sandy, an official at the Office of Management and Budget.

Holmes, who serves as the counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, has been scheduled to appear on Friday at 3 p.m. Sandy, who is the director of national security programs at the OMB, is scheduled to appear on Saturday at 10 a.m.

Holmess and Sandys appearances have not been confirmed and it is unclear whether they have agreed to testify.

Read MoreCross Examination Exposes Gaps in Impeachment Narrative

The announcement comes as the House of Representatives held its first public hearing Wednesday as part of the inquiry. The first two witnesses were acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said earlier in November that closed-door impeachment hearings will keep happening for an undetermined amount of time, even after the House voted in support of an impeachment process resolution that would allow open hearings in the inquiry.

The hearings behind closed doors, which have reportedly included House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), blocking Republicans from asking witnesses certain questions, will continue as long as they are “productive,” Pelosi told Bloomberg.

House Republicans, who all voted against the impeachment resolution, have criticized the resolution as an attempt by Democrats to legitimize the impeachment inquiry under the guise of “transparency.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said that the impeachment process resolution would make Schiff “a de facto special prosecutor.”

The resolution gives Schiff the power to designate whether impeachment hearings should be open or closed, to allow staff members to question witnesses, to block questions from Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), to block Nuness requests for certain witnesses, to release transcripts of witnesses as he sees fit, and to transfer records to the House Judiciary Committee.

Trumps phone call on July 25 with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky triggered an anonymous person to file a complaint against the president, which eventually led to Pelosi announcing an impeachment inquiry on Sept. 24.

The White House released a transcript of the phone call on Sept. 25. On the same day, Pelosi told reporters tRead More – Source