Live Trump Impeachment Hearings & Analysis: Hale, Cooper testifying after Sondland’s bombshell testimony


WASHINGTON (WFLA) – Another day, another impeachment hearing on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, one of the most anticipated witnesses in the public hearings will face tough questions from lawmakers.

Here’s the latest from the hearings (Latest updates will appear at top, all times are ET):

Laura Cooper and David Hale are expected to begin the second public impeachment hearing of the day around 5:30 p.m.

Cooper is the deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Defense. She gave closed-door testimony on Oct. 23. According to NPR, she told investigators she came to understand that Mick Mulvaney was holding up military aid for Ukraine. She added that it was “unusual” to have congressional funds suddenly halted that way.

Hale is the undersecretary of state for political affairs at the State Department. Hale gave closed-door testimony earlier in November and was asked by Republicans to appear in the public hearings.

Testimony from Ambassador Sondland wrapped up just before 4 p.m., after nearly seven hours.

Committee members are taking 5-minute turns questioning Ambassador Sondland.

Rep. Sean Maloney tangled a bit with Sondland during his 5-minute turn to question the ambassador.

“Mr. Maloney, I’ve been very forthright,” Sondland said when answering a question. “I resent what you’re trying to do.”

Maloney responded, pointing out this is now Sondland’s “third try.”

“Didn’t work so well the first time, did it? We had a little declaration come in after, remember that?” Maloney said. “Now we’re here a third time and we got a doozie of a statement from you. All due respect, we appreciate your candor but let’s be clear about what it took to get it out of you.”

Rep. Mike Quigley, during his turn, compared the whistleblower to someone who pulls a fire alarm.

“If we were investigating an arson, you all would indict the person who pulled the fire alarm,” he said. “That person’s job is done. We’ve seen the smoke. We’ve seen the fire.”

During his turn, Rep. Chris Stewart argued that withholding aid is a common occurrence in foreign policy.

“President Bush did it,” he said. “President Trump did it last year with Afghanistan over corruption. And no one suggest they impeach them for it.”

Rep. Schiff made a point during his questioning that while a statement was not made and no meeting was arranged, “they got caught.”

“You’re aware that two days before aid was lifted, Congress announced it was investigating this scheme. You’re aware of that, ambassador?” Schiff said. Sondland responded, “I am now.”

Rep. Turner pressed Sondland about his testimony, asking if anyone actually told him directly Trump was tying aid to the investigations.

“So you have no testimony tying Trump to a scheme to withhold aid?” he asked. Sondland replied, “other than my own presumption.”

Rep. Jim Jordan asked Sondland about the “meeting that never happened.”

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