The two witnesses in the so-called Ukraine Case, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent and acting Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor, were not present during President Trump’s call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on July 25.
Kent and Taylor testified on Nov. 13 at the public hearing as they were questioned by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).
In the opinion of CNN journalist Jeffrey Toobin, this constitutes a “problem” in the face of the impeachment brought by the Democrats on the basis of that telephone conversation.
“The one criticism of these two witnesses, which I think is very much legitimate —it’s not really a criticism, it’s a factual statement, is that neither of them had direct contact with the president. And, that’s a problem if you’re going to impeach the president,” Toobin said.
Adam Schiff has lost CNN:
CNN’s Toobin: neither witness “had direct contact with the president…that’s a problem” pic.twitter.com/4mpgk6fDhS
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) November 13, 2019
Ambassador Taylor alluded to the story told to him by a member of his team on July 26, the day after President Donald Trump spoke with Zelensky.
Taylor also said, “I don’t know what President or candidate Trump was thinking about the Ukrainians.”
Both Taylor and Kent’s statements have been heavily criticized because neither witnessed the conversation between the two presidents on July 25, and their versions are considered mere secondhand or thirdhand rumors. Both admitted they were unaware of the existence of any “quid-pro-quo,” according to Fox News.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham also referred to the hearing in a tweet.
“This sham hearing is not only boring, it is a colossal waste of taxpayer time and money. Congress should be working on passing USMCA, funding our government and military, working on reduced drug prices and so much more. @realDonaldTrump is working right now—the dems should follow his lead!” she said.
The Ukraine Case is a controversial impeachment against President Donald Trump, where he is accused of having called the Ukrainian president asking him for an alleged “favor” to investigate former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who is his political rival in the 2020 elections.
Zelensky, however, has said he felt no pressure during the call, according to Fox News.
The White House emphatically denied the accusations made against the president and published transcripts of conversations between U.S. President Donald Trump and Zelensky.
The conversation shows that President Trump did not pressure or offer any financial compensation to Ukraine to investigate the son of Joe Biden, who was involved in a case of corruption of the main gas company in the European country.