Transcript for Revelations and fallout from Day 1 of impeachment hearings
The latest on the impeachment showdown and the surprise on day one. A new trump phone call tying him to the pressure campaign on Ukraine. America's top diplomat in Ukraine testified one of his embassy staff overheard president trump discussing the investigations on a phone call in kiev. That staffer now a new witness who will testify behind closed doors tomorrow. Our senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce starts us off from capitol hill. Good morning, Mary. Reporter: Good morning, George. Well, both sides are digging in this morning. Democrats say that this first day of testimony revealed that the president abused his power, while Republicans say this hearing didn't show any of that. They say there is no pressure that was being put on Ukraine and now these new revelations about another phone call are raising new questions about the president's personal role here. On the first day of public impeachment hearings, surprise testimony from the top U.S. Diplomat in Ukraine, bill Taylor revealing his aide overheard the president following up one day after his infamous phone call with the Ukrainian president, trump checking in on the status of investigations into his political rivals. The member of my staff could hear president trump on the phone asking ambassador sondland about the investigations. Mr. Sondland told president trump, the Ukrainians were ready to move forward. Reporter: Taylor says his aide pressed Gordon sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the eu and trump's point person in the Ukraine asking what the president thinks about the country. Mr. Sondland responded that president trump cares more about the investigations of Biden which Giuliani was pressing for. Reporter: Over five hours Taylor testified there was a clear understanding that Ukraine would not souvenirly $400 million in military aid until they announced an investigation into the Bidens. To withhold that assistance for no good reason other than help with a political campaign made no sense. It was -- it was counterproductive to all of what we had been trying to do. It was illogical. It could not be explained. It was crazy. Reporter: Testifying by his side top state department official George Kent. Both career state department officials who have worked for Republicans and Democrats. They detailed an unofficial channel of shadow diplomacy run by his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. That ran counter to America's national interest. What interest do you believe he was promoting, Mr. Kent? I believe he was looking to dig up political dirt against a potential rival in the next election cycle. Ambassador Taylor. What interests do you believe he was promoting? I agree with Mr. Kent. Reporter: They had their own plan of attack. Pointing out they never spoke to trump directly. You didn't listen on his call? I did not. You never talked to chief of staff Mulvaney. No. You never met the president. That's correct. Reporter: They're insisting trump did nothing wrong because the white house eventually lifted that hold on the military aid to Ukraine. Security assistance was provided to Ukraine without the Ukrainians having done any of the things they were supposedly being blackmailed to do. Reporter: But that money only flowed after congress launched an investigation and the whistle-blower filed that complaint. Republicans are also demanding to speak to that person who sparked this impeachment inquiry. To make a motion we actually subpoena the whistle-blower for a closed door secret deposition. Reporter: Meanwhile, the white house continues to block several witnesses with firsthand knowledge including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton. If you feel so strongly you need to hear from the whistle-blower why not push the white house to also let you speak to those firsthand witnesses like Bolton and Mulvaney? Why not encourage the president to let you -- I want to hear from -- in the whistle-blower's complaint bullet point number one, he says this, over the past four months I have talked to more than half a dozen U.S. Officials. I want to hear from the whistle-blower and those officials that he or she talked to. I want to hear from those individuals. But why not Bolton and Mulvaney? Why not firsthand witnesses the white house is preventing you from talking to. That's their call. These are close advisers to the Reporter: It will continue with Marie yovanovitch, she says she was ousted after a smear campaign that was run by Giuliani. Democrats argue she is the first victim of this scheme while Republicans will say that the president is entitled to his own team. Meantime, this is also going to raise questions for ambassador sondland scheduled to appear next week. He didn't report that phone call that the aide to William Taylor heard about and that aide, David Holmes, will testify behind closed doors tomorrow. Reporter: David Holmes will be up here tomorrow answering questions behind closed doors. Lawmakers are likely to grill him about what he overheard of that phone call and Gordon sondland, they're also a lot of fresh questions for him and already revised his testimony once. The question now is whether he'll revise it again when he testifies here publicly next Wednesday. Mary Bruce, thanks very much.
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