Transcript for Taylor, Kent 1st witnesses in public impeachment hearings
morning all eyes on capitol hill where the impeachment hearings are about to begin. Take a live look. That is the committee room where these historic hearings will take place. Two key witnesses will testify this morning. There's just a few hours away. Impeachment is the ultimate check on an American president. Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton survived the process. Richard Nixon resigned facing certain conviction in the senate. How this will end for president trump now in the hands of a deeply divided congress. Our senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce starts us off. Good morning, Mary. Reporter: Good morning, this is where history will be made today. In just a few hours this room will be packed with members of congress, the press and the public and at the center of it all today two career state department officials. They are Democrats' star witness in their case against the president. At 10:00 A.M. They will take their seats behind me for just the fourth time in history Americans witnessing public impeachment hearings in the house of representatives. This morning a pivotal moment for Democrats taking the case to the American people, that the president abused his power and should be impeached. On the basis of what the witnesses have had to say so far, there are any number of potentially impeachable offenses including bribery, including high crimes and misdemeanors. Reporter: Before cameras and the nation career diplomats bill natural and George Kent will be pressed on the president's push for Ukraine to investigate his political rivals. Taylor is the top U.S. Diplomat in Ukraine hand picked for the job by trump's own secretary of state. He told lawmakers behind closed doors it was his, quote, clear understanding that Ukraine would not souvenirly $400 million in critical military aid unless they agreed to investigate the Bidens. At the time, Taylor said it was crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign. He also told investigators how the president outsourced America's Ukraine policy to his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. By Taylor's side today senior state department official George he has worked for Republicans and Democrats. In his initial testimony, Kent likened American Ukraine policy to a snake pit and accused Giuliani of running a campaign of slander and lies. Republicans are prepared to cross-examine and defend the president. They've even been holding mock hearings. Their plan to cast witnesses as unelected and anonymous bureaucrats. Neither of these two individuals were on the call. These folks never talked to the president of the United States about this call. Reporter: Republicans say trump applied no pressure on that call with Ukraine's president. For them, it all comes down to trump's intentions. What was his state of mind? Did he have a good faith basis for asking for an investigation? Reporter: Now the top Republican and Democrat on this committee will each initially have 45 minutes to question the witnesses. That gives each party a pretty big chunk of time to lay out their case. After that each member of the committee will have five minutes for questions, but, George, we are told this entire hearing could last up to six hour. Yeah, could be a long day and we now have a pretty clear sense of where the Democrats want to go with this entire hearing schedule. Reporter: Yeah, George, they are moving at a head-spinning pace here. Over the next two weeks Democrats plan to question 11 witnesses in seven different public hearings. Now, that list does include some that were on the Republican wish list, officials who have already been questioned behind closed doors. Not on the list, though, the Republican demand to question the anonymous whistle-blower. Thanks very much. As the nation prepares for these hearings, our senior
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