Transcript for Democrats preparing for public impeachment hearings
impeachment showdown. New transcripts released just today from those closed door hearings. But tonight, the president and the nation getting ready for televised hearings. Millions of Americans will be able to watch the questioning, and Democrats say they will begin with their star witness. A west point grad, a Vietnam met. President trump tonight and his message to Republicans on how to defend him. Mary Bruce up on the hill. Reporter: Tonight, Democrats are preparing to make their case to the American people. This is a very simple, straightforward act. The president broke the law. Reporter: Democrats plan to lead with their strongest witness, bill lay tor Taylor, the pop U.S. Diplomat in Ukraine. He told lawmakers it was his "Clear understanding" that Ukraine would not receive nearly $400 million in military aid until they agreed to investigate the Bidens. Over the weekend, Republicans releasing their own witness list, including Joe Biden's son, hunter. But Democrats have the final and chairman Schiff warns the hearings "Will not serve as vehicles for any member to carry out the same sham investigations into the Bidens." He also opposes Republican efforts to call the anonymous whistle-blower, who sparked this impeachment inquiry. If they don't call the whistle-blower in the house, this thing is dead on arrival in the senate. Reporter: Schiff says calling the whistle-blower would be "Redundant and unnecessary." Tonight, Republicans' defense of the president is evolving. I believe it was inappropriate. I do not believe it was impeachable. Reporter: But trump is not on board with that defense, insisting his call with the Ukrainian president was perfect, tweeting, " Republicans, don't be led into the fools trap of saying it was not perfect, but is not impeachable. No, it is much stronger than that. Nothing was done wrong!" Reporter: Still, some Republicans are withholding judgement. If it can be demonstrated that the president asked for and had the requisite state of mind, that the president asked for an investigation of a political rival, that's over the line. So, over the line, does that mean impeachable? Yeah, probably. Let's get to Mary Bruce. We heard from many Republicans, their varied lines of defense on this, and Mary, what do Democrats hope for right out of the gate this week? Reporter: Well, David, they are looking to outline their case for why they think the president abused his power, by questioning these three career state department officials, people who have worked for both Democrats and Republicans. And they are going to share their deep concern with how this administration was approaching relations with Ukraine and the pressure that was being put on that country. David? Mary, thank you. And Mary, you'll be there with us, I'll be joining George and the entire team for live coverage of the house impeachment hearings, Wednesday morning, 10:00 A.M. Eastern, right here on ABC.
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