Democrats and Republicans are sure ready to rumble as public hearings in the House impeachment probe are set to start next week – Wednesday to be exact. Talking with reporters at the Capitol, California Democrat Adam Schiff said the first scheduled witnesses will be State Department officials Bill Taylor and George Kent.
A second hearing will feature ousted U.S.-Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, added that it is clear that President Trump tried to use Ukraine to "dig up dirt on a political opponent." He called it presidential misconduct.
What does the GOP have to say? Earlier this week we told you that Republicans were reportedly ready to start saying that a ‘quid pro quo’ did happen – and that it’s totally legal. That drum appears to be finding a rhythm as Republicans have been stressing the President has done nothing wrong. And yesterday on Capitol Hill? Louisiana Senator John Kennedy told ABC News that “there are perfectly appropriate quid pro quos, and inappropriate quid pro quos.”
Meanwhile, a new report suggests President Trump tried to get Attorney General William Barr to clear him in the Ukraine controversy. The “Washington Post” is reporting that Trump wanted Barr to hold a press conference saying the President's phone call with Ukraine's leader didn't break any laws. The paper cites people familiar with the matter as saying Barr declined. Trump apparently made the request around the time the White House revealed a transcript of the infamous July call.
All this activity aside, it may not matter. While a number of recent polls have shown an increasing number of people saying the President will be impeached and should be removed, 56% of respondents in a new Politico-Morning Consult survey say Trump will be re-elected next year. The survey of nearly two-thousand also found high levels of enthusiasm for the election among Republicans and Democrats – with 92% of respondents said they are likely to vote in next year's national elections. Passions about Trump – for and against – are apparently fueling the voting enthusiasm.