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Trump impeachment accelerates as the House prepares for 8 witnesses in 3 days this week

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Last week saw several crucial developments in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, including the public testimony of diplomats William Taylor, George Kent, and Marie Yovanovitch, and the private testimony of State Department official David Holmes.

But as Sam Brodey wrote for The Daily Beast, this week’s schedule could be even more consequential, with eight witnesses scheduled to testify in a three-day period.

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“Set to testify are several witnesses with firsthand knowledge of Trump’s July 25 call with President Zelensky, and their accounts will test Republicans’ central defense that the impeachment case is based on hearsay,” wrote Brodey. “The public will also hear from several officials who are poised to fill in key gaps in the story of exactly how and why security aid to Ukraine was held up as Trump sought to secure promises from the new government.”

The schedule begins on Tuesday, with the testimony of Soviet-born war hero and national security strategist Alexander Vindman and foreign service aide and Mike Pence official Jennifer Williams, who directly heard the phone call between Trump and Zelensky. Republicans also plan to call Ukrainian special envoy Kurt Volker and National Security Council official Tim Morrison, whom they believe will exonerate the president.

Then on Wednesday, the committee will call EU Ambassador and Trump campaign donor Gordon Sondland, who has come under fire for repeatedly changing his story about his knowledge of Trump’s delay of military aid to Ukraine, and Defense Department official Laura Cooper, who alleges the Ukrainians knew the aid had been delayed. Republicans will also be calling Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale.

Finally, on Thursday, the House will hear from national security official Fiona Hill, who, prior to being succeeded by Morrison, raised concerns with the foreign policy backchannel set up by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. She spoke about the issue to former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who also opposed the arrangement.

This enormous parade of witnesses will likely change the political equation once again — and the public will learn more about how the Ukraine affair went down.

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Fox News legal analyst makes stunning prediction: Trump will testify under oath in impeachment trial

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Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano predicted that President Donald Trump would testify during his impeachment trial.

Napolitano told "America's Newsroom" anchor Bill Hemmer on Thursday that he believed the president would testify on his own behalf once the House votes to impeach him and the Senate holds a trial, reported The Hill.

“If you go to a Senate trial, who testifies on behalf of the president?” Hemmer asked.

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Mitch McConnell may let Republicans write Senate impeachment rules without Democratic votes

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is plotting to shut out Democrats on impeachment if a bipartisan compromise on rules for the trial can't be reached.

The Kentucky Republican said this week that he hopes to reach an agreement on rules for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, but he's also readying a "backup plan" in case he can't reach an agreement with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, reported Vanity Fair.

“The first thing Sen. Schumer and I will do is see if there’s a possibility of agreement on a procedure,” McConnell said. “That failing, I would probably come back to my own members and say, ‘Okay, can 51 of us agree how we’re going to handle this?’”

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Fresno Bee burns Nunes to the ground in scathing editorial

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The editorial board of the Fresno Bee has written a scathing takedown of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) for his extraordinary fealty to President Donald Trump, which the editors say is harming the country.

Specifically, the editorial accuses Nunes of forsaking his oath of office as a congressman to serve as Trump's most loyal toady on the House Intelligence Committee.

"As has been true for nearly all of Trump’s first term, Nunes has relinquished his proper role as an independent representative of Congress and has instead acted like a member of the Trump 2020 re-election team," the editorial states.

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