Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, and David Hale, undersecretary of state for political affairs, testified before the House Intelligence Committee at just before 6 p.m. ET Wednesday. Their appearance followed testimony from U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who appeared before the committee for a hearing that began more than eight hours earlier.
Trump impeachment highlights:
Trump tweets praise of Ohio rep. for one question in particular
Where things stand so far in the impeachment inquiry, by the numbers
House Democrats are quickly racking up testimony from the many witnesses in their impeachment inquiry. Here's where things stand so far:
- 38 subpoenas issued (1 withdrawn).
- Four public hearings.
- About 20 hours of public testimony from seven witnesses.
- 15 closed-door depositions; two closed-door transcribed interviews.
- More than 120 hours of testimony behind closed doors with 17 witnesses.
ANALYSIS: Witnesses take a toll on Trump's impeachment defenses
They both wore the uniforms of their country during congressional testimony, but Alexander Vindman struck the reverse image of Oliver North.
Thirty-two years ago, North — then a Marine lieutenant colonel on the National Security Council staff — testified before Congress about his role in defying Congress to deliver aid to Nicaraguan rebels. On Tuesday, Vindman, currently an Army lieutenant colonel on the National Security Council staff, told House impeachment investigators that it was "improper" for President Donald Trump to "demand a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and political opponent."
Had Vindman stood alone — under attack as he was from Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and other allies of the president — he would have made for a compelling accuser. But later in the day, his conclusion was supported by two witnesses — former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and former National Security Council staffer and longtime GOP Hill aide Tim Morrison — who said that it was not "appropriate" for a president to ask a foreign leader to investigate an American citizen, particularly one, former Vice President Joe Biden, who is a political rival of the president.
In the end, Vindman was just the most riveting of four witnesses who delivered testimony that was deeply damaging to Trump's remaining defenses against allegations that he was personally involved in pushing for an arms-for-investigations deal.
10 things we learned from a marathon day of impeachment testimony
Over a jam-packed, nearly 12-hour stretch on Tuesday, four key figures at the center of the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry testified publicly before the House Intelligence Committee.
First, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, and Jennifer Williams, a special adviser on Europe and Russia to Vice President Mike Pence — who both listened in on the July 25 call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy — said that call gave them cause for concern, while Vindman faced repeated personal attacks by Republicans on the committee.
Next, Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine who resigned after his name appeared in the whistleblower complaint about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, made a significant revision to his testimony, and Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council staffer, expressed worry about ties between military aid to Ukraine and the opening of investigations that would be politically advantageous to Trump.
Here are our 10 takeaways from today's public hearings.