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:
Sondland reads opening statement
Sondland is reading his explosive opening statement word for word.
Nunes: Sondland here 'to be smeared'
Ranking member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., bashed Democrats and their inquiry in his opening statement, calling it another day "of this circus.”
Nunes accused Democrats of “exploiting the Intelligence Committee” and said that “no conspiracy theory is too outlandish for the Democrats.”
“You have to give them points for selling this absurdity as an impeachment offense,” Nunes said.
Nunes also said that Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, was testifying at the hearing “to be smeared” — not addressing any of the issues raised in Sondland's opening statement.
Nunes added that Republicans -- who don’t have the power to issue subpoenas -- requested that Democrats subpoena Hunter Biden and the whistleblower for closed-door depositions.
Lawmakers give initial reactions to Sondland's blockbuster testimony
Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., told me he read Sondland’s statement and that it’s good “anytime more of the truth comes out.”
“Kaboom,” he added.
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., told NBC News congressional reporter Alex Moe that as he skimmed his opening just now his eyes “kept getting wider and wider.”
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., said she’s trying “to focus on the substance.”
Pompeo ignores questions about Sondland testimony tying him to Ukraine deal
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is in Brussels for a NATO meeting, on Wednesday ignored reporters' questions about whether Ambassador Gordon Sondland kept him in the loop about efforts to do a "quid pro quo" deal with Ukraine.
Pompeo rarely responds to questions at photo-ops.
Schiff opens with summary of case he’s building
Schiff is using his opening statement to summarize the broader case that House Democrats are attempting to build and is highlighting Sondland’s fresh testimony.
Referring to Sondland’s prior testimony, he called the ongoing saga “a continuum," adding that it “became more insidious over time.”
Sondland is sworn in
Schiff gavels in hearing
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff gaveled in the fifth impeachment inquiry hearing, with the ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, at roughly 9:09 a.m. ET. At this point, we do not know of any planned breaks during this first of two hearings today. We expect the Sondland hearing to conclude between 1:30 and 2 p.m. ET