Some Republicans have been hoppin’ mad about Democrats’ closed-door depositions in the impeachment investigation – so much so they stormed the room where they were taking place Wednesday.
But not all of this will happen behind closed doors. Democrats are also planning public hearings with some of the witnesses who have been deposed as part of their plan to provide some transparency to the inquiry.
Those public hearings may even be less than a month away, CNN’s Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb report:
It is possible, sources say, that public hearings could begin in mid-November. It is also possible, they could slip until after Thanksgiving.
Among those potentially testifying in public: Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, President Trump’s former top Russia adviser Fiona Hill, top US diplomat in Ukraine Bill Taylor and Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union.
The process of interviewing behind closed doors – and the delays both from Republican protests and the expanding scope of the investigation – have meant that the inquiry is taking longer than some on Capitol Hill expected.
“I think it’s more like between Thanksgiving and Christmas” for the end of the investigation, one Democratic member involved in the probe said Monday. “After that, it’s a strategic decision about when to bring it to the floor.”
The longer the investigation drags on, the more Democrats risk impeachment leeching into the 2020 election. Meanwhile, opening the doors to the public (and cameras) allows Democrats to show their work, even if they aren’t in a position to yet draft articles of impeachment.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has refused to publicly put out a timeline, saying only that she wants the House to act “expeditiously.” As Connecticut Democrat Rep. Jim Himes said recently: “My belief is that the speaker of the House would like to get this wrapped up by the end of the year. I think that’s probably possible.”
The Point: Look for the doors on those hearing rooms to open in merely weeks.