First public hearing in the Trump impeachment inquiry

By Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha and Amanda Wills, CNN

Updated 10:25 p.m. ET, November 13, 2019
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4:41 a.m. ET, November 13, 2019

Here's how the first public impeachment hearing will play out today

From CNN's Manu Raju

US diplomat Bill Taylor and State Department official George Kent will testify together today in the first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

An official working on the impeachment inquiry shared a schedule for today's hearing with CNN:

  • 9 a.m. ET – Members of the media are allowed into the hearing room following a security sweep.
  • 9:45 a.m. ET – Public attendees are allowed into the hearing room.
  • 10 a.m. ET – The House Intelligence Committee hearing is gaveled in.
  • 10:05 a.m. ET – The chairman and ranking member give opening statements, followed by swearing-in of witnesses and their opening statements.

All times are approximate and will depend on any procedural matters.

Following opening statements, questions will begin: Chairman Adam Schiff and ranking member Devin Nunes (or their designated committee employees) will get up to 45 minutes each, at the discretion of the chairman. They are the only two authorized to ask questions during this round.

Additional extended questioning rounds, at the discretion of the chairman, can be added.

Following this extended questioning, there will be 5-minute rounds of questioning alternating between Republican and Democratic members.

The hearing is expected to conclude between 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET, when the witnesses are dismissed by the chairman.

4:00 a.m. ET, November 13, 2019

Catch up: Here are the key developments in Trump impeachment inquiry

Here are the latest developments in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

  • Details about today's public hearing: Diplomats George Kent and Bill Taylor will testify today in the first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry. The hearing, which will start at about 10 a.m. ET, will be held in the largest room in the House of Representatives. Chairman Adam Schiff and ranking member Devin Nunes (or their designated committee employees) will get up to 45 minutes each. They are the only two authorized to ask questions during this round. Following this extended questioning, there will be 5-minute rounds of questioning alternating between Republican and Democratic members.
  • The Republican plan: Republicans on the panels involved in the inquiry say they are planning to build the case in their line of questioning that Taylor didn’t have a “clear understanding” of what Trump wanted -- and that his testimony that Trump wanted “everything” withheld until Ukraine announced political investigations is based on a “game of telephone,” according to a source involved in the planning. Similarly, they plan to make that also a key focus of their questioning of Kent — that he didn’t have direct knowledge of Trump’s motivations.
  • Schiff's warning: Schiff issued a warning about the handling of whistleblowers, saying members “shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House." He added that: "The Committee has a long, proud, and bipartisan history of protecting whistleblowers -- including from efforts to threaten, intimidate, retaliate against, or undermine the confidentiality of whistleblowers."
  • More witnesses: In a letter to his Democratic colleagues on Tuesday, Schiff said "additional witnesses will be announced this week."
  • Trump's teases transcript: In a tweet on Tuesday, Trump reiterated a pledge to release the first -- and what he calls the "more important" -- transcript of a phone call with the Ukrainian President before the end of this week. 
  • Mick Mulvaney drops plans to sue: The acting White House chief of staff no longer plans to sue over his House subpoena in the impeachment probe. Instead, his attorneys told a federal judge Tuesday that he's planning to obey the White House and Justice Department's direction for him not to testify.