Michiana responds to first public impeachment hearing

NOW: Michiana responds to first public impeachment hearing

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - After weeks of closed-door depositions, house democrats started Wednesday with the first public and televised impeachment hearing. The House Intelligence Committee questioned the first two witnesses, diplomats Bill Taylor and George Kent.

They testified their concerns that President Donald Trump allegedly influenced the campaign and impacted U.S security by asking the Ukrainian President to look into another presidential candidate.

There were mixed thoughts Wednesday on whether anything will come from the impeachment inquiry.

Some people say it will affect the 2020 presidential election, others including a Political Science Professor at Notre Dame, say it probably won’t affect the president’s core supporters but could sway some swing voters.

House Democrats holding the first open public hearing in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, it’s just one more step in the impeachment process.

“Today is the first day of open hearings that are televised so that the public can hear the evidence and see for themselves,” Josh Kaplan, a Political Science Professor at Notre Dame said.

Career diplomats Bill Taylor and George Kent taking the stand and being grilled by lawmakers.

The hearings are designed to help the House decide whether or not President Trump pressured a foreign power for his own private political gain.

“One of the underlying questions about impeachment is here are the facts, here’s what we know happened, but does it rise to the level of an impeachable offense?” Kaplan said. “So far these hearings are framing what happened as something that threatens national security that everyone should care about.”

He said even if the articles of impeachment are approved in the House it is unlikely it will go through the majority-Republican Senate.

However, the fact the public is now seeing the hearings is historic, but will it affect the 2020 presidential election?

“These days the numbers who are undecided is small. Core supporters will probably not be swayed one way or another. It’s possible that some swing voters, the swing others who turned out for President Trump in 2016 might still be swayable,” Kaplan said.

We also hit the streets of South Bend and asked residents what effect the impeachment hearings could have.

“I do think that the hearings will impact the 2020 election,” Brigid Harrington, a Notre Dame student said.

“It might it might it depends,” Arthur Tillis, another resident said.

And when it comes forcing the president out of office?

“This is a bad time to impeach this man. I’m against impeaching him,” Tillis said.

“I think Democrats are trying to set a precedent so if democrats were not to pursue an impeachment inquiry, I think that would send a pretty damaging precedent for future presidents,” Harrington said.

However, this is just the beginning. We have the facts and Trump’s phone call with Ukraine but the House has to decide if the president’s actions are impeachable. Kaplan said it comes down to a very fine line.

“If the president withheld aid in order to get an investigation of a political opponent, that would cross the line. If the president withheld aid to force an investigation of corruption that happened to be done by a political opponent that would not be crossing the line,” he said.

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