Impeachment watch: Republicans will face ethics investigation if they out whistleblower

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) warned Republicans that if they try to out the whistleblower at the impeachment hearings, they'll be punished.

It's a big day in Washington, D.C., as the impeachment inquiry the House has been conducting finally goes public.

The House Intelligence Committee will host the first of a series of hearings with key witnesses, all of whom have information about Donald Trump's attempt to extort Ukraine into investigating his political rivals.

The first hearing begins at 10 a.m. EST with two witnesses: Bill Taylor, a top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, a career State Department official focused on Ukraine.

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Their hearings will be broadcast on all of the major television networks, ensuring that millions of people will watch as they testify about how Trump tried to withhold critical military aid to Ukraine in an effort to force the country to investigate both former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential political rival of Trump's in 2020, and the Democratic National Committee.

Republicans are expected to wage a number of stunts to impede the hearings and protect Trump.

However, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, has warned the GOP lawmakers on the committee that if they attempt to out the whistleblower — whose complaint led to the impeachment inquiry — they will face an ethics investigation.

A live broadcast of the hearing can be found here.

Here's what else is happening in impeachment news:

  • House Republicans finally came up with an argument against the allegations Trump faces, rather than just the process of the impeachment inquiry. However, the argument is focused only on the July 25 phone call Trump had with the Ukrainian president in which Trump asked for investigations of the Bidens and the DNC. And it is unlikely to hold up as witnesses testify to the conspiracy to extort Ukraine that included numerous White House officials.
  • Schiff announced next week's schedule of public impeachment hearings. It will be busy, with eight witnesses testifying over the course of three days.
  • Republicans held a mock impeachment hearing to try and prepare for Wednesday, according to the Hill newspaper. Brace yourself for Republicans to push conspiracy theories and engage in stunts.
  • Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who is a key reason Trump faces the likelihood of impeachment, penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in which he tries to defend Trump from the allegations. His defense of Trump sounds exactly like the one House Republicans are using, focusing only on Trump's July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president, which was far from exculpatory.
  • While the impeachment inquiry ramps up in the House, Politico reports that Senate Republicans plan to ignore them. Of course, Senate Republicans are the ones who will run the impeachment trial should the House draft and pass articles of impeachment.

Come back tomorrow for more impeachment news.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.