Public impeachment hearings scheduled to begin next week, Schiff says

Democrats are expected to begin holding public hearings next week as part of the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff said Wednesday.

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"These will be the first of the open hearings and I think you will see throughout the course of the testimony … the most important facts are largely not contested," Schiff told reporters Wednesday.

Democrats are investigating Trump's dealings with Ukraine and his requests for politically motivated investigations as the U.S. withheld military aid from the country.

Schiff said House lawmakers expected to hear Nov. 13 from William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, a senior State Department official in charge of Ukraine policy.

Lawmakers were also expected to hear testimony Nov. 16 from Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. Yovanovitch was ousted in May at Trump's direction.

Taylor, Kent and Yovanovitch previously testified in closed-door hearings before House Intelligence, Oversight and Reform and Foreign Affairs committees. The committees are spearheading the impeachment inquiry.

Democrats launched the impeachment probe after learning of a whistleblower complaint filed in August by an official concerned over Trump's attempts to get Ukrainian officials to investigate one of his political rivals, former vice president and 2020 presidential hopeful Joe Biden.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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