Another day, another development in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Since House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff announced on Wednesday, Nov. 6 that hearings in the inquiry would go public, everyone has been on the edge of their seats. The White House has previously called the impeachment inquiry an attempt to "weaponize politics" by Democrats. Well, the time has finally arrived, and these "Impeachment Day" memes during the first public hearings have Twitter losing it.
On Nov. 6, Schiff announced that two key witnesses — Acting Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and the State Department's Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent — would testify on Wednesday, Nov. 13, and a third, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, would testify on Friday, Nov. 15. Best of all? He shared that the hearings would be available for the public to watch. All three had previously testified to the House behind closed doors.
The public hearings kicked off at 10 a.m. ET on Nov. 13, with a focus on the July 25 call between President Donald Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky. A non-verbatim transcript of the call released by the White House showed that Trump had asked Zelensky for a "favor" regarding investigating the family of Vice President Joe Biden. Biden is running for the Democratic nomination for president and may be Trump's opponent in the 2020 president election. At question in the inquiry is whether the request for a foreign power to investigate Trump's domestic political opponent is impeachable behavior under the umbrella of "high crimes and misdemeanors."
Kent and Taylor's appearances mark the first set of testimonies available to the public, so naturally, Twitter was all over it. Even before the hearing began, social media users shared their excitement over the event and penned the hashtag #ImpeachmentDay, which quickly started going viral.
Once Kent and Taylor started their testimony, Twitter users shared some commentary, noting Taylor "brought the receipts" during his lengthy and meticulous opening statement. Taylor said he believed the Trump administration withheld military aid from Ukraine until the investigation into the Bidens was complete. "This was my clear understanding, security assistance money would not come until [Zelensky] committed to pursue the investigation," Taylor told legislators. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on Taylor's remark, but did not hear back in time for publication.
After Kent and Taylor's statements, the floor was opened up to questions. Twitter users, meanwhile, still had plenty of memes ready to go.
As of Nov. 13, the House Intelligence Committee has already been conducting interviews with over a dozen witnesses, but previous hearings have been closed to the public. However, the inquiry is hardly over. Republicans have been pushing to call the still-anonymous whistleblower who filed a complaint about President Trump's July 25 phone call with Zelensky to testify in front of the House Committee. Despite Republicans' calls, Schiff has stated that he will deny requests to bring the whistleblower forward, but he would consider Republicans' other testimony requests.
So there you have it folks. The first round of public impeachment hearings have happened, but we've still got a long way to go.