The fierce fight between Donald Trump and the Democrats happens this Wednesday in the light of the cameras with the first public hearings in Congress in the framework of the investigation with a view to a dismissal of the Republican president accused of abuse of power.
Trump has denounced the process of investigating presumed pressures on Ukraine for electoral purposes as a "witch hunt" and even as an "coup d'etat" and has promised to take revenge at the polls in the presidential elections of 2020.
The public hearings will begin at 10:00 with the testimonies of two diplomats: William Taylor, responsible for US affairs in Ukraine, and George Kent, senior official of the State Department for European and Eurasian affairs.RELATED
Republicans criticize the process as a spectacle, but the Democrats defend their work since they launched an investigation in the House of Representatives in September, where they are the majority.
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Trump is the third president in the history of the United States to be threatened by a impeachment procedure, but none has been removed from office.
The Democrats have acted swiftly with a view to a possible vote on the accusation for a political trial against the Republican president.
But with a Senate controlled by Republicans, Trump is unlikely to be dismissed, since it is the Upper House that has the last word.
After six weeks of closed-door hearings, the Democrats want US public access to access first-hand information about the accusations against the president.
Democrats accuse Trump of abusing his presidential powers by pressuring Ukraine to benefit electorally.
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Everything broke out when a telephone conversation was heard on July 25 in which Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodimir Zelensky, to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate who led the polls to challenge the president of the 2020 presidential elections.
It is suspected that the Republican president conditioned the delivery of a military aid of 400 million dollars already promised in Kiev in exchange for Ukraine investigating business in the country of the son of Joe Biden, Hunter, employed between 2014 and 2019 in an important company of Ukrainian gas.
The content of the call alarmed several White House officials and intelligence agents, to the point that a whistleblower alerted superiors, which unleashed the scandal.
The two witnesses who will be questioned on Wednesday have already declared behind closed doors in front of the congressmen.
On October 22, William Taylor said he knew that the US ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, had told his Ukrainian peers that the money for security assistance was not going to be unlocked until President Zelensky would not commit to launch an investigation against Burisma, the company that had Biden's son, Hunter, on his board of directors.
George Kent revealed on October 15 to the congressional commission that in mid-August he had alerted his superiors about pressures against Kiev to investigate the Biden.
The diplomat also confirmed to congressmen that Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, had instigated a campaign to investigate Joe Biden for months.
"The accusation against the president is that he requested foreign intervention in an American election, which conditioned official acts to the realization of these political favors," Adam Schiff, the Democratic congressman who heads the Intelligence Committee, told public radio.
He also accused the president of "bribery."
In addition to the abuses of power, the Democrats want to know if the White House tried to obstruct the investigation of Congress and conceal the existing evidence.
On Tuesday night, Democrats unveiled the calendar of eight witnesses planned next week, all of them testimonies that congressmen already heard behind closed doors.
Donald Trump argues that his call with Zelensky was "irreproachable" and said that his will was to strengthen the fight against corruption in Ukraine.
For their part, Republicans have asked – unsuccessfully so far – a public testimony from Hunter Biden and the complainant.