'Republicans are claiming entire Trump impeachment is based on hearsay'

Public hearings into whether US President Donald Trump should be impeached began on Wednesday.

The United States acting ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor and American diplomat overseeing Ukraine policy George Kent, testified before the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee in the impeachment inquiry into Trump.

RELATED: Televised Trump impeachment hearings to begin with key testimonies this week

Both witnesses testified about Trump's pressure to get Ukraine to investigate Democratic political rival, Joe Biden.

Bongani Bingwa gets The Guardian's Washington bureau chief David Smith's take on the first day of the inquiry.

This is the fourth impeachment inquiry in the history of the US and the first in the era of the internet and with a president who is seeking re-election.

David Smith, Bureau chief - The Guardian's Washington

He says millions of people tuned in and heard damning evidence against Donald Trump.

The central evidence was that Trump tried to get Ukraine to interfere in American democracy to boost his chances for re-election. He put pressure on the Ukrainian leader to investigate a political rival.

David Smith, Bureau chief - The Guardian's Washington

The public had heard most of the evidence presented from various transcripts before, he explains.

There was one new item in which we heard about a phone call in which Trump allegedly made clear that this investigation took priority for him. It was clearly political theatre and drama in that sense.

David Smith, Bureau chief - The Guardian's Washington

The two witnesses both admitted that they had never met Donald Trump in person and all of their accounts were based on secondary information, Smith adds.

The Republicans are claiming that this entire impeachment is based on hearsay.

David Smith, Bureau chief - The Guardian's Washington

Listen below to the full interview:


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