Washington: The impeachment inquiry into US President Donald Trump went public on Wednesday as lawmakers began their first televised public hearings. The extraordinary process will determine whether the 45th president of the United States should be removed from office.
Democrats leading the US House of Representatives probe have summoned three US diplomats to detail their concerns under the glare of wall-to-wall news coverage this week. Another public hearing is scheduled for Friday.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, immediately outlined the question at the core of the impeachment inquiry- whether the president used his office to pressure Ukraine officials for personal political gain.
Trump skipped Wednesday's televised hearing, preferring instead to keep working, according to the White House spokesperson. "He's in the Oval (office) in meetings. Not watching. He's working," Stephanie Grisham said more than an hour into the public hearing in Congress.
Trump, who greeted Turkish President Recep Tayyep Erdogan at the White House when the hearing was on, said he was "too busy" to watch the "witch hunt" impeachment hearing.