WASHINGTON - Democrats are taking their case for impeaching President Trump to your TV and electronic device.
Wednesday marked the first of new public impeachment inquiry hearings broadcast to millions of Americans after weeks of closed-door meetings.
Democrats in the impeachment inquiry are investigating whether the President is guilty of "bribery" or "high crimes and misdemeanors." That's a shift in focus after investigating a "quid pro quo" over Ukrainian investigations and a White House meeting and US aid.
Cameras crowded the top US diplomats to Ukraine, who under oath revealed their previously disclosed testimony in public for the first time.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said that "what we will witness today is a televised theatrical performance."
Thanking witnesses William Taylor, the US ambassador to Ukraine, and George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Nunes said, "I'd like to congratulate you for passing the Democrats' star chamber auditions held for the last weeks in the basement of the Capitol."
During the hearing, Ambassador Taylor added a new revelation to his previous testimony, adding that "at the time I gave my first deposition on October 22 I was not aware of this information."
Taylor said a staffer at a restaurant with Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, heard President Trump speaking over the phone with Sondland.
"A member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone asking Ambassador Sondland about the investigations. Ambassador Sondland told President Trump the Ukrainians were ready to move forward," said Taylor.
Taylor said "investigations" was a term "used to mean matters related to the 2016 elections and to investigations of Burisma and the Bidens."
"I had come to understand well before then that investigations was a term ambassadors Kurt Volker and Sondland used to mean matters related to the 2016 elections and to investigations of Burisma and the Bidens," Taylor said.
Taylor described a visit to the frontline of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine that came after President Trump's now-infamous July phone call with Zelensky.
"Russian-led forces continue to kill Ukrainians in the war one or two a week," said Taylor.
An hour into the hearing the President retweeted a video from the official White House Twitter account that declared "New hoax. Same swamp."
"It's a witch hunt, it's a hoax," said President Trump in the Oval Office during a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Dismissing the ongoing hearings, the President said, "I'm too busy to watch it. I have not been briefed."
On the Biden corruption front, Deputy Assistant Secretary George P. Kent said he was concerned over former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter's role at a Ukrainian gas company.
"There was the possibility of a perception of a conflict of interest," Kent said.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said Taylor's own testimony made no linkage between US aid to Ukraine and any investigation.
"There was discussion of the security assistance but no linkage," said Taylor.
For their part, Republicans pressed home their point that the testimony of the career service officers was not firsthand.
"They could be wrong, or they could be mistaken, or they could have heard it incorrectly, right Ambassador Taylor?" asked Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio).
"People make mistakes," said Taylor.