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A Public Hearing, and a Feud Over Ukraine

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The House of Representatives opened historic impeachment hearings on Wednesday, with William B. Taylor Jr. and George P. Kent, senior career civil servants, caught in the crossfire. Democrats underscored the constitutional import of the proceedings, while Republicans branded the whole investigation into President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine a sham. Mr. Taylor and Mr. Kent — carefully, if cinematically — detailed the emergence of a shadow foreign policy, one which had the capacity to determine the fate of an ally in the face of Russian aggression.

We discuss what this phase of the impeachment inquiry could mean for the president — and for the 2020 election.

Background reading:

  • Mr. Taylor said that, in a call with Gordon D. Sondland, the American ambassador to the European Union, President Trump had made clear he cared “more about the investigations of Biden” than Ukraine’s security.

  • Here are key moments from the first public impeachment hearing.

Tune in, and tell us what you think. Email us at thedaily@nytimes.com. Follow Michael Barbaro on Twitter: @mikiebarb. And if you’re interested in advertising with “The Daily,” write to us at thedaily-ads@nytimes.com.

Michael S. Schmidt contributed reporting.

“The Daily” is made by Theo Balcomb, Andy Mills, Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Annie Brown, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Wendy Dorr, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Alexandra Leigh Young, Jonathan Wolfe, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, Adizah Eghan, Kelly Prime, Julia Longoria, Sindhu Gnanasambandan, Jazmín Aguilera, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Austin Mitchell, Sayre Quevedo and Monika Evstatieva. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Mikayla Bouchard, Stella Tan, Julia Simon and Lauren Jackson.

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