Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch arrives to testify to the House Intelligence Committee, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington, in the second public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The Latest: 2nd impeachment hearing opens with US diplomat

November 15, 2019 - 9:07 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and House impeachment hearings (all times local):

9 a.m.

The House has opened a second day of Trump impeachment hearings with Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was suddenly recalled back to the U.S. by President Donald Trump.

Yovanovitch is expected to testify about her ouster, which another diplomat has called a “smear” campaign against her by Trump allies.

The live public hearings by the House Intelligence Committee are being held to determine whether Trump should be removed from office over his actions toward Ukraine.

The investigation centers on Trump’s July 25 phone call when he asked the new Ukraine president for a favor — to investigate Democrats and potential 2020 rival Joe Biden — as the White House was withholding military aid to the Eastern European nation.

Yovanovitch and others have described Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, as leading what one called an “irregular channel” outside the diplomatic mainstream of U.S.-Ukraine relations.

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8:35 a.m.

The former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine has arrived on Capitol Hill to testify in the Trump impeachment inquiry.

Marie Yovanovitch is the witness for the second day of public hearings. She’s expected to tell lawmakers about her sudden ouster as President Donald Trump recalled the career ambassador back to the United States.

Other diplomats testifying in the investigation have defended Yovanovitch, saying she was the target of “smear” campaign by the president’s allies. She has served both Democratic and Republican presidents.

The rare impeachment inquiry is focused on Trump’s actions toward Ukraine. Democrats say it amounts to bribery, as the president withheld military aid to Ukraine while he pushed the country to investigate rival Democrats, including Joe Biden.

Trump calls the probe a hoax and says he did nothing wrong.

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12:15 a.m.

The House will hear from a singular witness Friday in the Trump impeachment hearings: Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was targeted by the president’s allies in a “smear” campaign now central to the probe.

The career diplomat, who served both Republican and Democratic presidents, is expected to relay her striking story of being suddenly recalled by Donald Trump and told to “watch my back.” It was all part of a swiftly developing series of events that sounded alarms about the White House’s shadow foreign policy.

Friday is the second day of public hearings to consider removing America’s 45th president. Democrats and Republicans are hardening their messages to voters as they try to sway voter opinion amid a deeply polarized public.

The House will hear from a singular witness Friday in the Trump impeachment hearings: Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was targeted by the president’s allies in a “smear” campaign now central to the inquiry.

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