7

Is there a reason to have 2 or more witnesses at the same time during the current impeachment hearings ?

For example, in today's morning session (November 19 2019) There are 2 witnesses, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman and Jennifer Williams.

Tomorrow, there will be a session with only Gordon Sondland.

Is there a link between the 2 witnesses that warrant having them together instead of having 2 individual sessions ?

  • Comments deleted. Please don't use comments to answer the question. If you would like to answer, please post a real answer. For more information on how comments should and should not be used, please review the article on the commenting privilege in the help center. – Philipp Nov 22 at 21:03
14

Logic and logistics. Considering Williams and Vindman saw and heard the (essentially) same thing, they're there to corroborate each others' stories and simply lend weight to the accusation. Having one of them in the hearing then the other would naturally create a time lag such that fewer questions could be asked today. As the Republicans have repeatedly asked Adam Schiff to hold the proceedings publicly and to get them over with well before the 2020 elections such that the Republican loss of reputation would have time to go away, holding two half-sessions on two different days would be counterproductive. Sondland, on the other hand, has information that no one else (who's willing to testify) has. Congress will want as much time with him as is possible.

  • Why do you say it would be counterproductive, when Democrats control the committee and presumably have no electoral interest in ending the proceedings quickly? – Azor Ahai Nov 20 at 1:41
  • 2
    @AzorAhai If the goal is to create a political circus that hurts Republicans in the election, that might be sound—though also risky as hell, and likely to backfire as people figure out that’s what it is—but if the goal is to be serious about this, then giving Republicans the excuse of “the election’s around the corner, let the voters decide” isn’t going to work. Mind you, that excuse is already being used, so it may not matter, but if there is any chance of convincing the country it’s best to limit how applicable that is. Also best to limit the impression of partisanship driving things. – KRyan Nov 20 at 2:14
  • @AzorAhai I'm curious why you believe this. The Democrats took a huge electoral risk in starting the impeachment proceedings in the first place. Nancy Pelosi had to be pulled kicking and screaming into it precisely because impeaching a sitting president is consistently a losing proposition with voters due to the risk of partisanship. Why would they make it a 'circus' and thus cement that impression? – Carduus Nov 20 at 13:56
3

Yes it's because the two witnesses are questioned "in tandem", i.e. often the same question is asked of both of them in quick succession, see for example when they are asked about Burisma being mentioned by name.

It's actually not the first time this was done in these hearings. Taylor and Kent were questioned in a somewhat similar manner.

Also Volker and Morrison were both asked about a conversation they had (sorry, no link, I've seen it on the live feed).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .