GOP lawmaker calls impeachment inquiry a 'disaster' for American people

Rep. Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceHouse GOP lawmaker wants Senate to hold 'authentic' impeachment trial GOP lawmaker reacts to Democrats moving forward on impeachment The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday MORE (R-Ga.), a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, is calling the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE a “disaster” for the American public.

During the first public hearing of the impeachment inquiry this week, two witnesses testified that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, but Hice joined his fellow Republicans on Thursday in dismissing those claims as hearsay.

“Are we really going down this path that we want to impeach a president based on hearsay?” Hice asked during an appearance on “Rising.”

“This thing is absolutely out of control,” he continued. “It’s a disaster for the Democrats. Frankly, it’s a disaster for the American people.”

William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, and George Kent, a State Department official, testified Wednesday in the first public impeachment hearing in nearly two decades.

During their five-hour testimony, Taylor explained why he raised concerns with colleagues upon hearing that the White House was withholding nearly $400 million in military aid until the country agreed to open investigations that would help Trump’s chances of reelection.

Even though little new information was unearthed from the two witnesses, William did disclose for the first time that a member of his staff overheard a conversation between the president and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sonland about the investigations on a July phone call.

Democrats’ are slated to hold their next public hearing on Friday.

Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who was abruptly removed from her post in May, is set to testify before the House Intelligence Committee following her private deposition last month.

—Tess Bonn