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Live Reporting

Max Matza, Ritu Prasad and Holly Honderich

All times stated are UK

  1. Hearing adjourns in hue and cry

    Committee chairman Schiff adjourns the hearing, ignoring Republican demands that he allow them to respond for having "disparaged" them.

    Thus chaotically concludes day two of the public impeachment hearings that could culminate in a vote on whether to depose a US president.

    Here's what happened on Friday:

    • Marie Yovanovitch, who was abruptly recalled this spring as US ambassador to Ukraine, testified that she felt threatened by Trump's July call with Ukraine's leader, in which the US president called her "bad news"
    • "I was shocked to be featured in a call between two heads of state," Yovanovitch testified. She said White House officials led a pressure campaign to discredit her, ultimately leading to her early dismissal
    • Trump meanwhile took to Twitter to claim "everywhere" the diplomat went during her 33-year career "turned bad"
    • Chairman Schiff allowed Yovanovitch to respond within minutes. She called that tweet "very intimidating"
    • Democrats suggested the tweet amounted to witness tampering, a crime. At the White House, Trump denied the tweet was intimidating, and trashed the hearing as "a disgrace"
    • The Republican strategy was to describe Yovanovitch's dismissal as a routine personnel change
    • Democrats lauded her as a distinguished career diplomat and victim of a Trump-approved smear campaign

    Read our analysis here: How a Trump tweet shook impeachment hearing

    And the latest here: Envoy 'intimidated' by Trump during live hearing

    Donald Trump graphic

    We’ve made it easy for you.

    SIMPLE GUIDE: If you want a basic take on what's going on, this one's for you

    GO DEEPER: Here's a 100, 300 and 800-word summary of the story

    WHAT'S IMPEACHMENT? It's a political process to remove a president - video guide

    VIEW FROM TRUMP COUNTRY: Hear from residents of Pennsylvania

    ON THE DOORSTEP: A newly elected Democrat sells impeachment to voters

  2. After Yovanovitch, what's next?

    US Capitol Dome

    Today's hearing will mark the end of Week One of the public impeachment hearings. But the Democratic-led inquiry has another packed week ahead.

    Tuesday, 19 November Jennifer Williams, a state department official and aide to Vice-President Mike Pence and National Security Council official Lt Col Alexander Vindman will appear in the morning.

    The afternoon will feature testimony from ex-US special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and Tim Morrison, another National Security Council official.

    Wednesday, 20 November US Ambassador to the EU and ex-Trump donor Gordon Sondland will testify in the morning, followed by Pentagon official Laura Cooper and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale in the afternoon.

    Thursday, November 21 will feature former National Security Council official Fiona Hill.

    Need a refresher on the key characters in the impeachment probe? We've got you covered.

  3. Ex-CIA chief: Trump 'despicable'

    Former CIA director John Brennan
    Image caption: Ex-CIA chief John Brennan called Trump's tweets "despicable"

    Ex-CIA chief John Brennan - a vituperative critic of the president - has weighed in on the Trump tweets against Yovanovitch this morning.

    "Your comments reflect the despicable nature of your character, hate & fear of our foreign service officers & desperation to protect your corrupt & criminal acts," Brennan tweeted.

    "Your efforts to intimidate will fail. May your downfall be swift, your penalty onerous, & your legacy condemned by all."

  4. What do Americans think?

    FiveThirtyEight poll

    Washington's lawmakers are bitterly divided over whether President Trump should be impeached. But what do Americans think?

    According to statistics-driven news website FiveThiryEight, the country is almost perfectly divided between those who do and don't support Trump's impeachment.

    As of midday local time today, 48.5% of the country back impeaching Trump, while 45.7% don't support it.

    The analysis indicates a gradual increase in impeachment support, mirroring the slow release of news coverage tracking Trump and the Ukraine scandal.

  5. 'Disgusting tweet'

    Allegations of witness intimidation against Trump continue following his posting about Yovanovitch this morning.

    Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat who recently ended his own bid for the White House, asks Yovanovitch about Trump's "disgusting tweet".

    He even displays it in the committee room for all to see.

    "I will continue with my work," Yovanovitch vows when asked how she can persist amid personal attacks.

    View more on twitter
  6. BreakingTrump wants 'freedom of speech'

    "They've taken away Republicans rights," Trump thunders at a White House healthcare event just now.

    "They weren't allowed to ask questions, it's a very sad thing," he says.

    The Republican president is alleging that Democrats who control the intelligence committee have unfairly cut off their Republican colleagues in the hearing, where lawmakers' questions are strictly timed.

    The president added that he wants "freedom of speech".

    He says he was able to watch some of the hearing and thought it a "disgrace".

    "When we have great Republican representatives - people elected by the people - and they're not even allowed to ask a question... we're not allowed to have witnesses, legal counsel, White House counsel, it's a disgrace and it's an embarrassment to the nation."

    Trump also says he did not think his tweets regarding Marie Yovanovitch were intimidating at all.

    The president added that his April call with President Zelensky - the transcript of which he released this morning - "was almost as perfect" as the July call.

    Donald Trump
  7. Possible Biden 'conflict of interest'

    John Ratcliffe, a Texas Republican, asks about Yovanovitch's confirmation hearing (a president's ambassador must be approved by the Senate).

    Yovanovitch says Obama administration officials instructed her before that 2016 hearing to refer questions on Burisma - the company Joe Biden's son, Hunter, worked for - "to the vice-president's office".

    She acknowledged Hunter Biden's board position with the company while his father was vice-president "could raise the appearance of a conflict of interest".

    But Yovanovitch also said Biden's work as vice-president to remove Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin - who was seen as corrupt by many in the US and EU - was unrelated.

    "The view that Mr Shokin was not a good prosecutor-general fighting corruption, I don't think that had anything to do with the Burisma case."

  8. 'If that's the plan, it's not the best'

    Jim Jordan

    Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican drafted on to the committee to bolster defence of Trump, asks no questions, instead seeking to dismantle the idea that skulduggery was behind Yovanovitch's ousting.

    "If recalling Ambassador Yovanovitch was part of some scheme by Trump and [Secretary of State] Pompeo and Giuliani to get [Ukraine's] President Zelensky to do an investigation, why would they replace her with the Democrats' first witness, their star witness, [top diplomat] Bill Taylor?"

    "I mean if that's the plan, it's not the best," Jordan says.

    He concludes the US military aid to Ukraine that was withheld for months was eventually released for legitimate reasons.

    "Mr Zelensky never undertook any investigations and the reason the aid was released as we discussed Wednesday was because vice-president Pence, Ambassador Bolton, US senators all talked with President Zelensky and were convinced he was the real deal and that's why the money was released."

  9. Committee stays cool

    The BBC's Ed Habershon is in the hearing room, which several journalists are describing as "remarkably chilly".

    The committee members have clearly been reaching for the thermostat after sweltering in the private hearings last month.

    The congressional room where closed-door testimony was held in October was described as "hot", windowless and smelling "like a locker room".

    Perhaps a cooler temperature is the only thing the lawmakers can agree on right now.

    View more on twitter
  10. Yovanovitch told to 'go big or go home'

    Yovanovitch says US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, a former Trump donor, had suggested she "needed to go big or go home" if she wanted to wheedle her way back into the president's good graces.

    He advised her to post a tweet praising Trump, "that sort of thing".

    "My reaction was that I'm sure [Sondland] meant well but it was not advice I could really follow," Yovanovitch says.

    "It felt partisan, it felt political... not what I thought was in keeping with my role as a foreign service officer."

  11. 'Like a Hallmark movie!'

    Mike Quigley, an Illinois Democrat, elicits chuckles as he sarcastically tells Yovanovitch: "It's like a Hallmark movie!

    "You ended up at Georgetown [University]. It's all OK!"

    Some Republicans have suggested Yovanovitch landed a plumb job. She holds a teaching and research position at the prestigious university in Washington DC.

    But Yovanovitch tells the hearing she would have preferred to continue as the US ambassador to Ukraine.

  12. 'Is it your own fault?'

    Mike Pompeo
    Image caption: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

    "Is it your own fault you did not fight your smear harder?" asks the committee's top Democrat, Adam Schiff.

    Yovanovitch replies: "I did everything that I could to address these issues and ask the state department to do what I felt was the right thing, which was support me when it was important to do so.

    "I think it was for others to stand up for me."

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not publicly defend Yovanovitch from the attacks against her and ousted the envoy in April this year at the president's request.

  13. 'Absolute nonsense'

    Chris Stewart, a Utah Republican, calls the impeachment hearing "absolute nonsense" and says it will actually boost support for Trump.

    "Do you have any information regarding the president of the United States accepting any bribes?" asks the congressman.

    "No," says Yovanovitch.

    What about "any criminal activity that the president of the United States has been involved with at all"?

    Yovanovitch says she has no such evidence.

    Stewart's point is arguably a red herring since this congressional investigation into whether the president should be removed from office is a political, not criminal process.

  14. Republican 'fakes phone call'

    John Ratcliffe
    Image caption: Texas Republican, Representative John Ratcliffe

    A journalist asking John Ratcliffe, a Texas Republican, about Trump's Twitter attacks on Yovanovitch were treated to a crafty avoidance technique, Politico reports.

    "Several Republicans on the Intelligence Committee dodged the topic entirely. Rep John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) quickly whipped out his cell phone and began talking into it, even though his home screen was visible and there was no call in progress."

    Though Marie Yovanovitch is centre stage in the hearing room today, Trump's tweets slamming the former ambassador have seized headlines.

  15. White House says Trump tweets 'not intimidation'

    White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement that the president's tweets criticising Yovanovitch were not witness intimidation, but "simply the President's opinion, which he is entitled to".

    She adds: "This is not a trial, it is a partisan political process - or to put it more accurately, a totally illegitimate, charade stacked against the President."

    Notably, several of Trump's own Republicans have said the tweets may not have been appropriate.

    Ari Fleischer, who was press secretary to President George W Bush, also tweets to defend Trump on suggestions of witness intimidation.

    Fleischer is occasionally outspokenly critical of Trump.

    View more on twitter
  16. 'A difficult time'

    Terri Sewell, an Alabama Democrat, wants to get personal. How is Yovanovitch feeling?

    "It's been a difficult time. I mean I'm a private person, I don't want to put all that out there, but it's been a very, very difficult time. Because the president does have the right to have his own or her own ambassador in every country," Yovanovitch says.

    Sewell asks whether the president has the right to malign someone's character.

    "There's a question as to why the kind of campaign to get me out of Ukraine happened. Because all the president has to do is say he wants a different ambassador. And in my line of work - perhaps in yours as well - all we have is our reputation, so this has been a very painful period," the ex-ambassador responds.

    Marie Yovanovitch

    But Yovanovitch declines a question about how this has all affected her family.

    As for her fellow colleagues at the state department? It's had a "chilling effect", Yovanovitch says.

  17. Ukraine aid approved by Trump, denied by Obama

    Ukrainian troops fire at a military drone
    Image caption: Ukrainian troops fire at a military drone

    Elise Stefanik, a New York Republican, points out that the Trump administration provided aid to Ukraine that was refused by the Obama administration.

    Yovanovitch confirms: "That's correct."

    As Yovanovitch said in her opening statement: "The Trump administration strengthened our policy by approving the provision to Ukraine of anti-tank missiles known as Javelins."

    Conservatives have said it is rich for Democrats like Joe Biden to attack Trump for temporarily withholding security assistance to Ukraine that was denied altogether to the former Soviet republic under the last White House.

    The Obama administration refused to provide the lethal military assistance in 2014 amid concerns it would escalate the conflict as Russian forces invaded the eastern territory of Crimea.

    But Obama did provide more than $100m in security assistance to Ukraine, as well as a significant amount of defence and military materiel.

  18. Republican dismisses Trump's tweet attacks: 'That's his thing'

    Donald Trump

    Congressman Louie Gohmert, an ultra-conservative Republican from Texas, shrugged off President Trump's tweets attacking Yovanovitch, telling CNN: "The president tweets, that's who he is."

    The stalwart Trump supporter continued: "Regardless of whether it's tasteless or not, it's not intimidation when it's during the testimony."

    Gohmert has previously said that the impeachment inquiry would "push this country to a civil war".

  19. Where does impeachment go from here?

    Flowchart showing impeachment
  20. Who are Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman?

    Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman
    Image caption: Lev Parnas (left) and Igor Fruman

    Their names have come up several times in this hearing - and Yovanovitch just noted she'd never met them and so wasn't sure why they were trying to get rid of her.

    But who exactly are they?

    Both men are US citizens. Parnas, 46, was born in Ukraine, Fruman, 53, in Belarus.

    They are associates of Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, and they reportedly helped Giuliani connect with Ukrainian prosecutors as he attempted to press Ukraine to investigate unsubstantiated corruption allegations against former Vice-President Biden and his son, Hunter.

    They were arrested in October on campaign finance charges unrelated to the Ukraine inquiry.

    Fruman and Parnas also allegedly raised thousands of dollars in funds for an unnamed congressman to seek their assistance in removing Yovanovitch. This was allegedly done in part by "the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials", according to the criminal complaint against them.

    Read more here.