By 8am on November 13th, the line to get into the Ways and Means Committee room already stretched all the way down the long hallway, though the hearing was not scheduled to begin until ten. Cameras bristled at the building’s entrance. Congressional interns, journalists and political junkies jostled for position as if they were on a crowded train carriage, and police officers trying to keep a path open grew increasingly frustrated.
The spectators were waiting to watch a political drama rarely seen in America. For nearly two months, Democrats have held their impeachment inquiry privately. Those hearings have become public. Over the next two weeks, Americans will hear testimony from witnesses concerning the allegation that President Donald Trump ordered military aid to Ukraine to be withheld until his counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, announced an investigation into Hunter Biden, son of a Democratic presidential front-runner, who served on the board of a Ukrainian natural-gas firm.