Second week of Trump impeachment hearings could be make-or-break for Dems

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Democrats' pivotal week of Trump impeachment hearings kicks off, as contradictions in testimony surface
Beginning Tuesday morning, in a rush of five public hearings ahead of the Thanksgiving recess, eight witnesses -- including several who have provided inconsistent accounts of key events -- are set to testify over three days in what could be a make-or-break week in House Democrats' impeachment investigation.

Less than 24 hours before the proceedings were set to be gaveled in Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET, President Trump floated the idea of testifying, rather than tweeting, during the inquiry. A top Republican called for a last-minute postponement, citing secretive new developments behind closed doors. And, the Trump campaign has pointed out apparent inconsistencies in some witness testimony already on the record.

A key impeachment figure: Though he's not slated to testify until Wednesday, the key witness expected to come up throughout the week is Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who repeatedly has frustrated Democrats' narrative by contradicting several other key witnesses in the probe.

Testifying Tuesday: Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council official, is scheduled to testify Tuesday morning. He has testified behind closed doors that Sondland cited a discussion with White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney when pushing Ukrainian officials to open the investigations that Trump wanted into the 2016 U.S. presidential election and into potential 2020 election opponent Joe Biden.

Former top national security adviser to President Donald Trump, Tim Morrison. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Former top national security adviser to President Donald Trump, Tim Morrison. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

National Security Council [NSC] official Tim Morrison, the outgoing senior director of European and Russian affairs and White House deputy assistant, is to testify Tuesday afternoon. In his closed-door deposition, which Democrats released over the weekend, Morrison said Trump didn't want tax dollars funding Ukrainian corruption, and remarked that he wasn't concerned Trump's calls with Ukraine's leader were tied to his political interests. Republicans have further noted that Morrison has testified privately that he "had concerns about Lieutenant Colonel Vindman’s judgment" and had heard concerns that Vindman was a leaker. Click here for more on our top story.

David Hale, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

David Hale, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

In other Trump impeachment inquiry developments: David Hale, the State Department’s No. 3 official, testified in a Nov. 6 closed-door deposition that no one in the Trump administration or any "government channel" ever mentioned former Vice President Joe Biden or his son Hunter as a reason for withholding aid from Ukraine, according to a transcript of his remarks released late Monday by House Democrats in their impeachment inquiry. Hale is scheduled to testify publicly Wednesday.

David Holmes, a career diplomat and the political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

David Holmes, a career diplomat and the political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Also late Monday, Democrats released testimony from State Department official David Holmes, who said in his Nov. 15 deposition that the conversation he overheard between Trump and Sondland during a lunch in Ukraine was so distinctive — even extraordinary — that nobody needed to refresh his memory. He is set to testify publicly Thursday.

Stay with Fox News for live team coverage of the Trump impeachment inquiry hearings today on all platforms!

FILE - Jeffrey Epstein. (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, File)

FILE - Jeffrey Epstein. (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, File)

Criminal charges expected against Epstein guards: report
Two correctional officers responsible for guarding Jeffrey Epstein when he took his own life are expected to face criminal charges this week for falsifying prison records, according to a report. The federal charges could come as soon as Tuesday, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. The charges would be the first in connection with the death of Epstein, the wealthy financier who died Aug. 10 at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York while awaiting trial on charges of sexually abusing teenage girls.

Meanwhile, on Monday, a woman who came forward with accusations of child sex abuse against Epstein described a disturbing encounter with the now-deceased sex offender, said she took former President Bill Clinton’s seat on the “Lolita Express,” and noted bizarre bedroom floors made of mattress foam and being encouraged to cry after sex with the disgraced money man.

Police cordons off the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus in Hong Kong on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Police cordons off the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus in Hong Kong on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Hong Kong police surround 100 protesters at university
About 100 anti-government protesters remained holed up at a Hong Kong university Tuesday as a police siege of the campus entered its third day. City leader Carrie Lam said 600 people had left the Hong Kong Polytechnic campus, including 200 who are under 18 years old. Police have surrounded the university and are arresting anyone who leaves. Groups of protesters made several attempts to escape Monday, including sliding down hoses to waiting motorcycles, but it wasn’t clear if they evaded arrest, according to the Associated Press.

Universities became the latest battleground last week in the Hong Kong protest movement, now in its fifth month

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SOME PARTING WORDS

Laura Ingraham says Democrats are trying to make the Trump impeachment inquiry exciting, but Americans just don't seem to care.

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