ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS on Wednesday will preempt their regularly scheduled programming for live coverage of the House Intelligence Committee’s open impeachment hearings of President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE.
As expected, all of the major cable news networks, including Fox News, MSNBC, CNN and CSPAN will also offer live coverage.
Top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, William Taylor, on Wednesday is slated as the first to publicly testify regarding possible efforts by Trump administration officials to link U.S. military aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigating top 2020 Democratic contender Joe BidenJoe BidenImpeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Trump DACA fight hits Supreme Court Juan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete MORE and his son, Hunter Biden, for business dealings in the country.
Taylor’s testimony will be followed by deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent.
The respective testimonies will mark the second time both men have appeared before lawmakers, with the first occurring in closed door depositions.
House panels began hearing testimony behind closed doors on Sept. 24 in a basement room in the Capitol. Overall, lawmakers have questioned 15 witnesses before three investigatory committees.
In the past, some high-profile public hearings during the Trump administration have generated huge television audiences.
In May 2017, former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyScores of US dams found in poor condition, endangering thousands of people: analysis Former National Security Adviser John Bolton gets book deal: report Deep engagement is a two-way street MORE‘s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee was watched live by 19.5 million people across all the major broadcast and cable news networks.
In Feb. 2019, former Trump personal attorney and fixer Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenDOJ releases hundreds of pages of memos from Mueller probe Scaramucci visits Cohen in prison US Supreme Court readies for Trump MORE‘s testimony delivered 15.8 million viewers, while 13 million tuned in to see former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows ‘very strong case of bribery’ by Trump Gowdy: I ‘100 percent’ still believe public congressional hearings are ‘a circus’ Comey: Mueller ‘didn’t succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency’ MORE testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees.
All audience numbers are according to Nielsen Media Research.
Impeachment hearings for President Nixon in 1973 were also covered live on a rotating basis by the major broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC, while PBS carried the proceedings wall-to-wall for more than 250 hours.
More than 7-in-10, or 71 percent, of Americans watched the Nixon impeachment hearings live, according to Gallup.
Nixon would go on to resign the presidency on Apr. 22, 1974.