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How Democrats Are Reacting To Developments In The Impeachment Inquiry

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

All right. We're going to bring in now NPR congressional reporter Claudia Grisales from the Capitol.

What stood out to you listening to Congressman Welch just now, Claudia?

CLAUDIA GRISALES, BYLINE: Well, it's interesting. He is using the argument of Morrison's testimony being a master - a matter of opinion, basically, in when he - this witness said that he didn't see anything illegal happen in the call. Ironically, that's the same argument that Republicans have used, saying that many witnesses before this have expressed their opinion, and they also didn't see anything illegal.

However, Democrats such as Congressman Welch point to Morrison as just another piece in this puzzle filling in the picture that the president withheld military aid in exchange for an investigation of his political opponent. So even though Morrison expressed this opinion, it seems that they feel this inquiry is continuing on the path, and they just continue to gather stronger evidence for the final impeachment vote, if you will.

CHANG: So you did get the sense that Morrison's testimony that nothing illegal was discussed did, in fact, bolster the Republicans' argument that there was nothing impeachable about the conversation on that call.

GRISALES: Yes. I have to think today, Morrison has to be one of the Republicans' favorite witnesses that have come through during this closed-door process. However, Democrats have seen plenty of evidence before Morrison that has been corroborated. Morrison also said that he corroborated previous testimony. So it's a bolster for Republicans, but they haven't had a lot of that during this process.

CHANG: Now, Democrats are stressing that, look; this impeachment inquiry - it's going into this new phase. It's going to be public. But aren't the committees planning more closed-door depositions next week?

GRISALES: Yeah. So this falls into a little bit of logistics. The House goes into a recess period tomorrow, so closed-door proceedings seem like the best avenue. However, it seems when they return from recess later in November, it seems like that may be when they pull the trigger and go...

CHANG: OK.

GRISALES: ...Into this public phase with public witnesses and hearings.

CHANG: That's NPR's Claudia Grisales.

Thanks, Claudia.

GRISALES: Thanks for having me. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.