1. Fox News headquarters outdoor headline ribbon announces start of impeachment hearings
2. Wide of News Corporation headquarters
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Chad R. MacDonald, New York resident:
"The ambassadors that have already testified this morning have pretty much provided damning evidence that Trump has put his private interests over the interests of the nation. And that's as high a crime as you can get. He can yell 'no quid pro quo' all he wants, but the fact is he's already admitted it as has (John Michael "Mick") Mulvaney. And the proof is just piling up. These are high crimes."
4. Impeachment hearings on Fox News Channel
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Pat Carman, New York:
"I had it on this morning in the beginning I was able to see (U.S. congressman Adam) Schiff's opening remarks, I thought he gave a very clear explanation as to what was going on. Unfortunately, I had to leave the house at that point, so I missed (U.S. congressman Devin) Nunes, but I heard that he was a little controversial in the comments that he made. But I feel the House is doing what needs to be done. Obviously, there's something there that needs to be investigated. And if they did not go through with these impeachment proceedings, then they would not be doing the job that they are charged with doing, which is to have oversight of what goes on."
6. Police car and camera crew in front of News Corporation headquarters
7. Fox News headquarters outdoor headline ribbon with impeachment news
8. Wide of Times Square
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Yolanda Lawrence, New York:
"For a while I was not (paying attention to impeachment proceedings) because I said 'he'll never get out of office.' And now there is hope. And we need to clean this up whether Democrats or Republicans we need to think about America and think about what America stands for and he doesn't stand for America."
People in the Times Square area of New York City monitored the impeachment hearings Wednesday as they went about with their day's activities.
Across the country, the first public airing of the impeachment drama had millions of Americans tuning in — and, in some cases, deliberately tuning out. Although only the third time impeachment hearings were aired live on television, the proceedings in Washington were landing on a jaded and weary public, with little certainty that the event would change minds.
In many cases, "watch" isn't quite the right verb. Americans were consuming these hearings in ways unimaginable during the last impeachment hearings more than 20 years ago. They were scanning headlines on Twitter, reading posts on social media and would click on snippets of video pushed out online in real time. Some will merely glance at tickers moving across the screen at the doctor's office.
Democrats' push to impeach the president for soliciting a political favor from the president of Ukraine and, they claim, threatening to hold up millions in aid as leverage.
Polls show Republicans oppose impeaching or removing Trump and still overwhelmingly approve of the president even after more details have arisen of how his administration held up military aid while asking Ukraine to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. While Democrats control the House of Representatives and likely have the votes to impeach Trump, they would need about 20 Republican senators to vote to convict him of high crimes and misdemeanors before he would be removed from office.
Like in previous nationally-televised hearings in the Trump-era — special counsel Robert Mueller's testimony about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, or the confirmation hearing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh — Wednesday's hearing marks Democrats' latest hope in breaking the partisan stalemate that has dominated politics this decade.
Democrats were hoping, if not for a national epiphany, then at least a day that would stand out from the partisan acrimony and circus-like atmosphere of Trump-era Washington.
Democrats are hoping the trajectory mirrors that in 1973, when the nationally-televised Watergate hearings helped hammer down President Richard Nixon's approval rating from about 50% to a low of 24% before his 1974 resignation from office.
But other examples offer Democrats less hope. The Mueller hearing, for example — produced little change in Trump's approval.