This Wednesday marks the first round of the Trump public impeachment hearings. It is the first time the Congress has pursued the impeachment of President in over 20 years, representing the latest chapter in Trump’s turbulent and polarizing presidency.

As new developments and revelations unravel at a rapid pace, there is a lot to unpack regarding the purpose of the hearings, the people involved and what they could mean. Here are four things you absolutely need to know prior to tuning in to these historic proceedings:

What Is The Purpose Of The Hearings?

Congress will endeavor to determine whether President Donald Trump committed the impeachable act of using his private office for public gain. It will specifically examine whether or not he threatened to withhold aid from Ukraine until they agreed to investigate Joe Biden and his son for corruption ahead of the upcoming Presidential Election. Several key figures have already testified behind closed doors, and Democrats have released transcripts of some of these testimonies ahead of the public hearings.

Who Will Testify?

The hearings will take place on Wednesday and Friday. On Wednesday, Nov. 13, the country will hear testimony from the United States' chief envoy to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, and the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, George Kent.

Both men are expected to testify that there was a “shadow” foreign policy doctrine regarding Ukraine that was coordinated and managed by Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland, former Special Representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker and others. Taylor has confirmed the alleged “quid pro quo” between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

On Friday, Nov. 15, the United States' former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will testify and is expected to reiterate that she was removed from her post because she refused to help Giuliani pressurize Ukrainian officials to investigate the Bidens and purported Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.

Donald Trump denied China's statement that the economic superpowers had agreed a plan to roll back tariffs as trade talks progress
Donald Trump denied China's statement that the economic superpowers had agreed a plan to roll back tariffs as trade talks progress AFP / MANDEL NGAN

What Are The Stakes?

The hearings could result in the drafting of articles of impeachment by the House of Representatives, which could theoretically be followed by a vote for or against removal from office. While this measure would certainly be historic and significant, any move to ousting Trump from office would almost definitely fail in the Republican-controlled Senate.

How To Watch?

The public impeachment hearings begin at 10 a.m. on Nov. 13 and will air on C-SPAN and the major cable news networks. CBS and other news networks will be live streaming the hearings, and they will also be available on PBS live stream and YouTube.