House Republicans are gearing up for a blockbuster showdown with Democrats as the impeachment probe enters its most visible phase yet, with GOP lawmakers and staffers from key committees plotting with leadership to launch their counterattack.

To prepare for this week’s public hearings, Republican leaders have moved one of President Donald Trump’s most fierce Hill defenders to the House Intelligence Committee and have lined up an explosive witness list for the upcoming proceedings, offering some clues to their defense strategy.

The transcripts released last week from closed-door interviews with impeachment witnesses also provide a window into how the GOP plans to approach the high-stakes hearings. Republicans will try to paint the Democratic-led process as politically motivated and minimize Trump’s role in the quest to persuade Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.

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