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tv   Inside Story 2019 Ep 323  Al Jazeera  November 19, 2019 8:32pm-9:01pm +03

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beyond that it was being withheld by the white house chief of staff not specifically the reason given was that there was ongoing review whether the funding was still in line with administration priorities that anyone in any of those meetings or any other subsequent discussion you had discuss the legality of withholding that aid there were discussions i believe in the july 31st meeting and possibly prior as well in terms of defense and state department officials were looking into how they would handle a situation in which earmarked funding from congress that was designated for ukraine would be resolved if the funding continued to be held as we approach the end of the fiscal year and from what you witnessed in anybody in the national security community support withholding assistance now
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colonel. again just for the record when did you 1st learn this security assistance was being with home on or about july 3rd. and what exactly had you learned from the state department i believe that prompted you to draft the notice on july 3rd i so on or about july 3rd i became aware of inquiries into. security assistance funding in general there are 2 typical parts state department and d. o. d. and i believe it was around that day that o.m.b. put a hold on congressional notification and you had any earlier indications that this might be the case prior to that there were there were some general inquiries on how the funds were being spent things of that nature nothing specific but no no hold 'd certainly we'll where anyone in the national security community who supported
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withholding the aid know no one from the nationals security none no one from the state department correct no one from the department of defense correct and anyone into your understanding raise the look galatea withholding this system it was raised on several occasions and who raised those concerns so the following the july 18th. sub p.c.c. which is again what i coordinate or what i convene at my level there was a july 23rd aapc see that would have been conducted by mr morrison there would be there were questions raised on as to the legality of of the hold over the subsequent week the issue was analyzed and during the july. 26th deputies so the deputies from all the departments and agencies there was a opinion rendered that that it was. it was legal to put
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a hold it was excuse me there was an opinion legal opinion rendered that it was ok to hold it was legal on the purely legal point of view correct then i yield back to the chair thank you john feeling the mist of hanukkah. miss williams lieutenant colonel than men thank you for being here and thank you both for your service as millions of americans are watching throughout the hysteria and frenzied media coverage 2 key facts have not changed that are critical to these impeachment proceedings one ukraine in fact received the aid and 2 there was no investigation into the bidens my question to both of you today will focus on the following systemic corruption in ukraine to highlighting for the public that by law aid to ukraine requires anti-corruption efforts and 3 who in our government has the decision making authority when it comes to foreign policy and national security matters so on corruption in ukraine as a battery of on
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a bitch testified one of the key reasons why president selenski was overwhelmingly elected by the ukrainian people was that they were finally standing up to rampant corruption in their country would you both agree with the ambassador's assessment yes yes and ms williams corruption was such a critical issue from your perspective that when you prepared the vice president for his congratulatory call with president selenski you testified that the points you wanted to communicate on the call were the following quote look forward to seeing president selenski really implement the agenda on which he had run related to anti-corruption reforms that's correct yes and lieutenant colonel van min would you agree that this focus on anti-corruption is a critical aspect of our policy towards ukraine or would and lieutenant colonel van when you are aware that in 2014 during the obama administration the 1st anti corruption investigation partner between the u.s. the u.k. and ukraine was it to the owner of the company. i'm aware of it now and lieutenant
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colonel venom and you testified that you were aware that prison had questionable business dealings that's part of its track record that is correct you also testified that regarding brás money money laundering tax evasion comports with your understanding of how business is done in ukraine is that correct i'm not aware of specific incidents but my understanding is that it would not. out of the out of the realm of the possible for burst mode well that's page 2 a 7 from your testimony but i'll move on you are aware that hunter biden did sit on the board of brazil at this time i am well i know i know that my constituents in new york 21 have many concerns about the fact that hunter biden the son of the vice president sat on the board of a corrupt company like karisma the obama administration state department was also concerned and yet adam schiff refuses to allow this committee to call hunter biden despite our requests every witness who has testified and has been asked this has answered yes do you agree that hunter biden on the board of bris milah has the
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potential for the appearance of a conflict of interest certainly the potential of us and ms williams. now shifting to the legal requirements that are aid to ukraine is conditioned on anti-corruption lieutenant colonel vin minute you testified that you understood that congress had passed under the ukrainian security assistance initiative a legal obligation to certify that corruption is being addressed that is correct and you also testified that it is required by the national defense authorization act that is correct so for the public listening we are not just talking about president trump focusing on anti corruption in ukraine but it is so critical so important that harder in taxpayer dollars when given to foreign nations that by law overwhelmingly bipartisan support requires anti corruption in ukraine in order to get us taxpayer funded a lieutenant colonel then when you spoke extensively about the importance of defense of lethal aid to ukraine specifically javelins this was in your deposition correct. and you testified that the javelin in particular because of its
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effectiveness in terms of influencing the russian decision calculus for aggression . it is one of the most important tools we had we have when it comes to providing defensive lethal aid the system itself and the signaling of your support yes and it is a fact that that aid was provided under president trump and not president obama that is correct and my last question lieutenant colonel venom and i know you serve at the n.s.c. in the white house i served in the west wing of the white house for president bush on the domestic policy council in the chief of staff's office so i'm very familiar with the policy process i also know that as a staff member the person who sets the policy the united states is the president not the staff and you testify that the president sets the policy correct that is correct and i respect your deep expertise your tremendous service to our country we can never repay those that have worn the military uniform and served our nation but i was struck when you testified in your deposition i would say 1st of all i'm the
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director for ukraine i'm responsible for ukraine i'm the most knowledgeable i'm the authority for ukraine for the national security council and the white house i just want to clarification you report to tim morris and correct in my advice to report is to more and i'm going to revise or just to clarify in my only in my advisory capacity i advise up through the chain of command that's what i do and the chain of command is to morrison to ambassador john bolton the national criticizer to the pres the united states and do you agree that the president sets the policy as commander in chief as you testified previously absolute thank you my time's expired mr school thank you both lieutenant colonel binmen i think the follow up question my colleague from new york did not ask you but it is relevant for everyone at home isn't it true that the department of defense has certified that the anti-corruption requirements of ukraine have been met when the hold was put on by the president that is correct. now mr jordan suggested. the president did something none of us
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expected by releasing that call transcript you listen to the calls out right lieutenant colonel that is miss williams you also listen to the calls at right fair to say mr williams a lot of other people at the white house listen to the call or read the transcript i can't characterize how many i believe there were 4 or 5 or 6 of us in the listening room at the time and the transcript was distributed to others is that right i wasn't part of that process but that's my understanding so the president is asking for us and his defenders to give him a gold star because a number of people listen to the call or saw the call transcript and then he released it the difference of course between this and say his one on one on one meeting and helsinki with vladimir putin was there it was a one on one meeting and he took the notes from the interpreter so none of us could see it the point being the president had no choice but to release
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a call that everyone had seen now you've been asked to also characterize what exactly legally all of this means and mr rachleff pointed out that no one had used the term bribery in our depositions and mr williams you're not a lawyer are you i'm not no lieutenant colonel women are you a lawyer or their lawyers your brother right born 20 seconds after you was out you said 9 minutes 9 minutes after you yes you're the older brother lifetime wisdom there now i want to give you a hypothetical here suppose you have a shooting victim and the police respond after the victim is doing a little bit better and they ask the victim well tell us what happened and the victim says well someone came up to my car shot into the car hit me in the shoulder hit me in the back hit me in the neck miraculously i survived but i can identify you know who the person is that pulled the trigger the police say ok you were shot you know who it is but. shucks you didn't tell us that this was an
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attempted murder so we're going to have to let the person go is that how it works in our justice system that unless victims or witnesses identify the legal theories of a case we just let people off the hook is that how it works lieutenant colonel gunman i'm not an attorney for theirs and seems so i don't think your brother would think so either mr williams vice president pence was described to our committee by mr morrison as a quote for racist reader of his intelligence read book and after the april 21 call with president's alinsky you put a transcript of that call in the vice president's revoke is that right that's correct and then the vice president called presidents alinsky 2 days later is that right that's correct and you told us in the deposition that he stuck pretty faithfully to what president trump had said and that april 21 calls that right i believe his remarks were consistent but he also spoke on other issues as well including anti-corruption and you would describe the the vice president as somebody who would make follow up calls to world leaders after the president had done so is
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that right he has on occasion it's not a normal practice it depends on the situation and in that case he stuck to president trump's talking points i would say that i provided talking points for the april 23rd call for the vice president which included discussion of the president's landscape inauguration which present time had also discussed with presidents lansky but i would say the vice president discussed other issues with presidents lenski as well and. as was stated earlier the president sets the foreign policy for the united states is that right absolutely and you told us that after the july 25 call between president trump and president selenski that you put the call transcript in vice president pence's intelligence briefing book is that right i am sure it was there my colleagues prepare the book but yes so let's flash forward to september 1 vice president pence meets with president selenski is that right that's correct you're there yes and president selenski with vice president pence they talk about
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a lot of things but you will agree that vice president pence did not bring up the bidens is that correct that's correct he did not he did not bring up investigations now is one reasonable explanation that although vice president pence will do a lot of things for president trump that he was not willing to bring up investigations and biden's because he thought it was wrong i'm not in a position to speculate we had not discussed those particular investigations in any of their preparatory sessions with the vice president are you denying it up with the ukrainians after the july 25 call right he did not in that meeting no and you did not either now and colonel van men did you ever asked the ukrainians to do what president trump was asking them to do after the july 25 phone call i did not i didn't bring her any opinion on what was asked in the 25 thank you yoga is to her miss williams i want to join my colleagues and thanking you for your service we share a personal hero and dr rice so great minds think alike. did you participate in over
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here any conversations about how potential information collected from the ukrainians on the bidens would be used for political gain. no i did not participate or overhear any conversations along those lines thank you lieutenant colonel van minh i think all of us would agree that your father made the right move to come here and we're glad that that he did you've talked about how part of your responsibilities is developing talking points for your principles is that correct that is correct present and i'm assuming you also do that for your direct supervisor currently right now mr morrison's that correct mr morrison has left the position some time ago already at least 3 weeks so but you do that you prepare for talking points for your supervisors that. typically i'm frankly that at that level they don't really take talking points specially if they have expertise in talking points or more intended for national security advisor although 'd for bolton did
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a really really require dip because of his deep expertise it's more the next level up the president a traditionally on this trying to establish i know this position is somebody accurately is talking points for a number of people that is correct do they always use them now or is is president trump known to stick to a script. i don't believe so so is it odd that he didn't use your talking points no it is not in your deposition if your lawyer wants to follow on it's page 3 o 6 when you were asked about events during the temporary hold on u.s. assistance to ukraine this is that 55 day period or so and you testified that the u.s. administration did not receive any new or shine says from ukraine about anticorruption efforts and that the facts on the ground did not change before the hold was lifted is that is that accurate and we count in your testimony that is accurate when was
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president selenski sworn in he was sworn in on excuse me may 20th 2100 and then he had a new parliament 2 elected after he was correct he did and when was that parliament seated that was. that was i'm sorry july 21st 2908 that was when they won right there but they point weren't properly sealed until august that's right that's what they wanted they wanted until august your boss's boss ambassador bolton travel to ukraine in late august by august 27th 28 is that correct that is correct he take you with you did he take in do with him did. we know from other witnesses that when ambassador bolton was there he met with presidents alinsky and his staff and they talked about how they were visually exhausted because one of the things that presents alinsky did during that time period was changed ukrainian constitution to remove absolute immunity from rather
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deputies right there some of their parliamentarians because that had been the source of raw corruption for a number of years is that accurate that is accurate where you are where you aware of this important change the ukrainian law of course and you don't believe that's significant any corruption out for you know it is significant pretty significant correct i'm also ambassador taylor testified that presents a list that's alinsky with this new parliament. opened ukraine's high into corruption court right this had been an initiative that many folks and the u.n. our state department had been had been pushing to happen and that was established in that timeframe is where you're aware of this yes do you think this is a significant anticorruption i do. when he talked about how many times have you met presidents alinsky. i think it was just the one time from the presidential delegation multiple engagements but just the one trip
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and that's a one on one meeting that was in a bilateral larger bilateral format. than there was there were a couple of smaller venue they were all in up and there was never a one on one. but there were a couple of against again touch points so the bilateral meeting handshake meeting very high she had a short so there was a lot of people in the room yeah when when you know that with them this congress you still advise ukrainian president to watch out for the russians yes and that was that was and that and everybody else in the room i'm assuming the national security adviser was there i believe in this case you had other members of the ministration was that what your points preapproved did they know you are going to bring up those points i did we did have a huddle beforehand and it's possible i flagged him but i don't i don't recall specifically possible date i didn't and you counsel the ukrainian president to stay out of u.s. politics correct. chairman i yield back the time i do not have so many
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back to mr castro thank you chairman miss williams thank you for your service to the country girl been thank you europe for your service and it's great to talk to a fellow identical twin hope that your brother is nicer to you than mine is to me but that doesn't make you grow a beard. right. you both listen in real time to a july 25th call in particular you would have heard president trump ask the president ukraine quote i'd like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with ukraine they say crowd strike and quote the server they say ukraine has it this is a debunked conspiracy theory that has no basis in fact. president trump's own former homeland security advisor thomas p. boss or call the president's assertion that ukraine intervene in the 2016 elections quote not only a conspiracy theory but quote a quote completely debunked unquote colonel been are you aware of any evidence to
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support the theory that the ukrainian government interfered in the 26000 election congressman i am not and i'm furthermore i would say that this is a russian narrative that president putin has promoted and are you aware of any part of the u.s. government its foreign policy or intelligence apparatus that supports that theory you know i am not aware that you are aware that other parts of the u.s. government our intelligence community for example has said definitively that it was the russians who interfered in the 2016 elections that is correct. seems incredibly odd though unfortunately but not inconsistent to me that president trump would be giving giving credence to a conspiracy theory about ukraine that helps russia really in at least 2 ways 1st it ignores and frankly undermines the assessment of the u.s. intelligence community and seeks to weaken
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a state dependent on the united states' support to fight russian aggression it also for the united states hurts or not hurts our national security and emboldens russia and i want to look at what president trump was doing on his call instead of pushing back against russian still ety he was pressured you can't read you crane to do his political work president trump state of the job on that july 25th call quote there's a lot of talk about biden's son that biden stop the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it it sounds horrible to me. colonel inman when you hear those words do you hear the president requesting a thoughtful and well calibrated anti-corruption program consistent with u.s. policy i do not in fact it sounds like president
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trump was encouraging the ukrainian president to engage in precisely the same type of behavior for president trump's own political benefit that we discourage foreign leaders from undertaking in their own countries and discouraging other countries from undertaking politically motivated investigation is in fact a major part of official u.s. anti-corruption policy is that correct that is correct and are you in fact aware of any evidence that vice president biden improperly interfered in an investigation of his family members i am not these false narratives that should be said are damaging our country they poison our politics and distract from the truth and pressing another country to engage in corruption is antithetical to who we are as a nation you also mentioned that this request where you felt this request was wrong
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and you've also said that corruption in ukraine is in demick ukraine just as it is in other places around the world what is the can you speak to what is the danger of a president the united states whether it's donald trump or any future president asking another nation where there's rampant corruption to investigate a political rival or 'd just any other american citizen what would be the danger to that american. congressman. the ukraine the ukrainian judiciary is imperfect at the moment and the there were alliance on u.s. support could conceivably cause them to. tipped the scales of justice in favor of finding a u.s. citizen guilty if they thought they need to do that international so they could trump up charges if they wanted to in
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a corrupt system like that they could and ukraine is making progress certainly more broadly in russia that is likely to happen where the state will be involved in judicial outcomes and drive them thank you are you about your strength of thank you chairman ms williams you testified that what you noted as being unusual about the call that. took place on july 25th was that the president raised what appeared to be a domestic political issue correct correct but raising an issue even one that you thought was unusual is different than making a demand would you agree yes and as i read your deposition it didn't sound like from your testimony that you heard what took place on that call as a demand for investigations is that fair i don't believe i'm in
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a position to characterize it further than the president did in terms of asking for a favor you didn't hear a demand again i would just refer back to the transcript itself lieutenant colonel been you've testified. and explained to us why in your mind it was a demand and you've given us reasons the disparity of power between the 2 presidents and because you did feel that way you also felt that you had a duty to report what you thought was improper is that correct that's correct ok so 2 different people 2 impartial observers one felt the need to report the call because there was a demand that was improper and one that didn't report it to anyone you didn't report it to anyone right it was williams. i ensured that the information was available to my superiors so while this might seem as clear as mud i think your honest and candid assessments of what you heard on the call tells us what we need
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to know we have 2 independent folks nonpartisans and i'm not hearing a consensus between the 2 of you about what exactly you both heard on the call that you heard at the exact same time and if you can't reach an agreement with regard to what happened on the call how can any of us an impeachment inquiry is supposed to be clear it's supposed to be obvious it's supposed to be overwhelming and compelling enough to people on the call disagree honestly about whether or not there was a demand and whether or not anything should be reported on a call that is not a clear and compelling basis to undo $63000000.00 votes and remove a president from office they yield my remaining time to mr jordan i think the gentleman for yielding colonel then. why did you go after the call why did you go to mr morrison i went immediately per the per the instructions from the july
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10th incident i met went immediately to. mr eisenberg after that once i made that expressed my concerns it was an extremely busy week we had a a p.c. just finish we had the call and then we had a deputies being which consumed all my time i was working extremely long days i attempted to try to communicate i managed to speak to 2 folks in the inner agency i attempted to try to talk to mr morse and that didn't happen before and receive instructions from john eisenberg to not talk to anybody else any further. so the lawyer you know he didn't go to your boss you said you tried beating go to your boss you went straight to the lawyer and the lawyer told you not to go to your boss no he didn't tell me until. what ended up unfolding is i had the conversation with the attorney i did my coordination my core function which is coordination i spoke
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to the appropriate people within the inner agency and then circling back around mr eisenberg came back to me and told me not to talk to him i'm going to read from the transcript here why don't you go to your direct report mr morris and your response was this page one of 2 because mr eisenberg told me to take my concerns to him and i ask you did miss did mr eisenberg tell you not to report to go around mr morsi and you said actually he did say that i should talk to any other people right yes but there's a hold there's a period of time in there between when i spoke to him and when he circled back around it wasn't that long a period time but it was enough time for me to enough time to go to talk to someone that you won't tell us who it is right i've been instructed not to represent of jordan one here's what i'm getting the lawyer told you don't talk to any other people and you interpret that as not talking to your boss but you talk to your brother you talk to the lawyers you talk to secretary can you talk to the one guy.


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