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tv   Impeachment Inquiry House Hearings Impeachment Hearing With Lt. Col....  CSPAN  November 19, 2019 5:28pm-8:34pm EST

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>> i can't speculate as to the specifics of what was motivating burisma or not. ukrainian government authorities investigating possible corruption is a perfectly proper thing to do. >> mr. morrison, i want to turn our attention back to the july 25th call. you were in the room. did anything concern you on the call? >> no, and after the call ended you, like colonel vindman -- one of your next steps was to engage the nsc lawyers and your reasons for doing that were slightly different than colonel vindman's and you articulated three concerns and do you want to share them with us or would you rather i do it? >> so, i think i articulated two
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concerns and if i'm forgetting one, please remind me, but the two concerns i had, was one i did not see representatives of sc legal on the call and i wanted to make sure that the legal adviser and his deputy were aware of the call and i was also concerned about taking steps to protect the memcon limited disclosure for fear of the consequences of it leaking. >> and you were concerned about it leaking because you were worried about how it would play out in washington's polarized political environment, correct? >> yes. and you were also worried how that would lead to the bipartisan support here in congress of -- towards ukraine, right? >> yes. and you were also concerned that it might affect the ukrainians' perception negatively. >> yes. >> and in fact all three of those things have played out.
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haven't they? >> yes. you didn't ask the lawyers to put her on the code word system, correct? >> i want to be precise about the lexicon here. i did not ask for it to be moved to a compartmented system. >> okay. you just wanted the transcript to be controlled. >> i wanted access to be restricted. >> okay. >> and when you learned that the transcript had been stored on the compartmented server, you believe that was a mistake, correct? >> well, it was represented to me that it was a mistake. i was trying to pull up that memcon because we were in the process of pulling together ambassador bolton's materials and the president's materials for what was a planned bilat 21 potus and president zelensky and when i went to do that i could not pull up the package in our
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system and i did not understand why. i spoke with the nsc executive secretariat staff, asked them why and they did their research and they informed me that it had been moved to the higher classification system at the direction of john eisenberg whom i then asked why. if that wases judgment he made that wasn't necessarily mine to question and i didn't understand it and he said i gave no such direction. he did his own inquiry and he represented back to me that it was his understanding was that it was an administrative error that when he also gave direction to restrict access the secretary of state understood that as an a prehedge that there was something in the content of the memcon that could not exist on the lower classification system. >> to the best your knowledge, there's no malicious intent in moving the transcript to the compartmented server? >> correct.
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>> do you know anybody on the nsc staff that needed for the official duties and always was able to access it, correct? >> people that had a need to know and a need to access it? >> once it was moved to the compartmented system? >> yes. >> the memcon of the july 25th call was, in your experience, prepared normally? >> yes. >> that there isn't an exact transcription of what's said on the call, correct? >> correct. >> that there's no takers and the situation room and then they prepare a draft and they're circulated among irrelevant parties? >> essentially. yes. you have responsibility for coordinating any edits? >> yes. we look at the -- the shorthand we'll call it a transcription
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and we make sure that that transcription is close to accurate as possible given our confidential records act. >> okay. colonel vindman testified that he thought it was very accurate. did you, as well? >> i viewed it as complete and accurate. >> colonel vindman did articulate he had a couple edits and he wanted burisma inserted, i think it was page 3 or 4 in place of the company in one of the sections where president zelensky was talking? are you aware of that edit request? >> i understand that he said in either this proceeding or the deposition that he wanted that request, yes. >> at the time did you understand that he had asked for that? >> i -- i don't recall that. it was my practice if i waived an edit. i would accept it. if i didn't hear it in the call, if i didn't exist in my notes i wouldn't have made the edit.
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>> on page 4 he wanted to swap out the word "company" for burisma. and when that edit from colonel vindman was not installed did he give you any negative feedback that it was crucial that that edit get in the document? >> not that i can recall. >> okay. did he ever raise any concerns about the accuracy of the transcript? >> not that i can recall. >> did he ever raise any concerns to you generally about the call? >> when we were discussing the -- the track changes version of the memcon. i believe he had some concerns about the call. i believe we both agreed we wanted that more full-throated embrace of president zelensky and his reform agenda and we didn't get it. >> okay.
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you indicated in your deposition that when you took over the portfolio for dr. hill july 15th you were alerted to potential issues in colonel vindman's judgment? >> yes. >> did she relay anything specifically to you? why she thought that? >> not in such. it was more of a overarching statement from her and her deputy who became my deputy that they had concerns about judgment. >> okay. >> did any other nsc personnel raise concerns with you about mr. vindman? >> yes. >> all right. >> i'm sorry, colonel vindman, and what were some of those concerns that were brought to your attention? >> there were -- i'm sorry. we are not going to -- i'm going to instruct him not to answer. i'm going to instruct him not to answer because i think that it's
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beyond the scope of what you're asking for. these concerns, mr. castor, pre-dated any involvement with ukrainian secretary assistance. >> well, during the deposition i asked you, mr. morrison, whether others raised the concern that colonel vindman may have leaked information? >> you did ask that, yes. >> and your answer was? >> others had represented that, yes. >> and i asked you whether you were concerned colonel vindman did not keep you in the loop at all times with his official duties? >> yes. >> and, in fact, when he went to the national security council lawyers following the july 25th call, he did not first come to you, is that correct? >> correct. >> and you were his supervisor in the chain of command, correct? >> correct. in hindsight, did you wish that he had come to you first before
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going to the lawyers? >> yes. >> and why is that? >> one, if he had concerns about something, about the content of the call that's something i would expect to have been notified of and i also think just as a matter of practice since we both went to the lawyers we didn't both need to and the economy of, fort may have prevailed. >> okay. at any point subsequently, did he become frustrated that he felt cut out of the ukraine portfolio? >> yes. >> and what was the nature of his concerns? >> well. he -- he was concerned with the ukraine trip that he did not go. he asked me why it's my practice to have the conversations with ambassador taylor one-on-one and there were certain other
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matters. >> okay. did you ever get a sense that you absolved his concerns or did they linger? >> i explained to him my thinking, and that was that. >> okay. >> before my time expire, ambassador volker i want to turn quickly to the -- what ambassador taylor describes as the irregular channel. he -- he was a participant with you and ambassador sondland with hundreds of text messages, correct? >> correct. >> did he ever raise concerns about what was going on during the time period during the early august time period? >> only as you saw reflected in the text messages themselves where he said is this now a linkage or are we doing this? he had a concern about a concern
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of just in general with rudy giuliani and all of us had and the issue is what do you do about it, about the role that he's playing and as you note, we were in frequent contact, near daily contact throughout the entire period. >> did he ever engage you on a one-on-one telephone calls? >> he did not raise those concerns that way, no. >> okay. and this -- i mean your experienced at one point in time and ambassador sondland is the ambassador to the european union and secretary perry is the secretary of energy, certainly not and it didn't sound like an irregular bunch. did he ever articulate that he thought that the three of you working on the ukraine policy was a problem? >> no, he did not.
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>> were you surprised during his testimony when he came in for the deposition when he sort of established these two tracks that one was a regular channel that he was in charge of and the other was a -- >> yes. >> i don't agree with his characterization of that because i had been in my role for a couple of years. i'd been the lead on u.s.-ukraine negotiations and negotiating with russia and the inner agency work and the work with our allies and we have a secretary of energy which is a cabinet official and having support from various u.s. officials for our strengthening our engagement with ukraine i view as a very positive thing, and if the concern is not us so much then because we're all u.s. officials, but mayor giuliani, i don't view that as a channel at all because he's not a representative of the u.s. government. he's a private citizen. i viewed him as perhaps a useful barometer in understanding what may be helpful communication
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from the ukrainian government, but not someone in a position to represent the u.s. govern the at all. >> okay. thank you. >> okay. why don't we take a five or ten-minute break. if i ask the audience to allow the witnesses to leave the room first. we are in recess.
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>> as it relates to v.a., that was not a direct thave came from the vice president or the president. i think the testimony, mr. morrison's testimony, where the vice president of the united states has a meeting with president zelensky, doesn't raise any connection with the aid to any investigation. >> are you aware $5 million of that aid is is it -- $35 million of that aid is still being with held? >> that happens all the time. i've been -- [indiscernible] -- for my first three terms. unobligated funds at the end of the fiscal year year happened not once, not twice, but dozens if not hundreds of times each and every year. so i just want to show you -- generally speaking, you'll have anywhere from a 17% -- 7% to 14% unobligated funds at end of
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the time. it's so people don't overspend. don't read too much into that. >> because of the delay, all of the funds were not going to be able to be obligated in time. >> that's because of the c.r. that we passed. any funds that didn't get obligated are not a function of the whole because -- >> what is that function then? >> it's the way that business is normally done. what happens is when you get an appropriated amount, you can't overobligate the u.s. federal government because then you run into a problem with -- [indiscernible] -- so that's why generally you appropriate $400 million and figure less than that actually gets obligated. you appropriate 400 million and less than that --
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[ inaudible question ]
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>> i certainly wasn't party to every single conversation so ambassador sondland by his own admission with conversations with the president of the united states and perhaps other people were not privy. [ inaudible question ] >> ambassador sondland and his testimony, and not only has he given his deposition after reviewing it, and that is consistent with what he's already testified under oath behind closed doors. that being said, i don't know that there's a whole lot of new
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questions that come to light from in the minority of trying to verify the questions. oftentimes occasionally and today is one of those examples where some of the questions that actually do get asked as it relates to other testimony, for example. asking the witnesses which just came out and we didn't have the means to do that.released. becae didn't have an opportunity to ask him.
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come to order. we are not going to proceed to a 15-minute
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round by either chair majority or minority. mr. goldman you would be gold gold you were right to point out if a quote i represented that you made in the deposition was your words. nt oud if a quote that i represented you made in the deposition was your words and i actually read the wrong part of the quote. what you actually said was, it creates a problem again where all of the things that we are trying to do to advance the bilateral relationship strengthen our support for ukraine, strengthen our position against russia, it is now getting sick sucked into a domestic political debate. a domestic political narrative that overshadows that. you are right to point out, i apologize for the mistake. >> i want to go back to a couple of things you said during the minorities around. can you repeat again, the readout that you got of the
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july 25th call. >> i received a readout from both the ukrainian colleague as well from a u.s. person, i cannot remember if it was my staffer, and the read out was that it was a good phone call, that was a congratulatory phone call for the president's win. the president zelensky did reiterate his commitment to fighting corruption and advancing reform in ukraine. and that president trump renewed his invitation for zelensky to come to the white house. >> i believe you said that readout was exactly as you expected the call to go. was that right? >> i just want to show you once again the july 25th taxed that you wrote to andriy yermak which was the message you are relating to him so that he could prepare president zelensky. you will recall this, right? where you said this was
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the message, good luck thanks. assuming president zelensky convinces trump will investigate, get to the bottom of what happened in 2016, we will nail down date for a visit to washington, that is what you expected from the call, right? >> i expected that president zelensky would be convincing in his statements, comments on president trump, that he was exactly that. that he would investigate, get to the bottom of things that had happened in 2016. and that he was strong in conveying who he is as a person, in doing that, that president trump would be convinced and renew the invitation to the white house. >> you do not mention corruption in this text. >> this is -- >> the word corruption is not in this taxed. >> the word corruption is not there. investigating things that have happened in the past that would be corrupt would be investigating corruption. >> you say a couple times in your opening statement and you
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said it again, he is investigating things that happened in the past, you are aware of course that most investigations relate to things that happened in the past, right? >> yes. >> so that doesn't move the needle. whether it's current or past. in terms of the subject of the investigation. >> yes an investigation is saying that happened in the past. >> you also talked a little bit about the meeting that you had on july 26th where the president zelensky and ambassador sondland in kiev, is that correct? >> it on the 26th? we had a meeting with president zelensky. >> yes. >> and i believe you testified that the topic of investigation, did not come up at all, is that correct? >> i do not recall them coming up. just the general phone call. >> you did not take notes of that call, of that meeting, right? >> there were staffers there to do that. so if there are two staffers who took notes of that meeting and testified that the subject of either sensitive
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topics or investigations came up, are we better off taking their word for it then yours? >> i have no reason to doubt their notes. if there were notes taking. another witness testified before us, laura cooper, about a meeting that she had with you on august 20th. do you recall having that meeting with her? you did not mention it in your deposition. >> i did mention that i had been making the rounds to weigh in on lifting the hold on security assistance to do that with all of our agency players. >> she recalled with some specificity at that meeting, which i believe was also based on her, notes that you described the statement that you were trying to get presidents lewinsky to make two, and i will quote what she said, disavow interference in u.s. elections and commit to the prosecution of individuals involved in election interference. and if he were to
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agree to do that, she testified, then you thought it might help to lift the hold on security assistance. is that your recollection of that conversation? how does yours differ? >> i recall talking about the state and we had discussed earlier. the one that had been the subject of these exchanges between mr. yermak and myself, myself and ambassador sondland, giuliani, and then back to sondland. this is an effort we are doing that could be helpful in getting a reset in the thinking of the president. the negative view of ukraine that he had. if we did that, i thought that would also be helpful in unblocking whatever hold there was on security assistance. if there is this negative perceptions about ukraine getting this stuff on track would be helpful. >> that's a different interpretation, you do not doubt that what she testified is inaccurate, do you? >> it i believe she accurately
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reflected what she understood from the conversation. >> you testified a little bit about the june 28th conference call that you had with ambassador sondland, ambassador taylor, i'm not sure if that was deputy was on the, line and secretary perry, before you moved in president zelensky, and i right about the participants in that? >> i am pretty sure that deputy assistant secretary can't was not on it. i don't remember whether secretary perry was on it. and i don't remember if i stayed on for president zelensky to join the call or not. >> whether any staff members or no takers on the call? >> i don't believe. so >> why? >> we were having a call to talk about what the messages were that we thought we needed to convey. >> at that point we have that other testimony from people who did take notes that there was a discussion about the
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investigations. or white president zelensky needed to do in order to get the white house meeting. do you recall that? >> i recall seeing that in ambassador taylor's testimony. there may have even been a text message that affect. again it comes down to what are we talking about in terms of these investigations? because what i certainly understood is we are talking about ukraine looking into and fighting corruption internally and being convincing about this, presenting the new president and new team as a change in ukraine. >> you understood that the investigations with bernie smollett in the 2016 election. >> yes. >> you interpreted those to be okay because in theory they were looking into ukraine? >> yes. >> and we can agree that the investigations were talking about today with burisma in the 2016 election? >> correct. >> so then what you admitted in
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your testimony today is that in retrospect, if you did not realize that the purpose for mr. giuliani and president trump to want the burisma investigation was for political benefits in digging up dirt or getting information on vice president biden. that is what you learned subsequently, correct? >> it's correct that i learned about the presidents interest investigating vice president biden from the phone call transcript, which became came much later from giuliani i knew that he was actively pursuing this. i did know that he raised this with me directly and i push back on. it >> you knew that ambassador sondland was pursuing this in the july 10th meeting when he raised the investigations himself. >> he didn't specify biden, he didn't specify burisma as i recall it and it was a generic comment in something not appropriate. >> i understand but biden
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wasn't mentioned and you do agree that the investigation is referenced in this context it is burisma in the 2016 election? >> yes, that's what i understand. >> on that july 10th call, when ambassador sondland raised the investigation he did that in response to a question from the ukrainians about white house meeting is, that right? >> can you repeat the question? >> you said that ambassador sondland mentioned the specific investigation of the july 10th meeting at the ambassador's office and you said that you thought that was inappropriate. >> yes. >> didn't he make that comment in response to the question from the ukrainian officials about when they could schedule at the white house meeting? >> that i'm not sure about. i remember the meeting essentially being already over and ambassador sondland bringing that up. >> in the july 2nd or third meeting in toronto, with
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president zelensky you also mentioned investigation to him again and referred to the 2016? >> burisma 2016. >> that's when the ukrainians interpreted and reference to the investigation to be related to burisma and the 2016 election. >> i don't know specifically at that time if we had talked about that specific thing in 2016 but that was my assumption of thinking that. >> mr. morrison, when did you have that conversation with fiona hill about burisma and the parallel track involving the process involving ambassador sondland and giuliani? do you recall? we >> have a number of call discussions in july or on the 15th of july. >> so, in that period of time, you are certainly aware of this effort to promote this burisma investigation that ambassador
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sondland and rudy giuliani who were going about rallies to have heard about it from doctor hill? >> i heard about it from dr. hill. >> i want to pull up another excerpt from the wall street journal article that quotes an email on july 13th that ambassador sondland descent to you. he wrote to you, quote, the sole purpose is for zelensky to give the assurances of a new sheriff in town. corruption ending and bundling moving forward in any hampered investigation will be allowed to move forward transparently. you responded tracking. what did you understand ambassador sondland mean when he wrote to you and he hampered the investigation will be allowed to move forward transparently? >> i don't know that i had an understanding about the email. i wasn't even in the seat yet but i knew that among the
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meetings we were attempting to schedule was was the president and zelensky. >> it before this that dr. hill had told you about burisma and ambassador sondland in particular and his desire for this parallel process to investigate burisma, right? >> yes. you >> had that association when you received this email asking you about the investigations, correct? >> not necessarily. >> no? >> no. >> why not? >> because, ambassador -- among the discussions i had with dr. hill about ambassador sondland as you pointed was the gordon problem and i had to sided to keep track of what ambassador sondland was doing and didn't necessarily always act on the accordance that they had so he
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wanted to get a meeting, i understood that the president wanted to do and agreed to a meeting so i was tracking that we need to schedule a meeting. >> you are not endorsing the notion of president zelensky about this investigation? is that your testimony? >> that's my testimony. >> ambassador volker, i want to jump ahead -- after the aid was released you got to the s conference in ukraine? are you aware that ambassador taylor who testified based on quite detailed notes indicated that earlier, a few days before that ambassador sondland told him that president trump was a businessman and before he writes a check he likes to see
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people pay up, something to that effect. are you aware of that? >> i'm familiar with that testimony. >> you're familiar that ambassador taylor said that you said something very similar to him when you were in ukraine for that conference. do you remember saying that? >> yes i do. i was repeating what was said to explain to bill taylor what that understanding was. >> in what context and ambassador sondland say that to you? >> i think we were talking about the release of the hold on security assistance and he was saying that the president -- he already has a negative view of ukraine and sees the check on his desk that's going to ukrainians and is not sure about that so he wants to hold until it ensured. >> the payout is to get to the investigation that he wants, is that correct? >> that's not clear. what >> do you think it meant? >> i don't think there is a
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payoff as you said the, language is similar but i had heard from gordon that he sees the czech and not sure that he wants to make sure that he has a deal with the ukrainians and we didn't know specifically about this formation. >> mister chairman i yield back. >> 15 minutes to ranking ever nunez. >> do you expect any more of these magical 15-minute things that you come up with in the back? >> no matter how magical they are there prescribed so that we can have six successive rounds of up to 45 minutes so this is part of the prescribed procedure on the house resolution. >> do you expect we will have more this evening? >> i do not expect that will be necessary. >> i thank the gentleman. for everyone watching, this is another example of how out of some coal -- out of control this process has become. the
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democrats magic they give themselves additional minutes which their little special rules that they wrote and do but the thing that they would have to decency that they were going to have 15 minutes more. i would say that you can go four hours, five hours can we give you all you want and you can keep digging if you want and it will only dig. the viewers will turn up because people start to buy the drug deal that you guys are trying to sell. i would add that we are getting into primetime, these are two witnesses that were you're witnesses that you called. we still ask for witnesses that you not proposed as a whistle blower who you and others claim not to know. which we still need to get to the bottom of that because it is the most important material fact witness to how this whole mess began in the first place.
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secondly, we asked for the dnc operatives who are working with ukrainians to dig up dirt from what you call or what the left calls conspiracy theories which they are right there conspiracies that they have dirt dug up to spend on their own and attack the trump campaign of the 2016 election. i have no more questions for these witnesses. i know our members knew and to have a little bit of a cleanup here? >> i'll try to be quick and yield sometime back. i'll use every last minute ambassador volker, are you aware last week from foreign minister bush day go that he said no one told the ukrainians and certainly not him that there was any linkage between the security assistance funds and the investigations? >> i saw that statement yes. do you know the foreign minister? >> and during relevant times
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did you ever get any discussion with him about the investigation and links? >> not about investigations, with, him i believe i kept that discussion to being with mr. yermak, we did discuss with foreign minister poroshenko at the time, security systems after it was raised august 29th and i discussed that with him. >> the primary person you worked with was mr. yermak? >> correct. >> and mr. yermak also had some meetings with ambassador sondland, did mr. yermak ever give you any feedback from his interactions with ambassador sondland? >> i cannot say whether he did or didn't we were in frequent contact and we talked about the issues as we went along. >> the episode at warsaw where inherently about his nerve sondland pulled the ambassador does aside did mr. yermak give you any feedback on that? >> i did not get anything
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specific after that. this was around september 1st or second. and it was at that time that i had been texted by mr. yermak and was subsequently in touch with him where i told them both i told them all, do not worry, we know about this, we are trying to fix it. and i think i left the conversation at that. >> what do ukrainian officials, the best of your knowledge, they trusted you? >> very much so. we had a close relationship. >> so when you made statements like that to them do you think they believe you? >> i think they believe me i think they would also have other conversations and they would hear things from other people, but i also think that i was sincere with them? >> and they trusted ambassador taylor? >> yes. >> i would just like to demystify a little bit of the whole mayor giuliani role here, you met with him one time? >> correct. >> and you had some exchange tax messages with him, correct?
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>> yes between the 10th of july and it around the 13th of august. >> and during your deposition in the counting of your communications with giuliani, it wasn't that many, we accounted for them all and then ambassador sondland when he came in, he didn't have he didn't have any one-on-one meetings with giuliani to your knowledge, is that correct? >> i don't believe he did, but i do not know. >> i think ambassador sondland testified that there were a couple conference calls that he may have been on with you. >> that is true. >> getting back to the regular channel that ambassador taylor coined, in his deposition testimony, did you ever have an opportunity to close the loop with him about any concerns
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whatsoever? or is it all just the specific incidents raised in those texts? >> it's only those specific instances. >> do you believe that those communications with sondland and giuliani do believe giuliani wasn't better contact with you then sondland and perry? >> what i believe he was. >> that's all i have. >> i would like to yield to one of our members who would like to go. >> yield back. >> we will now go to a five minute member questions. i recognize myself for five minutes. >> what volker i want to ask you something in our opening statement with respect to the july 10th meeting, you testified and participated in the july 10th meeting with bolton and when -- i realized
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the meeting was essentially over one ambassador sondland made a generic come meant about investigations, i think all of us thought it was an appropriate, conversation did not continue in the meeting concluded. mr. volker, we asked you about that meeting during your deposition, you told us nothing about this. i believe we ask you about why, the meeting came to an end and why you had earlier indicated that it did not go well. and her answer was that denmark was in the weeds on national security policy. why did you not tell us about this? >> that is what i remembered from the meeting. what i provided in my october 3rd statement. as i said, i learned other things including seeing the statements from alex vindman and from fiona hill. that reminded me that at the very end of that meeting as was were counted in colonel vindman statement, i did remember that,
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according to bring that up and that was it. >> at the time, we were there for six or seven eight hours. what we are asking you specifically what you knew about these investigations. you did not remember the gordon sondland and brought this up at the july 10th meeting with the ukrainians an ambassador bolton called an end to the meeting. ambassador bolton describe that meeting as a drug dealer that solid and mulvaney cooked up and you have no recollection of that? >> in terms of gordon bringing it up. no i did not remember that at the time, and my october 3rd testimony, and i read the account by alex, and jog my memory and i remember that that happened. i do not still remember being an abrupt end to the meeting. the meeting was essentially over. and we got up, we went out to the little circle in front of the white house. we took a photograph. it did not strike me as abrupt. >> mr. volker, you said in your
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testimony today, i think all of us thought it was inappropriate. if as you say, ambassador sondland only mention the investigations in the bolton meeting, and you do not recall hearing him being specific, although others have testified that he wasn't the boardroom. why did you think it was inappropriate? >> i thought, i will put it this way, it was a bit of an eye roll moment. where you have a meeting, you are trying to advance the substance of the bilateral relationship. you have the head of the national security defense council. it was a disappointing meeting because i don't think that you the ukrainians got as much out of that in terms of their presentation as they could have. and then this comes up at the very end of the meeting. this is not what we should be talking about. >> you think it was appropriate to ask the ukrainians to do
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investigations of burisma and the 2016 election as long as far as much did not mean the bidens. something that you should understand. but nonetheless if it was appropriate why are you saying today that all of us thought it was inappropriate? >> because it was not the place or the time to bring up that. this was a meeting between the national security adviser and the chairman of the national security defense counsel. the first high level meeting we are having between ukraine and the united states after president zelensky's election. >> part of the reason it was inappropriate was that because it was part of the context of trying to get the white house meeting? >> possibly although i do not recall that being, this is the councils question, i don't remember the exact context of what that came up, i viewed it as the meeting essentially having ended. >> i think you said in your updated testimony that you do you think it is inappropriate
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and objectionable to seek to get a foreign government to investigate a political rival, am i correct? >> to investigate the vice president of the united states or someone who is a u.s. official, i don't think we should be asking foreign governments to do that, i would also say that is true for a political rival. >> and you recognized when you got the call record, and you finally did see the call record, that's what took place in that call, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> mr. morrison, mr. rock i think that's inappropriate to ask a foreign head of state to investigate a u.s. person let alone a political rival, but you said you had no concern with, that do you think that's appropriate. >> as a hypothetical matter i do not. >> i'm not talking about a hypothetical matter. read the transcript. in that transcript was the president not wetaskiwin the landscape to look into the bidens. >> mister chairman i can only tell you what i was thinking at the time. that is not what i
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understood the president to be doing. >> but nonetheless this was the first and only time where you went from listening to a presidential call directly to the national security lawyers. >> that's correct. >> and i think you have said that concern was not that it was unlawful but that it might leak, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> the problem is leaking is that what would be leaking as the president asking a foreign head of state to investigate mr. biden, isn't that the problem? >> i believe i stated i have three concerns about what the impact of the colleague might be. >> if it was a perfect call would you have a concern of leaking. >> no. well it still have some concern about lead. >> what do you have thought it was appropriate if president
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zelensky had asked the president to investigate john -- or to investigate nancy pelosi or to investigate volker. >> in these hypothetical cases no. not appropriate. >> but you're not sure about biden. >> well again i can only speak to what i understood at the time. and why i acted the way i did at the time. >> finally, my colleagues asked about well, doesn't aid get held up for all kinds of reasons. ambassador volker, have you seen military aid held up because the president wanted his rival investigated? >> no. >> mr. morrison, i'm sorry? >> i yield to the ranking member. >> you took a two additional
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minutes? >> of course. i now recognize ambassador turner. >> ambassador volker, mr. morrison good to see you again and i appreciate your service and government and our country is safe today because of the work of both of you. and all the testimony that we've had we've allege that either of you and our improper and everyone has just spoken and high level of professionalism and ambassador volker i appreciate your opening statement and your comments of your work where you focus on russia as an invasion of ukraine and your work on legal defensive arms. ambassador volker is that right? >> that's right. >> to that make a difference? a >> very big difference. >> mr. morrison, talk about israel terry service? >> mr. turner, i'm a u.s. naval
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reserve officer and an intelligence officer. >> where do ottawa school. >> george washington university. >> gentlemen, there's been a talk about a lot of people that these are like short periods of time that we have for these portion of questions. a lot of people are talking about the perceptions, their beliefs their feelings about what they heard and their understandings and their thoughts. ambassador taylor and yovanovitch and all had conversations with each other and had a whole bunch of hearsay. i can assure you this boils down to one thing in this is an impeachment inquiry with the president of the united states and really think that matters and they're talking to each other's and all their thoughts senator standings and what did the president of the united states intend and what the say and what did the ukrainians understand and ambassador volker you are one
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of the first people we've had in these open public testimony's. and you've had conversations with both so i get to ask you. you had a meeting with the president of the united states and you believe policy issues that he raised concerning ukraine were valid, correct? >> yes. >> did he ever say to you that he was not going to allow aide with the united states to go to ukraine unless there were investigations into burisma, the bidens or the 2016 election? >> no he did not. >> did the ukrainians ever tell you that they understood that they would not get a meeting with the president of the united states or a phone call or military aid or foreign aid from the united states unless they undertook investigations of burisma, bidens or the 2016 election? >> no they did not. >> ambassador volker you took apart their entire case. if the president of the united states is unattended and ukrainians don't understand it. and you are the only one who actually stands in between them.
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ambassador volker, the three amigo thing that they're trying to to splurge you with, you are not part of a regular channel right ambassador volker? are you the official channel? >> that's correct. >> explain how you're the official channel on this. >> i was appointed by the secretary of state tillerson in july of 2017. with the u.s. representative of ukraine negotiation. this is different from secretary of state or different from ambassador in ukraine. that role is focused on the diplomatic activity surrounding to reverse rushes and basement and occupation in ukraine. it was the minsk agreement that was in the process with france and germany to support from nato which was sanction from the european union has the monetary missions and the efforts of individual allies like canada who are supporting ukraine and it is at
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a level with the secretary. >> ambassador volker, you're one of the few people who actually spoke to giuliani at a regular channel and people have feelings and understandings but did giuliani ever tell you that new united states aid or a meeting with the president of the united states would not clear for the ukrainians a tilapia green to lay an investigation of burisma the, bidens or the 2016 election? >> everything i heard from giuliani i told. >> excellent. i would say the ukrainians never told you that giuliani had told them that in order to get a meeting with the president or a phone call or military aid or a foreign aid from the united states that they would not be in these investigations. >> no. >> mr. morrison, you testified that you spoke to ambassador sondland and he told you conversations he had with the
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president of the united states. on page 1:28 of his testimony, he relates the content of the conversation he had with the president. he was asked about it and it's the only one he relates and he said, he was asked whether or not there was a quid pro quo. i didn't framed the question to the president that way as a link and unfortunately i asked the open-ended question of what do you want to mr. sondland and his testimony asking this question to the president of the united states this is what he reports to the president of the united states. he said i want nothing. i don't want to give them anything and i don't want anything from them. i want zelensky to do the right thing and that's what he and he kept repeating no quid pro quo over and over again. do you have any reason to believe mr. sondland is not telling the truth as the content of this conversation with the president of united states? >> no counsel. >> do either of you have any information of anyone who has testified before this committee
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and the secret dungeon testimony that have been released or in this open testimony that as perjured them selves on the light of this committee? >> no reason to think that. >> mr. morrison? >> no sir. >> mr. morrison, you planning colonel vindman reported is that correct? he >> did sir. >> now, you have a legal background. he said he listen to the phone call which you saw nothing that occurred and believe the president of the united states demanded to president zelensky that these investigations move forward. he was only telling us his opinion do, you believe you're opinion but the president of the united states demanded president zelensky to take these investigations? >> no sir. to both of you. >> ukraine is aspiring to the eu and ambassador sondland is the ambassador to the eu. is the ukraine in the ambassador
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for four leo? volker? >> yes because the eu sanctions are under importance. >> mr. morrison? >> i agree sir. >> i yield back. >> mr. himes. >> thank you mister chairman and thank you gentlemen for your testimony today. president trump has described his july 25th phone call with president zelensky as perfect. i think he's done that on twitter and not once but twice but my my count 11 times. it feels to me like this characterization of perfect is of a piece with the idea that we hear the defense of the president's request to the ukrainians but that's just normal course of business with corruption and concerns from the start this is not about going after corruption, it is in fact about aiming corruption at the vice president. mr. morrison, knew listen in on the
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call in the room, to hear the president mentioned the crowdstrike and the server? >> i believe so yes or. >> did you hear trump mention the bidens? >> yes sir. >> did you hear president trump in the length of that phone call used the word corruption? >> i don't believe he did. >> was the request that ukraine investigate crowdstrike and the bidens consistent with what you understood to be official u.s. policy towards corruption in ukraine? >> sir, it was the first i heard of much of this. >> and your deposition, you testified that you want to stay away from what you described as this bucket of investigations. why did you want to stay away from those issues? >> that was what i was advised by doctor hill. >> i also testified that the
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president's call and this is quoting, the full endorsement of the ukraine and agenda that i was hoping to hear. what did you mean by that? >> sir, myself, colonel vindman and others had prepared in the what we provided to the president was background on president zelensky and background on his position about performing its institutions and ringing out corruption and hoping that we recommended the president very clearly to support president zelensky and went on in this current election and certainly the party has run on and received a majority. >> that didn't come up in the called it? >> no sir. >> are you aware of any other discussion that they actually raise those things with the new ukrainian president? it's been said -- >> it's been sometime since
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i've had this discussion of the un general general assembly and i hesitate to say to the ever raise it but he did not raise at the time of the july 25th phone call. >> switching gears a little bit. new strike me as a process guy. it's nagging at me because you characterize ambassador sondland's leaking and whatever happened of aid to an investigation as the problem that caused you to roll your eyes and bolton said it was in the tenth meeting and john bolton characterize this as the drug deal. it seems like everyone in the room understands is a huge problem here. my understanding it would be normal course of business too often visitor out they're going rogue as apparently there was consensus that ambassador sondland was doing and the
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security adviser john bolton and where the secretary of state might ring the men. why didn't that happen? >> i can't speak to that but i would believe that ambassadors work for the secretary of state. >> you don't have any idea -- why john bolton was saying this was a drug deal and would not rain him in? >> they do not work with the security advisers are. >> john bolton presumably spends time and it's a puzzle that everyone in the room is characterizing is as the gordon problem and a drug deal and the secretary of state does nothing. >> was your question? >> you don't have any insight on the? >> no sir. >> ambassador volker, you testified for the record that the president's july 25th call, he testified that asking the president of ukraine to work together with attorney general
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to look into this, you could see as it as happened it is explosive in our politics and our new testimony you called is unacceptable. what specifically in that call to the ukrainian president did you find unacceptable or trouble? >> it's the reference to vice president biden. >> thank you and i yield back the rest of my time. >> mr. connolly. >> thank you chairman. at this point we heard much about the july 25th call and he asked for a favor and in vindmans mine that was an order or requirement and yet without the last part of the conversation between the two heads of state, president trump talks about the prosecutor he's particularly in favor of and zelensky says that since we've won the absolute majority, the next prosecutor general will be 100% bipartisan candidate. does that sound like a head of state who was bullied
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or is under the thumb of the president? >> not at all. >> no sir. >> the impact on the pause of the legal systems or the security systems none of us of understood exactly what happened in that timeframe. no one knew about it other than the votes until late august where the russians were not necessarily known about it and the impact of russia's interpretation for ukraine. wasn't known until the last 14 days. they packed on their lethal aid that they already had and should russia had tried to move the line of contact further west with their tanks? what the lethal of already been available to them to push back on that? >> yes it would. >> mr. morrison? >> i agree with that but the hold as i understand it applies to the security assistance, uas
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i and they did not apply and they provided under faes. >> the lethal weapon that mr. trump provided with president obama and his national policy set was available to them should they push their tanks west? the javelins? >> yes sir. >> even with the pause, even with all this stuff going on? >> yes sir. >> associated press is reporting that ambassador volker you mentioned earlier that the russians had to gunships at a time and 24 sailors last november and the russians have now given those sailors back in september and associated press said today that they're giving the gunboats in a tug back. that sounds like ukraine is inept to negotiate with the russians with their actions? >> no, i would not say that the
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ukrainians are inept. >> thank you sir. >> mister chairman i would like as a personal request that you or whatever your lawyers put into the record the federal statute that is revised from the absolute immunity that exerted over and over again. if it is in fact federal statute that you can cite in the record so we all know that and before you get mad and accuse me of the whistleblower, you get upset every time someone excuses you of who the whistleblower is. i got upset every time you and excuse me -- every time you accuse me because i want to know the whistleblower of what's going on and we went out that person that is unfair of you and i had just as mad. this is about leveling the playing field and your team has a whistle blower and the ig icy and even
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mentioned the ceo and our team should fully understand that and level the playing field and new overrun might request for a closed door subpoena and i understand that but i think that you put it in the record the basis of which you continue to assert your right to anonymity and to the whistleblower. the speaker on september the 23rd issued their colleague and that's a document that we all use and with the members of congress and was intended to be straightforward and she says in that colleague that the whistleblower has by law required to testify in the house in the senate and the intelligence committee. you are justifying the speaker and that's between you and her but
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if she is correct when defying the law that if she misled us and thinking that was something that wasn't true and i think you need to tell the speaker and needs to attract to at least set the record straight that the whistleblower is required by law to testify to us or not and what his the right to anonymity and i yield back. >> the time of the gentleman has expired and waiapi to enter into the record the whistle blower statute that was made an ominous and the prior comments talking about the whistleblower and i now recognize stool. >> thank you mister chairman. ambassador volker, it seems by early july it's become pretty clear that wrister giuliani has become a major problem for the u.s. ukraine relations and you testified on july 2nd, we met
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with ukrainian president and his aide in toronto is that right? >> i had a bilateral meeting between the u.s. and the delegations and with the president's chief of staff. >> you then discuss mr. giuliani's quote negative view quote of the ukraine based on a conspiracy theory of the 2016 election. >> he was repeating the narrative based on accusations of the prosecutor general. >> are you saying you didn't think that there were negative views. >> they were negative views. >> that wasn't your description? >> i'm sorry i've lost a question. >> i was trying to get at who said the negative views? >> the prosecutor general of ukraine was putting out the series of conspiracy theories
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that i believe were self serving and inaccurate. mr. giuliani, had repeated these to me and he was at least affected by those and was concerned. >> he believe that they were negative? >> they were conveying them to the president. >> was it problematic that he had negative views? there is a true? >> yes. the whole thing is problematic. >> ambassador taylor testified that they told ukrainians that they need to cooperate on investigations and quote. you are now saying that you don't recall seeing those words, is that correct? >> i don't believe i said the words cooperate on the investigations. did >> you see investigations? >> i believe i did, yes. what >> did you mean by investigations? >> burisma in 2016 was in my mind and wanted to keep in general. ukraine in being convincing to also the president was serious about
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corruption would engage in whatever in negotiations necessary to clean up the country. >> moving to july 10th, ambassador volker sent you a text message. who was sent to giuliani and it's on the screen now. you said mister mayor, can we meet for coffee or lunch in the next week or so? i'd like to update you on my conversations about ukraine. i think we have an opportunity to get you what you need. did you say that? is that accurate? >> that is an accurate text message. >> what did you mean by what you need? >> contacts with the actual government to ukraine that are not representing prepresidential and see. >> later that day you and ambassador sondland met with ukraine officials at the white house. we heard from several witnesses that ambassador sondland told ukraine that they needed to cooperate with the investigation. in order to get the oval office meeting scheduled on the books. were
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these investigations apart of the official u.s. policy towards ukraine? >> u.s. policy towards ukraine was about fighting corruption. >> was it specifically about these kinds of investigations which was burisma? >> in order to fight corruption you need to conduct the investigation any to see what they are doing. >> was that the purpose of that? or was it because the president -- that the president wanted the investigation to be done as a condition of them to have a meeting with the white house? >> first off, we have to be clear will were talking about in terms of the investigation. were not talking about vice president biden -- >> charisma has nothing to do -- >> i'm saying the ukrainians within burisma had acted in a corrupt way. were insulted by
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the reference and if ukraine can make a statement of their intentions on fighting corruption that is helpful in order to convince president trump ultimately -- >> with all due respect ambassador volker, we heard from two witnesses this morning that those investigations were not official u.s. policy. ambassador volker, i don't know if you understand what you are getting yourself into and sitting here today. i trust that you understand that pressuring ukraine to involve itself in this domestic policy is simply wrong. i yield back the balance of my time. (inaudible) mr. turner. >> i yield my time to jim jordan. >> i thank the gentleman. ambassador volker, you're the special ambassador to ukraine is that right? >> that's right. >> use worked at the nsc and the deck that is a decade terry of state and ambassador you distinguish the diplomatic
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career. it may not bother you when you referred to as the channel but it bothers represent eternal it turner and it bothers me. you're the envoy to ukraine in that role you said and her opening statement that the administration's most outspoken public figure highlighting russia's invasion and occupation of ukraine and calling out the responsibility, is all right? >> that's correct. >> in that capacity, new strongly advocated for the debate on legal defensive arms ukraine, right? >> that's correct. >> president trump did it in the? >> he did. >> president trump was still skeptical of giving hard earned tax dollars ukraine, right? >> yes. you >> said that the testimony you said that in the skeptical is because he doesn't like foreign aid, right? >> that's one reason and ukraine's history of corruption is another. >> there is a third most corrupt country in the planet. europe isn't doing enough and by the way in the president's mind, he did think ukraine was trying to influence the 2016 election. things have happened
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and democrats will tonight but the ambassador of ukraine writes an op-ed on august 4th 2016 criticizing president trump, that is trying to influence the election. when a key minister in the government says negative things about had the trouble that looks like a strike to influence the election and when they state and the financial times during the campaign that the political figures arnold want hillary clinton to win that sticks in the candidates mind. we all run campaigns, we see bad things about us but we don't necessarily think about them and when you are convinced that the lewinsky was a real deal, right? >> that's correct. >> you spent a lot of time with a guy. guess what? when it was frozen, you get these guys together to work out when it was frozen what did you say? you told the crane ukrainians don't worry about it and he said don't be alarmed, right? >> that's correct. >> guess what happened? when aides were frozen when, it was
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released all kinds of interactions between president zelensky and senior u.s. officials, right? >> that's correct. >> start with the call with president trump and zelensky. next day you eat with president zelensky in ukraine. then we have ambassador bolton meeting with -- that we have pence meeting with, u.s. and johnson and murphy meeting with them and guess what? and none of those meetings, not a single one did security assistance tell in exchange for the investigation, not once they come up in that conversation, is all right? >> that's correct. >> not once. no discussion of foreign investigation and as you testified, you never bleed aid was ever being talked about either in any of these conversations. >> that's correct. >> but what happened in those meetings? they all became convinced of the same thing you
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knew. they all saw the same darn thing and that it was a real deal. he's a legitimate reformer and they all came back and we all came back to tell the president hey mister president, this guy is real. go ahead and release the dollars and by the way at that same timeframe you, know it else up and? their newly elected parliament was mr. morrison stayed up all night to cast the reform measures to get the prosecutor, put in this supreme a high anti-corruption court and to get rid of this -- this ability to that no one in their congress or ever be hit with it and that is -- all that happens where they come back until president trump, hey, guess what? time to release the dollars and he did it, right? >> dollars were released. >> he did your job. and you gotta put up with all this because the democrats are about to get the president. you did the way your job turner
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described it. all these years and the democrats put you through this. you have served our country well and the kind of diplomat we want serving but here is the saddest things about all of this with the democrats are putting us through. you two guys or he'll tunneling it straight are decided you're going to step out because of what these guys are doing. that is the thad telling people like volker and morrison who have served well and are stepping up because of what these guys are doing. that's why mr. turner got so fired up a few minutes ago because we appreciate -- we appreciate what you guys did it and i yield back. >> mr. carson. >> thank you chairman schiff. ambassador volker, how to focus on a statement that president trump and rudy giuliani wanted to announce with the investigations to benefit president trump. on august 9th, ambassador sondland had this
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exchange. ambassador sondland says, morrison, ready to get dates as soon as you no confirms. you reply excellent, how did you sway him? ambassador sondland said >> not sure i did i think potus really wants the deliverable. the deliverable here was the announcement that ukraine was going to conduct the investigation and alleged the 2016 election with ukraine is, that correct sir? >> thank you. i understand the deliverable to be the statements that we are talking about. >> on august 13th, ambassador sondland discussed the statement from ukraine to mr. giuliani. sir, why did you discuss the statement would really giuliani? >> the idea in the statement came up from the meeting with mr. giuliani and when mr. yermak asked me to connect him to mr. giuliani i did and they
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both called me afterwards, mr. giuliani said ukraine should make a statement about the corruption then we will say specifically burisma in 2016. you are bogged the statement and i wanted it to beach assured that this statement would actually correct the perception that mr. giuliani had of ukraine with what they stand for now. so that would also be conveyed to president trump and solve this problem that i observed with the meeting with the president. the problem being, these getting the bad set of information that could potentially correct that. >> was mr. giuliani satisfied? he >> was not. he believed that he needed to see burisma and 2016 specifically or else it would not be credible or not mean anything. >> in fact, mr. giuliani that the statement was referenced
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and the 2016 election explicitly, that would benefit president trump. ambassador, here is the text you sent to the ukrainian official on august 13th i will put that up on the screen. you said, i andre, good talking as the text with an insert at the end with the two key items. mister ambassador, those two key items specifically reference to investigations a burisma and the 2016 election, is all right sir? >> is that correct. >> they did take those two key items. >> i just had a conversation with prince or mr. yermak with the conversation we had just had would mr. giuliani mr.. giuliani said that we need to include these things to be convincing to him. we put them in so he understood what he was talking about and shared it with andre to say this is what. he is talking about.
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>> you had clue the if the proposal with the ukrainians? >> we told ukrainians this is what the conversation was. >> mister ambassador, if you believe that rudy giuliani did in august was not that idea, why were the ukrainian still considering giving an interview with the same themes in september? >> if i may, congressman, i conveyed this to ukrainians to be clear so we knew what the conversation was about and following out the prior conversation. the ukrainians then they had reasons not to do that and disrupt those reasons and i agreed with them to just scrap the statement. from that point on, i had had further conversations about this statement. so i don't know how it came up or will you keep up with president zelensky doing an interview in saying something like this at a do
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that here. >> thank you sir. mr. morrison, you said that the president's request in july 25th call about the assistant u.s. policy that i agree with you sir. this text messages show that volker spent much of august pressing ukraine to meet those requests. we can only be grateful. the president essentially got caught and congress passed a law to ensure the footage was released ukraine for his too late. i thank you both for your service and terminate yield back. >> thank you mister chairman. both gentlemen thank you very much for being here. i want to start with you mr. morrison. and discussing the 7:25 phone call and vindman came to aids for the transcript and you stated that you accepted all of
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that evidence is that correct? >> i would have selected all of the evidence that we were faithful to what was discussed. >> did he come to you with something that said they would demand what should be in there? i >> don't recall know. >> how soon after the phone call was there that particular issue? we >> got the draft that was enrolled fairly quickly after the call. >> that same day. today he said, i reported my concerns to mr. eisenberg and the president of the united states to handle foreign government investigate the opponent. we were going to mr. eisenberg to observe the conversation that he did not in any point say that there should be a demand and you know, he didn't do that at you did say
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he did cup to you with his concerns because you were available but that same day he came to you with evidence. was that correct? i >> believe that's generally correct, yes or. you weren't available and you heard the president's demand did you? >> no sir. >> sometime between the call and today lieutenant colonel vindman must of heard some voices and her demand at the time i didn't hear that day and didn't make an addition that day but today he does. i think that is pretty reason are. when lieutenant colonel went to mr. eisenberg. did you know he was advised not to speak to you? >> i don't have any firsthand knowledge on that. >> you don't know he was advised to contact itchy and see? >> i have no firsthand knowledge of that. >> you don't know that he was
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advised? >> i do not. >> i appreciate that. mister volker, i want to tell you that i enjoyed your testimony today i know it's long but i thought it was extremely well done and i appreciate it. you talk about sharing concerns about leadership and your country and about agreeing with sometimes agreeing with the leadership of your own country when you felt was appropriate. you're the boots on the ground for the administration and you're part of that team and it's there to preserve the country in that way. that all to me sounded like works of a very good diplomat i want to thank you for that. it's truly appreciated. corruption was a concern legitimately in the ukraine and in many ways mr. jordan pointed out some of the things that were done by ukrainians in plain sight if you want to use that term by
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having a beds and it certainly more than one country can be trying to influence our election, would you agree with? that >> i agree with that. >> we keep hearing that that whole thing about the ukrainians is all been debunked. that comes from an icy community where some of the people that have come up with those conclusions are i want to say s you did a great job. you vetted zelensky's intentions, what he intended to be as a president, would you say that's accurate? >> yes, that was one of the key objectives of the delegation, to take our own judgment and report back to the president. >> that's what your job should be. and you became comfortable with this president, correct? >> yes. >> and you assured our president that you were comfortable with the president. >> yes. >> and sometimes you have to work through any means available. that might include working with
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rudy all-uni if it could be helpful. >> i believe the messages being con intrade mr. all-janne were a problem because they were at variance with what our official message to the president was and not conveying that positive assessment we all have. i thought it was important to try to step in and fix the problem. >> and in that, i think you termed a useful barometer of where things were? >> yes. >> those useful barometers can ome in a lot of fashions, like dennis rodman in north korea. in that case it's not illegal. good job, ambassador, i yield back. chairman schiff: ms. speier. ms. speier: thank you both for being here. i want to take us out 30,000 feet far minute and talk about
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coverups. but for the fact that the whistleblower came forward we wouldn't know anything about this. but for the fact that the inspector general of the c.i.a. found it to be both urgent and credible we wouldn't know anything about it. mr. morrison, you said after you heard the call you went directly to the attorneys in the national security council and recommended that they be limited access and they were subsequently put into a special server. the white house has not released any documents whatsoever to this committee. so to you, mr. volker, thank you. but for the fact that you as a private citizen with your own personal phone and text messages with mr. all-janne and mr. sondland and mayak and whomever else, but for those text messages we have been putting up on the screen all day, we would
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have nothing. nothing. and this coverup would be complete. that's something we should think about. now, on july 19, you had breakfast with rudy all-janne at the trump hotel, correct? >> correct. ms. speier: in that conversation at one point he brought up mr. lute sen. coe and you said whatever mr. lutsenko is saying is not correct is that right? >> yes. ms. speier: then he brought up mr. biden. i'm going to quote here, i've .nown him for a long time all-janne, simply not credible to me. biden would be influenced by concerns for his son or money or anything like that.
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we've had discussions about burisma and biden and the crowd strike server. you in that conversation with mr. all-janne debunked all of that. at that at time, breakfast, who else was with you at that breakfast? >> there was someone mr. all-janne brought along, i later learned it was les parnov. was atier: so mr. parnav that breakfast. and we learn that mr. parnav has been indicted for foreign campaign contributions to president trump's political action committee, correct? >> i have seen that. ms. speier: on may 23, you were in that discussion with the president and at one point he referred to zelensky having terrible people around him. who do you think he was calling
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errible people around him? >> there were two people who came to mind. ne was a former journalist and later parliamentary, lev chmbings enko, who in many stories is seen as bringing forth a blackledger relating to paul manafort's activities in ukraine. that was one person. the other person i thought it could refer to is the person being named as president zelensky's chief of presidential administration, andre bogoff, he was known as a lawyer for one of the main oligarches in ukraine and there was a lot of controversy at the time about him being appointed to the administration. ms. speier: do you think of them as terrible people? >> i don't think of either one of them as terrible people. ms. speier: mr. morrison, earlier in testimony from
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colleagues on the other side of the aisle you indicated that others had represented to you that colonel vindman leaked. do you remember saying that? >> yes, ma'am. ms. speier: colonel vindman said under oath this morning that he did not, does not leak. would you therefore want to maybe rearrange your comments about the references you made to colonel vindman? >> no, ma'am. ms. speier: so even though under oath he said he has never leaked, you believe people who said to you that he may have leaked? >> i didn't believe or disbelieve them i'm merely relaying what they told me. ms. speier: they told you and you desaied to continue to put that forward even though you had no -- thank you, i yield back. >> mr. chairman, if i could answer. that's incorrect.
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others, raised concerns about alex. those concerns were noted. i didn't take them for face value, i treated them as representations of others. i was on alert but i formed my own judgments, i took no action because of the statements of someone else that i couldn't ndependently validate. >> thank you, gentlemen, welcome 2019, the -palooza democratic plan to compel american to impeach donald j. trump through the sheer force of boredom because it's been a long day. it turns out impeachment is boring if you don't have compeling or condemning evidence. good news an bad news. good news, i'm going to be brief, we're going on 10-plus hours of. this i'll yield back some of my time. the bad news is most of my colleagues after me won't. so we've still got some time to
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go. ambassador volker, quickly, do you think that someone should be immune from investigation of suspected ethical or criminal activity just because they were candidates for office even for office of the president of the united states? >> i don't think anyone should be above the law. >> of course not that would be absurd to suggest that. i was certain that's how you would answer. what if some of these alleged ethical or criminal allegations occurred overseas? would it be impropper to seek the host country's help such as we do with interpol or other law enforcement agencies? >> there are channels for doing that for american citizens who may have critted -- may have committed crimes abroad. >> and to seek the government's help is not unusual. >> that's correct, we often have treaties with them. >> thank you. to me that's the only thing the president was going here.
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mr. morrison, i want to refer to colonel vindman's testimony, where he described sick people, five or six people, who were listening to this phone call between the two presidents. colonel vindman described the there was no -- as exceptional. do you agree with that? >> they were patriots, yes. >> people of great integrity and professionalism? >> yes. >> did any of these exceptional individuals, people of unquestioned integrity and professionalism, indicate to you that they thought the president of the united states engaged in any illegal or unethical behavior as a result of this phone call? >> not that i'm aware of, congressman. >> did any of them suggest to you in any way that they thought the president was involve with
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bribery or anything associated with that? >> not that i'm aware of, congressman. >> that only leaves two possible explanations. either these individuals with what we described as great integrity, either that's not true which i don't believe, or they just interpreted an ambiguous conversation very differently than did colonel vindman. just as an aside, as an air force officer, i never understood why president obama was against providing lethal aid to ukraine. do you have any insights? >> i can only point to statements from the administration at the time. there was a perception that our allies would oppose it. there was a perception that germany should be in the lead. there was a perception that it could be provocative to russia or escalate the conflict. as i said extensively at the time, i don't agree with those arguments and i believe that the record is borne out that providing those lethal defensive arms was important. >> aagree. i think you got it right, i
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think president trump got it right. with that, i yield back. >> mr. quigley. mr. quigley: thank you, mr. chairman. ambassador, i want to direct your attention to a meeting you had with ambassador taylor and do you mac in kiev, recall this meeting? >> i believe we had dinner. it was around the time of the conference. mr. quigley: do you remember discussing ukraine's intent to investigate their former president, mr. por sean coe? >> i remember raising the issue of prosecutions. mr. quigley: they brought it up? or you raised it? >> to be clear there was a lot of talk in kiev at that time about whether the new team would be prosecuting the former president. and i had met with president
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poroshenko and others in the opposition as well. i wanted to call their attention to the potential problems with this. i'm familiar with other examples in the region that have gone for prosecutions of former government and these have created deep divisions in society. so i cited president zelensky's inauguration speech, i'm sorry, his national day speech from august 24, that was all about unifying the country. and i cautioned mr. yaramov to say that pursuing prosecution of president poroshenko risks deepening the divisions in the country, exactly the subpoena out of what president zelensky said he wants to do. mr. quigley: it's fair to describe it as you discouraged him from such actions? >> i did. mr. quigley: what was his
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response? >> i believe, i'm refreshed in this by seeing the testimony of others, mr. taylor's testimony. and i believe based on that testimony that mr. yarmov said you mean like asking us to investigate clinton and biden? mr. quigley: something along the lines of it's ok for you to ask us to investigate the man for the which you are, so-called informations, but you don't want to investigation -- us to investigate our own president? >> i didn't understand what he was referring to pause we weren't asking to investigate clinton or biden. i was puzzled by the remark and didn't respond. mr. quigley: did you ask anybody? >> no, i took it as a deflection of the point i was making. mr. quigley: in all this time, mr. giuliani in this time, he
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mentioned the biden investigation, he mentioned biden over 50 time, and 20-something times in relation to ukraine. none of that stirred your curiosity? >> as i testified, i met with mr. all-janne once, he brought up vice president biden, i pushed back on that and maintained a clear distinction that ukraine investigating its own citizens in corruption would be fine. going beyond that to say we're going to investigate the vice president is not fine. mr. quigley: did you have any discussions with anyone in the state department or anywhere else in the administration about conversations with poroshenko? >> yes, i the i -- i know i raised it in advance of that. we had been in other meetings. i don't remember if i raised it with george kent or fill rico or not, i may well have done, but it was something we had
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discussed as part of our meetings at that time. >> ambassador, when you had this conversation had you urged ukrainians not to investigate or prosecute the former president poroshenko, their response was oh, like you're asking us to investigate the clintons and bidens? >> that's what i recall from seeing ambassador taylor's testimony. >> you didn't understand that at the time but at the time had you read the call record? >> no. >> now that you've read the call record, that makes more sense, doesn't it? >> yes. >> i was curious about something you said earlier when you said that the 2016 conspiracy theory youutsenko had no merit but saw no harm in ukraine investigating it if they wanted to, is that right? >> yes. >> don't they have enough legitimate corruption to investigate without spending time investigating a debunked conspiracy theory?
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>> there's all kinds of corruption to investigate in ukraine. >> but you proposed they go ahead and do the investigation of something you thought without merit because it was part of an effort to fix the problem giuliani created. >> i did not propose it. >> you said you were ok with it, ur statement,, if it would help fix the all-janne thing. >> yes, if it threads the needle to reset what they were doing. >> this is part of your effort, when you see a problem, to fix it. is it clear to you now, based on the september 25 call, you were not able to fix it? >> based on the treason script released on the 25th, i can see now that there was a lot else going on that was about vice president biden that i knew at the -- than i knew at the time
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and the efforts i was making were clearly not in the context of what had already been discussed by the president on july 25. >> it's fair to say you were not able to fix the all-janne problem? >> that's correct. >> ms. stefanik. >> thank you, ambassador volker and mr. morrison for your years of service and professional exper tees and leadership on national security issues. i want to thank mr. morrison for his great work on the house armed services committee on which i serve. i wanted to start with the july 25 call between president trump and president zelensky. mr. morrison, you were on that call. there was no mention of with holding aid on the call, correct? >> that's correct. >> and there was no quid pro quo, correct? >> correct. >> no bribery? >> correct. >> no extortion? >> correct. >> ambassador volker, i presume you got a readout of the call is that correct? >> very terse readout but yes.
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>> in this readout of the call was there reference to with holding aid? >> no, there was not. >> reference to briar bribery? >> no there was not. >> reference to quid pro quo? >> no there was not. >> and i assume you got feedback from your ukrainian counterparts as to how it went, did they mention with holding aid? >> no. >> did they mention quid pro quo? >> no they did not. >> and in fact the day after the call you met with president zelensky, this would be july 26. in that meeting he made no mention of quid pro quo. >> no. >> he made no mention of with holding aid. >> no. >> he made no mention of bribery. the >> no. >> the ukrainiars were not aware of this old on aid, correct? >> correct. >> you were in touch with ukrainians as part of your official duties, this included talking to them over the phone, in person, on text, and
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ukrainians never brought up an investigation into the bidens, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> they never brought up the with holding of aid? >> that's correct. >> think never brought up quid pro quo or bribery. >> let me bring up the aid they did after the article appeared. >> but until the political article they did not bring it up. >> no. >> and you said in your closed door deposition, quote, it never came up in conversation and i believe they had trust in me that they would have asked if that was what they were worried about. is that correct? >> that's correct. >> as you pointed out the ukrainians never knew their foreign aid was on pause until the article was published in politico in august. >> correct. >> so they didn't know during the call. >> correct. >> in fact, you had to correct chairman schiff on this timeline in the closed door deposition. the chairman of this committee asked you, quote, when they became awear that have military assistance was being with held far reason you couldn't explain no one could explain, weren't
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they under even greater pressure to give the president what ehe asked for on the call? and you answered, ambassador volker, quote, to my knowledge the news about a hold on security assistance did not get into ewe cranyain government circles as indicated to me by the current foreign minister, then diplomatic advisor, until the end of august. is that your testimony? >> cre yes it is. >> and chairman schiff got the facts wrong again we he asked you this at the point they learned their aid was pawed, wouldn't that give them an urgency to meet the president's requests on the bidens? and you answered, ambassador volker, i think the ukrainians felt therm going in the right direction and they had not done anything. they had not done anything on an investigation, end quote. isn't it the case, ambassador volker, chairman schiff said to you when you were truthfully testifying, ambassador, you're
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making this much more complicated than it has to be? >> i remember that. >> but the truth is, the facts are indeed not complicated. i'm going to close out with two questions for the both of you. did ukraine open investigation into the bidens? >> not to my knowledge. >> not to my knowledge either. >> did either of you ever have any evidence of quid pro quo? mr. morrison? >> no. >> ambassador? >> no. >> any evidence of bribery. >> no, ma'am. >> no, ma'am. >> any evidence of treason? >> no, ma'am. >> no, ma'am. >> with that, i yield back. >> mr. swalwell. >> did ambassador bolton want the security aid hold listed? >> yes, he did. >> you testified ambassador bolton had a meeting in late august related to ukraine security assistance is that right? >> sir, can you point to where i
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testified to that? >> on page 266, you said ambassador bolton had a one-on-one meeting with president trump in late august, 2019, but the president wasn't yet ready to release assistance. >> page 226 -- page 266 and 268. i'm asking you did that happen or did it not? >> i just want to be clear in characterizing it. ok, yes, sir, i see. >> you testified to that. what was the outcome of the meeting between ambassador bolton and president trump? >> ambassador bolton did not believe the president was ready to approve the assistance. >> did the ambassador inform you f any hold from this ongoing meeting? >> no, sir. >> do you consider yourself loyal to the president? >> yes, sir. >> and the president executes
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the foreign policy of the united states is that right? >> well, sir, he -- he sets it. >> as a staffer on the national security council and even someone who serves in the military, it's your job to faithfully execute the foreign policy priorities of the president is that right? >> my oath is to obey all lawful orders. >> on july 25, you listened to the president of the united states talk to the president of ukraine, is that correct? >> july 25, yes, sir. >> regardless of what you had prepared as far as talking points for that call for the president, you heard the president of the united states ask the president of the ukraine to investigate the biden, is that correct? yes, sir, he made a qufment >> after the july 25 call between the ukrainian president and the president, you talked to your ukrainian counterparts a number of times? >> yes, sir. >> how many times when you
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talked to your ukrainian counterparts did you ask them to investigate the bidens? >> never, sir. >> why not? >> sir, it was not a policy objective that i was aware of. >> but with all due respect, mr. morrison, you're not in the white house to carry out your policy objectives. you just testified that the president sets the foreign policy objectives for the united states and the one call that you listened to between the president of the united states and the president of ukraine, the president of the united states' priorities were to investigate the bidens and i'm asking you, sir, why didn't you follow up on the president's priorities when you talked to the ukrainians? >> i did not understand it as a olicy objective. >> mr. morrison, i know you put that conversation in the server because as you said you feared political consequences and some other reasons you gave. but you also chose to defy the
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president's request to not come here as others have, like mr. mulvaney and mr. bolton and you have come here and you've been truthful and i appreciate that. mr. morrison, whether you acknowledge it publicly or not, i believe you knew that what the president asked the ukrainians to do was wrong. as you just described, your duty is to follow the foreign policy priorities of the president but to also only follow something that is a lawful order. i don't think you believe that was a lawful order, that's why you did not follow up on those policies. mr. volker, we heard a lot today about this president being such an anti-corruption president. really cared about fighting corruption. is russia a corrupt country? >> we're talking about president zelensky? >> president trump. is russia a corrupt couldn't supply >> yes it is.
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>> and president trump has met with president putin? >> yes. >> and he's had a number of phone calls. >> yes. >> is turkey a corrupt country? >> yes, i believe so. >> just last week despite their corruption, at the white house, president erdogan had an audience with the president of the united states. >> yes, he did. >> finally, mr. all-janne, on may 9, told "the new york times," president trump basically knows what i'm doing. as his lawyer are you familiar with that statement to the "new york times"? >> i'm not. >> but you agree as someone who has a lawyer sitting next to you that a lawyer acts on a client's behalf and on on a client's behalf? >> i believe that a lawyer acts on his client's behavior, i'm not sure about only on a client's behalf, as i understand mayor all-janne in this case he was doing a lot i consider on his own, i don't believe he was instructed. >> when he said we're not
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meddling in an election, he said we're meddling in an investigation, he didn't say i, he said we? >> i'm taking that from the statement. >> mr. hurd. >> mr. morrison, my colleague from california suggest he is knows your opinions and your thoughts better than you do. do you have -- he didn't give you the opportunity to respond. do you have a response? r want to give a response? >> he wanted to launch the interagency process and ensure the importance of continuing security sector assistance, that's what i did. i acted upon the direction i was given. >> good copy. while we're with you, mr. morrison, thanks for your clear and sober testimony today. did you participate in or
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overhear any conversations about how political information collected by ukraine on the bidens would be used for political gain. >> no, sir. >> ambassador volker, same question. did you participate in or overhear any conversations about how potential information collected by ukraine on the bidens would be used for political gain? >> no, i did not. >> there's been a lot of discussions about a text exchange you had with mr. yarmac on august 12 that talked about this proposed statement. mayor giuliani provided feedback on what he thought needed to be included in that. did mayor giuliani get feedback the president on what should go into that proposed statement? >> i have no reason to think he had discussed it with the president. >> based on your recollection, ambassador volker, who within the zelensky regime has mayor
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giuliani interacted, in addition to mr. yarmac and also the former attorney general, mr. leshenko. >> i don't know who else he would have interacted with within the zelensky government. i'm aware he said he met with predecessor. >> because that's not the regime we're talking about. >> i don't know who else he would have met with. >> in as few words as possible what was your understanding of ambassador sondland's role in ukraine? >> he cared about ukraine. he wanted to see u.s. support for ukraine increased, he wanted to see european union support increased, including maintenance sanctions and wanted to be helpful. >> was ambassador sondland having conversations with senior zelensky officials without letting other people know? >> i don't believe he was not letting people know. i think he may have had some conversations but i think he was
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just acting. and i think we circled back quite frequently with myself, am bassdzdor taylor and others. >> i thought ambassador soppedland and i were working on the same objective, getting a meeting between president zelensky and president trump. and a statement that mentioned burisma 2016 would be potentially helpful, i didn't know anything more of their discussions. >> if you didn't have a clear understanding, do you think the ukrainians had a clear understanding? >> no, i don't. >> you thought there was a difference between burisma, biden, and the 2016 elections. >> correct. >> do you think the ukrainians had a similar understanding?
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>> yes, i do. >> there's also a perception yovanovitc,bassador we've heard, her 33 years of being an awesome ambassador, that when she left kiev the position on corruption would weaken. who was the person who took over for her in the interim? >> immediately her was joe pennington. >> was this individual strong or weak on corruption? >> i would say in line with all the rest of our policy. >> and after that individual who was that person replaced with? >> bill taylor. >> who you suggested for the position. >> correct. >> was ambassador taylor strong or weak on corruption? >> very strong. >> mr. morrison, in my last 23 minutes, who sets official u.s. plcy? >> the president. >> not some other staffmen within the n.s.c. process? >> the n.s.c. staff ensures --
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exists to ensure the president has a full array of options for his decision. >> thank you, i yield back. >> mr. castro. >> thank you, chairman. thank you, gentlemen, for your testimony today. is it correct to say that both you gentlemen were either appointed or hired by the white house by the trump administration? >> yes, sir. >> ambassador volker you previously testified that ambassador sondland, quote, i just know that he had a relationship with president trump that i did not have. in fact, in one text message, dated july 26, you wrote to ambassador sondland, quote, great photo, gordon, can you get this to potus without intermediaries? july 26 was the same day that ambassador sondland spoke to the president from a restaurant in diev, is that right?
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>> the date again? >> july 26. >> yes. i know that to be correct now. >> were you aware of that call? >> no i was not. >> this committee certainly is aware of it now, as we all are. were you aware that ambassador sondland had a direct line to the president? >> he claim head spoke to the president frequently. >> did you have reason to doubt that? >> ambassador sondland is a big personality and sometimes says things that might a bit bigger than life. >> but he too, he was a political appointee. he was hand picked by the president or somebody in the president's administration to serve in his position. >> and i believe he could speak with the president. >> he had also been a large donor to one of president trump's campaign committees, is that correct? >> i have learned that. >> mr. morrison, you stated during your testimony that when you met ambassador sondland for the first time he represented that, quote, his mandate from the president was to quo make deals. and in fact you testified that
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between july 25 and september 11 of this year, you heard or learned that ambassador sondland and president trump spoke on several occasions. is it accurate that every time you checked, you were able to confirm that ambassador sondland had in fact spoken to the president? >> yes, congressman. >> mr. morrison, you testified that ambassador sondland emailed you and several white house staff to say he briefed president trump in advance of his july 25 call with the ukrainian president. is that correct? >> yes, congressman. >> did ambassador sondland tell you what he briefed the president on. >> it was -- he sent me an email, sir. it was a very succinct, a list of three items. very succinct item with respect to ukraine. i briefed the president on the call. >> you testified that you personally testified that ambassador sondland and president trump had spoken before that call. >> that's correct.
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>> presumably the white house situation room keeps a record of those calls? >> sir, that is how i was able to confirm it. >> ok. you separately testified that your staff prepared a briefing memo with suggested pointers in president to raise on july 25. points that were consistent with u.s. policy. is that correct? >> correct, cookman. >> but the president didn't use those points, did he? >> no, sir, he did not. >> let me get this straight you prepared materials for the president. you prepared -- your materials did not include references to biden or the 2016 election, is that sflithe >> correct. >> and then ambassador sondland, the guy who is the gordon problem, the guy who has got a direct link to the president, the guy who is talking about making deals, briefed president trump. is that right? >> correct, congressman. >> and then president trump raised the 2016 election and vice president biden and his son to the ukrainian president after he was briefed by ambassador
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sondland. is that right? >> correct, congressman. >> it sounds like ambassador sondland and the president were on the same page. they both were working to benefit the president's personal political interests even when that undermined u.s. foreign policy. i want to ask you in the short time that i have, both you gentlemen who serve the united states government, whether putting president trump aside, whether you believe that it's proper for any president, now or later, ask a foreign government to investigate a u.s. citizen and specifically a u.s. citizen that could be a political rival. ambassador? >> i don't believe it is appropriate for the president to do that. if we have law enforcement concerns with a u.s. citizen generally, there are appropriate channels for that. >> mr. morrison? >> i agree with ambassador volker sir.
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>> thank you, chairman, i yield back. >> mr. ratcliffe. >> thank you, chairman. gentlemen, i appreciate you being here today, i know it's been a long day for you. mr. morrison, i'm going to try to summarize some of what we've heard to shorten this. you were on the july 25 call, colonel vindman was on the july 25 call, correct? >> yes, congressman. >> he testified earlier today that he heard what he thought was a demand on that call that was improper and felt that he had a duty to report that. i think we've established already that he did not discuss or report any of that to you, correct? >> yes, congressman. >> but you did have a discussion with colonel vindman about other concerns that he had with the call and i believe you said the fidelity of the translation and the fact that you both shared a discussion about not -- there not being a full-threated -- full-throated embrace of the
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ukrainian reform agenda. >> yes, congressman. >> but with respect to his concern about something improper, specifically at no point did he come to you and say , i heard something that i thought was improper and was a crime. >> sir, i have no recollection of him doing that. >> no bribe, no extortion, no quid pro quo, the things ms. stefanik asked you. >> no, sir. >> and as you were listening, did you hear president trump make a demand of anything that would constitute a crime? >> sir, i've been trying to stay on the safe side of making legal conclusions but no, sir i did not hear him make a demand. >> off law degree. >> i do. >> you're at least generally familiar with bribery and extortion generally. >> i'm not a lawyer for the united states. >> but is it fair to say that as you were listening to the call you weren't thinking, wow, the president is bribing the president of ukraine, that every in crossed your mind?
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>> it did not. >> or that he was extorting the president of ukraine or doing anything improd -- improper. >> correct, sir. >> have you heard or read in the immediate where where president zelensky agrees with you, he didn't hear demand, didn't hear condition, didn't feel any pressure, didn't experience anything improper or corrupt thope call? i attended the new york general assembly, he made clear at the time he felt no pressure. >> did anyone on the national security council after this call express to you that some crime, bribery, extortion, quid pro quo, anything had occurred? >> no, sir. >> i want to ask you, mr. morrison, about the whistleblower complaint. i don't want to ask you to speculate as to the identity but i want to ask you about the accusations that started this as to their veracity.
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first of all, the whistleblower who apparently was not on the call, advised the icig that he or she was concerned that the president's conduct constituted under title 50 u.s.c. section 3033, quote, a serious problem, abuse, or violation of law or executive order, end quote. again, to be clear, you didn't hear a violation of law or executive order as you listened to the call? >> sir, i made no judgment about any illegal conduct occurring. >> whistleblower also reported in starting this inquiry, asserted that president trump, quote, sought to pressure the ukrainian leadership to take action to help the president's 2020 re-election bid. president trump does not mention 2020 during the call. does he? >> no, sir, i don't believe he did.
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>> president trump doesn't mention his re-election bid during the call, does he? >> sir, i don't believe he did. >> and you did not hear president trump pressure or have a demand of any kind as we already established, correct in >> correct, sir. >> whistleblower like colonel vindman also uses the word emand. >> whistleblower like colonel vindman. with all due respect congressman, i believe he just said a whistleblower like -- >> i'm sorry. the whistleblower, like colonel vindman, also uses the word demand. on page four, the whistleblower asserted ambassador volker and sondman -- sondland provided advice about thousand navigate the demands the president made of mr. zelensky, end quote. again there were no demands from
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your perfect snive >> that's correct, sir. >> so speculation is about the whistleblower aside, with regard to motivation, the fact is the whistleblower was wrong about many of the facts as well, correct? >> sir, i'm not intimately familiar with the whistleblower complaints but i did not hear a demand in that call. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. mr. heck. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ambassador volker, i want to thank you for being here today and i frankly found some of your opening statement to be not just genuine but downright elegant. i noticed the passages about pushing back and a strong, resilient, democratic, prosperous ukraine, one that overcomes a legacy of corruption, and this is critically important for u.s. national security. some of us believe we're not
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pushing back strongly enough on russia. some of us believe we're not being supportive enough of the ukraine. but one of our challenges is to go home to the people for whom we work and help explain to them why it is in our national security interest. you have an audience like you'll never have again to look into the camera and tell the american public why it is important to support ukraine. why should it matter to them that the biggest -- if the biggest issue in their life is getting their kids off to school and paying their bills and the like, sir? >> thank you so much, congressman. i agree with you completely that we are not pushing back hard enough on russia. and that we owe ukraine a great deal of support. >> why does it mat her >> russia is trying to up end security in europe, it's trying to reassert its domination of neighboring countries, whether it's georgia, ukraine, or the baltic states. it's led to war in europe.
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the war in ukraine has left more people dead in europe, in a european war, than anything since the balkans. more people displaced by war in europe since anything since world war ii. these are people who stand up for freedom, for democracy, they want reform, they want to see their country be successful. like yermmy. like sweden. like us. they are fighting a war of aggression against them, designed to hold them back. if we want to live in a world of freedom for the united states we ought to be supporting freedom for people around the world. >> thank you for that. so we're here in part because under cover of a concern for general corruption, some of us believe there wasn't, in fact there was something quite nefarious as the alternative, that there wasn't a concern about general corruption. but reviewing the record on that, sir, is it not true that in march of this year, the department of defense certified ukraine as having been
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sufficient, made sufficient progress to continue to receive military assistance? >> i don't know the details of that but i believe that to be correct. >> sit not true that on april 21, president zelensky won anover whelming mandate based largely on his effort and advocacy for anne corruption? >> that's correct. >> sit not true that was expanded when his party won one-party control on the basis of anti-corruption? >> that's correct. >> subsequently, he enacted sweep regular forms to combat corruption? >> yes he has. >> it not true that everybody on the ground thought or was filled with optimism that ukraine was getting serious about combating corruption? >> that's correct. >> ambassador volker, did you know one of the very first anti-corruption measures passed in ukraine was a law to provide for the impeachment of the president? >> i did not know that. >> it's true. because he thought we should start with himself. i raise this because my friends on the other side of the aisle
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keep characterizing this impeachment inquiry as inherently wrong because, and i'm quoting them, it will overturn an election. over and over. impeachment is an anti-corruption tool. for my friends on the other side of the aisle, yes, it does overturn an election. by definition. it overturns an election. i don't know if they've got a problem with our constitution and its provisions for impeachment but i recommend they reread the relevant passages, article 1, sections two and three, and some of the history about how we got there. none of us wants to here, despite what's being said. none of us came to this easily. i didn't. we're called for the -- i will recall for the rest of my life the 48 hour us spent at our family cabin plunged in self-reflection, literally prayerful deliberation about this whole matter.
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collectively, we're going to have to grapple with this very grave decision. it's waiting. and it's going to get hard. and it's hard in proportion to its importance to our great republic. republic if we can keep it. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> mr. jordan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. am brass -- ambassador volker, in the now famous call transcript, president trump said this, i heard you had a prosecutor, he was shut down. do you believe president trump as talking about lutsenko or shokin? >> shokin. >> that's what i thought as well. mr. morrison you testified you had issues with colonel vindman's judgment? >> yes, sir. >> you said you had questions about colonel vindmand using
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correct judgment. >> cress. >> and you said your predecessor said she had concerned about colonel vindman's judgment. >> yes, sir. >> and you said colonel vindman didn't stick to the chain of command. >> that's sir. > and you said colonel vindman accessed information outside his lane. >> i said there were some who believed that. >> and you testified colleagues expressed concerns to you about colonel vindman leaking information, is that right? >> yes, sir. >> now when i asked counselor vindman why he didn't go to you with his concerns about the call, even though you, his boss, had no concerns about anything being, i think your language was nothing improper, nothing illegal in the call, i asked colonel vindman why he didn't go to you and instead went and talked to the lawyers, his brother, secretary kent, and one
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other person that he wouldn't tell us and chairman schiff wouldn't allow him to tell us. when i asked him why he did that, he indicated that the lawyers had instructed him to do that and he tried to get ahold of you. is that fair? >> sir, i watched part of the proceed this is morning and i heard him say that. yes, sir. >> one thing chairman schiff brought up at the end of this morning's hearings. he said you, counselor vindman's boss, also went to lawyers, but your reason for going to the lawyers was a little different, wasn't it? >> yes, sir. >> yeah, i think you had a few things that mr. castro and you talked about earlier in today's hearing. i think at the top of your list, you were concerned about the contents of the call leaking out. is that fair? >> yes, sir. >> and that's exactly what happened, isn't it? >> sir, i don't know -- i don't know that the contents leaked out.
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there was a whistleblower complaint, the president chose to declassify the memcon. >> it seems to me you were prophetic because you said in your statement today as i stated during my deposition, i fared at the time of the call on july 26 how this disclosure of the con tens of the call would play in washington's political climate. my fears have been realized. it seems to me you saw what might happen and it sure enough did. fair to say? >> yes, sir. >> we get all this we get all this and that's the part that gets me. we get all this, these hearings, these weeks in the basement, the bunker in the basement of the capitol, and facts that we keep coming back to, have never changed, will never change, we've heard from both of you today, confirmed these fundamental fact, got the call transcript as you both said no
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linkage to security assistance dollars, the call transcript, the two individuals on the call, they've both said no linkage no pressure no pushing. got the fact that the ukrainians didn't know aid had been with held until august 29. and most importantly the ukrainians did nothing as far as starting, promising to start, announcing they were going to start investigation. did nothing. and the aid got released. i believe it got released because of what we've been talking about. good work of mr. -- excuse me, ambassador volker and others. i believe that's why it happened. yet here we are. you called it all. you saw this coming, that's why you went to the lawyers. that's why you wanted tothat's why he concern was there. that's the part that's most troubling. i yield back. i yield to the gentleman. >> ambassador volker on daily mail, they have this headline.
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ukraine special envoy kurt volker walks back closed door testimony and says he, quote, has now learned there was a link between u.s. military aid and a biden probe. that's not your testimony today sit? >> i don't believe that's in my testimony. >> thank you. i yield back. >> mr. welch. >> thank you. following up on mr. jordan. easy way to avoid investigation is to not do anything wrong. i want to talk a little bit about why we're here. official government actions can't be traded for help in a political campaign. let me give let me give an analogy. ity withholdr of a c funding for the police department budget unless the police chief a great to open up an investigation -- agreed to
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open up an investigation on a political rival? >> in that hypothetical, i don't think he should do that. true if ae would be hostage were holding the budget of the state police unless state police agreed to investigate a political rival. do you agree? >> yes, sir. >> is it any different for a member of congress? of course not. would you agree that the president has the same obligation as the mayor, as the governor, as the member of congress to not withhold aid unless he gets an investigation into a political rival? >> i would agree with that hypothetical. >> we are having a debate, both sides, as to how to read what is
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plainly before us, the presidential phone call, where the president ignored the work of advisors and the national security council talking points, instead chose to talk about the bidens. we are just going to have to debate that. but isn't the principle that no person, including the president, absolutelye law guarantee,o ambassador volker? >> yes. >> and mr. morrison. >> the rule of law is essential to our democracy. >> it is so true. we have had some challenge from the other side, that the president has authority in foreign policy to do what he
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likes. and, in fact, he does. -- president trump to take troops out of syria and allow turkish forces to go in meant some turkish families went to bed saturday night and woke up sunday morning, packed their kids and fled for their lives. a lot of people on both sides of the aisle totally disagreed with that, but the president has the authority to do it, impulsive as that decision may have been, as threatening to our national security. we are not talking about that here. ambassador volker, i wasn't to your testimony - -i -- i've listened to your testimony. i thank you for helping ukraine get rid of corruption,
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resist russian aggression. you learned painfully there is a sidebar ukraine policy with giuliani as the advocate, and it appears ambassador sondland is very much involved. correct? >> i don't know everything about that, sir. >> you don't. as you are involved with the benefit of hindsight, since you were working on eliminating corruption, there was a side deal to get investigations going. correct? >> sir, my objective was purely focused on support for ukraine, national security. i now have learned through other testimony about the president's statement about investigating biden and other conversations i did not know about. >> thank you for your candor about vice president biden's integrity and service. at the end of the day, we have
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to make a judgment about what the president was up to with respect to the request for the favor, and how it repudiated the policy that was the bipartisan effort in ukraine, and raises questions about he in the hypothetical i gave of the mayor holding himself to be above the law. >> gentlemen, thank you for being here. ambassador volker, i was struck by your opening statement. it moved a long way from the testimony you presented to us in october. i know you gave a reason for that, that you were in the dark about a lot of these things. is that fair to say? >> that is one thing, i learned a lot. >> you learned a lot. the statement you
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gave this morning, "i did not know presidential or others had raised vice president biden with theinians or had completed investigation of possible ukrainian corruption with investigation of the former vice president biden." correct? you did not know burisma meant biden. >> i had separated the two. >> well, you didn't know. do we have to go through it? you wear therefore the may foring -- you were there the may meeting with giuliani. you missed it on the 23rd. >> no, sir. i understood at the time that hunter biden had been on the board. >> you did not read that as a request to investigate the bidens. >> correct. >> you were at two meetings where ambassador sondland raised
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questions, but did you not -- but you did not think he was talking about the bidens. you thought it was inappropriate. you just thought it was inappropriate. ambassador sondland raised burisma and the bidens in 2016, you missed that too. >> that is correct. >> in august, you spent a good part of the time with this statement with rudy giuliani. you were the guy interacting with ukrainians. you are putting in rudy's changes, which called for investigating burisma and the 2016 elections, which you knew meant bidens. now we know it. september 1, you were in warsaw. you are at every point of this. you were there when ambassador sondland said he was not going
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to get a white house meeting unless there was an investigation. i understand you were out of the loop then. >> i was not in warsaw at these meetings. >> excuse me, but you heard about it after from sondland, right? >> no, it was sometime later. >> but now you know what it meant. you said in retrospect, i should have seen the connection differently, and had i done so, i would have raised objections. what objections would you raise? >> that people are conflating investigating the bidens investigating the ukrainian -- >> would you have objected to the president investigating the bidens -- you said, as i sit here now, i would have raised my own objections if i knew it was the bidens. and his son. >> i would have objected to that. >> if you heard him ask for it
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on the call, in retrospect, the ukrainians -- it would have been confusing. is confusing the right word? it would have put them into a position to do something appropriate. >> confusing is the right word, because they were hearing something from the president in one conversation, different from me as a special u.s. representative. >> maybe they understood investigating burisma and investigating 2016 meant the bidens, even though you didn't. sondland at the same time. they were put in a impossible .osition with the phone calls i had
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, the ukrainians said they do not want to go there. >> in retrospect, you would have raised objectives. >> i am stuck on this issue -- you did not see anything wrong with a call,, but you want straight to legal to report it. is that your testimony? >> correct. >> mr. morrison -- to both of you -- thank you for your service. it has been a long day. mr. morrison, to follow up on the question from my colleague, you responded to a series of questions about the call and basically saw nothing wrong with it, yet you skipped your chain of command to go to legal counsel to find out what to do,
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because you weren't concerned about the political fallout, not about anything the inappropriate or wrong with the call. >> i don't agree with the premise. >> can you tell me why you saw nothing wrong with the call, yet you skipped your chain of command to go to counsel. what was the reason for that? >> again, i don't agree with the premise. i don't think i skipped my chain of command. >> who is your direct report? >> the deputy national security advisor. >> the name of the person? did you speak with him before you spoke with legal counsel? but you don't feel you skipped your chain of command in doing so, going directly to counsel? >> if i may, i viewed my engagement with the legal
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advisor as one largely focused on administrative manners. down focused on locking the transcripts. i was making sure the legal advisor was aware of the call. >> why were you so concerned about the legal advisor being aware of this call that you basically saw nothing wrong with the substance of? wanted to make sure someone from the legal advisor's office was aware. >> what was it you wanted them to be aware of, specifically? >> i wanted them to be aware of the call, because i wanted them to know what had transpired. you to thecerns point where you wanted to know what had transpired, that you went directly to legal counsel to inform them of? >> my equivalent of the head of
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nfc legal was john eisenberg. she was my equivalent in that session. -- i was my equivalent in that position. >> you said you were concerned about the political fallout based on the political climate in d.c. so how long have you supervised lt. col. vindman? or so. 15 to october 31 >> thank you. you testifiedker, you believe congressional pressure unfreezed the security systems. do you still stand by that testimony today? >> i believe it was important. i know that staff members of the armed services committee. i saw the letter several senators signed and sent to chief of staff mulvaney. i was briefed about the possibility of a couple phone
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calls from senior members of the senate. >> thank you. mr. chairman, i healed my remaining time to you. -- yield my remaining time to you. i want todor volker, follow up on a couple questions about ukrainians not being aware of the eight being withheld. -- aid being withheld. you are aware of the testimony of colonel vindman, he was testified by someone in the ukrainian embassy concerned about it becoming public. >> i was not aware of that. >> are you aware of the testimony entrenchments released -- in transcripts released that the ukrainians found out quite quickly that the ukrainians had a reason to keep it silent and not make it public? >> i saw that testimony. >> you have no reason to question that testimony is accurate? >> i do not. >> you found out it went public.
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nevertheless, the ukrainians certainly found out it was public when it was published in the newspaper. >> that is correct. >> at the time they found out from the newspaper, they still haven't had the white house meeting, and they still didn't have the aid. at that point, they already had a conversation in which the president asked them to investigate the bidens. >> that is correct. >> good evening to both of you, and thank you for your service. ambassador volker, on page seven of your opening statement today, events -- since events surrounding your earlier testimony, "a great deal of
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perspectives have come to light. i have learned many things that i do not know at the time in question." is that correct? >> correct. >> that includes meetings in which you were not part of. >> correct. >> sir, you obviously were not part of the july 25 call. >> that is correct. >> you were not aware that ambassador sondland, according to your opening statement, had a call with president trump on july 26. >> that is correct. >> on september 1, you were not present for the sidebar meeting between ambassador sondland and special advisor? >> that is correct. you are not part of the conversation in which ambassador sondland, according to multiple wasle, said everything
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dependent on public announcements for investigations. >> that is correct. >> you were not part of the phone call between ambassador sondland and president trump in which president trump insisted president zelensky go to a mic and announced public investigations. you were not part of the september 8 phone call between ambassador sondland and president trump, where president trump again insists that these announcements have to happen. >> that is correct. >> sir, you say you were not a witness to any kind of quid pro quo between military assistance and investigations, what somebody called missiles for this information today. >> that is correct.
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>> sir, you were present for many, if not all of the phone calls in which these alleged incidents of quid pro quo occurred. >> that is correct. >> sir, let me turn your attention to another topic that has come up today. actually, it came up last friday. thehave a high regard for ambassador elon which. at the time the ambassador was testifying, president trump testified disparaging remarks about her. >> i saw that moment. >> i presume you disapprove of those tweets. >> i do not think that is correct, yes. >> you supervised many people during your career in foreign service. you would never do that to one of your direct reports. >> no, i would not.
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>> it is just wrong. >> i believe even when you feel you need to criticize, criticism is private, praise his public. public.- praise is >> i believe you are a man of honor. i believe you would not attack a veteran. you would not attack someone currently serving on their duties. there is a certain man we both admire, the late senator john mccain, who unfortunately was attacked not only when he was alive, but after he died, by the current president. >> that is true. >> i presume you would disapprove of those attacks on john mccain. >> yes, i knew john mccain well for a long time. he is an honorable man and a war hero for this country. >> as lt. col. vindman was
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testifying, our president used the official twitter account of the office of the president to attack lieutenant colonel vindman's credibility. >> i was not aware of that, and ,s with ambassador yovanovitch it is not appropriate. >> thank you for your service. recognize the ranking member for any closing comments. >> as the first day of this impeachment tv marathon draws to a close, i would like to remind the american people what we are watching. the public hearings are the culmination of three years of incessant democrat efforts to find a crime to impeach the president. first, they tried to manufacture evidence that the president colluded with russia to accomplish this task. the dnc campaign worked with a
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former british spy, assembled a dossier of false information alleging the trump campaign colluded with russia. that dossier was largely assembled from russian and ukrainian sources that democrat contractors worked with. next they put their hopes on robert mueller. mueller spent millions of taxpayer dollars seeking evidence of a crime we knew was not committed. mueller's failure was a devastating blow to democrats, who hoped his work would be the basis of the removal of the president. today we are witnessing the ukraine hoax, a direct to tv sequel to the russian collusion hoax. the plot of their ukraine hoax is hard to follow. it shifts from day-to-day. first the democrats have evidence of quid pro quo, then extortion, now they are pinning
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their hopes on bribery. like any good hollywood production, democrats needed a screen test before releasing their latest attack on the president. they leveraged the secrecy of the house intelligence committee to interview a cast of characters in preparation for these public hearings, with the support,nthusiastic they built a narrative on selectively leaked testimony. speaker pelosi and the democrats on this committee are seeking the truth, they would want to know answers to the following questions they refuse to ask. to what extent did the whistleblower coordinate with democrats on this committee? what is the full extent of ukraine's election meddling against the trunk campaign in 2016? why did burisma hire hunter biden and did his position impact any positions in the obama administration?
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the american people were promised a somber impeachment inquiry. instead, they got this salacious comedy that they have been working on for three years. good night. see you in the morning. >> i thank the gentleman. i thank you both for your testimony today. i would highlight a couple things about what we have heard this afternoon. , your ambassador volker written testimony in which you say "in hindsight, i see the others saw the idea of investigating possible corruption of ukrainian company burisma as equivalent to investigating former vice president biden. the former being unremarkable, the latter being unacceptable." in retrospect, you said i should have seen that connection
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differently, and if done so, would have raised my own objections. ambassador, we appreciate your willingness to amend your earlier testimony in light of what you now know. i think you made it clear that, knowing what you do today, that in fact the president soft an investigation of his political rival, vice president biden, that you would not have countenanced any effort for the ukrainians to engage in such conduct. e appreciate also that you wer able to debunk the idea that joe biden did something wrong when he, in accordance with u.s. policy, sought to replace a corrupt prosecutor. something not only the european union wanted, not only the imf wanted, but was the position of the united states national
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security infrastructure. you did not get a lot of questions about that today because i think you effectively said that was all nonsense. we appreciate your candor. what is most remarkable about your testimony is the acknowledgment that, immediately after the vice president met with president zelensky in warsaw, your witnessed gordon sondland meeting with a top advisor to president zelensky, then --ediately thereafter you testified that ambassador sondland had a subsequent conservation with president trump and informed you that it wasn't going to be good enough for the ukrainian prosecutor
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general to announce the investigations, president zelensky had to do it himself if he wanted to get the aid, let alone a meeting in the white house. on have been asked to opine the meaning of the term bribery. but bribery, for those watching at home, is the conditioning of official acts in exchange for something of personal value. the official act we are talking about here are a white house meeting that president zelensky waserately sought and deeply important to this country at war with russia, to show that the united states had this new president's back. that meeting was important. that meeting was an official act. the military assistance is even more significant, because ukrainians are dying every day in their war with russia.
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the withholding of military assistance to get these investigations, which you now have acknowledged was wrong for the president to request, the idea of withholding military aid shouldinvestigations be anathema -- should be repugnant to any american. my republican colleagues -- all they seem to be upset about is not that president sought an investigation of his political pressured that he ukraine to do those investigations, their objection is he got caught. their objection is somebody blew the whistle.
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they want this whistleblower identified. the president wants this whistleblower punished. that is their objection. not that the president engaged in misconduct, but that he got caught. thei defense as wellr, he ended up releasing the aid -- yes, after he got caught. that does not make this any less odious. americans may be asking, why should the united states care about ukraine? why should we care about ukraine? of the nowe import infamous conversation in that kiev restaurant with gordon sondland holding the phone away from his head because the president was talking so loud. what does he ask on that cell phone call? newwhether they had passed anticorruption reform, no. are the ukrainians going to do an investigation into biden?
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er isand's answ they will do it, whatever the president wants. what is more telling is the conversation afterwards in which the president says, basically, donald trump doesn't give an expletive about ukraine. he cares about the big things. ukraine is at war with the russians, that is kind of a big thing. sondland's answer is no no, he cares about big things that affects his personal interests. this is why americans should care about this. americans should care about what happens to our allies who are dying. americans should care about their own national security and their own president and their own constitution. they will need to ask themselves, are we prepared to accept that a president can
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s,verage official act military assistance to get an investigation of a political rival. are we prepared to say that is what we should expect from the president? i don't think we want to go there. i don't think our founding fathers would have wanted us to go there. indeed, when the founding fathers provided a remedy, that remedy being impeachment, they had a concern that a president might betray the national security concerns of the country for personal interests. they put that remedy in the constitution not because they wanted to willy-nilly overturn elections, no, because they wanted a powerful anticorruption mechanism when that corruption came from the highest office in the land. we are adjourned. i ask the audience to please
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allow the witnesses to leave the room before they exit.
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[chatter] >> we asked for ambassador volker and mr. morrison to be are witnesses. -- be our witnesses. you can see why chairmanship wanted to put them in the afternoon. wanted toan schiff put them in the afternoon. ambassador volker was the first witness we deposed. he is the definitive source on this. he was the special envoy. the one part i think is so important -- he even told the ukrainians that when they learned the aid would be held, he told them they got worked out.


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