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tv   Impeachment Inquiry House Hearings Impeachment Hearing With Kurt Volker ...  CSPAN  November 19, 2019 9:02pm-1:50am EST

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deputy assistant secretary of defense for ukraine, and david hale. that hearing getting underway on c-span3 9:00 a.m. eastern and on the c-span radio app, and our coverage is always available at >> follow the house impeachment inquiry and the administration response on c-span, unfiltered coverage live on tv, our radio app and online. stream anytime on-demand at \impeachement. >> c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. wednesday morning, your reaction to the testimony from this week's house impeachment inquiry.
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all morning with your phone calls, facebook messages and tweet. journal," 7:00on a.m. eastern wednesday morning. >> the house intelligence committee has just wrapped up public testimony from kurt volker, the official envoy to ukraine and tim morrison. as part of the inquiry into president trump. we will show that now in its entirety.
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the meeting will come to order. good afternoon. this is the fourth in a series of public hear chairman schiff: the chair is recess at to declare anytime. i will make an opening statement and the ranking member will make his opening statement. we will proceed in the same fashion.
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i will make opening statement and the ranking member will have opportunity to make opening statement. then we turn to the witnesses for opening statements and then to questions. with that i now recognize myself to give an opening statement in the impeachment inquiry of donald j trump. this amp we will hear from two witnesses requested by the minor. the special representative for the ukraine negotiations. tim morrison pap and culling volker. i appreciate the minority request for the two important witnesses a as well as undersecretary of state david hale from whom we hear tomorrow. as we heard from other witnesses when joe biden was considering whether to enter the raise for the presidency in 2020 the president's personal lawyer rudy giuliani began a campaign to weaken vice president bidden's- vice president vice president's candidacy by pushing ukraine to investigate him and his son. to clear away any obstacle to the scheme day are skas after
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the new ukrainian president was elected trump ordered the recall of marie yovanovitch the american ambassador in kyiv who was found known for pushing anti-corruption efforts. he cancelled vice president pence's participation in the inauguration of president zlenky and sent a delegation with rick perry. they encourage new interaction was the new ukrainian administration. hopes that tlufrp would agree to the new ukrainian president were diminished when trump pushed back. according to volker he just didn't believe it. he was skeptical and also said that's not what i hear. i hear he has some terrible people around him. president trump also told them he believed that ukraine tried to take him down. he told the three amigos talk to
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rudy. and they did. one of those interactions took place a week before the july 25th phone call between trump and zelensky when ambassador volker had breakfast with rudy giuliani at the trump hotel. volker testified that he push back on giuliani's accusation against joe biden. on july 22nd days before trump would talk to zelensky ambassador volker had a phone call with andrey yermak a top adviser to the ukrainian president to be introduced to yermak. and july 25th of same day as the call between president trump and zelensky but before it took place. ambassador volker sent a message to yermak. quote heard from the white house assuming president z convinces trump he will investigate/get to the bottom of what happened in 2016 we will nail down date for a visit to washington. good luck. exclamation point.
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later that day donald trump would have the infamous phone call with zelensky in which he responded to ukraine's appreciation for u.s. defense support and a request by president zelensky to buy more javelin anti-tank missiles by saying i would like you to do us a favor though. the favor involved two investigation flas giuliani had been pushing for into the biddens in 2016. ambassador volker was not on the call but when asked about what it reflected he testified no president of the united states should ask a foreign leader to help interfere in a u.s. election. among those listening in on the july 25th call was tim morrison who had taken over as the nsc senior director for european affairs at the nsc only days before but had been briefed by his predecessor fiona hill about the irregular second channel operating in parallel to the official one. lieutenant koernld vindman and ms. williams from whom we heard
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from this mork. like they will morrison emerged from the call troubled. concerned enough about what he heard on the july 25th call he went to see the nsc legal adviser soon after. his fear was that the president had brekeen the law potentially. but morrison said of his concern that the -- his concern was that the call could be damaging if leaked. soon after the discussion with lawyers at the nsc, the call record was hidden away and a secure server used to store highly classified intelligence where it remained until late september when the call record was publicly released. following the july 25th call, ambassador volker worked with sondland and the ukrainian president's adviser yermak on a statement to satisfy giuliani. when yermak sent over a draft failing to include the specific words burisma and 2016 giuliani said the statement would lack credibility. ambassador volker then added both burisma and 2016 to the
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draft statement. both volker and morrison were by late july aware that the security assistance had been cut off at the direction of the president and acting white house chief of staff mick mulvaney. as the ukrainians became aware of the suspension of security assistance and negotiations over the scheduling of a white house meeting between trump and zelensky dragged on, the pressure increased and any pretense there was no linkage soon dropped away. morrison accompanied vice president pence to war saw in september 1st where pence and zelensky met and zelensky raised the suspended security assistance. following that meeting sondland approached yerm to tell him he believed that what could help move the aid was if the ukrainian prosecutor general would go to the mic and announce that he was opening the burisma investigation. on september 7th, ambassador sondland had a telephone call with trump and asked him what he wanted from ukraine. according to morrison, who spoke with sondland after the call,
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trump insisted there was no quid pro quo but president zelensky must personally announce the opening of the investigations and he should want to do it sondland said if president zelensky didn't grow to make a public statement about the investigations u.s. and ukraine would be at a stalemate, meaning it wouldn't receive the much needed stewart assistance. morrison had a sinking feeling after the call. as he realized that the ask was for you being directed at zelensky himself appear not the prosecutor general as sondland relayed to the evenier ukrainian aid in war saw on september 1st. while president trump claimed there was no quid pro quo, his insistence that zelensky himself must publicly announce the investigations or they'd be at a stalemate made clear at least two official acts, a white house meeting and $400 million in military aid were conditioned on receipt of what trump wanted, investigations to help his
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campaign. the efforts to secure the investigations would continue for several more days. but appear to have abruptly ended soon after the three committees of congress announced an investigation into the trump giuliani ukraine scheme. only then would the aid be released. and i now recognize ranking member nunes for any remarks he would like to make process. >> welcome back to act 2 of today's circus, ladies and gentlemen. we are here to continue with the democrat as tell us is the serious, somber and prayerful process of attempting to overthroe a duly elected president. if they're successful, the end result would be to enenfranchise tens of millions of americans who thought the president is chosen by the american people, not by 13 democrat partisans on a committee that supposed to be overseeing the government's intelligence agencies. and isn't it training stlang how we have morphed to the impeachment committee presiding
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over a matter that has no intelligence component whatsoever. impeachment is the jurisdiction of the judiciary not the intelligence committee. but putting this fares in our court provides two advantages. it allows then to keep the deposition sns secrecy and allowed giving too big of a role to another democrat chairman in whom the leaders have no confidence. who can possibly vow the proceedings as fair and impartial? they are conducted by democrats who spent three years saturating the airwaves with dire warnings that president trump is a russian agent, and these out landish attacks continue to this very day. just this weekend in front of a crowd of democratic party activists the chairman of this committee did he announced president trumps as a profound threat to our democracy process.
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and vowed that we will send that charlton in the white house back to the golden throne he came from. how can anyone believe that people who would utter such dramatic absurdities are conducted a fair impeachment process and only trying to discover the solely because they despise him. because they promised since election day to impeach him and because they're afraid he will win re-election next year. no witnesses have identified any crime or impeachable offense committed by the president, but that doesn't matter. last week, the democrats told us his infraction was asking for a quid pro quo. this week, it's bribery. who knows what ridiculous crime they'll be accusing him of next week. as witnesses, the democrats have
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called a parade of government officials who don't like president trump's ukraine pol y policy, even though they acknowledge he provided ukraine with lethal military aid after the obama administration refused to do so. they also resent his conduct of policy through channels outside their own authority and control. these actions, they argue, contradict the so-called interagency consensus. they don't seem to understand that the president, alone, is constitutionally vested with the authority to set the policy. the american people elect a president, not an interagency consensus. and, of course, our previous witnesses had very new, very little new information to share in these hearings. that's because these hearings are not designed to uncover new information. they're meant to showcase a handpicked group of witnesses who the democrats determine through their secret audition process will provide testimony
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most conductive and conducive to their accusations. in fact, by the time any witness says anything here, people are actually hearing it for the third time. they heard it first through the democrats' cherrypicked leaks to their media sympathizers during the secret deposition, and second when the democrats published those deposition transcript in a highly staged manner. of course, there are no transcripts from crucial witnesses like hunter biden, who could testify about his well-paying job on the board of a corrupt ukrainian company, or alexander chalupa who worked on an election meddling scheme with ukrainian officials on behalf of the democratic national committee in the clinton campaign. that's because the democrats refused to let us hear from them. as for evidence, we're left with -- what we're left with is the transcript of the trump/zelensky phone call which the president made public. that means americans can read for themselves an unremarkable
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conversation with president zelensky who repeatedly expressed satisfaction with the call afterward. the democrats, however, claim president zelensky was being bribed and, therefore, he must be lying when he says the call was friendly and posed no problems. there's some irony here. for peweeks we've heard the democrats bemoan the damage president trump supposedly caused to the u.s./ukrainian relations, but when the ukrainian president contradicts their accusations, they publicly dismiss him as a liar. i may be wrong, but i'm fairly sure calling a friendly foreign president, newly elected, a liar, violates their so-called interagency consensus. so, overall, the democrats would have you believe president zelensky was being blackmailed with a pause on lethal military aid that he didn't even know about. that president trump did not
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mention to him and that diplomats have testified they always assumed would be lifted. which it was. without the ukrainians undertaking any of the actions they were supposedly being coerced into doing. this process is not serious. it's not sober. and it is certainly not prayerful. it's an ambitious attack to deprive the american people of their right to elect a president that the democrats don't like. as i mentioned, chairman of this committee claims that democracy is under threat. if that's true, it's not the president who poses the danger. i yield back. >> thank the gentleman. we're joined this afternoon by ambassador kurt volker and timothy morrison. kurt volker served in the foreign service for 30 years working on european and eurasian political and security issues
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under five different presidential administrations. during the george w. bush administration he served as the acting director for european and eurasian affairs. in the national security council and later as a deputy assistant secretary of state for european and eurasian affairs. in 2008 president bush appointed ambassador volker to the united states per innocemanent represe to nato, he served until may 2009. july 2017, ambassador volker appointed to be the u.s. special representative for ukraine negotiations serving in that position until he resigned in september. it's a pleasure to welcome mr. morrison back to the legislative branch where he served for almost two decades as a republican staffer. he was a professional staff member for representative mark kennedy of minnesota and senator jon kyl of arizona. later mr. morrison served as the longtime policy director for the republican staff of the house armed services committee. july 2018, mr. morrison joined the national security council as senior director for countering
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weapons of mass destruction, following the departure of dr. fiona hill in july 2019, mr. morrison assumed the position of senior director for russia and europe. two final points before the witnesses are sworn, first witness depositions as part of this inquiry were unclassified in nature and all open hearings will also be held at the unclassified level. any information they touch on in classified information will be addressed separately. second, congress will not tolerate any reprisal, threat of reprisal or attempt to retaliate against any u.s. government official testifying before congress, including you or of any of your colleagues. if you both please rise and raise your right hand, i'll begin by swearing you in. do you swear or affirm that the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god? let the record show that the witnesses answered in the affirmative.
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thank you, and please be seated. the microphones are sensitive, so please speak directly into them. without objection, your written statements will also be made part of the record. with that, mr. morrison, you're recognized for yourimmediately thereafter, ambassador volker, recognized for your opening statement. >> chairman schiff, ranking member nunes, members of the committee, i appear before you today under subpoena. senior director of european affairs at the white house and national security council as related to ukraine and u.s. security sector assistance too that country. i'll provide you the most complete and accurate information i can consistent with my obligations to protect classified and privileged information. whether the conduct that is the subject of this inquiry merits impeachment is a question for the u.s. house of representatives. i appear here today only to provide factual information based upon my knowledge and recollection of events. i will not waste time restating the details of my opening statement from my deposition on
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october 31st, 2019, which has recently been made public. however, i will highlight the following key points. first, as i previously stated, i do not know who the whistle-blower is, nor do i intend to speculate as to who the individual may be. second, i have great respect for my former colleagues from the nsc and the rest of the interagency. i am not here today to question their character or integrity. my recollections and judgments are my own. some of my colleagues' recollections of conversations and interactions may differ from mine, but i do not view those differences as the result of an untoward purpose. third, i continue to believe ukraine is on the front lines of a strategic competition between the west and vladimir putin's russia. russia is a failing power, but it is still a dangerous one. the united states aids ukraine and her people so they can fight russia over there, we don't have to fight russia here. support for ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty has been a
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bipartisan objective since russia's military invasion in 2014. it must continue to be. as i stated during my deposition, i feared at the time of the call on july 25th how its disclosure would play in washington's political climate. my fears have been realized. i understand the gravity of these proceedings, but i beg you not to lose sight of the military conflict under way in eastern ukraine today. the ongoing illegal occupation of crimea and the importance of reform of ukraine's politics and economy. every day that the focus of discussion involving ukraine is centered on these proceedings instead of those matters is a day when we are not focused on the interest of ukraine, the united states, and western-style liberalism share. finally, i concluded my act of service at the national security council the day after i last appeared before you. i left the nsc completely of my own volition. i felt no pressure to resign nor have i feared any retaliation for my testimony. i made this career choice some
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time before i decided to testify on october 31st. i'm prepared to answer your questions to the best of my ability and recollection. >> thank you. ambassador volker. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, ranking member, thank you very much for the opportunity to provide this testimony today. as you know, i was the first person to come forward to testify as part of this inquiry. i did so voluntarily, and likewise, voluntarily provided relevant documentation in my possession in order to be as cooperative, clear, and complete as possible. i'm here today voluntarily and i remain committed to cooperating fully and truthfully with this committee. all i can do is provide the facts as i ubd them at the time. i did this on october 3rd in private and will do so again today. like many others who have
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testified in this inquiry, i'm a career foreign policy professional. i began my career as an intelligence analyst for northern europe for the central intelligence agency in 1986. before joining the state department in 1988. i served in diplomatic postings primarily focused on european political and security issues for over 20 years under presidents ronald reagan, george h.w. bush, bill clinton, george w. bush and barack obama. my last three positions before leaving the senior foreign service in 2009 were as director for nato and west european affairs at the national security council, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for european affairs at the state department, and finally, as u.s. ambassador to nato. in the spring of 2017, then-secretary of state tillerson asked if i would come back to government service as u.s. special representative for ukraine negotiations. i did this on a part-time voluntary basis with no salary
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paid by the u.s. taxpayer, simply because i believed it was important to serve our country in this way. i believed i could steer u.s. policy in the right direction. for over two years as u.s. special representative for ukraine negotiations, my singular focus was advancing the foreign policy and national security interests of the united states. in particular, that meant pushing back on russian aggression and supporting the development of a strong, resilient, democratic and prosperous ukraine, one that overcomes a legacy of corruption and becomes integrated into a wider trans-atlantic community. this is critically important for u.s. national security. if we can stop and reverse russian aggression in ukraine, we can prevent it elsewhere. if ukraine, the cradle of slovic civilization predating moscow
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succeeds as a freedom loving, prosperous, democracy, it gives us enormous hope that russia may one day change providing a better life for russian people and overcoming its current plague of authoritarianism, corruption, aggression toward neighbors, and threats to nato and the united states. the stakes for the united states in a successful ukraine could not be higher. at no time was i aware of or knowingly took part in an effort to urge ukraine to investigate former vice president biden. as you know from the extensive realtime documentation i have provided, vice president biden was not a topic of our discussions. i was not on the july 25th phone call between president trump and president zelensky. i was not made aware of any reference to vice president biden or his son by president trump until the transcript of that call was released on september 25th, 2019. from july 7th, 2017, until september 27th, 2019, i was the
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lead u.s. diplomat dealing with russia's war on ukraine. my role was not some irregular channel but the official channel. i reported directly to secretaries of state tillerson and pompeo, kept the national security adviser and secretary of defense well informed of my efforts, and worked closely with ambassador masha yovanovitch. then-assistant secretary mitchell. and phil reeker. deputy assistant secretary george kent. deputy assistant secretary of defense laura cooper. nsc director alex vindman and many, many others. i've known many of them for several years. it was a team effort. when ambassador yovanovitch left -- so we would still have a strong, seasoned professional on the ground.
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for two years before the events at the heart of this investigation took place, i was the most senior u.s. diplomat visiting the conflict zone, meeting with victims of russia's aggressi aggression, urging increased u.s. security assistance including lethal defensive weapons, working with ukrainian president poroshenko and then his successor president zelensky and their teams. working with france and germany and the so-called normandy process. pressing for support from nato, the eu, and osce. supporting the osce's special monitoring mission. and engaging in negotiations and other contacts with russian officials. at the time i took the position in the summer of 2017, there were major complicated questions swirling in public debate about the direction of u.s. policy toward ukraine. wi would the administration lift sanctions against russia? would it make some kind of grand bargain with russia, which it would trade recognition of
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russia's seizure of ukrainian territory for some other deal in syria or elsewhere? would the administration recognize russia's claimed annexation of crimea, would this become another frozen conflict? there are also a vast number of vacancies in key diplomatic positions so no one was really representing the united states in the negotiating process about ending the war in eastern ukraine. during over two years of my tenures a u.s. special representative, we fundamentally turned u.s. policy around. u.s. policy toward ukraine was strong, consistent, and enjoyed support across the administration, bipartisan support in congress, and support among our allies and ukraine. we changed the language commonly used to describe rush shesia's aggression. i highlighted russia's invasion and occupation of parts of ukraine calling out russia's responsibility to end the war. i visited the war zone three times, meeting with soldiers and civilians alike, always bringing media with me to try to raise the public visibility of
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russia's aggression and the humanitarian impact on the lives of the citizens of the dombas. we coordinated closely with our european allies in canada to maintain a united front against russian aggression and for ukrai ukraine's democracy, reform, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. ukraine policy is, perhaps, the one area where the u.s. and its european allies had been in lockstep. this coordination helped to strengthen u.s. sanctions against russia and to maintain eu sanctions as well. along with others in the administration, i strongly advocated for lifting the ban on the sale of lethal defensive weapons, or at least the defensive arms to ukraine, advocated for increasing u.s. security assistance to ukraine, and urged other countries to follow suit. my team and i drafted the pompeo declaration of july 25th, 2018, in which the secretary clearly and definitively laid out the
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u.s. policy of nonrecognition of russia's claimed annexation of crimea. i engaged with our allies, with ukraine, and with russia, in negotiations to implement agreements holding a firm line on insisting on the withdrawal of russian forces, dismantling of the so-called people's republics and restoring ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity. together with others in the administration, we kept u.s. policy steady through -- and worked hard to strengthen the u.s./ukraine bilateral relationship under the new president and government helping shepherd in a peaceful transition of power in ukraine. short, whereas two years ago most observers would have said time was on russia's side, by 2019 when i departed we had turned the tables and time was now on ukraine's side. it's a strategy for the united states and for ukraine that our efforts in this area which were bearing fruit have now been thrown into disarray. one of the critical aspects as
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my role as u.s. special representative is as the most senior u.s. official appointed to work solely on the ukraine portfolio, i needed to stipforward to provide leadership. if we needed to adopt a policy position, i made the case for it. if we needed to -- if anyone needed to speak out publicly, i would do it. when we failed to get a timely statement about russia's illegal attack on ukraine's navy and seizure of ukraine sailors, i tweeted about it in order to condemn the act. if a problem arose, i knew it was my job to try to fix it. that was my perspective when i learned in may 2019 we had a significant problem that was impeding our ability to strengthen our support for ukraine's new president in his effort to ramp up ukraine's fight against corruption and implementation of needed reforms. i found myself faced with a choice. to be aware of a problem and to ignore it, or to accept that it was my responsibility to try to fix it. i tried to fix it.
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the problem was that despite the unanimous, positive assessment and recommendations of those of us who were part of the u.s. presidential delegation that attended the inauguration of president zelensky, president trump was receiving a different negative narrative about you cra ukraine and president zelensky, fueled by accusations from ukraine's then-prosecutor general and conveyed to the president by former mayor rudy giuliani. as i previously told this committee, i became aware of the negative impact this was having on our policy efforts when four of us who were part of the presidential delegation to the inauguration met as a group with president trump on may 23rd. we stressed our finding that president zelensky represented the best chance for getting ukraine out of the mire of corruption it had been in for over 20 years. we urged him to invite president zelensky to the white house. the president was very skeptical. given ukraine's history of
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corruption, that's understandable. he said that ukraine was a corrupt country full of terrible people. he said they tried to take me down. in the corpse of that conversation, he referenced conversations with mayor giuliani. it was clear to me that despite the positive news and recommendations being conveyed by this official delegation about the new president, president trump had a deeply rooted negative view on ukraine rooted in the past. he was receiving other information from other sources including mayor giuliani that was more negative, causing him to retain this negative view. within a few days, on may 29th, president trump, indeed, signed the congratulatory letter to president zelensky which included an invitation to the president to visit him at the white house. however, more than four weeks passed and we could not nail down a date for the meeting. i came to believe that the president's long-held negative
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view toward ukraine was causing hesitation in actually scheduling the meeting much as we had seen in our oval office discussion. after weeks of reassuring the ukrainians that it was just a scheduling issue, i decided to tell president zelensky that we had a problem with the information reaching president trump from mayor giuliani. i did so in a bilateral meeting at a conversation on ukrainian economic reform in toronto on july 2nd, 2019, where i led the u.s. delegation. i suggested that he call president trump directly in order to renew their personal relationship and assure president trump that he was committed to investigating and fighting corruption, things on which president zelensky had based his presidential campaign. i was convinced that getting two presidents to talk with each other would overcome the negative perception of ukraine that president trump still harbored. president zelensky's senior aide, andre yermuck, approached
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me several days late to s late. i agreed to make that connection. i did so because i understood the new ukrainian leadership wanted to convince those like mayor giuliani who believed such a negative narrative about ukraine that ditimes have chang and under president zelensky ukraine is worthy of u.s. support. ukrainians believed if they could get their own narrative across, in a way that convinced mayor giuliani that they were serious about fighting corruption and advancing reform, mayor giuliani would convey that assessment to president trump, correcting the previous negative narrative. that made sense to me and i tried to be helpful. i made clear to the ukrainians that mayor giuliani was a private citizen, the president's personal lawyer and not representing the u.s. government. likewise, in my conversations with mayor giuliani, i never considered him to be speaking on the president's behalf or giving instructions. rather, the information flow was the other way.
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from you yukraine to mayor giul in the hopes this would clear up the information reaching president trump. on july 10th after hearing from mr. yermak, i wrote to mayor giuliani. finally on may 19th we met for breakfast for a longer discussion. i told mr. giuliani that my view, the prosecutor general with which he'd been speaking, mr. lutsenko, was not credential and was asking in a self-serving capacity. to my surprise, mayor juligiuli said he'd already come to that same conclusion. mr. giuliani also mentioned both the accusations about vice president biden and about interference in the 2016 election and stressed that all he wanted to see was for ukraine to investigate what happened in the past and apply its own laws. concerning the allegations, i stressed that no one in the new team governing ukraine had anything to do with anything that may have happened in 2016. they were making television
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shows at the time. i also said that it's not credible to me that former vice president biden would have been influenced in any way by financial or personal motives in carrying out his duties as vice president. a different issue is whether some individual ukrainians may have attempted to influence the 2016 election or thought they could buy influence. that is at least plausible, given ukraine's reputation for corruption. but the accusation that vice president biden acted inappropriately did not seem at all credible to me. after that meeting, i connected mayor giuliani and mr. yermak by text and later by phone. they met in person on august 2nd, 2019. in conversations with me following that meeting, which i did not taeattend, mr. juliagiu said he stressed the importance of ukraine conducting investigations into what happened in the past and mr. yermak stressed he told mr.
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giuliani it's the government's program to root out corruption and implement reform and they would be conducting investigations as part of this process, anyway. mr. giuliani said he believed the ukrainian president needed to make a statement about fighting corruption and that he had discussed this with mr. yermak. i said, i did not think that this would be a problem, since that is the government's position, anyway. i followed up with mr. yermak and he said that they would, indeed, be prepared to make a statement. he said it would reference burisma and 2016 in a wider context of bilateral relations and rooting out corruption, anyway. there was no mention of vice president biden. rather, in referencing burisma and 2016 election interference, it was clear to me that he, mr. yermak, was only talking about whether any ukrainians had acted inappropriately. at this time, i was focused on our goal of getting president zelensky and president trump to meet with each other and i believed that their doing so would overcome the chronically
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negative view president trump had toward ukraine. i was seeking to solve the problem i saw when we met with president trump in the oval office on may 23rd. as a professional diplomat, i was comfortable exploring whether there was a statement ukraine could make about its own intentions to investigate possible corruption that would be helpful in convincing mr. giuliani to convey to president trump a more positive assessment of the new leadership in ukraine. on august 16th, mr. yermak shared a draft with me which i thought looked perfectly reasonable. it did not mention burisma or 2016 elections but was generic. ambassador sondland and i had a further conversation with mr. giuliani who said that in his view, in order to be convincing, that this government represented real change in ukraine, the statement should include specific reference to burisma and 2016. again, there was no mention of vice president biden in these conversations. ambassador sondland and i
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discussed these points and i edited the statement drafted by mr. yermak to include these points to see thousand how it l. i then discussed it further with mr. yermak. he said for a number of reasons including the fact that mr. lutsenko was still officially the prosecutor general, they did not want to mention burisma or 2016. i agreed and the idea of putting out a statement was shelved. these were the last conversations i had about this statement which were on or about august 17th, 18th. my last contact with mr. giuliani, according to my records, was on august 13th until he tried to reach me on september 20th after the impeachment inquiry was launched. at this time, that is to say, in the middle of august, i thought the idea of issuing this statement had been definitively scrapped. in september i was surprised to learn that there had been further discussions with ukrainians about president zelensky possibly making a statement in an interview with u.s. media similar to what we
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had discussed in august. since these events and since i gave my testimony on october 3rd, a great deal of additional information and perspectives have come to light. identi i've learned many things i did not know at the time of the events in question. first, at the time i was connecting mr. yermak and mr. giuliani and discussing with mr. yermak and ambassador sondland a possible statement that could be made by the ukrainian president, i did not know of any linkage between the hold on security assistance and ukraine pursuing investigations. no one had ever said that to me and i never conveyed such a linkage to the ukrainians. i opposed the hold on u.s. security assistance as soon as i learned about it on july 18th and thought we could turn it around before the ukrainians ever knew or became alarmed about it. i did not know the reason for the hold, but i viewed it as a u.s. policy problem that we needed to fix internally and i was confident we would do so.
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i believe the ukrainians became aware of the old on august 29th and not before. that date is the first time any of them asked me about the hold by forwarding an article that had been published in "politico." when i spoke to the ukrainians about the hold after august 29th, instead of telling them they needed to do something to get the hold released, i told then the opposite, that they should not be alarmed, it was an internal u.s. problem, and we were working to get it fixed. i did not know others were conveying a different message to them around the same time. second, i did not know about the strong concerns expressed by then-national security adviser john bolton to members of his nsc staff regarding the discussion of investigations. i participated in the july 10th meeting between national security adviser bolton and then-ukrainian chairman of the national security and defense council, alex denuliuk. as i remember the meeting was essentially over when ambassador sondland made a general comment about investigations. i think all of us thought it was
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inappropriate. the conversation did not continue. and the meeting concluded. later on in the wardroom, i may have been engaged in a side conversation or had already left the complex because i do not recall further discussion regarding investigations of burisma. third, i did not understand that others believed that any investigation of ukrainian company burisma, which had a history of accusations of corruption, was tantamount to investigating vice president biden. i drew a sharp distinction between the two. it has long been u.s. policy under multiple investigations to urge ukraine to investigate internal corruption. i was quite comfortable with ukraine making its own statement about its own policy of investigating and fighting corruption at home. at the one in-person meeting i had with mayor giuliani on july 19th, mayor giuliani raised and i rejected the conspiracy theory that vice president biden would have been influenced in his duties as vice president by money paid to his son.
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as i previously testified, i have known vice president biden for 24 years. he is an honorable man and i hold him in the highest regard. at no time was i aware of or knowingly took part in an effort to urge ukraine to investigate former vice president biden and as you know from the extensive documentation i provided, vice president biden was not a topic of discussion. i was not on the july 25th phone call between president trump and president zelensky, and i was not made aware of any reference to vice president biden or his son by president trump until the transcript of that call was released on september 25th, 2019. throughout this time, i understood that there was an important distinction between burisma and biden and i urged the ukrainians to maintain such a distinction. i did not know president trump or others raised vice president bide within the ukrainians or conflated the investigation of possible ukrainian corruption with investigation of the former vice president. in retrospect, for the ukrainians it would clearly have been confusing. in hindsight, i now understand that others saw the idea of investigating possible corruption involving the
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ukrainian company, burisma, as equivalent to investigating former vice president biden. i saw them as very different. the former being appropriate and unremarkab unremarkable, the latter being unacceptable. in retrospect, i should have seen that connection differently and had i done so, i would have raised my own objections. fourth, much has been made of the term, "three amigos" in reference to secretary perry, ambassador sondland and myself. i've never used that term and, frankly, cringe when i hear it because for me the three acme goes will always refer to senator mccain, senator leb lieberman and senator graham in witness for their work to support the surge in iraq. moreover, i was never aware of designation by president trump or anyone else putting ambassador sondland or the three of us as a grooup. each of us in our own respective official capacities continued to work together after our attendance of president zelens y zelensky's inauguration to push for greater u.s. support for
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ukraine. leading the diplomacy around ukraine negotiations had long been my official responsibility but i welcomed the added support and influence of a cabinet member and our eu ambassador. fifth, i was not aware that ambassador sondland spoke with president trump on july 26th while ambassador taylor and i were visiting the conflict zone. mr. chairman, members of the committee, allow me to thank you again for the opportunity to provide this testimony. i believe that u.s. foreign policy and national security interests in ukraine are of critical importance, and i'd be pleased to answer your questions. thank you. >> thank you, gentlemen, for your opening statements. we'll now proceed to the questions. 45 minutes of questions conducted by the chairman, followed by 45 minutes for the ranking member or minority counsel. following that, unless i specify additional equal time for extended questioning, we'll proceed under the five-minute rule and every member will have a chance to ask questions. i now recognize myself, counsel,
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for the first round of questions. ambassador volker, i was going to yield to the minority counsel but there were a couple points you made in your opening statement that i wanted to ask about first. you said lutsenko was not credible, author of a number of allegations against ambassador yovanovitch, a number of allegations that were shared with john solmand of "the hill." a number of allegations repeatedly brought up by my republican colleagues. why is it you found mr. lutsenko not credible and told mr. giuliani so? >> thank queyou, mr. chairman. first all, allegations, themselves, including those against ambassador yovanovitch
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did not appear to me to be credible at all. i know her to be an incredibly competent professional. someone i worked with for many, many years. the suggestions that she was acting in some inappropriate manner were not credible to me. i've known vice president biden for a long time. those accusations were not credible. separate from that, i also was aware of the political situation in ukraine. we had a situation where president poroshenko appeared to not be in a favorable position going into the elections where it was increasingly apparent then-candidate zelensky was going to win. as is often the case in ukraine, a change in power would mean change in prosecutorial powers as well. and there have been efforts in the past at prosecuting the previous government. i think mr. lutsenko in my estimation, i said this to mayor giuliani when i met with him, was interested in preserving his own position. he wanted to avoid being fired
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by a new government in order to prevent prosecution of him, possible prosecution of himself. possibly also this is something president poroshenko would have welcomed as well. so by making allegations like this, and making sure they were reaching u.s. media, i think mr. lutsenko is trying to make himself appear to be an important and influential player in the united states. >> ambassador, let me also ask you about the allegations against joe biden because that has been a continuing refrain from some of my colleagues as well. why was it you found the allegations against joe biden related to his son or burisma not to be believed? >> simply because i've known vice president -- former vice president biden for a long time. i know how he respects his duties of higher office and it's just not credible to me that a vice president of the united states is going to do anything
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other than act as how he sees best for the national interest. >> finally, ambassador, before i turn it over, i was struck by something you said on page 8 of your statement which reads, "in hindsight, i now understand that other saw the idea of investigating possible corruption involving the ukrainian company, burisma, as equivalent to investigating former vice president biden. i saw them as different. the former being appropriate and unremarkable, the latter being unacceptable." in retrospect, you said, "i should have seen that connection differently and had i done so, i would have raised my own objections." what is it now, in retrospect, that leads you to conclude that you would or should have raised these objections? >> others did not see the distinction between these things as i saw it.
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as i said, there's a history of corruption in ukraine. there's a history with the company of burisma. it's been investigated. that is well known. there's a separate allegation about the vice president acting inappropriately. his son was a board member of this company, but those things i saw as completely distinct. and what i was trying to do in working with the ukrainians was to thread a needle to see whether things that they can do that are appropriate and reasonable as part of ukraine's own policy of fighting corruption, that helped clarify for our president that they are committed to that very -- that very effort. if there's a way to thread that needle, i thought it was worth the effort to try to solve that problem. as it turns out, i now understand most of the other people didn't see or consider this distinction, that for them it was synonymous. >> one of those people who saw it synonymous turns out to be
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the president of the united states. i take it you didn't know until the call record was released that the president in that call doesn't raise burisma, he asks for an investigation of the bidens. is that right? >> that is correct. >> i take it since you say that, you acknowledge that asking for an investigation of the bidens would have been unacceptable and objectionable, that had the president asked you to get ukraine to investigate the bidens, you would have told him so? >> i would have objected to that, yes, sir. >> mr. goldman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. just one follow up on that, ambassador volker. w when you say "thread the needle", you mean you understood the relationship between vice president biden's son and burisma but you were trying to separate the two of them in your mind, is that right? >> i believe that they were separate. that, and this references the conversation i had with mr. giuliani as well where i think
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the allegations against vice president biden are self-serving and not credible. separate question is whether it is appropriate for ukraine to investigate possible corruption of ukrainians that may have tried to corrupt things or buy influence. to me, they are very different things and as i said, i think the former is unacceptable. i think the latter, in this case -- >> understaood. you understood the relationship between hunter biden and burisma? >> i knew he had been a board member of the company, yes. >> let's go back -- >> why it was so important to maintain a distinction. >> let's focus on the july 25th call for a moment. mr. morrison, july 25th was day number what for you as the senior director overseeing ukrai ukraine? >> i officially took over on the 15th. approximately ten days, very few days actually in the office. >> you testified in your deposition that you received an email on the morning of july
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25th from ambassador sondland shortly before the call. is that right? >> yes. >> and i believe in that email, ambassador sondland told you that he had briefed president trump about, in advance of the call, is that right? >> yes. >> and you also testified that ambassador sondland had told you on another occasion that he could call the president whenever he wanted, is that right? >> i -- yes. >> and on july 25th, did you, in fact, make an effort to confirm whether or not the phone call between ambassador sondland and president trump actually occurred? >> i did. >> and did it -- did it happen? >> yes. >> on other occasions when ambassador sondland told you that he spoke with president trump, did you -- on some other occasions, did you also seek confirmation of that fact? >> on some, yes. >> and on those occasions when you did seek to confirm that they had spoken, what did you
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find? >> they had. >> i want to pull up a text message on the morning of july 25th. between -- well, should be another one. oh, yeah, sorry. ambassador sondland with you, ambassador volker, and at 7:54, ambassador sondland -- in the morning -- ambassador sondland says, "call asap." then at 9:35, ambassador volker, you respond. is the screen working in front of you or just to the side? yeah. if you could go ahead and read what you said -- >> yes. >> -- at 9:35. >> yes. so i say, "hi, gordon. got your message. had a great lunch with yermak and then passed your message to him. he will see you tomorrow. think everything is in place." >> and who is yermak? >> andriy yermak is the senior adviser to president zelensky of
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ukraine. >> now, what was the message that you had received? >> that president zelensky should be clear, convincing, forthright, with president trump about his commitment to fighting corruption, investigating what happened in the past, get to the bottom of things, whatever there is, and if he does that, president trump was prepared to be reassured that he would say, yes, come on, let's get this date for this visit scheduled. >> and did you understand from that message that ambassador sondland had spoken to president trump? >> i wasn't sure whether he had or not. he, as mr. morrison just said, said that he does speak with president trump. i knew that he had conversations in general. i didn't know, specifically, about one leading up to this. >> now, on the screen in front of you is another text message from you that same morning. >> yes.
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>> at 8:36 in the morning to andriy yermak. >> yes, i believe because of the time difference, this is actually in the afternoon in ukraine. >> in ukraine. so this is east coast time. that's right. >> correct. >> so this is slightly less than a half hour before the call between president trump and president zelensky. >> right. >> and could you just read what you you there? >> yes. just after the lunch i had with andriy yermak. says "good lunch. thanks. heard from white house. assuming president z. convinces trump he'll investigate, get to the bottom of what happened in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to washington. good luck! see you tomorrow. kurt." >> does this accurately relay the message you had received from ambassador sondland? >> yes. >> now, mr. morrison, did the national security council also prepare talking points for president trump for this call? >> the nsc staff did, yes. >> and per usual custom, are these -- were these talking points based on the official united states policy objectives? >> they were.
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>> and since there's been a little bit of dispute about what that means, can you explain how official u.s. policy is determined with -- through the interagency process? >> we operate under what's known as nspm4, national security presidential memorandum 4. it's available on the internet. that lays out how the president wants to be provided options for his decision. >> and there's an extensive process to finalize any policy, is that right? >> sometimes. >> did you -- mr. morrison, you listened to this call on the 25th, is that right? >> i did. >> where did you listen from? >> the white house situation room. >> in your deposition, you testified that the call was not what you were hoping to hear. what did you mean by that? >> i was hoping for a more full-throated statement of support from the president
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concerning president zelensky's reform agenda given where we were at the time with respect to the overwhelming mandate president zelensky's servant of the party people had received in the rada election. >> and that roda, which is the ukrainian parliament, that election had occurred four days earlier? >> sounds right. >> and president zelenskzelensk party won in a landslide, is that right? >> they received more than a majority in their own right. >> so at least in ukraine, there was tremendous support for zelensky's anti-corruption agenda, is that right? >> at the time. >> and within the interagency, within the national security agencies here in the united states, was there broad support for president zelensky? >> there was broad support for giving president zelensky a chance. >> and to that point, he had shown that he was -- he had at least put his money where his mouth was for the three months that he had been in office. is that right?
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>> approximately three months, yes. >> now, i want to show a couple of excerpts from this call record to each of you. the first is president trump responding to a comment by president zelensky related to defense support from the united states and the purchase of javelins, and president trump then says, "i would like you to do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot and ukraine knows a lot about it. i would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with ukraine. they say crowdstrike. i guess you have one of your wealthy people, the server, they say ukraine has it." if we could go to the next excerpt where president trump says, "the other thing, there's a lot of talk about biden's son that biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that. so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it, it sounds
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horrible to me." now, mr. morrison, were these references to crowdstrike, the server in 2016 election and to vice president biden and his son, were they included in the president's talking points? >> they were not. >> and were they consistent with what you understood at that time to be official u.s. policy? >> i was not aware of any -- of much of this at the time. >> and, in fact, subsequent to this call, you did nothing to implement the investigations that president trump -- implement the requests for the investigations that president trump asked for, is that right? >> i did not understand any instruction to do so. >> and you were not aware of anyone else within your -- you coordinate the interagency process, you were not aware of anyone else who was doing that either, is that right? >> correct. >> now, you've testified in your deposition that hearing this call confirmed what you called the parallel process that your
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predecessor, fiona hill, had warned you about. what did you mean by that? >> during the period in which dr. hill and i were conducting handoff meetings so that i could be up to speed on the various things that were occurring in the portfolio at the time, she mentioned the traditional nspm4 process and the parallel process and in the context of discussing the parallel process, she mentioned issues like burisma which were noteworthy to me at the time because i had never heard of them before, and upon hearing them in the call, it wound up confirming, okay, there's something here. >> and who did she inform you was involved in this parallel process? >> as i recall, it was definitely ambassador sondland and i believe mr. giuliani. >> and after she informed you of this company, burisma, what, if
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anything, did you do to determine what that was? >> after that particular handoff meeting, i proceeded to look it up on the internet. i googled it. >> and did you find that it had some association with hunter biden? >> yes. >> now, ambassador volker, you did not listen to this call, but you testified that you were surprised and troubled when you read the call record after it was released on september 25th. and you also said that after reading the call record, it was clear to you that the biden/burisma and the 2016 election investigations that president trump discussed on the call were designed to serve the president's political interests, not the national interests. what did you mean when you said senate that? >> sorry, i don't recall that language from my testimony. from my october 3rd testimony? >> yes, it was. >> thank you. what i do mean by that, i'd like to phrase it my own words now,
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is i don't think that raising 2016 elections or vice president biden or these things i consider to be conspiracy theories that have been circulated by the ukrainians, particularly the former prosecutor general, are -- they're not things that we should be pursuing as part of our national security strategy with ukraine. we should be supporting ukraine's democracy, reforms, its own fight against corruption domestically, its struggle against russia, its defense capabilities. these are the heart of what we should be doing and i don't think pursuing these things serves a national interest. >> now, mr. morrison, shortly after you heard the july 25th call, you testified that you alerted the nsc legal adviser john eisenberg pretty much right away.
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is that right? >> correct. >> and you indicated in your opening statement, at least from your deposition, that you went to mr. eisenberg out of concern over the potential political fallout if the call record became public, not because you thought it was illegal. is that right? >> correct. >> but you would agree, right, that asking a foreign government to investigate a domestic political rival is inappropriate, would you not? >> it's not what we recommended the president discuss. >> now, in a second meeting with mr. eisenberg, what did you recommend that he do to prevent the call record from leaking? >> i recommended we restrict access to the package. >> had you ever asked the nsc legal adviser to restrict access before? >> no. >> did you speak to your supervisor, dr. kupperman, before you went to speak to john eisenberg? >> no. >> did you subsequently learn
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the call record had been put in a highly classified system? >> i did. >> and what reason did mr. eisenberg give you for why the call record was put in the highly classified system? >> it was a mistake. >> he said it was just a mistake? >> it was an administrative error. >> now, isn't it also true, though, that you had authority to restrict access on the regular system if you wanted to? >> i believe i could have instructed the appropriate staff to do so, yes. >> so why did you go to the nsc legal adviser to recommend that? >> well, i was also concerned that based on the participants in the listening room that day, i did not then and i do not now recall any representatives from the nsc legal adviser's office as they were often on head of state calls but not always and i wanted to make sure that john eisenberg as the legal adviser and his deputy were aware to review this particular transcript. >> and you wanted them to review it because you were concerned
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about the political, potential political consequences? not because anything was wrong? >> correct. political consequences was an umbrella term i used in my statement to describe a series of effects i feared about what would happen if and when the content of the transcript or the content leaked. >> so just to make sure i understand this correctly, mr. morrison, you heard the call, you recognized that president trump was not discussing the talking points that the nsc had prepared based on official u.s. policy and was instead talking about the investigations that fiona hill had warned you about and then you reported it immediately to the nsc legal adviser. is that the correct chain of events here? >> that's correct. >> now, ambassador volker, in the july 25th call, president zelensky volunteers to president trump that rudy giuliani had already spoken with one of his
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associates and that president zelensky hopes giuliani will come to ukraine. then in response, president trump proceeds to mention mr. giuliani on three separate occasions during this call. you testified about a may 23rd meeting in the oval office where the president spoke quite negatively about ukraine and how it had tried to take him down and that he also repeated some of the allegations that mr. giuliani was making. is that correct? >> yes. >> okay. and those allegations were in the media, were they not? >> yes. >> and during that meeting, president trump told you and ambassador sondland and secretary perry to talk to giuliani. isn't that correct? >> he -- i didn't take it as an instruction. i want to be clear about that. he said that's not what i hear. you know, when we were giving him our assessment about president zelensky, where y ukraine is -- that's not what i
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hear. i hear terrible things. he's got terrible people around him. talk to rudy. and i understood in that context him just saying that's where he hears it from. i didn't take it as an instruction. >> so when he said, "talk to rudy," you didn't take it -- him to mean for you to talk to rudy? >> no, i didn't take it that way. i took it as that just part of the dialogue that i hear other things, i hear them from rudy giuliani or from other people, that's not what's going on. he's surrounded by terrible people, talk to rudy. it just seemed like part of the dialogue. >> well, after that meeting did you, in fact, talk to rudy? >> after that meeting, not immediately, no. remember, this was may 23rd and we continued to proceed with our effort to get the white house visit for president zelensky scheduled and to keep ramping up our support for the new ukrainian president and ultimately the new ukrainian government. i -- i did, however, on july
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2rd, 2r 2nd, as i was becoming concerned we were not succeeding at this, tell president zelensky, i think swre a probl we have a problem, a negative feed of information from mr. giuliani. >> ultimately, as i think you testified in your opening statement, you introkduced mr. yermak to giuliani and they eventually met, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> during this whole time in july, during the call into early august when they met, ukraine still desperately wanted that oval office meeting for president zelensky, correct? >> that is correct. >> you also wanted that for president zelensky. is that right? >> that is correct. >> why was that oval office meeting so important to president zelensky? >> i think that he felt that he was not well understood by president trump. he is a charismatic leader who ran a remarkable campaign in ukraine against the legacy of corruption and political malaise that had been there. he had a massive showing in the presidential election. 73% support. he believed he was leading a
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movement of major change in ukraine and that president trump was -- did not see that or didn't appreciate that, but if he had a chance to sit down and speak with president trump face-to-face, he believed that he could be very convincing about that and i agree with him. >> that certainly was your assessment, right? >> it was my assessment and i believe it was also what president zelensky believed. >> and certainly you understood from your experience in ukraine that there would be a significant boost in legitimacy at home for president zelensky if there were photos of him in the oval office, et cetera, right? >> yes. that is correct. >> now, you knew -- you testified in your opening statement that mr. giuliani and mr. yermak, zelensky's aide, met on august 2nd. where did they meet? >> they met in madrid. >> and did you learn that mr. giuliani requested anything of the ukrainians at that meeting? >> only when i spoke with mr. giuliani afterwards, he said that he thought ukraine should issue a statement and then i
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spoke with mr. yermak after that and he said, yes, and we're prepared to make a statement and that then kicked off the series of discussions that i said in my testimony. >> we'll get into that in a second, but mr. giuliani did not explain to you what needed to be included in that statement, in that call you had? >> he said something more general, as i recall. i recall him saying, fight corruption, that their commitment to being different. mr. yermak told me when i spoke with him, as i recall, that the statement would include specific mention of burisma and 2016. >> right. let's go through some of the text messages so we know exactly who said what. and first, let's start on august 9th. this is a text exchange between you and ambassador sondland where ambassador sondland writes at the top, "morrison, ready to get dates as soon as yermak confirms." what did you respond? >> i said "excellent!"
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with two exclamation points. how did you sway him?" with a smile afterwards. >> sondland responded "not sure i did. i think potus really wants the deliverable. >> "but does he know that?" >> ambassador sondland says "yep clearly lots of con voes going on." mr. mormorrison, had you convin confirming a date with president zelensky with ambassador sondland around this time? >> i likely would have. >> did you have any discussions with him about a statement that ukraine was -- that they were trying to get ukraine to make? >> i did not. >> were you aware that -- do you, yourself, know what ambassador sondland meant by the deliverable? >> i did not at the time. i think i have an understanding now. >> and what is your
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understanding now? >> there seems to have been discussions about a statement, various drafts of which have been discussed in various proceedsin proceedsin proceedings. >> okay. this, to your knowledge, was part of the parallel process you were talking about? >> yes. >> if we can now go to the next exhibit which is another text exchange just a few minutes later between ambassador sondland and you, ambassador volker, where ambassador sondland says, "to avoid misunderstandings, might be helpful to ask andrey for a draft statement, embargoed, so that we can see exactly what they proposed to cover. even though ze" zelensky, "does a live presser, they can still summarize in a brief statement. thoughts?" how did you rye spond? . >> "agree." >> it relates to the statement he and mr. yermak had discussed. >> now to the next day on august 10th, there's another text exchange between you and mr.
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yermak, who's the same aide that mr. giuliani had met in madrid. and if you could read what you wrote at the top at 5:02 p.m. >> right. i wrote "i agree with your approach. let's iron out statement and use that to get date and then president zelensky can go forward with it?" >> and mr. yermak responds, "once we have a date, we will call for a press briefing, announcing upcoming visit and outlining vision for the reboot of u.s./ukraine relationship, including among other things burisma and election meddling in investigations." and what did you respond? >> "sounds great!" >> now, the date that he's referring to, that is the date for the white house visit? >> that's correct. >> now, two days later, on august 12th, you receive another text message from mr. yermak which reads, "special attention
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should be paid to the problem of interference in the political processes of the united states, especially with the alleged involvement of some ukrainian politicians. i want to declare that this is unacceptable. we intend to initiate and complete a transparent and unbiased investigation of all available facts and episodes, which in turn will prevent the recurrence of this problem in the future." now, ambassador volker, this was a draft, was it not, of the statement that you and mr. giuliani and mr. yermak and ambassador sondland had been discussing? >> this is the first draft of that from mr. yermak after the conversations we had. >> it does not mention burisma or 2016 election interference, correct? >> it does not. >> you testified in your deposition that you and ambassador sondland and mayor giuliani had a conversation about this draft after you received it, is that right? >> that is correct. >> and giuliani -- mr. giuliani
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said that if the statement did not include burisma and 2016 election, it would not have any credibility. is that right? >> that's correct. >> now, this was the same rudy giuliani that president trump was discussing in that may 23rd meeting and asked you to -- you and the others to talk to, correct? >> that is the same mr. giuliani. >> and even at that point on may 23rd, you were aware of these investigations that he was publicly promoting, correct? >> i knew that he had adopted or was interested in all of those conspiracy theories that had come from lutsenko. >> back in may you knew that. >> back in may. >> now, he was insisting on a public commitment from president zelensky to do these investigations, correct? >> well, now what do we mean by "these investigations"? >> burisma, the 2016 election. >> burisma and 2016, yes. >> and at the time that you were
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engaged in coordinating for this statement, did you find it unusual that there was such an emphasis on a public statement from president zelensky to carry out the investigations that the president was seeking? >> i didn't find it that unusual. i think when you're dealing with a situation where i believe the president was highly skeptical about president zelensky being committed to really changing ukraine after his entirely negative view of the country, that he would want to hear something more from president zelensky to be convinced that, okay, i'll give this guy a chance. >> and he -- perhaps he also wanted a public statement because it would lock president zelensky in to do these investigations that he thought might benefit him? >> well, again, when we say "these investigations," what i understood us to be talking about was ukrainian corruption. >> well, what we're talking about is burisma and the 2016 election. >> correct. yes. >> we caning about these
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investigations, wasn't it clear that a public statement would be important to mr. giuliani because it was politically useful to the president? >> the way i saw it is that it would be helpful. >> right. >> it would be a way of being convincing to mayor juligiuliand also the president that this team in crew eyou canukraine ist fighting corruption, reform, they'll be different. if that would be helpful in getting a measuore positive atte and white house meeting scheduled, that would be useful. >> that would be helpful to get the white house meeting. >> correct. >> it was an unnecessary condition -- >> i wouldn't have called it an unnecessary condition. in fact, when it became clear later that we were not able to agree on an agreement that the ukrainians were comfortable with, i agreed with ukraine just to drop it, it's not worth it. >> i understand that. is it your testimony that based on the text that you wrote linking the investigations and the 2016 election on july 25th to the white house meeting, you're saying that by this point
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in august with this back and forth that you were unaware that this public statement was a condition for the white house meeting? >> i wouldn't have called it a condition. it's a nuance, i guess, but i viewed it as very helpful if we could get this done, it would help improve the perception that president trump and others had and then we would get the date for a meeting. if we didn't have a statement, i wasn't giving up and thinking that, oh, well then we'll never get a meeting. >> let's go to the next day where there's another text exchange, and at the top, could you just read the first -- >> yes. >> -- text there? >> it says, "hi, andrey. good talking. following his text with insert at the end for the two key items. we will work on official request." >> then you'll see the highlighted portion of the next text. the other is identical to your previous one and then it just adds -- >> that includes that. correct. >> "including those involving burisma and the 2016 elections." is that right? >> that's correction.
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>> that's what mr. giuliani insisted on adding to the statement? >> that's what he said would be necessary for that to be credible. >> and the ukrainians ultimately did not issue this statement, right? >> that is correct. >> president zelensky ultimately did not get the oval office meeting either, did he? >> not yet. >> now, i want to move forward to september, and early september, when the security assistance begins to more overtly be used as leverage to pressure the ukrainians to conduct these investigations that president trump wanted. mr. morrison, you accompanied vice president pence to warsaw when he met with president zelensky, is that right? >> i was in warsaw when the vice president was designated as the president's representative. i was accompanying ambassador bolton. >> understood. you were at the bilateral meeting with the vice president and president zelensky, correct? >> i was. >> and in that meeting, were the
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ukrainians concerned about the hold on security clearance -- security clearance? military assistance, rather. >> yes. yes. >> what did they say? >> it was the first issue that president zelensky raised with vice president pence. they were very interested. they talked about its importance to ukraine. its importance to their relationship. >> and what was vice president pence's response? >> the vice president represented that it was a priority for him and that we were working to address and he characterized president trump's concerns about the state of corruption in ukraine and the president's prioritization of getting the europeans to contribute more to security sector assistance. >> and did he directly explain
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to the ukrainians that those -- that those were the actual reasons for the hold or was he just commenting on general concerns of the president? >> i don't know that he necessarily acknowledged a hold. he mentioned that we were reviewing the assistance. that's the way i heard it. that's the way i would characterize it. and -- and those were the points he raised to help president zelensky understand where we were in our process. >> and to your knowledge, though, on sort of the staff level, as the coordinator of all the interagency process, you were not aware of any review of the ukraine security assistance money, were you? >> well, we were -- we had been running a review. we had been running an interagency process to provide the president the information that i had been directed to generate for the president's consideration, as to the state
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of interagency support for continuing ukraine security seconder assistance. >> and the entire interagency supported the continuation of the security assistance, isn't that right? >> that is correct. >> now, after this larger meeting with vice president pence and president zelensky, you testified at your deposition that you saw ambassador sondland immediately go over and pull andrey yermak aside and have a conversation, is that right? >> i mean, president zelensky left the room, vice president pence left the room, and in sort of an ante room, ambassador sondland and presidential adviser yermak had this discussion, yes. >> what did ambassador sondland tell you that he told mr. yermak? >> that the ukrainians would have to have the prosecutor general make a statement with respect to the investigations as a condition of having the aid lifted. >> you testified that you were not comfortable with what ambassador sondland had told
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you. why not? >> well, i was concerned about what i saw as essentially an additional hurdle to accomplishing what i had been directed to help accomplish which was giving the president the information he needed to determine that the security sector assistance could go forward. >> so now there's a whole other wrinkle to it, right? >> there was the appearance of one, based on what ambassador sondland represented. >> you told ambassador taylor about this conversation as well, is that right? >> i promptly reached out to ambassador taylor to schedule a secure phone call. >> and in your deposition, you testified that his testimony, other than one small distinction between president zelensky and the prosecutor general, was accurate as to what you told him, is that correct? >> about that conversation, yes. >> and generally speaking, you confirmed everything that ambassador taylor told you except for that one thing and a small other ministerial matter relating to the location of a meeting, is that correct? >> correct. >> now, did you tell ambassador
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bolton about this conversation as well? >> i reached out to him as well and requested his availability for a secure phone call. >> and what was his response when you explained to him what ambassador sondland had said? >> tell the lawyers. >> did you go tell the lawyers? >> when i returned to the states, yes. >> and did he explain to you why he wanted you to tell the lawyers? >> he did not. >> now, a few days later on september 7th, you spoke, again, to ambassador sondland who teld y told you he'd just gotten off the phone with president trump. isn't that right? >> that sounds correct, yes. >> what did ambassador sondland tell you that president trump said to him? >> if i recall this conversation correctly, this was where ambassador sondland related that there was no quid pro quo but president zelensky had to make the statement and that he had to want to do it. >> and by that point, did you understand that the statement related to the biden and 2016
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investigations? >> i think i did, yes. >> and that that was essentially a condition for the security assistance to be released? >> i understood that that's what ambassador sondland believed. >> after speaking with president trump? >> that's what he represented. >> now, you testified that hearing this information gave you a sinking feeling. why was that? >> well, i believe if we're on september 7th, the end of the fiscal year, september 30th, these are one-year dollars, the d.o.d. and the department of state funds, so we only had so much time and in fact because congress imposed a 15-day notification requirement on the state depend funds september 30th and that really means september 15th in order to secure a decision from the president to allow the fouunds go forward? >> did you tell ambassador bolton about this? yes. >> he said to tell the lawyers.
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>> he why did he say to tell the lawyers? >> he did not, plain. >> he doesn't tell you to go tell the lawyers because you're running up on the eight-day deadline there, right? >> again, i don't know why he directed that, but it seemed reasonable and consistent with what i was going to do anyway. >> and you weren't going to go tell them because of that concern, right? you were concerned about what you were hearing ambassador sondland relay to you, correct? >> correct. >> so, just so we're clear, you heard two concerning conversations that you had to ambassador sondland to the lawyers in early september in which you understood from him that the president was withholding security assistance as additional leverage to get ukraine to publicly announce the specific political investigations that president trump had discussed on the july 25th call, is that accurate? >> i was concerned about what ambassador sondland was saying were requirement, yes. >> you understood that the investigations that ambassador sondland was referring to were
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the two that president trump referenced on the july 25th call, correct? >> by this point, yes. >> during this early september time period, mr. morrison, did you have conversations with ambassador volker about any of this? >> i believe we had one conversation. >> and what do you recall about that conversation? >> believe on or about september 6th ambassador volker was in town to provide an update on some of his activities and he provided that update and then we had a one-on-one conversation about this -- this track, this separate process. >> and what do you recall saying to him about the separate process? >> i -- i think i was interested in understanding his -- his understanding of events. >> did you explain to him what your understanding of events was? >> i think i was primarily on receive mode. >> okay. ambassador volker, do you recall this conversation? >> thank you. i -- i do remember a conversation with tim.
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i'm not sure about the timing. i left around that time to go on a trip and so it may have been a little bit earlier. i'm not sure about the timing and what i do remember the discussion being is tim asking me what is my impression of the role that ambassador sondland plays? and my response to that was -- well, i find it helpful that he has political contacts in the white house. i don't have those contacts. i'm working the national security and the diplomatic front and i don't have the political contacts, and so if he's able to use those to support the same goals that we are working toward then i view that as helpful. >> well, that's a good segway to the next exhibit which is the september 8th text exchange between you and ambassador taylor and ambassador sondland and at the top ambassador sondland says guys are multiple convos with z, that's zelensky,
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period potus, let's talk and ambassador taylor about 15, 16 minutes later, gordon and i just spoke. i can brief you, meaning you ambassador volker if you and gordon don't connect. approximately one hour later ambassador taylor says the nightmare is they give the interview and don't get the security assistance. the russians love it, and i quit and then at the bottom about five hours later. how do you respond. >> i'm not in the loop. talk monday? >> you were not in the loop in terms of all of these conversations that ambassador taylor, mr. morrison and ambassador sondland were having? >> yes, that's correct. >> now ultimately the hold was lifted on september 11th, is that right, ambassador volker? >> that's my understanding. >> mr. morrison, were you aware that prior to septemberth that there was a whistle-blower complaint circulating around the white house? >> i don't believe so. no. >> but you were aware of a request to preserve records, were you not?
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>> i -- we -- we received a number of those requests. i have a general recollection as one related to ukraine. >> one final question. >> when was the hold lifted? >> as i understand it, the president gave that direction the evening of september 11th. >> which was two days after congress announced the investigation? >> were you aware of that? >> believe i was aware of the three-committee chairman. >> that concludes the 45 minutes and before i turn to the minority are you both and your counsel okay or do you need a break? okay. ranking member nunes, you're recognized for 45 minutes. >> well, ambassador and mr. morrison, i have some bad news for you. tv ratings are way down, way down. don't hold it personally. it's not you guys. whatever drug deal they're cooking up you're on the deus and the american people aren't buying it. i know you both answered this in
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your opening statement, but i just want to bring a little more clarity to it. mr. morrison, i'll start with you. did anyone ever ask you to bribe or export anyone at any time during your time in the white house? >> no, sir. >> and you were the top person for ukraine in the white house, correct? at the nsc level? >> i would argue ambassador bolton would be. >> reporting to ambassador bolton. i was senior official. yes, sir. >> you have a stored career and we thank you for your service and you were ambassador to ukraine? >> that's correct. >> did anyone at the white house ever ask you to bribe or extort anything out of anyone at any time? >> no, sir. >> thank you. i want to thank you both for being here and i'll yield to mr. caster. >> thank you, mr. nunes. thank you both for being here today and for participating in the lengthy depositions and
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ambassador volker you were the first one on october 3rd and mr. morrison you were with us on halloween and thank you for your participation. mr. morrison, i also want to thank you. you are a longtime hill staffer. i certainly have appreciation for that, nearly 20 years. so thank you, and ambassador volker, a pennsylvania resident? >> absolutely. >> that's an incredible part of the country. >> very proud of it. >> i'm from nearby. i just want to walk through some of your positions. you were a senate confirmed ambassador to nato, is that correct? >> that's correct. and you were at state department and your portfolio spanned much of what i believe george kent has currently? >> i was the assistant secretary so i am working for the assistant secretary and had all of europe, asia and had particular responsibility for western nato and the european union. >> and you were involved with the national security council. you were the director for nato
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of western europe? >> that is correct. >> and then you were the senior director for european and eurasian affairs? >> i was acting for several months, six months or so in that capacity. >> mr. morrison had -- and we'll note that all of the witnesses that we've interacted with have heaped praise on you. ambassador yovanovitch has said you're a career diplomat and has had very high praise, and that is correct? >> and you served for free? >> that is correct. >> you served on a voluntary basis? >> i did. >> and you put a lot of time and effort into that job, didn't you? >> yes, i did. >> the taxpayers certainly got their money's worth, didn't they? >> not for me to say. [ laughter ] >> and you believe america's policy for ukraine has tenured
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as raptive? . >> absolutely. we did an awful lot to support ukraine. >> is that due to president trump. >> president trump approved each of the decisions made along the way, providing lethal defensive equipment and the non-recognition statement with crimea being two of the most important ones. >> and for many years there had been an initiative in the inner agency to advocate for lethal defensive weaponry for ukraine, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> it wasn't until president trump and his administration that that went through? >> that is correct. >> the delegation to president zelensky's inauguration in may, i believe you testified it was one of the largest delegations? >> i believe it was. i can't be 100% sure, but i believe it was the large of the national delegation. >> included in the delegation was secretary perry.
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>> secretary perry, ambassador sondland, myself, senator ron johnson was there, and also the affair at the u.s. embassy at the time joe pennington. >> okay. the -- we talked a little bit this morning, but president zelensky's inauguration came together rather quickly? >> it did. we had three days' notice in which to put the delegation together? >> there was discussion as to whether the vice president would lead that effort and as it turned out he was not able to lead it. do you have information as to why the vice president was unable to join? >> i don't. >> mr. morrison, do you have any information as to why the vice president was unable to participate in the delegation? >> no. >> ambassador volker, you testified during your deposition that aid, in fact, does get held up from time to time for a whole
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assortment of reasons. is that your understanding? >> that is true. >> sometimes the holdups are rooted in something at omb, sometimes it's at the defense department, sometimes it's at the state department and sometimes it's on the hill, correct? >> that is correct. >> and so when the aid was held up for 55 days for ukraine, that didn't in and of itself strike you as uncommon. >> no. it's something that had happened in my career in the past. i've seen holdups of assistance. i just assumed it was part of the decision making progress, someone had an objection and we had to overcome it. >> in fact, there were concerns that perhaps president zelensky wasn't going to be the reformer that he campaigned on? >> that was a sub session that i made because of the meeting with the president on may 23rd. i thought that could be what's behind it. >> and in fact the aid was
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lifted shortly after he was able to convene at parliament? >> i believe he -- let me get the day straight. i believe he was able to convene on the 8th of september. >> when he was able to convene a parliament he was able to push through anti-corruption initiatives. >> than began with the parliament seated on that day and it continued for some time. >> that was annen are encouraging sign? >> it started off in a very encouraging way, yes. >> and other than these things going on in the background with the pause in the aid the u.s. relations with ukraine, you testified, are -- you stated it was about as good as you'd want them to be? >> can you repeat the question? i'm sorry. >> you testified at your deposition that once the aid was lifted, despite all of the things going on in the background that u.s.-ukrainian relations were strong and where you'd want them to be. >> yes. yes.
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>> you referenced that the security sector assistance was lifted and any hold on that, that there was a positive meeting in new york. >> that's correct. >> -- at the unga, and there was momentum in putting pressure on the russians, is that correct? >> that is correct. in your deposition you made it clear that president trump had a deep-rooted negative view in ukraine and their corruption environment? >> yes. >> and you first became aware of his views back in september 2017? >> that's correct. >> can you tell us about that? >> yes. in september 2017 i was invited by secretary tillerson to do a pre-brief with president trump before his meeting with president poroshenko on the general assembly. i did the pre-brief and i took part in the bilateral meeting. >> and so long before president zelensky was elected, president trump had a negative view of -- >> yes. he had a very strongly negative
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view. >> back in 2017, do you remember anything he said or did that gave you a feeling that he had these negative feelings? >> yes. i want to be very careful here because this was a bilateral meeting between the two presidents and i don't want to strain the classified material, but i can tell you my impression is that he had a strongly negative view of ukraine at the time. >> fair enough. and you described the president's skepticism at your deposition as a reasonable position? >> yes. and i believe you said most people who know anything about ukraine would possibly think that? >> yes. >> and you viewed it as part of your role that helped change his mind that president zelensky was a genuine reformer and he wasn't running for office for self-enrichment. that he was, indeed, a good person. >> that's correct.
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>> during the may 23rd meeting with the president in the oval office, could you just relate to us the concerns the president articulated with the ukraine. >> the president came into the meeting and immediately started speaking. he had just a string of comments that ukraine is a terrible place. they're all corrupt and they're terrible people and they tried to take me down. i tried to explain along with the others that were there. each of us took turns speaking. i tried to explain that president zelensky agrees with you. he was elected because of that situation in ukraine and he has a strong mandate from the people of ukraine to change it, and that's why it's important that we actually show him very strong support now, but the president was not convinced and he said that zelensky is no different, that he has terrible people
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around him, you know, it's not what i hear about ukraine, what we're telling him. you know, i hear nothing has changed. talk to rudy. that kind of dialogue as i described. >> and when the president said that the ukrainians tried to take him down, did you have any good what he was referring to? >> i did. i believe he was referring to the rumors of efforts interfering in the 2016 election by providing damaging information about the election or paul manafort to the hillary clinton campaign and that was one of the rumors that had been out there and had gotten some support from the ukrainian prosecutor general. >> to the best of your knowledge the president genuinely believed that, right? >> i believe hes concerned about it. i don't know what he actually believed, but he brought it up. >> okay. mr. morrison, you were also aware of the president's
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skeptical view of foreign aid, generally? >> yes. >> and that there was an initiative that he was looking at foreign aid pretty broadly in. >> yes. >> and trying to scrutinize to make sure the u.s. taxpayers were getting their money's worth? >> yes. >> and the president was also interested, was he not, in a better understanding opportunities for increased burden sharing among the europeans? >> yes. >> and what can you tell us about that? >> the president was concerned that the united states seemed to bear the exclusive brunt of security assistance to ukraine. he wanted to see the europeans step up and contribute more security assistance. >> and was there any inner agency activity whether it be with the state department or the defense department in coordination with the national security council to look into that for the president? >> we were sur vague the data to understand who was contributing
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what and sort of in what categories. >> and so the president, he concerns the inner agency tried to address them. >> by late august, we just discussed, and it could give some hope that he'd be able to push through some of these reforms rjs and during this 55-day period when the aid was paused, do you think eid be able to strain ooh and to get the president to lift the aid? >> yes. in fact, you -- you traveled with ambassador bolton to the ukraine right around labor day weekend, correct? >> yes. >> and you met with president
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zelensky on, i believe, it was august 29th? >> ambassador bolton had a meeting with president zelensky and i staffed that meeting. >> and that's right around the time that rata had met and they started to push through their reforms? >> as i recall the date of the meeting between ambassador bolton and president zelensky was the new day of the new rata. >> and some of these reforms included naming a new prosecutor general. a brand-new cabinet. yes. >> and they pushed through some legislation that eliminated members, and i believe you provided some color into this experience, this meeting and you said that the ukrainian his been up all night working on some of these legislative initiatives. >> yes. the ukrainians with whom we met were by all periods exhausted by the activity.
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>> was ambassador bolton encouraged by the activity? >> yes, he was. >> was the meeting altogether favorable? >> quite. >> and at that point in time after the meeting ambassador bolton, did he head off to warsaw with the vice president or did he just -- i know you went to warsaw. >> well, we had a few stops between ukraine and poland, but yes, ambassador bolton proceeded to warsaw where we were expecting to ensure everything was staged properly for the president's arrival. >> and did you have an opportunity to brief the vice president on -- >> i did not. >> did ambassador bolton? >> he did. >> what do you remember from what ambassador bolton shared with the vice president about the zelensky meeting? >> i was not there. the issue i remember most starkly was ambassador was quite annoyed that ambassador sondland crashed the pre-brief, but the
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ambassador had everything he needed to ensure that either the president or the vice president were well prepared. >> but did you brief ambassador bolton before he had an opportunity to meet with the vice president? i didn't need to. >> ambassador bolton was there. >> as far as you know ambassador bolton communicated that the goings on were positive? >> at this time, ambassador bolton was advocating for the lifting of the aid? >> he had been for some time, yes. and did you participate in the warsaw meetings? >> we had a reduced schedule from what had been arranged for the president for the vice president, but the vice president met with president duda of poland and i participated in both meetings. >> what do you remember from the meetings with president zelensky? >> it seemed very positive.
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>> president zelensky raised the issue of the aid, right? >> yes. >> how did the vice president respond? >> he represented his support for the aid. he represented the strong commitment of the united states to ukraine and he explained that president trump, because this is after the politico article had come out that made clear there was a hold, he explained that what we were doing, the united states government and the inner agency was examining what more europe could do in the security space and taking a look at how ukraine was reforming what has been a history of corruption. >> and was there any discussion during the meeting with president zelensky on the part of the vice president about any of these investigations we've come to talk about? >> no. >> so burisma wasn't raised? >> no. >> 2016 election wasn't raised?
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>> no. >> and the vice president didn't mention any investigations at all, did he? >> no. >> you mentioned the august 28th politico article. was that the first time that you believe the ukrainians may have had a real sense that the aid was on hold? >> yes. so from the 55-day period spanning july 18th through september 11th, it didn't really become public until august 28th? >> that's correct. ambassador taylor and i had a number of phone calls where we, in fact, talked about did the ukrainians know yet because we both felt very strongly that it was important that we ensure that the president was able to make the decision to release the aid before the ukrainians found out about it. >> ambassador volker. is that also your recollection? >> yes, it is. that it wasn't until the political article? >> that's correct. i received a text message from
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one of my ukrainian counterparts on may 29th forwarding the article and that was the first they shared it with me. >> can you share with us about your communications during that time period about withholing the aid? >> yes. i didn't have any communications with the ukrainians about the hold on aid until after they raised it with me for the same reason that tim just gave in the hope that we could get it taken care of ourselves before it became something that they became aware of. inside the u.s. government i was aware that the hold was placed -- i was aware of that on july 18th. it was referenced that an inner agency meeting and i got a readout, and i then immediately spoke with several people in the administration to object. i thought this was a bad decision or a bad hold and maybe not a decision, but a process and all of the arguments were marshalled to get it lifted and
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i spoke with the assistant state department and they were going to have the state department and i believe i spoke with the bureau and the national security council staff. so i was actively trying to convey that this needed to be lifted, and i wanted them to be able to use my name in doing so because i felt that the best prospect for positioning ourselves for negotiations with russia is the strongest defense capability for ukraine. >> and during this time period did you come to believe that any of these investigations were part of the holdup in the aid? >> no, i did not. >> backtracking in july 3rd you met in toronto with president zelensky and there's been some, you know, ambassador taylor and mr. kebnt provided some information that part of this
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irregular channel that ambassador taylor referenced would -- would rear its head in toronto. i'm just wondering if you can tell us whether that, in fact, happened. >> yes. thank you. >> i can only tell you what i know. there may have been other conversations or other things, but i know that we had a conversation, bill taylor and i believe gordon sondland, i believe, around the 28th of june that later was a conversation with president zelensky, although i may not have been part of the latter. that being said, i was convinced after that conversation we'd gotten nowhere. we had a white house briefing on president trump on may 23rd and he signed a letter on may 29th and for several weeks we were just temperizing with the ukrainians saying we're working on it. it's a scheduling issue. we'll get there. don't worry, and i told bill and
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gordon that i was going to see president zelensky in toronto. i feel an obligation to tell him the truth. we have a problem here and we're not getting a date scheduled and here's where i think the problem is and it's the negative information flow from mayor giuliani and that he would -- i read also that i would advise him that he should call president trump personally because he needed to renew that personal relationship and be able to convey to president trump about fighting corruption that happened in the past and so forth. so i did all of that with president zelensky in after a formal, bilateral meeting. >> okay. during that meeting in stront owe or the series of meetings, was there no discussion of preconditions and invest gagds or preconditions or anything of that sort? >> no. you were there with mr. kent? >> yes. i believe so. >> did you have discussions with him about pre-conditions or
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investigations? >> not at that time. later on these things came up when we were talking about a statement whether there were investigation, but i believe at this time in toronto it was more referring to investigations generically that that is how you go about fighting corruption and president zelensky should reaffirm his commitment to president trump in a direct phone call. okay. at any point in time had mr. kent raised any concerns to you about any of this? >> not at that time. >> next event i want to cover is the july 10th meeting at ambassador bottom's office and talked a little bit about it this morning and i don't know if you caught the coverage, but there was testimony that at some point ambassador sondland mentioned investigations and reportedly that the meeting ended abruptly. what can you tell us about that fact? >> thank you. let me ask you that question,
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and i would like to go back to the question, if i may, but on the july 10th meeting, this was a meeting that we had arranged between alex demmeliuk and the national security adviser bolton. attending to the meeting was also secretary perry, ambassador sondland, myself, i believe fiona hill and also andre yermak. the purpose was a counter part visit. i thought that this would be the first opportunity and the first high-level meeting that we were having in washington with a senior u.s. official ambassador bolton after president zelensky's inauguration. i thought it would be a great opportunity for the ukrainians to make their case. they are the new team in town, real deal about fighting corruption. >> i was rather disappointed with the meeting as it trance transpired and it was about
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reform of national security structures in ukraine and legislation that they were working on and not the big picture and not the bilateral relationship. so i was a bit disappointed by that. >> at the end of the meeting, i do recall seeing some of the testimony and i believe ambassador sondland did it in a generic way and i think all of us taught it was -- the conversation did not pick up. the meeting was over and we had a picture taken inside of the white house and all of this, ambassador bolton went to the war room about how do we follow up tp keep the relationship, and i remember having a conversation
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with secretary perry and one of his assistance, and i don't recall following up on investigations or burisma. >> and to the best of your knowledge, there was certainly no pre-condition discussed, right? >> no. no. again, the issue of the security assistance was one where i thought that this was really related to a general negative view about ukraine. there was nothing specific ever communicated to me about it or the reasons why it was held and we certainly didn't want to talk about it with the ukrainians. we wanted to fix it. >> okay. >> and a couple of weeks later the july 25th phone call happened and you were headed to ukraine during that time period? >> yes. i was actually already on my way to ukraine i think two days prior to that. >> and you received readouts
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both from the u.s. side and the ukrainian side. can you tell us about that? >> i was not on the phone call. i had arrived from ukraine and i'd had the lunch with mr. yermak on the day of the phone call. i'd been pushing for the phone call because i thought it was important to renew the personal connection between the two leaders and to congratulate president zelensky on the parliamentary election. the readout that i received from mr. yermak and on the u.s. side, although i'm not sure who it was on the u.s. side, but there was a, crani ukrainian and u.s. read out. it was a congratulatory phone call for the president winning the parliamentary election. president zelensky did reiterate his commitment to fighting reform and corruption in ukraine and president trump did reiterate his invitation to president zelensky to come to visit him in the white house. it's exactly what i thought the phone call would be so i was not surprised as getting that as the
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readout. >> did you ever have any discussions with ambassador taylor about this? >> at that time we were together in ukraine at that time. we went the very next day to visit the conflict zone, and i'm sure he heard the same readout that did i. >> you had a meeting with president zelensky on the tricksth? >> we had the meeting before heading out to conflict zones. >> weren't they about the call with president zelensky and only the bare bones readout how i was received and that's what i remember of president zelensky. president trump zelensky was -- let me turn that around and say he was very positive about the phone call. i don't recall him saying anything about demand, but he was upbeat about the phone call.
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>> there was no discussion on the part of president zelensky about how to navigate the concerns -- >> i don't recall. >> things that people are the articulated about the call? >> i don't remember that. >> mr. zeldin asked you in the deposition in any way, shape or form in readouts from the united states or ukraine did you receive any indication whatsoever or anything that resembled a quid pro quo, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> and the same would -- would go for this new allegation of bribery? i've only seen an allegation of bribery in the last week. >> it's the same comment and instead of quid pro quo it is bribery. >> i've never been involved in bribery at all. >> or extortion? >> or extortion. >> mr. castor, may i address two specific points? >> of course. one is i am reminded that the
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meeting with ambassador bolton took place on july 10th and i did not become aware of the withholding of security assistance until july 18th and that was another reason why that did not come up. >> at that point in time you did not know that the potential pause in the security assistance was brewing? >> i did not, no. i heard about it for the first time on the 18th of july. may i make a second observation, as well? >> absolutely. >> i do remember having seen some of the testimony of mr. kent a conversation in which he had asked me about the conspiracy theories that were out there in ukraine. i don't remember what the date of this conversation was, and my view was well, if there are things like that then why not investigate them? i don't believe that there's anything to them. if there is 2016 election interfere sense what i was thinking about, and i didn't think anything there to begin
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with. >> do you believe the ukrainians were going to investigate other ukrainians for wrongdoing that was perfectly acceptable? >> correct. that was u.s. policy for years. >> if there were ukrainians involved in the burisma company -- >> that, i think, is the only plausible thing to look at there. as i said, i don't find it plausible or credible that vice president biden would have been influenced in his duty, but individual ukrainians in the society that ukraine has been for decades were trying to act in a corrupt way or to buy it, that's plausible. >> deputy assistant secretary kent last wednesday told us about there was an investigation into burisma trying to recoop taxpayer dollars and there was a bribe paid. were you tracking that? >> i was aware of those kinds of things. i couldn't give you those kinds of details.
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i just know that there was a reputation around the company. >> okay. >> and sew subsequent to the -- to those facts and the bribe being paid, the burisma company wanted to improve their image and added some folks to their board including the president of poland and hunter biden. are you familiar with that? >> that's what i understand. >> and to the extent the ukrainians and the folks affiliated with burisma wanted to hire those people for their board for protection purposes so they could continue to engage in misdeeds, if that was a fact worth investigating you certainly would be supportive of ukrainians trying to get to the bottom of that, correct? >> 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
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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 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
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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. 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
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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 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
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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. >> 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
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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 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
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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. >> 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
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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. 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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. >> 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
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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 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
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first. we are in recess.
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come to order. we are not going to proceed to a 15-minute round by either chair majority or minority. mr. goldman you would be recognized for. >> i want to correct the record from the first round, you were right to point out, you asked if i read e 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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?
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>> 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 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
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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 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
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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 beeve she accurately 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?
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>> 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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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.
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>> 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 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
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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. 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
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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 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
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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 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?
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>> 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? >> 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
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channel that ambassador taylor coined, in his deposition testimony, did you ever have an opportunity to close the loop with him about any concerns 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
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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 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
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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, 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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.
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>> 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 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
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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 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
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his rival investigated? >> no. >> mr. morrison, i'm sorry? >> i yield to the ranking member. >> you took a two additional 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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. 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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.
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>> 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 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
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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 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
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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 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.
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>> 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 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
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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 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?
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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 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
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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 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 --
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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 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
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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 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.
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>> 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 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.
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>> 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 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?
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>> 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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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.
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>> 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 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
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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 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?
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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 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
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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. >> 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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.
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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 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
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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 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 some of the very people that were going to find out if we have an already with this whole russian collusion hoax. i want to say, you did a great job with president zelensky's intention and what you say that's accurate? >> yes, in fact one of the key facts of the litigation of the inauguration to take your own
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judgment. >> that's what your job should be. you got comfortable with this president correct? >> yes i did. >> you work to assure our president that you are comfortable with this? correct? >> that's correct. >> in some ways new had to work sometimes with any means available and that might include working with rudy giuliani if it could be helpful to get that advice to the president, would not be correct? >> the message is being conveyed by giuliani because they were -- they were at variance with the message to what the president was and not conveying that assessment that we had. i thought it was important to step in and fix the problem. >> with that i think you turned a useful barometer of where things were. >> the barometers can come in a lot of different fashions like dennis robin in north korea and i think you've got a friend. if
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they can help to cause and in that situation, it's a good job ambassador and thank you very much. >> miss spear. >> chairman, thank you and thank you both for your participation and for your service. all in a takeout 30,000 feet for a minute and talk about cover-up's. but for the fact that the whistleblower came forward and we didn't know anything about this but for the fact that the inspector general of the cia founded to be urgent and credible and he would know anything about it and mr. morrison and he said that after you heard the call he went directly to the attorneys and the security council and recommended that they be limited access and they were put into a special server. the white house has not released any documents whatsoever to
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this committee do you mr. volker thank you but for the fact that you as a private citizen with your own personal phone and you're text messages with mr. giuliani and sondland i mister my yak and whoever else. for those text messages that we've been putting up on screen all day, we would have nothing. nothing. this cover-up would be complete. that is something we should think about. now, on july 19th, you had breakfast with rudy giuliani at the trump hotel, correct? >> that's correct. >> in that conversation at one point he brought up mr. was saying go and let's send goat was saying was not credible. massacre act? >> yes. you >> brought up mr. biden and
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i've known him for a long time and he's a person of integrity to giuliani. he's simply not credible to me and joe biden would be influenced in his duties as vice president by money hour for his son or anything like that. we've had many discussions over the last few days about these investigations into burisma and biden and the 2016 crowdstrike server. you in that conversation with mr. giuliani basically debunked all of that. ipad time at that breakfast who else was with you at that breakfast? >> there was someone that giuliani brought along and it was someone we learned a lot about soon stead. >> mr. look parnas was at this lunch and mr. parnas was
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indicted for campaign contribution to president trump's political committee. is that correct? >> i haven't seen that. >> on may 23rd, you were in that discussion with the president and at one point he referred to zelensky adding terrible people around him. who do you think he was calling terrible people around him? >> there were two people that came to mind. one of them was a former investigative journalist name yuriy lutsenko who is seen as bringing forth the black ledger for paul manafort sector and ukraine and the other person that it was referred to was a person who is being named president zelensky's chief of administration andre poked on.
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he was a lawyer for one of the oligarchs and a lot of controversy at the time. >> do you think of the most terrible people? i >> don't think either one of them is terrible people. >> thank you. mr. morrison, earlier and a testimony that we had from our colleagues on the other side of the aisle, you indicated that others had represented to you that colonel ben men leaked. tomorrow saying that? >> yes ma'am. >> all right, colonel vindman this morning under oath said that he did not and does not leak. now, what you therefore want to make a brief rearrange of your comments of the references you made to colonel vindman? >> no ma'am. >> even though under oath he said that he has never leaked do, you believe that people who
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said to you that he may have leaked. >> ma'am, i didn't believe or disbelieve that's what they told me. >> that's what they told you and then you decided to continue to put that forward even though you had no evidence. no >> ma'am. i'm sorry, if i could answer. that is incorrect. dr. hill, he rough and others raise concerned and they were noted and i took them for face value and i was on alert and i had my own judgments and took no judgments at that i couldn't independently validate. >> mr. stewart. >> thank you gentlemen and welcome to the impeachment-palooza 2019 which is the democratic plan to tell
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america to impeach president donald j trump to the sheer force because it's been a long day and it turns out it's very boring if you don't have anything compelling or get any evidence. good news is bad news. i'll be very brief undergoing on ten plus hours on this. i will yield back some of my time because most of my colleagues after me won't. so we've soaks got some time to go. ambassador volker, very quickly. do you think that someone should be immune from investigations on the suspect of ethical or criminal activity just because they were a candidate for office or 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 address that and what if someone was was a ethical or criminal investigations overseas in the country. would it be improper to seek the host countries help which we entered
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poll or any other law enforcement? >> there are channels for doing that for american citizens in the crimes abroad. >> again, the host nation in their governments help is not unusual at all? >> we often have treaties for that. >> thank you. that's painfully obvious so all the things that the president was doing. mr. morrison, i want to go to colonel vindman's testimony where he described the six people i believe it was five or six people in a situation where he listed the phone call between the two presidents. vindman described the succession and said there was no reason to question the integrity or professionalism. this is the exchange he had it in close testimony. do you agree with the description of the national security? >> they are patriots, yes. >> great integrity and professionalism? yes >> sir.
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>> do any -- did any of these exceptional individuals -- people of unquestionable integrity and professionalism indicate that the president of the united states was not engaged in any illegal or unethical behavior as a result of this phone call? >> not that i'm aware of congressman. >> did they suggest to you in any way that they thought the president was involved in bribery or anything associated with that? i'm >> not aware congressman. >> at only leaves two possible explanations of these individuals that we described as integrity, either that's not true that i will don't believe or they just determined an ambiguous conversation that colonel vindman. just as a side of an air force officer we don't know why president obama was against legal aid and why they refused to do that. >> i would only point to the statement of the administration at the time. there. was a
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perception that our allies that germany would oppose it and perception that germany should be in the lead and that it could be provocative to russia or de-escalate the conflict. as i've said extensively at the time, as i don't agree with those arguments and the record is out that the defensive arms are very important. >> i agree with you ambassador you've got a right in the president got a right and with that i yield back. >> mr. quigley >> thank you mister chairman. ambassador, i want to direct your attention to the meeting you had with ambassador taylor and you are back in keith. remember the meeting sir? >> it was about the time of the u.s. conference. do you remember discussing with mr. yermak you ukraine intend to investigate their former
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president mr. yuriy lutsenko. i >> remember the possibility of prosecution. >> they raised it and you talked about it. >> excuse me congressman i'm sorry. 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. i had met with the president before any opposition as well. i wanted to call mr. earmarks attention to the problems and i'm very familiar with other examples that have gone for prosecutions of the former government. these have created deep divisions in the society. so i cited president zelensky's inauguration speech -- i'm sorry, his national speech from august 24th and it was all about unifying the country. i cautioned mr. yermak
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saying that pursuing prosecution of president pushing go risks deepening the opposite of president zelensky as he wants to do. it's >> fair to describe that you discouraged him from such action? >> i discouraged him on the potential impact and what was mr. yermak's response. >> i am professionals in saying that an -- >> ambassador taylor and mr. kent. >> based on that testimony there would be like asking us to have a saint clinton biden. it >> was something along the lines of it's okay for you to ask us to investigate in the matter in which you are in these so-called investigations but you don't want us to investigate our own is that fair to describe it? >> i don't understand what he
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was referring to because it was looking to have as a clinton or biden so i was puzzled by the remark. >> did you investigate what he might have been asking anybody? >> i took it something of a deflection from a point i was making. >> and all this time -- mr. giuliani mentioned the biden investigation and mentioned biden over 50 times and 20 something times in the relationship with ukraine and it sir your curiosity? that you have now finally come to this point? >> i met with giuliani once and vice president biden and i maintained a clear distinction that ukraine investigating its own corruption would be fine and going beyond that to investigate the vice president is not fine. >> did you have any discussions
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with anyone in the state department or anywhere else and administration about concerns in two poroshenko. >> i raised this was ambassador taylor and we've been in some of the same meetings with the country team there. i don't remember whether i had racist with george can't or not. but it was something that we had discussed as part of our meetings in kiev at that time. >> i yield to the chairman. >> ambassador, we had this conversation when you urged ukrainians not to investigate and prosecute to the former president, their response was you mean like you're asking us to investigate the clinton and the bidens. that was the response? that's >> what i recall now from seeing them. you >> didn't understand that at the time but you are at the call record? you read the call record which makes more sense?
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>> yes. >> i was curious what sudden you said earlier when you said -- the 2016 conspiracy theory had no merit but you didn't see any harm if they wanted to investigate it. is that right? >> yes. >> don't they have enough legitimate option to investigate without spending time investigating a debunk conspiracy theory? >> there's all kinds of corruption's to investigate? >> you propose that new to this investigation with something without merit because this is part of an effort to fix the problem that giuliani was creating? i >> did not propose it. >> well, i think you said you are okay with it or in the statement we've seen to include it. because, if it would help the giuliani problem was at the thinking? >> that's correct. it threads the needle between what's reasonable for ukraine and resets the negative perception by mr. giuliani and the
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president then why not. >> this is what you described in your opening statement as an effort to see a problem and fix it. he's a clearly now ambassador volker, based on the september 25th call that you are not able to fix it? >> based on the transcripts released on the 25th, i can see now that there was a lot else going on with vice president biden at the time and the efforts that i was making or not in the context of what had already been discussed with the president on july 25th. >> it's fair to say you can fix the giuliani problem? >> that's correct. >> missed fanatic. >> thank you ambassador volker and four years of service and you're professional expertise and leadership on security issues and i want to thank mr. morrison for his great work on the house committee which i served and i want to start with the july 25th call between
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president trump and zelensky. mr. morrison you are on that call and there was no mention of withholding aid on alcohol, correct? >> correct. there >> was no quid pro quo, correct? >> correct. >> no bribery? >> correct. >> no extortion? >> correct. >> ambassador volker, i presume you were out on the call, is that correct? >> yes. >> in this tertiary readout ambassador from the withhold from aid? there >> was not. >> any reference to quid pro quo? >> no. >> extortion? >> there was not. i >> presume we got feedback from ukrainian counterparts on how that went. they mentioned the withhold? >> they did not. >> did they mention any quid pro quo? >> they did not. >> any bribery? >> they did not. >> in fact, the day after the call you met with president zelensky on july 26. in that
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meeting, he made no mention of quid pro quo. he made no pension of aid? >> no. >> bribery? >> no. >> the fact is that ukrainians were not even aware of this is that correct? >> the app. >> in the upcoming weeks you are in touch with the official duties and this included talking to ukrainians over the phone and,, by text and ukrainians never brought up the investigation into the bidens, zach wrecked? that's >> correct. >> they never brought up withholding of the aid? >> that's correct. they >> never brought up paraded -- quid pro quo bribery? >> they did after it appeared. >> until the political article dated not bring it up. you said in your closed-door deposition it never came up in conversation and i believe they had to trust in me that they would ask until it was really what they were worried about is, that correct? >> it is. >> as you pointed out, the
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ukrainians never even knew their foreign aid was on pause until the article was published in august. >> that's correct. >> they did not know during the call. >> that's correct. in >> fact, you had to correct chairman schiff on this timeline in the closed-door deposition. the chairman of this committee asked you, when they became aware that military assistance was being withheld for a reason you cannot explain, no one could explain, they were under greater pressure to give the president he asked for in the call. you answer ambassador volker to, my knowledge the, news about the hold on security assistance to not get to the ukrainian government circles as indicated to me by the current foreign minister and academic advisor in august. it's higher testimony? >> yes it is. >> chairman schiff also got the facts wrong again when he asked to do this. quote, at the point they learned about this pause, wouldn't they give -- wooden that give them the emergency to
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beat the president's quest on the bidens. you bad certain bass and volker, the ukrainians felt like they're going in the right direction and they had not done anything. they had not done anything on the investigation end quote. is in this the case ambassador volker at one point chairman schiff said to you, you are truly testifying but ambassador you are making this much more complicated than it has to be end quote. it's page 1:27 from the deposition. >> i remember that. >> the truth is the facts are they are not complicated. i will close up with two questions for both of you. did ukraine open investigation into biden's? mr. morrison? >> not to my knowledge. >> ambassador volker? >> not to my knowledge either. did >> either of you ever have any evidence of quid pro quo? mr. morrison? >> no man. >> ambassador volker? >> no ma'am. >> bribery? >> no ma'am. >> no. >> any evidence of treason? >> no ma'am. >> no evidence of treason.
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>> with that i yield back. (inaudible) mr. swalwell. >> mr. morrison, did ambassador bolton want the security hole lifted? he >> did. >> new testified that bolton had a one-on-one meeting with president trump in late august related to the ukraine assistance is, that correct? >> can you point to our testify to that. >> page two 66 you said bolton had a one-on-one meeting with president trump in august 2019, but the president was not ready to approve the release of the assistance, to remember that? >> 2:26? >> yes. two 66 and to 68. i'm asking you did that happen or did not? i >> want to be clear characterizing it. yes sir i see. >> you testified to that. what
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was the outcome of that meeting with bolton and trump? >> ambassador bolton was ready to approve the assistance. did >> ambassador both inform you for the end gone going ways of his speech? no >> sir. >> mr. morrison, do you consider yourself loyal to the president? >> yes sir. >> and the president executes before both feel you stated, how right? >> i would say he designs -- yes sir. >> as a staffer on national security council and someone who served in the military, it's your job to faithfully executed foreign policy priorities of the president, is that right? >> it's to obey all orders. >> on july 25, the president of the united states talked about ukraine, is that correct? >> yes sir. >> regardless of what you had prepared as, far as talking
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points for that call from the president, you heard the president of the united states asked the president of ukraine to investigate the bidens, to correct? >> yes sir, he made a request. >> after the july 25 call between trump and ukrainian president is it fair to say that you talk to the ukrainian counterparts enough times? >> sir. >> how many times when you talk to the ukrainian counterparts did you ask them to investigate the bidens? >> never sir. >> why not? >> sir, there was not a policy objective that i was aware of. >> with all due respect mr. morrison, you are not in the white house to carry out the policy objectives. you testified that the president sets the foreign policy objective for the united states and the one call that you listen to between the president of united states and the president of ukraine, the president of united states priorities were to investigate the bidens. i'm asking you sir,
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why didn't you follow up on the president's priorities when you talk to ukrainians? >> i did not understand the policy objective. >> mr. morrison, i know that you put that conversation in the server because as you said, you fear the political consequences of some of the reasons that you gave. you also chose to define the president's request to not come here as others have like mr. mulvaney and bolton, you have come here and been truthful, i appreciate that and mr. morrison whether you acknowledge or publicly or not, i believe that you knew that what the president asked the ukrainians to do was wrong. as you just described, your duty as to follow the foreign policy of the president but to also only follow something that is a lawful order and i don't believe it was a lawful order which is why you did not follow
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up on his priority. mr. vulgar. we've heard a lot today about this president being an anti corruption president. he cares about fighting corruption and is russia a corrupt country? >> president zelensky? >> president trump? it's russia corrupt country? yes >> it is. >> trump has met a number of times with the president is, that right? >> yes a few times. >> he said a number of phone calls, i right? >> yes. his >> turkey a corrupt country? i >> believe so. >> just last week despite their corruption, at the white house president erdogan had lunch with the president united states is, that right? >> yes. >> finally, mr. giuliani on may 9th told the new york times president trump basically knows what i'm doing as his lawyer. are you familiar with that statement? >> i'm not. >> but you agree as a lawyer is
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sitting next to you, a lawyer acts on a client behalf. and only ana klein's behalf, is all right? >> i believe that a lawyer acts on his clients behalf. i'm not sure about only on a client's behalf because as i understood mayor giuliani, in this case he was doing what i don't believe he was always a instructed. we >> are not meddling in an election, or meddling on an investigation. correct? >> i'm taking it from the statement. >> i yield back. >> mr. morrison, my colleague from california suggest he knows your opinions, and your thoughts but he didn't give you the opportunity to respond. do have a response or want to give a response? >> no sir. i hope i heard the president's request and to lead a policy process different by
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deposition. i was directed by mr. cooper bid to ensure a unity of opinion and the importance of continuing and that's what i did. i advocated what i was given. >> copy. while we are with you mr. morrison and we appreciate your testimony today. did you participate in your conversations with political information directed by ukraine on the bidens and the user political gain? >> no sir. >> ambassador volker, same question. did you participate or over here any conversations about essential information by the ukraine and the bidens for the use a political gain? >> no. >> there's been lots of discussions of text change that you had with mr. yermak that talked about this statement.
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mayor giuliani provided some feedback on what needed to be included on that. did mayor giuliani get feedback on the proposed meant? >> i have no reason to think that they had discussed that.. >> but based on your recollection ambassador volker, has mayor giuliani interacted with in addition to mr. yermak who already talked about and the former attorney general. >> i do not know who else he had worked with other than zelensky government. i'm aware of him having believed that mr. yuriy lutsenko -- >> but is not a current regime of which were talking about. i >> don't know who else he would've met with. >> is it possible what was your understanding of ambassador sondland's role?
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>> he cared about ukraine. he wanted to see ukraine increased and wanted to see european union support increase but the sanctions and wanted to be helpful. >> was ambassador sondland having conversations without letting people know? >> i don't believe that he was not letting people know, i think he may have had some conversations where he was acting and i think we circled back frequently with my bell myself. >> can you say that you have a clear understanding and what ambassador sondland and mayor giuliani were doing with all other interactions with ukrainian officials? >> i can't say i had a clear understanding. i thought that ambassador sondland and i were working from the same objective which was getting a meeting between zelensky and president trump. and a statement as i understood from 2016 would be
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potentially helpful and anything more than their interactions. >> you didn't have a clear understanding of the special representative to ukraine. do you think they have a clear understanding. >> no i don't. >> he thought there was a difference between biden and his 2016 election? >> that's correct. >> and you think the ukrainians had some similar understanding? >> yes i did. >> there is also a perception that when ambassador yovanovitch with her 33 years of being an often ambassador. when she left kiev, that the u.s. position on corruption would weaken the narrative that's floating around. who was the person that took over for her? who was the charge a after? >> immediately after, was this individual strong or weak? >> i would say with the rest of
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our policy. >> who is that person in place with? that's all you suggested for the position? was tailor strong or weak? >> very strong. >> mr. morrison, in my last 23 minutes he said u.s. policy? >> the president. >> not some other staffer within the nfc process? >> that's to ensure the president has the full process for this decision. >> thank you and i yield back. >> it's a castro. >> thank you chairman, thank you gentlemen for your testimony today, is a crack to say that both of you gentlemen or appointed or hired by the white house in the trump ministration? >> yes sir. in >> my case by secretary tillerson. >> but part of the trump administration? >> yes. >> sure. ambassador volker, you testified that gordon sondland
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but we just know and in one text message on july 26 ambassador sondland was a great photo, can you get this to potus without intermediaries. july 26 with the same day that sunlen spoke to the president from a restaurant in kiev, design right? >> the date again? >> july 26? i >> know that to be correct now. >> were you aware of that call. >> were you aware that in visitor sondland? >> he claimed he spoke to the president frequently. >> ambassador sondland is a big personality he was a political appointee.
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>> he had also been a large donor to one of trump president trump's campaign committees. >> i have learned that yes. >> mr. morrison mutate stated during your testimony that when you met ambassador song and for the first time, he represented the president which was to donate youth. in fact, you testified with the july 25th and so to number 11 of this year that they learned that ambassador sondland and president trump spoken several of occasions. is it accurate that every time you checked you were able to confirm and they had in fact spoken to the president? >> mr. morrison, you testified that sunlen emailed you of several staff that they breathed president trump in advance of the july 25th call with the ukrainian president. is that correct? >> that's correct. then >> ambassador sondland tell you
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about the president at all? >> he sent me an email sir and it was less distinct in the item with respect to ukraine. >> new testified that you confirmed that ambassador sondland and trump has spoken before the july 25th call. >> that's correct congressman. >> the white house situation keeps a record of those calls. >> that it follows able to confirm it >> they suggested points for the question for the president i u.s. policy is i correct? >> yes. >> putin uses point, did he? >> he did not. and you prepared materials for the president and they do not include references on the 2016 election.
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>> that's right. >> ambassador sondland, the guy who is be gordon problem who's got a direct link to the president. the guy who's talking about making deals, beat president trump. >> correct congressman. >> president trump raised the 2016 election and his son to the ukrainian president after he was briefed by ambassador sondland. is that right? >> that's correct. it >> sounds like ambassador sondland who are on the same page. they both were working to the political interests even when it undermined u.s. foreign policy. i wanna ask you in a short time i have to serve the united states, whether putting president trump aside that you believe that is proper to a
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foreign government to investigate u.s. citizens ambassador? >> i don't believe it's appropriate for the president to do that. we have law enforcement concerns with a u.s. citizen generally and the channels are for that. >> mr. morrison? >> i agree with passer bolger sir. >> thank you chairman, i yield back. >> mr. ratcliffe. >> thank you chairman. gentlemen, i appreciate both of you being here today i know it's been a long day for you. mr. morrison i'm, trying to summarize some of what we heard to shorten this. who are on the july 25th call, correct? >> yes congressman. >> i will tell you that he testified earlier today that he heard what he thought was a demand of the call that was improper and felt we had a duty to report back. i think we
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establish already and didn't discuss any of that. but you did have a discussion about other concerns with the call and i believe the fidelity of the translation and the fact that they both shared the discussion about not being a full-throated is that fair? >> yes congressman. >> with respect and something improper and specifically and no point did he come to you and say that i heard something that was improper. i >> have no recollection of doing that. >> no quid pro quo and everything that they asked you? >> no sir. >> as you were listening, did you hear president trump make a demand of anything that
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constituted a crime? >> i was trying to stay on the same side, >> you have a law degree. with bribery and extortion but is it fair to say that as you are listening and bribing the president of ukraine or he was extort sorting the president of ukraine. or doing anything improper. >> have you heard where president zelensky agrees with you and repeatedly consisting of any conditions and he didn't feel any pressure and experience anything improper on the call. >> i attended the line in new york and felt that he is under pressure. >> did anyone on the national
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security council after this call expressed to you in some crime or bribery or expand potion anything occurred? >> no sir. i >> want to ask you, mr. morrison about the whistleblower complaint. i don't want to ask as the identity but i want to ask you about the accusation that started about this. the whistleblower was not on the call as the igic that he or she was concerned about the president's conduct that constituted under section 30 33, a serious problem for violation of law or executive order. again, to be clear, you didn't hear a violation of law or executive order as you listen to the call? >> sir, i made no judgment
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about anything. >> the whistleblower also reported in the start of the inquiry that the president sought to pressure the ukrainian leadership to take action to help the president's 2020 reelection. president trump does not mention 2020 in the call, does he? >> no sir, i don't believe he did. >> president trump doesn't mention his reelection bullet bid in the call? i >> don't believe he did. >> you did not hear president trump pressured or have a demand of any kind as established, correct? >> yes. >> a colonel vindman uses the word demand -- >> i don't think -- >> council you shoes the microphone. >> with all due respect, i believe you just said the
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whistleblower. >> like vindman also and ambassador volker are both providing advice to ukrainian leadership on how to demand the president who invaded zelensky and quote. there were no demands from the perspective mr. morrison? >> that's correct. speculation about the whistleblower aside the fact is that the whistleblower was wrong about the facts as well, correct? >> i'm not familiar with this complaint but i did not hear a demand. >> i yield back. >> mr. heck. >> thank you mister chairman. ambassador volker, i want to thank you for being here today
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and we found some of your opening statement to be not just genuine but downright eloquent. we noted the particular passages of the aggression and the strong resilient parts of ukraine and this is important for national security and some of them believe that they're not strong enough in russia and are not supportive enough of ukraine and one of the challenges is help explain to them why it is in our national security interest. you will 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 it the biggest issue in their life it's getting their kids to school and paying their bills and the like. sir? >> thank you so much
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congressman. i agree with you completely doubt we are not pushing back hard enough on russia and that we owe ukraine a great deal of support. >> why does it matter? >> russia is trying to upheld the security in new york and reassert its domination and it has led to war in europe. and the war in ukraine have left more people dead with the balkans and are being to splays by war and europe since world war ii and these are people that stand up for freedom and democracy and won't reform and want to see their country be successful like germany, like sweden, like us and are fighting a war of aggression that are designed to hold them back and if we want to live in a world of freedom that we ought to be supportive for them
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around the world. >> thank you for that. more here in part because of the cover of concern for general corruption and in fact there was something quite nefarious as the alternative. there wasn't a concern about general corruption. revealing the record on that, is not true that in march of this year, he department of defense certified ukraine as having sufficient progress that continue to receive military assistance? >> i don't know the details of that. is >> it true that on april 24 as president zelensky was an overwhelming mandate which was largely on its effort and corruption? >> that's correct. it >> is not true this mandate was expanding july 21st as party control began on anti corruption? >> that's correct. >> in fact, he was sweeping forms of anti corruption did, he not? >> yes he did. >> it's not true everyone in
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the ground thought it was filled with optimism that ukraine was getting serious about combatting corruption? that's >> correct. >> ambassador volker, did you know that one of the very first anti corruption measures asked in the ukraine which was a lot to provide for the impeachment of the president? >> i did not. >> it's true. he thought we should start with himself. i raised this because my friends on the other side of the aisle characterize this impeachment inquiry as wrong because and i'm quoting them, it will overturn an election. it will overturn an election but impeachment is an anti corruption tool. four people on the other side of the aisle, it does overturn an election by definition it overturns an election. i don't know if they got a problem with the constitution or provisions for impeachment but we recommend they really read the bell them relevance and passages in one,
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two and three and some of the history but none of us want to be here despite what's being said. none of us came to this easily. were a call for the rest of my life to 40 hours i spent here literally plunged in self reflection and literally deliberation about this whole matter. collectively, we are going to have to go with this decision and it's going to get hard and it's hard in proportion to its importance to our great republic. a republic if we can keep it. i yield back mister chairman. >> mr. jordan. >> thank you mister chairman ambassador volker, and the transcript on the bottom of page three president trump said this. i heard you had a
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prosecutor and he was shut down and just for clarification. do you believe trump was talking about shokin? >> shokin. thank you so much that's what i thought as well. mr. morgan new talked about issues with colonel vindmans judgment, is that right? >> it is sir. >> you said specifically you had concerns about vindmans appropriate judgment as to who we said what is, all right? >> yes sir. you >> testified doctor hill that she had concerns about colonel vindman's judgment is, that right? it >> is her. you >> testified colonel vindman was not just only the chief of command? i >> believe so, yes or. you >> are aware the issues with trying to access information outside is that correct? >> i believe as i stated, that there were those who were concerned about that. >> you just like colonel vindman it was not included on trips a? right >> yes or. >> and he testified that colleagues expressed concern to you about colonel vindman
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leaking information is, that right? >> yes sir. when >> i asked curdled about what he did go to you with his concerns about the call, even though new had no concerns about anything in your language which was nothing improper anything illegal on the call. i asked him in earlier this morning and we'll talk to the lawyers his, brother, secretary can't and one other person that he wouldn't tell us and chairman schiff when i tell us. i'm asking why he did that and he indicated that the lawyer said that you're trying to get a hold of you. is that fair? >> sir, i watched part of the proceedings was boarding. >> something chairman schiff brought up this morning was that he pointed out that colonel vindman's boss also went to the lawyers. but your reason to go into the lawyer is a little bit different. >> yes sir.
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>> i think you had a few things that you talked about earlier but i think at the top of your list was you were concerned about the contents of the call leaking out. is that fair? >> yes sir. >> that's exactly what happened. isn't it? >> sir, i don't know -- i don't know that the context was a whistleblower complaint and the president chose to classify. >> it seems to me you were prophetic because you said in your statement today as i stated during my deposition that the time of the call on july 25th, how disclosure of the contest would play in washington's political climate. my fears have been realized and you saw what might happen and it sure did. it's a fair to say? >> yes sir. >> we get all of this, we give
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all of this and was it worth it? we get all of this and in the hearings this week and we spent a bunker in the basement and for facts that we kept coming back to i've never changed and will never change from both of us today and these facts with the call transcript and no linkage to security system in the transcript and the two individuals who were on the call who said no linkage, no pressure, no pushing and got the fact that the ukrainians didn't go and nominate and were withheld until august 29th and most importantly they did nothing as far as starting and congress didn't start announcing they're going to start an investigation did nothing and they got released. i believe he got released because we were talking about the good work of the ambassador
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volker. and others who saw this might happen in here we are. you called it all, knew saw this coming and that's why you went to the lawyers and that's why -- that's why the concern was there. and that's the part that's most troubling and i yield back. i yield to the gentleman from ohio. >> ambassador volker until male you said ukraine special on kirk volker walks back is closed door testimony and says, in quote as now learned there, was a link between the u.s. military aid and that is not your testimony today is? it that is not in my testimony. >> mr. welch? >> thank you. just following up on mr. jordan, the easiest way to avoid investigation is to not do anything wrong. i want to talk a little bit about why
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we are here. official government actions cannot be traded for help in a political campaign. let me give an analogy and ask if you if you agree. could a mayor of a city withhold funding for the police department budget unless they agree to open up investigation into a political rival. mr. morrison? >> no, i don't take a chief think he should do that. >> ambassador volker? >> yes. the >> same will be true if it were a governor withholding the budget request of the state, unless the state agreed to conduct an investigation into a political rival. would you agree? >> correct. >> yes, sir. >> isn't a difference for a member of congress -- of course not, right? would you agree that the president has the same
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obligation, as the mayor, as the governor and a member of congress to not withhold aid unless he gets an investigation into a political rival. mr. morrison? >> yes, i would agree with that hypothetical. >> i agree. >> we are having a debate here, both sides, as to how to read what is plainly before us. the presidential phone call where the president ignored the advisers and talking point, and instead chose to talk about the bidens and hunter biden, and asked for an investigation. so we are going to have to debate that. isn't the principle that no person, including the president is above the law absolutely essential and worth the effort to make certain that
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we can guarantee. i'm sorry, ambassador volker? >> yes. >> the rule of law central to our democracy. >> that's so true. we had some discussions and challenge from the other side, that the president has the authority in foreign policy to do what he likes. in fact, he does. a recent president by president trump to take our troops out of syria and allow the turkish forces to go in literally meant that some kurdish families went to bed saturday night and look up sunday morning, pack their kids and fled for their lives. a lot of people, including both sides of the aisle disagreed with that. the president has the authority to do it.
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impulsive asset has been about threatening our national security. we are not talking about that here. master volker, i listened to your testimony and i take it and thank you for making efforts to try to advance what had been a bipartisan party, to help ukraine get rid of corruption, help resist russian aggression. but you came to learn was that there was a sidebar ukraine policy with giuliani as an advocate, is that correct? >> i don't know anything about that. >> as you have been involved, while you were working on what he thought was stopping aggression and eliminating corruption, there was a sigh deal here to get investigations going, correct? >> yes. my objective was purely
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focused on support for ukraine, national security and i have now learned from other testimony about the president's statement about investigating biden and other conversations that i did not know about. >> thank you for that, and thank you for your candor about the vice presidents and hagerty and service. but the bottom line here is that, at the end of the day, we will have to make a judgment about what the president was up to with respect to that request for the favor, and how it repudiated the policy that it was the bipartisan effort in ukraine, and raises questions about he and that hypothetical example i gave of the mayor, held himself to be above the law. i yield back. >> mr. mulroney? >> thank you for being here. ambassador volker, i was struck
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by her opening statement. it moved a long way from the testimony you presented to us in october. i know you gave a reason for that, which is 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. what you said on page eight, that i did not know, this is a quote, i did not know that president trump or others had raised vice president, biden, or conflated the investigation with the former vice president. you did no breeze moment biden, that's what you say? i had separated the two. >> you were there on may 23rd for the meeting with the president when he said talk to rudy, and rudy care about the
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investigations, which we now know met biden, right? you miss that on may 23rd? >> i understood at the time that hunter biden has been a board member -- >> you did not read that as a request to investigate the bidens at the time? >> correct. >> and you were in meetings were ambassador sondland rates the investigations, like you did know was about the violence, that your testimony, right? >> i did not think he was talking about anything specific. >> you thought it was inappropriate, and the chairman asked you about that, but he said i did know was the bidens, i just thought it was inappropriate, and then when they were in the war room, and ambassador sondland race burisma and the violent in 2016, you missed that two as i understand. on july 18th you knew aid was withheld and an august he's been a good part of the time with this statement. you are the guy making the changes, and interacting with the ukrainians. you're putting
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and british changes, which included a call for investigating burisma, and the 2016 elections, which you now know meant biden, right? >> you do note at the time, but now we know. on september 1st, you were in warsaw. you are at every point of this. you were there when ambassador sondland told andre yermak that he was not going to get security assistance or a white house meeting unless there were investigations. you missed that, you are out of the loop then? >> i was not in warsaw at these meetings. >> you heard it from sondland? >> no, it was sometime later. >> now you know what it meant, and you said in retrospect, i should have seen that connection differently, and had i done, so i would have raised my own objections. >> that is correct. >> what are the objections you would have raised? >> what i would have raises
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that people are conflating investigating the bidens with investigating this ukrainian company, burisma. >> when you objected to the president asking for an investigation of the bidens as you sit here now, you should i would have raised my own objections if i knew it was the bidens. >> if i knew we were talking about investigating vice president biting in asking the ukrainians, that would be inappropriate. i would have objected to. that >> it's if you heard him ask for it on the call, and enrich inspect, the ukrainians would have been confusing. it's confusing the right word? it would put them in the position of having to do something inappropriate, right? >> i think confusing is the right word because they were hearing something different from the president in one conversation and different from me as a u.s. special representative. >> maybe they understood that investigating burisma and investigating 2016, and documented biden,'s even though you did not. you were talking
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to yermak and putting the changes in the statement, he had talk to sondland at the same time. so the point being, they were putting an impossible decision. they were being asked to do something inappropriate, and you now know that and you would have raised your own objections? >> in the conversations that i had with the, ukrainians we were not asking them to do that. the iranians, perhaps with the knowledge of the phone call, which i did not object to at the time said we do not want to go. they're >> in retrospect, you would have raised objections, you said it was inappropriate for the president to do this, and mr. morrison, can i ask you? i'm stuck on this issue of, you didn't see anything wrong with the call, but you went straight to nfc legal to report it. is that your testimony to us today? >> yes.
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>> to both of you, thank you so much for your service, and thank you for being here, it's been a long day. mr. morrison, just to follow up on the question from my colleague, you responded earlier 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, because you were concerned about the political fallout, not about anything being inappropriate or wrong with the call, is that correct? >> i don't agree with the premise, no. >> can you tell me why you felt the need -- you saw nothing wrong with the call, yet you skipped your chain of command to go to council, because of what? what was the reason for that? >> i don't know -- i don't think i skipped my chain of command. if i had seen something wrong --
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>> who should direct report? >> the deputy national security adviser. >> the name of the person? >> doctor charles kupperman. >> did you speak with him before he spoke with legal counsel? >> no. >> but you don't feel that you skip your chain of command by going directly to council? >> if i may, i feed my engagement with the and i see legal counsel one and investigating legal matters. i was interested in making sure that the legal adviser was aware of the call, because i did not see anybody from the legal advisers office -- >> where you start concerned about the legal adviser being aware of this call that you saw nothing wrong with, basically the substance or content of the call? >> i did not see anybody from the legal advisers office in the listening room, and i wanted to make sure somebody from the legal advisers office was aware. i want to make sure was a senior person?
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>> what did you want them to be aware of, specifically? >> i wanted them to be aware of the call, because i wanted them to know what had transpired. >> what concerns you to the point where you wanted them to know what had transpired, that he went directly to legal counsel to inform them of? >> my equivalent, was and then john eisenberg, he is my equivalent in that position, i wouldn't go to somebody subordinate to -- him >> you said that you were concerned about the political fallout based on the political climate in d.c.? >> yes ma'am. >> so how long have you supervise lieutenant colonel vindman? >> july 15th two october 31st or so. okay, thank you. ambassador volker, you
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testified that you believe congressional pressure helped unfreeze the security systems being released. do you still stand by that testimony? >> i believe it was important. i met with the staff members of the armed forces committee, and that solved a letter that several senators signed and sent to chief of staff mulvaney, and i was briefed about possibilities of a couple of phone calls from senior members of the senate as well. >> thank you. i yield my remaining time you. >> ambassador volker, i just want to follow up on a couple of questions about the ukrainians not being aware of the meeting that was held. you're aware of the testimony of colonel vindman that in fact he was contacted by someone in the ukrainian embassy that was concerned about the whole thing being public. >> i was not aware of that. >> are you aware of mrs.
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croft's testimony that ukrainians found out quite quickly after the hold was placed in july that she was priced with trade craft, and that they had a reason to keep it silent? >> i saw that in her testimony. >> you have any reason to question the fact that the testimony was accurate? >> no, i don't. >> so they did find out before with public, according to these two witnesses. nevertheless, the ukrainians found out it was public when he was published in the newspaper, right? >> that is correct. august 29th. >> when they found out from the newspaper, they still have not had the white house meeting, and they still did not have the aid, and at that point, they had already had a conversation with the president in which she asked them to investigate the bidens is, that correct? >> that is correct.
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>> mr. krishnamoorthi? >> he said that since events surrounding your earlier testimony, october 3rd, quote unquote a great deal of perspective come to light, i have learned many things that i did not know at the time of the time of the investigation, correct? >> that includes conversations that occurred as well as meetings that occurred of what you were not airport, correct? >> correct. >> you obviously were not a part of the july 25th call, is that right? >> that's correct. >> you were not aware of ambassador sondland, according to your opening statement, had a call with president trump on july 26th, right? >> that's correct. >> on september 1st you were not present for the sidebar
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meeting between ambassador sondland and special advisor yermak, is that right? >> that's correct. >> and you were not part of the phone call between ambassador taylor and ambassador sondland in which ambassador sondland, according to multiple people now, said that everything a, white house meeting as well as military aid were dependent on public announcement of investigations, is that right? >> that's correct. >> and you are not part of the phone call on september 7th between ambassador sondland and president trump, in which president trump insisted that president zelensky go to a mic and publicly announce investigations a president trump's domestic rivals, is that right? >> that's correct >> you are not part of the september 8th phone call between ambassador sondland and ambassador -- sorry, president
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trump, where he insists that these announcements have to happen, is that right? >> correct. >> you say that you were not a witness to any kind of quid pro quo, or conditionality between military assistance and investigations, when someone called missiles for misinformation today, is that right? >> that's correct. >> but you weren't present for many, if not all of the phone calls and conversations where these alleged instances of quid pro quo occurred, is that right? >> that is correct. >> let me turn your attention to another topic that has come up today -- actually, a came up last friday. you have high regard for ambassador yovanovitch, correct? >> yes. >> i presume that you were aware that, as the ambassador was testifying, president trump actually tweeted very
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disparaging remarks about her. >> i saw that. >> and you disapprove? >> that is not appropriate. >> you've supervised many people during your career in the foreign service, right? >> and you would never do that for one of your direct reports, or anybody who worked in your organization? >> no, i would not. >> it's just wrong. >> even when you feel like you need to criticize, criticism is private, praises public. >> i also believe the you're a man of, honor and you would not attack a veteran, or someone who is currently serving in the military, who is doing their duty, correct? >> i respect the service of our members in uniform. >> there is a certain man that we both admire, the late senator john mccain, who unfortunately was attacked, not only when he was alive, but
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after he died. >> i presume that he would disapprove of all those attacks on john mccain. >> i knew him for a very long time, he's very much a war hero in this country. >> as lieutenant colonel vindman was testifying, our president used the official twitter account to attack lieutenant colonel vindman's credibility. i presume you don't approve of those types of tweets either, to you? >> i was not aware. and as with a master even if it's, not appropriate. >> thank you for your service, and thank you for you as well. >> i recognize ranking member
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for closing comments. >> i like to remind the american people what we are watching. the public hearings are the combination 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 and clinton campaign worked with a former british spy, christopher steele. steel assembled a dossier of false information, alleging the trump campaign colluded with russia. that dossier was largely a symbol from russia and ukrainian sources, that the democratic contractors work. they find their hopes on the work of robert mueller, mueller spent two years and millions of taxpayer dollars that we know was not committed. mueller's failure was a devastating blow to democrats, who clearly hoped his work to be the basis for the removal of the president.
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today, we are witnessing the ukraine hoax, a direct to tvs equal to the russia collusion hoax. the plot of the ukraine hoax is hard to follow, it shift from day to day. first they claimed evidence of a quid pro quo, and extortion, and witness intimidation, now democrats are pinning their hopes on bribery. like any good hollywood production, democrats needed a screen test before releasing the 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. they built a narrative based on selectively leaked testimony. speaker pelosi, the democrats on this committee, are seeking the truth, they want to know the answer to the following questions that they refused to
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ask. to what extent to the whistleblower coordinate with the democrats on this committee and our staff? what is the full extent of ukraine's election meddling against the trump campaign in 2016? why the burisma hunt higher hunter biden and what did he do for him, and it is actions impact the united states under the obama administration? the american people were promised a grave and somber impeachment inquiry, instead, they got a salacious comedy that they have been working on for three years. good night, i'll see you in the morning. >> i thank the gentleman, and i thank you both for your testimony today. i would highlight a couple of things about what we have heard this afternoon. first, ambassador volker, you're written
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testimony in which you say, in hindsight, i now understand that others saw the idea of investigating possible corruption involving burisma as equivalent to investigating former vice president biden. i saw them as very different. the former being appropriate an unremarkable, the latter being unacceptable. and retrospect, you said i should have seen that in connection differently, and had i done so, i would have raised my own objections. that's where we appreciate you are ability to an end your testimony. knowing what you know today, that the president saw an investigation of his political rival, vice president biden, you would not have countenance any versions of the ukrainians to engage in this conduct. i appreciate also that you are able to debunk, i hope
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for the last time, the idea that joe biden did something wrong, and that he in accordance with u.s. policy, sought to replace a corrupt prosecutor, something that not only the u.s. state department wanted, and not only the european union want it, and not only the imf wanted, but it was the consensus position of the united states national security infrastructure. you did not get a lot of questions about that, because i think you effectively said that was all nonsense. we appreciate your candor about that. mr. morrison, i think what's most remarkable about your testimony is the acknowledgment that, immediately after the vice president met with president zelensky in warsaw, you witnessed gordon sondland meeting with andrea yermak, a top advisor to president zelensky, and then immediately thereafter, sondland told you that he had informed the ukrainians that, if they wanted
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that 400 million in military aid, they were going to have to do those investigations that the president wanted. you were later informed, this is also significant as you testified here today, that the ambassador sondland and his subsequent conversations with president trump had informed you that it wasn't going to be enough for the ukrainian prosecutor general to announce the investigations the president wanted, president zelensky had to do it himself if he wanted to get that aid in the meeting with the white house. you've been asked to opine on the meaning of the term bribery, although you weren't asked to opine on the terms high crimes and misdemeanors. bribery, for those at home, is the conditioning of acts an exchange for something of value. the acts are a white house meeting that president zelensky desperately sought and
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was deeply important to this country at war with russia, to show the united states had this new presidents back. that meeting was important, that meeting is an official act. the military assistance is even more significant, because ukrainians are dying every day in their war with russia. and so the withholding of military assistance to get these investigations, which you now have acknowledged ambassador volker, was wrong, the president to request, the idea of withholding that military aid to get these political investigations, should be anathema to every american. it means the sacrifice, not just to ukrainian ashton security, but america national security, for the interests of the president personally and politically. now, my republican
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colleagues all seem to be upset about, not that the president sought investigation of his rival, not that he held a white house meeting to pressure ukraine, the objection is that he got caught. there objection is that someone blew the whistle, and they would like this whistleblower identified. the president wants this whistleblower punished. that's their objection, not that the president engaged in this conduct, that he got caught. their defense is, as well, the in the policing the aid. yes, after he got caught. it doesn't make this any less odious. americans maybe watching this and asking, why should the united states care about ukraine? why should we care about ukraine? and this was the import of the conversation in that kiev restaurant with
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gordon sondland away from us and, because the president was talking so loud, what does the president asking that call a day after that call he had with zelensky, what is he asked on that cell phone call? not whether they had passed anti corruption reform, no, are the cranes going to do the investigation. silent answer is, they're going to do it. they do anything the president wants. what's more telling is the conversation with homes afterwards, in which the president says that, basically, donald trump does not give an expletive about ukraine. he cares about the big things. mr. holmes says, well, ukraine's at war with the russians, that's a big thing. and sondland answer is, no, he cares about big things that affect his personal
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interests. that's why americans should care about this. americans should care about what happened to our allies, who die, but they should also carry about their own president and constitution, and they will need to ask themselves as we will have to ask ourselves in congress, are we prepared to accept that the president of the united states can leverage official acts of military assistance, white house meetings to get an investigation of a political rival? are we prepared to say, well, i get that's what we should expect of a 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 very concerned that the president made may portray the national security interests of the country for personal
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interests. they put that remedy in the constitution, not because they wanted to willy-nilly, overturn elections, but because they wanted a powerful anti corruption mechanism, when that corruption came from the highest office in the land. we are adjourned. i asked the audience to leave the witness to leave the room before they exit.


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