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tv   Impeachment Inquiry House Hearings Hearing with Lt. Col. Vindman Vice...  CSPAN  November 23, 2019 10:02am-11:01am EST

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against president trump. in col. alexander vindman jennifer williams, russia and europe advisor to vice president pence. here is a portion of the hearing. you can watch all of it at do you swear or affirm the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth so help you god? let the record show that witnesses have answered in the affirmative. thank you you may be seated. without objection, your written statement will be made part of the record. ms. williams, you are recognized for your opening statement. you are vindman recognized after for your opening statement. miss williams? chairman adam schiff and other members of the committee to provide the
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statement. pursuant to ay subpoena in and prepared to answer your questions to the best of my abilities. i have had the privilege of working as a foreign service officer for nearly 14 years working for three different presidential administrations. two republican and one democratic. i joined the state department in 2006 after serving the department of homeland security. it was with great pride and conviction that i swore an oath to uphold and defend the constitution administered by a personal hero of mine, condoleezza rice. as a career officer i am committed to serving the american people and advancing american interests abroad in support of the president's foreign policy objectives. i have been inspired and encouraged in that journey by the thousands of other dedicated public servants who i am proud to call colleagues.
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i have served overseas tours in kingston, lebanon, and london. i have worked to implement humanitarian assistance programs to help victims of the syria conflict and served as an advisor on middle east issues. this spring was the greatest honor of my career, to be asked to serve as a special advisor to the vice president for europe and russia. i have been privileged to work with the dedicated and capable men and women of the office of the vice president to advance the ministrations agenda. i have also worked closely with talented and committed colleagues at the national security council, state department, department of defense and other agencies to advance and promote u.s. foreign policy objectives. i have advised and prepared the vice president for engagements related to ukraine.
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as you are aware, on november 7, i appeared before the committee for a closed-door deposition pursuant to a subpoena. i would like to take this opportunity to briefly summarize my recollection of some of the events i expect the committee may ask me about. on april 21 volodymyr zelensky won the ukrainian presidential election. on april 23 the vice president called to congratulate him. during the call which i participated in, the vice president accepted an invitation to attend president y's upcoming inauguration providing that the scheduling worked out. the vice president had only a narrow window of availability at the end of may and the ukrainian parliament would not meet to set a date for the inauguration until after may 14. as a result we did not expect to know whether the vice president
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could attend until may 14 at the earliest and we made only preliminary trip preparations in early may. on may 13 an assistant to the vice president's chief of staff informed me that president trump had decided the vice president would not attend the inauguration in ukraine. she did not provide any further explanation. i relayed that instruction to others involved in planning the potential trick. i also informed the nsc that the vice president would not be attending so that it could identify ahead of delegations to represent the united states at president-elect zelinski's inauguration. july 3 i learned that the omb had placed a hold on security assistance designated for ukraine. omb was reviewing with the funding was aligned with the administration's priorities. i attended meetings of the policy coordination committee where the hold was discussed. wh
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during those meetings, representatives of the state and defense department advocated that the hold should be lifted and omb representatives reported that the white house chief of staff had directed that the hold should remain in place. on september 11 i learned the hold on security assistance for ukraine had been released. i have never learned what prompted that decision. on july 25 along with several of my colleagues i listened to a call between president trump and president zelinski. the content of which has since been publicly reported. prior to july 25 i had participated in roughly a dozen other presidential phone calls. during my closed-door deposition members of the committee asked about my personal views and whether i had any concerns about the july 25 call. as i testified then, i found the phone call unusual because in contrast to other presidential calls i had observed, it involved discussions of what appeared to be a domestic political matter. after the july 25 call i provided an update indicating
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that president trump had a call that day with president zelinski. a hard copy of the memorandum transcribing the call was also included in the book. i do not know whether the vice president reviewed my update or the transcript. i did not discuss the july 25 call with the the vice president or any of my colleagues. august 29 i learned the vice president would be traveling to poland to meet with president zelinski. at the september 1 meeting which i attended, president zelinski asked the vice president about news articles reporting a hold on u.s. security assistance for ukraine. the vice president responded and promised to relay their conversation to president trump that night. during the meeting neither the vice president nor president zelinski mentioned the specific investigations discussed during the phone call.
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thank you again for the opportunity to provide the statement. i would be happy to answer any questions. >> mr. chairman, ranking members, thank you for the opportunity to address the house permanent select committee on intelligence with respect to activities related to ukraine and the events under investigation. i have dedicated my entire professional life to the united states of america. for more than two decades it has been my honor to serve as an officer of the united states army. as an infantry officer, i served multiple overseas tours including south korea and germany and deployed to iraq for combat operations. since 2008 i have been an officer specializing in embassy affairs. i served in kiev, ukraine and moscow, russia. in washington, d.c. i was the protocol military affairs officer for russia where i drafted the armed forces global campaign plan to counter russian
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aggression and russian malign influence. was asked toam, i serve at the national security council. i'm the principal advisor to the national security advisor on ukraine and other countries in my portfolio. my role is to develop, coordinate and implement plans and policies to manage the full range of diplomatic, informational, military, and economic national security issues the countries in my portfolio. my core function is to coordinate policy with departments and agencies. the committee has heard from many of my colleagues. on our country's policy of supporting ukrainian sovereignty, ukrainian prosperity and a free and democratic ukraine as a counter to russian aggression has been a consistent bipartisan foreign policy objective and strategy across various administrations both democratic and republican
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, and that president zelinski's election created an unprecedented opportunity to realize a strategic objective. in spring i became aware of two this rep to backers, primarily premium, of them prosecutor and the president's personal attorney promoting false narratives that undermined the united states and ukraine policy. the nsc and is departments including the state department grew concerned about the impact information was having on our country's ability to achieve national security objectives. on april 21, 2019, volodymyr zelensky was elected president of ukraine in a landslide victory. president trump called him to congratulate him on his victory. i was the staff officer who
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produced the call materials and was one of the staff officers who listened to the call. the call with positive and president trump expressed his desire to work with president zelinski and extended an invitation to visit the white house. i attended the inauguration as part of the presidential delegation led by secretary perry. visit, thethe member members of the delegation provided president trump a debriefing offering a positive assessment of president zelinski and his team. after the debriefing president , trump signed a congratulatory letter and extended another invitation to visit the white house. on july 10, 2019, ukraine's national security advisor visited washington, d.c. for a meeting with national security advisor bolton.
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ambassadors volcker and sondland and sec. rick perry also attended the meeting. we fully anticipated that ukrainians would raise the issue up a meeting between the presidents. bassler bolton at the meeting short when ambassador sondland started to speak about the requirement that ukraine deliver specific negations. following this meeting there was a short debriefing during which ambassador solomon emphasized the importance of ukraine delivering investigations into the election and the bidens. i stated that this was inappropriate and had nothing to do with national security. dr. hill also asserted his comments were improper. following the meeting, dr. hill and i agreed to report the incident to lead counsel, mr. john eisenberg. on july 21, 2019, president zelinski won a parliamentary election in another landslide victory. the nsc proposed that president trump called the president to congratulate him. on july 25, 2018, the call occurred. i listened in on the call in the situation room with white house colleagues. i was concerned by the call.
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when i heard was inappropriate and i forwarded my concerns to mr. eisenberg. it is improper for the president of the united states to demand a foreign government investigate a politicalen and opponent. also clear that if ukraine i was proceeded investigation into the elections, it would be interpreted as a partisan play. this would undoubtedly result in ukraine losing bipartisan support, undermining u.s. strategicecurity and objectives in the region. when i reported my concerns on july 10 related to ambassador sondland, and to the president, i did so out of a sense of duty. i reported my concerns in official channels to the proper authority in the chain of
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command. my intent was to raise these concerns because they had significant national security implications for our country. i never thought that i would be sitting here testifying in front of this committee and the american public about my actions. my only thought was to to carry out my duty. following each of my reports i immediately returned to work to advance the presidents and our country's foreign policy objectives. i focused on what i have done throughout my military career. i want to take a moment to recognize the courage of my colleagues who have appeared before this committee. the character attacks on these public servants is reprehensible. it is natural to disagree and engage in spirited debate. but we are better than personal attacks. the uniform i wear today is that of the united states army. the members of our volunteer
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force are made up of a patchwork of people from all ethnicities, regions, socioeconomic backgrounds who come together to protect and defend the constitution of the united states of america. we do not serve any political party. we serve the nation. i am humbled to come before you today as one of many who serve in the most distinguished and able military in the world. the army is the only profession i have ever known. i wanted to spend my life serving this nation that gave my family refuge from authoritarian oppression. it has been an honor to represent and protect this great country. next month will mark four years since my family arrived in the united states as refugees. when my father was 47 years old, he left behind his entire life and the only home he had ever known to start over in the
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united states so his sons could have better and safer lives. his courageous decision inspired a deep sense of gratitude to my brothers and myself and instilled in us a sense of duty and service. all three of us have served or are currently serving in the military. my little brother sits behind me here today. our collective military service is a special part of our family possible history -- 's history. i also recognize that my simple act of appearing here today just like the courage of my colleagues who have also truthfully testified before this committee would not be tolerated in many places around the world. in russia, my active expressing concern to the chain of command in official and private channel would have severe personal and professional repercussions and offering public testimony involving the president would surely cost me my life. i am grateful for my father's brave act of hope and for the
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privilege of being an american citizen and public servant where i can live free of fear for mine and my family's safety. dad, i'm sitting here today in the u.s. capitol talking to our elected professionals is proof that you made the right decision 40 years ago to leave the soviet union and come here and search for a better life for our family. do not worry. i will be fine for telling the truth. thank you again for your consideration. i will be happy to answer your questions. >> if i could turn your attention to the april 21 call, the first call between president trump and president zelinski. points prepare talking for the president to use during that call? >> yes, i did. >> did they include rooting out corruption in ukraine? >> yes.
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>> that was something the president was supposed to raise in the conversation with president zelinski? >> those were the recommended talking points, yes. >> did you listen in on that call? >> yes i did. >> the white house has released the record of that call. did president trump ever corruption in the april 21 call? >> to the best of my recollection he did not. on the april 21 call, president trump said he would send a high level delegation to the inauguration. was that your understanding, ms. weems? >> yes, that was my understanding. >> did the president subsequently tell the vice president not to attend the inauguration? >> i was informed by the the's chief of staff soffit that they vice president had told the
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president not to attend. i did not witness the conversation. >> am i correct that you learned this on may 13? >> that's correct. >> the inauguration date had not been set by may 13. >> that's correct. >> do you know what accounted for the president's decision to instruct vice president not to attend? >> i do not. > you were a member of the delegation on may 20, is that correct? >> yes chairman. >> did you have an opportunity to offer advice to president zelinski? >> yes, chairman. >> what was the advice that you gave him? >> i offered two pieces of advice. to be particularly cautious with regards to ukraine, russia and its desire to provoke ukraine
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second was to stay out of u.s. domestic policy. >> you mean politics? >> politics, yes. >> why did you think it was necessary to advise president zelinski to stay away from u.s. domestic politics? >> it became clear in the march and april timeframe it became clear there were public actors , nongovernmental actors that were promoting the idea of in 2016 ukrainian interference, and it seemed consistent with u.s. policy to advise any country. all the countries in my
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an, any country in the world do not participate in u.s. domestic politics. so i was passing the same advice consistent with u.s. policy. >> we will have more questions about that. let me turn to the hold on security assistance which i think you post testified you learned about in early july. am i correct that neither of you were provided with a reason for why the president put a hold on security assistance to ukraine? >> my understanding was omb was reviewing the assistance to make sure it was in line with administration priorities. it was not made more specific than that. >> the review was to ensure it remained consistent with administration policies. >> you attended a meeting where ambassador sondland interjected to respond to a question by senior ukrainian officials about a white house visit. what did he say at that time? >> to the best of my
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recollection, ambassador sondland said that in order to get a white house meeting the ukrainians would have to provide a deliverable which is investigations, specific investigations. >> what was ambassador bolton's response or reaction to that comment? all ofad not completed the agenda items and still had time for the meeting, and ambassador bolton abruptly ended the meeting. you report this incident to the nsc lawyers? >>, yes i did. -- >>, yes i did. >> was at your clear understanding that the ukrainians understood they had to commit to investigations president trump wanted in order to get the white house meeting? >> it may have not been entirely clear at that moment. certainly ambassador sondland was calling for these meetings and he had stated that this was
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per a conversation with the chief of staff mr. mick mulvaney. >> but the import of what ambassador sondland said during the meeting was that there was an agreement with mick mulvaney that zelinski would get a meeting if they would undertake these investigations. >> that is correct. >> about two weeks after that july 10 meeting, president trump and president zelinski had their second call. what was your real-time reaction to hearing that call? german, without hesitation i knew i had to report this to the white house counsel. i had concerns and it was my duty to report my concerns to
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the proper people in the chain of command. >> and what was your concern? >> chairman, as i said in my statement, it was inappropriate, it was improper for the president to request -- to demand an investigation into a political opponent, especially a foreign power where there was at best dubious belief that this would be a completely impartial investigation, and that this would have significant implications if it became public knowledge and it would be perceived as a partisan play. it would undermine our ukraine policy and our national security. >> now, you described this as a demand, this favor that the president asked. what is it about the
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relationship between the president of the united states and the president of ukraine that leads you to conclude that when the president asked a favor like this it's really a demand? >> the military culture i come from, when a senior asks you to do something even if it's polite and pleasant, it's not to be taken as a request. it's to be taken as an order. in this case the power disparity between the two leaders, my impression is that in order to get the white house meeting, president zelinski would have to deliver these investigations. >> miss williams, i think you described your reaction in your deposition, when you listen to the call, you found it unusual and inappropriate. but i was struck by something else you said in your deposition. you said it shed some light on
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possible other motivations behind a security assistance hold. what did you mean by that? >> mr. chairman, i was asked during the closed-door testimony how i felt about the call. in reflecting on what i was thinking about in that moment, it was the first time i had heard internally the president referenced particular investigations that previously i had only heard about through mr. giuliani's press interviews and press reporting. so in that moment it was not clear whether there was a direct connection or linkage between the ongoing hold on security president may be asking president zelinski to undertake in regard to investigations. so it was noteworthy in that regard. i did not have enough information to draw firm conclusion. >> it raised a question into your mind as to whether they ?ere related
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>> it was the first i had heard of any requests of ukraine which were that specific in nature. it was noteworthy to me in that regard. >> both of you recall president zelinski in that conversation raising the issue or mentioning burisma, do you not? >> that is correct. correct. >> the word appears nowhere in the call record that has been released to the public. >> that's right. >> correct. >> do you know why that's the case? why that was left out? >> i do not. i was not involved in the production of that transcript. >> i attribute that to the fact that this transcript that is being produced may have not caught the word. and it was in the transcript that was released, it was released as the company, which is accurate.
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>> you pointed out the fact that that word was used. did you not? >> correct. >> and yet it was not included in the record released to the public. >> that's right. i would say it is informed speculation that the folks who produce these transcripts to the best they can and they just didn't catch the word and that it was my responsibility to make sure the transcript was as accurate as possible and that's what i attempted to do by putting the word back in, because that was in my notes. in yourestified deposition that he founded striking that zelenskiy would bring up burisma, that it indicated to me that he had been prepped for the call to expect this issue to come up. what led you to this conclusion? >> it seemed unlikely that he would be familiar with a single company in the context of a call that was on the broader
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bilateral relationship, and it seemed to me that he was either tracking this issue because he was under press, or he was otherwise prepped. >> thank you, mr. chairman. good morning to both of you. on july 25th atapproximately -- at approximately 9:00 a.m., you both were sitting in the situation room, probably not too much further away than you are right now, and you were preparing for a long-awaited phone call between president trump and president zelenskiy. colonel vindman, in advance of this phone call, did you prepare talking points as you did for the april 21 call? >> yes i did. >> what were the talking points based upon? the publicis not in record, and i cannot comment too
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deeply, but the areas we have consistently talked in public as cooperation with the reform agenda, anticorruption efforts and helping resident zelenskiy implement his plans to end russia's war against ukraine. >> in other words, they were based on official u.s. policy? >> correct. >> is there a process to determine official u.s. policy. >> my job is to coordinate u.s. policy, so that in the preceding year of have been on staff, i had undertaken an effort to make sure we had a cohesive and coherent u.s. policy. >> as you listened to the call, did you observe whether president trump was following the talking points east on official u.s. policy? >> counsel, the president can choose to use the talking points
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or not, he is the president, that they were not consistent with what i provided, yes. >> let's look at a couple of excerpts from this call and right after president zelenskiy thanked president trump for the united states support in the area of defense president trump asked president zelenskiy for a favor, then raises a theory of ukrainian interference in the , i would likesays though,o us a favor, because our country has been through a lot, and ukraine knows a lot about it. i would like to find out about the whole situation of ukraine they say crowd strike. i guess you have one of your wealthy people. the server, they say ukraine has it. colonel vindman, was this statement based on the official talking points that you have prepared? >> no.
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>> and was this statement related to the 2016 ukraine interference in the 2016 officialpart of the u.s. policy? >> no, it was not. >> at the time of this call were you aware of a theory ukraine had interfered in the u.s. election? >> i was. >> were you aware of any credible evidence to support the theory? >> i have not. >> are you also aware that vladimir putin had promoted this theory of ukrainian interference in the 2016 election? >> i am aware of that. >> what country did u.s. intelligence services determined have interfered in the 2016 election? >> it is the consensus of the intelligence community that the
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the russians interfered in our elections in 2016. >> let's go to another excerpt where the president asked president zelenskiy to investigate his political opponent, former vice president joe biden. president trump says, the other thing, there is a lot talk about president trump. whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it. it sounds horrible to me, he said. again, colonel vindman, was this included in your talking points? >> it was not. >> such a request to investigate a political opponent, is it consistent with official u.s. policy? >> it was not consistent with the policy as i understood it. >> are you aware of any credible allegations or evidence to support this notion that vice president biden did something wrong or against u.s. policy with regard to ukraine?
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>> i am not. . >> miss williams, are you familiar with any credible evidence to support this theory against vice president biden? >> no, i am not. >> miss williams, prior to the july 25 call, approximately how between the president of the united states and foreign leaders had you listened to? >> i would say roughly a dozen. >> had you ever heard a call like this? >> as i testified before, i believe what i found unusual or? >>? >>? >>? >>? >>? >>? >>? >>? >>? >>? > or different about this call was the president's reference to specific investigations. that struck me as different than other calls i listen to. >> you testified you thought it was political in nature. why did you think that? >> i thought that the references to specific individuals and investigation such as former vice president biden and his son struck me as political in nature
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given that the foreigner former -- given that the former vice president is a political opponent of the vic president. next so you thought it could designed to assist president trump's reelection effort? whatcan't speak to president trump's motivation was in referencing it, i just noted that the reference to biden sounded political to me. >> miss williams, welcome. i want to establish just a few basic facts about your knowledge of ukraine. you spent on external urinary a lot of time on ukraine, correct? >> ukraine is one of the countries in my portfolio. i wouldn't say an extraordinary amount of time, but certainly, the president has engaged in quite a higher much of ukraine policy and it is in my purview. in september of
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2015, then u.s. ambassador to ukraine publicly called for an investigation into the president of burisma? were you aware of these public statements? >> not at the time. >> you are today, though? >> i have since heard them, yes. >> did you know of anti-trump efforts by various ukrainian officials as well as alexander chalupa, the consultant? >> no, i was not aware. >> did you know about th deputy security area of state's worry about former vice president biden's son sitting on the board? >> i have become aware of it through mr. kent's testimony, through the process. >> did you know that financial records show a ukrainian national gas company, burisma, rotted more than $3 million to helpcan accounts tied to
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hunter biden? >>, i was not aware. >> until you prepared for the hearing? >> until others testified. >> you have been following them more closely? >> correct. >> digit no -- did you know that there is not such a american representatives met with american officials just days after biden forced the firing of prosecutor?s chief >> again, i was not working on ukraine policy at the time. >> did you know that burisma lawyers pressured the state department in february of 2016 after the raid, and a month kin,re the firing of schul and they invoked hunter biden's name as a present intervene? >> i was not aware. >> did you know vice president biden called the ukrainian president after the president and owner of burisma's home was raided by the state prosecutor's
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office? >> not at the time. again, i have become aware of that through this proceeding. >> thank you, miss williams. >> lieutenant colonel vindland, i am going to ask you the same questions just to establish some basic facts about your knowledge about the ukraine, burisma, and biden.e of in september, 2015, u.s. ambassador to ukraine geoffrey pyatt called for an investigation into the president of burisma. were you aware? >> i was not aware of it at the time. >> when did you become aware of them? >> during the course of the testimony at the depositions after the impeachment inquiry began. anti-trumpknow of efforts by various ukrainian government officials as well as alexander chalupa, a dnc consultant? >> i am not aware of any of these interference efforts. >> did you know about a deputy assistant secretary of state
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can't touch your concerns -- kent's concerns about hunter biden sitting on the board of burisma? >> the only thing i'm aware of deposition.the >> did you know that financial records show that charisma routed more than $3 million to the american accounts tied to hunter biden? >> i am not aware of this fact. >> until recently? lookdid not independently into it, i am just not aware of what kind of payments mr. biden may have received, this is not something i am aware of. >> these you know that charisma such a american -- charisma's legal representatives met after biden agreed to pressure them to fire the ukrainian state prosecutor? >> i am not aware. >> did you know that they invoked hunter biden's name as reason to intervene?
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>> i am not aware of any of these facts. biden you know that joe called ukrainian president poroshenko at least three times in february of 2016 after the president and owner of burisma's home was raided by the state prosecutor's office? >> i am aware of the fact that president biden -- vice president biden was very engaged on ukraine and had numerous engagements. that is what i am aware of. >> miss williams and lieutenant colonel vindland, as you may or may not know, this committee has spent nearly three years conducting various investigations, starting with the russian collusion hoax, democratic hysteria over the lack of collusion in the mueller report and now, this impeachment charade. one of the most concerning things regarding all these investigations is the amount of classified or otherwise sensitive information i read in the press that arise either from
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this committee, or sources within the administration. i am not accusing either of you for leaking the investigation, given that you are one of the first witnesses that actually has firsthand knowledge of the fromdent's phone call listening in on july 25, it is imperative to american's understanding of the events that we get a few matters out of the way first. for williams, you first, the purposes of the following questions, i am only asking about the time period from july 25 through september 25. >> ok. the july 25iscuss phone call between president trump and president zelenskiy, or any matters associated with a phone call with any members of the press? >> no. >> to be clear, you never discussed these matters with
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"the new york times," "the washington post comical or any media outlet? >> no. >> did you encourage any individual to share the substance of the phone call or any matter associated with a call with any member of the press? >> i did not. >> do you know of any individual who discussed the substance of the july 25 phone call or matters associated with the call with any member of the press? >> i do not. >> lieutenant colonel vindland, same question to you, did you discuss the july 25 phone call between president trump and president zelenskiy or any matter associated with a phone call with any member of the press? >> i did not. >> to be clear, you did not discuss this with the new york times, the washington post, politico, cnn, or any other media outlet? not.did >> do to encourage an individual
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to share the substance of the call or any matter associated with the call with any member of the press? not.did >> do you know of any individual who discussed the substance of the july 25 form call or any matters associated with a call within a member of the press? >> we have a press shop and the field any of these questions. i do not engage with the press at all. >> let me ask that question again. you know of any individual who discussed the substance of the july 25 phone call or any matter associated with a call within a member of the press? press shopan nsc whose job is to engage on any of these types of questions. i am not aware, but it is possible and likely that the press shop woodfield these types of questions. knowe question is, do you any individual, do you personally know any individual who discussed the substance of the july 25 phone call or any
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matter associated with o the call with fitting member of the press? >> thank you for clarifying, i do not. >> thank you. miss williams, did you discuss that july 25 phone call with anyone outside the white house on july 25 or july 26, and if so, with whom. >> no, i did not discuss it with anyone inside or outside the white house? >> during your time on the nsc, have you ever accessed a colleagues work computer without prior authorization or approval? >> i have not. i am in the office of the vice president, not the nsc. no, i have not. >> thank you for the clarification. lieutenant colonel vindland, did you discuss the phone call with anyone outside the white house on july 25 or 26, and if so, with whom? >> i did. my core function is to coordinate u.s.
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interagency policy, and i spoke with two individuals with regards to providing some sort of the doubt of the call. >> two individuals that were not in the white house. >> cleared u.s. government officials, not in the white house, with appropriate need to know. >> what agencies were these officials with? >> department of state, department of state, deputy assistant secretary george can't, who is responsible for portfolio in eastern europe, including ukraine, and an individual in the intelligence committee. >> as you know, the intelligence t has 17 different agencies. what agency was this individual from? interject here, we don't want to use these proceedings. >> it is our time. >> but we need to protect the whistleblower.
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please, stop. i want to make sure there is no effort to out the whistleblower through these proceedings. if the witness has a good faith belief that this reveal the may identity of the whistleblower, that is not the purpose that we are here for, and i want to advise the witness accordingly. >> colonel vindman, you testified in your deposition that you did not know the whistleblower. you testified in the deposition that you did not know who the whistleblower was. >> i do not know who the whistleblower is. >> how is it possible to name these people and then out the whistleblower? >> per the advice of my counsel, toave been advised not answer specific questions about members of the intelligence community.
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>> are you aware that this is the intelligence committee is that is conducting an impeachment hearing? >> of course, i am. >> what is the appropriate place for you to come to justify that be the committee about someone within the intelligence community? >> ranking member, her the and thef my counsel instruction of counsel, i have been advised not to provide any specifics about who i have spoken to within the intelligence committee. community. these are proper individuals with a need to know. fifth.can plead the you are here to answer questions, and you are here under subpoena, so you can either answer the question, or you can plead the fifth. >> excuse me. on behalf of my client, we are following them will call of --
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we are following the rule of committee, the rule of the chair with regards to this issue, and this is not an answer that is invoking the fifth or any theoretical issue like about, we are following the ruling of the .hair >> counsel, a family interject, these proceedings will not be whistleblower. >> and i have advised my client accordingly and he is going to follow the ruling of the chair. if there is an alternative or if you want to work something out with the chair, it is up to you. >> we have attempted to subpoena the whistleblower. the chair has tabled that motion and has been unwilling to recognize those motions over the last few days of this impeachment inquisition process. with that, i will go to mr. castro. >> thank you, ricky member nunes
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. is call as published constantly inaccurate, would you both attest to that? >> i did not take a word-for-word accounting when i first saw the public released version, it looks correct to me? >> i certainly would describe it as substantively correct. >> in your testimony, you said very accurate? >> correct. >> you flagged a couple of edits, colonel vindman. i think you had charisma on page -- burisma on page four, where president zelenskiy was talking about the company mentioned in the issue -- in your testimony, you offered and added that on page 4 of the transcript that was ultimately published, you saw pres. zelenskiy mentioned the word burisma? >> i have that in my notes. >> that was on page four,
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correct? >> correct. >> ms. williams, i believe after your deposition, you went back and checked your notes and you had president zelenskiy using the term burisma as well, is that correct? >> correct. >> but that came up on a different part of the transcript than what colonel vindman was relating to, correct? >> yes. >> yours came out on page five, and it would have been a substitution for the word "case?" >> yes. >> we have had a discussion on whether the president had demands or pres. zelenskiy. i suggest in the deposition that the president's words are in fact ambiguous. he uses some phrases that certainly could be characterized as hedging. on page three in the first paragraph, he talks about -- whenever you can do, he talks
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onut -- that is possible, page four, he mentions, if you could speak to him -- he is talking about the attorney general, rudy giuliani, then at the end of the first paragraph on page four, he says, whatever you can do. the president says, if you can look into it. i asked you in your deposition whether you saw or acknowledged the fact that certain people could read that to be ambiguous. >> and i said, correct, yes. >> you said, i think people want to hear what they have a ready preconceived, is that what you testified? >> if i could ask for a page cite? >> 256. >> 256? thank you. ok. we have got the page. youou went on to say, agreed with me, yes, i guess you could interpret it different
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ways, correct? >> yes. >> ok. turning attention to the preparation of the transcript, that followed the ordinary process, correct. >> i think it followed the appropriate process in terms of making sure that eventually, it came around for clearances, for accuracy, but it was in a different system. >> that relates to the storage of it. you had some concerns, mr. morrison are too committed his concerns about if the transcript was leaked out, and any think both of you and mr. morrison agreed it needed to be rejected? >> and correction, i don't think it was mr. morrison, it was mr. eisenberg. >> mr. morrison testified that in his deposition. >> we don't have that in front of us. >> i can say for myself, the
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concerns about leaks seemed valid, and it wasn't particularly critical. i thought this was sensitive, and it was not going to question the attorney's judgment on that. >> even on the codeword server, you had access to it? >> yes. time duringpoint in your official duties were you denied access to this information? >> correct. >> miss williams, i want to turn to you for a moment. you testified that he believed the transcript is completely inaccurate -- complete and accurate, other than the one issued you mentioned? >> substantively accurate, correct. >> did you express any concerns to anyone in your office about what you heard on the phone call. >> my supervisor was listening on the call as well. because he had heard the same feelmation, i did not
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the need to have further conversation with him on it. >> and you never had conversations with anyone else in the vice president's office? not.did >> so you did not flog it to the chief of staff or the vice president's counsel? supervisor,ate lieutenant colonel catalog was in the room with me. >> did you and general catalog ever discuss the contents of the phone call? not. did i >> in the run-up to the meeting in warsaw, you are involved with the preparation of the vice presidents briefing materials? correct. >> did you flagged for the vice president parts of the call that had concerned you? >> no, we did not include the call transcript in the briefing book. we don't normally include previous calls in briefing books. >> if your concerns were so significant, how come nobody on the vice president's staff at least alerted him to the issue that pres. zelenskiy might be on
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about something mentioned on the /25 phone call? >> again, my supervisor had been on the phone with me and i assure them that the president had access to the transcript that day. as we were preparing for the september meeting, the more immediate issue at hand was, two days prior, the news had broken about the hold on the security assistance, so we were much more focused on the discussion likely to occur about the hold on security assistance. >> you are in a meeting with president zelenskiy and vice president pence? >> and the president or the bidens didn't come up for any investigations? >> no, they did not. youolonel vindman, testified that the president has long-standing concerns about corruption in ukraine, correct? >> i don't recall, but there are concerns, broad concerns about corruption. >> you would agree that if the u.s. is giving hundreds of
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millions of dollars to a foreign nation, that has a corruption problem, that is something the u.s. officials and the president would be concerned about? >> yes. >> and if a foreign country has a problem with oligarchs taking u.s. taxpayer dollars, that is something the president ought to be concerned about in advance of dispensing any aid? >> yes. >> i believe you did testify that corruption is endemic in ukraine? .> correct >> are you also aware of the president's skepticism of foreign aid generally? >> i am. >> and that it is something that he has made part of his priorities, to make sure u.s. foreign aid is spent wisely? >> correct. >> and you are also over other president has concerns about burden sharing among our allies? >> yes. ukraine,th respect to
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he was very interested and engaged in seeing if there was a possibility for our european allies to step up and contribute more? >> yes, i think that would be in the context of military assistance. in terms of burden sharing, the european union provides over $15 billion, since 2014. >> but you are aware of the president to two concern on burden sharing, right? >> yes. >> turning specifically to the company, burisma, the cofounder of burisma is one of ukraine's largest natural gas producers, correct. >> yes. >> and it has been subject to numerous investigations over the years? >> i am not aware of -- i guess i can point to a specific investigation, but there is what i would call a pattern of questionable dealings, and questions about corruption. >> the leader had served as a
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minister of ecology during president yanukovych's tenure? >> i came to learn that, correct. >> george can't testified a bit about this last week, that under the obama administration, the u.s. government encouraged the ukraine to investigate whether he used the government position to grant himself or burisma exploration licenses. are you aware of that? kent,ould for to george he is a font of knowledge on ukraine, much deeper knowledge than i have. that, then id to take his word for it. the u.s.tified that along with the u.k. were engaged in trying to recoup about $23 million in taxpayer dollars? >> i understand he testified to that, yes. >> mr. kent also testified that the investigation was moving along, and then all of a sudden,
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, and the a -- investigation went away. to do hear him mention that? >> these are events that occurred before my time. beyond what he said, i don't know much more. >> fair enough. red around the time the bribe was paid, the company sought to bolster their board. are you our that they tapped some luminaries for their corporate board? >> i learned that at some point, yes. >> including the president of poland, i believe? >> yes. >> and hunter biden? >> i came to learn that as well. >> are you aware of any specific experience hunter biden has in the ukrainian corporate governance world? >> i don't know much about mr. hunter biden. >> we talked of the bit about -- at your deposition, about whether mr. biden was qualified to serve on this board, and


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