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tv   Good Morning America  ABC  November 19, 2019 7:00am-9:00am PST

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what led you to that conclusion? >> it seemed unlikely that he would be familiar with a single company in the context of a call that was on the broader bilateral relationship and it seems to me that he was either tracking this issue because it was in the press or he was otherwise prepped. >> mr. goldman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. good morning to both of you. >> good morning. >> on july 25 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 zelensky. now, 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 those talking
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points based upon? >> they were -- so this is not in the public record and i can't comment too deeply but what is -- the areas that we've consistently talked to -- talked about in public is cooperation on supporting a reform agenda, anti-corruption efforts and helping president zelensky implement his plans to end russia's war against ukraine. >> in other words, they're based on official u.s. policy? >> correct. >> and is there a process to determine official u.s. policy? >> yes. my job is to coordinate u.s. policy so throughout the preceding year that i had 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
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president trump was following the talking points based on the official u.s. policy? >> counsel, the president could choose to use the talking points or not. he's the president, but they were not consistent with what i provided, yes. >> let's take a look at a couple of excerpts from this call. right after president zelensky thanked president trump for the united states' support in the area of defense, president trump asked president zelensky for a favor and then raises this theory of ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. he says in the highlighted portion, 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
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say ukraine has it. now, colonel vindman, was this statement based on the official talking points that you had prepared? >> no. >> and was this statement related to the 2016 ukraine interference in the 2016 election part of the official u.s. policy? >> no, it was not. >> now, at the time of this july 25 call, colonel vindman, were you aware of a theory that ukraine had interest veevened o interfered in the u.s. 2016 election? >> i was. >> are you aware of any credible evidence to support this theory? >> i am not. >> are you also aware that vladimir putin had promoted this theory of ukrainian interference in the 2016 election? >> i am well affaware of that f. >> ultimately which country did
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u.s. intelligence services determine to have interfered in the 2016 election? >> it is the consensus of the entire intelligence community that the russians interfered in u.s. elections in 2016. >> let's go to another excerpt from this call where president trump asked president zelensky to investigate his political opponent, vice president joe biden. here 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 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 consistent with official u.s. policy?
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>> it was not consistent with the policy as i understood it. >> now, 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? >> i am not. >> ms. williams, are you familiar with any credible evidence to support this theory against vice president biden? >> no, i'm not. >> now, ms. williams, prior to the july 25 call, approximately how many calls 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 different about this call was the president's reference to specific investigations and that struck me as different than other calls i had listened to. >> you testified that you thought it was political in
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nature. why did you think that? >> i thought that the references to specific individuals and investigations such as former vice president biden and his son struck me as political in nature given that the former vice president is a political opponent of the president. >> and so you thought that it could potentially be designed to assist president trump's re-election effort? >> i can't speak to what the president's motivation was in referencing it but i just noted that the reference to biden sounded political to me. >> colonel vindman, you've said in your deposition that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the political benefits of the president's demands. for those of us who are not rocket scientists, can you explain what you meant by that? >> so, my understanding is that the connection to investigate into a political opponent was inappropriate and improper.
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i made that connection as soon as the president brought up the biden investigation. >> colonel vindman, you testified that president trump's request for a favor from president zelensky would be considered as a demand to president zelensky. after this call, did you ever hear from any ukrainians either in the united states or ukraine about any pressure that they felt to do these investigations that president trump demanded? >> not that i can recall. >> did you have any discussions with officials at the embassy here -- the ukrainian embassy here in washington d.c.? >> yes, i did. >> did you discuss at all the demand for investigations with them? >> i did not. >> did you discuss at all at any point their concerns about the hold on security assistance?
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>> to the best of my recollection, in the august time frame the ukrainian embassy started to become aware of the hold on security assistance and they were asking if i had any comment on that or if i could substantiate that. >> that was before it went -- became public, is that right? >> yes. >> what did you respond? >> i believe i said that -- i don't recall, frankly. i don't recall what i said, but i believe it may have been something along the lines of i'm not aware of it. >> you testified that one of your concerns about the request for investigations related to u.s. domestic politics was that
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ukraine may lose bipartisan support. why was that a concern of yours? >> ukraine is in a war with russia, and the security assistance that we provide ukraine is significant. absent that security assistance and maybe even more importantly, the signal of support for ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, that would likely encourage russia to pursue -- potentially escalate to pursue further aggression, further undermining ukrainian sovereignty, european security and u.s. security. >> in other words, ukraine is heavily dependent on united states support, both diplomatically, financially and also militarily? >> correct. >> colonel vindman, what languages do you speak? >> i speak russian, ukrainian, and a little bit of english. >> do you know what -- do you
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recall what language president zelensky spoke on this july 25 phone call? >> i know he made a valiant effort to speak english. he had been practicing up his english, but he also spoke ukrainian. >> i want to look at the third excerpt from the july 25 call, and chairman schiff addressed this with you in his questioning. you see in the highlighted portion, it says specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue. is that the portion of the call record that, vercolonel vindman you actually thought represented burisma? >> correct. >> you testified that his use of -- or his understanding that when president trump mentioned the bidens that that referred to the company burisma sounded to you like he was prepped or
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prepared for this call, is that right? >> that's correct. >> i want to go to the next slide if we could which is actually a text message that neither of you is on but this is from ambassador kurt volker to and andriy yermak. what is andriy yermak? >> he's a senior adviser to president zelensky. >> this text message is less than a half-hour before the call on july 25 and since neither of you are on it i'll read it. it says from ambassador volker, good lunch, thanks. heard from white house. assuming president z convinces trump he will investigate, quote, get to the bottom of what happened, unquote, in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to washington. good luck. see you tomorrow. kurt.
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now, is this the sort of thing that you're referring to when you say that it sounded like president zelensky was prepared for this call? >> this would be consistent, yes. >> turning to the fourth excerpt from the july 25 call where ukraine's president zelensky links the white house meeting to the investigations that president trump requests, president zelensky says, i also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the united states, specifically washington d.c. on the other hand, i also wanted to ensure you that we will be very serious about the case and will work on the investigation. colonel vindman, when president zelensky says, on the other hand, would you agree that he's acknowledging the investigations that he mentioned in the second
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sentence? >> it could be taken that way but i'm not sure if i -- it seems like a reasonable conclusion. >> if that is the case, that would be consistent with the text message that ambassador volker sent to andriy yermak right before the call, is that right? >> seemingly so. >> now, you've testified in your deposition that a white house visit, an oval office visit is very important to president zelensky. why is that? >> the show of support for president zelensky, still a brand new president, frankly a new politician on the ukraine political scene looking to establish himself as a regional and maybe even a world leader would want to have a meeting with the united states, the most
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powerful country in the world, and ukraine's most significant benefactor in order to be able to implement his agenda. >> it would provide him with some additional legitimacy at home? >> yes. >> just to summarize, in this july 25 call between the presidents of the united states and ukraine, president trump demanded a favor of president zelensky to conduct investigations that both of you acknowledge were for president trump's political interest, not the national interest, and in return for his promise of a much desired white house meeting for zelensky, colonel vindman, is that an accurate summary of the excerpts that we just looked at? >> yes. >> ms. williams? >> yes. >> colonel vindman, you immediately reported this call to the nsc lawyers. why did you do that?
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>> at this point i had already been tracking this initially what i would describe as alternative narrative, false narrative, and i was certainly aware of the fact that it was starting to reverberate, gain traction, the fact that in the july 10 call, ended up being pronounced by a public official, ambassador sondland had me alerted to this and i was, subsequent to that report, i was invited to follow up with any other concerns to mr. eisenberg. >> we're going to discuss that july 10 meeting in a moment but when you say alternative false narratives, are you referring to the two investigations that president trump referenced in the call? >> yes. >> now, at some point did you also discuss how the written summary of the call record should be handled with the nsc
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lawyers? >> following the report there was a discussion in the legal shop on the best way to manage the transcript, yes. >> what did you understand they concluded? >> my understanding is that this was viewed as a sensitive transcript and to avoid leaks and if i recall the term properly, something along the lines of preserve the integrity. transcript, it should be segregated to a smaller group of folks. >> to preserve the integrity of the transcript, what did that mean? >> i'm not sure. it seems like a legal term. i'm not an attorney, but i didn't take it as anything nefarious. i understood that they wanted to keep it in a smaller group. >> if there was real interest in preserving the integrity of the transcript, don't you think they would have accepted your correction that burisma should have been included? >> not necessarily. the way these edits occur, they
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go through like everything else an approval process. i made my contribution. it was cleared by mr. morrison. then when i returned it, sometimes that doesn't happen. there are administrative errors. i think in this case i didn't see -- when i first saw the transcript without the two substantive items that i had attempted to include, i didn't see it as nefarious. i saw it as, okay, no big deal. >> you said two substantive issues. what was the other one? >> there was a reference in a section -- wait a second. secon on page four, the top paragraph, let me find the right spot. yes, you can look into it,
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ellipse. there are videos as i recall or recordings. >> instead of elip cease it should have said, what you heard, there are recordings? >> correct. >> did you ultimately learn where the call record was put?p? >> i understood that it was being segregated into a separate secure system. >> why would it be put on a separate secure system? >> this is definitely not unprecedented but at times if you want to limit access to a smaller group of folks, you put it on the secure system to ensure that a smaller group of people with access to the secure system have it. >> can't you also limit the number of people who can access it on the regular system? >> you can do that but to the best of my recollection the decision was made, frankly, on the fly after my -- after i
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conveyed my concerns to mr. eisenberg, mr. ellis came in. he hadn't heard the entire conversation and when it was mentioned that it was sensitive, it was kind of an on the fly decision to segregate it in this separate system. >> mr. eisenberg and mr. ellis are nsc lawyers? >> correct. >> it was your understanding it wasn't a mistake to put it on the highly classified system, is that right? >> i'm not sure i understand. >> was it intended to put it on the highly classified system by the lawyers or was it a mistake that it was put there? >> i think it was intended but again it was intended to prevent leaks and to limit access. >> now, you testified, both of you, about the april 21 call a little earlier, and colonel vindman, you indicated that you did include in your talking points the idea of ukraine rooting out corruption but that president trump did not mention
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corruption. i want to go to the white house readout from the april 21 call. i'm not going to read the whole thingut highlighted portion where it says root out corruption? >> yes. >> in the end this readout was false, is that right? >> that's -- that's -- maybe that's a bit of -- i i i entirely accurate but i'm not sure i would describe it as false. it was consistent with u.s. policy and these items are used as messaging tools also, so a statement that goes out, in addition to reading out the meeting itself is also a messaging platform to indicate what is important with regard to u.s. policy. >> so it is a part of u.s. official policy that ukraine should root out corruption even if president trump did not mention it in that april 21 phone call, is that right? >> certainly.
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>> and he also did not mention it in the july 25 phone call, is that right? >> correct. >> so even though it was included in his talking points for the april 21 call and presumably even though you can't talk about it for the july 21 call, it was not included in either, is that right? >> for the april 21 call -- >> you did not mention in either, rather. >> correct. >> so when the president says now that he held up security assistance because he was concerned about rooting out corruption in ukraine, that concern was not expressed in the two phone conversations that he had with president zelensky earlier this year, is that right? >> correct. >> ms. williams, you testified earlier that after this april 21 call, president trump asked vice president pence to attend president zelensky's
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inauguration, is that right? >> that's correct. >> and that on may 13 you were just informed by the chief of staff's office that vice president pence should not -- will not be going per request of the president, is that right? >> there's what i was informed, yes. >> and you didn't know what had changed from april 21 to may 13, is that right? >> no, not in terms of that decision. >> colonel vindman, since you in particular a little bit more perhaps than ms. williams who has a broader portfolio focuses on ukraine, i want to ask if you were aware of the following things that happened from april 21 to may 13. were you aware that ambassador yovanovitch was abruptly recalled from ukraine in that time? >> yes. >> were you aware that president trump -- >> i'm sorry, to correct it. she was recalled prior -- let me see. the notification occurred towards the end of april and she
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was finally recalled in the may time frame, i think may 25 if i recall correctly. >> so she learned about it after april 21, on april 24, is that right? >> correct. >> were you aware that president trump had a telephone call with president putin during this time period in early may? >> i was. >> were you aware that rudy giuliani had planned a trip to go to ukraine to pressure the ukrainians to initiate the two investigations that president trump mentioned on the july 25 call in this time period? >> i was aware that he was traveling there and that he had been promoting the idea of these investigations. >> i want to move now to that july 10 meeting that you referenced, colonel vindman. what exactly did ambassador sondland say when the ukrainian officials raised the idea of a white house meeting? >> as i recall, he referred to
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specific investigations that ukrainians would have to deliver in order to get these meetings. >> what happened -- >> the white house meeting. >> what happened to the broader meeting after he made that reference? >> ambassador bolton very abruptly ended the meeting. >> did you have any conversations with ambassador bolton about this meeting? >> no, i did not. >> did you follow ambassador sondland and the others to the war room for a meeting followup? >> there was a photo opportunity that we leveraged in order to demonstrate u.s. support so the white house visit demonstrated u.s. support for ukraine and the new national security adviser and then after that we went down to a short post-meeting huddle or debrief. >> were the investigations, the
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specific investigations that ambassador sondland referenced in the larger meeting also discussed in the war room meeting? >> they were. >> what did ambassador sondland say? >> ambassador sondland referred to investigations into the bidens, burisma in 2016. >> how did you respond, if at all? >> i said that this request to conduct these meetings was inappropriate, these investigations was inappropriate, and had nothing to do with national security policy. >> was ambassador volker in this meeting as well? >> i don't recall specifically. i believe he was there for at least a portion of the time. i don't recall if he was there for that -- for the whole meeting. >> was this statement made in front of the ukrainian officials? >> i believe there was some discussion prior to the ukrainians leaving when it was
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apparent there was some discord between the senior folks, ambassador sondland and other white house staff, myself, they were asked to step out. so i don't recall if they were there for the entire discussion. >> the senior white house staff you're referring to, does that include fiona hill, your immediate supervisor at the time? >> correct. >> you said you also reported this incident to the nsc lawyers, is that right? >> correct. >> and what was their response? >> john eisenberg said that he took notes while i was talking and he said that he would look into it. >> why did you report this meeting and this conversation to the nsc lawyers? >> because it was inappropriate and following the meeting i had a short conversation -- following the post-meeting meeting in the war room, i had a short conversation with ambassador -- correction, dr. hill, and we discussed the idea
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of needing to report this. >> so am i correct, colonel vindman, that at least no later than that july 10 meeting the ukrainians had understood or at least heard that the oval office meeting that they so desperately wanted was conditioned on these specific investigations into burisma and the 2016 election? >> that was the first time i was aware of the ukrainians being approached directly by a government official. >> and directly linking the white house meeting to the investigations? >> correct. >> ms. williams, you testified in your opening statement that you attended the september 1 meeting between vice president pence and president zelensky in warsaw, is that right? >> that's correct. >> what was the first thing that
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president zelensky asked vice president pence about at that meeting? >> president zelensky asked the vice president about the status of security assistance for ukraine because he had seen the politico article and other news reporting that the security assistance was being held. >> and you testified in your deposition that in that conversation president zelensky emphasized that the military assistance, the security assistance was not just important to assist ukraine in fighting a war against russia but that it was also symbolic in nature. what did you understand him to mean by that? >> president zelensky explained that more than -- or equally with the financial and physical value of the assistance, that it was the symbolic nature of that assistance that really show of u.s. support for ukraine
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and for ukraine's sovereignty and territory integrity. i think he was stressing that to the vice president to really underscore the need for the security assistance to be released. >> and that if the united states was holding the security assistance, is it also true then that russia could see that as a sign of weakening u.s. support for ukraine and take advantage of that? >> i believe that's what president zelensky was indicating, that any signal or sign that u.s. support was wavering would be construed by russia as potential an opportunity for them to strengthen their own hand in ukraine. >> did vice president pence provide a reason for the hold on security assistance to the ukrainian president in that meeting? >> the vice president did not specifically discuss the reason behind the hold but he did reassure president zelensky of the strongest u.s. unwavering support for ukraine and they talked about the need for european countries to step up and provide more assistance to
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ukraine as well. did vice president pence report back to president trump on that meeting to your knowledge? >> the vice president conveyed to president zelensky he would follow up with president trump that evening and conveyed what he heard from president zelensky with regards to implement reforms in ukraine. i'm aware that vice president spoke to president trump that evening. >> are you also aware however that the security assistance hold was not lifted for another ten days after this meeting? >> that's correct. >> and am i correct that you didn't learn the reason why the hold was lifted? >> that's correct. >> colonel vind mapp, you didn't learn a reason why the hold was lifted? >> correct. >> colonel vindman, are you aware the committee has launched
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an investigation into ukraine matters? >> i am aware. >> on september 10th the spell jones committee requested the whistle-blower complaint from the department of national intelligence, are you aware of that? >> i don't believe i was aware of that. >> were you aware that the white house was aware of this whistle-blower complaint prior to that date? >> the first i heard of the whistle-blower complaint is i believe when the news broke. i was only aware of the committee's investigating the hold on security assistance. >> so, is it accurate to say, colonel vindman, whatever reason that was provided for the hold including the administrative policies which would -- well, which would support the hold, support the security assistance, is that right to your understanding in. >> i'm sorry i didn't
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understand. >> the administrative policies of president trump supported the security assistance, is that your understanding? >> so, the interagency policy was to support security assistance to ukraine. >> thank you, i yield back. now recognize ranking member nunes or minority council for 45 minutes. >> thank you, ms. williams, welcome. i want to establish a few basic facts about your knowledge of ukraine, burisma and the role of the bidens. you spent an extraordinary amount of your time on ukraine, correct. >> ukraine is one of the countries in my portfolio, the vice president has engaged on ukraine policy quite a bit in my eight months. >> and it's in your portfolio? >> that's correct. >> first off, were you aware in
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september of 2015, then u.s. ambassador to ukraine publically called for an investigation into the president of burisma, were you aware of these public statements if. >> no, not at the time. >> you are today? >> yes, i have sense heard them. >> have you heard of anti-trump efforts as well as alexandra chalupa dnc consultant. >> no i wasn't aware. >> kent's concerns about potential conflict of interests of biden on wrist ma word. >> i -- >> in the last year or so. >> i have become aware of it through mr. kent's testimony. through this process. >> did you know that financial records show a ukrainian national gas company burisma
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routed more than $300 million to accounts? >> no, i was not aware. >> until? >> until. >> you prepared for this hearing. >> until others have been testifying. >> you've been following it more closely? >> correct. >> did you know that burisma's america legal representatives met with ukrainian officials after biden forced the firing of the country's chief prosecutor? >> again, sir, i was not working on ukraine policy. >> did you know that burisma lawyers pressured the state department in february of 2016 after the raid and month before the firing of shokin and they invoked hunter biden's name as a reason to intervene? >> i wasn't aware. >> are you aware that vice president biden called the vice president of ukraine three times
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after the burisma head's home was raided. >> not at the time. >> thank you. lieutenant colonel vindman, i'm going to ask you same questions. just to establish some basic facts about your knowledge about ukraine, burisma and the rolfe the bidens. in september 2015, u.s. ambassador to ukraine public called for an investigation in burisma? >> i wasn't aware of it at time. >> within did you become aware of it them. >> after the impeachment inquiry began. >> did you know of antitrump efforts by various ukrainian government officials as well as alexandra lupe ya, a dnc consultant. >> i'm not aware of any of these
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interference efforts. >> are you aware of kent's kerns about hunter biden sitting on the board of burisma. >> the only thing i'm aware of pertains to his deposition. >> financial records show a ukrainian natural gas burisma routed more than $300 million. >> i'm not aware of this fact. >> until recently? >> i guess i didn't independently look into it. i'm not aware of what kind of payments mr. biden may have received. >> did you know that burisma's american legal representatives met with ukrainian officials just days after joe biden forced the firing of the country's chief prosecutor. >> i'm not aware of these
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meetings. >> a month before the firing of shokin and they invoked the name of hunter biden as a reason to intervene sf. >> i'm not aware of any of these facts. >> did you know that joe biden called ukrainian president at least e times in february of 2016 after the president and owner of burisma's home was raided by the state prosecutor's office. >> i'm aware that vice president biden was very engaged on ukraine and had numerous engagements. >> ms. williams and colonel vindman, as you may or may not know, this committee has spent three years 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 krngs things
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regarding these investigations the classified sensitive information from the press from sources within the administration, to be clear, i'm not accusing either one of you of leaking information. given that you're the first witnesses who actually have some firsthand knowledge of the president's call by listening in on july 25th it's imperative to the american public's understanding of the events that we get a quick few matters out of the way first. ms. williams, first, for the purposes of the following questions i'm only asking about the time period between from july 25th to september 25th. >> okay. >> did you discuss the july 25th phone call between president trump and president zelensky or any matters associated with the phone call with any members of the press? >> no.
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>> to be clear, you never discussed these matters with "the new york times," the washington post, politico, cnn or any other media outlet? >> no, i did not. >> did you ask or encourage any individual to share the substance of the july 25th phone call with any member of the press? >> i did not. >> do you know of any individual who discussed the substance of the july 25th phone call or matters associated with the call with any member of the press? >> no, i do not. >> colonel vindman, the same questions for you. did you discuss the july 25th phone call between president trump and president zelensky or any matter associated with the phone call with any member of the press? >> i did not. >> just to be clear, you didn't discuss this with tth ft. washington post, politico, cnn, or any other media outlet. >> no, i did not. >> do you encourage any
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individual to discuss the phone call or any matter associated with the call with the press? >> i did not. >> do you know of any individual who discussed the substance of the july 25th phone call with any member of the press? >> we have an nsc press shop, they field any these types of questions. i don't engage with the press. >> do you know of any individual who discussed the july 25th phone call or any matter associated with the call with any member of the press? >> we have an nsc press shop whose job is to engage on any these types of these questions. i'm not aware. the press shop would field these types of questions. >> the question -- >> i'm sorry. >> the question, do you know any individual, do you personally
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know any individual who discussed the substance of the july 25th phone call or any matter of the phone call with the press. >> i do not. >> ms. williams, did you discuss the july 25th phone call with anyone outside the white house on july 25th or july 26th. >> no, i did not discuss the phone call. >> ms. williams, during the time on your nsc, have you accessed a colleague's work computer without their prior approval. >> no. i'm not the office of vice president. not in the nsc. >> did you discuss the july 25th phone call with anyone outside the white house on july 25th or the 26th and if so, with whom? >> yes, i did -- my core
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function is to coordinate u.s. government policy, interagency policy, and i spoke to two individuals with regards provide ing a some sort of readout with the call. >> two individuals that were not in the white house. >> not in the white house, clear u.s. government officials with appropriate need to know. >> what agencies were these officials with? >> department of state, department of state deputy assistance george can kent, responsible for the portfolio, eastern europe including ukraine. and an individual from the office of -- an individual in the intelligence community. >> what as you know the intelligence community has 17 different agencies, what agency was this individual from? >> if i could interject here. we don't want to use these proceedings. >> i know our time.
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>> we need to protect our whistle-blower. please stop. i want to make sure that there's no effort to out the whistle-blower through these proceedings. if the witness has a good faith belief that this may reveal the identity of the whistle blower that's not the purpose we're here for and i want to advise the witness accordingly. >> mr. vindman, you testified in your deposition that you did not know the whistle blower. >> ranking member. >> lieutenant colonel vindman, you testified in the deposition that you didn't know who the whistle blower was? >> i do not whoa the whistle blower is. >> how is it possible for you to name these people and then out the whistle-blower? >> per the advice of my counsel, i have been asked not to answer
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questions about the intelligence community. >> are you aware that this is intelligence committee that's conducting the impeachment proceeding? >> of course i am. >> to come to testify would be the intelligence committee about someone within the intelligence community? >> ranking member, per the advice of my counsel and the instructions from the chairman i've advised not to provide any specifics on who i have spoken with within the security community. these were properly cleared individual with a need to know. >> this is -- i mean, you could plead the fifth but you're here to answer questions and you're here under subpoena, you can either answer the question or plead the fifth? >> excuse me.
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on behalf of my clint, we are following the rule of the committee, rule of the chair, with regard to this issue. and this does not call for answer that's invoking the fifth or any theoretical issue like that. we're following the ruling of the chair. >> counselor, what is that. >> the whistle-blower has the right to anonynmity. >> i have advised my clint accordingly and he'll follow the ruling of the chair. >> we have attempted to subpoena the whistle-blower to sit for a deposition, the chair has tabled that motion and has been unwilling to recognize those motions over the last few days of this impeachment indivision
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process. with that, i'll go to mr. castor. >> thank you, rank b member nunes. >> the call published on september 25th is complete and accurate? both of you attest to that? >> mrz williams i didn't a word for word accounting. when i first saw the publicly released version it looked correct to me. >> mr. vindman? >> i would describe it as substantially correct. >> and you flagged a couple of edits? you had burisma on page 4 where president zelensky was talking about the company mentioned in the issue? >> i'm sorry, would you say that question? >> you explained an edit on page 4 on the transcript that was published you thought that
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president zelensky mentioned burisma. >> i had in my notes that's what he said. >> and ms. williams, i believe after your deposition you went back and checked your notes and you had president zelensky using the term burisma as well, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> but that came up on a different part of the transcript and what colonel vindman was relating to? >> yes, i believe so. >> yours came up on page 5 in substitution for the word case? >> yes, that's correct. >> colonel vindman, we've had discussion earlier today and also your deposition about whether the president had a demand for president zelensky, and you know, i suggested to you in the deposition that the president's words are in fact ambiguous and he uses some phrases that certainly could be characterized as hedging on page 3, in the first photograph, he
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talked about whatever you can do, he talked about if that's possible, on page 4, he mentions if you can speak to him, talking about the attorney general, or rudy giuliani, and then at the end of the first photograph on page 4, he says whatever you can do, the president also says, if you can look into it, and i asked you during your deposition whether you saw or acknowledged the fact that certain people could read that to be ambiguous. >> correct. >> people want to hear what they have already preconceived, is that what you testify? >> if i can ask for a page cite. >> 256. >> 256. just a minute, please. just a minute. >> okay.
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>> you went on to say, you agreed with me, you can interpret it in different ways, is that correct? >> yes. >> turning attention to the preparation of the transcript, that followed the ordinary process, correct? >> i -- so 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, so -- >> i'll get to that in a second, that relates to storage of it. you had some concerns, mr. morrison articulated his concerns about if the transcript was leaked out. you and mr. morrison agreed that it needed to be corrected? eisenberg. hink it was mr. >> mr. morrison testified at his deposition -- >> okay, we don't have that in
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front of us. >> i could say for myself, the concerns about leaks seemed valid and i wasn't particularly critical, i thought this was sensitive and i wasn't going to question the attorney's judgment on that. >> even on the code word server you had access to it? >> yes. >> so, at no point in time during the course of your official duties were you denied access to this information, correct? >> correct. >> ms. williams, i want to turn to you for a moment. you testified that you believe that transcript is complete and accurate other than the one issue you mention snd. >> yes,stantively accurate. >> did you express concerns to any one in your office about what you heard on the call. >> my supervisor was in on the
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call. >> you had any concerns with anyone in the vice president's office? >> i didn't discuss the call further. >> you didn't flag it for the chief of staff or vice president counselor or anyone of that sort? >> my supervisor was in the room with me. >> did you and mr. kellogg ever discuss the call? >> no. >> meeting with president zelensky in september 1st. you aware of the briefing materials? >> yes, i was. >> did you flag for the vice president parts of the call that had concerned you? >> no, we didn't include the call transcript in the trip briefing book. we don't include previous calls in trip briefing books. >> if the concerns were so significant, how come no one on
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the vice president's staff alerted him to the issue that president zelensky might be on edge about something that mentioned on the 7/25 call? >> again, my supervisor had been in the call with me and i was ensured that the vice president had access to the transcript on that day. as we preparing for the september meeting with president zelensky the more intermediate issue, the prior day had broken about the skwuecurity hold. >> you were in the meeting with president zelensky and vice president pence in. >> yes, i was. >> burisma didn't come up, the bidens? >> no, it did not. >> colonel vindman, you testified that the president has longstanding concerns about corruption in ukraine, correct? >> i don't recall, but there are
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broad concerns about corruption. >> you'd agree if the u.s. is giving hundreds of millions of dollars to the a foreign nation that has a corruption problem, that's something the united states would want to be concerned with? >> yes. >> a problem with oligarchs taking money, that's something that the president ought to be concerned about in dispensing the aid? >> yes. >> i believe you did testify that corruption is endemocratic in ukraine? >> yes. >> are you also aware of the president's skepticism of foreign aid generally? >> i am. >> and it's something that he's made part of his priorities to make sure that u.s. foreign aid is spent wisely? >> that's correct. >> and you're also aware that the president has concerns about
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burden sharing among our allies? >> yes. >> and with respect to ukraine 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'd think that would be in the context of military assistance. burden sharing the european union provides over $15 billion. >> okay. >> has provided since 2014. >> you're aware of the .'sconcern of burden sharing. >> yes, i am. >> turning our attention to the company burisma, the co-founder of burisma, one of ukraine's largest natural gas producers, correct? >> that's my understanding, yes. >> it's been subject to numerous investigations over the years? >> i'm not aware -- i guess i couldn't point to specific investigations but there's what i would call a pattern of
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questionable deals. >> he had served as the minister of ecology during president's tenure. >> yes. >> are you aware and george kent testified about this last week, under the obama administration the u.s. government encouraged ukraine to investigate whether he used his government position to grant himself or exploration licenses, are you aware of that. >> i'd defer to george kent, he's a fountain of knowledge on ukraine. much deeper knowledge than i am. and if he had testified to that i'd take his word for it. >> the united kingdom was engaged in trying to recoup 3$30 million from the burisma entity? >> i understand he testified to that, yes. >> and mr. kept also testified that the investigation was
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moving along and then all of a sudden there was a bribe paid and the investigation went away. >> i heardim mention that. beyond what he said, i don't know much more. >> fair enough. right around the time the bribe was paid, the company sought to bolster their board, are you aware that they tapped some luminaries for their corporate board? >> certainly i learned that at some point. >> including the president of poland? >> yes. >> hunter biden? >> yes, i came to learn that as well. >> are you aware of any experience that hunter biden has in the ukrainian corporate governance world sf. >> i don't know much about mr. hunter biden. >> we talked a little bit about your deposition about whether mr. biden was qualified to serve
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on this board and, you know, i believe you acknowledged apparently he wasn't qualified. >> as far as i could tell, he didn't seem to be, but like i said i don't know his qualifications. >> ms. williams, i want to turn our attention to the inaugural trip, at one point the vice president and the vice president's office was focusing on attending that, correct? >> that's right. >> and it's complicated. as i understand it, the white house doesn't want the president and the vice president to be out of the country at the same time? >> that's correct. >> during that time frame the president was in japan, i believe he was in japan from may 24th to 28th. he returned to europe for d-day ceremonies. i think you told us a window you provided at the end of may, if
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the vice president was going to attend the inauguration it had to be the 29th, 30th or 31st. >> our embassy in kiev had been in discussions with president zelensky's team and as we learned the ukrainian parliament wasn't going to come into session in mid-may. we understood that the initial thinking that they were looking at dates at the end of may and honing in on that time frame we aware of president trump's plans to travel so that's why we advised the ukrainian if vice president pence could attend the only available dates were may 30th, 31st or june 1 be ve pres a relatively involved preparation experience, right? >> that's correct. >> do you know if the secret
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service ever deployed or booked hotels. >> my understanding is that our advance team were looking into those preparations including hotel availability and we were trying to determine when et would be appropriate to send out secret service and other personnel to lay the ground work. >> ultimately the secret service as i understand did not deploy? >> no. >> okay, president zelensky's inauguration was may 20th. >> that was correct. >> you had four days' notes. >> may 16th to set the date for may 20th. >> you'd acknowledge that would have made it difficult for the vice president to utilize. >> it would have been. we stopped the trip planning. >> when did that happen. >> stopping the trip planning?
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>> yeah. >> i was called by the colleague, the vice president's chief of staff and told to stop the trip planning. >> it was the assistance to the chief of staff? >> that's correct. >> you didn't hear it from general kellogg or chief of staff or the president or the vice president? >> correct. >> you heard about it from mr. shorts' assistance? >> yes. >> did you have any knowledge of the reasoning for stopping the trip? >> i asked my colleague why we should stop trip planning and why the vice president would not be attending. i was informed that the president had decided that the vice president would not attend the inauguration. >> do you know why? >> no, she did not have that information. >> theice presidentent for an event during this window of time, correct? >> correct. >> it's entirely conceivable that the president wanted the vice president to go to canada
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on behalf of usmca -- >> i'm not in a position to speculate what were the motivations behind the president's -- >> are you aware of whether the -- anyone at the state department inquired with the state department about the trip to canada. >> at one point? >> early may, maybe may 8th? >> i was not involved in the trip planning for canada. one of my colleagues covering the western hemisphere i'm not awarecic requests. i was aware from my colleague who was planning that trip that we had competing trips potentially in the missing window. i was told the ukraine trip pri >> you don't know? >> about the canada trip?
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>> you don't know the reason why the vice president was sent to canada than to ukraine? >> i don't know the reason behind why the president directed the vice president not to go to ukraine. >> colonel vindman, i'd like to turn to the july 10th meeting. ambassador ambassador bolton's office. the subsequent post meeting in the war room. who all was in the july 10th meeting? >> are we talking about the board room or the actual meeting with ambassador bolton. >> the first meeting in the ambassador's office. >> so from the u.s. side, we had ambassador bolton, dr. hill, i >> fro ukrainians?
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>> from the ukrainian side, we had alexander, andriy yermak >> you testified that you couldn't recall exactly why ambassador bolton stopped the meeting short and you only learned it subsequently talking to dr. fiona hill? >> i noted that it ended abruptly, i didn't frankly -- i didn't exactly know why. >> and in the bolton meeting, you don't remember ambassador sondland using the word "biden"? >> i don't know. to the best recollection he didn't. >> the group decamped to take a photo,one.
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>> i think ambassador bolton was exceptionally qualified, he understood the strategic communications opportunity of having a photo and we prompted him to -- before we completely adjourned to see if he was willing to do a photo. he did. >> you went out in the white house and you took it. >> i certainly took a couple of them. >> yes. in the photo secretary perry, ambassador bolton, ambassador volker -- >> that's right. >> and mr. yermak. >> yes. apologize running through the u.s. side, volker, sondland and secretary perry were there. >> you testified before the july 10th meeting you had developed concerns about the narrative involving rudy giuliani, correct in. >> that's correct.
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>> did you hear a firsthand account? >> so, i certainly was following news accounts from the ukrainian side, ukrainian press and u.s. press and my colleagues in the interagency also were concerned about this as this had started in the march time frame emanating from the john solomon story all the way through. ongoing conversations. several different sources. >> okay, and so, when ambassador sondland mentions the investigations you had a little bit of a clue what the issue was? >> definitely. >> you took the photo, very nice photo, then you went to the war room? >> correct. >> and do you remember, you conceded to us you had a hard time remembering exactly what was said. again, it was four months ago, hard to precise what sondland,
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the precise words he used. >> yes, so, i believe it's in deposition, the three elements burisma, bidens and the 2016 elections were all mentioned. >> and, you know, i think we can maybe go back to this, i think on page 64 of your testimony you told us that you don't remember him using 2016 in the war room? >> i actually followed up and because this question was asked multiple times. i said all three elements were in there. >> okay, refresh your recollection? >> i guess that's the term now. >> there was some discussion of, you know, whether, when mr. morrison took over the portfolio for dr. hill, whether you
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sidelined at all, did you feel like you were? >> so, i certainly was excluded or didn't participate in the trip to ukraine at the end of august. and i wasn't initially before it changed from a potus trip to a vice president trip to warsaw i wasn't participating in that. i didn't miss that. >> did you express any concerns to mr. morrison about why you weren't included in those trips? >> i was on leave from the 3rd of august to the 16th or so of august. he called and asked me to return. there was obviously a high-priority travel to the region and he needed my assistance to help plan for it.
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i assumed that i would be going on the trip. so when -- after returning from the leave early when i was told i wasn't going i inquired about it, correct. >> what feedback did he give you? >> he initially told me that the aircraft that was acquired was too small and there wasn't enough room. >> did -- had you ever had any discussions with mr. morrison that he or dr. hill had with your judgment? >> did i have any conversations with mr. morrison about it? no. >> you weren't following the change of command? >> he did not. >> did dr. hill or mr. morrison ever ask you questions about whether you were trying to access information outside of your lane? >> they did not.
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>> and another, you know, aspect of the ukraine portfolio that you were not a part of some of the communications that mr. morrison was having with ambassador taylor? >> correct. >> did you express concern that he was leaving you off those calls? >> well, certainly, it was concerning that he had just come on board and he didn't have -- he wasn't steeped in all of the items that we were working on including the policy that we had developed over the proceedi ini months and i thought i could contribute to that the performance of his duties. >> when you were -- you went to ukraine for the inauguration? >> correct. >> at any point during that trip did he offer position of defense ministry? >> he did. >> how many times did he do that? >> i i believe three times every
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single time i dismissed it. upon returning i notified my chain of command and the appropriate counterintelligence folks about the offer. >> ukraine's a country that's experienced a war with russia, certainly their minister of defense is a pretty key position for the ukrainians, president zelensky, to bestow that honor on you. that was a big honor, correct? >> i think it would be great honor. i'm aware of service members who have left service to help nurture the developing democracies in that part of the world. certainly in the baltics, former officers, if i recall correctly, an officer became an american defense i'm an american. i came here when i was toddler and i immediately dismissed these
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>> when he made this offer to you initially, did you leave the door open, reason he had to come back and ask a second or third time? >> counsel, it's the whole next to is rather comical that i was being asked to consider whether i would want to be minister of defense. i didn't leave the door open at pretty funny for a lieutenant colonel of the united states army, which really isn't that not senior to be offered that position. >> when he made this offer to you, was he speaking in english or ukrainian? >> mr. danyliuk is an absolutely flawless english speaker. just to be clear, there were two other officers, kiev embassy offersers who were sitting next to me when this offer was met. >> who were they?
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>> mr. david holmes and i guess it's another foreign service officer, keith bean. >> okay, we mentioned holmes last friday evening. >> i understand. delightful fella. >> and you said when you returned to the united states, nsc clearance, when made an overture like that, you paper it up and tell you chain your command. >> i did. i didn't fully entertain it as a legitimate offer. >> any of your supervisors, dr. hill at the time or dr. kupperman or ambassador bolton ever follow up with you about that? it's a rather significant. the ukrainians offered you the post of defense minister. did you tell anyone in chain of
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command? >> after i spoke to our deputy senior director, once i mentioned it to them, there was never a follow-up discussion. >> it never came up with dr. kupperman or dr. hill? >> following that conversation i had with dr. hill i don't believe there was a subsequent conversation and i don't ever recall having a conversation with dr. kupperman. >> did you brief mr. morrison when he came on board? >> no. >> subsequent to the nature, did mr. danyliuk ever ask you to reconsider? >> no. >> when he visited for the july 10th meeting with ambassador bolton did it come up again? was, you mhtcame up everhink tm crea the perception of a
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conflict? you're responsible for the ukrainian policy at the national security council. >> it's more important that the american leadership thinks than any of the -- this is -- these are honorable people, it's much more important what my civilian white house national security council chain of command thinks so more so than anyone else. dr. hill stayed on for several more months and we continued to work to advance u.s. policy. >> okay, and during the times relevant of the committee's investigation, did you have any communications with mr. yermak
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or danyliuk outside of the july 10th meeting. >> i recall a courtesy note from yermak after his return he wanted to preserve an open-channel communication and i said, please feel free to contact me with any concerns. >> were you following, there are two tracks, ambassador taylor walked us through it during his testimony last wednesday, he called it a regular channel and an inrir were you tracking the vo volker/sondland? >> i was aware of the fact they were -- they were working together, sondland, ambassador sondland and ambassador volker
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were working in support of what had been agreed to. i didn't learn until the july 10th -- actually, a slightly earlier point, i recall a meeting in which ambassador bolton facilitated a meeting between ambassador volker and ambassador bolton in the june time frame and there may have been some discussion about this external channel. i didn't become aware of these particular u.s. government officials being involved in this alternate track until july 10th. >> we had some discussion that mr. giuliani was promoting a negative narrative about the ukraine. certain officials were trying to help the president to understand with zelensky it was a new day and ukraine's going to be different, is that your understanding? >> that's correct. exactly what was being reported by the security policy and the
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voices of the various people that met with him. >> to the extent that you're aware of what ambassador sondland's goals were here and ambassador volker's goals were here, they were trying to do the best they could and advocate in the best of the united states? >> that's what i believe. that's what i still believe, frankly. >> to the extent that mr. giuliani had different views they were trying to help him understand it was time to change those views? >> i think they were trying to bring him into the tent and have him kind of support the direction that we had settled on. >> and, you never conferred with mr. jewel januaryi? >> no. >> and -- >> i am only knew him as new york's finest mayor. >> america's mayor did you have
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any conversations during this time period with the president? >> i have never had contact with >>y te has red, mr. chairman. >> thank you, gentleman. we're going to move to the five-minute member rounds. are you good to go forward, or do you need a break? >> i think we'll elect to take a short break. >> let's take a five-minute, break. there you have it. jennifer williams, special adviser to vice president mike pence. also, lieutenant colonel alexander vindman, top ukraine expert on the national security council. lot of focus of course on the july 25th phone call between president trump and president zelensky. jennifer williams describing it as unusual.
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colonel vindman reported it to john eisenberg. the question of why his first visit to the inauguration of president zelensky was cancelled by president trump, in a september 18th phone call where he told the ukrainian president that the aid that had been held up would be freed, lot of focus as well on a july 10th meeting between the ukrainians and white house officials. where ambassador sondland was communicated with the ukrainians they would have to pursue these political investigations no in order to get the aid lifted. i want to bring in mary bruce. you had both witnesses, both still serve in the white house talking about that july 25th phone call. colonel vindman said he interpreted the president's request to president zelensky at that time to do him a favor on those investigations as a
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demand. >> reporter: yeah, george, we're now hearing for the first time from people who were actually on that phone call, listening n and you saw them both outline why it is they had such concerns about what they overheard on the phone call. lieutenant colonel vindman making it clear that he felt it was not proper for the president to be pushing for ukraine to launch these investigations into the bidens and explaining why he went ahead and relay that information, reported what he heard to his superior. what stood out to me, this question of corruption. republicans have been making the argument that the president on that phone call, on that july 25th phone call that he was pushing for these investigations simply because he wanted to root out corruption for large. pushing a legitimate concern trying to deal with corruption in ukraine. colonel vindman testified even though it was on the talking
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points he gave to the president on that call, corruption was never mentioned by the president and that's what we have seen in the actual transcripts released by the white house. on the flip sides, democrats will note there are some theories they were pushing here. republicans will likely it as positive for them. vindman noting while there were some omissions, he didn't think that was a big deal that's good news for republicans. >> jon karl, you saw chairman nunes on the republican side spend a lot of time on the whistle-blower, not too much time in the questioning, although there was some suggestions that vindman's superiors had question about his judgment. >> there's a real di cotmy here. on the one ha
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de committee not really going after vindman's credibility. the white house has been putting out talking points, rapid responses as this hearing has gone on. they haven't gone very hard at vindman's credibility but talking about specific aspects of his testimony. but the trump campaign is going at him hard. trump campaign war room tweeted that vindman is an unelected bureaucrat that president trump was leading policy instead of sticking to vindman's talking points. so they are going after him in a personal way. >> what mary mentioned in terms of the transcript being accurate. another important point, whether this traps script was inappropriately put it on a secure server tid it.
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vindman was asked about it and he pointed out, when it was on that supersecure server, he himself had access. >> cecilia, interesting so far at least no tweets that i have seen from president trump. >> we were just talking about that here, george, so far nothing yet. we expect to hear from the president in a few minutes from now. he'll let the press back in for a cabinet meeting. remember, last week, the president's own tweet about marie yovanovitch that blew up. of what the republicans are trying to do not to attack the cent of these witnesses. let's come back to the table. david muir, jennifer williams and colonel emphasizing their service, vindman, the
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direct xun case with his dad in the testimony. >> speaking directly to his dad. the decision for that family to come when he was a young boy. you would be proud of me in a country speaking out in a democracy. two points that you made, the lieutenant colonel and we all say how important his rank is, from that committee, not only did he point out that there was no mention of corruption, you heard jon karl saying that the war room, the president didn't follow his talking points that's why he's upset. the president was simply trying to root out corruption. the second thing he went into in great deal the july 10th meeting, ambassador sondland there, when that abruptly ending when ambassador bolton stopped the meeting short, there was that second meeting where ambassador sondland said directly, in front of some
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ukrainians, he said, this was inappropriate, this request. >> sondland tomorrow. dan abrams, as you're watching this testimony, you keep coming back to the voices we're not hearing in these hearings. john bolton. mick mulvaney, rudy giuliani. >> if the republicans want the people with the most direct evidence of that, they'll have giuliani come forward. they'll have pompeo come forward. the president suggesting that maybe he'll even testify. of course, no one is taking that seriously. but what i found interesting in the republicans' questions, they're trying to make statements through questions, they're trying to alert the public to issues by asking questions. >> that's their job. >> absolutely. you see it both on the part of nunes and castor, asking questions about alexs, suggesting that vindman was frustrated, wasn't in the loop
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on this stuff and most importantly, questioning his loyalty. that's one of the biggest subtle attacks we're seeing from castor. all these questions about getting the defense ministry position and he seems to be laughing it off. it was comical. but castor not taking it as a joke, going back again and again. were you concerned about possible conflicts? he said look, i reported it and then forgot about it. and castor coming back again and again. was this guy a first and foremost devoted to the united states or ukraine? >> it seemed, martha, colonel vindman didn't know whether to be offended or amused? >> we should go back to the beginning of his testimony where he was clearly very nervous. his hand was shaking, holding his statement.
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a combat-tested veteran nervous in front of this committee. i think pointing to the loyalty. remember, his family emigrated from ukraine when it was still a part of russia. i also think nunes, one of things he's doing is saying, look, the diplomats we had last week, disliked trump's policy, that's what they're trying to do with vindman especially, you're operating outside this. what vindman says again and again, it was these disruptive actors, giuliani promoting false information that undermined the u.s.-ukraine policy. >> so many of the questions were around the issue of the corruption and whether or not the president was pursuing corruption and whether or not the questioning about burisma and the 2016 campaign was truly about corruption. the democratic counsel goldman
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got into that. >> so it's a part of u.s. official policy that ukraine should root out corruption even if president trump didn't mention that in that april 21st phone call, is that right? >> certainly. >> he didn't mention it in the july 25th phone call? >> correct. >> so, even though it was included in his talking points for the april 21st call and presumably, even though you can't talk about it for the july 21st call, it wasn't included in either, is that right? >> for the april 21st call -- >> he didn't mention it in either? >> correct. >> when the president said he held up security assistance because he was concerned about rooting out corruption in ukraine that concern wasn't expressed in the two phone conversations that he had with president zelensky earlier this year, is that right? >> correct. >> so, chris, if the republicans
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can demonstrate the president was pursuing corruption he was doing his job. if the democrats, wasn't pursuing corruption he was doing these political investigations it's an abuse of power. >> donald trump wasn't following talking points, credibly shocking that he wasn't following what others told him to do. when you look at that 25th call, i'd disagree with that, he talked about crowd strike, people will say there was no validity to that. i would be willing to bet you if the president was asked directly, what he would say in response, the things that i was talking about there were about corruption. so i didn't read it like the talking point was put out. >> i think and you're exactly right, this is where you get into the question, does it -- is
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ignorance a defense? we know from tom boss dysert, the president's home land security director, from the beginning of the administration, he and others were telling the president this is conspiracy theory, this has been debunked. this isn't true. >> you have others he listens to, rudy giuliani, who were telling the opposite. the president might say, they were telling me this wasn't true, other people were telling it was. my only point, to say that it's not completely accurate in my view to say that there was no mention of corruption on there. but the president would probably say, that's what i was talking about in the words that were there. i didn't say it artfully, that's what i was trying to get to zelensky. >> would that be the
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republican's point, pursuing corruption in. >> none of these witnesses can attest to whan the president's mind. this is what all this testimony is designed to elicit. >> terry moran, your impression overall of the two witnesses, particularly colonel vindman, do you think this coded questioning from castor was effective? >> well, i don't think it has to be a questioning of man's loyalty, it's a very unusual circumstance to be offered the secretary of defense of a foreign country three times. i don't think that you have to question the man's loyalty, but perhaps his vision of policy. here he also as a junior staff member on the national security council took it upon himself to coach the president of a foreign country before calling a conversation with the president of the united states. does he have a vision of policy
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that the united states has that differs from the president of ukraine? the real virtue for a loft people, the testimony of colonel vindman and jennifer s a pic issue that freaks them out about this call. there were meetings that were stopped. there were notes that were written. lawyers were talked to. lot of people at the white house, inside the white house when this was going on thought it was young. >> interesting, though, terry, colonel vindman didn't want to validate some of the democrats' talking points about that call particularly when he talked about the omission of the word "burisma" from the rough transcript of the call? >> that's right. and the fact that the call was
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stored in a server for more classified material. he said those didn't seem to be anything more than bureaucratic arrangements of the calls. but the ub stance he thought was inappropriate. white house lawyers thought it was inappropriate. president trump told the american people it's a perfect call. he's doing that, if he acknowledges what 70% of the american public say in our poll that call was wrong the question becomes, how wrong? wrong enough to impeach. wrong enough to remove from office. he can't afford anything but a perfect call. but the people in the white house participating in it, many of them thought it was wrong. >> pierre thomas, chief justice correspondent, remainor, the president tried to use his personal attorney and the attorney general.
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>> he did indeed. he mentioned the attorney general five separate times. we know from our sourcing that the attorney general wasn't happy that he was invoked in that way. the other thing that struck me about the testimony today is that these career officials are portraying their concern about the president's actions, portraying the concern about sondland was up in items of pressing for the these investigations and the fact that rudy giuliani and these two men that he's associated with lev parnas and igor fruman who have been indicted, were behind the scenes trying to orchestrate this policy. let's go back to the hearing room. committee will come back to questions from members, i recognize myself for five minutes. i want to ask you both about some of the questions you were
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asked by my colleagues in the minority, first if i could ask, ms. williams and colonel vindman, you were asked a series of questions by the ranking member, were you aware of -- burisma, the bidens, is it fair to say you have no firsthand knowledge of any matters asked in those questions in. >> that's correct. >> that is correct. >> ms. williams, you were also asked a series of questions about the vice president's schedule and whether he could have made the inauguration, was the president traveling, the trip to canada, but let's be clear about something, the president you were instructed that the president told the vice president not to go? >> that's correct. >> at the time he was told not to go, there was no calculation
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about where he might be or where the president might be because the date hadn't even been set yet? >> that's right. we were weighing different scenarios on when the inauguration might fall. >> you received instruction that the president no longer wanted him to go. were you aware during the interim that rudy giuliani had to abort a trip he was going to make to ukraine? >> i had seen it in the press. >> rudy giuliani blamed people around zelensky for having to cancel the trip? >> i read that in the press reporting, yes. >> did you read in the press reporting also, that giuliani wanted to go to ukraine to not med until an election but meddle
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in investigations? >> i did read that, yes. >> and that occurred prior to the president cancelling the vice president's trip to the inauguration. >> i believe so. >> colonel vindman, you were asked by the minority counselor e july 25th call and whether the president's words were ambiguous? was there any ambiguity about the president's use of the word "biden." >> no. >> it was pretty clear that the president wanted zelensky commit to investigate the bidens? >> that's correct. >> one of the favors properly characterized as a demand. >> that's correct. >> it's also true is it not that
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these two investigations that the president asked zelensky for in 2016 and into the bidens were precisely the two investigations that rudy giuliani were calling for publicly? >> that's correct. >> people suggest that mayor giuliani was asking on his own, freelancer, the president referred to exactly the same two investigations rudy giuliani was out pushing on his behalf, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> now, ms. williams, you were asked about the meeting the vice president had with zelensky in september. in which ukrainians brought up their concern about the hold on the security assistance, is that right? >> that's right. >> you were asked during that meeting between president zelensky and the vice president, the issue of burisma and bidens
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came up? >> they didn't come up. >> that meeting involved two, three dozen people. >> it was. >> in the context of this meeting with two, three dozen people, the vice president didn't bring up those investigations, correct? >> no, he didn't bring up those investigations. >> were you aware that immediately, i mean immediately, after that meeting broke up ambassador sondland has said he went over to mr. yermak, one to which advisers to zelensky and told yermak that if he wanted the military aid they would have to do these investigations? >> i was not aware at the time of any side meetings that ambassador sondland had following the vice president's meeting with mr. zelensky, i only learned that through ambassador sondland's testimony. >> at the big public meeting it didn't come up and you can't speak to the private meeting that was held immediately
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thereafter. >> correct. >> now, colonel vindman, i want to go back to that july 10th meeting or meetings, the one with ambassador bolton and then one that followed quickly on its heels, were you aware that ambassador bolton instructed your superior, dr. hill, to go to talk to the haurs after that meeting? >> i learned shortly after she was finished talking to ambassador bolton and we wrapped up that she did have a meeting with him and that's what was express zbld now you thought you should talk to the lawyers on your own, correct? >> that's my recollection, yes. >> but bolton also thought that dr. hill should go talk to the lawyers because of his concerns over this drug deal that
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mulvaney and sol mop were cooking up. >> yes. >> this drug deal as bolton called involved this conditioning of the white house meeting on these investigations that sondland brought up, is that right? >> that's my understanding. >> and in fact, the same conditioning or the same issue of wanting these political investigations and tying it to the white house meeting this came up in the july 25th call when the president asked for these investigations? >> that's correct. >> the very same issue that prompted you to talk to the lawyers, ended upcoming up in that call? is that correct? >> that's correct.
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>> and it was that conversation that once again led you back to the lawyers' office? >> that is correct. >> now, i yield to the ranking member. >> mr. chairman, you took seven minutes. >> lieutenant colonel vindman, before i turn to mr. jordan i ask ms. williams about this, if she accessed without authorization fellow employees' computer systems, she answered no to the question. have you ever accessed anyone's computer system at the nsc without authorization? >> without their knowledge, no. >> knowledge or authorization? >> i'm sorry. >> knowledge or authorization, you never accessed someone's comput computer? >> correct.
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>> mr. jordan. >> colonel, i want to thank you for your service and sacrifice to our great country. this afternoon, your former boss mr. morrison is going to testify. i want to give you a chance, we're bringing you a copy, a chance to respond to some of things that mr. morrison said in his deposition. page 82, the transcript from mr. morrison. i had concerns about colonel vindman's judgment, among the discussions i had with dr. hill, its strengths, weaknesses, they had raised concerns about alex's judgment when mr. morrison when asked by mr. castor, bring concerns to you that colonel vindman had leaked something, mr. morrison replied yes. your boss had concerns about your judgment. your former boss dr. hill had concerns about your judgment and your colleagues felt that there
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were times that you leaked information. any idea why they have those impressions? >> yes, representative jordan, i'll start by reading dr. hill's own words. as she attested in my last evaluation that was dated middle of july right before she left. alex is the best army officer have worked with in his 15 years. he's brilliant, unflappable. exercises excellent judgment. i'm sorry, exemplary during numerous visits, you get the idea. mr. morrison, the date of that was -- yeah -- let's see, i'msem sorry. july 13th. so, mr. jordan, i'd say i can't say what why mr. morrison
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questioned my judgment. he wasn't there very long. we were trying to figure out our relationship. maybe it was different cultures. >> colonel, you never leaked information? >> i never did, never would, that's preposterous that i would do that. >> colonel, it's interesting. we depose a lot of people in the bunker of the capitol over the last several weeks, only three individuals we deposed were actually on the now somewhat famous july 25th phone call between president trump and president zelensky. you, ms. williams and your boss mr. morrison, when we asked ms. williams who she spoke to after the call about the call she was willing to answer our questions and chairman schiff allowed you. when we asked mr. morrison who he spoke to after the call about the call he was willing to answer our question and mr.
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chairman schiff allowed us. when we asked you, you told us three individuals, your brother and two lawyers. a group of other people you communicated with, only one individual in that group. secretary kent. the only chairman would only you to give us that name. i want to know first, how many other people are in that group of people you communicated with outside the four individuals i just named? >> mr. jordan, on call readout, certainly after the first call there probably a half a dozen people i read out. those are people with the proper clearance and the need to know. in this case, because of the sensitivity of the call and mr. eisenberg told me not to speak to anyone else, outside the nsc two individuals. >> two individuals. >> you're not willing to tell us who the other individual is. >> mr. chairman, point of order.
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>> mr. chairman, i would ask you to enforce the rule with regard to disclosure with regard to the intelligence officer. >> thank you, counselor. this committee won't be used to out the whistle-blower. >> you're recognized again, mr. jordan. >> i don't see how this is outing the whistle-blower. you have said even though no one believes you, you have said you don't know the whistle-blower is. how is this outing -- >> mr. jordan, this is your time for questioning. your question should be addressed to the witnesses. >> okay, colonel vindman, another thing that mr. morrison told us in his deposition he wasn't concerned about the call itself, he said there was
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nothing illegal or improper on the call he was concerned about the con tents of the call leaking, how it would play out in washington's polarized environment, how the contents would be used in washington's political process. mr. morrison was right. >> excuse me, mr. jordan, can i get a page. >> page 44. >> mr. morrison was right. the call leaks. the whistle blower goes to chairman schiff's staff, runs after to lawyer, the same lawyer who said the coup has started against president trump. one thing they didn't count on was the president releasing the call transcript. letting us all see what he said. they didn't count on that. transcript shows no linkage. two individuals on the call have both said, no pressure, no linkage. security assistance dollars to
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an investigation. ms. call on the 25th, you know that colonel vindman talked to several people. after the call on the 25th, how many people did you talk to about the call? >> i didn't speak to anybody about the call? >> you didn't speak to anybody? >> no. >>. mr. himes. >> may i inquire of colonel vindman, would you like us to do that? not in the record, i leave that to you. >> i guess with redactions it has pii it should be protectioned. only the elements that are relevant are the actual narrative. >> did you read the relevant portions? >> i mean, that was the short version. >> mr. chairman, i'll withdraw my request.
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>> thank you both for your testimony. ms. williams, you joined the foreign service in 2006? >> correct. >> prior to becoming a nonpartisan career official, you worked for the bush/cheney campaign in 2004 and held a position in homeland security? >> correct. >> you have served three presidents, two republicans and one democratic in a variety of roles, correct in. >> yes, sir. >> your detailed to state to advise foreign policy in russia. >> that's correct. >> personally targeted you in a tweet. this is after he targeted ambassador yovanovitch during her hearing testimony. i'd like to show and read you the tweet. tell jennifer williams to read both transcripts of the presidential calls and see the just-released statement from ukraine and she should meet with the other never trumpers and
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work out a better presidential attack. ms. williams, are you engaged in a presidential attack? >> no, sir. >> ms. williams, are you a never trumper? >> i'm not sure i know an official never trumper. >> would you describe yourself that way? >> no. >> did that make an impression on you? >> it certainly surprised me. >> it surprised me, too. it looked like witness intimidation and tacherring in an effort to perhaps shape your testimony today. lieutenant colonel, you previously testified that you dedicated your entire professional life to the united states of america? colonel, above your left breast you're wearing a device which is a springfield musket on a blue field, what is that device.
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>> combat infantry manyman badge you have to be serving in a brigade or below than a tactical unit in combat. >> under fire? >> correct. >> you're also wearing a purple heart, can you tell us in 20, 30 seconds why you're wearing a purple heart? >> in 2014, in the ramp-up to probably the largest urban operation in decades, outside of perugia, we were conducting a with the marines and my vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device that penetrated armor. were you injured? >> i was. >> the day after you appeared for your deposition, president trump called you a never trumper. koll vindman, would you call
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yourself a never trumper? >> i'd call myself never partisan. >> you served under four presidents, two republicans and two democrats. have you ever wavered from your oath to defend the constitution? >> never. >> any political motivations for your appearance here today? >> none. >> colonel, some have accused of harboring loyalty toward ukraine, they make these accusations based on the fact that your family, like many american families, have immigrated to the united states, we have seen that in this room this morning, the three minutes that were spent asking you about the offer made to make you the minister of defense that may have come cloaked in a brooks brother suits in parliamentaryly language, to give the right-wing media to request your loyalties.
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it's the kind of attack, it's the kind of thing you say when you're defending the indefensible. it's what you stoop to when when indefensibility when you attack a man. i sir thank you for your service and yield back the balance of my time. >> mr. conaway. >> five minutes to mr. ratcliffe. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. >> speaker of house nancy pelosi said that president trump committed the impeachable offense of bribery as evidenced in his july 25th phone president zelensky. multiple democrat members of this committee gave tv and radio interviews over this past week
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discussing how the president's conduct supported his impeachment for committed bribery, which struck me as very odd, for the longest time this was about quid pro quo according to the whistle-blower complaint. but after witness after witness began saying there was no quid pro quo, it wasn't possible, we saw a shift from the democrats. briefly started to refer to the president's conduct on the july 25th call as extortion. now, it's shifted again. last week. to bribery. ms. williams, you used the word "unusual" to describe the president's call last -- on july 25th. lupit colonel vindman, you used the word inappropriate. i word searched each of your transcripts. the word bribery or bribe
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doesn't appear anywhere in that. ms. williams, you never used the word bribery or bribe to explain president trump's contact? >> that's correct. >> the problem is, in an impeachment inquiry that the speaker of the house says all about bribery, where bribery is the impeachable offense, no witness has used the word bribery to describe president trump's conduct, none of them. these aren't all of the deposition transcripts. these are just the ten that have been released. six weeks of witness interviews in this impeachment inquiry, hundreds of hours of testimony, thousands of questions asked, thousands of answers given, the number of times that witnesses have been asked any question about whether or not presidenti
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ite novitch was asked my used theribe president trump's conduct in the last six weeks of this inquiry is zero. in fact, in these 3500 pages of sworn deposition testimony and just three ten transcripts released so far, the word bribery appears in these 3500 pages exactly one time. and ironically it appears not in the description of president trump's alleged conduct. it's described in vice president biden's conduct. early next week, we need to vote on the evidence on the impeachment of president.
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because there are more democrats than republicans it's likely going to pass. the american people need to be clear that when the democrats, what are they describing as bribery, not a single witness is describing as bribery. g dthcourse of this proceeding the facts of this president are not in dispute. american people are asking if the facts are the same why do the crimes the president is become accused of keeping change, from quid pro quo to extortion now to bribery. chairman nunes told you the answer. the answer is polling. washington times asked americans what would be the most damning accusation, it didn't come back quid pro quo, not extortion. this case is about bribery. bad enough that the democrats have forbidden white house lawyers from participating in this proceedings, what's even
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worse is trying to defend yourself against an accusation that keeps changing in the middle of the proceeding. if democrats accused the president of high crime or impeachable offense he should know what it is. when speaker pelosi says this is all about bribery, she promised everyday about bribery that would be compelling and overwhelming. instead it's invisible. i yield back. mr. chairman, i'd like to join everyone in thanking both of our witnesses for your service. lieutenant colonel vindman, as part of your policy portfolio in the white house, you maintain a relationship with ukrainian officials, do you not? >> that's correct. >> you explained earlier in your testimony that your job within the white house was to coordinate united states and ukraine policy, is that right?
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>> it is to coordinate united states policy vis-a-vis ukraine, correct. >> you testified in the spring of this year that these officials, these ukrainian officials, began asking you, quote, advice on how to respond to mr. giuliani's advances, end quote. is that correct? >> that's correct. >> what do you understand they meant by mr. giuliani's advances? >> i understood that to mean both his public commentary, publicly calling for investigations into 2016, burisma and hunter biden, as well as his direct overtures to the government of ukraine directly and through proxies. that's what i understood. >> as you understand it, under whose authority do you think mr. giuliani was acting under? >> congresswoman, i don't know. >> did the ukrainian officials you spoke to understand that mr.


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