Trump Impeachment Inquiry Public Hearings: All The Latest Updates

Week Two of the Trump impeachment hearings kick off with testimony from Vindman, Williams, Volker, and Morrison.

The impeachment inquiry of US President Donald Trump entered uncharted territory last week with the first public hearings of the investigation BBC NEWS reports.

The inquiry is set to deepen this week with at least nine current and former US officials scheduled to testify in public, televised hearings.

On Tuesday, the House panel heard from Jennifer Williams, a special adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, and US Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s top Ukraine expert. A second hearing followed with Kurt Volker, the former US special envoy for Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council Russia expert.

The inquiry is centred on a July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in which the US leader asked his Ukrainian counterpart to open an investigation into former US Vice President Joe Biden, who is also a top Democratic 2020 presidential contender, and his son, Hunter, who had served on a board of a Ukrainian gas company. There has been no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens.

The call came to light due to a whistle-blower complaint. At the time of the call, the US was withholding nearly $400m in military aid from Ukraine, prompting speculation that Trump was using the money as leverage to get the desired investigations. The money was later released.

Trump has denied that any quid pro quo (Latin for “favor for a favor”) took place, describing the call as “perfect”.

As the public phase of the impeachment inquiry continues, here are all the latest updates as of Tuesday, November 19:

House panel wraps up another five-hour hearing

The House Intelligence Committee has concluded a five-hour hearing with two former Trump administration officials.

Volker, the former US special envoy to Ukraine, and Morrison, a former deputy national security adviser, both testified that they did not believe Trump had engaged in a “quid pro quo” (Latin for “a favour for a favour”), linking military aid to Ukraine with an investigation of Joe Biden.

But Volker spoke up for Biden in Tuesday’s impeachment hearing, rejecting “conspiracy theories” embraced by Trump and some of his allies. Volker said he has known Biden as an honorable man for more than two decades.

Devin Nunes, the panel’s top Republican, blasted the hearing as part of a “Ukraine hoax”. The panel’s chairman, Adam Schiff said Volker has debunked once and for all any conspiracy theory about Biden.

Volker recalls Ukrainian’s quip about probes

A top diplomat said he now remembers a top Ukrainian official taking issue with the advice he offered cautioning against political investigations.

Volker, the former special envoy to Ukraine, said that during a September dinner with Andriy Yermak, he had discouraged Ukraine from trying to prosecute the country’s previous president. Volker says he warned it would sow deep societal divisions.

Volker said Yermak quipped in response, “You mean like asking us to investigate Clinton and Biden?”

Volker claimed he did not “quite understand” the remark and was “kind of puzzled” by it.

Volker said he accepted the idea of Ukraine going along with a push by Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to investigate the Ukraine gas company Burisma and the 2016 elections. But he said he was unaware of a connection to Joe Biden, whose son served on Burisma’s board.

Morrison says he was warned about Sondland

Morrison said one of his colleagues warned him about Trump’s European Union ambassador, Gordon Sondland, and even coined a name for her concerns, “the Gordon problem”.

Other witnesses have testified that Sondland talked directly to Trump as the president pushed Ukraine to investigate Democrats. Sondland, who testifies on Wednesday, tried to negotiate with the Ukrainians for the investigations.

Sondland also clashed with some in the White House as he took a leading role in Ukraine policy, including former adviser Fiona Hill, who Morrison said coined the phrase.

After talking to Hill, Morrison said he kept track of what Sondland was doing and “didn’t necessarily always act” on what he suggested.

Volker: Discussions of investigations ‘inappropriate’

Volker said he felt a discussion of investigations was “inappropriate” in a July meeting between Ukrainian and US officials at the White House.

Testifying during a House impeachment hearing on Tuesday, Volker confirmed others’ testimony that President Trump’s European Union ambassador, Gordon Sondland, raised the investigations “in a generic way” to the Ukrainians and that then-national security adviser John Bolton immediately ended the meeting.

The meeting happened two weeks before a call in which Trump asked Ukraine’s president to investigate Democrats. That call is central to the impeachment probe.

Other witnesses have testified that the investigations were discussed further in a second meeting that day. Volker said he does not recall that discussion.

Morrison: Bolton told me to ‘tell the lawyers’

A former White House national security official said his boss told him to “tell the lawyers” about two worrying conversations in which a diplomat told him about blocking military aid to Ukraine.

Morrison testified at Tuesday’s House impeachment hearing about two September exchanges with Gordon Sondland.

Sondland is an envoy overseeing European Union policy who was also helping shape US policy toward Ukraine.

Morrison said Sondland said he had told a Ukrainian official that his government would have to announce investigations into Trump’s Democratic political foes to free up the US military assistance.

Morrison said Sondland also told him there was no “quid pro quo” (Latin for “favor for a favor”) but that Ukraine needed to announce those investigations to get the aid.

Morrison said his boss, the then White House national security adviser John Bolton, told him to tell their lawyers about Sondland’s remarks.

Volker: Trump said talk to Giuliani

Volker testified in the impeachment inquiry that Trump told him he should talk to his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani about the new Ukrainian president. But he “didn’t take it as an instruction”.

The exchange with Trump happened soon after Volker and other officials returned to Washington, DC, from Ukrainian Zelenskyy’s inauguration in May. Volker and others spoke highly of Zelenskyy and urged Trump to host him for a White House meeting.

But Trump pushed back and said the diplomats should talk to Giuliani.

Volker recalled that Trump said he hears “terrible things” about Zelenskyy and he should talk to Giuliani.

Volker testified that he “understood from that context that that’s where he hears it from” and he “didn’t take it as an instruction”.

Morrison: Call memo placed in highly classified system by ‘mistake’

A former top national security adviser to President Donald Trump said a rough transcript of Trump’s July 25 call with Zelenskyy was placed on a highly classified system by mistake.

The official, Tim Morrison, said he and a top White House lawyer, John Eisenberg, agreed that access should be restricted to officials with high-level security clearances.

But Morrison said he later learned that the rough transcript of the call was placed on a highly classified server typically reserved for national secrets.

Morrison said the placement on the more secure server “was a mistake. It was an administrative error”.

Morrison said nothing on the call warranted placement on the server.

Kellogg: ‘I heard nothing wrong with call’

The vice president’s national security adviser pushed back after a subordinate said she had concerns about Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president.

Keith Kellogg said of the July 25 conversation: “I heard nothing wrong or improper on the call. I had and have no concerns.”

He released a statement after the testimony of Jennifer Williams, who was detailed to Vice President Mike Pence’s staff from the State Department.
Williams testified Tuesday that she found the call “unusual” since it “involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter”.

Williams said she never raised the call with her superiors since Kellogg was also listening in on the call.

Volker: Criticism of Biden ‘no credible’

Volker is testified in a House impeachment hearing that Republican criticism of former Vice President Joe Biden is “not credible”.

Republicans, including Trump, have questioned the role of Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

Trump asked Zelenskyy to investigate the Bidens in a July phone call that is at the heart of the impeachment probe.

Volker testified that Biden “respects his duties of higher office” and it is not credible that he would act in any way other than in the national interest.

Volker says he did not ‘knowingly’ take part in Ukraine pressure campaign

Kurt Volker, the former special envoy to Ukraine, in his opening statements in the House impeachment inquiry, said he did not “knowingly” take part in an effort to press Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.

Volker said that while he was aware of a push to have Ukraine investigate the gas company Burisma, he did not connect the company to Biden. Hunter Biden sat on the board of Burisma, and Trump’s desire to have the company investigated is at the center of the impeachment inquiry.

Volker added that he understands now, thanks to hindsight and the testimony of other witnesses, that it was possible that Trump was using the nearly $400m in withheld military aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.

“In retrospect, I should have seen that connection differently, and had I done so, I would have raised my own objections,” Volker said.

Volker also defended the Bidens, referring to the accusation that the former vice president was influenced by his son’s role at Burisma as a “conspiracy theory”.

Morrison says resignation unrelated to impeachment inquiry testimony

Former senior White House aide Timothy Morrison said during his opening statements in the House impeachment inquiry that he had resigned from the National Security Council of his own volition and felt no pressure to resign.

He added he did not fear retaliation for his testimony.

Morrison also said he did not know the identity of a whistle-blower, whose complaint lead Democrats to launch the inquiry.

He added the United States must continue to support Ukraine, with backing from both Republicans and Democrats.

Schiff references Volker texts, ‘three Amigos’ in opening statements

The Democratic Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, referenced a series of text messages sent by Kurt Volker, a special envoy to Ukraine, and his role in the so-called “three amigos” as he opened the second portion of House impeachment hearings on Tuesday.

Schiff said that Volker and Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council Russia expert, were testifying at the request of Republicans, who are a minority on the committee.

Schiff described a series of text messages between Volker, Ambassador the European Union Gordon Sondland, and an aide to the president of Ukraine in which Volker encouraged Ukrainian officials to announce investigations wanted by Trump in return for a White House meeting.

Schiff also referenced Volker’s role in the group dubbed the “three amigos”, which also included Sondland and Energy, Secretary Rick Perry. In several testimonies, witnesses said the trio carried out back-channel negotiations with the Ukrainian government.

Ranking Republican Devin Nunes remained adversarial in his opening statements, referring to the hearing “act two of today’s circus”.

Volker, Morrison arrive on Capitol Hill for impeachment inquiry hearing

Kurt Volker, the former US special envoy for Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council Russia expert, have arrived on Capitol Hill for their public hearing as part of the House impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump.

The hearing is expected to start at 3:30 PM (8:30 GMT).

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White House spokeswoman slams witness testimonies

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, referencing the first round of interviews in Tuesday’s impeachment hearings, said the public “learned nothing new in today’s illegitimate ‘impeachment’ proceedings”.

She characterized the witness testimonies of Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s (NSC) top Ukraine expert, and Jennifer Williams, a special adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, as little more than “personal opinions and conjecture”.

She charged the proceedings “further” expose that Democrats are “blinded by their hatred for Donald Trump and rabid desire to overturn the outcome of a free and fair election”.

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Public hearing of Vindman and Williams ends

The public hearing of Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s (NSC) top Ukraine expert, and Jennifer Williams, a special adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, as part of the House impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump has ended.

The House intelligence committee will now hear from Kurt Volker, the former US special envoy for Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council Russia an expert.

Vindman says he knew he was ‘assuming a lot of risk’ by reporting concerns about Trump call

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman,  the National Security Council’s (NSC) top Ukraine expert, said he knew he was “assuming a lot of risk” by reporting his concerns about a July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine’s new president.

Vindman was asked during Tuesday’s impeachment hearing whether he understood he was taking on the “most important person” when he did it.

Vindman earlier in his opening statement told his father, an immigrant from Ukraine, not to worry about his coming forward, that he would be fine because in the US it was okay to speak out.

He said he felt comfortable speaking out, because: “Here, right matters.”

The statement was met with brief applause.

Trump calls impeachment ‘disgrace’ and ‘kangaroo court’

President Donald Trump slammed the ongoing impeachment hearings as a “disgrace” and “kangaroo court,” while acknowledging he watched part of the third day of public hearings.

Trump made the comments as the House impeachment panel listened to testimony from National Security Council aide Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump said he caught some of Tuesday’s testimony from Vindman, a Ukraine specialist, who says Trump inappropriately pressured Ukraine’s president to open an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son’s dealings in Ukraine.

The president dismissed Vindman’s testimony, and praised Republican legislators for “killing it”.
Trump said, “I don’t know Vindman…I never heard of him.”

Vindman rejects criticism of judgment, credibility

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s (NSC) top Ukraine expert, has rejected attacks on his judgment and credibility during the House impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump by reading from a glowing performance review he received.

The review came from Fiona Hill, who was his boss on the National Security Council until this summer. She described Vindman as “brilliant” and “unflappable” and a stellar military officer with excellent judgment.

Vindman pulled out a copy of the review and read from it during questioning on Tuesday from Republican Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, who asked the Army officer why some colleagues have raised questions about his judgment.

Zelensky: Ukraine is ‘tired’ of Trump impeachment questions

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Tuesday that his country was “tired” of questions related to the Trump scandal, amid a critical week of public impeachment hearings in Washington.

“We have our country, we have our independence, we have our own problems,” he complained after a press conference in Kiev with visiting Czech prime minister Andrej Babis.

An American reporter pressed Zelenskyy on whether he had been ready to launch a probe into Joe Biden’s son’s ties to Ukraine energy company Burisma, as a concession to Trump.

“Everyone in Ukraine is so tired of Burisma,” Zelenskyy said, before quickly leaving the room full of reporters.

Official: Army, local law enforcement providing security for Vindman

A US official says the Army and local law enforcement are providing security for Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, who is testifying Tuesday during the House impeachment hearing.

The official says that the Army did a security assessment in order to make sure that Vindman and his family are secure, so the officer did not have to worry about that as the proceedings go on.

The official said the Army was prepared to take additional steps if needed, which could include moving Vindman and his family to a more secure location on a base.

Vindman, Williams: I do not consider myself a ‘never Trumper’

Under questioning from Representative Jim Himes, a Democrat, as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s (NSC) top Ukraine expert, and Jennifer Williams, a special adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, both said they were not “never Trumpers”.

Vindman and Williams were responding to previous accusations by the president that both witnesses belonged to a group of government officials who Trump and his allies say have vowed to defy him at every turn.

Vindman says he was offered the post of Ukraine’s defense minister three times but rejected the suggestion

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s director for Ukraine, said he was made an offer to become the defense minister of Ukraine while attending the inauguration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as part of the official US delegation.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff warned against “any effort to out the whistle-blower”. [Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press]

Vindman says “I immediately dismissed these offers”, which he added he did not interpret to be serious.

He says two American officials witnessed the exchange with a top adviser to Zelenskyy, and that he notified his chain of command and counterintelligence officials about the offer upon returning to the US.

Vindman is testifying before the House Intelligence Committee about his concerns about President Donald Trump’s decision to press Ukrainian officials to launch an investigation of his political opponents.

Schiff interrupts Republican questioning to ‘protect the whistle-blower’

Chairman of the House intelligence committee Adam Schiff, a Democrat, interrupted Republican questioning during a public hearing as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump to “protect the whistle-blower”.

During questioning, ranking Republican committee member Devin Nunes asked if Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s (NSC) top Ukraine expert, had told anyone outside of the White House about the July 25 phone call between Trump and the president of Ukraine, which has become central in the impeachment probe.

Vindman said he had told George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state, and a member of the intelligence community. The whistle-blower whose complaint lead Democrats to launch the investigation is from the intelligence community, which is composed of 17 agencies.

Schiff interrupted, saying “I want to make sure there is no effort to out the whistle-blower in these proceedings”.

Vindman then answered, “per my counsel, I’ve been advised not to answer questions about specific individuals from the intelligence community”.

Vindman, Williams says they have not leaked info on Trump call to press

Under questioning from the ranking Republican on the House intelligence committee, US Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s (NSC) top Ukraine expert, and Jennifer Williams, a special adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, said they had not leaked information about a July 25 call at the center of the House impeachment investigation.

Devin Nunes asked both witnesses, who testified on Tuesday in the third day of public hearings in the investigation, if they had personally encouraged anyone, or knew anyone who had leaked information on the call between Trump and the president of Ukraine.

Both Vindman and Williams responded “I did not” to all questions.

Vindman’s former boss, Tim Morrison, in his closed-door testimony, had said White House officials had raised concerns that Vindman might leak information. Morrison said he never had any concerns that Vindman would leak information.

Vindman says he told Ukrainian officials to stay out of US politics

Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s (NSC) top Ukraine expert, said during his public hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump that he had instructed Ukrainian officials to stay out of US politics.

Vindman was on a July 25 call between Trump and Ukraine’s new president where Trump pressed for investigations into the 2016 presidential election and the son of his Democratic rival.

Vindman

Vindman said he knew “without hesitation” that he had to report the call to the White House counsel.

He told the committee that US Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, later said the Ukrainians needed to provide “a deliverable” which was “specific investigations”.

Vindman later told Ukrainian officials they should steer clear of the requests.

Vindman calls Trump call with Zelenskyy ‘improper’

Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the White House National Security Council’s top Ukraine expert, testified at the third public hearing in the House impeachment investigation.

“It is improper for the president of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a US citizen and political opponent,” Vindman said in his opening statement.

Vindman, who along with other witnesses has been publicly criticized by Trump, also told lawmakers that “vile character attacks” against public servants testifying in the impeachment inquiry were “reprehensible,” urging Americans to be “better than callow and cowardly attacks”.

Vindman did not specifically mention Trump when he referred to “cowardly attacks”. Some Trump allies in the conservative media have questioned Vindman’s loyalty to the US.

Williams calls Trump call with Zelenskyy ‘unusual’

Jennifer Williams, a special adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, said President Donald Trump’s July 25 call with the president of Ukraine was “unusual”.

Williams, speaking during the third day of public hearings in the House impeachment inquiry into Trump, said the call struck her as strange because “it involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter”.

Williams also said the White House Budget office had said Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, had directed that nearly $400m in security aid to Ukraine be put on hold and that she never learned why the assistance was later released in September.

Williams, who was attacked by Trump on Twitter just days before her public appearance, also told legislators that she was committed to serving America’s interests, adding “it was with great pride and conviction that I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution”.

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Friday, November 15 – Marie Yovanovitch

Public testimony of former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch ends

The former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch publicly testified for about five hours as part of the House impeachment inquiry into US President Donald Trump.

In her testimony on Friday, Yovanovitch largely described a smear campaign against her, lead by the president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and his associates, which undermined national interests and security for the personal gain of others.

She also warned that the undermining of her ambassadorship has hurt morale at the State Department and could potentially make the mission of other US diplomats more difficult.

Questions from Democrats mostly sought to support this narrative, while Republican questioning attempted to portray Yovanovitch’s concerns as an internal State Department issue unrelated to the impeachment investigation.

Tuesday will begin the next series of public hearings. Set to testify are Jennifer Williams, the special adviser to Vice President Mike Pence for Europe and Russia, Alexander Vindman, a US Army officer assigned to the National Security Council, Kurt Volker, a former US special envoy to Ukraine, and Timothy Morrison, a White House aide with the National Security Council.

On Friday, a House panel will also hear behind closed doors from career diplomat David Holmes, an aide to Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor, who is expected to discuss his recollection of a July 26 call between Trump and Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union.

Yovanovitch public hearing
Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill during the second public impeachment hearing into President Donald Trump [Alex Brandon/The Associated Press]

Trump: Twitter posts during Yovanovitch hearing were not intimidating

US President Donald Trump has said he does not believe his Twitter posts were intimidating after his real-time attack on former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch drew criticism during a public hearing as part of the House impeachment inquiry.

“I don’t think so at all,” Trump told reporters at the White House when asked whether his tweets or words can be intimidating.

Trump said he watched a little bit of the second public impeachment hearing on Friday and “thought it was a disgrace”.

Democrats had accused Trump of witness intimidation after he said: “everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad”.

Yovanovitch says Trump political ally suggested she ‘send out a tweet, praise the president’ to save her job

Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch described an exchange with Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland during the House impeachment hearing on Friday.

When it became clear that Yovanovitch would be removed from her post, Sondland suggested she “send out a tweet, praise the president”, she said. Yovanovitch said she rejected the advice.

Sondland was a Trump campaign contributor who was appointed by the president to the prestigious post.

Yovanovitch said Sondland’s advice was to “go big or go home,” which he explained meant lauding Trump.

She says she didn’t do it because, “It felt partisan, it felt political” and inappropriate for an ambassador”.

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Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified for about five hours before the House Intelligence Committee in the second public impeachment hearing into President Donald Trump. [J Scott Applewhite/The Associated Press]

White House: Trump tweet about Yovanovitch ‘not witness intimidation’

The White House says President Donald Trump’s tweets criticizing former US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch as she testified before the House as part of its impeachment inquiry was “not witness intimidation”.

In a statement, White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said the tweet was “simply the President’s opinion, which he is entitled to”.

Trump has drawn criticism for tweeting early in Yovanovitch’s testimony that everywhere the career diplomat was posted “turned bad”.

Yovanovitch said the tweets were “very intimidating” to her and other witnesses.

Yovanovitch rejects Trump claim that Ukraine tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election

Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is rejecting the notion that Ukraine tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, as President Donald Trump has proposed.

Trump has said that Ukraine tried to “take me down”.

Testifying in Friday’s impeachment hearing, Yovanovitch said: “we didn’t really see it that way.”

She noted that the US intelligence community “has conclusively determined” that those who interfered in that election were in Russia.

Yovanovitch also pushed back against Trump’s suggestions that former Vice President Joe Biden was pursuing his own interests in Ukraine during President Barack Obama’s administration.

She said he was pursuing “official US policy”.

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Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch rejected Trump claims that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 US elections [Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press]

Nunes: ‘I’m not exactly sure what the ambassador’s doing here today’

The ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes has said he is unsure why diplomat Marie Yovanovitch had been called to testify publicly in the impeachment investigation.

Speaking during the Republican committee members allocated 45-minute questioning period as part of Friday’s hearing, Nunes said Yovanovitch is “not a material fact witness” and portrayed the ambassador as unrelated to the central questions House investigators are trying to answer – whether the president pressured a foreign government into conducting investigations for his own political gain.

“You admitted in your opening statement that you don’t have any first-hand information of what we’re looking into to,” Nunes said.

Schiff says Trump tweet ‘witness intimidation in real-time by the president of the United States’

Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee leading the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump, said a tweet by the president criticizing the former ambassador to Ukraine during her public hearing was “witness intimidation in real-time by the president of the United States”.

Schiff made the statement to reporters during a break from the public testimony of former diplomat Marie Yovanovitch on Friday.

In the tweet, Trump said that “everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad” and said the Ukrainian president “spoke unfavorably of her” during the July 25 phone call between the two leaders at the heart of the investigation.

Schiff reads Trump tweet to Yovanovitch

Adam Schiff, the Democratic Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, read a tweet by President Donald Trump attacking former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch during her public hearing.

Asked if she agreed with Trump’s assertion that “everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad”, Yovanovitch said: “I actually think that where I’ve served over the years I and others have demonstrably made things better.”

When asked by Schiff if she found the president’s attacks intimidating, she responded, “It’s very intimidating”.

“Some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously,” Schiff said.

House Republicans push to hear from whistle-blower

House Republicans at the start of the first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s immediately pushed Democrats to hear from the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint sparked the investigation.

Congressman Michael Conaway, a Republican from Texas, asked that the panel issue a subpoena for the still-unknown whistleblower to appear in a closed-door hearing.

But Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, denied the request Wednesday, saying it would be considered later.

“We will do everything necessary to protect the whistleblower’s identity,” Schiff said.

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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Republican ranking member Representative Devin Nunes gave an opening statement in the second public hearing in the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump. [Joshua Roberts/The Associated Press]

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