House Democrats Release Transcript of Top Pentagon Official Amid Impeachment Inquiry

Wednesday, 13 Nov, 2019

Transcripts of testimony from closed-door interviews with Croft and another Ukraine specialist at State, Christoper Anderson, as well as the Defense Department's Laura Cooper, come as House Democrats are pushing ahead to this week's live public hearings.

CNN reporters read all 2,677 pages of private testimony that have been released so far.

Regarding comparisons between the Kavanaugh hearings and the Trump impeachment proceedings, Gutfeld disagreed with conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh - who predicted Wednesday's hearing will descend into "a Kavanaugh-style debacle".

Taylor's testimony has been corroborated by others, including National Security Council official Tim Morrison, and has forced a Trump ally to revise his. They also said the case is moot because the subpoena was withdrawn.

On Friday, the committee will hear from Marie Yovanovitch, who Mr Trump removed as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in May.

A longtime diplomat with a 50-year career of government service, Taylor returned to Ukraine this year after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asked him to lead the U.S. Embassy.

Matthews worked closely with former National Security Advisor John Bolton, traveling to Ukraine and Poland where he took part in a meeting between Zelenskiy and senior American officials. Volker stepped down hours after being informed he would be called to give a deposition to House committees investigating the Ukraine call.

An expert on Ukraine.

William B. Taylor, former US envoy to Ukraine. So he's familiar with Ukrainian history, the country's struggle with corruption, and the hope in the diplomatic community after the election of outsider Volodymyr Zelensky in April.

From the first mention of Trump's desired "deliverable" from Ukraine, successive layers of witnesses and documents have added to an indictment of the president's conduct that only gets heavier, as Trump howls his defenses to the wind.

Several high-level officials have described their discomfort with the operation, with some fearing the approach could damage relations between Washington and Kiev and undermine USA national security.

As the State Department official in charge of overseeing policy in Ukraine, Kent was receiving information from diplomats at home and overseas about the politicization of that policy.

"Barr ultimately declined to do so, although the Justice Department did release a statement alongside the release of a rough transcript summary of the call saying that the Office of Legal Counsel had found no evidence of wrongdoing". Moreover, the minority party can not object to any witnesses called by the majority - again, a departure from the precedents in the Nixon and Clinton impeachment inquiries. One senior Ukraine official said she needed to "watch my back".

Corey Brettschneider, the author of The Oath and the Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents and a professor of constitutional law at Brown University, said that while the president has broad powers to exercise foreign policy, those powers do not include exercising foreign policy for his own personal benefit. The "impeachment inquiry" was only authorized nine days later. Some of Giuliani's initial efforts in Ukraine were aimed at the ambassador, rather than Joe Biden, and the Ukrainians feeding the former New York City mayor and his associates information on Yovanovitch would later provide fodder for Giuliani's other work.

"In order to continue being the most Transparent President in history, I will be releasing sometime this week the Transcript of the first, and therefore most important, phone call I had with the President of Ukraine", Trump tweeted on November 11.

Details on the "irregular" Ukraine actors. "I was in the regular channel" of diplomacy, Taylor testified, "but I was also in the irregular one". But President Donald Trump's acting chief of staff thought otherwise.

Mr Trump and Mr Giuliani have led accusations - without providing evidence - that Mr Joe Biden sought the dismissal of a Ukrainian prosecutor to block a corruption probe of Burisma.