The House Intelligence Committee released two new transcripts on Saturday from first-hand witnesses who were on the line for President Donald Trup’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The transcripts are from the depositions of Deputy Assistant to the President Timothy Morrison and Vice President Pence’s special adviser on Europe and Russia, Jennifer Williams.
The chairs of the Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight committees released a joint statement on the testimony.
“The testimony released today shows that President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky immediately set off alarm bells throughout the White House. Both witnesses provided the Committees with first-hand accounts after personally listening to the call in the White House Situation Room,” the chairs said.
“Mr. Morrison confirmed Ambassador Taylor’s testimony to the Committees that the Ukrainians were told that U.S. military assistance, not just the White House meeting, was conditioned on their public announcement of political investigations that the President wanted. Additionally, following the September 1 meeting between President Zelensky and Vice President Pence, Mr. Morrison confirmed that Ambassador Sondland informed one of President Zelensky’s top aides that American military aid was conditioned on the investigations. Mr. Morrison informed John Bolton of the meeting and was told by Mr. Bolton to go see the lawyers, which he did,” the chairs explained.
The most important testimony may have come from Williams.
“Ms. Williams testified that the President’s requests were ‘unusual and inappropriate’ and shed light on ‘possible other motivations behind a security assistance hold.’ She also confirmed, like Lt. Col. Vindman, that the Ukrainian President specifically mentioned ‘Burisma’ during the call, even though the White House call record does not reflect that. Importantly, Ms. Williams also testified that in mid-May, President Trump instructed Vice President Pence to cancel plans to attend President Zelensky’s inauguration before the date for the inauguration had been set,” the chairs noted.
For anyone counting, we're now up to 3,504 pages of transcripts, or 2.86x the length of the first edition of War and Peace
— Quinta "Pro Quo" Jurecic (@qjurecic) November 16, 2019
Senior NSC official Tim Morrison testified that Sondland "chiefly led" the irregular foreign policy that involved Giuliani, and that Sondland was "a problem" because of "how he conducted himself," according to the newly released transcript of Morrison's closed-door deposition.
— Marshall Cohen (@MarshallCohen) November 16, 2019
Williams on Trump mentioning investigations to Zelensky: “I found the specific references to be—to be more specific to the president in nature, to his personal political agenda, as opposed to a broader … foreign policy objective of the United States.”
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) November 16, 2019
JENNIFER WILLIAMS' handwritten notes reflect that Zelensky mentioned 'Burisma' on the July 25 call, and she doesn't know why it's not in the White House summary.
Q: So you wouldn’t have written that down if it hadn't come up during the call. Is that right?
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 16, 2019
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) November 16, 2019
Morrison notes that John Bolton had a one-on-one meeting with Trump in August on the topic of releasing aid to Ukraine.
Bolton has indicated through his lawyers there are conversations and meetings, potentially like this one, that he could speak to, but he has refused to show
— Nicholas Fandos (@npfandos) November 16, 2019
Some news from the Morrison deposition that will create more intrigue – Morrison says BOLTON had a one-on-one meeting with TRUMP about releasing Ukraine security assistance. Bolton told Morrison after Trump "wasn't ready to do it."
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) November 16, 2019