Aide Says White House Security Adviser Pressured Trump To Release Ukraine Money

Ruben Fields
November 18, 2019

The complaint from the whistleblower, reportedly a Central Intelligence Agency analyst, that President Trump improperly withheld military aid to Ukraine helped prod House Democrats to formalize their impeachment inquiry into the president.

The inquiry is investigating whether Mr Trump withheld U.S. military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure the country's new President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce a corruption inquiry into Mr Biden, now his rival for the United States presidency.

Republicans, for their part, fanned out on the main Sunday news-talk shows with their own sometimes-mixed message, insisting that Trump was innocent of any wrongdoing, or at least had not engaged in impeachable behavior. Most people, most people wanted to support Ukraine.

In the online survey conducted by YouGov for the Huffington Post, 45% said Trump should be impeached, while 42% said he should not. The Wisconsin Republican met in July with a former Ukrainian diplomat who has circulated unproven claims that Ukrainian officials assisted Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. Trump had frozen the aid, which had been authorized by Congress, in July.

Morrison was one of several officials who listened in on the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelenskiy.

Tim Morrison, the top Russian Federation and Europe adviser on the National Security Council, testified that between July 16 and September 11, he understood Sondland had spoken to Trump about half a dozen times, according to a transcript of his sworn October 31 deposition released by House committees yesterday.

Morrison, who was on the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky, said he had reviewed Taylor's testimony and did not dispute it on any significant points.

Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press", Johnson blamed that individual, not the White House, for damaging ties with an ally.

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Mr Holmes said he was having lunch with Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, and two others, on the terrace of a restaurant in Kyiv on July 26.

Pelosi said the public phase of the House Intelligence Committee hearings would continue for another week, while additional depositions are taken from other witnesses.

"I certainly noted that the mention of those specific investigations seemed unusual as compared to other discussions with foreign leaders", Jennifer Williams, the official in the vice president's office, told impeachment investigators, according to a transcript of her deposition released by the three House committees leading the impeachment probe.

Morrison told Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., that he was so concerned about Sondland's actions at the time - and uncertain of any involvement by the president - that he felt the need to keep a record in order to "protect" Trump. "I'm only getting this from Ambassador Sondland".

"The crimes and the offenses that have been detailed in this testimony are absolutely damning", Murphy told host Jake Tapper, adding that it was "absolutely clear" Trump attempted to "extort" Ukraine's president.

The comments came after Trump criticized his former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, by tweet as she was testifying last week - prompting accusations of witness intimidation.

Trump 2020 Advisory Board member Jenna Ellis Rives noted that Schiff initially appeared in the mainstream media citing the alleged transcript of the call between Trump and Zelenskiy.

Her response was broadcast live during the televised hearing.

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