Donald Trump will 'strongly consider' testifying before Congress impeachment inquiry

Grant Boone
November 19, 2019

Pressed during the closed-session interview if anyone helped him recall the details, Holmes said, "that wouldn't have been needed, sir, because, as I said, the event itself was so distinctive that I remember it very clearly".

And now, Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams are set to tell Americans and the world about its content and their concerns as the lead witnesses in perhaps the most consequential week of the impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump.

In the latest development, state department official David Holmes told investigators in closed door testimony on Saturday that he had overheard a USA diplomat telling Mr Trump that Ukraine would carry out investigations the president had asked for.

But so far the White House has refused to let them testify and release the records. Now, he is a 20-year Army officer assigned to the National Security Council at the white-hot center of the inquiry.

Democrats leading the impeachment process in the US House of Representatives have not formally called Trump as a witness in the inquiry into whether he used foreign policy to try to get Ukraine to investigate domestic political opponent Joe Biden.

Trump and the world are about to find out.

Mr Trump says his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was "perfect".

"He has every opportunity to present his case", she said.

The word Burisma does not appear in the rough transcript of the call released by the White House.

Those appearing in public have already giving closed-door interviews to investigators, and transcripts from those depositions have largely been released. He called her a "Never Trumper".

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Holmes is scheduled to testify publicly Thursday about the call.

Multiple witnesses overheard a phone call in which Mr Trump and Mr Sondland reportedly discussed efforts to push for the investigations. At the time, the Trump administration was withholding $516 million Cdn in military aid to the ally in what Democrats say amounts to "bribery".

In particular, in late March, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with Giuliani about Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.

The US president said on Monday that he might take up the suggestion by the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who said Mr Trump could even provide his testimony in writing.

He hasn't said he will do so.

In his tweets, Mr Trump attacked Ms Pelosi as "Our Crazy, Do Nothing" speaker, but said he would consider testifying "in order to get Congress focused again". "And he should allow all those around him to come to the committee and testify under oath".

The witnesses all are testifying under penalty of perjury, and Sondland already has had to amend his earlier account amid contradicting testimony from other current and former US officials.

The White House is happy with the role of Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, as the committee's Republican bulldog questioner.

Volker provided investigators with a package of text messages with Sondland and another diplomat, William Taylor, the charge d'affaires in Ukraine, who grew alarmed at the linkage of the investigations to the aid. GOP Sen. Rob Portman disputed an account from Morrison that he attended a September 11 White House meeting urging Trump to release the Ukraine military aid.

Burisma is what Tim Morrison, a former official at the National Security Council, who will testify later Tuesday referred to as a "bucket of issues" - the Bidens, Democrats, investigations - he had tried to "stay away" from.

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