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Fiona Hill’s testimony gives her account of a disturbing White House meeting on Ukraine

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She said an early version of the quid pro quo was conveyed to the Ukrainians

At this July 10 sit-down between Trump administration officials and Ukrainian officials, Hill said, Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland “blurted out” that there was an agreement: Ukraine’s president would get a meeting with President Donald Trump, if Ukraine agreed to launch certain investigations.

Hill testified that National Security Adviser John Bolton reacted very badly to this — first ending the meeting, and later telling her, in rather colorful terms, to report it to the NSC’s lawyer, John Eisenberg.

“He told me, and this is a direct quote,” Hill said, “‘You go and tell Eisenberg that I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and [acting White House Chief of Staff Mick] Mulvaney are cooking up on this.’”

Her testimony on the events she did witness certainly gives the sense that she thought something was dreadfully amiss regarding Ukraine policy in the Trump administration.

The meeting in question, on July 10, brought two of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s top advisers, Andrey Yermak and Oleksandr Danylyuk, to the White House, to meet with Bolton, Hill, and other officials from the NSC. The now-famous “Three Amigos” who had taken on a major role in directing Ukraine policy — Sondland, Special Representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry — also attended.

At first, Hill said, the meeting was ordinary. The Ukrainians asked for advice on streamlining their own national security council. They also were pressing their demand for a White House meeting between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — but Bolton was unwilling to commit to one yet.

That, Hill says, is when Sondland “blurted out: Well, we have an agreement with the Chief of Staff for a meeting if these investigations in the energy sector start.”

“We all kind of looked up and thought that was somewhat odd,” Hill testified, and Bolton “immediately stiffened and ended the meeting.”

Sondland, however, asked both the Americans and the Ukrainians to move with him to another room, to discuss next steps. Bolton chose not to go. But he told Hill, in her recounting: “Go down to the Ward Room right now and find out what they’re talking about and come back and talk to me.”

She did so, and she recounted what she’d heard to the impeachment investigators: “Ambassador Sondland, in front of the Ukrainians, as I came in, was talking about how he had an agreement with Chief of Staff Mulvaney for a meeting with the Ukrainians if they were going to go forward with investigations. And my director for Ukraine was looking completely alarmed.”

Afterward, she said she reported back to Bolton, who told her: “You go and tell [NSC lawyer John] Eisenberg that I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up on this.”

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/11/8/20955523/fiona-hill-transcript-impeachment-testimony

drip

 

 

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1 hour ago, SackMan518 said:

Still waiting on that Trump tape of him saying it.

You’ll have to petition the NSA to pull it off of the super secure server that they’ve stored it on. Or Trump could actually release the transcript that he keeps telling everybody to read

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Taylor transcript says he believed Ukraine aid hinged on investigations

House Democrats announced Wednesday they will hold the first public hearings in their impeachment inquiry of President Trump next week, as they released the testimony of a key former ambassador who claims the White House tied U.S. military aid to Ukraine’s promise to investigate Democratic presidential frontrunner Joseph R. Biden.

After questioning witnesses behind closed doors at the Capitol for five weeks, Rep. Adam B. Schiff said public testimony will begin Nov. 13 with appearances by two top State Department officials, William Taylor and George Kent.

“I think you will see throughout the course of the testimony … the most important facts are largely not contested,” Mr. Schiff, California Democrat and House intelligence committee chairman, told reporters.

House Democrats released a transcript of Mr. Taylor’s closed-door testimony Wednesday, the fourth time they have done so since voting last week to move forward with a public impeachment probe.

Mr. Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, has told impeachment investigators it was his “understanding” that the administration would withhold U.S military aid until the Ukrainian president agreed to investigations sought by Mr. Trump.



“That was my clear understanding, security assistance money would not come until [Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky] committed to pursue the investigation,” Mr. Taylor told lawmakers.



He said he believed the requests for Ukraine to investigate Mr. Biden and possible interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election came from Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer and a central figure in the Ukraine furor.

But Mr. Taylor also acknowledged in his testimony last month that he didn’t hear the July 25 phone call between Mr. Trump and the Ukrainian president, he didn’t see a transcript of the call until it was released in late September, and he’s never spoken to Mr. Trump or Mr. Giuliani.

“Has anyone ever asked you to speak to Mr. Giuliani?” he was asked.

“No,” Mr. Taylor said.

“Have you spoken to the president of the United States?” a lawmaker asked him.

“I have not,” he said.

“You had no communications with the president of the United States?”

“Correct,” Mr. Taylor said.

Another envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, has testified there was “no linkage” between the military aid and the investigations.

The White House again criticized the impeachment inquiry for relying on witnesses with second-hand information. A new Monmouth University poll released Wednesday showed 73% of the public has little or no confidence in the process.

 

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