Democrats will launch a new phase of their impeachment inquiry next week with public hearings featuring three State Department officials who have testified about their concerns over Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine.
(CNN)The top USA diplomat in Ukraine told House impeachment investigators that President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani was pressing Ukraine "to intervene in U.S. domestic policy or politics" by launching investigations into Trump's political rivals, according to a transcript of Bill Taylor's deposition released Wednesday.
House investigators are releasing key transcripts from hours of closed-door interviews in the impeachment inquiry as they prepare for public sessions with witnesses next week.
Yovanovitch herself told investigators she was ousted because Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others wanted her out of the way as they conducted Ukraine policy outside traditional diplomatic channels.
In a preview of what is to come, lawmakers leading the probe released testimony that showed the top US diplomat in Ukraine, William Taylor, believed a White House-led effort to pressure Kiev to investigate Ukrainian energy company Burisma was motivated by a desire to help Trump win re-election next year.
"Those open hearings will be an opportunity for the American people to evaluate the witnesses for themselves...but also to learn firsthand about the facts of the president's misconduct", stated Schiff.
Taylor's testimony undermined the White House argument there was no quid pro quo involved in Trump's request for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and conspiracy theories involving the 2016 presidential election.
"And as I said, this was the first time I'd heard those two put together, those connected", Taylor told the panel during his October 22 deposition, according to the transcript released Wednesday.
"This suggested to me that the normal channel, where you would have staff on the phone call, was being cut out". "I just want to be real clear that, again, as of July 25th, you have no knowledge of a quid pro quo involving military aid".
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In the wake of his testimony, Trump accused Taylor of being a "Never Trumper".
In the final stretch of questioning, Rep.
At the same time, more closed-door testimony was being taken from David Hale, the No. 3 official at the State Department. And two more administration witnesses who had been scheduled to testify Tuesday - Michael Duffey, a top official in the White House budget office, and Wells Griffith, a senior aide to Energy Secretary Rick Perry - failed to appear.
© Associated Press FILE: Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent leaves Capitol Hill after appearing before a joint House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Committee on Oversight and Reform for a deposition on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019.
"I didn't think I would be able to go to Ukraine or meet with Russians and be able to carry out those duties in that way anymore", he said.
There were three words President Donald Trump wanted to hear from the Ukraine president: Investigations, Biden and Clinton.
The Trump administration has categorically said it would not comply with the House impeachment inquiry, saying it was a "partisan" to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential elections and denied Trump due process.
Sondland had "recognized that he had made a mistake" by informing Ukrainian officials that a White House meeting was contingent on a public statement about investigations from Kyiv, even though that was the case, Taylor said.