Jennifer Williams, Alexander Vindman and Kurt Volker appear before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, at the House Intelligence Committee, several senior national security officials who overheard President Donald Trump’s phone conversation with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky testify in the impeachment case.
Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s top expert on Ukraine, address lawmakers at the morning session. Both expressed concern about the phone call at the center of an investigation into Trump’s alleged efforts to pressure Ukrainian officials into investigating the 45th US President’s political rivals.
In the afternoon, the Committee will hear from Kurt Volker, the former US special envoy to Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, who served as Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs at the national security Council and retired last month.
Opening the morning session, the Chairman of the Committee, Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff, addressed the participants with opening remarks. In putting pressure on Ukraine to encourage Ukrainian officials to launch an investigation into Biden’s actions, President Trump has put his personal and political interests ahead of the country’s interests, Schiff said.
Then came the top Republican on the comet, Devin Nunes, who criticized the progress of the House Committees ‘ investigation. He called the informant, whose complaint helped launch the investigation, a puppet in the hands of the Democratic Party.
Then the floor was given to Jennifer Williams. In her prepared statement, Williams noted that she found the July 25 phone conversation between Trump and the Ukrainian leader unusual since it included discussion of domestic political issues.
“It seemed to me that it was political,” she said of Trump’s request, noting that in 14 years of diplomatic work, she had never heard anything like it during high-level talks. “I just noted that the reference to Biden seemed political to me,” Williams added.
She also noted that the White House budget office said that the White House chief of staff Mulvaney ordered the suspension of security assistance to Ukraine.
Alexander Vindman, who then spoke, said in a statement that he learned last spring that Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani had worked with the former Prosecutor General of Ukraine against US interests.
According to Vindman, officials in the field of security felt a growing concern about the impact of the efforts of Giuliani.
Vindman stressed that the telephone conversation between Donald Trump and Vladimir Zelensky, he said, obeying a sense of duty.
According to the witness, he heard Trump ask Zelensky for a “favor” – investigating Biden.
Vindman called what he heard “inappropriate” and ” inappropriate.” He noted that trump’s request to investigate Biden’s actions “had nothing to do with US national security interests.”
Vindman said he regarded Trump’s request as an “order” and believed it could harm US national security and Washington’s relations with Kyiv. According to the witness, shortly after the conversation, he reported his concerns to a National Security Council lawyer.
As noted earlier, Republicans were expected to question whether the witnesses were credible, arguing that the “shadow state” bureaucrats oppose Donald’s uninhibited style in championing US interests and building relationships with foreign leaders.