Trump says he may release April Ukraine call

Bill Taylor

Enlarge Image Bill Taylor EPA

The transcripts come a day after a transcript of testimony from USA diplomat Bill Taylor, in which he claimed to have a "clear understanding" that President Trump wanted to leverage military aid to Ukraine in return for investigations that could benefit him politically - although he acknowleged he didn't have firsthand knowledge of "what was in the president's mind".

"I think there's more evidence to the effect that the president shook down Ukraine, tried to cover it up, and threatened to and then withheld security assistance to Ukraine than there is evidence that the sun will come up in the East tomorrow", Heck said. Both testified in closed-door depositions to the circumstances surrounding Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"They shouldn't be having public hearings; this is a hoax", said Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing.

House impeachment investigators have asked Mick Mulvaney to testify about his "first-hand knowledge" of President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine. Any trial would take place in the Senate, which is controlled by Trump's Republican Party.

"What they're trying to do is weaken me, but it's actually made me stronger", Trump said. Despite the lack of an official White House memo on the second call, Trump's former Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker had tweeted about the second call soon after it happened.

The top US diplomat in Ukraine, William Taylor, is considered a critical witness to the case against Trump.

By distinction, she argued her family has instead built its success based on business, prior to and independent of coming to the White House. While a House panel has been hearing testimonies in closed-door sessions from several officials in recent weeks, this will be the first time the entirety of the questioning will be public.

Pence himself has repeatedly insisted that Trump did nothing wrong but has not clarified how much he knew about efforts to pressure Ukraine and the parallel Ukraine policy that Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others were leading outside the normal diplomatic and official channels.

Schiff said his committee will hear from top Ukraine diplomat William Taylor and career department official George Kent next Wednesday and from former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch next Friday. She says she was ousted from her post after she came under attack by Giuliani.

Republicans intend to request their own witnesses, possibly including the whistleblower, the US official whose complaint about Trump's dealings with Ukraine touched off the impeachment inquiry.

Republicans have painted the Democratic-led inquiry as a partisan exercise and will seek to provide a different narrative for the millions of Americans expected to watch the hearings, while attempting to cast doubt on witness testimony.

"And 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", she said.

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