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Vice President Mike Pence said on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that there was no quid pro quo involved in President Trump's desire for Ukraine to open political investigations, despite testimonies from top State Department officials that suggest otherwise.

The exchange:

MARGARET BRENNAN: "We have had at least four U.S. officials under oath say that they had knowledge of a deal being offered that made military aid and a meeting with the president contingent on opening an investigation that relates to the company Joe Biden's son served on the board of. Are they all lying?"
PENCE: "I can only tell you what I know. And what I know is that the transcript of the president's call with President Zelensky shows that there was no quid pro quo. He did nothing wrong. In all of my interactions with President Zelensky, we focused entirely on President Zelensky's agenda to bring about reforms to end corruption in Ukraine and to bring together the European community to provide greater support for Ukraine. President Zelensky said there was no pressure."

Why it matters: Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, testified to House investigators this month that nearly $400 million of congressionally approved military aid was contingent on Ukraine opening investigations into allegations of interference in the 2016 election and the natural gas company Burisma, where Hunter Biden sat on the board. U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland testified that there was a quid pro quo involving the investigations and a White House visit for Zelensky.

  • Pence argued that the summary of Trump's July phone call with Ukraine's president does not show any quid pro quo, but the testimonies collected in the House impeachment investigation thus far go beyond the phone call.
  • Several officials have alleged there was a months-long pressure campaign led by Rudy Giuliani — in effect, a shadow foreign policy run outside of traditional administration channels.

Go deeper: Ukraine felt early Trump pressure and knew of military aid freeze

Go deeper

Kamala Harris resigns from Senate seat ahead of inauguration

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Photo: Mason Trinca/Getty Images

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris submitted her resignation from her seat in the U.S. Senate on Monday, two days before she will be sworn into her new role.

What's next: California Gov. Gavin Newsom has selected California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to serve out the rest of Harris' term, which ends in 2022.

2 hours ago - World

Putin foe Navalny to be detained for 30 days after returning to Moscow

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has been ordered to remain in pre-trial detention for 30 days, following his arrest upon returning to Russia on Sunday for the first time since a failed assassination attempt last year.

Why it matters: The detention of Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and the most prominent domestic critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has already set off a chorus of condemnations from leaders in Europe and the U.S.

Biden picks Warren allies to lead SEC, CFPB

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has selected FTC commissioner Rohit Chopra to be the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Obama-era Wall Street regulator Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Why it matters: Both picks are progressive allies of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and viewed as likely to take aggressive steps to regulate big business.