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Left, Holmes, right, Hale: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

House impeachment investigators released transcripts Monday for State Department officials David Hale and David Holmes' closed-door testimonies this month.

The big picture: Hale is a high-ranking official who's served as an ambassador to Jordan, Lebanon and Pakistan, among other roles. Holmes works at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine. Holmes testified that he'd overheard a phone call between Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the EU, and President Trump on July 26, the day after Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

What they're saying: Holmes claimed that Trump had asked Sondland if Ukraine was going to "do the investigation," and that Sondland responded, "He's gonna do it."

"I heard Ambassador Sondland greet the President and explain that he was calling from Kyiv. I heard President Trump then clarify that Ambassador Sondland was in Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland replied, Yes, he was in Ukraine, and went on to state that President Zelensky, quote, unquote, loves your ass"
— Excerpt from Holmes' testimony
  • "I then heard President Trump ask, quote, "So he's going to do the investigation?" unquote. Ambassador Sondland replied that, "He's going to do it, " adding that President Zelensky will, quote, 'Do anything you ask him to,'" Holmes added.

What's next: Hale is due to publicly testify on Wednesday, and Holmes is testifying on Thursday.

Read the transcripts:

Hale:

Holmes:

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

German election: Exit polls show close race to succeed Angela Merkel

SPD leader Olaf Scholz. Photo: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg via Getty Images

BERLIN — Exit polls from Sunday's German elections showed the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) slightly ahead of the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) in a tight election race to succeed Angela Merkel.

State of play: Official results were still rolling in, but a partial count showed the SPD ahead with 26% of the vote and the CDU on just over 24%.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Liz Cheney: Americans deserve better than choice of Biden or Trump

Rep. Liz Cheney talks with Lesley Stahl on CBS' "60 Minutes." Photo: CBS News

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) told CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday that Americans "deserve better than having to choose between" President Biden's "disastrous" policies and former President Trump, "who violated his oath of office."

Why it matters: Cheney made the remarks after CBS' Lesley Stahl put it to her in the interview that Republicans feel that her joining the House select committee in charge of investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot helps "keep the focus on Trump instead of on the shortcomings of the Biden administration."

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

First look: The LCV's $4M ad buy

A screenshot from a new League of Conservation Voters ad supporting Rep. Stephanie Murphy.

The League of Conservation Voters and Climate Power are aiming another $4 million worth of ads at centrist House Democrats, urging them to support the climate provisions in President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Progressive groups are trying to counter the onslaught of conservative money pouring into swing districts. Both sides are trying to define Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda and pressure lawmakers to support — or oppose — the legislation scheduled for a vote in the House this week.