Nov 19, 2019

Read: House impeachment investigators release Hale, Holmes transcripts

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:

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Holmes: Trump-Sondland call was likely monitored by Russians

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A transcript of State Department official David Holmes' impeachment testimony published Monday reveals that he assumes calls made from Ukraine are usually monitored by Russians — including one between U.S. ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland and President Trump on July 26.

What they're saying: Holmes, who works at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, said in closed-door testimony that Sondland phoned Trump the day after the president's now-famous call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. Holmes said Sondland used his mobile phone for the call, which was "surprising" because "generally, phone calls with the president are very sensitive and handled accordingly."

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Bill Taylor aide David Holmes to testify publicly in impeachment inquiry

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

David Holmes, a State Department official working at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, will testify publicly in an impeachment hearing on Thursday alongside President Trump's former Russia adviser Fiona Hill, according to House officials.

Why it matters: In a closed-door deposition, Holmes testified that he overheard a phone call between EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland and Trump on July 26, the day after the infamous call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Holmes claimed he heard Trump ask Sondland, "So, he's gonna do the investigation?" to which Sondland responded, "He's gonna do it," adding that Zelensky would do "anything you ask him to."

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Read Adam Schiff's opening statement in the Hill-Holmes impeachment hearing

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) set the stage Thursday with his opening statement in the House impeachment inquiry's public hearing featuring Fiona Hill, President Trump's former top Russia adviser, and David Holmes, a State Department official at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

The big picture: Schiff, summarizing the hours of public testimony so far, said that the hearing would provide a split-screen on the Trump administration's Ukraine affairs with testimony from Hill, who was working in D.C., and Holmes, who was working in Kyiv.

Go deeperArrowNov 21, 2019