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National Security Council's Russia and Europe director Tim Morrison and Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence. Photos: Getty Images

The House Intelligence Committee on Saturday released the transcripts of the closed-door testimony of Tim Morrison, the former National Security Council's Russia and Europe director, and Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence.

Why it matters: Both witnesses provided the House Committees with first-hand accounts after personally listening to the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, per a statement from House chairs.

What they're saying:

  • Morrison said he suggested to NSC lawyers “we restrict access to the package,” referring to access to the transcript, in his sworn deposition to House investigators, according to the transcript of his Oct. 31 testimony. He did not, however, believe anything inappropriate took place on the call.
  • Williams, a longtime State Department employee with expertise in Europe and Russia, said it seemed, "unusual and inappropriate" after listening to the Trump-Zelensky call, and it "shed some light on possible other motivations behind a security assistance hold."
“The testimony released today shows that President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky immediately set off alarm bells throughout the White House ... following the September 1 meeting between President Zelensky and Vice President Pence, Mr. Morrison confirmed that Ambassador Sondland informed one of President Zelensky’s top aides that American military aid was conditioned on the investigations. Mr. Morrison informed John Bolton of the meeting and was told by Mr. Bolton to go see the lawyers, which he did.
“Ms. Williams testified that the President’s requests were ‘unusual and inappropriate’ and shed light on ‘possible other motivations behind a security assistance hold.’ She also confirmed, like Lt. Col. Vindman, that the Ukrainian President specifically mentioned ‘Burisma’ during the call, even though the White House call record does not reflect that. Importantly, Ms. Williams also testified that in mid-May, President Trump instructed Vice President Pence to cancel plans to attend President Zelensky’s inauguration before the date for the inauguration had been set.“We look forward to the public testimony of both of these officials.”
— Reps. Adam Schiff, Eliot L. Engel and Carolyn B. Maloney

Read Tim Morrison's transcripts:

Read Jennifer Williams' transcripts:

Go deeper: A viewer's guide to the impeachment hearings

Go deeper

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Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Early voting in the 2020 election across the U.S. on Saturday had already reached 65.5% of 2016's total turnout, according to state data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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