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.
- He confirmed two instances at the center of the impeachment inquiry, suggesting at least some high-ranking officials believed Trump was conditioning the release of military aid on Ukraine’s public commitment to investigations and informed Ukrainians accordingly, per the New York Times.
- 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
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