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tv   Impeachment Inquiry House Hearings Former Amb. Yovanovitch  CSPAN  November 15, 2019 9:05am-1:36pm EST

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[inaudible conversations]
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>> the meeting will come to order. good morning, everyone. this is the second in a series of public hearings the committee will be holding as part of the house's impeachment inquiry, without objection the chairman reserves the right to call recess. 'make an opening statement and representative nunes will make an opening statement and we'll turn to the witness for opening statement and then to questions. for audience members we welcome you and respect your interest in being here. in turn, we ask for your respect as we proceed with today's hearing. it is the intention of the committee to proceed without disruptions. as chairman i'll take all necessary and appropriate steps to maintain order to ensure that the committee is run in accordance with house rules and house resolution 660. with that i now recognize myself to give an opening statement in the impeachment inquiry into donald j. trump,
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the 45th president of the united states. in april, 2019 the united states ambassador to ukraine marie yovanovitch was in kiev when she was called by a senior state department official and told to get on the next plane back to washington. upon her return to d.c. she was informed by her superiors that although she had done nothing wrong, she could no longer serve as ambassador to ukraine because she did not have the confidence of the president. it was a stunning turn of events for this highly regarded career diplomate who had done such remarkable job fighting corruption in ukraine, that a short time earlier she had been asked by the state department to extend her tour. ambassador yovanovitch has been in the foreign service for 33 years and served much of that time in the former soviet union. her parents have fled stalin and later hitler before settling in the united states.
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she is an exemplary officer who is widely praised and respected by other colleagues. she is known as an anti-corruption champion whose tour in kiev was viewed as very successful. ambassador michael mckinley who served with her in the foreign service for several decades stated from the earliest days of her career in the foreign service, she was excellent, serious, committed. i certainly remember her being one of those people who seemed to be destined for greater things. her successor is acting chief of mission in ukraine ambassador bill taylor described her as very frank. she was very direct. she made points very clearly and she was, indeed, tough on corruption and she named names and that sometimes is controversial output out there, but she's a strong person and made those charges. in her time in kiev, ambassador yovanovitch was tough on
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corruption. too tough on corruption for some and her principled stance made her enemies. as george kent told this committee on wednesday, you can't promote principled anti-corruption action without pissing off corrupt people. and ambassador yovanovitch did not just piss off corrupt ukrainians, like the corrupt former prosecutor general, but also, certain americans, like rudy giuliani, donald trump's personal attorney and two individuals now indicted who worked with him, igor fruman a and, others who would include the president's own son don, jr. promoted a smear campaign against her based on false allegations. at the state department there was an effort to push back to obtain a statement of support from secretary pompeo, but those efforts failed when it became clear that president trump wanted her gone.
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some have argued that a president has the ability to nominate or remove any ambassador he wants, that they serve at the pleasure of the president and that is true. the question before us is not whether donald trump could recall an american ambassador with a stellar reputation for fighting corruption in ukraine, but why would he want to? why did rudy giuliani want her gone and why did donald trump? and why would donald trump instruct a new team he put in place, the three amigos, gordon sondland, rick perry and kurt volker to work with the same man, rudy giuliani who played a central rule in the smear campaign against her? rudy giuliani made no secret of his desire to get ukraine to open investigations into the bidens, as well as conspiracy theory in the 2016 election. as he said in one interview in may, 2019 we're not meddling in
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an election, we're meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do. more recently he told cnn's chris cuomo, of course i did, when asked if he had pressed ukraine to investigate joe biden. and he's never been shy about who he is doing this work for. his client, the president. one powerful ally giuliani had in ukraine to promote these political investigations was the corrupt former prosecutor general. and one powerful adversary he had was a certain united states ambassador named marie yovanovitch. it is no coincidence that in the now infamous july 25th call with zelensky, donald trump brings up a corrupt ukrainian prosecutor and praises him against all evidence trump claims that this former prosecutor general was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair.
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but the woman known for fighting corruption his own foreign ambassador, the woman ruthlessly smeared and driven from her post, the president does nothing, but disparage, or worse, threaten. well, she is going to go through some things, the president declares. that tells you a lot about the president's priorities and intentions. getting rid of ambassador yovanovitch helped set the stage for an irregular channel that could pursue the two investigations that mattered so much to the president, the 2016 conspiracy theory and most important, an investigation into the 2020 political opponent, he apparently feared most, joe biden. and the president's scheme might have worked, but for the fact that the man who would succeed ambassador yovanovitch, whom we heard from on wednesday, acting ambassador taylor, would eventually discover the effort to press ukraine into conducting these investigations and would push
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back. but for the fact, also, that someone blew the whistle. ambassador yovanovitch was serving our nation's interest in fighting corruption in ukraine, but she was considered an obstacle to the furtherance of the president's personal and political agenda, for that she was smeared and cast aside. the powers of the presidency are immense, but they're not absolute and they cannot be used for corrupt purpose. the american people expect their president to use the authority they grant him in the service of the nation, not to destroy others to advance his personal or political interests. and i now recognize ranking member nunes for his remarks. >> i thank the gentleman. it's unfortunate that today and for most of next week we will continue engaging in the
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democrats' day long tv spectacles instead of solving the problems we were all sent to washington to address. we now have a major trade agreement with canada and mexico ready for approval, a deal that would create jobs and boost our economy. meanwhile, we have not yet approved funding for the government, which expires next week. along with funding for our men and women in uniform. instead, the democrats have convened us once again to advance their operation to topple a dually elected president, i'll note that five, five democrats on this committee had already voted to impeach this president before the trump-zelensky phone call occurred. in fact, democrats have been vowing to oust president trump since the day he was elected. so americans can rightly suspect that his phone call
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with president zelensky was used as an excuse for the democrats to fulfill their watergate fantasies. but i'm glad that on wednesday after the democrats staged six weeks of secret depositions in the basement of the capitol like some kind of strange cult, the american people finally got to see this farce for themselves. they saw us sit through hours of hearsay testimony of conversations of two diplomates never spoke to the president heard secondhand, third hand and fourth hand from other people. in other words, rumors. the problem of trying to overthrow a president based on this type of evidence is obvious. but that's what their whole case relies on. beginning with secondhand and thirdhand information cited by the whistleblower. that's why on wednesday the democrats were forced to make
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the absurd argument that hearsay can be much better evidence than direct evidence. and just when you thought the spectacle couldn't get more bizarre, committee republicans received a memo from the democrats threatening ethics referrals if we out the whistleblower. as the democrats are well aware, no republicans here know the whistleblower's identity because the whistleblower only met with democrats, not with republicans. chairman schiff's claim not to know who it is, that he also vowed to block us from asking questions that could reveal his or her identity. republicans on this committee are left wondering, how it's even possible for the chairman to block questions about a person whose identity he claims not to know. the american people may be seeing these absurddyes for the
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first time, but republicans on this dias are used to them. until they secretly met with the whistleblower being democrats showed little interest in the last three years in any topic aside from the ridiculous conspiracy theories that president trump is a russian agent. when you find yourself on the phone, like the democrats did with russian pranksters offering you nude pictures of trump and afterward you order your staff to follow up and get the photos, as the democrats also did, then it might be time to ask yourself if you've gone out too far on a limb. even as they were accusing republicans of colluding with russians, the democrats themselves were colluding with russians by funding the steele doesier by russian and ukrainian sources and turn a blind eye to ukrainian's meddling in our operation because the democrats were
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cooperating with this operation. this was the subject of a july 20th, 2017 letter sent by senator grassley to then deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. the letter raised concerns about the activities of alexander cha lupa, a contractor for the democrat national committee who worked with ukrainian embassy officials to spread dirt on the trump campaign. as senator grassley wrote, quote, chalupa's actions appear to show she was simultaneously working on behalf of a foreign government, ukraine and on behalf of the dnc and the clinton campaign in an effort to influence not only the u.s. voting population, but u.s. government officials, unquote. after touting the steele doesier and defending the fbi's russia investigation which are now being investigated by inspector general horowitz and attorney general barr,
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democrats on this committee ignore ukrainian election meddling even though chalupa publicly admitted to the democrats' scheme. like-wise, they are blind to the blaring signs of corruption surrounding hunter biden's well-paid position on the board of a corrupt ukrainian company while his father served as vice-president and point man for ukraine issues in the obama administration. administration. but the democrats' media hacks only cared about that issue briefly, when they were trying to stop joe biden from running against hillary clinton in 2015. as i've previously stated, these hearings should not be occurring at all until we get the answers to three crucial questions the democrats refuse to ask, first, what is the full extent of the democrats' prior coordination with the whistleblower and who else did the whistleblower coordinate this effort with. second, what is the full extent
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of ukraine's election meddling against the trump campaign, and third, why did barisma hire hunter biden and did his position affect any actions under the obama administration. i'll note that house democrats vowed they would not put the american people through a wrenching impeachment process without bipartisan support. and they have none. add that to their ever growing list of broken promises and destructive deception. in closing, mr. chair, the president of the united states released his transcript right before the hearing began, i think it's important that i read this into the record so there's no confusion over this first phone call that occurred on april 21st with president-elect zelensky and i'd like to read it.
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the president, i'd like to congratulate you on a job well done and congratulations on a fantastic election. zelensky: good to hear from you. thank you so very much, it's nice to hear from you, and i appreciate you the congratulations. the president: that was an incredible election. zelensky: again, thank you so very much, as you can see, we tried very hard to do our best. we had you as a great example. the president: i think you will do a great job. i have many friends in ukraine who know you and like you. i have many friends from ukraine and frankly, expected you to win and it's really an amazing thing that you've done. i guess in a way, i did something similar. we're making tremendous progress in the u.s. we have the most tremendous economy ever. i just wanted to congratulate you, i have no doubt you will be a fantastic president.
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zelensky: first of all, thank you so very much, again, for the congratulations. we in ukraine are an independent country, an independent ukraine. we're going to do everything for the people. you are, as i said, a great example, we're hoping we can expand on our jobs as you did. you will also be a great example for many. you're a great example for our new managers. i'd also like to invite you, if possible, to the inauguration. i know how busy you are, but if it's possible for you to come to the inauguration ceremony, that would be great, great for you to do to be with us on that day. the president: that's very nice, i'll look into that and give us a date at the very minimum we'll have a great representative or more from the united states will be with you on that great day. so we will have somebody at a minimum a very, very high level and will be with you, really an incredible day for an incredible achievement.
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zelensky: again, thank you, we're looking forward to your visit, to the visit of a high level delegation, but there's no word that can describe our wonderful country, how nice, warm and friendly our people are. how tasty and delicious our food is and how wonderful ukraine is. words cannot describe our country so it would be best for you to see it yourself. so if you can come, that would be great. so again, i invite you to come. the president: well, i agree with you about your country and i look forward to it. when i owned miss universe they always had great people. ukraine always well-- was always well-represented. when you're settled in and ready, i'd like to invite you to the white house. we'll have a lot of things to talk about, but we're with you all the way. zelensky: thank you for the invitation, we accept the invitation and look forward to the visit. thank you again, the whole team and i are looking forward to the visit. thank you for the congratulations and i think it would be still be great if you
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could come be with us on this important day the results are incredible. they're very impressive for us. so it would be absolutely fantastic if you could come on that day. the president: very good. we'll let you know very soon and we will see you very, very soon regardless. congratulations and please say hello to the ukrainian people and your family, let them know i send my best records. zelensky: well, thank you. you have a safe flight and see you soon. the president: take care of yourself and give a great speech today. you take care of yourself and i'll see you soon. zelensky: thank you very much, it's difficult for me, but i will practice english and i will meet in english. thank you very much. the president: laughing, oh that's beautiful to hear, that's very good. i could not do it in your language. i'm very impressed. thank you so much. zelensky: thank you so much. the president: good day, good luck. i was able to read that into the record so now the american
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people know the very first call that president trump had with president zelensky. and with that, i yield back the balance of my time. >> mr. chairman, i have a parliamentary inquiry. >> gentle woman is recognized. i comment-- >> mr. chairman i have a point of order-- >> state the point of order. >> will the chairman continue to prohibit witnesses from answering republican questions as you've done in closed hearings and as you did. >> suspend that's not proper. >> to our question. >> that's not a proper point of order. gentle woman will suspend. >> mr. chairman, i have a-- >> recognized: gentleman is not recognized. >> i have a point of order. >> the gentleman is not organized. >> i have a point of order. >> the gentleman is not recognized. >> gentleman, gentleman, is not recognized. >> ranking member was allowed to exceed the opening statement and i was happy to allow him to do so. i do want to respond to the
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call record. first of all, i'm grateful that the president has released the call record. i would now ask the president to release the thousands of other records that he has instructed the state department not to release, including ambassador taylor's notes, including ambassador taylor's cable, including george kent's memo, including documents from the office of management and budget about why the military aid was withheld. >> mr. chairman, i want you to release the-- >> the gentleman is not recognized. >> the deposition, that's my point of order. >> the gentleman will suspend. we would ask the president to stop obstructing the impeachment inquiry. while we're grateful he released a single document, he has nonetheless obstructed witnesses in their testimony and production of thousands and thousands of other records and finally, i would say this, mr. president, i hope you'll explain to the country today why it was after this call and while the vice-president was making plans to attend the inauguration, that you
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instructed the vice-president not to attend zelensky's inauguration. >> mr. chairman i have a point of order. mr. chairman, i have a point of order. >> the gentle woman is not organized. >> so we know clearly you'll interrupt us bought this hearing. >> the gentle woman has a point of order. >> and gentleman is not recognized. today we are joined by ambassador marie yovanovitch, she was born in canada and parents fled the soviet union and the nazis, immigrated to connecticut and entered the u.s. foreign service in 1986, served as u.s. ambassador three times and been nominated by presidents of both parties. george w. bush nominated her to be ambassador to the republic where she served from 2005-2008. president obama nominated here to u.s. ambassador to armenia, 2008 until 2011.
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and u.s. ambassador to ukraine where she served from 2016 until she was recalled to washington by president trump this may. beyond these ambassadorial posts she has held numerous other positions at the state department, including in the bureau of european and eurasian affairs. and dean at foreign service institute and taught national security strategy at defense university. she also previously served at u.s. embassies in kiev, ottawa, moscow, london and mogadishu. ambassador yovanovitch received honors for her diplomatic work, presidential distinguished service award and diplomacy and human rights award. two final points before our witness is sworn. first witness depositions as part of this were unclassified in nature and held at the unclassified level. any information that may touch on classified information will be addressed separately. second, congress will not
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tolerate any reprisal, threat of reprisal for testifying before congress including you and your colleagues. if you would rise and raise your right hand. i'll swear you in. do you swear or affirm that the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing, but the truth, so help you god? let the record show the witness has answered in the affirmative. thank you and please be seated. without objection, your written statement will be made part of the record. with that, ambassador marie yovanovitch you're recognized for your opening statement. >> mr. chairman, ranking member nunes, and other members of the committee. >> ambassador you'll need to speak very close to the microphone. >> thank you for the opportunity to start with this statement, to reintroduce myself to the committee and to highlight parts of my biography and experience. i come before you as an
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american citizen who has devoted the majority of my life, 33 years, to service to the country that all of us love. like my colleagues, i entered the foreign service understanding that my job was to implement the foreign policy interests of this nation as defined by the president and congress and to do so regardless of which person or party was in power. i had no agenda other than to pursue our stated foreign policy goals. my service is an expression of gratitude for all that this country has given to me and to my family. my late parents did not have the good fortune to come of age in a free society. my father fled the soviets before ultimately finding refuge in the united states. my mother's family escaped the u.s.s. r after the bolshevik
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revolution and grew up in nazi germany before eventually making her way to the united states. their personal histories, my personal history gave me both deep gratitude towards the united states and great empathy for others, like the ukrainian people who want to be free. i joined the foreign service during the reagan administration and subsequently served three other republican presidents as well as two democratic presidents. it was my great honor to be appointed to serve as an ambassador three times, twice by george w. bush, and once by barack obama. there is a perception that diplomates lead a comfortable life, throwing dinner parties in fancy homes. let me tell you about some of my reality. it has not always been easy. i have moved 13 times and served in seven different countries, five of them hardship posts.
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my first tour was mogadishu somalia, an increasingly dangerous place as that country's civil war kept grinding on and the government was weakening. the military took over policing functions in a particularly brutal way in basic services disappeared. several years later after the soviet union collapse, i helped open our embassy in uzbekistan. as we were establishing relations with a new country, our small embassy was attacked by a gunman who sprayed the embassy building with gunfire. i later served in moscow. in 1993 during the attempted coup in russia, i was caught in cross-fire between presidential and parliamentary forces. it took us three tries, me without a helmet or body armor, to get into a vehicle to go to the embassy. we went because the ambassador
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asked us to come and we went because it was our duty. from august, 2016 until may, 2019 i served as a u.s. ambassador to ukraine. during my tenure in ukraine i went to the front line approximate 10 times, during a hot war, to show the american flag, to hear what was going on, sometimes literally as we heard the impact of artillery, and to see how our assistance dollars were being put to use. i worked to advance u.s. policy, fully embraced by democrats and republicans alike, to help ukraine become a stable and independent democratic state with a market economy integrated into europe. a secure democratic and free ukraine serves not just the ukrainian people, but the american people as well. that's why it was our policy, continues to be our policy to help the ukrainians achieve
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their objectives, they match our objectives. the u.s. is the most powerful country in the history of the world, in large part because of our values, and our values have made possible the network of alliances and partnerships that butt resses our strengths. >> and a commercial and political partner for the united states, as well as a force multiplier on the security side. we see the potential in ukraine. russia sees, by contrast sees the risk. the history is not written yet, but ukraine could move out of russia's orbit and now ukraine is a battle ground for great power competition with a hot war for a control of territory and hybrid war to control
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ukraine's leadership. the u.s. has provided security assistance since the onset of the war against russia in 2014 and the trump administration strengthened our policy by approving the provision to ukraine of anti-tank missiles, known as javelins. supporting ukraine is the right thing to do. it's also the smart thing to do. if russia prevails and ukraine falls to russian dominion, we can expect to see other attempts by russia to expand its territory and its influence. as critical as the war against russia is, ukraine's struggling democracy has an equally important challenge, battling the soviet legacy of corruption which has pervaded ukraine yus's government. and makes it vulnerable to russia and the ukrainian people understand that.
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that's why they demanded to be part of europe, demanded the system, demanding to live under the rule of law. ukrainians wanted the law to apply equally to all people, whether the individual in question is the president or any other citizen. it was a question of fairness, of dignity here again there is a coincidence of interest. corrupt leaders are inherently less trustworthy and an accountable ukrainian leadership makes it more valuable to the united states. a level playing field in strategically placed country creates an environment in which u.s. business can more easily trade, invest, and profit. corruption is also a security issue because corrupt officials are vulnerable to moscow. in short, it is in america's national security interest to help ukraine transform into a country where the rule of law
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governs and corruption is held in check. it was and remains a top u.s. priority to help ukraine fight corruption and significant progress has been made since the 2014 revolution of dignity. unfortunately, as the past couple of months have underlined not all ukrainians embrace our anti-corruption work, thus perhaps it was not pricing when our anti-corruption efforts got in the way of a desire for profit or power, ukrainians who preferred to play by the old corrupt rules sought to remove me. what continues to amaze me is that they found americans willing to partner with them and working together, they apparently succeeded in orchestrating the removal of a u.s. ambassador. how could our system fail like this? how is it that foreign corrupt interests could manipulate our government? which countries' interests are served when the very corrupt
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behavior we've been criticizing is allowed to prevail? such conduct undermines the u.s., exposes our friends and widens the playing field for autocrats like president putin. our leadership depends on the power of our example and the consistency of our purpose. both have now been opened to question. with that background in mind, i'd like to briefly address some of the factual issues i expect you may want to ask me about, starting with my timeline in ukraine and the events about which i do and do not have firsthand knowledge. i arrived in ukraine on august 22nd, 2016, and left ukraine permanently on may 20th, 2019. there are a number of events you are investigating to which i cannot bring any firsthand knowledge. the events that predated my ukraine service include, the
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release of the so-called black ledger and mr. manafort's subsequent resignation from president trump's campaign and the departure from office of former prosecutor general victor. and several other events occurred after i returned from the ukraine. these include president trump's july 25th, 2019 call with president zelensky. the discussions surrounding that phone call and any discussions surrounding the delay of security assistance to ukraine in the summer of 2019 ch. events during my tenure in ukraine. i want to reiterate first that the allegation that i disseminated a do not prosecute list was a fabrication. the former ukrainian prosecutor general who made that allegation has acknowledged that the list never existed. i did not tell him or other ukrainian officials who they
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should or should not prosecute, instead i advocated the u.s. position that rule of law should prevail. and ukrainian law enforcement, prosecutors and judges should stop wielding their power selectively as a political weapon against their adversaries and start dealing with all consistently and according to the law. also untrue are unsourced allegations that i told unidentified embassy employees or ukrainians officials that president trump's orders should be ignored because he was going to be impeached or for any other reason. i did not and i would not say such a thing. such statements would be inconsistent with my training as a foreign service officer and my role as an ambassador. the obama administration did not ask me to help the clinton campaign or harm the trump campaign. nor would i have taken any such steps if they had.
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partisanship of this type is not compatible with the role of a career foreign service officer. i have never met hunter biden, nor have i had any direct or indirect conversations with him. and although i have met former vice-president biden several times over the course of our many years in government service, neither he nor the previous administration ever raised the issue of either barisma or hunter biden with me. with respect to mayor giuliani, i've had only minimal contact with him, a total of three, none related to the events at issue. i do not understand mr. giuliani's motives for attacking me, nor can i offer an opinion on whether he believed the allegations he spread about me. clearly no one at the state department-- what i can say is that mr. giuliani should have known those claims were suspect coming as they reportedly did from individuals with questionable motives and with
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reason to believe that their political and financial ambitions would be stymied by our anti-corruption policy in the ukraine. after being asked by the undersecretary of state for political affairs in early march, 2019 to extend my tour until 2020, the smear campaign against me entered a new public phase in the united states. in the wake of the negative press, state department officials suggested an earlier departure and we agreed upon july, 2019. i was then abruptly told weeks later in late april to come back to washington from ukraine on the next plane. at the time i departed ukraine had just concluded game-changing presidential elections. it was a sensitive period with much at stake for the united states. and called for all the experience and expertise we could muster. when i returned to the united
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states deputy secretary of state sullivan told me there had been a concerted campaign against me, that the president no longer wished me to serve as ambassador to ukraine, and that, in fact, the president had been pushing for my removal since the prior summer. as mr. sullivan recently recounted during his senate confirmation hearing, neither he nor anyone else ever explained or sought to justify the president's concerns about me, nor did anyone in the department justify my early departure by suggesting i had done something wrong. i appreciate that mr. sullivan publicly affirmed at his hearing that i had served capably and admirably. although then and now i have always understood that i served at the pleasure of the president, i still find it difficult to comprehend that foreign and private interests were able to undermine u.s. interests in this way. individuals who apparently felt stymied by our efforts to
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promote stated u.s. policy against corruption, that is to do our mission, were able to successfully conduct a campaign of disinformation against a sitting ambassador using unofficial back channels. as various witnesses have recounted they shared baseless allegations with the president and convinced him to remove his ambassador, despite the fact that the state department fully understood that the allegations were false and the sources highly suspect. these events should concern everyone in this room. ambassadors are the symbol of the united states abroad. they are the personal representative of the president. they should always act and speak with full authority to advocate for u.s. policies. if our chief representative is-- it limits our-- to safeguard our national security of the united states. this is especially important now when the international landscape is more complicated
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and more competitive than it has been since the dissolution of the soviet union. our ukraine policy has been thrown into disarray and shady interests the world over have learned how little it takes to remove an american ambassador who does not give them what they want. after these events, what foreign official, corrupt or not, could be blamed for wondering whether the u.s. ambassador represents the president's views. and what u.s. ambassador could be blamed that they harbor the fear that they couldn't count on the u.s. for stated policy and to protect and defend policy-- at the closed deposition i expressed grave concern about the degradation of the foreign service over the past few years and the failure of state
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department leadership to push back as foreign and corrupt interests apparently hijacked our ukraine policy. i remain disappointed that the department's leadership and others have declined to acknowledge that the attacks against me and others are dangerously wrong. this is about far, far more than me or a couple of individuals. as foreign service professionals are being den graded and undermined the institution is also be degraded. this will soon cause real harm, if it hasn't already. the state department as a tool of foreign policy often doesn't get the same kind of attention or even respect as the military might of the pentagon, but we are, as they say, the pointy end of the spear. if we lose our edge, the u.s. will inevitably have to use other tools, even more than it does today. and those other tools are blunter, more expensive, and not universally effective.
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moreover, the attacks are leading to a crisis in the state department, as the policy process is visibly unravelling. leadership vacancies go unfilled and senior and mid level officers ponder an uncertain future. the crisis has moved from the impact on individuals to impact on the institution itself. the state department is being hollowed out from within in a competitive and complex time on the world stage. this is not a time to undercut our diplomates. it is the responsibility of the department's leaders to stand up for the institution and the individuals who make that institution still today the most effective diplomatic force in the world. and congress has a responsibility to reinvest in our diplomacy. that's an investment in our national security. it's an investment in our future, in our children's future. as i close, let me be clear on
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who we are and how we serve this country. we are professionals. we are public servants who by vocation and training pursue the policies of the president regardless of who holds that office or what party they affiliate with. we handle american citizen services, facilitate trade and commerce, work security issues, represent the u.s. and report to and advise washington, to mention just some of our functions. and we make a difference every day. we are people who repeatedly uproot our lives, who risk and sometimes give our lives for this country. we are the 52 americans who 40 years ago this month began 444 days of deprivation, torture and captivity in tehran. we are the dozens of americans stationed at our embassy in cuba and conflicts in china who
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mysteriously and dangerously and in some cases perhaps even permanently were injured and attacked from unknown sources several years ago and we are ambassador chris stevens, shaun patrick smith, ty woods and glenn doherty, people rightly called heroes for their ultimate sacrifice to this nation's foreign policy interests in libya eight years ago. we honor these individuals. they represent each one of you here and every american. these courageous individuals were attacked because they stabilize america. what you need to know, what americans need to know is that while thankfully most of us answer the call to duty in far less dramatic ways, every foreign service officer runs the same risks and very often, so do our families. they serve, too, as individuals, as a community, we answer the call to duty to
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advance and protect the interests of the united states. we take our oath seriously, the same oath that each one of you takes, to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic and to bear truth faith and allegiance to the same. i count myself lucky to be a foreign service officer, fortunate to serve with the best america has to offer, blessed to serve the american people for the last 33 years. i thank you for your attention. i welcome your questions. >> thank you, ambassador. we count ourselves lucky to have you serve the country as you have for decades. we'll now move to the 45 minute rounds. i recognize myself and majority counsel for 45 minutes. ambassador yovanovitch, thank you again for appearing today. all americans are deeply in your debt. before i hand it over to mr. goldman, our staff counsel, i want to ask you about a few
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of the pivotal events of interest to the country. first of all, was fighting corruption in ukraine a key element of u.s. policy and one on which you placed the highest priority? >> yes, it was. >> and can you explain why? >> it was important and it was actually stated in our policy and in our strategy, it was important because corruption was undermining the integrity of the governance system in ukraine, and as i noted in my statement, countries that have leaders that are honest and trustworthy make better partners for us. countries where there is a level playing field for our u.s. business makes it easier for our companies to do business there, to trade and to profit in those countries, and
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what had been happening since the soviet union, as this is very much a soviet legacy, is that corrupt interests were undermining not only the governan governance, but the economy of the ukraine. we see enormous potential in the ukraine and would like to have a more capable and trustworthy part that. >> i know this may be awkward, but is it fair to say you were known to have a reputation of anti-corruption efforts in ukrai ukraine. >> yes. >> i don't know if you had a chance to watch george kent's testimony yesterday, but would you agree with his his rather frank assessment if you fight corruption you're going to piss off some people. >> yes. >> in your effort to fight corruption did you anger some of the leaders in ukraine? >> yes. >> was one of those the prosecutor general?
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>> yes, i believe so. >> was another one of those corrupt people his predecessor, another corrupt prosecutor general named victor shoeken. >> apparently so although i've never met him. >> at some point did you learn that they were in touch with rudy giuliani, president trump's lawyer and representative? >> yes. >> in fact, did giuliani try to overturn a decision that you participated in to deny shoken a visa. >> yes, that's what i was told. >> and that was based on his corruption? >> yes, that's true. >> and was it mr. lutesenco [inaudible] . >> that's my understanding. and was that intensified by the president's son, donald trump, jr. as well as certain hosts on
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fox? >> yes, yes, that is the case. >> in the face of this smear campaign, did colleagues at the state department try to get a statement of support for you from secretary pompeo? >> yes. >> were they successful? >> no. >> did you come to learn they couldn't issue such a statement because they feared it would be undercut by the president? >> yes. >> and then were you told though you had done nothing wrong you did not enjoy the confidence of the president and could no longer serve as ambassador? >> yes, that is correct. >> and in fact, you flew home from kiev on the staple day as the inauguration of ukraine's new president? >> that's true. >> that inauguration was attended by three who have become known as the three amigos? >> yes. >> and three days after that inauguration in a meeting with president trump are you aware that the president designated these three amigos to
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coordinate ukraine policy with rudy giuliani? >> since then i have become aware of that. >> this is the same rudy giuliani who orchestrated the smear campaign against you? >> yes. >> and the same rudy giuliani who now during the july phone call-- into the bidens. >> yes. >> finally, ambassador in that july 25th phone call, the president praises one of these corrupt former ukrainian prosecutors and says they were treated very unfairly. they were treated unfairly. not you, who was smeared and recalled, but one of them. what message does that send to your colleagues in the u.s. embassy in kiev? >> i'm just not sure what the basis for that kind of a
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statement would be. certainly not from our reporting over here. >> did you have concern though, or do you have concern today about what message the president's action sends to the people who are still in ukraine representing the united states when a well-respected ambassador can be smeared out of her post with the participation and acquiescence of the president of the united states? >> well, it's -- been a big hit for morale at u.s. embassy in kiev and more broadly in the state department. >> is it fair to say that other ambassadors and those of lesser ranks who serve the united states in embassies around the world might look at this and think if i take on corrupt people in these countries, that could happen to me? >> i think that's a fair statement, yes.
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>> mr. goldman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ambassador yovanovitch, on april 24th of this year at approximately 10:00 p.m. you received a telephone call while you were at the embassy in kiev from the director general of the state department and this was just three days after president zelensky's election and the call between president trump and president zelensky that we just heard from ranking member nunes. at the time that this urgent call came in, what were you in the middle of doing? >> i was hosting an event in honor of an anti-corruption activist, was an anti-corruption activist in ukraine. we had given her the woman of courage award from ukraine and in fact, the world-wide woman
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of courage event at the worldwide woman of courage event in washington d.c., secretary pompeo singled her out for her amazing work in ukraine to fight corrupt interests in the south of ukraine. she very tragically died because she was attacked acid and several months later died a very, very painful death. we thought it was important that justice be done for katya and others who fight corruption in ukraine because it's not kind of a table-top exercise there. lives are in the balance. and so we wanted to bring attention to this. we held an event and gave her father, who, of course, is still mourning her, that award, the woman of courage event. >> and her woman of courage award stemmed from her anti-corruption efforts in ukraine. >> yes, that is true.
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>> was it ever determined who threw the acid and killed her? >> there have been investigations, but while some of the lower ranking individuals that were involved in this have been arrested, those who ordered this have not yet been apprehended. ... >> i had to react to something. what did she think those about? she didn't know. she said she is going to try to find out more but she had wanted
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to give me a heads up. in fact, they think she may have been instructed to give me a heads up on that. i asked her what is the next step. she said she would try to find out more and to try to call me by midnight. >> what happened next? >> around 1:00 in the morning, she called me again and she said that there were great concerns, concerns up the street, and she said i need to get, come home immediately, get on the next plane to the u.s. and asked her why, and she said she wasn't sure but there were concerns about my security. i asked her, my physical security? sometimes washington knows more than we do about these things. she said no, she had not gotten that impression, that was a physical security issue that they were concerned about my
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security and i needed to come up right away. i argued. this is extremely irregular. and no reason given. but in the end, i did get on the next plane. >> you said there were concerns up the street. what did you understand that to mean? >> the white house. >> did she explain in any more detail what she meant by concerns about your security? >> no. she didn't. i did specifically asked whether this had to do with the mayor giuliani is allegations against me and so forth but she said she didn't know them didn't even actually appeared to me that she seemed to be aware of that. no reason what's offered. >> did she explain what the urgency was for you to come back on the next flight? >> the only thing that's pertinent to that is when she said -- their concerns about my security, but it was not further
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explained. >> prior to this abrupt call back to washington, d.c., had yemen offered an extension of your post by the state department? >> yes. undersecretary, the undersecretary for political affairs have asked whether i would extend for another years departing in july 2020. >> when was about request made? >> in early march. >> so about a month and half before this call? >> yes. >> did anyone at the state department ever express concerns about your job performance? >> no. >> after you've returned to washington a couple of days after that, you met with the deputy secretary of state. and in your deposition you said deputy secretary of state told you that you had done nothing wrong but that there was a concerted campaign against you. what did he mean by that?
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>> i'm not exactly sure, but i took it to mean that the allegations that mayor giuliani and others were putting out there, , that that's what it wa. >> and to us was involved in this concerted campaign against you? >> there were some members of the press and others in mayor giuliani's circle. >> and who from ukraine? >> in ukraine i think, well, the prosecutor general and mr. shokin, his predecessor certainly. >> and at this time he was the lead prosecutor general come is that right? >> that's correct. >> and had president zelensky indicator whether or not he was going to keep them on after the election? >> he indicated he would not be keeping him on. >> obligatory fight earlier that
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he had a reputation for being corrupt, is that right? >> that's correct. >> during this conversation did the deputy secretary tell you about your future as ambassador to ukraine? >> well, he told me i needed to leave. >> what did he say? >> he said that, those a lot of back-and-forth but ultimately he said the words that every for service officer understands, the president has lost confidence in you. that was a terrible thing to hear, and i said i guess i have to go then. but no real reason was offered as to why i i had to leave and what it was being done in such a manner. >> did you have any indication the state department had lost confidence in you? >> no. >> and were you provided any reason why the president lost confidence in you? >> no. >> now, you testified in your
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deposition that you were told at some point that secretary pompeo had tried to protect you but that he was no longer able to do that. were you aware of these efforts to protect you? >> no, i was not, until that meeting with deputy secretary sullivan. >> and did you understand who he was trying to protect you from? >> well, my understanding was that the president had wanted me to leave, and there was some discussion about that over the prior months. >> did you have any understand why secretary pompeo was no longer able to protect you? >> no. it was just a statement made that he was no longer able to protect me. >> so just like that you delete ukraine as soon as possible? >> yes. >> how did that make you feel? >> terrible, honestly. after 33 years of service to our
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country it was terrible. it's not the way i wanted my career to end. >> you also told the deputy secretary that this was a dangerous precedent. what did you mean by that? >> i was worried, i was worried about our policy but also personnel, that, and i asked him how come how are you going to explain this to people and the state department, , the press, e public, ukrainians? because everybody is watching. and so if people see somebody who -- and, of course, it had been very public, frankly, the attacks on the by mayor giuliani and others, and mr. lutsenko in ukraine. if people see that i who have
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been, you know, promoting our policies on anticorruption, if they can undermine me and get me hold out of ukraine, what does that mean for our policy? do we still have the same policy? how are we going to formally put that forward, number one. number two, when other countries, other actors and other countries see that private interests, foreign interests can come together and get a u.s. ambassador removed, what's going to stop them from doing that in a future in other countries? often the work we do we try to be diplomatic about it, but as deputy assistant secretary george kent said, sometimes we can get people really angry with us. uncomfortable. and we are doing our job but sometimes people become very angry with us.
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and if they realize that they can just remove us, they are going to do that. >> how did the deputy secretary respond? >> he said those were good questions, and he would get back to me. >> did he ever get back to you? >> he asked to see me the following day. >> what did he say to you then? >> really the conversation was a more, and again i'm grateful for this, but really more to see how i was doing and what would i do next, kind of how could he help. >> but he didn't address that dangerous precedent that you flagged for him? >> no. >> you understood of course that the president of the united states could remove you and that you served at the pleasure of the president come is that right? >> that's right. >> but in your 33 years as a foreign service officer, have you ever heard of a president of
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the united states recalling another ambassador without cause based on allegations that the state department itself knew to be false? >> no. >> now, you testified in your opening statement that you had left ukraine by the time of the july 25 call between president trump and president zelensky. when was the first time that you saw the call record for this phone call? >> with it was released publicly at the end of september, i believe. >> and prior to reading that call record, were you aware that president trump had specifically made reference to you in that call? >> no. >> what was your reaction to learning that? >> i was shocked, absolute shocked and devastated, frankly. >> what do you mean by devastated? >> i was shocked and devastated
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that i would -- was featured in a phone call between two hits of state in such a manner, where president trump said that i was bad news to another world leader, that i would be going through something. so i was -- it was a terrible moment. a person islamic actually reading the transcript said that the color drained from a face. i think i even had a physical reaction. i think, even now, words fail me. >> well, without upsetting you too much i would like to show you the excerpts from the call. and the first one where president trump says the former ambassador from the united states, the woman, was bad news, the people she was dealing with in the ukraine were bad news. so i just to let you know.
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what was your reaction when you heard the president of the united states refer to you as bad news? >> i couldn't believe it. i mean i can, shocked, devastated that the president of the united states would talk about any ambassador like that to a foreign head of state, and it was me. i mean, i couldn't believe it. >> the next excerpt when the president references you was a short one, by the said, well, she's going to go through some things. what did you think when president trump told president zelensky and you read that you u are going to go through some things? >> i did know what to think, but i was very concerned. >> what would you concerned about? >> he's going to go through some things, didn't sound good.
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it sounded like a threat. >> did you feel threatened? >> i did. >> how so? >> i didn't know exactly. it's not, you know, a very precise phrase, but i think, it didn't feel like i was -- i really don't know how to answer the question any further, except to say that kind of felt like a big threat as i wondered what that meant. it concerned me. >> now, in the same call with the president as you just said threatens you to a foreign leader, he also praises the corrupt ukrainian prosecutor who led the false smear campaign against you. i want to show you another
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excerpt or two from the transcript of the call record rather where the president of the united states says, good, because i heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that truly unfair. a lot of people are talking about that. the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and election very that people involved. and he went on later to say, i heard the prosecutor was treated very badly and he was a very fair prosecutor so good luck with everything. now, , ambassador yovanovitch, after nearly three years in ukraine where you try to clean up the prosecutor generals office, was it the u.s. embassies view that the former prosecutor general was a very good and very fair prosecutor? >> no, , it was not. >> in fact, he was rather corrupt, is that right?
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>> that was our belief. >> the prosecutor general's office is a long-running problem in ukraine, is that right? >> yes. >> so how did you feel when you're president trump speak so highly of the corrupt ukrainian prosecutor who helped to execute the smear campaign to have you removed? >> well, it was disappointing. it was concerning. it wasn't certainly based on anything that the state department would have reported or frankly anybody else and u.s. government. there was an interagency consensus that while when mr. lutsenko came into office we were very hopeful that he would actually do the things that he said he would set out to do, including reforming the prosecutor general's office, but that did not materialize. >> so this will stop the uniform position of the official u.s.
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policy makers, is that right? >> right. >> now, let's go back to the smear campaign that you referenced, and in march when you said it became public. and you prettily testified that you had learned that rudy giuliani, president trump's lawyer and representative, who was also mentioned in that july 25 call, was in regular communication with the corrupt prosecutor general in late 2018 and early 2019. and at one point in your deposition you said that they, being giuliani and the corrupt foreign prosecutor general, had plans to quote, do things to me. what did you mean by that? >> i didn't, i didn't really know but that's what i've been told by ukrainian officials. >> did you subsequently understand a little bit more what that meant? >> now with the advantage of
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hindsight i think that meant removing me from my job in ukraine. >> who did you understand to be working with mr. giuliani as his associates in ukraine? >> well, certainly mr. finkel, mr. shokin, i believe there were also ukrainian americans who have recently been indicted. >> those are the two two mackoc indicted in new york? >> the district of new york. >> now, at the end of march, this effort by giuliani and his associates resulted in a series of articles in the hill publication that were based on allegations in part from lutsenko, the corrupt prosecutor general. to . to summarize these allegations were among others three different categories. one category included the
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attacks against you, which are referenced in your opening statement including that you badmouth the president and that given the prosecutor general they do not prosecute list. there was another that included allegations of ukraine interference in the 2016 election, and then there was a third that related to allegations concerning burisma and the bidens. is that accurate? >> yes. >> where these articles and allegations then promoted by others associate with the president in the united states? >> they seem to be promoted by those around mayor giuliani. >> i'm going to show you a couple of exhibits including a tweet hereby president trump himself on march 20, which was the first day that one of these articles was published. it appears to be a quote that
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says john solomon is the author of the articles, as russian collusion fades comp ukraine a plot up clinton emerges, at sean hannity at fox news or if i could go to another tweet four days later, this is the president's son, donald trump, jr., who tweets we need more at richard grinnell, was ambassador to germany come is that right? >> that's correct. >> and less of these jokers as ambassadors, and it's a retweet of one of john solomons articles or article referencing the allegations that says calls grow to remove obama's u.s. ambassador to ukraine. were you aware of these tweet at the time? >> yes. >> what was your reaction to seeing this. >> well, i was worried. >> what would you worried about? >> that this didn't seem, these attacks were, you know, being
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repeated by the president himself and his son. >> and were you aware whether they received attention on primetime television, on fox news as well? >> yes. >> was the allegation that you are badmouthing president trump true? >> no. >> was the allegation that you had created i do not prosecute list to give to the prosecutor general in ukraine true? >> no. >> in fact, didn't the corrupt prosecutor general general himr recanted those allegations? >> yes. >> when these articles were first published did the state department issued a response? >> as you said, , there was a series of articles, so after the first article, which was an interview with mr. lutsenko and was only really about me and made allegations about me, the
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state department came out the following day with a very strong statement saying that these allegations are fabrications. >> so the state didn't address the falsity of the allegations themselves? >> yes. >> it didn't say anything about your job performed in any way? >> honestly, i have looked at it in a very long time. i think is generally probably laudatory. i chemical. >> did anyone in the state department raise concerns with you or express any belief in these allegations? >> no. i mean, people thought it was ridiculous. after these false allegations were made against you come to jeff any discussions with anyone in leadership in the state department about a potential statement of support from the te department or the secretary himself? >> yes. after the tweets that you just
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showed us, i mean, it seemed to me that if the president's son is saying things like this, that it would be very hard continuing my position and have authority in ukraine, unless the state department came out pretty strongly behind him. and so over the weekend, it was like march 22, there was a lot of discussion on e-mail among a number of people about what could be done. i and the undersecretary for political affairs called me on sunday, and i said it's really important that the secretary himself, out and be supportive. because otherwise it's hard for me to be the kind of representative you need here. and he said he would talk to the secretary, and that, that's my recollection of the call.
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that may not be exactly how it played out but that was my recollection. >> this is david hale, the undersecretary, political affairs, the number three person at the state department? >> yes. >> did indicate he supported such a statement of support for you? >> i think he must because i don't think think he would've gone to the secretary if he didn't support it. i mean, you wouldn't bring a bad idea to the secretary of state. >> your general understand is that you did have all support of the state department, right? >> yes. >> and, in fact, during her 33 year career as a foreign service officer did you ever hear of any serious concerns about your job performance? >> no. >> was the statement of support ultimately issued for you? >> know it was not. >> did you learn why not? >> yes. i was told that the was
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concerned on the seventh floor that if a statement of support was issued, whether by the state department or by the secretary personally, that it could be undermined. >> how could it be undermined? >> that the president might issue a tweet contradicting that, something to that effect. >> so let me see if i've got this right. you were one of the most senior diplomats in the state department. you have been there for 33 years. you have won numerous awards. you have been appointed as an ambassador three times by both republican and democratic presidents, and the state department would not issue a statement in support of you against false allegations because they've concerned about a tweet from the president of united states? >> that's my understanding. >> if i could follow up on the
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question. seems like an appropriate time. ambassador yovanovitch, as we sit or testify, the president is attacking you on twitter. i'd like get a chance to respond. i will read part of one of his tweets. everywhere marie jamaat of which went turn bad. she started off in somalia. how did that go? he goes on to say later in the tweet, u.s. president has a right to appoint ambassadors. first of all, ambassador yovanovitch, the senate as a chance to confirm or deny an ambassador, do they not? >> yes, advice and consent. >> would you like to respond to the presidents attack that everywhere you went turn bad? >> well i mean, i don't think i have such power, not in mogadishu, and some are other places.
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i think that where i served over the years, i and others have demonstrably made things better, you know, for the u.s. as well as for the countries that i served in. ukraine, for example, where there are huge challenges, including on the issue we're discussing today of corruption, huge challenges that they've made a lot of progress since 2014, including in the years i was there. i think in part in ukraine, , te people get the most credit for that, but a part of that credit goes to the work of the united states and to me as the ambassador in the, in ukraine. >> ambassador, you've shown the courage to come for today to testify. notwithstanding the fact you were urged by the white house or state department not to.
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notwithstanding the fact that as you testified earlier, the president implicitly threatened you in that call record. and now the president in real-time is attacking you. what effect do you think that has on other witnesses willingness to come forward and expose wrongdoing? >> well, it's very intimidating. >> designed to intimidate, is it not? >> i mean, i can't speak to what the president is trying to do, but i think the effect is to be intimidating. >> well, i want to let you know, ambassador, that some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously. mr. goldman. >> ambassador yovanovitch, you indicated that the same articles in march that included the smear
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campaign also included allegations related to ukraine's interference in the 2016 election and the burisma biden connection, is that right? >> yes. >> some going to end my questioning where we were before, which was the july 25 call. and president trump not only insults you and praises the corrupt prosecutor general but he also as you know by now references these two investigations. first, immediately after president zelensky thanks president trump for his quote, great support in the area of defense, unquote, president trump responds, i would like you to do us a favor though, because our country has been through a lot and ukraine knows a lot about it. i would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with ukraine. they say crowd strike. i guess you're one other wealthy
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people. the server, they say ukraine has it. and then he goes on in the same paragraph to say, whatever you can do, it's very important that you do it, if that's possible. now, ambassador yovanovitch, from your experience as ambassador in ukraine for almost three years, and understand that president zelensky was not in politics before he ran for president and was a new president on this call, how would you expect president zelensky to interpret a request for a favor? >> the u.s. relationship for ukraine is the single most important relationship, and so i think that president zelensky, any president, would do what they could to lean and on a favor. i'm not saying that's a yes. i am saying they would try to lean in and see what they could
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do. >> fair to say that if the president of ukraine that are so dependent on the train would do just about anything within his power to please the president of the united states, if he could? >> you know, if he could. i mean, i'm sure there are limits and i understand there were a lot of discussions in the ukraine government about all of this. but yeah, i mean, we are an important relationship on the security side and on the political side. and so the president of ukraine, one of the most important functions that individual has is to make sure that relationship with the u.s. is rocksolid. >> now, are you suddenly with these allegations of ukrainian interference in the 2016 election? >> -- are you familiar -- there has been rumors out there about things like that, but there was
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nothing hard, at least nothing that i was aware. >> there's nothing based in fact, to support these allegations? >> yes. >> and, in fact, who was responsible for in a searing and meddling 2016 election? >> well, the u.s. intelligence community has concluded that it was russia. >> ambassador yovanovitch, are you where in february of 2017, vladimir putin himself promoted this degree theory of ukrainian interference in the 2016 election? >> you know, maybe i knew that once and have forgotten, but i'm not familiar with it now. >> well, let me show you a press statement that president putin made in a joint press conference with viktor orban of hungary on february 2 of 2017 where he says second, as we all know during the presidential campaign in the united states, the ukrainian
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government adopted a unilateral position in favor of one candidate. more than that, certain oligarchs, certainly with the approval of the political leadership, funded this candidate, or female candidate, to be more precise. now, how did this theory of ukraine interference in the 2016 election be in vladimir putin's interest? >> well, i mean, president putin must have been aware that there were concerns in the u.s. about russian meddling in the 2016 elections, and what the potential was the russian meddling in the future. so, you know, classic for an intelligence officer to try to throw off the scent and create an alternative narrative. that may be picked up and get some credence. >> that whatever absolve his own wrongdoing?
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>> yes. >> and we talks about an oligarch and he talks about the support of the ukrainian government, there's also a reference in the july 25 call to a wealthy ukrainian. is it your understanding that what vladimir putin is saying here in this press statement in february 2017 is similar to what president trump says on the jul6 election? >> may be. >> now let me show you another exhibit from the call related to the bidens, which i'm sure you're familiar with. president trump says the other thing, there's a lot of talk about bidens son, the biden son the prosecution a lot of people want to find out about that. so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. biden went around bragging that he stop the prosecution.
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so if you can look into it, it sounds horrible to me. are you familiar with the allegation, these allegations related to vice president biden? >> yes. >> do you know whether he ever went around bragging that he stop the prosecution of anyone? >> no. >> and, in fact, when vice president biden acted to remove the former corrupt prosecutor in ukraine, did he do so as part of official united states policy? >> official u.s. policy. that was endorsed and was the policy of the number of other international stakeholders, of the countries, other monetary institutions and financial institutions. >> in fact, it be helped to remove a corrupt ukrainian prosecutor general who was not prosecuting enough corruption -- if he helped -- that would increase the chances that
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corrupt companies in ukraine would be investigated, isn't that right? >> one would think so. >> and that could include policemen, right? >> yes. >> at the time of this call vice president biden was a front runner for the democratic nomination for president, and president trump potential next opponent in the election. is it your understand that president trump's requested vice president biden investigated, was that part of official u.s. policy as you knew it? >> well, i should say that i had at the time of this phone call i had already departed ukraine too much prior. >> but you are familiar with, didn't change that much in two months, right? >> it certainly would not have been a policy in may when i left. >> and were these two investigations part of the anticorruption platform that you champion in ukraine for three years?
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>> no. >> these investigations, do they appear to you to be the benefit of the president personal and political interests rather than the national interest. >> well, they certainly could. >> just returning to the allegations in the hill publication in march that were promoted by mr. giuliani, the president lawyer, where those two back allegations similar to the two allegations that the president wanted president zelensky to investigate? >> yes. >> so ultimately the july 25 phone call with the ukrainian president, president of the united states endorsed the false allegations against you and the bidens, is that right? >> yes. >> i yield back, mr. chairman. >> mr. chairman, parliamentary inquiry. >> the gentleman will suspend.
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votes are fairly imminent. we're going to take a brief recess. ask anyone to remain -- >> mr. chairman, -- >> to exit the room and we will resume -- >> mr. chairman, either point of inquiry. >> the gentleman can seek recognition after we resume. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> during this break our live coverage continues on c-span2, day two of the house intelligence committee inquiry into president trump and the testimony today former ukrainian ambassador marie yvonne at vintage. our phone lines are open. what here from you. -- we want to hear from you.
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the number is on the bottom of the screen. a reminder you can join us on twitter at c-span and join the discussion on our facebook page@facebook.com/c-span. opening statements by the ranking republican member devin nunes at the chairman of the committee congressman adam schiff followed by the questioning by the democratic counselor. we will have republican counsel with his question after this short break. we are in the canon office house building. normally the room is set up site for the house ways and means committee. one of the larger rooms on capitol hill on how side seating up to 450. a meaty and the general public many waiting for many hours to get inside and as you can see on the republican side that are posters and signs indicating their talking points including a number 95, the number of days they contend that the chair of the committee adam schiff did
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not reveal the name of the whistleblower. we heard from speaker nancy pelosi yesterday using the word bribery claiming the president was bribing the ukrainian leader. leader. that is in the constitution as the "washington post" points out shopping the democratic rhetoric in this investigation. david is joining us on the republican line from white house texas. good morning. >> caller: [inaudible] >> we will try one more time for stephen in white house texas. our phone lines are open. you can join in on the conversation on our twitter page at c-span. the hearing that began wednesday, the testimony of ambassador william taylor and george kent is on our website c-span.org and if you have to break away from c-span2's live coverage it's also available on the free c-span radio app. the hearings will continue into next week and would move into the thanksgiving holiday with
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house intelligence committee wrapping up its investigation and writing a report and then send it to the house judiciary committee which will then begin the process of drafting articles of impeachment. our phone lines are open. we watch the room inside and get december calls and a moment. live coverage continues on this friday morning. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> the coverage you are seeing on c-span and on all of the cable and broadcast networks coming from c-span cameras. with eight cameras inside 1100 of longworth office building our own cameras outside gating reaction for members and we will show that to you as they come to the microphones.
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this is a rather short boat break that is taking place. live coverage of the house on c-span. we would use this opportunity to hear from you beginning with jeff calling on ally for democrats. so far today what stands out, jeff? >> caller: i think a witness is very credible and this reflects on the come how far the administration has gone to lie to americans. and push for the president agenda. >> host: if you had a question for ambassador yovanovitch, what would you want to ask her? >> caller: what would you have done differently had you know what was coming? >> host: thank you for the call. joseph, staten island new york republican line. good morning. joseph, you are next. go ahead please. we will try one more time for
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joseph. we'll go to adam schiff who is speaking now. >> what we saw today is -- [inaudible] it wasn't enough that she was attacking it was enough she was -- no good reason but we saw today witness intimidation in real-time by the president of united states. once again going after -- [inaudible] respected career public servant and effort to not only chilled her but to chill others who may come forward. we take this kind of witness intimidation and obstruction very cizek. >> do think that is an impeachable offense, witness intimidation? >> joseph we apologize for where moderate your call. we want to from some of the key players that of course that you're the house intelligence committee adam schiff, democrat of california and as we hear from others we will break away
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but joseph from staten island, republican line. we'll go to heaven in san francisco. >> caller: all i could think of is there's no evidence for anything, and it's just weaponized gossip and a don't think it's a way to run the country responsibly. if you want more info go to evan weiss for more, terror, youtube channel evan weiss. thank you. >> host: republican line come so far this morning and on wednesday what have you heard from these hearings? hello to ethan. try one more time in tennessee. are you with us? >> caller: we want to know when this is going to become fair. >> host: we would go to north hollywood california. our line for democrats. we want to hear from you, your reaction and much effort so far and what you expect as a testimony continues. go ahead, your next.
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>> caller: i'm really concerned with adam schiff. he thinks he some kind of king, it's a bipartisan even as a democrat wanting to see fairness and stuff a special on this top level and in the house that i just feel like it's, he's been shutting down says this process that recognized and he's lying under oath and wanted of what is his immunity and how does he get away with doing that? >> host: thank you for the call. texas, independents. go ahead. >> caller: yes, sir. listen, nancy pelosi keeps calling this bribery. in order for it to be bribery does not have to be a victim? excuse me but the aid was released. it wasn't help up for that reason. this is getting ridiculous. you're going to tear the country apart for this, nancy, and adam? come on. get with the program. drop this garbage and let's get
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on with leading the country. come on, , people. enough is enough. >> host: jeff, paducah kentucky. jeff, good morning to you. >> caller: good morning, this is jennifer. isn't conspiracy because isn't crime a crime? >> host: that is your comment? >> caller: wyrick questioned the fact what is done isn't a crime. because he didn't get away with it or he was caught? i mean, you intend to do that and two days before you release the money, the whistleblower comes out and you decide to release the money. does that not all sound fishy? >> host: thank you for the call. the republican council will lead the questioning and some comets from devin nunes, chair of the committee and also ranked republican, devin nunes come have control of the house of representatives. this of course the fourth time
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in u.s. history that a sitting president has been impeached. the second time in 20 years and the third time in 45 years. richard nixon and president bill clinton. in the nixon case the house did not vote to impeach and because richard nixon resigned in augus. the house did vote to impeach. the senate did not convict bill clinton back in 1999 1999 and g the same timeline 20 years later going through this process against our 45th president, the chair of the committee is adam schiff and the committee leading the investigation of house intelligence committee. they are on a short break. come back to more of her live coverage when they return but in the meantime your calls. sue is joining us, republican line. so far today what stands out if anything? >> caller: yes, how are you today? the first thing that stands out to me is the ambassador is claiming that the smear campaign against her was affecting her ability to be effective as an
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ambassador. if she's going to use that logic of life should not use and why would the same logic not be used against the smear campaign against donald trump? if she's worried about being an effective ambassador, why isn't she worried about trump being smeared as well? a smear campaign against him is absolutely affecting his ability to lead. >> host: issued a credible witness in your mind? >> caller: absolutely not. >> host: betty in odessa, texas, democrat's line. good morning, betty. >> caller: good morning. i am just trying to figure out as i watched this why it is that people are not just concerned about just getting to the bottom of this matter, getting the truth. i think that the republican
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party has already started obstructing. i just, i think how can they continue to attack these career officials that are bipartisan, working bipartisan it at a a dt understand why they continue to attack them versus trying to understand what it is that trump did, and getting to the truth. that's their job. i don't get why they continue to take more of what the truth is and what their job is. >> host: also getting your comment on our facebook page and you can follow us at twitter. nick from melville new york republican like the republicans will have the chance in a couple minutes to ask question. what would you ask ambassador yovanovitch? >> caller: one of the first come first of all for taking my call. one of the first things i would ask is how is it possible that you didn't know that the son of
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the u.s. vice president was getting hired to a board of a corrupt companies that use it was corrupt and you didn't know enjoy the ambassador fighting corruption? and secondly, if you didn't think that was a conflict of interest, which george kent mentioned, including within a conflict of interest and something to be concerned about. and finally i would say, ask the simple question, was it seized under trump are under obama? it was seized under obama administration, which it was, then who has made ukraine safer? if the result she comes out with that trump has made us safer, then the question, the next question should be in my opinion, if trump has made it safer for ukraine to defend itself by providing more military weapons and more things like that, , then how is it possible that trump is in support of putin he comes putin apparently wants to take over
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ukraine? i would just asked her that simple question and i think that would just kind in her entire credibility. for some reason i don't understand republicans ask that. i'm not sure as saying trump is right and what he did consider i think we need all the facts and info and that's one of the best fax to get on both sides and say look, maybe the u.s. foreign policy was wrong for all these years and it was the a mistaket happened on both sides. >> host: thank you for the call. stephanie gratian white house press secretary, the president has been monitoring the opening statement by marie yvonne is. we are getting on a number of fronts including reference to her earlier position as ambassador to small you saying everywhere maria give on which went turn bad. she start adding some all you had that go? and password ukraine with an ukraine president spoken favorably about her in my second phone call with it. it is a u.s. the right to appoint ambassador.
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ambassador yovanovitch -- he went on to say serving at the pleasure of the president the president has a foreign policy give it then proceeded administration is called quite simply america first. with all of that i have more for ukraine -- that obama has. again, that from the president tweeting. earlier today the ambassador responded to somebody presidents comments during her testimony. let's listen. >> first of all, ambassador yovanovitch, this it as a chance to confirm or deny an ambassador, do not yes, advice and consent. >> would you like to respond to the presidents attack that everywhere you went turn bad? >> well, i mean, i don't, i don't think i have such powers, not mogadishu, not somalia and
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not in other places. i actually think where i served the years i and others have demonstrably made things better, you know, for the u.s. as well as for the country that i served in. ukraine, for example, where there are huge challenges, including an issue where discussing today of corruption, huge challenges. they made a lot of progress since 2014, including the years that i was there. and and i think in part the ukrainian people get the most credit for that. but a part of that credit goes to the work of the united states and to me as the ambassador in the come in ukraine. >> credible witness. >> so far she is sharing thoughts of her feelings, and that spent a lot of what she's been asked so far. so when someone is asked
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questions about their feelings, know what i that dais and 81 watching at home has any reason to doubt that she feels that way. >> do you believe that she was the target of a a smear campain as she believes? >> you know, there are more people here to this particular case that go over the course of the next few days, over the course of the next week or so, we will hear from other witnesses. so we will learn more as to exactly what that is. >> are you concerned about the president tweeting, attacking aa witness while she's on the stand here? >> i think it would've been better for chairmanship, if he wants to read from the sweets instead of cherry picking, to read the entire tweet. ask ambassador back to respond to tweet she had not yet read and then to do a partial rendition of it and asked her a
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response to this tweet -- >> i talked about the tweet itself. the president -- >> the president is going to defend himself whether it's today, yesterday, tomorrow, the hours and days and weeks that her head. the president of the united states knows that this is a total sham. many of my constituents on the american public knows this is a total charade. he knows that many of us know that charges don't actually matter to adam schiff, the democrats, the evidence doesn't matter. this started off of people who what the president got elected while his hand was on the bible, there are calling for his impeachment. there are members of congress who are leading this charge who have been calling for the presidents impeachment, hell or high water no matter what since long before this entire fact pattern start. >> how does the president referencing her service in somalia help his defense against impeachment on his issue? >> so to finish the loop on the last question, , with regard to the tweet, you're going to ask me about we complete the entire
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tweet. the second since, for example, it was an important point. president zelensky in his opinion believed ambassador yovanovitch was a bad ambassador. for whatever reason president zelensky believed she had some technical allegiance to president poroshenko. i think it's good to give ambassador yovanovitch the opportunity to state her opinion on that. .. leaving it out, and give ambassador yovanovitch the chance to respond. it is not the right way to go about this. >> give her the opportunity to respond when you respond her questioning.
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>> don't know what each of the republican members plan on asking, we will see when we get back. >> did you see this, this -- >> the president of the united states. the problem here is adam schiff is trying to write the world's greatest -- to take down a sitting president, appease an enraged activist liberal base. this is a payoff. it to oust, many house districts, asked people from office and i don't know if voters thought we were sending members here to vote on passage of us mca or lower prescription drug prices. they didn't realize when electing democrats in a
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district that these members were coming here to tear our country in half. >> heaven they passed bills on these issues? talking to democrat members, she was watching as well as you were and she is a lawyer and she thought, approaching a run-of-the-mill witness intimidation. ambassador yovanovitch wasn't on twitter, maybe adam schiff was. the only reason she knows of this tweet is adam schiff used part of it. if adam schiff wants to have ambassador yovanovitch respond to the tweet, adam schiff, director of national intelligence if you remember during his opening statement adam schiff did what he called a parity with his version of the call transcript.
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and if chairmanship wants to go there. >> the president of the united states is going to defend himself, he doesn't give a darn what bill clinton provides as advice, donald trump was not elected in any way shape or form to beat bill clinton, this was before there was a social media. going to defend himself. adam schiff is 3% of the story. back to 0% he will try to connect dots that aren't connected. >> might not have seen that tweet but a message for other witnesses because of live tweeting during a hearing.
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>> the president will defend himself. take an oath, answer all the questions as candidly as you can regardless over the next week or so, the impeachment circus or something else. democrats insist ontario the country in half, the president just don't sit back and allow adam schiff. last sunday on the news show they started talking extortion. they are talking bribery. i don't know what the next shiny object of the day will be but don't expect this president of the united states to sit back and allow this to go on, he knows it will be better for our country to pass us mca,
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working together to lower the cost of reception drug prices. and a republican president. there is a balance of power which means some of these far left members of the house, and rolling the senate majority leader and president of the united states, they have to work together. how to continue -- how to lower the cost of prescription drugs, that passed unanimously out of the energy and commerce committee that would lower the cost of prescription drugs, the bill became a partisan bill that is dead on arrival in the senate. this president, i know there are many americans watching,
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there are republicans, democrats, conservatives, liberals all across america who now our country would be in a better place if we were all working together to move the country forward. >> how can it be true, her testimony is about how she feels and it doesn't matter, it is not relevant and the president has to attack her to defend himself, defend himself from what? for testamentary is so irrelevant why does the president have to attack her? >> the reason that 45 minutes was spent was asking questions about her feelings because house democrats wanted to re-create what happened in the deposition. they wanted -- it is unfortunate. i said this. >> how do you know that? are you reading their minds? >> let me answer. i was in the deposition. inside the depositions, take donald trump's words and ask how she felt and get her to cry.
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that happened previously, it is obvious they were looking to do the same thing they did last time to do it again. >> why do you want to attack her? >> he is defending himself. >> you didn't argue about her substantive testimony, but -- >> chairman schiff want to develop the first sentence of the tweet but if you want to argue about what he said, the second part of the sentence, and where president the linsky believe ambassador yovanovitch was a bad ambassador. and if you're going to go
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there, provide ambassador yovanovitch the opportunity to respond as to why president the linsky believe she was a bad ambassador and was under the belief she had -- ambassador yovanovitch had allegiance -- wire let yovanovitch answer in her own words? >> you have been listening to the comments of lee tilden of new york, a member of the committee reacting to adam schiff, who spoke to reporters a full while ago, the house of representatives in a series of votes that have taken place live on c-span. coverage continues on c-span2 as well as on c-span radio and the free c-span radio apps. we are sitting on a can of house office building directly behind me, the us capital next
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door, the longworth office building, one of 3 office buildings for house members of congress and 1100 is one of the largest office buildings inside the longworth building, 450 seats, the media and members of congress, members of the house intelligence committee normally reserved for the house ways and means committee, we are trying to get your reaction so far. what you heard from marie yovanovitch, in may of this year. testified on wednesday. the white house releasing a phone conversation, the president onboard air force one from april 21, 2019, had a telephone conversation with president zolinsky. it was a congratulatory call. we have it on screen, posted on our website, c-span.org. if we look at that we will hear from jessica calling from
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philadelphia on a democrat line. so far this morning what have you heard? what stands out? >> caller: the whole impeachment proceeding is important in terms of looking at how we protect our democracy and the constitution and give a shout out to marie yovanovitch for holding his up to such poison reminding the country how important it is our ambassadors act with respect and diplomacy and play an important part in our international relations and defense. it is important for reminder for americans that the president should have a professional relationship with our ambassadors especially in a public facing sphere. >> host: using her testimony, republicans questioning shortly when the break concludes, does it in any way change the dynamics of this investigation? >> i think it changes the investigation in that it focuses on ukraine itself, thinking about donald trump being ridiculous, but these
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refrains in how important it is to our foreign policy, and bring the issue away from trump in democracy itself. >> thank you for the call. the hearings will continue next week, tuesday, wednesday and thursday, gordon sondland will testify on wednesday. a lot of questions involving his testimony behind closed doors and his revisions or additions to the testimony submitted and released by the house intelligence committee. from minnesota, our line for republicans, good morning. >> caller: good morning. >> host: go ahead with your comment or question. >> caller: concerning marie yovanovitch, i would like to know why she claims the investigator that was fired
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from ukraine was corrupt. at the same time. that he was fired because he was looking at the bidens which was backed out for joe biden's comments in regard to this. it is import for americans to know the truth about what the real facts are with this. >> reporter: we heard from ambassador taylor and george kent, marie yovanovitch is the only witness today and the hearings will continue into next week. we are your source for unfiltered coverage on the free c-span radio apps and all of it on our website, c-span.org. james, what have you heard today? anything stand out? what is the overall headline from ambassador yovanovitch? >> i only caught the tail end of it. my comments had more to do with
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yesterday, adam schiff's strategy as a whole. the last two impeachment that happened in the united states have been during second terms of the presidency when there was no other recourse, the population didn't have a way to respond to the actions of the president and the perpetual changing of what he is guilty of is really frustrating for a lot of people and it is a political strategy in order to accuse the president of things that are more personal. i would like to point out, from new york, the way the reporters were attacking and challenging him is something you never see against adam schiff. it is a great representation of where the bias is in the media.
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>> we heard from nancy pelosi yesterday. she used the word bribery which as we mentioned in the washington journal is included in the constitution, reactions what nancy pelosi referred to to bribe the ukrainian president over military aid and change an investigation. you with us? blue lake, california, go ahead, you are next. >> thank you so much for c-span. this is my third impeachment inquiry. the first one i was overseas. i spent time in the military as a veteran, had a top secret clearance. when we talk about the representative in the hallway, i appreciated watching that because he talked about her feelings. as a veteran, as someone who held a clearance like that, who had certain information and you
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thought of going into the force, watching her, i could feel what she was feeling as far as implementation. what amplified the inquiry was the president's tweet. i was astounded by that. in real time we get to watch that. having this been my third impeachment it was pretty astounding what today, with the media, with social media what is going on. it is unbelievable. i love unfiltered, the unfiltered coverage of c-span, deeply appreciative. >> stay with me for a minute. we heard from representatives eldon who said feelings are not facts. how do you respond to that? >> when you are being intimidated by the most powerful person on earth, your feelings are the first things that are there.
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the facts are in your brain, but what pounds your heart especially when she talked about the acid in the face of the person who was getting the woman of courage award from mike pompeo himself, and subsequently what that means, you are subject to all the stuff we hear about when we read about, that vladimir putin is accused of. of course you will have feelings about your life. that is to talk about what that makes you feel like, what that kind of intimidation feels like. we see it in the lifetime. it is unbelievable. >> in the dc area, the free c-span radio apps, listen to hearings anytime can we go to hunter on the republican line
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from idaho. >> i see more of what we saw the other day. bias against republicans on behalf of adam schiff, more opinions, how do you feel about this, what is your opinion on this. >> if you were to ask, what would you ask marie yovanovitch? >> to stop giving us what her feelings are opinions are or what she feels would be the impact. what the impact would be if she doesn't know. making things up to answer the question. >> do you find her a credible witness?
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>> in some ways i do. she has experience in the field, what she is in her position. not only is she biased, but isn't basing a lot of her comments in fact. >> thank you very much. these hearings air primetime beginning at 8:00 pm eastern time. the house is in session, we are using this opportunity to hear from you during a break during the house intelligence committee, at the longworth office building, ron is next, independent line, huntington beach, california. >> thanks for the opportunity. i consider myself a true independent. what i want to talk about, what
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you are witnessing is the total corruption of the government, the founders despised political parties and warned us if americans and succeeding generations allowed parties to gain control of government functions, incredibly important functions like impeachment, removal of a corrupt official cannot operate. the tribalism the controls our government is all about smiling the motivations of the other side in public. what you witnessed on wednesday and what you will witness in a minute when republicans counter here is as though there are two absolutely different realities. party is the problem. it is americans in the wide middle want to end this destructive polarization, we better take away control of government functions from party. party is the problem. just to make sure everybody is
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listening understands it, the founders did not belong to political parties. they had two identifiable different political philosophies, there were no parties of minority leaders in the first congress, no party primaries in elections. there weren't majority leaders who could threaten and discipline members with committee assignments and primary -- what we are witnessing is what george washington warned us against in his farewell address. >> thank you for the call. you heard the questioning from daniel goldman, the lead democratic counsel taking up the bulk of the time this morning. when the hearing resumes, steve castor who is with the staff of congressman jim jordan, republican from columbus, ohio, he will lead the questioning and we will hear from devon
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nunez, the ranking republican on the house intelligence money. back to the white house statement earlier in the day the president was watching a portion of the opening statement, most notably from devon nunez, stephanie grisham is the white house press secretary. from tennessee, democrat line, what have you heard so far today? >> i'm proud of the ambassador. she has the courage to get out there even though her family members were threatened, to tell the truth. this is wrong. everyone around the world sees what is going on. he won't let his people get up there and testify. these courageous people getting up to tell america the truth, what is going on with trump. get out there and testify if he has anything. this man is corrupt all the way. he said he is above the law, he can do anything he wants to do and what mitch mcconnell up there in the senate, he is not going to let the vote go
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through to impeach trump. and lindsey graham, the things that lindsey graham said about trump, now he is up there kissing his behind, wake up, america, this man is leading us down the wrong path. i am proud of that ambassador and other people who got up there and told us the truth, thank you very much. >> thank you for the call. the morning began with an opening statement by congressman adam schiff, democrat of california followed by these remarks in case you missed it from ambassador marie yovanovitch, a 33 year veteran of the foreign service and former ambassador to somalia and us ambassador to ukraine. >> mister chairman, ranking member nunez and other members of the committee. >> you will need to speak very close to the microphone. >> thank you for the opportunity to start with this statement. let me introduce myself to the
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committee and to highlight parts of my biography and experience. i come before you as an american citizen who has devoted the majority of my life, 33 years to service to the country that all of us love. like my colleagues i entered the foreign service understanding of that my job was to implement the foreign policy interests of this nation as defined by the president and congress and to do so regardless of which person or party was in power. i had no agenda other than to pursue our stated foreign policy goals. my service is an expression of gratitude for all that this country has given to me and my family. my late parents did not have the good fortune to come of age in a free society. my father found refuge in the united states after fleeing the soviets.
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my mother's family escaped the us after the bolshevik revolution and she grew up stateless in nazi germany before making her way to the united states. their personal history, my personal history, gave me deep gratitude towards the united states and great empathy for others like the ukrainian people who wants to be free. i joined the foreign service during the reagan administration and subsequently served three other republican presidents as well as two democrat presidents. it was my honor to be appointed to serve as ambassador three times, twice by george w. bush and once by barack obama. there is a perception that diplomats lead a comfortable life throwing dinner parties in fancy homes. let me tell you about my reality. it has not always been easy.
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i have moved 13 times and served in 7 different countries, five of them hardship posts. my first tour was mogadishu, somalia. and increasingly dangerous place as that country's civil war kept grinding on and the government was weakening. the military took over policing functions in a particularly brutal way and basic services disappeared. several years later after the soviet union collapsed, i helped open our embassy in his pakistan. as we were establishing relations with a new country, our small embassy was attacked by a gunman who sprayed the building with gunfire. i later served in moscow. in 1993 during the attempted coup in russia i was caught in crossfire between presidential and parliamentary forces. it took us three tries, me without a helmet or body armor, to get into a vehicle to go to
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the embassy. we went because the ambassador asked us to come and we went because it was our duty. from august 2016 until may 2019 i served as us ambassador to ukraine. during my tenure in ukraine i went to the front line approximately ten times during a hot war to show the american flag, share what was going on, sometimes literally, as we heard the impact of artillery and to see how this was being put to use. i worked to advance us policy, democrats and republicans alike to help ukraine become stable and independent democratic state with market economy integrated into europe. is a free ukraine serves not just the ukrainian people but the american people as well. that is why it was our policy
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continues to be our policy to help ukrainians achieve their objectives. they match our objective. the us is the most powerful country in the history of the world in large part because of our values. our values have made possible the network of alliances and partnerships that buttresses our own strength. ukraine was an enormous landmass and a large population has the potential to be a significant commercial and political partner for the united states, as well as a force multiplier on the security side. we see the potential in ukraine, russia sees, by contrast the risk. the history is not written yet. ukraine could move out of russia's orbit and ukraine is a battleground for great power
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competition with the control of territory for ukraine's leadership. the us has provided significant security assistance since the onset of the war against russia in 2014. the trump administration strengthened our policy by approving the provision to ukraine of antitank missiles. it is the smart thing to do. of russia prevails and we can expect to see other attempts by russia to expand its territory and influence. as critical as the war against russia is, ukraine's struggling democracy has an equally important challenge, battling the soviet legacy of corruption which has pervaded ukraine's government. corruption makes ukraine's leaders ever vulnerable to
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russia and the ukrainian people understand that. that is why they launched the revolution of dignity in 2014 demanding to be part of europe, demanding transportation of the system. demanding to live under the rule of law. and to apply equally whether the individual in question is the president or any other citizen. it was a question of fairness, of dignity. corrupt leaders are inherently less trustworthy, honest and accountable ukrainian leadership make the us ukrainian partnership more reliable and valuable to the united states. and in a strategically located country offering two nato allies, in which us business can trade, invest, and prosper and the security issue, they are vulnerable to russia.
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in short, it is in america's national security interest, to help ukraine transform into a country where the rule of law governs, corruption is held in check. it was and remains a priority to help ukraine fight corruption and significant progress has been made since the 2014 revolution of dignity. unfortunately, the past couple months have underlined, not all ukrainians embraced our anticorruption work. perhaps it was not surprising that when our anticorruption effort got in the way of the desire for profit or power, ukrainians who preferred to play by the old corrupt rules sought to remove me. what continues to amaze me, they apparently succeeded in the removal of the us ambassador.
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how could our system fail like this? how is it that foreign corrupt interests came into our government? which country's interests are served when the behavior we have been criticizing is allowed to prevail? such conduct undermines the us, exposes our friends and widens the playing field for autocrats like vladimir putin, our leadership depends on the power of our example and the consistency of our purpose. both have now been opened to questions. with that background in mind i would like to address the factual issues, i expect you may want to ask me about, starting with my timeline in ukraine in the events about which i do and do not have firsthand knowledge. i arrived in ukraine on august 22, 2016, and left ukraine permanently on may 20, 2019. there are a number of events you are investigating to which
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i cannot bring any firsthand knowledge. the events that predated my service include the release of the so-called black ledger, mister manafort at 60 can resonate in from donald trump's campaign and the departure from office of former prosecutor general victor show hand. several other events occurred after i return from ukraine. these include donald trump's july 25, 2019, call with president zolinsky, discussion surrounding that phone call and any discussions around the experience to ukraine in the summer of 2019. as for events during my tenure. i want to reiterate first, the allegation i disseminated a do not prosecute list, a fabrication. the former ukrainian prosecutor general who made that
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allegation has acknowledged that it never existed. i did not tell any ukrainian officials who they should or should not prosecute. instead i advocated the us position that law should prevail. prosecutors and judges should stop wielding their power selectively as a political weapon against their adversaries and start dealing with all consistently and according to the law. also untrue are allegations that i told and identified them as ukrainians or ukrainian officials that donald trump's orders should be ignored because he was going to be impeached or for any other reason. i would not say such a thing. such statements would be inconsistent with my training as a foreign service officer, my role as an ambassador. the administration did not ask me the clinton campaign or harm
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the trump campaign, or any such steps he had. partisanship of this type is not compatible. i have never met hunter biden, any indirect conversations, i had met place president biden several times over our course of many years in government service. neither he nor the previous administration raised the issue of hunter biden with me. with respect to rudy giuliani i have had only minimal contact with him, a total of three, non-related to the events at issue. i do not understand his motives for attacking me, nor can i offer an opinion whether he believed the allegations he spread about me. clearly, no one at the state department did.
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what i can say is mister giuliani should have known those claims were suspects coming as they reportedly did from individuals with questionable notice and reason to believe their political and financial ambitions would be stymied by our anticorruption policy in ukraine. after being asked by the under secretary of state for political affairs in early march 2019 to convince my tour until 2020 am of a smear campaign against me issued a new public phase in the united states. in the wake of the negative press, stadiums officials just in an earlier departure and we agree on july 2019. i was abruptly told weeks later in late april to come back to washington from ukraine on the next plane. at the time i departed ukraine had just concluded game changing presidential elections. it was a sensitive period with much at stake for the united
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states and called for all the experience and expertise we could muster. when i returned to the united states deputy secretary of state sullivan told me there had been a concerted campaign, the president no longer wished me to serve as ambassador to ukraine and that in fact the president had been pushing for my removal since the prior summer. mister sullivan recently recounted during his senate confirmation hearing neither he nor anyone else ever explained or sought to justify the president's concerned about me nor did anyone in the department justify my early departure by suggesting i had done something wrong. i appreciate that mister sullivan publicly affirm that his hearing that i served capably and admirably. although then and now, i have always understood that i served at the pleasure of the president i still find it difficult to comprehend that
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foreign and private interests were able to undermine us interests in this way. individuals who thoroughly felt stymied by our efforts to promote stated us policy against corruption, that is to do our mission, were able to successfully conduct a campaign of disinformation against a sitting ambassador. various witnesses recounted they shared baseless allegations with the president and convinced him to remove his ambassador despite the fact the state department fully understood the allegations were false and the source is highly suspect. these events should concern everyone in this room. ambassadors are the symbol of the united states abroad, the personal representative of a president. they've should always speak with full authority to advocate for us policy. if our chief representative limits our effectiveness, vital
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national security interests of the united states. this is especially important now, when the international landscape is more complicated and more competitive than it has been since the dissolution of the soviet union. our ukraine policy has been thrown into disarray, shady interests the world over have learned how little it takes to remove an american ambassador who does not give them what they want. after these events, what foreign official, corrupt or not, could be blamed for wondering whether the us ambassador represents the president's views? and what us ambassador could be blamed for harboring the fear they can't count on our government to support them as they implement stated us policy and protect and defend us interests?
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i would like to comment on one other matter before taking your questions. at the close deposition i expressed grave concerns about the degradation of foreign service in the past few years and the failure of state department leadership to push back at foreign and corrupt interests, apparently hijacked our ukraine policy. i remain disappointed that the party leadership and others have declined to acknowledge the attacks against me and others are dangerously wrong. this is about far, far more than me your a couple individuals. as foreign service professionals being denigrated and undermined, the institution is also being degraded. this will soon cause real harm if it hasn't already. the state department as a tool foreign-policy often doesn't get the same kind of attention for respect as the mystery might of the country but we are, as they say, the pointy end of the spear. if we lose our edge, the us will inevitably have to use other tools even more than it does today. those other tools are blunder,
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more expensive and not universally effective. moreover, attacks are leading to a crisis in the state department as a policy process is visibly unraveling. senior and mid-level officers ponder an uncertain future. from the impact on individuals to impact on the institution itself, the state department is being hollowed out from within in a competitive and complex time on the world stage. this is not a time to undercut our diplomats. it is the responsibility of the permit leaders to stand up for the institution and individuals who make that institution today the most effective diplomatic force in the world. in congress, has a responsibility to reinvest in our diplomacy. that is an investment in our
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national security, and investment in our future and our children's future. as i close, let me be clear on who we are and how we serve this country. we are professionals, we are public servants who, by vocation and training, pursue the policies of the president regardless of who hold that office or what party they affiliate with. we handle american citizen services, facilitate trade and commerce, work security issues, represent the us and report to and advise washington, to mention just some of our functions. and we make a difference every day. we are people who repeatedly uproot our lives, risk and sometimes give our lives for the country. we are the 52 americans who 40 years ago this month began 444 days of deprivation, torture
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and captivity, we are the dozens of americans stationed at our embassy in cuba in conflict with china, mysteriously and dangerously and in some cases even permanently were injured in attacks from unknown forces several years ago. we are, ambassador chris stevens, sean patrick smith, tiger woods, glenn doherty, people rightly called heroes for their ultimate sacrifice for the nation's foreign-policy interests. we honor these individuals. they represent each one of you here and every american. these courageous individuals were attacked. what you need to know, what americans need to know is that while thankfully most of us answer the call to duty in a far less dramatic way, every foreign service officer runs the same risk and very often so do our families.
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as individuals, as a community, we answer the call to duty, to advance and protect the interests of the united states. we take our oath seriously, the same oath that each one of you take, to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic, to bear true faith and allegiance to the same. i count myself lucky to be a foreign service officer fortunate to serve with the best america has to offer, to serve the american people the last three years. thank you for your attention and i welcome questions. >> the testimony from earlier this morning in the long worth house office building, 1100, by marie yovanovitch who was born in canada, became a us citizen at the age of 18, a 33-year-old foreign service veteran and
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represented the us and ukraine before being called back to the us in may of this year. her testimony, she is the third witness on day 2 of the house intelligence committee, the impeachment inquiry. you heard from the current ambassador and george can't, state government official on wednesday, we posted that hearing on our website, c-span.org. as the house continues in a series of votes, the house until the city is taking a break. we are using that opportunity hear from you, 202 is. go, 748-8920 is the line for democrats, 748-8921 for republicans, all others 200-748-8922. follow us on twitter, c-span, share your comments on her facebook page, facebook.com/c-span. we are the cannon house office building across from the us office building and adjacent to the longworth house office building where the hearing is taking place, a normal normally for the house ways and means
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committee. the coverage you are seeing on this network and the pool for all the other broadcast and cable networks, c-span cameras providing coverage in its entirety of the hearing for this network and the other news organizations. earlier today we heard from the president in a series of tweets, the white house releasing the phone call that took place on april 21st between then president-elect zolinsky, a phone call that took place on air force one. a readout of that conversation and last night, the president of louisiana taking aim at democrats calling this investigation a sham and a witch hunt. here's donald trump last night. >> ukrainian foreign ministers said on thursday that the united states ambassador did not link financial is a resistance to a request for ukraine to open up an investigation into former vice president and current
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democratic presidential, can you believe, like we need help to beat sleepy joe biden, i don't think so. you know, last election. i hate to say this but i have a lot of experience, experience is important. talent is more important than experience, right? i had no experience last election. we took down the bush dynasty, okay? with no experience. bush dynasty, we took down the clinton dynasty. then we took down the very crooked obama group.
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so we took down bush, clinton, obama, with no experience, but i had you, and we won. so think about that. and then think about me. let's get some help from ukraine in order to beat sleepy joe biden, i don't think so. >> the president is the louisiana and the headline from the washington post, nancy pelosi using the word bribery which is included in the u.s. constitution, a new tactic by the democrats to go after the president claiming he essentially bribed the ukrainian president in exchange for an investigation into the former vice president. your phone calls and reaction you heard so far this morning, republican questioning coming up after the break and sandy joining us from california. our line for independents. good morning.
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>> caller: good morning. i would first like to thank ambassador yovanovitch for her courage and leadership. she was one of the first foreign service officials to step up when the white house was telling everybody stay out of it, don't get involved, you're not allowed to get involved, she said the truth needs to be told and she stepped up and because of her action many people have since taken the same step. she is an incredible patriot and i would like to thank her for her service. >> host: if you had a chance to ask a question to the ambassador was would you ask her? >> caller: i don't know that she would answer it. because of her 33 year background in that area and her familiarity with not only how the soviet union operates but now russia i would like to know what she would think explains
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why donald trump advocates for russian interests at the expense of our us national security interests. >> host: from california we go to kyle in north carolina, democrat line. >> caller: good morning. i would like to talk about, i am from north carolina, i would like to talk about how this is the first time and impeachment has happened in modern times with modern social media and other resources we have at our hands. we have been able to keep up with the entire impeachment without skipping a beat. i'm watching with my classmates and teacher, keeping up with everything happening, everything that has been going on, opening statement just a little bit ago. i would like to talk about how this is such an impactful moment in history but especially for our younger
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generation, it is crazy to think that we have been able to watch live and see everything unfold. it is insane. >> host: glad you are watching the c-span network. what is the class by the way? >> caller: speech and debate class. >> host: high school or college level? >> caller: high school. >> host: your overall take away from you and your colleagues and teachers? >> caller: all honesty we are little mixed. we are living in the moment, a little confused as everything is happening but i'm excited to see what is happening. >> host: if you had a chance to ask the ambassador a question, if you were a member of the committee what would you ask her? >> caller: i would probably ask her what has been the toughest thing she has endured in this entire process, what is going on in her mind and all the pressure building on her, why is she stepping up and how does she feel about it overall personally inside.
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>> host: you are a teacher and others watching, we had c-span in the classroom. a number of lesson plans to explain the history of the impeachment process. the second time in 20 years we had the impeachment of a sitting president. last time in late 1998-99 with president bill clinton. it is available free to teachers across the country, c-span in the classroom. find on our homepage, c-span.org. we go to jared in our line for republicans in louisiana. you have an election tomorrow. what is going to happen? >> i hope eddie riskwhat is going to win. >> host: you think the president campaigning will make a difference? >> caller: absolutely. >> host: as far as the hearing this morning, what has stood out in your mind? >> the do not prosecute list, she lied about that under oath now.
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it was not recanted and the new york times published an article the other day with an interview with him and he did not have the information. >> with that your question is there something else you want to hear from the ambassador? >> caller: something else. i would ask her if she is aware that jeffrey epstein didn't kill himself. >> host: we go next to chad from michigan can our line for independents. go ahead. >> caller: i am calling from the other peninsula of michigan so i want to say hi. my comment today is a question for congress. i'm wondering if we are so worried about hearsay evidence and everything happening, this is the motion, this is hearsay, why are we not allowing the people who have firsthand knowledge, direct knowledge of these happenings to testify? the fact these people are being blocked from testifying and
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ignoring their subpoenas, for another deeper to to verify their subpoenas is a bad look. if there was evidence that would show the president is not acting against current us foreign policy and is not going for his own personal beliefs that evidence would come out. >> host: thank you for the call. wondering what is happening, the house is in session, live coverage on c-span with a series of votes expected to go another 10-15-20 minutes. we are monitoring that during the break of the house intelligently, using this opportunity to share the highlights, all of it on our website, c-span.org. if you're listening on the free c-span radio apps. from miami, florida, democrats line, go ahead please. >> caller: i'm very proud of ambassador yovanovitch. i'm so happy she came forward. i see that she has been honest
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about her experience, what she has gone through. i am just befuddled by the republican insistence on ignoring the obvious bribery and extortion attempts of donald trump. i cannot -- so disheartened by what i am seeing from the republican party who are supposed to be the party of law and order. i voted for ronald reagan. i am so disappointed and i hope real republicans step forward and help the people that are just following blindly and standing behind this president and the republican party in congress. what they are doing is so wrong for our government. this should not be happening.
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this is not russia. >> host: thank you for the call. we are monitoring a dc courtroom, the trial of roger stone. a longtime aide and friend facing charges of perjury. we learned a moment ago roger stone has been found guilty. this from reuters, trump advisor roger stone found guilty of obstruction as well as making false statements, that news breaking at this hour as we approach noon eastern time in washington dc on capitol hill, roger stone found guilty on charges of obstruction and perjury. next, kathleen from lake worth, florida, go ahead. >> caller: i was just calling to ask, are they serving for the president? is that why she did this and if she did is and she breaking an oath of office by not
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supporting the president? it seems there's a lot of emotional stuff going on. we really want our ambassadors to act like that? if she is serving under the president these people are really breaking their oath by having this conversation. >> host: you don't find her credible? >> caller: i find that she is very emotional and i think the president was right in saying she has issues going on. issues with her. >> host: thank you for the call. eli joining us from mooresville, north carolina, independent. >> caller: good morning. i wanted this whole impeachment trial, very interesting as we haven't seen this since bill clinton. we don't know everything about what is happening with ukraine
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but with the current state of events there's a lot of evidence against him but the question is why the cameras turned off on epstein. >> host: the president think democrats must apologize to the usa saying the foreign minister said us ambassador gordon sondland did not link military assistance with ukraine, to open up an investigation into joe biden and his son. the president watching a portion of the opening statement this morning, stephanie grisham, has been tweeting including attacking marie yovanovitch saying she did poorly in somalia and getting response from congressman lee selden who said the president has every right to defend himself and respond in real time. that is on twitter, and your comments on our twitter page, c-span. we go to james in montana calling on our democrat line. go ahead.
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>> thanks for having me. i just want to comment, i appreciate you guys putting out this broadcast and showing it on youtube and the c-span radio apps and for us to hear at a really good time in our history of america and i really wanted to thank our congressmen for doing their jobs and adam schiff is doing great so far and i think ambassador yovanovitch is doing well today and i just wanted to thank you for having this broadcast. >> host: we want to thank the team of technicians, photographers, sound people, all working long hours to make sure we can provide you live coverage, unfiltered, of the proceedings from the longworth office building that will continue next week as well and as we said before it is worth noting again the coverage you
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are seeing on this network is being fed to all the other broadcasts cable networks. if you look at the news expert and watch coverage on other platforms or other networks you are watching from the c-span cameras. vince joining us from connecticut, you are on the air. >> caller: i want to start by saying after hearing from the three witnesses so far find them to be incredibly well educated, experienced, dedicated professionals who have a difference of opinion about what they believe was meant or what the foreign policy of the united states government should be. as career bureaucrats who worked in their positions for many years they have a worldview and they're pretty adamant that is the way things should be run and what is being
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overlooked is other persons who are also educated, dedicated, patriotic individuals with some ability might disagree with them and these people that become a willing participants in this hearing, because they have been offended in some way. >> host: your question then for the ambassador or any of them next week, what would you ask them? >> caller: i would ask what evidence you have personally that you witnessed that constitutes a crime against the united states. .. that does not constitute a factual evidence of a crime. they believe something was done wrong that they disagree with but that's not a crime.
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>> host: thank you for the call. they hearing will re-air tonight on c-span. our next caller call is emily from virginia, independent. good afternoon. >> caller: good afternoon. i just wanted to comment on these hearings and testimonies overall as a whole. first of all, i would like to give my support for ambassador yovanovitch. i think she has maintained a good level of grace and composure under questioning. i must say i am concerned about the fact that tweets that were sent out my president trump were read to her during the session, the previous session this morning. i find that concerning because that can affect any sort of
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witness testimony. and then it shapes the narrative and that's my concern. i'm not a decided voter by the way. >> host: thank you for the call. kim is in dayton, ohio, democrat's line. go ahead. >> caller: yes, i think this ambassador should be an economic advisor instead because she has taken a public office of 32 years at approximately $200,000 a year and turn that into a net worth of $6 million. so what we really have going on is these three witnesses are all part of the deep state and they are being exposed by trump. and if you want more information on it just go to joe's youtube
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channel. >> host: the line continues outside the longworth house office building as many people try to get insight to witness history and inside the corridor of the building their we've been told many began gathering as early as the early predawn hours, one, two, 3 a.m. this morning. security remains incredibly tight, if there's any disruption the individual or individuals will be immediately removed. there are about 456 inside 1100 of the longworth office buildings. it's a room normally reserved for the house ways and means committee but is used with a house intelligence committee. you can see some of the posters on the republican side of the isle with some of the quotes trying to put forward their point including congressman adam schiff with they contend knows who the the whistleblower is. house staffers continue
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together. members can today be on house floor for us is about. >> you can watch that on c-span. europe c-span2 and on c-span radio using this boat break to get your calls, comments and reaction from the first round of opening statements in question by the democrats. the republicans love the return when the hearing resumes presumably within the next hour or sooner. we will go to hannah from california, republican lie. go ahead. >> caller: thank you, c-span. i have two things things i would like to say. the first is i would like to know, adam schiff would go out of his way to read between in the middle of a hearing of the intelligence committee. that seems like, i think he wants to make a point to somehow president trump is interfering with, intimidating a witness. in fact, --
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[inaudible] in the middle of the hearing. >> host: you're calling on a cell phone and affordably your breaking up. i i think we got the essence of it. jason from franklin lakes new jersey on a line for independence. thank you for waiting. >> caller: thank you so much for taking my call. i just want to say i'm a college student and it's incredibly discouraging to see almost a complete erosion of the system of checks and balances that the founder set up for us. we're seeing day and a congressman say whatever the year they will not read evidence, not going to take anything too campy you see a majority of the population say their opinion on impeachment isn't going to change the matter what evidence is provided. it's a really sad thing to see as the student. >> host: so what has been following this as a student does it make you want to enter public
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service or dissuade you from that? >> caller: it does. i think they're so much wrong with america today and it was something i was considering possibly and part of a later portion of my career but now i'm just afterwards after witnessing of think there has to be change made. i just can't see where this continues. >> host: some of the traffic behind on capitol hill. we're in the cannon house office building. the balcony on the third floor of the cannon building adjacent to the longworth building and the house wrapping up a series of votes on the import/export bank and is a continue what's that on c-span one some comments from each of the house intelligence committee adam schiff of california earlier this hour. >> get your reaction -- [inaudible] >> very briefly because half the
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boat. [inaudible] at lisa no good reason. but we saw today witness intimidation real-time on the president of the united states. once again going after the dedicated and respected -- public servant in an effort to not only shield her but to chill others who may come forward. we take this kind of witness intimidation and obstruction very seriously. >> do think it's an impeachable offense, witness intimidation? >> adam schiff is a chair of the committee. that was earlier this morning during a break which is wrapping up life inside 1100 along with pulse office building. ryan from south carolina, our line for democrats. go ahead. [inaudible]
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it seems to me the republicans main line of defense is that while bribery is mentioned in the constitution, attempted bribery is not. their argument is the aid was eventually released, therefore this is only attempted bribery and not bribery. beyond the obvious alerting of resorting to the sideshow bob defense or, i just wanted to point out in legal terms offering or soliciting a bride is by definition bribery regardless of whether any exchange actually happened. there's no such thing as attempted bribery. >> host: if you were a member of congress and the articles of impeachment on the house floor, how would you vote and why? >> caller: i would vote to mh because the president committed high crimes and misdemeanors, according to all of the evidence that is out there. as far as i know. >> host: frank, republican line.
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go ahead, frank, appreciate it. good afternoon. one of the things to talk about in bribery i find which is interesting is what our system of government works if you look at north korea we have told them that if they give up their nuclear weapons we will immediately, sanctions we have against them and bring money back into north korea. would that not be a bride? it's just giving something for getting something back. the same way is hunter biden was working for an oil corporation in ukraine, taking $1 million a year. his dad as i understood it claims that he got the prosecutor get off from prosecuting against that company. and it sounds like it's just something trump is correct in wanting to look into and find out what was going on.
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i am not a big trump supported. i don't like his tweets. i don't like his class. i think he's a boss and he's not a leader and he's not my choice, but this whole thing is like a said, they don't like the way he runs the presidency. >> host: it is a short walk from the u.s. capitol the house side to the longworth house nolting. we're seeing some members democrats and republicans we enter 1100 longworth house office building. we are going to go back to -- >> anyone who will break the ll meet with justice. [inaudible] >> monitoring your phone calls and getting reaction, quick reaction but we are earlier from republican of europe and the chair the committee adam schiff. we posted them on her website.
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a few more minutes of your phone calls. richard, , new jersey, independt go ahead. >> caller: what i would like to say is a fine most appalling senators like lindsey graham refused to do a job and look at what's happening in america today. this is what they were elected to do and they should be looking at this and as by span regardless of what lines you draw in the same, whether republican or democrat, would you believe in deep state conspiracies or not. you should be looking at what is the objective facts. right now ask are up for grabs and people are very emotional about what they feel. also things like with hunter biden, if the president had the ability to do that in a correct manner and obviously did was completely and totally incorrect. if you wanted to do some research on how divided he could've done that without having to have ukrainian government become involved the way that he did.
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>> host: what will happen is once that gavel comes down and the chair of the committee will turn to the ranking republican member devin nunes, a fellow californian, and steve castor was the lead republican council will begin the questioning. we are earlier from daniel goldman and daniel noble, , the democratic lawyers asking many of the questions here steve castor is a better of capitol hill working for congressman jim jordan republican from columbus, ohio, was appointed to the committee to ask him the questions. we saw that when states and we'll see is questioning today at the hearings into next week. peter from bridgeport connecticut democrat's line. good afternoon. >> caller: good morning. what i want to ask for just mention about today is not only was -- [inaudible]
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but what ambassador taylor mentioned. it's about the russia, the whole russia connection. i just want to know, trump's foreign policy regarding not only ukraine for turkey as well is benefiting the russians. i don't get that. in addition to everything else withholding the $400 million in military aid sent a clear message to the russians that he just doesn't care about protecting ukraine. putin might be loving this. [inaudible] -- >> host: we believe it there. thank you for calls and comments. we will give you a sense of what's happening inside the hearing room. the gala, gun momentarily. our live coverage continues on the c-span networks. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> state his inquiry. >> it appears counsel for the witnesses this morning has paper copies of the slides used during questioning. if that's true, does that mean you and your team has been in coordination with him and of her with respect to test with this morning? if that's true how does that comport with href 660 and the fairness that is purported a social with that? >> the gentleman, that tv for the witnesses wasn't working so they're given copies this morning. it is now 45 minutes to ranking member nunes. >> the screen in front of them is not working? >> the screen was not working in
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front of them so they were given copies so they could read along since they can't see the screens that we can. mr. meadows, you are recognized for 45 45 minutes along with my nordic council. >> first, mr. chair, i want to for the record senator grassley is letter to the department of justice dated july 20, 2017. i read a portion of that into the record during opening statement. >> without objection. >> ambassador, congratulate you. you've been down in the secret deposition meeting rooms. you have graduated for your performance today. later this afternoon i should note for the public we will be back down in the basement of the capital doing more of these secret depositions. ambassador, i don't really have very many questions for you. you admitted in your opening
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statement that you don't have any first-hand knowledge of the issues that we are looking into but i do want to talk a little bit about senator grassley very briefly. i assume that you know who store grassley is. >> yes, sir, i do. >> do you believe senator grassley is a serious and credible elected official? >> i have no reason to think otherwise. >> we are involved in the july5 trump-zelensky phone call or preparations for the call? >> no, i was not. >> were you involved in the deliberations about the possible military sales to great -- to ukraine? >> for the delay in -- >> for the pause. >> no, i was not. >> were you involved in the proposed trump-zelensky later pence zelensky meetings in warsaw, poland, on september 1?
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>> no, i was not. >> did you ever talk to president trump in 2019? >> no, i've not. >> mick mulvaney? >> no, i have not. >> thank you, ambassador. i'm not exactly sure what the ambassador is doing here today. this is the house intelligence committee that has now turned into the house impeachment committee. this seems more appropriate for the subcommittee on human resources at the foreign affairs committee, if there's issues with implement, disagree was with the administration it would seem like it would be more appropriate setting instead of at impeachment hearing where the ambassador is not a material fact witness to anything, any of the accusations that are being hurled at the president for this impeachment inquiry. i have several questions i think, mr. castor wants to get to. i know ms. stefanik him give a
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few quick question for the ambassador. yield to you, ms. stefanik. >> thank you, mr. nunes. ambassador yovanovitch, -- >> the gentlewoman will suspend. >> what is the interruption for this time? it is our time. >> you are not recognized. mr. nunes, you are -- >> i just recognize -- >> under 660 you're not allowed deal time except to spin is the ranking member yield a time to another -- >> that's not accurate. >> that is accurate. ambassador yovanovitch, i want to thank you for being here today. >> you are not recognized. >> this is the fifth time you have interrupted members of duly speedy congresswoman will suspend. >> we control the time, and customary of this committee where controls the time can yield to wherever they wish. if we have members of congress to ask a few questions, it seems appropriate that we be able to let ms. stefanik ask your
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questions. >> mr. nunes, , you or my nordic council are recognized. >> all right. mr. castor, you are recognized. >> thank you, mr. nunes. ambassador, welcome. i want to thank you for your service, 33 years, and extraordinary career. it really has been a remarkable tenure for you at the state department. i would like to thank you for participating here today. this is a crazy environment, this hearing room has turned into a television studio but before today you spent on friday the 11th you are with us for early in the morning until i believe it was it o'clock at night. people missed trains back to new york and it was a complete, very complete day, so thank you. you were serving a three-year assignment in the ukraine, is
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that correct? >> yes. >> and to begin in the 2016 and was scheduled to end in 2019? >> yes, that's correct. >> and nobody disputes that except for the president to decide who his envoy are two posts around the world, correct? >> i stated that clearly in my statement. >> and you returned from the ukraine on may 20, 2019? >> that's correct. >> your return coincided with the inauguration of president zelensky? >> yes. >> and you remain employed by the state department? >> i do. >> and after you returned to washington and deputy secretary john sullivan asked you what you wanted to do next, is that correct? >> yes, that's correct. >> then you met with the director general, ambassador
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perez? >> yes, that's correct. >> did you identify a meaningful new assignment? >> yes. >> and you now serve in georgetown university as a fellow? >> that's true. >> this this is a rewarding posn for you? >> yes. i'm very grateful to be in the position after what happened. >> today is the second big hearing for the democrats impeachment initiative. we understand that you don't have a lot of facts and information relating to the part of this that we are investigating, and those of those event for may 20 up until september 11 released security assistance, is that correct? >> yes, that's correct. >> so you were not part of the delegation to the inauguration,
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the day you return. you are not part of the oval office meeting may 23, correct? >> yes, that's correct. >> and you are not part of the decision-making relating to whether there would be a a whie has me with president zelensky? >> that's correct. >> and you were not a part of any decision-making in the lead up to the july 25 call? >> that's correct. >> and you first learned about the call on september 25, is that correct? >> well, i heard about the call, as indicated in the first deposition, from deputy assistant secretary george kent. >> what did he tell you about the call? >> well, as it turns out it wasn't correct, but what i recall is that he said that president trump had asked president zelensky whether he
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could help him out, which i understood to be into investigations and that president zelensky had said that he is putting in a new prosecutor general and that he doesn't control it. i mean, this is approximately what he said. that person is an independent individual. >> you learned about that before the call was made public? >> that's correct. >> likewise you were not involved in any discussion surrounding the security sector assistance to ukraine? they were pause for about 55 dates of july 18, to september 11? [inaudible] >> in your opening statement on page nine, you stated although then and now i've always understood that a stir at the pleasure of the president.
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i still find it difficult to comprehend that for a private entity were able to put them in use interest in. individuals who apparently felt stymied by our efforts to promote stages policy against corruption, that is to do the mission, were able to successfully conduct a campaign of disinformation against a sitting ambassador using unofficial back channels. do you believe that president trump was aiming to weaponized corruption in ukraine by removing you? >> i don't know that. >> do you believe your removal was some part of scheme to make it easier for elements of the ukrainian establishment to do things counter to u.s. interests? >> i think that's certainly what the ukrainian establishment hoped. i think that in addition there were americans, these two individuals who are working with
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mayor giuliani, mr. pardus and mr. fruman who have recently been indicted by the southern district of new york, who indicated that they wanted to change up the ambassador. think they must've at some reason for that. >> and to think they were seeking a different type of ambassador that would allow them to achieve some of their objectives? >> i don't know what other reason there would be. >> okay. is ambassador taylor the type of person who would facilitate those objectives? >> no. >> so basilar tip is a man of high integrity? >> absolutely. >> he's a good pick for the post? >> he is. i would note that he is that charge a out there. so no masochist yet or no candidate has yet been named to the position. >> but he certainly has had a decorated career serving his country? >> absolutely.
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a man with the highest integrit integrity. >> you testified about when you first learned that mayor giuliani and some of his associates had a concerted campaign against you, when did that first come to your attention? >> we were picking up rumors from ukrainians, i think, kind of in the november-december timeframe within in january, february and, of course, march it became more obvious. >> at some point i believe you testified the minister others you to this campaign? >> yes. >> when was that? >> he had a conversation with me in february of 2019.
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>> okay. do you remember when he related to you? >> yes. he said that they were working with mayor giuliani through these two individuals, mr. parnassus and mr. fruman, that they basically wanted to remove me from post and that they were working on that. >> did you have any awareness at that point in time of precisely why they were seeking your ouster? >> you know, i didn't, i didn't understand that at all because i had never met mr. parnas and mrs unclear to me why, why there interested in doing this. >> where you especially influential implementing
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policies that stymied their interests in ukraine? or advocating for some sort of environment or policies that would be averse to them? >> i think that just the general idea that obviously u.s. ambassadors, u.s. embassies, one of our most important functions is to facilitate u.s. business abroad, right, whether it is trade, whether it is commerce. that's one of the things that we deal. but everything has to be above board. we believe in a level playing ground but we advocate for u.s. business. these two individuals, with hindsight and what we learned later, looking to open up a new energy company, exporting liquefied natural gas to ukraine never actually came to the
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embassy which is unusual, because that would usually be a first stop going to the american chamber of commerce, going to guess embassy, get the lay of the land, see how we can provide assistance. >> and was set source of frustration ever express to you or did you just learned that separately? >> frustration, what do you mean? on whose part? >> on truman and parnas. >> i don't know that they were frustrated. frustrated by what? >> well, you mentioned that their business interests and as to whether they had been stymied by anything in particular that you would advocated for or you were a roadblock to them being successful. i wondered if there's any connection? >> i never met them. when i heard the same for the first time, , which was in february of 2019, i asked my team, the econ and the commercial sectors are the ones who would usually meet with
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american businessman, and women, and nobody had heard of them. so all i conclude is that it was the general, general u.s. policies that we were implementing, that might've been of concern to the. >> at any point did you ever try to reach out to the prosecutor general, mr. pachinko and find out why -- mr. lutsenko, and find out why he was concerned in the skipping? >> no. >> why? >> i didn't feel there was any purpose to it. >> why not? >> he is, he clearly had i would say animus for doing this, and is working with americans. so i reached out to the american side in this case, the state department, to try and find out what was going on. >> when did you first realize
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that your relationship with lutsenko had reached an adversarial point? >> probably around that time, maybe a little bit earlier. >> and this is march? >> yeah. and when i say adversarial, that's a really strong word. we of the u.s. embassy are visiting key people from the state department and other agencies. we were pushing the ukrainians including mr. lutsenko to do what they said they were going to do, and mr. lutsenko entered office, that is going to clean up the pgo and make reforms, that he was going to bring justice to what they call -- the people who died on the maidan in 2016 -- 2014, the revolution of dignity. and he was going to prosecute cases to repatriate the approximately $40 billion it's believed the former president
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yovanovitch and his cronies fled the country with. and he didn't do any of that. and we kept on trying to encourage him to do the right thing. that's what ukraine if people want him to do, and we thought it was a good plan and that he should get. >> you to make you contacted the state department in late march. is that undersecretary hailed? >> so contacted about what? >> about the concerns you had about the campaigns against you. >> i contacted the state department much earlier than that. it was an ongoing sort of discussion makes a sound very formal and we have many ways of going back and forth with washington, and so, you know, on phone calls, we would have the discussion. >> when did you realize this? >> if i could amplify my answer. we had the discussion because we were concerned that ukrainian
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policymakers, ukrainian leaders were hearing that i was going to be leaving, that there was maybe somebody else waiting in the wings, et cetera, and that undermined not only my position but our u.s. position. ukrainians didn't know what to think and we need to be out there all the time firing on all cylinders to promote our national security interest. so it was a concern. >> and when did you realize this concerted campaign against you was a real threat? >> a threat in -- >> to your ability to do the job in tm? >> i would say that when you go into meeting with somebody and ask are you going to be leaving, that is concerning. that probably come i do know
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exactly when that started happening but in that timeframe. >> you undertake any efforts to push back on this narrative either inside the state department or publicly? >> certainly with the ukrainians, there's nothing to this, this is, you know, a distraction and we are focused on the job. our policy remains the same. and yes, we had discussions in the state department about this. >> in hindsight was there enough in the state department to alert them to this mounting campaign against you? >> i did what i i could. >> and what was that? >> reached out to the european bureau. i think you've also heard that doctor fiona hill was aware of this as well, so the nsc, and they had other discussions with more senior people. >> okay. did you get any feedback from your chain of command?
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did you engage ambassador fraker, undersecretary hale? >> yes, yes. >> did you develop a game plan to push back against these allegations? >> so, i mean,, there are different type timeframe to wee talking about. fast forwarding to march, i did when undersecretary hale asked what i would consider extending, i did raise because i wasn't sure that he was aware of it. i wanted to make sure that he knew that mayor giuliani had been out there saying things about me, untrue things, and i wanted him to be aware of that. he said he understood. he still was hoping that i could extend for another year. so that was early march, and then fast-forward to late march, and the discussions about this issue continued but obviously it became, once it became a public
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political store here in the united states, the tenor of everything changed because i think that the state department felt that it wasn't manageable anymore, and that the more prudent thing would be for me to come back in july. >> do you think there's anything you could have done differently to get ahead of this story and lobby the sector and his counsel that there was a concerted campaign against you that you didn't believe the allegations lodged were accurate and you needed their assistance? >> i think that, sure, maybe i could've done that but i think they were unaware. as i subsequently learned from deputy secretary sullivan, the secretary of state had been well aware of this since the summer of 2018. >> the corruption endemic in the country of ukraine, right? >> i would say that corruption is a serious issue everywhere in
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the former soviet union. it's a post-soviet legacy, and we talk about it a lot in ukraine because there's actually an opportunity to do something, to actually help ukraine at tackle the issue. they want to tackle the issue. in other countries like russia you can't even talk about it. so i think it's a post-soviet legacy and it's important to deal with it. >> you testified rampant corruption has long permuted ukraine's lyrical and economic assistance? >> yes, that's a fair statement. >> it's your belief that should be the u.s. foreign policy guilt ukraine curb its corruption problem? >> yes, because it's good for the cranes but it's also in our interest. >> and anticorruption efforts you mentioned server national security purpose. >> i i believe that to be true. >> are oligarchs a big part of the problem in ukraine?
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>> probably, because so much wealth is concentrated in the hands of a very, very few, 67 individuals, and and they also have political power and control the media -- six or seven individuals. >> their power has been acquired through what we here in the u.s. would consider improperly, improper ways? >> yeah, i think that's a fair comment. >> the head of burisma, are you familiar with and? >> don't know him but i know who you are talking about. >> george kent testified a couple days ago that he was investigating for stealing millions and millions of dollars, some of which had been supplied by the u.s., great britain, subject to an investigation, trying to get the money back. that was a big part of his
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initiative when he was there. at a bribe was paid to the prosecutors and he was let off the hook. this was in 2014. is this something you are familiar with? >> i have heard about it. this was before my arrival and i would just say my understanding and please correct me if i'm wrong, is that the u.s. money that you are referring to was the money that we used to fund an fbi team that was embedded with the prosecutor general's office to go after -- not to go after but to do the investigation of burisma and zlochevsky. >> mr. kent testified this bribe was paid. the prosecution went away, and
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you know, essentially nothing has been further done with regards to burisma. during your tenure in ukraine, has there ever been any focus on re-examining allegations, whether it's of burisma or other powerful interests like zlochevsky? are you re-examine it? >> is that on the part of the ukrainian government? >> yes. trying to lean on the various prosecutors general to clean up the oligarchical system? >> i i think yes, there have ben some efforts, and as i mentioned earlier in my testimony, the u.s. was welcoming of the nomination to the position of prosecutor general because we were hoping he would clean that up. that, in fact, is not what happened. because, it's kind of hard to
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explain to a u.s. audience, but in ukraine, and in the former soviet union more broadly, including in russia, justice, the justice system, whether it's it's cops on the beat, whether it's investigators, whether it is prosecutors, whether it is judges, are used as a tool of the political system to be used against your political adversaries. and so i think that, going back to your question about burisma and zlochevsky. my understanding, this is as i told you earlier in the previous deposition, this did not loom large when i arrived. i arrived in 2016, august 2016, over time my extend it was about, that the case was basically sort of on a pause.
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that it wasn't an active case but also was not fully closed. and that is the way as i mentioned before, for those empowered to keep a little login to burisma and mr. zlochevsky. >> right about the time the bribe was paid, burisma undertook an effort to spruce up their board. are you from a with that? >> i don't exactly know what the tonic of all this was. >> okay. >> but yes, i mean come to the elements. >> one of the folks added to the board was hunter biden, which raises questions, is he a genius on the corporate governance front? is he a genius with the ukrainian oligarchical systems and cleaned that up, or was he just added to the board because he's vice president son? was that ever a concern or at least the perception of that
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concern addressed? >> as i i said, i arrived in august of 2016, seven months before the elections and several months before president trump took office. and it was not the focus of what i was doing in that six months. >> okay. was the issue of the race at all? >> you know, not -- >> you were still on the board i think at the time. >> my understanding from newspaper account is that he just recently left in 2019. i never met met him, never talked to him. and i'm sorry, what was your question? >> he was still on the board when you arrived at post and just wondering if at least a perception problem was brought to your attention as the ambassador? >> i was aware of it because as i told you before in the deposition, there had been in
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terms of the preparation for my senate confirmation hearing to ukraine, there was a question about that, and a select answer. so i was aware of it. >> okay. in your deposition you acknowledged that the president has long-standing concerns about corruption in ukraine, is that true? >> that's, that's what he says. >> going back to, there was a meeting with president poroshenko in september 2017 in the oval office and avoid you testified that he expressed his concern then. >> yeah, he said that a friend of his at told in ukraine was the most corrupt country in the world. >> okay. several witnesses have testified that the president has concern that there are certain elements of the training establishment
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that during 2016 were out to get him. is that something you were aware of at any point in time? >> well, i'm certainly aware of it now. obviously there's been a lot of press attention on that. it was not, it was not brought to my attention during the two and half years that i served under president trump as our ambassador to ukraine. >> we have gone through the deposition, some of these elements that, maybe they loom larger now, but in hindsight was there any discussion at the embassy that there are these indications of some ukrainians try to at least advocate against then candidate trump? >> actually there were not. we didn't really see it that way. >> were you aware of, i don't mr. nunes mentioned this earlier, a consultant alexander
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toluca had reported at least according to her and according to "politico" was trying to work with the ukrainian embassy in d.c. to trade information, to share leads of that sort of thing? >> i saw the article. i didn't have any further information about that. >> did you see the article at the time or did you only come did that only come to your attention subsequently? >> it has certainly been brought to my attention subsequently. i think i did see something to that effect at the time. >> you are the ambassador in country at this point. did you aim to get to the bottom of that? if the reporting is true if what was told, is accurate, that would be concerning, correct? >> well, i was ambassador in ukraine starting in august 2016,
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and what you're describing, if true as you said, what you're describing took place in the united states. so if there were concerns about what he was doing, i think that would've been handled here. >> do you know her? >> i doubly so. >> have you ever met her? >> i don't think so. she works with ukraine embassy it's possible that i met her in a large group or something but a don't believe i know her. >> are you aware of the role that investigative journalists played in publicizing the manafort black ledgers? >> yes. >> and he publicized some information in a pretty grand way in august 2016 and almost immediately coincided with mr. manafort leaving the trump campaign. was there anything about that
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issue when it was occurring that concerns you? >> well, i certainly noticed it because i was a week or so away from arriving in ukraine. i think that from a ukrainian perspective i realized we look at this from an american perspective. from the ukrainian perspective i think that what others would look into black ledgers were most concerned about was actually not mr. manafort but former president john a covert and his political party and the amount of money that they allegedly stole and where it went and so forth. this is a different perspective event which country you are in. >> but you can understand the president at least from his perspective looking at these facts, certainly it is reason to conclude that are elements of the training establishment that
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are advocated against them at this point in time, correct? >> well, just speaking about mrn investigative journalist as you said and he got access to the black ledger and he published, he published it as a fake journalist would do, and again i'm not sure i any information to suggest that was targeting president trump. but the way the events unfolded and mr. manafort was subsequently left the campaign and it certainly did begin a time of interest in manafort ties to russia and so forth. >> i think, again, i think that may have been the facts here in the united states, and obviously it was of interest to
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journalists and others here that mr. manafort was former president yovanovitch political advisor and he was a political advisor had as a campaign here, and so we all know that there'd been court cases and so forth where mr. manafort was found guilty of certain actions. but at the end end of the day, president trump won the election. >> with this reporting there's been a question of all the information that he published was authentic, correct? >> you repeat that? >> there's been, some of question whether the information mr. plushenko published was also correct or whether it was doctored. >> i wasn't aware of that. >> you know, during the august timeframe the ambassador wrote an op-ed in the hill taking issue within candidate trump. were you aware that when it occurred?
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>> yes. >> did you have any communications with the ambassador to express concerns? >> no. >> how frequently did you communicate with the ambassador? i recently you are in different posts in different countries. >> didn't actually see him or talk to them that often. >> so you are not infrequent communication? >> no. >> can you see how writing an op-ed, given the substance come we have discussed the substance of the, that there's sensitive activities, but can you see just how the simple fact of writing an op-ed, the ukrainian ambassador to the u.s., might create a perception that the are of ukrainian establishment that were advocating against then candidate trump? >> my recollection of that op-ed was that he was taking, he was critical of a policy position that president trump had with regard to crimea and whether crimea was a part of ukraine or
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a part of russia. that's a tremendously sensitive issue in ukraine. and my recollection is that is what the ambassador was writing about. >> do you know whether the ambassador or anyone from the embassy try to make contact with the trump camp to talk about their concerns before launching an op-ed? >> i don't know. >> during the same timeframe of the run up to the election, the minister said some especially candid things about then candidate trump on some various social media platforms. are you aware of that? >> yes, as a result of the deposition, the previous deposition. >> what are in the relevant time period when it was happening you were not aware of that? >> you know, i don't recall it. >> he's one of the more
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influential officials in the ukraine, correct? >> he is. >> i believe he's one of the few that spanned both the poroshenko administration of the zelensky administration. >> yes, that's correct. >> looking back on his comments in hindsight, do you see how that might create a perception that a very influential ukrainian was advocating against then candidate trump? >> that he was doing what? .. probably not. i would say that minister has been, as well as others, the administration as well has been
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a good partner to the united states. i think you were told before, he has is a very practical man and looking for partners in getting the job done. >> the site of negative comments you certainly can understand it. the president aware of the statements, what he was up to, and these other elements that we have discussed. it certainly forms a reasonable basis on influential elements to the rate ukrainian establishment out to get the president. >> again, i cannot speak for what they sought. those elements that you have recited don't seem to me to be
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the ukrainian plan or plot to work against president trump or anyone else. they are isolated incidents. we all know. people are critical. that does not mean that someone is, or a government is undermining under a campaign or interfering in an election. our own u.s. intelligence community has determined that those that interfered in the election where in russia. >> turning our attention to the ambassador. he has been a friend and colleague for many years.
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is that correct? >> he is a man of honor. >> i believe that to be true. >> and a brilliant diplomat. >> yes. >> you have no reason to believe he would be undertaking any initiatives countered as u.s. interests. >> i think that he tried to do what he thought was right. turning our attention to the trump administration's policy of aid to ukraine, you have testified that during your tenure as ambassador, america's policy actually got stronger. >> to the ukrainian military, yes. that was really positive. >> two things.
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the war with russia, all of a sudden accelerated in some way. coming over the horizon. javelins are very serious weapon to deal with that. that is number one. the united states is providing javelins to ukraine. that makes the adversaries think twice. >> blocked during the previous administration. is that correct? >> i think we made a determination. i was not a part of those discussions. obviously, they had not made a determination on whether to provide that one. >> wanting to provide to ukraine
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>> the new administration under president trump, the ability to afford ukraine weaponry is a significant step forward. >> we thought that it was important. >> well, it has. a symbol of our strong support for ukraine. this year, there are questions as to whether or systems will gh that kind of undermines that strong message of support. >> ukraine still has the ability to acquire the javelin, is that correct? >> are you now talking about purchasing. >> yes. >> yes, i do.
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>> it was paused for 55 days. july 18 july 18 to september 11. it ultimately went through, correct? >> my understanding. >> you are proud of the efforts of the united states during your tenure to supply this type of aid to ukraine. are you still happy with the decisions? >> are you talking about the javelin? >> the whole aid package do you think they're giving ukraine ukraine enough money? >> that is a hard question. one can always use additional funding.
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i think the congress has been very generous. >> i recognize myself for five minutes. >> follow up on some of the questions from my colleagues. some of the earlier question seem to suggest that your testimony here was completely irrelevant. isn't this just some small matter that should've been referred to hr? i wanted to bring the attention to someone that was very important. that is the president of the united states. only one ambassador who was discussed in the july 25 call. at one point, the president
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brings up this prosecutor. it was shut down and it's really unfair. i think you indicated earlier for the prosecutor, is that right. >> immediately after it brings up a corrupt former prosecutor, only one, i'm sorry, only one american ambassador brought to the call. immediately after, bringing up, up this corrupt prosecutor that he praises, he then encourages to speak with giuliani. the guy who orchestrated this campaign against you. correct. >> he then brings you up. he praises the corrupt prosecutor. i want you to talk to giuliani.
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the guy that smears you. he thought that you were relevant to this. immediately after he brings you up and says the woman was bad news, he says, there is a lot to talk about about white and son. i then stopped prosecution. a lot of people want to find out about that. >> praising this prosecutor. making it right to biden. i would indicate to you, connecting this somehow with the prosecutor you are at odds with. >> again, you are absolutely
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right. that is the thought progression. >> my colleagues also asked, in pushing you out of the way, ultimately, the ambassador got appointed. is ambassador taylor the kind of person that would further the. a a remarkable public servant. someone that was not a career diplomat. a substantial donor. putting it to place with someone of no diplomatic experience at all. that person be willing to work with rudy giuliani in pursuit of the investigations. >> may be. >> that is exactly what happened, isn't it?
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my colleagues also say, the security assistant ultimately went through. if they sought to condition or bribe ukraine into doing these investigations, they ultimately paid money. are you aware that the security systems were not released untilt made the way to the white house. >> yes, i am aware of that. >> are you aware was a not announce until congress was doing an investigation? >> yes. i am aware aware of that >> finally, i want to ask you about the call record. i am curious about this. people watching at home so they are not confused. there is a congratulatory call.
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my ranking member read it this morning. a very problematic call in july. one of the reasons we are here is what happened between april and july. there was a read out put by the white house at the time the april congratulatory call was made. the white house readout said that the president discussed helping ukraine root out corruption. that in fact does not appear anywhere in that call. i want to ask you, ambassador, why would why would the white house put out an inaccurate reading. presenting that the president said something about corruption when he said nothing about corruption. >> i cannot answer that question >> thank you.
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recognizing the ranking member. >> they are actually three calls. the two calls with president trump in the one you reiterated in our last hearing a couple weeks ago. i just want to clarify before i yield. not the president's prerogative to appoint whoever he wants in any country. >> first of all, i am not against political ambassador. i need your position. >> the 4 i was interrupted, i wanted to thank you for your 30 years of public service. to moscow to london. i also wanted to thank you for hosting the numerous bipartisan delegation i led one of those in ukraine.
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my question will focus on three key themes. the first is a role on the president when it comes to appointing our ambassadors. the second is long-standing corruption and the third is a two ukraine. we heard from george can't. i know that mr. kent is a colleague of france and someone who you deeply respect. in his testimony he stated all ambassadors served the pleasure of the president. you would agree with that statement, correct. he elaborated and went on to emphasize that this is without question everybody understands that. in your own deposition under oath you stated that although i understand, everyone understands that i serve at the pleasure of the president. is that correct? >> you are still an employee of the state department. correct? >> in the definition you would say you personally asked whether it would be possible to be a
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fellow at georgetown university. that was arranged for me and i'm very grateful. that is where you are posted today. correct? georgetown students are lucky to have you. we are lucky to have you. i want to thank you for your terrific public service. in your powerful deposition you described we have long understood that strong anticorruption efforts must form an essential part of our policy in ukraine. now there is a window of opportunity to do that. why is this important and why is this important to do to us. serving ukraine's interest but also ours as well. is that still your testimony? at the critical time in 2014 after the ukraine election, you testified that the ukrainian people had made clear in that very election that they were done with corruption. you testified that the ukrainians thought it would be a good idea to set up this
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architecture of a special investigative office that would be all about the crimes of corruption. correct? i know this is before you arrived in ukraine, but you are aware that the first case that investigators worked on was in fact against the owner of verismo. >> yes. >> and that was during the obama administration. >> yes. >> you said today the investigation was never formally closed because keeping that company hanging on a hook. >> the ukrainian investigation. >> as i understand it. we did not see them moving forward on that. we no longer partner with them on that case. >> let's take a first step. the first time you personally became aware was when you were being prepared by the obama state department for your senate confirmation hearing. this was in the form of practice questions and answers.
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this is your deposition. in this particular practice q&a with the department, it was not just generally, it was specifically about hunter biden and perez mott. is that correct? the exact quote was "the way the question was phrased was what can you tell us about hunter biden, you know, being named to the board. for the millions of americans watching, the state department was so concerned about potential conflicts of interest that they rated themselves while prepping the wonderful ambassador nominee before her confirmation. our democratic colleagues and the chairman at this committee cried foul when we dare ask that same question that the obama state department was so concerned about. we will continue asking it. lastly in my 20 seconds left, i just want to get it on record. it would not provide by president obama.
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it was provided by president trump. >> i yield back five seconds. >> you are recognized. >> ambassador, thank you for your testimony today. supposed to be dispassionate and judicial and measured. i am angry. i've been angry since i learned about your summary and unexplained dismissal after a lifetime of excellent and faithful service to this country. i'm angry that a woman to family led communism and nazism to serve this country beautifully for 33 years. literally under fire. i am angry that a woman like you would not be just dismissed, but humiliated humiliated and attacked by the president of the united states. i am not just angry for you, i'm angry for every single foreign service officer. every single intelligence officer who, right now, believe that a lifetime of service and
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sacrifice and excellence might be ignored by the president of the united states or worse yet. attacked. language that would embarrass a mob boss. it is the president's defense and it is emerging for my republicans colleagues today. but this this is all okay. as a president so put it in his tweet this morning, a u.s. president's absolute right to appoint ambassadors. i am a little troubled by this idea of an absolute right. that does not feel to me like the system of government that we have here. how and why we exercise our powers and rights matters. you have the right to ask the intelligence committee and an embassy. what operations they are doing.
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we talk about these collaboratively. in short, yes. >> you have the right to ask the intelligence committee what they are doing. why might they they do that? >> because sometimes operations have political consequences. >> the performance of your duties, in the interest of the united states gives the right to ask very sensitive questions of our intelligence community in your embassy. instead of working through the issues that you just described, you went to dinner that night and handed over the information to a russian agent for $10,000. with that be an appropriate exercise of your right? >> no, it would not. >> i cannot even begin to imagine. i would imagine i would be pulled out of post.
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>> this is is not about ambassadors. a police officer has a right to pull you over. a police officer pulls over his ex-wife because he's angry, that probably is not right. if i cast those votes not in the interest of my constituents, but because somebody bribed me, that is a severe abuse of my power. when it you agree? >> yes. >> why, after an exemplary performance as ambassador to ukraine did the president decide that you should be removed. i think we disagreed if that was not done in the national interest, that is a problem. ambassador, if you had remained ambassador to ukraine, would you have recommended to the president of the united states that he ask the new ukrainian
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president to investigate, and i am quoting from the transcript here, crowd strike or the server ? >> i would repeat once again that the u.s. intelligence community has concluded it was the russians. >> ambassador, if you had remained as ambassador and not been dismissed, would you have supported a three-month delay in congressionally mandated military aid to ukraine? >> no. >> if you had remained, would you have recommended to the president that he ask a new president of ukraine to find out about biden's son? >> i have no questions. i yield back. >> entering into the record. speaker pelosi dated september
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september 23. we also expect that he will establish a path to speak directly to the house and senate intelligence as required by law. >> thank you. i look forward to you honoring that statement from the speaker. >> i want to thank you so very much for a long exemplary service to our country and on behalf of our nation. a lot was said about what was going on around the phone call. what is going on. when you got the word, any time and ambassador changes, there is a process that you go through on what you will do next. can you give us a quick statement on what happened when you came back here as to what your next assignment would be? >> when i came back, obviously, it was out of cycle. there was nothing set up. again, i am grateful that
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sullivan asked me what i would like to do next. the call that there was a fellowship at georgetown and asked whether that was something that could be arranged. >> was that your only choice? >> i'm not sure. >> georgetown is fertile ground for state department recruitment they now benefit from your experience and your inspiration. having to spend their professional life in service to our nation. you teach classes. how many classes? >> this semester i was supposed to teach too. i am still teaching one on national security. the other one was on ukraine and i asked whether i could. >> how many students in your class? approximately. >> i think 14, 15. >> any other responsibility other than fellowship at
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georgetown? >> well, i will tell you that all of this has got me very busy >> okay. i get that. no day-to-day things that you would be responsible for. >> other than not qualifying for overseas stipends, has your compensation been affected? >> no. i'm wondering about the way you may be treated by your fellow employees of state. any negative, less high regard than they used to? do they shun you at the lunch counter? do they treat you badly as a result you are treated by the president? >> i have received an outpouring of support. still respect you and appear to hold you in high regard. >> i do. >> he made some exemplary statements about you. all of us would like to be the
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recipient of something that worthy. any reason on earth that you can think of that george can't would be because of other than the fact he believes it in his heart of hearts. >> like what? >> no. absolutely not. >> i am glad. i would have expected nothing any different to continue to treat you with the high regard that you have earned. overall of these years of great service. georgetown fellowship. as successful there as you have been in the first 33 years. >> i've a unanimous consent request. an article entitled whistleblower expected to testify soon. wall street street journal september 29, 2019 be put into the record.
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an article entitled whistleblower reaches agreement to testify will appear very soon usa today september 29, 2019. >> a unanimous consent request. confirming tentative agreement. cnn september 29, 2019. >> i have unanimous consent request. whistleblower's testimony. washington post 2019. >> without objection. >> a request, an article entitled whistleblower agrees to testify before health intelligence committee committee reported by schiff. >> without objection. >> article entitled hearing from whistleblower. arkansas democrat 2019.
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>> without objection. the time of the gentleman has expired. >> i now recognize. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ambassador, and your prior testimony you spoke so movingly about your family background. you stated that your parents lead communists and nazi regimes and that they valued freedom and the markers he offered in america. having experience to the regime. did not have any effect on your desire to enter into the united states foreign service? >> yes, it did. >> did you always know you wanted to be in the foreign service? it is perfectly suited for what you are doing. i note note that you studied at the state russian language institute in russia to learn russian. do you also have an ms from the national defense university, national war college?
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>> yes. >> i even noticed that you earned, your undergraduate degree in history and russian studies, in college and coincidently, that was also my college, you definitely are doing the nation's service by what you do every day. i really want to know how it felt to have your reputation, not for state and nation, but for personal gains. you spoke about how your services not just your own personal service. it affects your family. today we have seen you as this former ambassador of this 33 year veteran of the foreign service. i want to know about you personally and how this has affected you personally and your family.
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>> it has been a difficult time. i am a private private person. i don't want to put all of that out there. it's been a very difficult time. the president does have the right to have his own, her own ambassador in every country in the world. >> does the president actually have a light -- i may not be against any law, but i would would think it would be against decorum and decency. >> a question as to why the kind of campaign to get me out of ukraine happened. because all the the president has to do is say he wants a different ambassador. in my line of work, perhaps your line of work as well, all we have is our reputation. this is been a is been a very painful. >> how has it affected your family? >> i really do not want to get into that, but thank you for
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asking. >> because i do care. i also want to know how you think it affected your fellow colleagues in the foreign service. my republican colleagues have said that since you receive such adulation from your own fellow colleagues that what occurred, the incident that occurred with the president and his cronies, you know, has that had a chilling effect on the ability and the morale within the foreign service? can you speak to that? >> i think that it has had exactly that. a chilling effect. throughout throughout the department. because people do not know, kind of whether their efforts to pursue the policy going to be supported. that is a dangerous place to be. >> for the record, my republican
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colleagues would probably try to paint you as a never trump her. an oath to support and defend the constitution of the united states without regard for who is in office. is that correct? in your 33 years for republican presidents. >> you joined the foreign service under ranking. is that right? >> really important that they are nonpartisan. talk about why it's important to do your job and your service officers to do your job that are nonpartisan. >> our work is essentially nonpartisan. the republican senator who partnered with president truman coined a phrase that politics should stop at the water's edge.
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i think that that is exactly right. while the competition with different parties, different individuals individuals is hugely important, but at the end of the day, when we are dealing with other countries, it needs to be about what is right with the united states. whether an individual works for the cia, the military or the state department. we've got a be nonpartisan. what is right for the united states. >> i want to say thank you for your service. i yield back my time. >> i worked with the president. i know you have little access directly to decision-makers. you have a great deal of responsibility. it is a complex ask.
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being corrupt to the other issues that you had to deal with >> you had to deal with more than just our bilateral relationship with ukraine. i know that you know these. these were on on your portfolio. dealing with the budapest agreement and denuclearization of ukraine and the issues of integrity. correct? >> the cooperation for europe. giving up the nuclear weapons and believed they had territorial integrity guaranteed by russia. an issue you would have to deal with the ukrainians on. >> yes. asking about our policy. >> excellent. >> nato. the u.s. and the nato allies
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getting memberships. they would have been discussing with you. >> aspirations to nato memberships. >> the u.s. supports ukraine joining the uae and have a great deal of interest and desire for joining the eu. correct? >> yes. they just had a summit in july where they talked about the agreement on economic integration. they also had a discussion about illegal annexation of crimea and the blocking by russia of the sailors that came out of the sea and were captured. those would have all been issued, but in but in your portfolio. >> correct. we look look closely with our partners. >> all of which have different ideas. >> the ambassadors to ukraine, france and germany.

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