tv U.S. Senate Senate Impeachment Trial Day 2 Part 3 CSPAN January 23, 2020 4:11am-6:31am EST
>> mr. schiff. >> thank you mr. chief justice, just so senators have an idea of the evening, we expect to go about two to two and a half hours, i will make a presentation, representative lofgren will make a presentation and i will make a prep final presentation. and we will be done for the evening. as an encouraging voice told me, keep it up, but don't keep it up too long. so we will do our best to not keep it up too long. i am going to turn now to the picks up right after that
july 25 call. and walk through the increasingly explicit pressure campaign waged on ukraine to get president trump's deliverable investigations hurt his opponents and election. by the end of july ukraine was aware president trump's request for investigation to help his political efforts, and had come to know that president trump put a freeze on security assistance. so this is by the end of july. they also clearly understood that president trump was withholding and oval office meeting until both investigations were announced. both were very critical to ukraine as a sign of u.s. support and as a matter of their national security. and their national security of course implicates our national security. in the weeks after the july 25 call, president trump's
hand-picked representatives escalated their efforts to get the public announcement of the investigations from ukraine. so let's go through this step-by-step because the three weeks following the july 25 call, tells us so much about this pressure scheme. let's start with july 26. on july 26, so this is the day after the call. ambassador volker sends a text message to giuliani. and that text message says, hi mr. mayor, you may have heard the president had a great call with ukrainian president yesterday. exactly the right messages as we discussed. please send dates when you will be in madrid, i am seeing tomorrow morning and he will come to you in madrid. thanks for your help. so, here we are the day after
that call, as my colleague demonstrates this same day, so july 26, the dates of that second infamous call between president trump and gordon sondland, you heard the diplomat david holmes described. set the same day, july 26 we are talking about now. there is a text message. now that july 25 call, the president wants to connect rudy giuliani with the president of ukraine and his people. and so, this is a follow up with volker is saying to giuliani, it was a great call with ukraine president, exactly the right messages as we discussed. and we know those messages where the need to do this political investigation. please send dates when you will be in madrid, i am seeing your mock tomorrow morning, he will come to you in madrid. so here's ambassador volker, one of the three amigos arranging this meeting.
between giuliani and the ukrainians. giuliani replied, setting a meeting in europe with president zelensky's top aide for the next week. i will arrive on august 1, and until 5. and he wrote never member on july 22, few days before this and before the call, ambassador volker had connected giuliani originally with your mock and they agreed to meet. this was agreed to meet and then you have a call, and now you have the follow-up to arrange the meeting in madrid. on they did meet in madrid. this is august 2. yermak flew to madrid met with giuliani and nose they represent the presidents interest. both walkway from the meeting in madrid clearly understanding that a white house meeting is linked to zelensky's announcement of the investigation.
in separate conversations with giuliani and yermak after this meeting, volker said he learned that giuliani wanted the ukrainian to issue a statement including specific dimensions of the two investigations the president wanted. according to an bath or volker's testimony, yermak told him his meeting with giuliani was very good. and immediately added the ukrainians asked for a white house meeting, during the week of september 16. yermak presses volker on the white house meeting date saying that he was waiting for confirmation, maybe you know the date. this is a recurrent theme that we have seen through the text messages and other documents. it is the recurrent requests for this meeting, the pressing for this meeting by the ukrainians because it was so important to them. giuliani's objective was clear to volker and someone who took over communications with yermak. here is ambassador's fondling. i first communicated with mr. giuliani in early august,
several months later. mr. giuliani emphasized that the president wanted a public statement from president zelensky committing ukraine to look into the corruption issues. mr. giuliani specifically mentioned the 2016 election, including the dnc server and bull recent as two topics of importance to the president. giuliani exerted influence in this process on august 4 yermak again he did not turn to the staff of the state department to arrange an follow-up, he turned to giuliani again. volker told yermak you would speak to him later that day and call the ukrainian "after words". volker then text giuliani to ask about the madrid meeting and to set up the call that he
had mentioned to yermak. giuliani replies that the meeting with yermak was excellent and he would call later. phone records show a 16 minute call on august 5 between ambassador volker and giuliani. ambassador volker then text yermak had a good long talk with rudy, call anytime kurt. separately he told sondland that giuliani was happy with that meeting and it looks like things are turning around. a reference to volker's hope that satisfying giuliani would break down president trump's reservations concerning ukraine. but things had not turned around by the end of that first week of august, august 7. the aide was still on hold, and there was no movement on setting the date for the white house meeting. ambassador volker then reaches out to giuliani to try to get things moving. ambassador volker text giuliani to recommend that he
report to the boss, meeting president trump, about his meeting with yermak in madrid. specifically he wrote, this is volker writing to giuliani. hope you made it back safely, let's meet if you are coming to d.c. it would be good if you could convey results of your meeting in madrid to the boss so we could get a firm date for the visit. so this is ambassador volker following of giuliani. giuliani is met with the top aide in madrid, and he wants giuliani to convey to the boss, to trough, how good that meeting and madrid was about the investigations so they can get the president of ukraine and adored the white house. think about how unusual this is. this is the president's personal lawyer, who was on this personal mission on behalf of his client to get this investigations in ukraine. the president of ukraine can't get in the door of the oval office, and who are they going to? are they going to the security
council? no. they are going to the president his personal lawyer. does that sound like an official policy to fight corruption? why would you go outside of the normal channels to do that? you wouldn't. no you go to your personal attorney, who is on a personal mission and admits it's not foreign policy when the objective has nothing to do with policy. when your objective is a corrupt one. so what does that mean? to have a corrupt objective. it means an illicit one. it means up one that furthers your own interests at the cost of the national interest. the willingness to break the law, like the impound control act by withholding aide, it's indicative of that corrupt
purpose. the lengths the president would go and not furtherance of u.s. policy but against u.s. policy. not even a difference on policy at all. the mayor pursuit of personal interest, the pursuit of an illegal effort to get foreign interference. it is a very embodiment of a corrupt intent. so here we are, august 7. and volker is saying rudy, if you're coming to d.c. let's get together. it's good if you talk to the boss. we can't get a meeting otherwise. around that time ambassador volker received at text message from yermak, and this is yermak asking volker hi kirk, how are you. jepson news about the white house meeting date? and bogus response, not yet. i text rudy earlier to weigh
in on the meeting. gordon, meeting's fondling should be speaking with the president on friday. we are pressing this. so gordon's fondling is pressing this. we've heard from him already. gordon sandlin it's absolutely a quid pro quo, about this white house meeting. this is what they are talking about right here. he's speaking to the president on friday we are pressing this. ambassador volker contact had a flurry of an contacts they went from the eighth strongly saying giuliani is trying to speak to a official left a message, then had a four minute call with that official later that night. we don't know from call records who that white house official was, but the call to giuliani as publicly stated that when he spoke to the white house he usually spoke to president trump, his client.
also, on august 8, yermak text volker that he had some news. invested are volker said he could talk then and ambassador volker updates giuliani in the text the next day. volker says to giuliani in the text, hi mr. mayor, had a good chat with yermak last night. he was pleased with your phone call, mentioned, he is referring to president zelensky making a statement. can we all get on the phone to make sure i advise, and here is referring to president zelensky, correctly as to what he should be saying. i want to make sure we get this done right. so here, august 9, there is an effort by volker to make sure that we get the statement writes about the investigations. because they can't get the statement right, he ain't
going to get in the door of the oval office. it also makes clear who is exactly in charge of this, and that's rudy giuliani. ambassador volker is checking with giuliani about what he should advise zelensky. and we know giuliani's taking his orders from president trump. text messages and calls with volker and giuliani connected by phone twice around noon on august 9 for several minutes each. the phone call to giuliani ambassador volker had a three way group hats including what's apt include yermak and sondland. that was around 220 that day. and this is volker, chatting with somnolent and yermak. it's a three-way chat, and volker says hello we have all consulted including rudy. if you do a call later today or tomorrow your afternoon time. & lynn says i have a call scheduled at 3:00 p.m. eastern
will call. call records obtained by the committee show that on august 9 ambassador's online connected with phone lines associate with the white house. once in the early afternoon for 18 minutes and once in the late afternoon for about two minutes. we know ambassador scotland had direct access to president trump. after all of this activity, ambassador have thought they had a breakthrough, minutes after this call which was likely with tim morrison about a date for the meeting. they discuss the agreement they thought they had reached. and it starts with sondland in this text message. morrison ready to get dates as soon as yermak confirms. he says excellent how did you sway him? not sure i did, think potus really wants the deliverable. we know what that deliverable
is. it is the political investigations. volker says but does he know that? and sondland says yep, clearly lots of con vohs, meaning conversations going on. and volker says okay. it's coming from two separate sources. someone told the committees the deliverable required by president trump was a press statement from president zelensky committing to doing the investigation on the bidens and the allegation of ukraine election interference that president trump mentioned. but tim morrison testified he did not know anything about the deliverable, he was just involved in scheduling the white house meeting. which everybody wanted to schedule as a sign of support for president zelensky and our ally ukraine. but trumps agents would not just accept ukraine's word for it. ambassador sondland then recommended to them faster volker, that yermak, share a
draft of the press statement to ensure that the statement would comport with the president's expectations. so here on august 9, we are still less than two weeks after the july 20 call. we are about two weeks. sondland says in this message, to avoid misunderstandings that might be good to have asked andre for a statement to see exactly what they posed to cover. even though zeke, referring to zelensky does a live press they could still summarize in a brief statement thoughts? and volker says agreed. at his deposition, ambassador sans glenn said he suggested revealing the written summary the statement he is concerned because president zelensky would say whatever he would say on live television and it still would not be good enough for rudy.
or the president. unquote. yermak intern was concerned the announcement would still not result in the coveted white house meeting. on august 10 yermak texted volker attempting to schedule a meeting before the ukrainian president made a public statement in support of the investigations into burisma and the 2016 election. so you can see what is going on here. the president is his agent giuliani, they want this public statement of investigations before the will give a date. and the ukrainians won a date before they have to commit to making public they are going to do the investigations. and so you have to stand up for each is trying to get the deliverable first. there is no debate about what the deliverable is on either side. there is no debate about the quid pro quo here. you give me this, i'll give you that. you give me the white house meeting i will give you the public announcement into your political rival. no no no. you give me the announcement of my arrival and i'll give
you the meeting. the only debate here's about which comes first. on august 10 yermak text volker think it's possible to make this declaration and mention all of these things which we discussed yesterday but it would be logic to do after we receive a confirmation date. we will inform about the date visit, our expectation and future visits. let's discuss it. ambassador volker responded he agreed but first they would have to iron out a statement and use that to get a date after which president zelensky would give the statement. the two decided to have a call the next day and to include abbasid or psalm one. ambassador text volker excellent. once we have a date we will call for a press briefing announcing upcoming visit and vision for the reboot of u.s. ukraine relationship including among other things burisma and election meddling in the
investigation. yermak was also in direct contact with and bathurst sondland about this of revised approach. in fact he's sent sondland the same message. ambassador saad lynn kept the leadership in the loop. on august 10 heat told him he reported about the council of state who somnolent testified frequently consulted with some pale. he wrote to volker i briefed ulrike allgood so ulrike is in the loop. somnolent and volker continued on the investigations. the next day ambassador sondland e-mailed the executive secretary about efforts to secure a public statement and a big presser for president zelensky. somnolent hoped it might quote
make the boss happy enough to authorize an investigation. an invitation. after being evasive on the topic, secretary pompeo has subsequently listened in on the july 25 call. now since he was on the call, pompeo must have understood what would make the boss, that is the president, happy enough to schedule a white house meeting. again, everyone was in the loop. on august 11, ambassador volker sent giuliani a text message. hi rudy, we have heard back from andriy again. they are writing the statement now and will send it to us. can you talk for five minutes before noon today? giuliani says yes just call. that's august 11. on august 12 yermak sent
volker a draft statement by text. notably as we saw earlier, this statement from the ukrainians doesn't explicitly mention burisma, biden or 2016. those investigations the president is seeking. so you can see what's going on was a game of chicken. you go first know you go first. you gives a statement will give you the date know you give a statement will get the day. now realizing they have to give a statement first ukraine tries to give them a generic statement that doesn't really go into specifics about these investigations. why? you they don't want to go have to go out and say they're doing these investigations. because they are not stupid. because they understood this would pull the rights into u.s. presidential politics. as it was intended to. which isn't in ukraine's interest or our interest
either. ukraine understood that. and so they resisted. they resisted having to do the public statement, then they wanted to make sure they had the deliverable. and then when they had to make the statement they did not want to be specific. it was one thing for another thing. this is what zelensky campaigned out. he was going to fight corruption and political investigations. so he did not want to be specific. so he sends the statement that does not have specific references. and ambassador volker explains, during his testimony, that was not what giuliani was requesting, and it would not satisfy giuliani or donald trump. now presumably if the president was interested in corruption, that statement would have been enough. but all he was interested in was an investigation, or an announcement of an investigation into his rivals
in this debunked theory of 2016. now the conversation volker referred to it his earlier testimony took place in the morning of august 13 when giuliani made clear the specific investigations related to burisma, code for biden's, and the 2016 election had to be included to get the white house meeting. so the americans, sent back to ukrainian top aide a revised draft that includes now the two investigations and you have seen the side-by-side. this was then the essence of the quid pro quo regarding the meeting. and this direction came from president trump. here's how ambassador sans one put it. mr. giuliani's request were a quid pro quo for arranging a white house visit for president zelensky. mr. giuliani demanded that
ukraine make a public statement announcing the investigations of the 2016 election, the mc server and bereavement. mr. giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the united states and we knew these investigations were important to the president. >> according to witness testimony of ukrainian officials were very uncomfortable with the draft that they were negotiating. they understood that the statement was a deliverable that president trump wanted. that yielding to president trump's demands, wooden essence force president zelensky to break his promise to the ukrainian people to root out corruption. because politically motivated investigations are a hallmark of the type of corruption ukraine has been plagued within the past. mr. yermak tried to get some
notice that they were legitimate. yermak volker, whether any requests had ever been made by the united states to look into election interference in 2016. if any requested made by any official u.s. law enforcement agency through formal channels as you would expect if it were a legitimate request. ambassador volker tried to find a satisfactory answer. on august 15 he asked george kent if there was any precedent for such a request for investigations. at his deposition kent testified that, if you are asking me have we ever gone to the ukrainians and asked them to investigate individuals for reasons my answer is i hope we haven't and we shouldn't because that goes against everything that we are trying
to promote in the post-soviet states for the last 28 years. which is the promotion of the rule of law. the next day, we are now in august 16. in a conversation with ambassador bill taylor, the u.s. ambassador and cave and he stepped in when yovanovitch was pushed out. taylor quote amplified the same theme. and told kent that yerma your yermak was uncomfortable with the idea of this investigation and put in writing. as a result it became clear to commence in mid august that ukraine is being pressured to conduct politically motivated investigations. kent told abbasid or taylor, that is wrong. and we shouldn't be doing it. as a matter of u.s. policy. ambassador volker claimed that
he stopped pursuing the statement from the ukrainians around this time. because of the concerns raised by zelensky's aid. at his deposition, and despite all of his efforts to secure a statement announcing these very specific investigations to desired by the president, ambassador volker testified he agreed with your box concerns and advised him making those specific references was not a good idea because making those statements might look like it would play into our domestic politics. without specific references to the politically damaging investigation that trump demanded, the agreement just would not work. ukraine did not release the statement and in return the white house meeting was not scheduled. as it turns out, ambassador somnolent and volker did not achieve the breakthrough after all.
now let's go into what finally breaks the law because that involves the military aid. with efforts to trade a white house meeting for a press statement announcing the investigations temporarily startled. sondland and volker go back to the drawing board. on august 19, ambassador sans untold volker that he drove the larger issue home with yermak. his top aide said this is now bigger than a white house meeting. bigger than just the white house meeting and was about the relationship. se. the relationship. se. not just about the meeting anymore it's about everything. it is about everything. by this time in late august it was in place and there is no credible explanation from the white house. there were no inter- agencies
meeting since july 31 and the defense department had withdrawn its assurances that it could even comply with the law. which indeed it couldn't. every agency and the administration opposed the holds. as the government accountability office confirmed, considered dod and omb officials had been right that the president's holding of the aide wasn't unlawful act. that president trump was not budging. at the same time, despite the persistent efforts of numerous people, president trump refused to schedule the coveted white house visit with president zelensky until the investigations were announced that would benefit his campaign. here's what ambassador sondland onset on the hold on the funds. and it is linked to the politically motivated investigations in the ukraine. in the absence of any credible explanation for suspension of aid, i later came to believe
that the resumption of security aid would not occur until there was a public statement from ukraine committing to the investigations of the 2016 election, and marie smack, as mr. giuliani had demanded. from the embassy in kyiv, david holmes, reach the same conclusion, a conclusion as simple is two plus two equals four. mr. holmes you have testified by late august you had a clear impression that the security assistance hold was somehow connected to the investigation that president trump wanted. how did you conclude, how did you make that clear conclusion? >> sir we have been hearing about the investigation since march. months before. and we have been, president
zelensky had gotten a letter from the president saying he would like to meet him following his inauguration. that would be in may. and we had not been able to get that meeting. and then the security hold came up. with no explanation. i would be surprised if any of the ukraine, we discussed earlier -- when they received no explanation for why that hold was in place, they would have drawn that conclusion. >> because the investigations were still being pursued? the hold was still remaining without explanation? so this was the only logical conclusion you could reach? correct kind like two plus two eagles four. exactly. sondland explained the predicament with that what he faced with ukraine. >> as my other state
department colleagues have testified. this security aid was critical to ukraine's defense and should not have been delayed. i expressed this view too many during this period. but my goal at this time was to do what was necessary to get the aide released. to break the log jam. i believed to the public statement we have been discussing for a week was essential for egg dancing that goal. you know, i really regret that the ukrainians were placed in that predicament. but i do not regret doing what i could to try to break the log jm and solve the problem. >> on august 22, ambassador sondland tried to break that logjam with the security holes and the white house meeting. he described those efforts in his public testimony. let's listen him again. >> and preparation for the september 1 warsaw meeting, i
asked secretary pompeo whether face-to-face conversation between trump and zelensky would help to break the logjam. and this was when president trump was still intending to travel to warsaw. specifically, on august 22, i e-mailed secretary pompeo directly. copying secretary kenneth. i wrote this is my e-mail to secretary pompeo. should we block time in warsaw for a short pull aside for potus to meet zelensky? i would ask zelensky to look him in the eye and tell him that once ukraine's new justice folks are in place in mid-september, that zelensky should be able to move forward publicly and with confidence on those issues of importance
to potus and the u.s. hopefully that would help break the logjam. the secretary replied, yes. >> sondland also explained that he and secretary pompeo understood the issues of importance to the presidents were the two sham investigations the president wanted to help his reelection references. and that reference to the logjam meant both the security assistance and the white house meeting. at the end of august, national security advisor john bolton rick arrived in the ukraine for a visit. he testified about ambassador bolton's message to the ukrainians. shortly thereafter on august 22 ambassador bolton visited ukraine. he brought welcome news that president trump had agreed to meet president zelensky on september 1 in warsaw. ambassador bolton further indicated that the hold on security assistance would not
be lifted prior to the warsaw meeting. where would hang on whether president zelensky was a able to impress president trump. >> let's think about that for a minute. unless you have summing for the sake? let's think about that for a minute. bolton further indicated the hold of assistance would not be lifted prior to the warsaw meeting. it would hang on whether president zelensky was able to favorably impress president trump. what you think would favorably impress president trump? what would be the only two things president asked of president zelensky. what were the two things giuliani was asking of president zelensky and his top aides? what would favorably impress donald trump. would he be favorably impressed if he would tell him
about this new corruption court or new legislation or have negotiations with the russians were going? or how they are bringing about the defense reform? did any of those things ever come up in these text messages or e-mails, any of these phone calls, any of these conversations? of course not. of course not. there was only one thing that was going to favorably impress president trump in warsaw and now is if zelensky told him to his face i'm going to do these political investigations. i don't want to do them, you know i don't want to do them but i am at war with russia and i can't wait anymore. i can't wait anymore. i am sure that would have impressed donald trump. but the meeting between the two presidents never happened in warsaw. president trump canceled the
trip at the last moment. before bolton left cave, ambassador taylor asked for private meeting. he explained that he was extremely conserved on the hold of security assistance. he described the meeting to us during his testimony. near the end evan bassett or fulton's visit i asked to meet privately of which i expressed to him my serious concern about the withholding of military assistance to ukraine while ukrainians were defending their country against russian aggression. ambassador bolton recommended that i would send a cable to pompeo directly relating my concerns. >> now and the state department, sending a first-person cable is an extraordinary step. state department cables are ordinarily written and the third person as ambassador taylor testified at his deposition, sending a first-person cable gets attention, because they are not very many first-person
cables that come in. in his decades of service he had never written a single one until now. taylor sent that cable on august 29. would you like me to it read that to you right now? i would like that to redo that to you right now. except i don't have it. because the state department would not provide it. but if you would like me to it read it to you, we could do something about that. we can insist on getting that from the state department. if you would like to know what john bolton had in mind when he thought that zelensky could favorably impress the president of warsaw, we could find that out too. just for the asking. in a document called a subpoena. so taylor sends that cable august 29, the state department did not provide that to us. but witnesses reviewed it said it was a powerful message that described the folly, the folly
of holding military aid from ukraine when it was facing incursion from russia. that cable also sought to explain assistance to ukraine was in -- vital to u.s. national security as well. now why don't they want us to see that cable? why don't they want us to see that cable? maybe, they don't want you to see that cable because that cable from a vietnam veteran describes just how essential that military assistance was. not just to ukraine, maybe they don't want you to see that cable because it describes just how important that military assistance is to us. to us. the president's council would love you to believe this is just about ukraine. you don't need to care about ukraine. who cares about ukraine. how many people can find ukraine on a map?
why should we care about ukraine. but we should care about ukraine, they are an ally of ours. if it matters to us, we should care about the fact that in 1994 when we asked them to give up their nuclear weapons that they inherited from the soviet union, and they did not want to give them up and we were worried about proliferation. we said hey if you give them up, which you don't want to do because you're afraid the russians will invade. if you get them up we will help assure you. we made that commitment. i hope we care
now testimony indicated that secretary pompeo eventually took that to the white house. but there is no evidence that those national international secured concerns, that they don't want you to see, were able to outweigh the presidents personal interest in his getting foreign help in his reelection campaign. there is no evidence at all. now we get to august 28. politico was the first to publicly report the president trump had implemented a hold on nearly 400 million of u.s. military assistance ukraine that had been appropriated by congress. now that the worst kept secret was public, ukrainian officials immediately express their alarm and concern to their their american counterparts. as witnesses explained ukrainians had two serious
concerns. one of course was the eight itself, which was vital to their ability to fight off russia. but in addition they were worried about the symbolism of the hold. that it signaled to russia and vladimir putin that the united states was wavering in its support for ukraine. witnesses testified this was a division that russia could and would exploit to drive further wedged between the united states and ukraine to its advantage. the second concern was why, likely why ukrainian officials wanted the hold to remain a secret in the first place. because it would add to the negative impact to ukraine if the hold itself became public. it's bad enough that the president of the united states put a hold on their aid, it was going to be far worse if it became public as indeed it did. the aid sent the link to the political story and texted need to talk with you.
they expressed concerns about volker that the ukrainian government was being singled out and penalized for some reason what we think that reason was? why were the being singled out? why was that country being singled out? that was one country that this president could leave her for help against an opponent he feared. that's why ukraine was being singled out. on august 29 your mark also contacted ambassador taylor. he said the cranes were very concerned about the hold on military assistance. he and other officials were willing to travel to washington to explain to u.s. officials the importance of this assistance. ambassador taylor who was on the ground and ukraine explained the viewpoint and frankly, their desperation. >> in september the ministry of defense for example came to
me, i would use the word desperate, to figure out why the assistance is being held. he thought if he went to washington and talked to the secretary of defense to secretary and the president he would be able to reassure and provide whatever answer was necessary to have that assistance released. >> without any official explanation for the hold, american officials could provide little reassurance to their ukrainian counterparts. it has been publicly reported the president trump, secretary esper, and secretary pompeo met in late august and they all implored the president to release the aid. but president trump continued to refuse to release the aide. as of august 30, the president was clearly directing omb to continue the hold on security assistance. and documents reviewed by
security was withheld from congress by omb on the president instruction. lmb official michael duffey e-mailed dod controller that there is quote clear direction from potus to continue the hold. so here we are august 30, a month after that july 25 call. aid is still being withheld. ukrainians still holding on. still not willing to capitulate, not willing to violate zelensky's whole campaign pledge about not engaging in corrupt investigations. on that same day, august 30, republican senator ron johnson spoke with ambassador sondland about his concern of president trump's decision to withhold the -- he talked about that call the wall street journal
if ukraine would commit to quotes to get to the bottom of what happened in 2016, if president trump had that confidence, then he will release the military spending. senator johnson added, and that suggestion i winced. my reaction was oh god, i don't want to see those two things combined. the next day, august 31, senator johnson spoke by phone to president trump regarding the decision to withhold aid to ukraine. according to the wall street journal, president denied the quick quote pro that senator johnson had learned of. at the same time however, president trump refused to authorize senator johnson to tell ukrainian officials on his upcoming trip to kyiv that the eta be forthcoming. the message that simon communicated johnson mirrored that of president trump during the july 25 call to zelensky.
in which president trump asked twice to get to the bottom of it. including in connection to an investigation into the debunked conspiracy theory of ukrainian interference for the 2016 election. it also mirrored the language of the text a message that ambassador volker sent to president zelensky's aid just before the july 25 call. indeed, despite the president self-serving denials, the prayer message was clear. president trump wanted the investigations that would withhold not one but two acts by the power of his office in order to get them. now begin september. september 1, president was supposed to go to warsaw's we know but he doesn't go to warsaw. mike pence goes to warsaw. jennifer williams, special advisor to the vice president for europe and russia learned of the change in the president's travel plans on
august 29. the vice president national security advisor asked vice president pence for an update on the security assistance that had just been publicly revealed in politico and will be a critical issue during the bilateral meeting between the vice president and president zelensky and warsaw. the delegation arrives in warsaw, it gathers in the hotel room to breathe vice president pence. before he met with ukrainian president. nationals keep security advisor bolton led the meeting. as william describes it, advisor's in the room quote agreed on the need to get a final decision on security assistance as soon as possible. so that it could be implemented before the end of the year. but vice president pence did not have authority from the president to release the aide. ambassador sondland lynn also attended that briefing. at the end of it, he expressed concern directly to vice
president pence about the security assistance being held until the ukrainians announced the very same politically motivated investigations at the heart of the scheme. >> you mentioned that you also had a conversation with vice president pence before his meeting with president zelensky in warsaw. and that you raise the concern you had as well that the security assistance was being withheld because the president's desire to get a commitment from zelensky to pursue these investigations. and what did you say to the vice president? >> i was in a briefing with several people and i just spoke up and said it appears that everything installed until this statement gets made. something to that effect and that's what i believed to be the case based on the work that the three of us had been doing, volker, perry and myself. and the vice president nodded, like he heard what i said, and that was pretty much it as i
recall. >> everyone was in the loop. ambassador simon testified that vice president pence was neither surprised nor dismayed by the description of this quid pro quo. at the beginning of the bilateral meeting between president zelensky and vice president pence, as expected the first question from president zelensky related to the status of the security assistance. and vice president pence, jennifer williams testified president zelensky explain just equally with financial and fiscal of the assistance at the sambol and of this would show u.s. support for ukraine and ukraine sovereignty and territorial integrity. later that day, vice president pence spoke to the president about his meeting with president zelensky.
the hold on security assistance remained in place well after vice president pence return for warsaw. and after the meeting, the warsaw meeting with vice president pence, he pulled aside yermak and informed him that the aide would not be forthcoming until ukraine publicly announced the two investigations that president trump wanted. so here we are, after the meeting, right after the meeting they are still in warsaw, and zelensky pulls aside his ukrainian counterpart yermak and explains the aide is not coming. not until the investigations are announced. >> based on my previous communication of a secretary pompeo, i felt comfortable sharing my concerns with mr. yermak. it was a very, very brief pull aside conversation that happened within a few
seconds. i told mr. yermak that i believe the resumption of u.s. aid would likely not occur until ukraine took some kind of action on the statement we had been discussing for many weeks. >> let's let that sink in for a minute too. you have heard my colleagues at the other table say ukrainians felt no pressure. there is no pressure evidence. of course we've already had testimony about how they did feel pressure and they did not want to be drawn into this political campaign. use over and over in these text messages and e-mails, you go first you announce, no you go first. and we are supposed to believe they felt no pressure? and there it is, it breaks out and open the military aid is being withheld, and there is a connection between the holding of the military aid and these investigations. and the first thing they are asking about, is they send the article and what is happening to this aid? they are ready to come to
plead for the aide. they go to warsaw, they meet with the vice president, it's the first question. and what happens after that meeting? that's a big meeting by the way with the vice president and the ukrainian delegation. it's not like in front of all those people the vice president is going to bring it up. and so he goes up to his counterpart right after that on the sidelines of the meeting and says basically yet eight get the money until you do the investigations. and we are to believe they felt no pressure? folks they are at war. they are at war and they are being told you are not getting 400 million in aid that you need unless you do with the president wants. and what the president wants is these two investigations. if you don't believe that's pressure, that's $400 million worth of pressure. i've got a bridge i want to sell you. it's hard for us to put
ourselves in the ukrainians position. i mean imagine the eastern third of our country were occupied by an enemy force. and we are beholden to another country for military aid, and they are saying you're not going to get it until you do what we want. you think we would fill pressure? i think we would fill pressure. and that is exactly the situation ukrainian is in. you heard might counter say before they say they don't fill pressure. like they are going to admit they were being shaken down by the president of the united states. you think they feel pressure now? you should see what kind of pressure they feel if they admitted that. tim morrison witness of the conversation between sondland and yermak from across the room and immediately their off thereafter got a summary.
he reported the substance of that conversation to his boss and told morrison to consult with the lawyers. go talk to the lawyers. you know, if you getting told you have to go talk to the lawyers there is a problem. if things are perfect, you don't get told go talk to the lawyers time and time again. morrison confirmed that he did talk to lawyers. in part to ensure there is a record of what ambassador sans lynn was doing. that record exists within the white house, would you like me to it reach that record? i would be happy to read you that record, it's there for your asking. of course the president has refused to provide that record. precisely why did ambassador bolton directed tell the lawyers would like him bass or bold to tell you why said
that? he would be happy to tell you i said that. he is there for your asking. what did bolton know about the freeze and aid prior to this meeting in warsaw? what did he mean that he could press the linsky? it's going to depend if he could press zelensky? i would like to know what he meant by that wouldn't you? i think we know what he meant. tim morrison also conveyed the substance of the pull aside to his colleague ambassador taylor. so this is now tim morrison told by bolton, go talk to the lawyers. and he talks to also ambassador taylor, our ambassador in ukraine. on the evening of september 1 i received a readout of the meeting over the phone with mr. morrison during which he told me the president the linsky had opened a meeting by immediately asking vice
president about the security cooperation. vice president did not's respondent said he would talk to president trump that night. the vice president did say that president trump wanted the europeans to do more to support ukraine and that he wanted the cranes to do more to fight corruption. during the same phone call with mr. morrison, he described a conversation ambassador sondland hand with mr. yermak in warsaw. ambassador sondland told yermak that the security systems money not come until president zelensky committed to pursue the burisma investigation. i was alarmed by what mr. morrison told me about the conversation. ambassador taylor then explained why he was so alarmed. low hear that as well. >> you said previously that you were a larva to learn this. why were you alarmed?
>> it's one saying to try to leverage a meeting in the white house. it's another thing, i thought, to leverage security assistance. security assistance to a country at war, dependent on both the security assistance and the demonstration of support. it was much more alarming -- the white house meeting was one thing, security assistance was much more alarming. >> upon learning from mr. morrison the aide might be dependent upon ukraine announcing these investigations. ambassador taylor sent a message to sans line are we now saying security assistance and white house meeting are conditioned on investigations? in response to ambassador
sondland the line, call me. what you know what that means, right? you get a text message that's putting it in black-and-white. are we saying security assistance in the white house meeting are can dish and on investigations? call me. in other words don't put this in writing. call me. ambassador taylor did in fact call sans glenn and formed by notes what he took he summarize that call as follows. during that phone call, ambassador sondland lennon told me president trump told him that he wants president zelensky to state publicly that ukraine will investigate burisma and interference in the 2016 investigation. and he also told me he now recognized that he had made a mistake by earlier telling ukrainian officials that only a white house meeting with
president zelensky was dependent on a public announcement of the investigations. in fact, everything was dependent upon that announcement including security assistance. he said president trump wanted president zelensky to make a public statement about ordering investigations. >> ambassador taylor said at his notes reflected that sondland use the phrase public box to describe president trump's desired investigations is public. a private is not good enough. the state department has ambassadors taylor's extensive notes and of course we would like to show them to you, to corroborate his testimony. but pursuant to the president's instructions, the state department will not turn them over. you might recall from the tape yesterday, ambassador taylor said they will be shortly coming i am told.
while somebody countermanded those instructions, who do we think that was? but you should see you then. if you have any question about what sondland told ambassador taylor, if the president's council tries to create any confusion about what sondland told taylor about his conversation with the president, and look sondland had one recollection in his deposition and another wreck -- if you want to know exactly what happened in that conversation when it was fresh in his mind and he told taylor about it, and taylor road in his notes, you are going to want taylor's notes. in any court room in america, holding a fair trial, you would want to see contemporaneous notes. this senate should be no different. demand those notes. demand to see the truth. we are not afraid of those notes. we haven't seen them.
we have not seen them. maybe those notes say something completely different. maybe they say no quid pro quo. maybe those notes say it was a perfect call. i would like to see them. i am willing to trust ambassador taylor's testimony and his recollection. i would like to see them, i would like to show them to you they are yours for the asking. on september 25, the washington post editorial board reported concerns that president trump was withholding military assistance for ukraine and a white house meeting in order to force president zelensky to announce investigations of vice president biden and reported ukrainian interference in the u.s. election. the post editorial board wrote we are reliably told the president has a second and more venal agenda. he is attempting to force mr. zelensky to intervene in the 2020 presidential election by launching an investigation
of the leading presidential candidate joe biden. mr. trump is not just soliciting ukraine's help with this presidential campaign, he is using u.s. military aid, the country desperately needs in an attempt to extort it. so that is september 25. president on notice, scheme discovered. september 5. september 7, the evidence shows president trump has a call with ambassador's online. where the president made the bargain for military aid in the white house meeting even more explicit. on september 7 ambassador sondland spoke to trump on the telephone. after that conversation he called president morrison to update him on that conversation. someone said he never took notes, morrison took notes of the conversation and recalled that during his public testimony.
let's listen. >> now a few days later, on september 7, you spoke again to ambassador sondland the one who told you he had just gotten off the phone with president trump. is that right? >> yes. >> what did ambassador sondland sadie of that president trump said to him. >> if i recall the conversation correctly, this is where ambassador sondland glenn related that there was no quid pro quo, that president zelensky had to make the statements and that he had to want to do it. >> and by that point did you understand the statements related to the biden into thousand 16 investigation? >> i think i did yes. >> and that was essentially a condition for the security assistance to be released? >> i understood that is what ambassador someone believed. >> after speaking to president trump? >> i want you to bear in mind
when mr. morrison said that's what he representatives as we asked mr. morrison about the president's calls with ambassador sondland and he testified that every time he checked to see if in bassett or sondland had talked to the president when he said he did, that yes in fact he did talk to the president. every time he checked, he was able to confirm it. now let's let this sink in for a minute. according to mr. morrison's testimony, former republican staffer on the armed services committee, he speaks with sondland on september 7, and sondland says he just gotten off the phone with the trunk. so this is contemporaneous. just got off the phone, the call is fresh in everybody's mind. and what was said? morrison said ambassador sondland lynn said there is no quid pro quo that president zelensky had to make the statements and he had to want to do it.
there was no quid pro quo but, there is a quid pro quo. now, there are notes that show this. there is a written record of this. there is a written record of what president trump told ambassador sondland right after that call. would you like to see that written record? it's called mr. morrison's notes. it's right there for the asking. these fine lawyers want to persuade you that call didn't happened, or was it said, all he said was no quid pro quo, you have to go to the mic and you have to want to do it. well, there's a good way to find out what happened on that call because it is in writing. is there any question why there withholding this from congress? is there any question about
that? they did not claim, they did not claim absolute immunity and they did not claim absolute immunity. there's none over these notes. no executive privilege over these notes. the notes have already been described, the conversation has been released. there's no even plausible arguable invented even excuse for withholding these notes. would you like to see them? they'll tell you any courtroom in america you would get to them. this should be no different. this wouldn't be different in a fair trial anywhere in america. morrison again informed bolton of the september 7 conversation and guess what it involves said. i think you can probably figure this out by now. go talk to the lawyers, go talk to the lawyers. and yet again, for the third
time, morrison went to talk to the lawyers. he talked to them about this conversation with ambassador sondland. morrison also called ambassador taylor to inform him about the conversation and we have the testimony from ambassador taylor and their conversation. it is also based on his contemporaneous notes. let's look at the conversation between
>> here we have two witnesses taking contemporaneous notes both reflecting the same conversation. conversation between sondland in the president in which the president says no quid pro quo. barrett documents that through this. documents that prove this better yours for the asking. the following day september 8 sondland tex taylor and folder to bring them up to speed on the conversations with president trump and subsequently present zelensky hokies spoke to after president trump. guys multiple conversations with the mac meaning zelensky potus, let's talk. sondland spoke to tailor and folk are shortly after this text he testified on his real-time notes and not sure what he said to the following day september 8 mr. samba and i spoke on the
phone and confirmed he had talked to president trump as i suggested weaker lever president trump was adamant that president zelensky himself had to clear things up and do it in public. president trump said it was not a quid pro quo. it's all very consistent here. what the president said. no quid pro quo but zelensky publicly was what he was telling someone. no quid pro quo except for the quid pro quo for the president attorneys would like you to forget the second half. we don't have to leave her common sense at the door. we don't have to rely on a complete description of that call. we have instead the detailed notes of mr. morrison and ambassador taylor. we also know what president trump told sondland because sondland relayed that message to president zelensky.
during the same set to rate conversation with taylor samba described his conversation with president zelensky. here is ambassador taylor's account of this. >> ambassador sondland also said he talked to president zelensky and mr. yermak and told them although this was not a quid pro quo if president zelensky did not clear things up in public we would be at a stalemate. i understood a stalemate to mean that ukraine would not see the much-needed military assistance that ambassador sondland said this conversation concluded with president zelensky agreeing to make a public statement in an interview on "cnn". not only did he relate ambassador sondland the conversation and not only did mr. taylor marsh and talk about it but samba and relayed this
conversation to zelensky himself. everyone was now in the loop on the military aid being withheld for the political investigations. taylor continued recalling the startling analogy ambassador sondland use to describe president trump's approach to ukraine. during our meeting, during our call in september 8 ambassador sondland tried to explain to me president trump's a businessman. the businessman is about to sign a check to someone who owes him something. the businessman as a person to pay up before signing the check. mr. volker use the same language several days later while we were together at the european strategy conference. i argued to both that the explanation made no sense paid ukrainians did not owe president trump anything. master tailor testified at the end of the sondland zelensky
conversation president zelensky said he had relented and agreed to do a "cnn" interview to announce the investigation. there was a breakthrough after all. he withheld security assistance and broke the logjam. zelensky was going to go on "cnn" and announce the investigation. taylor remained concerned that even if the ukrainian leader did as president trump required president trump might continue to withhold the vital u.s. security assistance. master -- ambassador taylor addressed his concerns saying the nightmare is they give the interview and don't get the security assistance for the russians love it and i quit. that's quite telling to.
ambassadors taylor is worried the ukrainians agreed to do it and they will make the announcement that they are still going to get it. it's deposition ambassador taylor elaborated the nightmare scenario, the nightmare is a scenario of president zelensky goes out in public makes an announcement that is going to investigate burisma and the interference 2016 election may be among other things he might put that in some series of investigations that the nightmare was he would mention those two take all the heat from that get himself in big trouble in this country meaning ukraine or meaning the united states and probably in this country is well-meaning but my guess and the security assistance would not be released. that was the nightmare. ambassador taylor testified he would quit. early in the morning in europe on september 9 which was 12:47 a.m. in washington d.c.
ambassador taylor reiterated his concerns about the president's quid pro quo security assistance and another series of text messages with ambassador volker and sondland. so here are the september 9 text messages. taylor texts to sondland the message to the ukrainians parentheses and russians for security assistance is key. we have shaken their faith and thus thus my nightmare scenario. taylor goes on and says counting on you to be right about this interview gordon meaning if they do it they darn well better come through with the military aid in sondland says i never said i was right. i said we are where we are and believe we have identified the best pathway forward. let's hope it works. and taylor said as i said on the phone i think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.
ambassador taylor testified about what he meant and he said to withhold that assistance for no good reason other than to help the pocan campaign was counterproductive to all that we have been trying to do. was illogical and they could not be explained. it was crazy. in response ambassador taylor's text message to sondland replies at 5:00 a.m. in washington, so the message from taylor goes out at 12:47 a.m.. message back from sondland comes at 5:00 a.m. so it looks like it was maybe five hours later. taylor has texted at 12:47 a.m. and is a set on the phone i think it's crazy to withhold political campaign. sondland said to call him about this stuff.
and so five hours later it's really interesting message from sondland. bill i believe you are incorrect about president trump's intentions. the president has been crystal clear no quid pro quo no quid pro quo of any kind for the president is trying to evaluate whether ukraine is truly going to adopt transparency and reforms that president zelensky promised during his campaign. i suggest we stop the back-and-forth by text. in other words can you please stop putting this in writing that congress may read this one day. if you still have concerns i recommend you give lisa kenna at call. as you can see ambassador sondland's testimony revealed this text and other denials of a quid pro quo were intentionally false and simply designed to provide a written record of a false explanation that could later be used to conceal wrongdoing or the text message says there were no quid pro
quo's of any kind that you have seen his testimony. he swore under oath he was crystal clear when he said there was no -- a quid pro quo for the white house meeting and subsequently tested there was a quid pro quo for security assistance as well as confirmed by president trump's directive to him on september second. sondland's recollection of a conversation with president trump as i mentioned evolved over time. initially he testified that the conversation with the president occurred between taylor's text of september 9 at 1247 and washington time is response at 5:00 a.m.. he recalled very little of the conversation at that time rather than his belief is text message reflected president trump's response to subsequently though and again this is one of the reasons you do depositions in closed session, subsequently after the opening statements of the testimony of ambassador taylor and mr. morrison were released which described an
overlapping in painful detail sondland conversation with president trump on september 7 ambassador sondland submitted an addendum to his deposition testimony which in relevant part said this. finally as of this writing i cannot specifically recall if i have one or two calls phonecalls with president trump in the timeframe for despite repeated requests of the white house and the state department i have not been granted access to all the phonorecords and i would like to review those phone records along with any other notes and other documents that may exist to determine if i can provide a more complete testimony to assist congress however although i have no specific recollection of phonecalls during this. neck with mr. taylor ambassador taylor mr. morrison i have no reason to question the substance of their recollection about my september 1 conversation with mr. yermak. during his public testimony investors on the reported to
remember more of his conversation with president trump but although he still couldn't remember if it was on september 7 or september 9. and according to his testimony president trump did not specifically say there was a quid pro quo but when sondland simply asked the president what he wanted from ukraine president trump immediately brought up a quid pro quo. according to some of president trump said i want no quid pro quo. i want to zelensky to do the right thing and i said what does that mean? he said i wanted to do with the ram on. in a subsequent testimony ambassador sondland. here however corruption might or his mother has become code for the investigation into president trump and is -- so you've got ambassador sondland emerging recollection.
what do you have got his written notes taken at the time. then he does not contest. written notes from ambassador taylor and mr. morrison. notes which i believe will reflect quite clearly the understanding of dirt for dollars that was confirmed by this telephone call by president trump. >> you weren't dissuaded then write because you still thought the aid was conditioned on the public announcement of investigation the investigation after speaking to president trump. see the high september 8 that was that fully convinced it was. >> president trump did not dissuade you of that in the conversation you acknowledged he had with him. >> i don't ever recall because that would have changed my entire calculus. if president trump told me directly. >> i'm saying do you still believe that the security assistance would was conditioned on the investigation after you
spoke to president trump yes or no. >> from a timeframe standpoint, yes. >> so here we have sondland saying that whatever is recollection may be about that call he was still very clear what the president wanted and clear was a quid pro quo. that is consistent obviously with what mr. morrison has said and ambassador taylor. in other words he didn't believe president trump's denial of a quid pro quo and neither should you. sondland's understanding was further confirmed by president trump sohn chief of staff of. on october 17 at a press briefing in the white house mick mulvaney admitted president trump without the essential military aid for ukraine as leverage to pressure ukraine to investigate the conspiracy theory that ukraine had interfered in the 2016 election.
>> those are the driving factors he also mentioned to me the corruption related to the dnc server absolutely, no question about that at that's why we have held up the funding. >> when pressed he convinced the very quid pro quo that president trump was denying mulvaney doubled down. let's listen to that. >> was the clear it's described as a quid pro quo. this funding will not flow unless the investigation into the democratic server happens as well. >> we do that all the time with foreign policy. >> this evidence demonstrates president trump without the security assistance in the white house meeting with president zelensky until ukraine made a public statement announcing the two investigations targeted to help his political re-election efforts but as you will learn next he got caught and the
cover-up ensued. >> chief justice and senators thank you for your patience. this is a lot of information but you haven't very important obligation and that is ultimately to decide whether the president committed impeachable offenses and in order to make that judgment you have to have all of the facts. so we are going through this chronology. we are close to being done but it's important to know that while all of this material was going on these deals were being made, there were other forces at work. even before the president's
freeze on u.s. military assistance to ukraine became public on august 28. members of both houses of congress began to express concern. on august 9, the democratic leadership with the house and senate appropriations committee road to the omb and the white house warning that a whole lot of assistance might constitute an illegal endowment of funds. they urged the trump administration to follow the law and obligates the funding. when the news of the frozen aid broke on august 28, congressional scrutiny of president trump's decision increased. on september 3, group of senators both republican and democrat, including senator jeanne shaheen, senator rob portman, senator dick durbin, senator ron johnson senator richard blumenthal sent a letter
to acting white house chief of staff mick mulvaney expressing and i quote deep concerns that the administration is considering not obligating the ukraine security initiative funds for 2019. two days later as has been mentioned on september 5 a "washington post" editorial expressed concern that president trump was withholding military assistance to ukraine in order to pressure president zelensky to announce these investigations. that was the first public report linking the frozen security aid to the investigation that mr. giuliani had been publicly pressing foreign president trump as we heard had privately urged president zelensky to conduct on the july 25 call. that same day senators murphy
and johnson met with president zelensky in kyiv. ambassador taylor was with them and he testified, mr. taylor testified president zelensky's quote first question to the senator was about withheld security assistance. ambassador taylor testified that both senator's quote stressed that bipartisan support for ukraine and washington was ukraine's most important strategic asset and president zelensky should not jeopardize that bipartisan support by getting drawn into u.s. domestic policy. senator johnson and senator murphy later submitted letters where they explained that they sought to reassure president zelensky that there was bipartisan support in congress providing ukraine with military assistance and that they would continue to urge president trump
to lift the hold. here's what they said in that letter. senator murphy said senator johnson and i assured zelensky that congress wanted to continue this funding and what pressed trump to release it immediately and senator johnson and the letter said i explained that i tried to persuade the president to authorize me to announce the hold was released but that i was unsuccessful. now as the news of the president hold on military assistance to you ukraine became public at the end of august, congress, the press, the public started to pay more attention to president trump's activities with ukraine. this risk exposing the scheme that you've heard so much about today. by now the white house had learned that the inspector general of the intelligence community had found that a
whistleblower complaint related to the same ukraine matter was quote credible and of urging concerned and was therefore -- that they were therefore required to send a complaint to congress. on september 9, 3 house investigative committee sent a letter to white house counsel stating that president trump and giuliani quote appeared to have that dead outside legitimate law enforcement and diplomatic channels to coerce the ukrainian government into pursuing to politically motivated investigations under the guise of anticorruption activity. the letter also said this. if the president is trying to pressure ukraine into choosing between defending itself from a russian aggression without u.s.
assistance are leveraging its judicial system to serve the ends of the trump campaign this would represent a staggering abuse of power, a boon to moscow and a betrayal of the public trust. the chair requested that the white house preserve all relevant records and produce them by september 16. this included the transcript are actually the call record of the july 25th call between president trump and president zelensky. based on witness testimony it looks like the white house counsel's office circulated the committee's document request around the white house. morrison is senior director at the national security council remembered seeing a copy of this letter. he also recalled that the three committees ukraine investigation would discuss at a meeting of senior level nrc staff soon after was publicly announced. lieutenant colonel vindman
recalls discussions among the nsc staff members that the investigation here's a quote might have the effect of releasing the hold on ukraine military assistance because you'd be quote potentially politically challenging for the administration to justify that hold to congress. later that same day on september 9 the inspector general informed the house and senate intelligence committees he determined that the whistleblower complaint that had been submitted on august 12 the pier to be credible, matt good urging concerned that the statute and yes he reported that for the first time ever the acting director of national intelligence was withholding this whistleblower complaint from congress. that violated the law which required him to send it in seven
days. the acting director later testified that his office initially withheld the complaint based on the advice from the white house in an unprecedented intervention by the department of justice. now according to public reporting and testimony for the acting dni and a hearing before the house intelligence committee on september 26, the white house have been aware of the whistleblower complaint for weeks prior to the ig september 9 letter to the intelligence committee. acting dni maguire testified when he received the whistleblower comes link the inspector general his office contacted the white house office for guidance. consistent with acting dni maguire's testimony "the news york times" has reported in late august the president's current defense counsel mr. cippolone and nsc lawyer john eisenberg
told the president they believed the complaint could be withheld from congress on executive privilege grounds. on september 10 the next day ambassador bolton resigned from his position as national security adviser. on that same day september 10 chairmanship of the house intelligence committee wrote a letter to the acting director demanding that he provide the complaint as the law required. the next day on september 11 president trump lifted the hold on the security assistance to ukraine. numerous witnesses have testified that they weren't aware of any reason why the hold was lifted just as there was no explanation for the whole thing implemented. there was no additional review, no additional european contribution, nothing to justify the president's change in position except he got caught.
just as there was no official explanation for why the hold on ukrainian assistance was implemented. numerous witnesses testified that they were not provided with any reason for why the hold was lifted on september 11. for example jennifer williams who was a special adviser to vice president pence testified that she was never given a reason for that decision. neither was lieutenant colonel vindman. here's what he told us during the hearing. >> are you also aware however that the security assistance hold was not lifted for another 10 days after this meeting? >> that is correct. >> am i correct that you didn't learn the reason why the hold was lifted? >> that is correct. >> colonel vindman did you learn a reason why the hold was lifted either commas that right?
colonel vindman are you aware of the committees launched an investigation into ukraine matters on september 9, 2 days before the hold was lifted? >> i am aware and i was aware. >> ambassador taylor person in charge of the u.s. embassy in kyiv who communicated the decision to the ukrainian also never got an explanation. here's what he said. >> are you also aware however that the security assistance hold was not lifted for another 10 days after this? finally on september 11 i learned that the hold and security assistance would be provided. i was not told the reason why the hold had been lifted. >> mark sandy the career officer at go and be testified he only learned of a possible rationale for the hold in early september after the acting dni had informed the white house about
the whistleblower complaint. sandy testified that sometime in early september he received an e-mail from his boss. approximately two months after the hold had been placed the e-mail quote attributed the hold to the president's concern about other countries not contributing more to ukraine and request a quote information about what additional countries were contributing to ukraine. this was a different explanation that omb had provided as of july 26 interagency meeting. that reference concern is about corruption. lieutenant colonel testified that none of the facts on the ground about ukrainian efforts to combat corruption or other countries contributions to ukraine had changed before president trump lifted the hold. according to a press report after congress began investigating president trump scheme the white house counsel's
office opened an internal investigation relating to that little lot -- july 25 call. the following provides exurbs from the "washington post." as part of that internal investigation white house lawyers reportedly gathered and viewed hundreds of documents that revealed extensive efforts to generate an after-the-fact justification for the hold on military assistance for ukraine that have been ordered by the president. these documents purportedly include quote early audits, e-mail exchanges between acting chief of staff mick mulvaney had white house budget officials seeking to provide an explanation for withholding the funds after the president had already ordered a hold in mid-july on the nearly $40 million in security assistance. the "washington post" article also reported and this is a
quote e-mails show omb director staffers are going withholding to aid was legal while officials at the national security council and state department protested prato and the lawyers said it was legal to withhold the aid as long as they deemed it a temporary hold. you should be able to see these documents but the white house has withheld them from congress so the house can't verify the news report but you could. you could do that if you could see these documents. you should subpoena them and there is no reason not to see all the relevant documents. ..
and others concerns that were discussed within the relevant agencies in late july and throughout august, approximately ultimately $35 million of ukraine military assistance and 14% of the dod funds remained unspent by the end of the fiscal year in order to make sure that ukraine didn't permanently lose the 35 million of critical military assistance that had been frozen by the white house congress has to pass a provision on september 27, 3 days before the funds were to expire to ensure that the remaining 35 million could be sent to ukraine. now, george kent is an
anticorruption and rule of law expert. he told us that american anticorruption efforts prioritized building institutional capacity, support for the rule of law, not the pursuit of individual investigations particularly of political rivals. here's how to explain the approach. >> u.s. efforts to counter corruption in ukraine focus on building institutional capacity that if the ukrainian government has the ability to go after corruption and effectively investigate, prosecute and judge alleged criminal activities using appropriate institutional mechanisms, that is, to create and follow the rule of law, that means that if there are criminal nexus is for activity in the united states, u.s. law enforcement should proceed the case. if we think there's been a criminal act overseas that violates u.s. law, we have the institutional mechanisms to address that. it could be through the justice
department and fbi agents assigned overseas, or through treaty mechanisms such as the neutral legal assistance treaty. as a general principle, i do not believe the united states should ask other countries to engage in selective politically associated investigations or prosecutions against opponents of those in power, because such selective actions undermine the rule of law regardless of the country. >> now >> now, david holmes convert during his testimony, holmes also compared the official approach that we believe in and to promulgate across the world with the president and mr. giuliani actually were doi doing. >> long-standing policy is to encourage them to establish, build rule of law institutions that are capable in their independence and can pursue allegations. that's our policy. we've been doing that quite some time with some success, so
focusing on particular cases including cases where there is an interest to the president, just not part of what we've done it's hard to explain why he would do that. >> unfortunately, we do know the explanation. we know why president trump wanted the president zelensky because it would help him in his election. september 18, approximately a week before he was supposed to meet with president trump at the united nations general assembly in new york, president zielins y spoke by telephone with vice president mike pence. jennifer williams testified as she and vice president mike pence assistant, she had testified that vice president zelensky basically reiterated that the hold on aid had been lifted and asked a bit more about how zelensky's efforts
were going. following the deposition and while preparing for the testimony at the hearing on november 19, we've reviewed the documents. they hadn't been produced to us by the white house, and those documents refreshed her recollection o of vice vice pres mike pence call to president zelensky. the white house blocked williams from testifying about the recollection of the advised presidents call when she appeared at the open public hearing. they claimed that certain portions of the september 18: including the information that williams wanted to tell us about classified. on november 26, she submitted a classified addition to the hearing testimony. where she provided additional information about the september 18 telephone call with president zelensky. the committee provided this
classified addition to the judiciary committee. it's been sent to the senate for review. now, i've read that testimony. i will just say that a cover-up is not a proper reason to classify it document. vice president pence house repeatedly said publicly that he has no objection to the white house releasing the actual transcript of his call with president zelensky and yet, his office has refused many requests by the committee to declassify williams addendum to the american people can also see the additional evidence about fiscal. we urge the senators to review it and ask again the white house declassify it. as the hells wrote in two separate letters, there's no basis to keep it classified, and again in case the white house needs a reminder, it is improper to keep something classified
just to avoid embarrassment or to conceal wrongdoing. now, we have been through a lot of the facts today. we've seen the president's scheme and shakedown of ukraine for his personal benefit was i believe an obvious abuse of his power. but the misconduct and scheme became exposed congress asked questions. the press reported nonpolitical officers and the government expressed concern. the whistleblower laws were activated. as this happened, it was an effort to create an after-the-fact misleading record to avoid responsibility for what the president has actually been doing. these were not the only efforts to hide misconduct, and
misconduct continued. congressman schiff will review some of those items. >> so, we have about 20 minutes left in the presentation tonight. i'd like to now go through with you the president's efforts to hide this corrupt scheme even as it continued well into the fall of last year. on august 12, the whistleblower in the intelligence committees get a complaint addressed to the congressional intelligence committees. this explosive document stated the president trump solicited foreign interference from ukraine to assist in his 2020 reelection bid. the complaint alleged a scheme
by president trump to, quote, use the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 u.s. election. the complaint stated the president had applied pressure on ukraine to investigate one of the president's main domestic political rivals and details of the involvement of the president's personal lawyer, rudy giuliani. the complaint also stated the whistleblower believed the president's activities, quote, post risk to u.s. national security and undermined the u.s. government efforts to deter and counter foreign threats in the u.s. election. under the law, the whistleblower was required to file a complaine complaint with the inspector general of the intelligence committee which was then required to back and assess the complaint and determine if it's warranted reporting to the intelligence committees. the law gives the inspector general 14 days to conduct an initial review and then inform the director of national intelligence about his findings.
on august 26, the inspector general since the whistleblower complaint into the inspector general's preliminary determination to the acting director of national intelligence. the inspector general wrote a song for review, his review of the complaint, it's obligations constituted an urgent concern and appear credible under the statute. the inspector general confirmed the whistleblower acted lawfully bringing the complaint and credibly raised a legitimate concern that should be communicated to the intelligence committees of congress. the director of national intelligence quickly informed the white house about the complaint. under the law, the acting director of national intelligence was required to forward the complaint and the inspector general's determination to the congressional intelligence committees no later than seven days after he received it.
the legal requirement is extremely clear. upon receipt of the transmittal from the icy ig, that is the inspector general of the intelligence committee to the director shall within seven calendar days for tracy for transmittal to the congressional intelligence committees together with any comments the director considers appropriate. yet, despite the clear letter of the law, the white house mobilized to keep the information in the whistleblower complaint from congress including inviting the department of justice to render an opinion as to whether the complaint could be withheld from congress. the statutory deadline of september 2 when the director of nationadirector ofnational intes required to turn over to congress came and went into the complaint remained hidden from congress. finally on september 9, a full week after the complaint was required to be sent to congress, and once again come in urgent
concern you inspector general one week after he was required to be sent to congress the inspector general wrote to the leaders of the intelligence committees to inform them that the director of national intelligence was withholding a whistleblower complaint in direct contravention of past practice and the law. september 24, speaker of the house nancy pelosi announced the house of representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. the next day the house of representatives passed a resolution calling on the trump administration to provide the whistleblower's complaint immediately to the congressional committees. later that day, the white house publicly released summary of the july 25 call between president trump and president zelensky and permitted the acting director of national intelligence to provide the whistleblower's complaint and related documents of the congressional intelligence committees.
the president himself was happy to discuss the motivations for this in public. that day in a joint press availabilitywith president zelensky at the assembly, president trump reiterated that he wanted ukraine to investigate the biden's. [inaudible] i want him to do whatever he can. this was his call. he wasn't there. whatever he can do in terms of corruption, because the corruption is massive. now, when biden's son walks away with millions of dollars from ukraine and knows nothing, that is corruption. >> finally, the day after president trump explained to the public that he wanted ukraine to investigate the former vice president biden come in the morning of september 26, the intelligence committee publicly released declassified reductions of two documents, the
whistleblower's oldest of complaint and the inspector general's august 26 transmittal to the acting director of national intelligence. even after the impeachment inquiry into the ukraine matter began, president trump and his proxy rudy giuliani have continued to publicly urge president zelensky to launch an investigation of vice president biden and alleged 2016 election interference by ukraine. september 30, during the remarks at the swearing-in of the new labor secretary, president trump stated >> he ran on the basis of no corruption. and i believe that there was a lot of corruption having to do with the 2016 election against us. and we want to get to the bottom of it and it's very important that we do. >> so here he is, this meeting of the united nations
september 30, and he's still pursuing this bogus crowd strike conspiracy the president of ukraine. october 2 in a public press availability, president trump discussed the july 25 call with the president and state of the conversation was perfect and couldn't have been nicer and then linked the notion of corruption with the biden investigation. october 3 in remarks before he departed on the marine one, president trump expressed that ukraine would investigate vice president biden and his son and he actually escalated the rhetoric urging on ukraine to investigate the vikings, but china also. >> what exactly did you hope that zelensky would do? >> i would think that if they were honest about it, they'd start a major investigation into the biden's. a very simple answer. they should investigate them,
because how does a company that is -- by the way, likewise, china just started an investigation into the biden's because what happened in china is just about as bad as what happened with ukraine. so, i would say that president zelensky, if it were me, i would recommend that they start an investigation into the biden's. >> the same day, she tweeted she has an absolute right for the investigation. he feels he has an absolute right to investigate or get foreign countries to investigate his political opponents. the president sent a similar tweet linking corruption with the biden investigation. as president, i have an obligation to end corruption, even if that means requesting the help of a foreign country or
countries. it is fun all the time. this has nothing to do with politics or political campaign against the biden's. this does have to do with corruption. give him credit for being so obvious, this is nothing to do with politics or political campaign against the biden's, but you've got to investigate them. i guess that is just a coincidence. president trump continued to demonstrate his eagerness on assistance to his personal interest. here's what's okay, he said, if we feel there is corruption like i feel there was in the 2016 campaign, there was tremendous corruption against me to come if we feel there is, we have the right to go to a foreign country. president trump asked at asking the president of china to investigate the vikings is certainly something we can start thinking about. even last month, last month the
president and giuliani's scheme continued in the first week of december, giuliani traveled to budapest and vienna to meet with the former ukrainian government officials as part of a continuing effort to dig up dirt, political dirt on vice president jovicepresident joe bd the theory that ukraine interfered in the 2016 election. asked about his interviews, a foreign ukrainian prosecutor giuliani told them he was acting on behalf of his client, president trump. like a good lawyer i'm gathering evidence to defend my client against false charges being leveled against him. indeed some evidence obtained by the house from giuliani's houses associate confirms that he had been representing himself in as early as may, 2019 come as president trump's personal lawyer giving his personal inning in his dealings with ukraine. this letter may 10, 2019,
giuliani to zelensky says among other things, however, i have a more specific request area in my capacity as personal counsel to president trump and with his knowledge and consent, i request a meeting with you on this upcoming monday, may 13 or tuesday, may 14. i will need to know more than a half-hour of your time and i will be accompanied by my colleague, victoria, distinguished american attorney who is very familiar with the matter. please has her office le have fe know what time is convenient for you, and victoria and i will be there. >> this is evidenced recently obtained shoving efforts to get that meeting in may with zelensky. he told "the wall street journal" when he returned from his most recent trip on december 7, president trump called him as the plane was still taxing down the runway. what did you get? he said that president trump
asked. more than you can imagine, giuliani replied. he claimed he was putting his findings into the 20 page report that the president had asked him to brief the attorney general and the republicans in congress. shortly thereafter on the same day president trump told reporters before departing on marine one that he was aware of the efforts in ukraine and giuliani was going to report his findings to the attorney general and congress. >> he came back from someplace and is going to make a report to the attorney general and congress. he says he has a lot of good information. i haven't spoken with him about that information. but rudy giuliani has been one of the great crimefighters of the last 50 years, and he did get back from europe just recently. he has not told me what he's found, but i think that he wants to go before congress and say,
and also to the attorney general and the department of justice. i here that he's found plenty. >> three days after that, those remarks, december 10, giuliani confirmed to the "washington post" president trump asked him to brief the justice department and republican senators on his, quote, findings from his trip to ukraine. giuliani stated he wants me to do it. i'm working on pulling it together and i hope to have it on lady of the week. that friday, december 13, giuliani reportedly met with president trump at the white house and on december 17, giuliani confirmed to cnn president trump has been very supportive of his efforts to dig up dirt on vice president joe biden in ukraine and that they are on the same page. the following day, on december 18, 2019, the house of representatives approved two articles of impeachment are considering in the trial.
since the house voted on these articles, evidence has continued to come to light. related to the president's corrupt scheme. among other things, freedom of information act lawsuits, press reporting of the documents provided to congress from rudy giuliani, further corroborate what we already know about the president scheme. as giuliani said on december 17, president trump has been very supportive of his efforts to dig up dirt on vice president joe biden and they are, quote, on the same page. further corroborate it, what we already know about president trump's scheme as he was responsible for withholding military aid and sustaining the hold and that his personal attorney, mr. giuliani, was working at the direction of president trump himself. on december 20, new e-mails were
released showing that 91 minutes after president trump's call with ukrainian president zelensky, he talked office of budget management eight asked the department to withhold, hold off on sending military aid to ukraine carried so, those were new documents that came on september 20. on december 29, revelations emerged from omb director and acting chief nicole cheney defeat mick mulvaney into the department of justice and white house justified the delay and the alarm that caused within the administration. those records became available on september 29 on january 2, newly unredacted pentagon e-mails which raised serious concerns by trump administration officials about the locality of the presidents hold on aid became available. on january 6, former trump national security adviser john bolton announced he would comply
with the subpoena compelling of testimony. the lawyers stated he had new relevant information. on january 13, reports emerged that the russian government hacked the company burisma in an effort to find information about vice president joe biden sign in order to weaponize that information against mr. joe biden and in favor of mr. trump, just as russia did against secretary clinton in favor of then candidate him in 2016. that brings us up to january 13 of this year. last week, house committees received new evidence from lev parnas that he demonstrated he was a central player in a scheme to pressure ukraine for the political gain. and also last week, the government accountability office found president trump violated the law when he withheld that aid. last night, we had a further
development. when more redacted e-mails from the office of management and budget were produced. i think representative crowe showed you these. these are among the documents that were just released. i'm sure that if we could create under those reductions, it would be a very perfect e-mail. but you have to ask what is being redacted sheer? what is so important to keep confidential during the course of an impeachment inquiry? as you can see, right up until last night, evidence continues to be produced. the truth is going to come out. indeed, the truth has already come out, but more and more of it will. more e-mails are going to come
out. more witnesses are going to come forward. they are going to have more relevant information to share. and the only question, do you want to hear it now? do you want to know the full truth no? do you want to know who was in the loop? it sounds like everyone was in the loop. do you want to know how broad the scheme was? we have the evidence to prove president trump ordered the aid to be withheld. he did so to coerce ukraine to help the reelection campaign. he withheld a white house meeting to coerce the same sham investigations. we can and will prove president trump guilty of the conduct and investigation into his
misconduct but you should know who else was involved in the scheme. you should want the whole truth to come out. you should want to know about every player in this sort of the business. it is within your power to do so and i would urge you even if you are prepared to convict and impeach and remove this president, to find out the full truth about how far this corruption goes. because i think the public has a right to know. now, today or yesterday we made the case for why you should hear this additional evidence and testimony. this morning i introduced you to the broad sweep of the president's conduct, and then during the course of today, we walked you through a factual
chronology in real-time about how the plot unfolded. and during the factual chronology today, you solve it t in march of this year, giuliani began that smear campaign against ambassador to get her fired by trump, something that he would have that was necessary to get her out of the way because she was going to be in the way of these investigations. this is the supposed anticorruption effort by the president to get rid of a woman who has dedicated her career to representing the united states often in dangerous parts of the world to fighting corruption and promoting the rule of law. it begins with getting her out of the way. with the president saying that she is going to go through something is.
this anticorruption reformer, the u.s. patriot, this plot begins with getting her out of the way. and tellingly, and this says so much about the administration, it wasn't enough just to recall her or fire her. the presidents could have done it any time. no, they wanted to destroy her because she had the audacity to stand in their way. so, we heard in march about the effort to get rid of her and succeeded. guess what message that's sent to ukraine? about the power of the president's lawyer. the ukrainians were watching this whole thing. they were hearing his intervie interviews. they were seeing the smears that he was putting out. and this attorney for the president, working hand-in-hand with these corrupt ukrainians
was able to get a un ambassador out of her job. you want a window, you want to make things happen with this president, you go through his lawyer nevermind the state department or national security council, nevermind the defense department, you go through his lawyer. that's march. april, zelensky has a huge victory in the presidential election. he gets a congratulatory call from the president. the president assigns vice president mike pence to go to the inauguration. in may, giuliani is rebuffed by zelensky, cancels trip to ukraine, the one where he wanted to go middle in the investigation. because, giuliani says, enemies of trumpets surround zelensky. i guess that means he didn't get the meeting and they must be
enemies of the president. of course the ukrainians know why he wants that meeting. in may, trump disinvite mike pence to the inauguration. he's going, giuliani is rebuffed. that may. instead, may 23 we have a meeting in the white house and there is a new party in town, the three amigos. they are going to be handling the ukraine portfolio. and pork with rudy giuliani. ambassador sondland, ambassador voelker. as useful i you saw in june, heg for these investigations and trying to arrange the meetings and make this happen.
also in june the defense department announced they were going to release the military aid. the president reads about this and then he stops it. he stops the aid. in july, july 10, you heard in the chronology there is a meeting at the white house. the meeting in which sondland blurts out they've got a deal. sondland says we have a deal with mick mulvaney. bolton stiffens up and that ended the meeting. the first meeting that day and then they bring the investigation to different part of the white house and have a follow-up meeting where he makes it even more explicit. there is deals made more
explicit and they say you need to talk to the lawyers. i don't want any part of this drug deal they are cooking up. that is in july. july is the month where the e-mail goes from sondland to pompeo and others, and everybody is in the loop. july is the month where the holders implemented with no explanation. july is the month where robert mueller testifies about the systemic interference in our affairs. july is the month after mueller testifies the president believes he has escaped accountability. the next day in july is of course july 25 call. in which the president asks for his favor. and july is the month, july 26 is the date of the call between president trump and ambassador sondland, you know the one.
the eight loves you are ass. he will do anything you want. is he going to do the investigation, yes he's going to do the investigation. july is the month of that conversation between sondland and david holmes where holmes says can you tell me candidly here what the president thinks of ukraine. does he give a blanket of ukraine? no computers and get a blank of ukraine. he only cares about the big stuff. there's kind of big stuff here like the war with the russians. no, no, big stuff that affects him personally like the biden investigation. that's the month of july. august we have that meeting between giuliani and your your n madrid. you commit and publicly announced the investigations. you go first give the date and then announced the
investigations. we will give a statement that doesn't mention the specifics. give a statement that mentions, that is the month of august. august is also the month where it becomes clear that it's not just the meeting anymore. it's everything. everything is conditioned on these investigations. the relationship of the money, the meeting. sondland and homes testify. it is as simple as two plus two equals four. that's august. september, sondland says everything is conditioned on public announcements. so, the message delivered, no ambiguity, the ukrainians were told quid pro quo. taylor texts this is crazy to withhold aid. september is the month. september 7, the particular
trump and sondland talk on the phone and the president has the conversation where he says we have broken but here is the quid pro quo. zelensky has to go to the microphone and much more, should want to do it. september is also the month where the investigations began in congress. september is the month where after those investigations began, after the presidents knows he's been caught, the aid is finally released. and september is the month where mike pence and zelensky were on the phone and jennifer williams has classified information to share with you that i hope you'll take a look at because it is relevant to these issues. that's september. october, trump admit yes, if it wasn't obvious enough, he wants ukraine to investigate his political opponents. october is the month where he
invites another nation, china, to investigate his opponent. this is a broad outline of the chronology that they went through today. tomorrow we will go through the law, the constitution and the facts as they apply to article one. that is the plan for tomorrow. we've introduced the case. we've gone through the chronology and tomorrow we will apply the effects of the law as it pertains to the president's abuse of power. let me just conclude this evening by remarking again on what brought us here. what brought us here that some
courageous people came forward. courageous people that risk their entire career. one of the things that has been so striking is a large these witnesses like maria and ambassador holmes and others, dr. hill -- it's how much these dedicated officials were willing to risk their career, the beginning of their career, the middle, or late in their career when they had everything to lose. but people senior to them who have every advantage who said in positions of power lack the same basic commitment. black the same basic willingness to put their country first and expose wrongdoing.
why is it that colonel vinman who worked, they were willing to stick their neck out and answer when their bosses wouldn't? i don't know that i can answer that question but i just have such an admiration for the fact that they did a. i think this is a form of cosmic justice that this ambassador that was so ruthlessly smeared is now a hero for her courage. what would really vindicate the leap of faith that she took as s if we show the same courage. they risked everything and yes i