NSC Official Finds Fault With Sondland-Led Shadow Ukraine Policy

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An aide to Vice President Mike Pence told lawmakers that she was on a call between Pence and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and that it was "similar" to the April 21 call between President Donald Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart.

"Without going into detail [about] what he said, he does confirm what Ambassador Taylor said is true", Lieu said of Holmes.

Mr Trump has dismissed the impeachment inquiry as "presidential harassment". Burisma is the Ukrainian gas company that employed Hunter Biden. He said he only learned later that the aid to Ukraine was conditioned on the investigations.

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy (D-Conn.), appearing on CNN's "State of the Union", said Sondland, who was given his ambassadorial post after making a $1-million contribution to Trump's inaugural, "has to decide whether his primary loyalty is to America, or if his primary loyalty is to the president".

Morrison said that at a September 11 meeting at the White House that Trump was persuaded to release the money.

Jennifer Williams, a worldwide coverage aide to Pence who was listening to the decision on July 25, testified that Trump's insistence that Ukraine perform politically delicate investigations "struck me as unusual and inappropriate". Giuliani urged Trump to remove her.

"The extent of my recollection is that Ambassador Bolton simply said [Trump] wasn't ready to do it", Morrison said.

Transcripts were also released from the testimony of Jennifer Williams, a special adviser to Pence, that raised new questions about how much Pence knew about the alleged trade-off that's central to the impeachment inquiry. He also said found Zelenskiy's tone in the call with Trump to be "obsequious".

In the first public hearing last week, acting ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor pointed to Trump's keen interest in getting the eastern European ally to investigate Biden and reiterated his understanding that $391 million in USA security aid was withheld from Kiev unless it cooperated.

Sondland "related to me. he was discussing these matters with the president", Morrison said.

Sondland said vital USA military assistance to Ukraine might be freed up if the country's top prosecutor "would go to the mike and announce that he was opening the Burisma investigation", Morrison told House investigators.

In her testimony before the House impeachment panel last week, diplomat Marie Yovanovitch suggested that the president's actions played into the hands of Vladimir Putin, whose government has backed separatists in a five-year-old war in eastern Ukraine.

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Image copyright Reuters Image caption David Holmes: "Sondland told Trump that [Ukrainian President] Zelensky 'loves your ass'". A whistleblower's complaint about that call helped spark the House impeachment investigation.

In public testimony before the House Intelligence Committee Wednesday, Taylor told lawmakers that Holmes told him the previous Friday about a phone conversation that he overheard between Sondland and the president.

"What the President has admitted to and says it's 'perfect, ' I've said it's perfectly wrong".

Pence was additionally on the Warsaw gathering.

The ambassador testified that she was subjected to a "painful" smear campaign before being abruptly pulled from Kiev. The president only cares about "big stuff", Sondland said.

Williams testified that Trump's dialogue on the decision of distinctive investigations struck her as "unusual and inappropriate" and appeared to stage to "other motivations" for maintaining the navy assist.

The phone call occurred on July 26, one day after the now-infamous phone conversation between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelenskiy. He is scheduled to testify publicly on Tuesday.

Nonetheless Morrison said Eisenberg later told him that he did now not intend for the name summary to be placed on a extremely categorised server.

The call - which the USA president has denied any knowledge of - allegedly happened the day after the now-famous Trump-Zelensky phone call.

Setting the scene less than an hour into the hearing, the president erupted spectacularly on Twitter with an attack on the highly-regarded former envoy.

But Democrats expressed confidence that they were methodically establishing a pattern of wrongdoing on the part of those close to Trump, one that is leading closer to the president himself.

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