Impeachment testimony is also giving Trump a quid pro quo defense

Jennifer Williams arrives on Capitol Hill for the closed-door hearing

Republicans have also accused Democratic House leaders of holding the inquiry in secret because they are closed-door, although Republican committee members have been present throughout.

The House's investigation, which started with a complaint from a whistleblower, is focused on a July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Biden, a leading Democratic rival in the November 2020 presidential election. Sondland said he now recalls a meeting in Poland in September when he told a top Zelenskiy aide that the US assistance wouldn't come until Zelenskiy publicly committed to probing not just corruption in general, but the two topics that mattered most to Trump: Burisma (a Ukrainian energy company where former Vice President Biden's son Hunter worked while Biden was President Obama's point man in Ukraine) and a well-debunked conspiracy theory that seeks to blame Ukraine, not Russian Federation, for meddling in the 2016 presidential election. "That became clear as time progressed from how this thing unfolded", he said.

Hill testified behind closed doors last month that she was concerned about Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and the alleged role he played in dealing with Ukraine.

He added that during a July 10 meeting between USA and Ukrainian officials, Sondland said "the Ukrainians would have to deliver an investigation into the Bidens".

Text messages from Volker, released as part of the impeachment investigation also shows that Perry wanted to put two USA energy industry veterans on the board of Naftogaz Ukraine's massive state-owned energy company. Kurt Volker, a Republican whom Mr. Trump's administration appointed as special envoy to Ukraine, testified that the allegations Mr. Trump wanted investigated about Mr. Biden were groundless and that their Ukrainian source was not credible.

US Democrats launch the public phase of their impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump next week, with open, televised hearings set for Wednesday and Friday in the House of Representatives.

Hill told lawmakers that Yovanovitch was recalled as USA envoy to Ukraine in May as the result of a smear campaign orchestrated by Giuliani and others. So why did he tell the Ukrainians that there was one?

Warriors' Steph Curry 'unlikely' to return this season
The Warriors responded by calling Bucher's story "complete hogwash" and stood by their original plan of re-evaluating their star in February.

She testified that at the second White House meeting, Sondland "as I came in, was talking about how he had an agreement with Chief of Staff Mulvaney for a meeting with the Ukrainians if they were going to go forward with investigations".

"There was no basis for her removal", Hill said.

"This is a direct quote from Ambassador Bolton: 'You go and tell Eisenberg that I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up on this, and you go and tell him what you've heard and what I've said'". "Rather, the White House instruction that he not appear will add to the evidence of the president's obstruction of Congress". "It was a demand for him to fulfill this particular prerequisite in order to get the meeting". President Trump denied this. "This one's not, well not everyone's cup of tea, as you say".

Sondland's lawyer, Robert Luskin, declined to comment on Friday about the nature of Sondland's relationship with Trump.

Kent's remarks bolster the accounts of other officials whose depositions have been made public and underscore the intense back-and-forth within the Trump administration over its Ukraine policy.

Michael Volkov said his client would not answer questions about how many people he had told about his concerns. As you said, everyone drinks tea. "He says he feels uncomfortable about it. Try and respect his feelings at this point".

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