world

Pence aide said Trump's Ukraine phone call was 'unusual and inappropriate'

47 Comments
By Jan Wolfe and Nandita Bose

The phone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart at the center of Congress' impeachment investigation was"inappropriate," a foreign policy aide to Vice President Mike Pence told lawmakers, according to a transcript released on Saturday.

Jennifer Williams, who was listening to the call on July 25, testified that Trump's insistence that Ukraine carry out politically sensitive investigations "struck me as unusual and inappropriate."

The House of Representatives on Saturday also released a transcript of an earlier closed-door deposition by Tim Morrison, a former White House aide with the National Security Council focusing on Europe and Russia policy.

As did Williams, Morrison told lawmakers he had concerns about Trump's remarks to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Williams and Morrison are scheduled to testify publicly next week.

"I was not comfortable with any idea that President Zelenskiy should allow himself to be involved in our politics," said Morrison, who also was on the call.

Trump's call is at the heart of the Democratic-led inquiry into whether the Republican president misused U.S. foreign policy to undermine former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, one of his potential opponents in the 2020 election.

Morrison declined to say he thought the call was illegal or improper, stressing instead that he thought it would leak, and damage relations with Ukraine.

In a disclosure that drew the most attention 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 U.S. security aid was withheld from Kiev unless it cooperated.

Morrison said he had reviewed Taylor's testimony and did not dispute it on any significant points.

House investigators on Saturday also heard closed-door testimony from a White House budget official about the holdup of military aid to Ukraine. Mark Sandy, a career official of the Office of Management and Budget, is the first person from OMB to testify before the inquiry after three political appointees defied congressional subpoenas to appear.

Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin, a member of the Judiciary and Oversight Committees, said Sandy was brought in to shed light on whether military aid was held up for political reasons.

"This is a technical part of our investigation," Raskin told reporters outside the interview room. "We want to know exactly how the president translated his political objective to shake down the Ukrainian government for the favors he wanted (into) the budget process."

On Friday, Trump used Twitter to criticize a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, while she was testifying to an impeachment hearing, an extraordinary moment that Democrats said amounted to witness intimidation. Trump defended his attack on Yovanovitch, saying he had the right to free speech.

Yovanovitch, a career diplomat, testified on the second day of televised impeachment hearings, which will resume next week.

While Yovanovitch's testimony dominated headlines on Friday, a closed-door deposition lawmakers held later in the day with David Holmes, a U.S. embassy official in Kiev, could prove more consequential.

Holmes told lawmakers he overheard a phone call between Trump and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, in which the president inquired about Ukraine's willingness to carry out investigations of Biden and his son.

The phone call occurred on July 26, one day after the now-infamous phone conversation between Trump and Zelenskiy.

"So, he's gonna do the investigation?" Trump asked Sondland, referring to Zelenskiy, according to Holmes' testimony.

"He's gonna do it," replied Sondland, adding the Ukrainian president would do "anything you ask him to," according to Holmes.

The testimony by Holmes, an aide to Taylor, ties Trump more directly to a pressure campaign in Ukraine to investigate the Bidens led by Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Holmes' statement appears to contradict Sondland's previous sworn testimony about his interactions with Trump, in which he did not mention his July 26 phone call with the president.

Sondland, who has already revised his testimony once, is scheduled to testify publicly on Wednesday.

Representative Eric Swalwell, a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters on Saturday that House leaders were considering bringing Holmes in for a public hearing.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

47 Comments

Comments have been disabled You can no longer respond to this thread.

The dam is beginning to crack. 

Thank you to all the Patriots who have come forward to testify against Trump and his criminal Administration.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

What a colossal waste of time. These "witnesses" the Democrats are trotting out have no evidence that would warrant impeachment. Real patriots can see through this. The Democrats are an embarrassing joke.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Trump's pressure on Ukraine is at the heart of the Democratic-led inquiry 

Zelensky said he didn't feel any pressure.

Rep. Chris Stewart: "Do you have any information regarding any criminal activity that the president of the United States has been involved with at all?"

Yovanovitch: "No."

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Admission by party opponent is an exception to the rule against hearsay.

Donny was on the speaker phone. His statements were admissions. Donny is the person against whom the statement is being offered, i.e., the party opponent.

The evidence keeps piling up and the Trumpophiles keep floundering around in an impotent attempt to explain away their support of Donny's corruption.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

What a colossal waste of time.

Yep, Repub efforts to obstruct and deflect are a waste of time - the evidence is so overwhelming...

These "witnesses" the Democrats are trotting out have no evidence that would warrant impeachment.

Delusion is strong with the Trumpers...he intimidates a witness while she is testifying! Watch the Repubs on the committee all melt when that happened...

Real patriots can see through this.

Trumpers wouldn't know what a real patriot is - unless they're talking about Russian patriots...

The Democrats are an embarrassing joke.

You just described the Mango Maniac to a T...he and his best bud Stone, who will soon be known as Inmate 46...

Save a bunk for your bro Donnie Rog....

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What a colossal waste of time. These "witnesses" the Democrats are trotting out have no evidence that would warrant impeachment. Real patriots can see through this. The Democrats are an embarrassing joke.

I don’t know a single person watching this farce.

But this on the other hand a lot of people watched. Far more realistic, far more entertaining.

https://youtu.be/NW23WQQlybM

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

 don’t know a single person watching this farce.

you claimed you were watching?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Yep, Repub efforts to obstruct and deflect are a waste of time - the evidence is so overwhelming.

What evidence? That there’s nothing? Well, I would tend to agree Yovanovitch in that statement.

Stewart: Do you have any information regarding the president of the United States accepting any bribes? 

Yovanovitch: No

Stewart: Do you any have information regarding any criminal activity that the president of the United States has been involved with at all? 

Yovanovitch: No.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I don’t know a single person watching this farce.

That probably says more about the company you keep more than anything.

Despite this apparentlybeing boring, you will no doubt be posting all day on this. As one of Trump's loyal servants - I hope you stay by his side all the way through his calamitous administration.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

That probably says more about the company you keep more than anything.

That they all smell partisan political BS? Probably.

Despite this apparentlybeing boring, you will no doubt be posting all day on this. As one of Trump's loyal servants

As well as the loyal haters will be.

I hope you stay by his side all the way through his calamitous administration.

Oh, most definitely!

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Yep, Repub efforts to obstruct and deflect are a waste of time - the evidence is so overwhelming.

What evidence? That there’s nothing? Well, I would tend to agree Yovanovitch in that statement.

Stewart: Do you have any information regarding the president of the United States accepting any bribes? 

YovanovitchNo

StewartDo you any have information regarding any criminal activity that the president of the United States has been involved with at all? 

YovanovitchNo.

Keep your eyes closed, we know that always helps...

Paul Butler, law professor, Georgetown University

Trump’s tweet is a stone cold thug move. Let’s say I am federal prosecutor investigating a mob boss. A witness testifies that she felt intimidated by the mob boss. As she speaks, the mob boss denigrates the witness in a tweet. I would halt the proceeding — for the safety of the witness — and ask the judge for a warrant for the arrest of the mob boss. The United States Criminal Code makes witness intimidation a felony. The fact that a mob boss lives in the White House should not excuse him from being brought to justice.

And that's just yesterday...Bribery, extortion, obstruction, abuse of authority...

Can't wait to hear Sondland next week - tell us about your two meetings with the Ukrainians where you said no investigation, no aid.... and that phone call with Donnie on the investigation overheard by multiple people...

Donnie is melting down faster than Chernobyl ...don't step in the orange puddle...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Keep your eyes closed, we know that always helps...

Actually, I had the audio on. Her saying “No” was more than enough confirmation.

Democrats have made a serious mistake by launching impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. They are replaying the Republican impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998, a futile exercise that damaged Republicans, enhanced Clinton’s power, and caused institutional damage as well.

Today, Senate Republicans may well be privately concerned about Trump’s behavior. But there is no indication that even one would vote in favor of removal. While Trump is nowhere near as popular as Clinton was, he retains the loyalty of his base, who dominate the Republican primaries, and, unlike Clinton, he enjoys majority support in the Senate.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/democrats-have-fallen-into-an-impeachment-trap-that-will-only-hurt-them-2019-10-01

And that's just yesterday...Bribery, extortion, obstruction, abuse of authority...

Any other adjectives the Dems want to add? Lol

Can't wait to hear Sondland next week - tell us about your two meetings with the Ukrainians where you said no investigation, no aid.... and that phone call with Donnie on the investigation overheard by multiple people...

Yeah, let’s hear some more boring testimony for 6 hours where Schiff can play God and bore people to death.

Donnie is melting down faster than Chernobyl ...don't step in the orange puddle...

Huh? If he’s melting down then the Democrats are a gooey slime trail.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

"So, he's gonna do the investigation?" Trump asked Sondland, referring to Ukrainian president Volodmyr Zelenskiy, according to Holmes' testimony.

"He's gonna do it," replied Sondland, adding the Ukrainian president would do "anything you ask him to," according to Holmes.

The smoking bazooka...or one of many smoking bazookas...

The testimony by Holmes, an aide to top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine Bill Taylor, ties Trump more directly to a pressure campaign in Ukraine to investigate the Bidens led by Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Hey Stone, tell the warden they'll be two more inmates soon...

Holmes' statement appears to contradict Sondland's previous sworn testimony about his interactions with Trump, in which he did not mention the July 26 phone call with the president.

Make that three....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

He was not. This guy says he overheard both sides of the conversation on a cell phone.

Donny was on the speaker phone.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Hey Stone, tell the warden they'll be two more inmates soon...

So approx. 5 years, being cooperative, first time offender, no criminal background, so until he gets pardoned, he should be out 2-3 not to bad.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I heard no crime and no bribery plain as day. Plus an admission she had been coached what to say if Hunter Biden came up in her confirmation hearing. After her statement said she had never talked with anyone in Obama admin about Hunter Biden.

this article is regressing back to the “pressure” narrative.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Are people commenting on this without watching it and simply regurgitating what Fox News is saying?

That would be utterly ridiculous and and anyone doing this should be ignored. If we want a Fake News/MSM Fox News running commentary, we can just watch Fox on satellite here in Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Are people commenting on this without watching it and simply regurgitating what Fox News is saying?

So we should trust CNN....no, msnbc...how about NPR or PBS....? Funny how all the libs take on the same talking points, Thursday Pelosi changed everything to "bribery" after leaking it to the msm, the days new word was "bribery" lol, No thanks.

That would be utterly ridiculous and and anyone doing this should be ignored.

That's why Zucker and Lack are so teed off! They're being turned off.

If we want a Fake News/MSM Fox News running commentary, we can just watch Fox on satellite here in Japan

Fake? Hardly.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I don’t know a single person watching this farce.

Really? I know loads of people glued to it. Especially journalists. Aren't you watching it?

Actually, I had the audio on. Her saying “No” was more than enough confirmation.

Ah, you are watching it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Really? I know loads of people glued to it. Especially journalists. Aren't you watching it?

Well, the majority of people I know make it easy and simple, we just watch the highlights, less mentally painful.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

He was not. This guy says he overheard both sides of the conversation on a cell phone

Yes, Donny was in the call and it was his voice that was heard:

*Holmes told lawmakers he overheard a phone call between Trump and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, in which the president inquired about Ukraine's willingness to carry out investigations of Biden and his son, Hunter, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.*

This means Donny's statement can be offered by the person who heard it as evidence. Accuracy, Blacklab, accuracy.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Well, the majority of people I know make it easy and simple, we just watch the highlights, less mentally painful

Yes, we know Trumpophiles have allergic reactions to thinking for themselves, so prefer to be spoon fed by the hacks at Fox "News." ROFL!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Accuracy, it was not a speakerphone as you announced. Accuracy.

everyone knows you can’t hear both sides of a cell phone conversation.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

And how does this phone call support “bribery”?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Well, the majority of people I know make it easy and simple, we just watch the highlights, less mentally painful.

Hey, I agree with you there - it must be unbearable to watch witness after witness, all Donnie's hand-picked team, come in and outline in clear detail is extortion and bribery "drug deal".....ouch. Better get ready for some real pain when Sondland comes in next Weds.

I heard no crime and no bribery plain as day. Plus an admission she had been coached what to say if Hunter Biden came up in her confirmation hearing. After her statement said she had never talked with anyone in Obama admin about Hunter Biden.

Keep beating that Hunter dead horse Blacklabel - it's you and Sean Hannity....

And how does this phone call support “bribery”?

That's like asking how a confession means you're guilty....you must have been getting your legal advice from Crazy Rudy too...by the way, where is Rudy?

So approx. 5 years, being cooperative, first time offender, no criminal background, so until he gets pardoned, he should be out 2-3 not to bad.

Well done Mueller! Six down (Manafort, Gates, Flynn, Papadapolous, Cohen, Stone; one to go...then we can call them all the "Cesspool Seven"....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

America's Homeland Security Chief Intelligence Official has publicly stated there is no substance to claiming that Biden's son was involved in anything contrary to the interests of the United States, and Trump knows this. Trump is just pushing another fraud on all of us to smear a political opponent. Trump is a wanna-be Don Corleone.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes, we know Trumpophiles have allergic reactions to thinking for themselves,

Yes, it's called NOT following the liberal lemming herds

so prefer to be spoon fed by the hacks at Fox "News." ROFL!*

Better than to be spoon-fed by sagging networks with pundits on a constant retraction run. LOL

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Well done Mueller! Six down (Manafort, Gates, Flynn, Papadapolous, Cohen, Stone; one to go...then we can call them all the "Cesspool Seven"....

Trump has a smorgasbord of pardons he needs to go through. Wow!

America's Homeland Security Chief Intelligence Official has publicly stated there is no substance to claiming that Biden's son was involved in anything contrary to the interests of the United States,

Doesn't matter what he says, Barr and Durham will make that determination.

and Trump knows this. Trump is just pushing another fraud on all of us to smear a political opponent. Trump is a wanna-be Don Corleone.

Yeah, Crazy...stop listening to Cuomo...but for real. smh....

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Well done Mueller! Six down (Manafort, Gates, Flynn, Papadapolous, Cohen, Stone; one to go...then we can call them all the "Cesspool Seven"....

Trump has a smorgasbord of pardons he needs to go through. Wow!

Hasn't given one to Manafort, didn't give one to Gates, don't see Cohen walking free, didn't do anything for Papadapolous....and he definitely can't pardon himself from the NYSD Attorney's cases...oh my....

America's Homeland Security Chief Intelligence Official has publicly stated there is no substance to claiming that Biden's son was involved in anything contrary to the interests of the United States,

Doesn't matter what he says, Barr and Durham will make that determination.

Wrong. Barr and Durham aren't investigating Hunter. You have to have evidence of a crime to launch an investigation, and its telling that for all the Trump's pathetic smear attempt, DOJ has done nothing with the Bidens - because there's no evidence. That's why Donnie had to go try to bribe the Ukrainians....

and Trump knows this. Trump is just pushing another fraud on all of us to smear a political opponent. Trump is a wanna-be Don Corleone.

Yeah, Crazy...stop listening to Cuomo...but for real. smh....

Not Corleone, he was too smart - Trump is on the same level as Vinnie the street corner crook...

And why is it that every Trumper ignores Sondland....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hasn't given one to Manafort, didn't give one to Gates, don't see Cohen walking free, didn't do anything for Papadapolous....and he definitely can't pardon himself from the NYSD Attorney's cases...oh my.... 

Usually Presidents don't do pardons in their first admin. So in his second, liberals get the tissues ready.

Wrong. Barr and Durham aren't investigating Hunter.

Yeah, and Comey also said that Trump wasn't under investigation as well.

You have to have evidence of a crime

Democrats have none so far.....again.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Hasn't given one to Manafort, didn't give one to Gates, don't see Cohen walking free, didn't do anything for Papadapolous....and he definitely can't pardon himself from the NYSD Attorney's cases...oh my.... 

Usually Presidents don't do pardons in their first admin. So in his second, liberals get the tissues ready.

Your words, you said he would pardon them - and he hasn't... And if he plans to do it after 2020, it will be kind'a hard from Rikers Island...

Wrong. Barr and Durham aren't investigating Hunter.

Yeah, and Comey also said that Trump wasn't under investigation as well.

You think they are? Then why hasn't Trump or Barr said so? That's what they've wanted all along...

You have to have evidence of a crime

Democrats have none so far.....again.

Focus now - we're talking abut your favorite smear...the one with no evidence.

And Sondland is ignored again...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Trump has given about 17 pardons to date.

Trump supporters want to give pardons to criminals.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Are people commenting on this without watching it and simply regurgitating what Fox News is saying?

So we should trust CNN....no, msnbc...how about NPR or PBS....? 

This is a perfect distillation of the problem. The alternative to ridiculously pro-Trump Fox News are outlets with a ridiculously anti-Trump agenda.

Here’s a crazy idea - watch it for yourself and make up your own mind. Thinking for yourself, eh? Give it a go rather than watching Fox on satellite in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sondland, who has already revised his testimony once

Revised his testimony? I guess it's fitting that the most dishonest president, maybe ever, has appointed so many dishonest people from the numerous and varied US swamps. And attracted so many like minded followers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Zelensky said he didn't feel any pressure.

They all say that! The question is who believes 'em? According to the Ukrainian press Trump started putting pressure on Zelenskiy 2 WEEKS before he was inaugurated. Big mistake! Zelenskiy is a VERY smart guy who got his job training as a TV comedian playing the President of the Ukraine in contrast to impostor Trump who doesn't even know how to ACT as a real POTUS, because he hasn't learned any skills apart from spending his daddy's inheritance. Trump thought he could run the presidency just winging it without the help of others. One by one the overlooked members of his team will come out of the woodwork to testify against him and put a merciful end to the most disastrous presidency in our lifetime.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Your words, you said he would pardon them - and he hasn't...

Second term

And if he plans to do it after 2020, it will be kind'a hard from Rikers Island...

Yes and Schiff and Hillary will be at his side. ROFL!

You think they are? Then why hasn't Trump or Barr said so? That's what they've wanted all along...

Comey never mentioned, but hey, the Senate will call him.

Focus now - we're talking abut your favorite smear...the one with no evidence.

Like this entire fake trial, I am focused.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

He was not.

I stand corrected. Thank you.

This guy says he overheard both sides of the conversation on a cell phone.

This still means it was an admission by party opponent.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Like this entire fake trial

It's not the trial portion and it's very, very real.

, I am focused

Just not enough to watch it yourself. You prefer "summaries" from the hacks at Fox "News."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bass: So approx. 5 years, being cooperative, first time offender, no criminal background, so until he gets pardoned, he should be out 2-3 not to bad.

So you would do 2 - 3 for your cult leader?  Not so bad as you say.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

ooooh. One person’s opinion is that it was “unusual and inappropriate”

And the Dems are basing their hopes for impeachment on that.

Get Real.

Trump is going to slide out of this just like he sailed through that whole Russia conspiracy thing.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It's not the trial portion and it's very, very real.

So is 13 million that watched it. You have more people watching Jerry Springer for Christ’s sake. Even CNN has somewhat better ratings than that.

Just not enough to watch it yourself.

No, I just go on YouTube.

So you would do 2 - 3 for your cult leader? Not so bad as you say.

What? Anyway, it has nothing to do Stone getting out sooner than he would have were a multiple convicted felon. I mean the Judge released him on $250,000 bond, but he needs to return in February of next year for the sentencing phase of this trial and if a judge is willing to do that and your not considered a flight risk, he’ll definitely be out in No time.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

So is 13 million that watched it. You have more people watching Jerry Springer for Christ’s sake. Even CNN has somewhat better ratings than that.

Okay. None of this changes the facts that it not the trial portion and it's real. That was an extremely blatant doge even for you.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Okay. None of this changes the facts that it not the trial portion and it's real.

It's a farce that's what it is, a funny farce, but a farce nonetheless.

That was an extremely blatant doge even for you.

I'm not and wouldn't.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

No, I just go on YouTube.

Not watching it on Fox "News" via satellite from the non-existent base in Fukuoka?

What? Anyway, it has nothing to do Stone getting out sooner than he would have were a multiple convicted felon. I mean the Judge released him on $250,000 bond, but he needs to return in February of next year for the sentencing phase of this trial and if a judge is willing to do that and your not considered a flight risk, he’ll definitely be out in No time.

Yeah, this isn't how it works at all. Not being a flight risk does not mean the sentence will be lighter.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yeah, this isn't how it works at all. Not being a flight risk does not mean the sentence will be lighter.

But it does help in the consideration phase. But regardless, he won't do the full 5 and he'll probably get pardoned anyway.

That's your opinion

And to millions of others that didn't tune in to watch that joke, but even Sean Spicer had more views on DWTS. Wow!

In your 1:46 post you claimed this was a fake trial.

I still feel that it is.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I still feel that it is.

Always with the feelings.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But it does help in the consideration phase. 

There is no "consideration phase," it's called sentencing. 

But regardless, he won't do the full 5 and he'll probably get pardoned anyway.

You seem happy that criminals go free.

And to millions of others that didn't tune in to watch that joke, but even Sean Spicer had more views on DWTS. Wow!

Good for Spicer. It still doesn't change the fact that this isn't a trial or fake.

I still feel that it is

The trial happens in the senate, which means this isn't a trial. It's happening, which means it isn't fake.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites