JM Rieger Profile picture
Sep 20, 2019 486 tweets 182 min read
New York Times report from May on Biden, Ukraine and Burisma Holdings:

"No evidence has surfaced that the former vice president intentionally tried to help his son by pressing for the prosecutor general’s dismissal.”…
NYT - Hunter Biden was warned by associates who had experience in Ukraine to stay away from Mykola Zlochevsky, the owner of Burisma Holdings, who had worked in the government of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.…
Zlochevsky faced multiple internal/external investigations for money laundering, Yanukovych-era corruption, tax evasion and the granting of gas licenses.

It is unclear if/how seriously Ukraine’s fmr. prosecutor general Viktor Shokin investigated Burisma.…
Shokin told WaPo in July he was ousted for investigating Burisma.

A Ukrainian anti-corruption activist said that is false:

"Shokin was fired not because he wanted to do that investigation, but quite to the contrary, because he failed that investigation”…
The investigations into Zlochevsky and Burisma had “high-level support from the Obama administration,” per NYT.

Shokin was criticized by the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and European officials for not taking a more aggressive posture toward corruption.…
New analysis tonight on the Trump whistleblower complaint from @AaronBlake:

"Shokin had also fallen out of favor with plenty of other Western leaders, as well as with lawmakers in Ukraine, where he was the subject of a decisive vote of no confidence.”…
Yuri Lutsenko replaced Shokin.

Lutsenko told The Hill’s John Solomon in April he found information about Biden that may interest U.S. authorities.

But in May, Lutsenko told Bloomberg News there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe or Hunter Biden.…
Shokin’s deputy Vitaliy Kasko told Bloomberg in May that the Burisma investigation had long been dormant:

“There was no pressure from anyone from the US to close cases against Zlochevsky. It was shelved by Ukrainian prosecutors in 2014 and through 2015.”…
The State Dept official who worked w/ Biden on Ukraine said Burisma & Hunter Biden never came up:

“I was in almost every single meeting VP Biden had w/ Pres Poroshenko, I was on every trip & I was on most of the phone calls & there was never a discussion”…
Last night, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani referred to sworn statements from 5 Ukrainians and pointed to Joe Biden’s 2018 comments at the Council on Foreign Relations as proof of wrongdoing.

Giuliani said he would not release the sworn statements.…
Here’s the 2018 Biden clip:

"I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor…I [said] 'I’m leaving in 6 hours. If the prosecutor is not fired you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch he got fired."
Much of Hunter Biden’s career has coincided with his father’s political work:

-Lobbyist for clients w/ interests before Congress
-SVP at MBNA that was contributor to Biden
-Board member at company backed by Chinese entities after Biden met w/ the Chinese…
Trump meanwhile has been openly trying to leverage Ukraine to his political benefit for months, @pbump notes in new analysis today.…
Outlets including WaPo report a US intel whistleblower alleges Trump pressured Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation into Hunter Biden.

Trump spoke with Zelensky on July 25.

Trump has refused to share the complaint with Congress.…
BIDEN this evening:

“Not one single credible outlet has given this any credibility to his assertion. Not one single one. And so I have no comment except the president should start to be president.”

As WaPo’s @rizzoTK noted, it is unclear whether the Burisma probe was ongoing while Biden was pushing for Shokin’s ouster.

There are conflicting reports from Bloomberg News and NYT.

But there is no evidence Biden pushed to oust Shokin to help his son.…
NEW tonight from @jdawsey1, @paulsonne, @postkranish & @loydstern:

How Trump and Giuliani pressured Ukraine to investigate the president's rivals…
“The dual channels of pressure on Ukraine — one from the president and one from his personal attorney — are fueling questions about whether Trump used his office to try to force a foreign country to take actions damaging to his political opponents.”…
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko on Saturday:

“I know what the conversation was about, and I think there was no pressure.”…
Trump on Friday: “It doesn’t matter what I discussed”

Trump Sunday morning: “We don’t want our people like VP Biden and his son creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine”

Trump later Sunday: “Certainly I’d have the right to [raise Biden’s name]”…
Trump today on Ukraine/Biden:

"It's very important to talk about corruption. If you don't talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt? … So it's very important that on occasion you speak to somebody about corruption."
BARTIROMO: Did the president threaten to cut off aid to the Ukraine —

GIULIANI: No. No, that was a false story.

BARTIROMO: 100 percent?

GIULIANI: Well I can’t tell you if it’s 100 percent.
Trump questions patriotism of whistleblower central to Ukraine firestorm…
Trump denies he sought Ukrainian probe of Biden and his family in return for U.S. military aid…
HANNITY: Did our State Dept ask you to go on a mission for them?

GIULIANI: They did.

HANNITY: And you were a good citizen and you went.

GIULIANI: The State Dept called me and said, ‘Would I take a call from [Ukrainian president aide Andriy Yermak]?’


Trump told Mick Mulvaney to hold back ~$400 million in military aid for Ukraine at least a week before a phone call in which Trump is said to have pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate the son of former vice president Joe Biden.…
Sen. Chris Murphy said Ukraine’s president “directly” expressed concerns during an early September meeting that “the aid that was being cut off to Ukraine by the president was a consequence” of his unwillingness to launch an investigation into the Bidens.…
Trump confirms he withheld military aid from Ukraine before his call with Ukrainian President Zelensky.

“I want other countries to put up the money. … Germany, France, other countries should put up money and that’s been my complaint from the beginning.”…
The full Trump-Ukraine timeline — as of now

Via @pbump & @AaronBlake…
After repeatedly dodging questions over the past three days about releasing a transcript of his call with Ukraine’s president, Trump tweets that he will release the declassified transcript tomorrow.

Friday: It doesn’t matter what I discussed

Sunday morning: Don’t want Biden creating corruption

Sunday afternoon: I have right to raise Biden’s name

Monday: It’s important to talk about corruption

Tuesday: Admits to withhold military aid to Ukraine


"If the president of the United States didn't ask the president of the Ukraine to investigate this, he shouldn't be the president of the United States."

Why Trump releasing the transcript of his call with Ukraine’s president isn’t enough…

Giuliani pursued shadow Ukraine agenda as key foreign policy officials were sidelined…
The sequence of events:

-Removal of US ambassador to Ukraine
-Circumvention of NSC
-Suspension of millions of dollars of aid

“The person who appears to have been more directly involved at nearly every stage of the entanglement with Ukraine is Giuliani.”…
“WH and intel officials were working out a plan on Tuesday to release a redacted version of the whistle-blower complaint that helped ignite the impeachment drive against Trump and to allow the whistle-blower to speak with congressional investigators”…
“Though the whistleblower report focuses on the Trump-
Zelensky call, officials familiar with its contents said it includes references to other developments tied to the president, including efforts by Giuliani to insert himself into US-Ukrainian relations”…
“Not only would any so-called transcript be based on notes, but it would also likely be incomplete because the note-takers usually do not include issues that could be controversial if they became public”…
KILMEADE: Mr. Mayor, can I ask you, did you read the transcript?

GIULIANI: Let’s say it was read to me.

KILMEADE: It was read to you? The whole thing?

NEW: Transcript of Trump’s call with Ukrainian president shows him offering U.S. assistance for Biden investigation…
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Trump repeatedly prodded Ukraine’s new leader to work with Rudy Giuliani and the U.S. attorney general to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden, according to a rough transcript summarizing the call released Wednesday.…
NEW from @AaronBlake:

6 takeaways from the transcript of Trump’s call with Ukraine’s president…
“Even without an explicit quid pro quo, consider where we are. Trump asked for what amounts to foreign assistance for his 2020 reelection campaign.”…
Read the White House transcript of President Trump's phone call with Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky…
Trump wanted Russia’s main geopolitical adversary to help him undermine the Russian interference story…
Trump over the past five days on Ukraine:

Friday: It doesn’t matter what I discussed

Sunday: I have right to raise Biden’s name

Monday: It’s important to discuss corruption

Tuesday: I withheld then released aid to Ukraine

Wednesday: It’s a witch hunt

NANCY PELOSI statement:

“The President engaged in behavior that undermines the integrity of our elections, the dignity of the office he holds and our national security. The President has tried to make lawlessness a virtue in America and now is exporting it abroad."

“The notes of the call reflect a conversation far more damning than I or many others had imagined. … What those notes reflect is a classic, mafia-like shakedown of a foreign leader."

“[The notes] indicate the president of the United States shaking down a foreign leader, essentially undermining the national security of this country for a personal political gain … It is very powerful evidence of that kind of potential impeachable offense"
NEW joint statement from Committee Chairs Schiff, Nadler, Cummings & Engel:

“Let’s be clear: no quid pro quo is required to betray our country. Trump asked a foreign government to interfere in our elections—that is betrayal enough."
ZELENSKY: I think you read text. I'm sorry but I don't want to be involved to democratic elections of USA. … we had I think good phone call. It was normal. We spoke about many things. So I think you read it that nobody pushed me.

TRUMP: In other words, no pressure.
BIDEN statement on Ukraine transcript:

"Congress must pursue the facts and quickly take prompt action to hold Donald Trump accountable."
BREAKING: The acting Director of National Intelligence threatened to resign over concerns that the White House might attempt to force him to stonewall Congress when he testifies Thursday about an explosive whistleblower complaint about the president.…
TRUMP: ‘I fully support transparency on the so-called whistleblower information’…
CNN - Whistleblower tentatively agrees to testify, attorneys say, as long as they get appropriate clearances to attend hearing…
"Several Senate Republicans were privately stunned Wednesday and questioned the White House’s judgment after it released a rough transcript of President Trump’s call with the Ukraine president”…
"At one point, the group began joking with the president that 'this was one of his better' phone calls with foreign leaders, an attendee said.”…
.@PostKranish spoke with Hunter Biden’s lawyer.

Trump alleges Biden got China to put $1.5 billion in a fund.

Biden’s lawyer says he has not received any return or compensation from this investment and that Trump is grossly misrepresenting the facts.…
NEW from NYT tonight:

- Whistleblower raised alarms about how the White House handled records of the Ukraine phone call
- Whistleblower identified multiple WH officials as witnesses to potential presidential misconduct who could corroborate the complaint…
More from NYT:

- Intel IG concluded Trump may have illegally solicited foreign campaign contribution & Trump’s potential misconduct created a national security risk
- DOJ argued the complaint did not center on intel activities & was not in intel purview…

- Whistleblower heard about the call secondhand from unidentified White House officials concerned Trump had “abused his authority or acted unlawfully in connection with foreign diplomacy”
- Three lawyers are representing the whistleblower for free…
BREAKING: Read the whistleblower complaint regarding President Trump's communications with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky…
Whistleblower complaint:

“I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”…
“I am also concerned that these actions pose risks too U.S. national security and undermine the U.S. Government’s efforts to deter and counter foreign interference in U.S. elections.”…
“[WH officials] told me that there was already a ‘discussion ongoing’ with White House lawyers about how to treat the call because of the likelihood, in the officials’ retelling, that they had witnessed the President abuse his office for personal gain.”…
“In the days following the phone call … senior WH officials had intervened to ‘lock down’ all records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced—as is customary—by the WH Situation Room.”…
“WH officials told me that they were ‘directed’ by White House lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored for coordination, finalization, and distribution to Cabinet-level officials.”…
“Starting in mid-May, I heard from multiple US officials they were deeply concerned by what they viewed as Giuliani’s circumvention of nat. security decision making processes to engage with Ukrainian officials and relay messages back and forth [to Trump]”…
“In mid-July, I learned of a sudden change of policy with respect to U.S. assistance for Ukraine.”…
SCHIFF: Would you agree that the whistleblower complaint alleges serious wrongdoing by the president of the United States? … is that not the subject of this complaint?

MAGUIRE: Yes that is the subject of the allegation of this complaint.
MAGUIRE says he went to the White House first for review of the complaint before going to the Justice Department.
SCHIFF: Do I have your assurance that the whistleblower will be able to testify fully and freely and enjoy the protections of the law?

MAGUIRE: Yes congressman.
CARSON: Director Maguire, this appears to be the first intelligence community whistleblower complaint that has ever, ever been withheld from Congress. Is that right sir?

MAGUIRE: Congressman Carson, I believe that it might be.
“Officials said Barr was 'generally knowledgeable' of discussions about the Office of Legal Counsel decision, but was not involved in making the call not to move forward with an investigation."

SPEIER: When you read the complaint, were you shocked at all by what you read?

MAGUIRE: When I saw that, I anticipated having to sit in front of some committee some time to discuss it.
SPEIER: Did the president of the United States ask you to find out the identity of the whistleblower?

MAGUIRE: Although I would not normally discuss my conversations with the president, I can tell you emphatically, no.
Former DNI Dan Coats:

"Nothing came to me. I left on Aug. 15. ... The very next day that was presented to Joe. I feel so bad for Joe. He is caught in a squeeze here and the lawyers are divided.”…
MAGUIRE: I believe that election security is my most fundamental priority, however this complaint focused on a conversation by the president with another foreign leader, not election security.
MAGUIRE asked six times in less than two minutes whether he discussed the whistleblower complaint with TRUMP.

Six times, MAGUIRE deflects, saying his conversations with the president are “privileged."
MAGUIRE: To the best of my ability, I do not think that either Director Coats or our Principal Deputy Sue Gordon had any sense whatsoever about this whistleblower complaint.
GIULIANI to CNN on the whistleblower complaint:

- He has "no knowledge of any of that crap”
- He has “nice little trail” of text message conversations with the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, Kurt Volker…
TRUMP: “I have to put up with Adam Schiff. … What these guys are doing — Democrats — are doing to this country is a disgrace and it shouldn’t be allowed. There should be a way of stopping it, maybe legally through the courts, but they’re going to tie up our country."
NYT - Trump on Thursday told staff from the U.S. Mission to the U.N. he wants to know who provided information to a whistleblower, saying whoever did so was “close to a spy” and that “in the old days,” spies were dealt with differently.…
The New York Times reports the whistleblower is a CIA officer who was detailed to work at the White House at one point, according to three people “familiar with his identity.”…
In his first interview since the whistleblower complaint was disclosed, fmr Ukrainian prosecutor general Yuri Lutsenko tells WaPo Hunter Biden did not break any Ukrainian laws.

“From the perspective of Ukrainian legislation, he did not violate anything.”…
The Los Angeles Time has posted the audio of Trump’s remarks on the whistleblower from earlier today

Engel, Schiff and Cummings statement on Trump’s comments:

“The President’s comments today constitute reprehensible witness intimidation and an attempt to obstruct Congress’ impeachment inquiry."
“Former officials—some of whom worked for Obama and some for Trump—expressed surprise and dismay at reports that White House aides used the [secure computer] system to try to ‘lock down' details of Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky"…
"House Democratic leaders are eyeing a fast-paced investigation into the possible impeachment of President Trump, instructing the committees handling the probe to wrap up their findings within weeks in hopes of concluding before the holiday season.”…
"The revelation … demonstrates a weakness in a law meant to protect him from reprisals and shows that he was at risk of retaliation long before Trump obliquely threatened him on Thursday."

“To transfer a call from the normal storage system to the National Security Council’s code-word-protected network, a senior WH official — someone as high as the chief of staff or the national security adviser — must make a formal written request to do so”…
WSJ confirms NYT report:

The whistleblower works for the CIA.…
"Six weeks later, the whistleblower has by some measures managed to exceed what Robert Mueller accomplished in two years … producing a file so concerning and factually sound that it has almost single-handedly set in motion the gears of impeachment.”…
CNN - The White House on Friday said administration officials directed the Ukraine call transcript be filed in a highly classified system.

A senior White House official told CNN the move came at the direction of National Security Council attorneys.…

Three House committees subpoena Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for documents related to the Ukraine whistleblower complaint.…
The committees have scheduled depositions for 5 State Dept officials over the next 2 weeks:

Oct. 2: Amb Marie Yovanovitch

Oct. 3: Amb Kurt Volker

Oct. 7: Deputy Asst Sec George Kent

Oct. 8: Counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl

Oct. 10: Amb Gordon Sondland…
In his first on-camera interview, former Ukrainian prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko told NBC News he spoke with Rudy Giuliani “maybe 10 times.”

He also said he isn’t aware of “any possible violation of Ukrainian law by Biden” and his son.…
“Kurt Volker resigned from his position as the U.S. Special Envoy for Ukraine Friday, following reports he collaborated with Ukraine and President Donald Trump.”…
“Volker ... offered no public explanation, but a person informed about his decision said he concluded that it was impossible to be effective in his assignment given the developments of recent days.”…
James Risen:

I Wrote About the Bidens and Ukraine Years Ago. Then the Right-Wing Spin Machine Turned the Story Upside Down.…
Lev Parnas tells NPR he helped Rudy Giuliani set up a Skype call in late 2018 with former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin and also helped set up meetings in 2019 in New York and in Warsaw with Yuriy Lutsenko.

“Current and former officials said the White House used a highly classified computer system accessible to only a select few officials to store transcripts of calls from President Vladimir Putin and the Saudi royal family.”…
“[AG Bill Barr] was ‘surprised and angry’ to discover he had been lumped in with Giuliani, a person familiar with Barr’s thinking told The Associated Press.”…
The House Intel Committee has subpoenaed Rudy Giuliani for documents on Ukraine.

It has also sent document and deposition requests to three of Giuliani’s business associates:

- Oct. 10: Lev Parnas
- Oct. 11: Igor Fruman
- Oct. 14: Semyon “Sam” Kislin…
WSJ - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was among administration officials who listened in on the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a senior State Department official said Monday.…
Former Ukrainian prosecutor general Yuri Lutsenko has now told four different U.S. news outlets that Joe Biden and Hunter Biden did not break any Ukrainian laws to his knowledge:…………
KIEV (Reuters) - A Ukrainian investigation of gas company Burisma is focused solely on activity that took place before Hunter Biden, son of fmr US Vice President Joe Biden, was hired to sit on its board, Ukraine’s anti-corruption investigation agency said.…
The gas tycoon and the vice president’s son: The story of Hunter Biden’s foray into Ukraine…
Intel IG debunks two Republican talking points pushed by Trump, McCarthy, Scalise & Graham:

1) Whistleblower complaint based on “hearsay”

IG: “[Whistleblower] need not possess first-hand information in order to file a complaint”

2) Whistleblower form was changed

IG: It wasn’t
This tweet is based on a false report from The Federalist.

- No evidence change in whistleblower form related to current case
- Whistleblower used 2018 form, not new one
- IG relies on law virtually unchanged since 2014…

MARK WARNER statement on Trump’s whistleblower comments yesterday:

“It is deeply disturbing that the president…told the American people he’s trying to find out the whistleblower’s identity…That kind of rhetoric can only serve one purpose: intimidation of this whistleblower"
POMPEO on House Committee requests on Ukraine:

“I am concerned with aspects of your request…that can be understood only as an attempt to intimidate, bully, and treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the State Dept"

Pompeo says State Dept. officials won’t show up for scheduled impeachment depositions this week…
WSJ, AP and CNN all report Mike Pompeo was listening to Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

POMPEO asked about the call on Sept. 22:

“You just gave me a report about a IC whistleblower complaint, none of which I’ve seen."

Three House chairs respond to Pompeo:

“Secretary Pompeo was reportedly on the call when the President pressed Ukraine to smear his political opponent. If true, Secretary Pompeo is now a fact witness in the House impeachment inquiry."
Politico - "The Trump White House upgraded the security of the National Security Council’s top-secret codeword system in the spring of 2018 … as part of an effort to ferret out and deter leaks.”…

Yuriy Lutsenko is “much more honest guy” than Viktor Shokin

GIULIANI in September (after Lutsenko told 4 different outlets he found no Biden wrongdoing):

Lutsenko acted “corruptly” and was put in place by Biden…

MIKE POMPEO confirms he was on the July 25 Trump-Zelensky:

“I was on the phone call.”

BREAKING: House Democrats to subpoena White House for documents in its impeachment inquiry focused on Ukraine…

"Any effort ... to interfere with the Congress' ability to call before it relevant witnesses will be considered as evidence of obstruction of the lawful functions of Congress ... [and] will create an adverse inference that those allegations are in fact correct."
NYT - Adam Schiff learned about the outlines of a CIA officer’s concerns that President Trump had abused his power days before the officer filed a whistleblower complaint, according to a spokesman and current and former American officials.…

Trump involved Pence in efforts to pressure Ukraine’s leader, though aides say vice president was unaware of pursuit of dirt on Bidens…
“[Pence’s] national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, had been monitoring [the call]. It’s ... not clear whether Pence failed to read the White House account of the call in his briefing book or read it and found it unremarkable.”…
“Giuliani [has] consulted several times with Manafort ... in pursuit of information about a disputed ledger that would bolster his theory that the real story of 2016 is not Russian interference to elect Trump, but Ukrainian efforts to support Clinton.”…
Republican senators who signed a 2016 letter echoing Joe Biden’s calls at the time for reforms to Ukraine's prosecutor general's office and judiciary:

- Rob Portman
- Mark Kirk
- Ron Johnson

After signing on to the 2016 letter calling for corruption reforms in Ukraine, Ron Johnson sent a new letter last week to Attorney General Bill Barr asking him to investigate allegations surrounding Joe Biden and Ukraine.…
TRUMP calls for Ukraine and China to investigate the BIDENS:

“If they were honest about it, they'd start a major investigation into the Bidens. It’s a very simple answer. They should investigate the Bidens. … Likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens."
Trump urges China to investigate the Bidens, despite impeachment inquiry over a similar request to Ukraine…
Yesterday, Trump said the rough transcript of his July 25 call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky was transcribed “word-for-word, comma-for-comma.”

White House officials previously had portrayed the document as not verbatim but rather a summary.…
Words per minute in other Trump calls per White House-released transcripts:

- Australia: 133 words/minute

- Mexico (via interpreters): 102 words/minute

- Ukraine (via interpreters): 65 words/minute…
MCCARTHY asks PELOSI if she will require following on impeachment inquiry:

- Coequal subpoena power for committees
- Subpoenas be subject to full cmte vote
- Trump counsel right to attend hearings/depositions
- All findings referred to Judiciary Cmte

As @GlennKesslerWP notes, much of the reporting (including this NYT story) about Biden’s work on Ukraine corruption relies on an incorrect timetable.

Biden was never in Ukraine in March 2016 and pursued the policy from 2015-2016.…

PENCE in 2016:

“Foreign donors, and certainly foreign governments, cannot participate in the American political process."

PENCE in June:

“[If foreigners offer info on Dems] we’ll call the FBI"

PENCE today:

“People have a right to know if the [Bidens] profited from [VP job]"
PELOSI responds to MCCARTHY:

"There is no requirement under the Constitution, under House Rules, or House precedent that the whole House vote before proceeding with an impeachment inquiry."…

KURT VOLKER told lawmakers he warned RUDY GIULIANI the Ukrainians offering derogatory info about the Bidens were unreliable.

Volker also said he and other State Dept. officials cautioned the Ukrainians not to be seen as interfering in U.S. politics.…
WSJ: Trump ordered the removal of the ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch after months of complaints from allies outside the WH, including Rudy Giuliani, that she was undermining him abroad and obstructing efforts to persuade Kyiv to investigate Biden.…
Earlier today

REPORTER: Why did you recall the US amb. to Ukraine?

TRUMP: I heard very bad things about her. And I don't know if I recalled her or somebody recalled her, but I heard very, very bad things about it for a long period of time, not good.

GIULIANI tells WSJ that YOVANOVITCH "had been an obstacle to efforts to push Ukraine to investigate Mr. Biden and his son, Hunter.”…
EU amb GORDON SONDLAND and State Dept Ukraine envoy KURT VOLKER drafted a statement in Aug. for Ukraine’s president that would have committed Ukraine to investigations of Burisma & Clinton sought by Trump.

GIULIANI and ZELENSKY aide were aware of the it.…
RON JOHNSON says he does not remember 2016 letter echoing BIDEN’s Ukraine efforts:

"I send out all kinds of oversight letters ... I don't know which 2016 oversight letter you're referring to … but I don't engage in hypocrisy."…

Republicans who have downplayed Trump asking Ukraine/China to interfere in the 2020 election:

- Kevin McCarthy
- Steve Scalise
- Lindsey Graham
- Jim Jordan
- Brad Wenstrup
- Ron Johnson…
Trump doubles down on earlier call for Ukraine/China to open investigations into the Bidens.

House committee chairmen release excerpts of text messages from KURT VOLKER sent to Bill Taylor, Gordon Sondland, Andrey Yermak, Rudy Giuliani and others…
VOLKER text at 8:36am on July 25:

Heard from White House—assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate/ “get to the bottom of what happened” in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington.…
BILL TAYLOR text on Sept. 1:

Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigation?


Call me

BILL TAYLOR text on Sept. 9:

I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.
Republicans who have downplayed Trump asking Ukraine/China to interfere in the 2020 election:

- Kevin McCarthy
- Steve Scalise
- Lindsey Graham
- Jim Jordan
- Brad Wenstrup
- Ron Johnson
- Joni Ernst…
Trump wanted Ukraine’s president to launch investigations before face-to-face meeting, State Dept. texts show…
“Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka reiterated at a news conference Friday that he knows of no evidence of criminal activity by Biden.”
Three problematic aspects of newly released text messages centered on the Ukraine probe:

1) Explicitly stated quid pro quo
2) U.S. helped shape a statement from Ukraine mentioning the Biden probe
3) There’s a suggestion military aid was used as leverage…
Mitt Romney criticizes Trump’s call for foreign election interference in the 2020 election.

KURT VOLKER prepared remarks to Congress yesterday:

“I have known former Vice President Biden for 24 years, and the suggestion that he would be influenced in his duties as Vice President by money for his son simply has no credibility to me.”…
MARCO RUBIO on Trump calling on China and Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election:

"I don't think it's a real request. Again, I think he did it to gig you guys. I think he did to provoke you to ask me and others and get outraged by it.”

Republicans who have downplayed Trump asking Ukraine/China to interfere in the 2020 election:

- Kevin McCarthy
- Steve Scalise
- Lindsey Graham
- Jim Jordan
- Brad Wenstrup
- Ron Johnson
- Joni Ernst
- Marco Rubio

GORDON SONDLAND told RON JOHNSON in August that aid to Ukraine was tied to the desire of TRUMP and his allies to have Kyiv undertake investigations related to the 2016 U.S. elections.…

REPORTER: Have you asked foreign leaders for any corruption investigations that don't involve your political opponents?

TRUMP: You know, we would have to look. But I tell you, what I asked for and what I always will ask for is anything having to do with corruption
Oversight, Intel & Foreign Affairs Cmtes request Ukraine documents from PENCE

“Failure/refusal to comply … shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against you and the President”…
NBC News: Weeks before the whistleblower's complaint became public, the CIA's top lawyer made what she considered a criminal referral to DOJ about the whistleblower's allegations that President Trump abused his office in pressuring the Ukrainian president.…
ADAM SCHIFF on Sept. 17:

“We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to.”

This was false.

NYT and WaPo have since reported the whistleblower approached a House Intel staffer before filing the complaint.

Full WaPo fact check here:…
Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.) on Trump asking Ukraine and China to interfere in the 2020 election:

“I may not have asked that, but it wasn’t illegal. There was not an illegal act there.”

Republicans who have downplayed Trump asking Ukraine/China to interfere in the 2020 election:

- Kevin McCarthy
- Steve Scalise
- Lindsey Graham
- Jim Jordan
- Brad Wenstrup
- Ron Johnson
- Joni Ernst
- Marco Rubio
- Mike Bost

House Oversight Committee subpoenas White House for Ukraine documents…
Rep. Earl “Buddy” Carter (R-Ga.) on Trump asking Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election:

"I just don't see that. And I think you have to really dig deep in order to see that.”…
BENSON: Do you try to deputize a foreign government to do the digging in the course of practicing U.S. foreign policy when you're the president?

CRENSHAW: I'm not so sure I see a problem with that. It depends on what the investigation is about.…
Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) told WCCO today he was unaware Trump called for China and Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

When told about Trump’s comments, Emmer replied:

"The question I have, is someone alleging that this is some type of legal violation?”…
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) on Trump calling for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens:

“It’s not only fully within his authority and responsibility I think he would be derelict in his duties if he didn’t.”…
NYT - A second intelligence official who was alarmed by President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine is weighing whether to file his own formal whistleblower complaint and testify to Congress.…
Jim Jordan 11 times downplays Trump’s call for foreign interference in 2020.

GOP who have downplayed election interference:

-Kevin McCarthy
-Steve Scalise
-Lindsey Graham
-Jim Jordan
-Brad Wenstrup
-Ron Johnson
-Joni Ernst
-Marco Rubio
-Mike Bost

STEPHANOPOULOS: We have been going 10 minutes. You still can't say whether you think it's right or wrong.

JORDAN: Well, I don't think it's going to happen.

Full transcript:…
"There is no mention in the text messages [from Trump officials] of Perry playing a role in making this call happen … [and] Perry and LNG are not discussed in the 5-page memo of the Trump-Zelensky call released by the White House."

Joe Biden oped in WaPo:

"Enough is enough. Every day — every few hours, seemingly — more evidence is uncovered revealing that President Trump is abusing the power of the presidency and is wholly unfit to be president.”…
Mounting evidence buttresses claims in whistleblower complaint…
BREAKING: House Intel, Oversight & Foreign Affairs Committees subpoena Ukraine documents from Pentagon and the Office of Management and Budget……
Trump repeated the word "corruption" 29 times in 23 minutes on Friday:

"Let me tell you: I'm only interested in corruption. … I don't care about Biden's politics.”

Trump’s 2020 State Department budget would slash anti-corruption spending by 40% to $3m.…
"Two South Florida businessman who peddled supposedly explosive info from Ukraine about corruption involving Biden and Clinton will not comply with a request for documents and depositions from 3 House cmtes overseeing an impeachment inquiry into Trump.”…
House Democrats are considering having the whistleblower testify at a remote location and possibly obscuring the individual’s appearance and voice, concerned Republicans on the Intelligence Committee could learn and then leak the whistleblower’s identity.…
State Department blocks Gordon Sondland from speaking with House Committees this morning

Trump administration blocks testimony of Gordon Sondland, a central figure in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry…
A person familiar with KURT VOLKER’S testimony to the House last week tells WSJ that RUDY GIULIANI told VOLKER and GORDON SONDLAND to specifically name BURISMA in a statement to commit Ukraine to investigations.

The statement was ultimately scuttled.…
When BILL TAYLOR texted GORDON SONDLAND about concerns over withholding security aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigations, SONDLAND first called TRUMP before telling TAYLOR to tell him to stop texting.…


"We're also aware the ambassador has text messages or emails on a personal device … and the State Department is withholding those messages as well. Those messages are also deeply relevant to this investigation and the impeachment inquiry."

"We will consider this act today … as well as the withholding of the ambassador’s documents … to be further acts of obstruction of a coequal branch of government."
JIM JORDAN cites “unfair process” as reason for State Department blocking GORDON SONDLAND’S testimony:

“We were actually looking forward to hearing from Ambassador Sondland. We thought he was going to reinforce exactly what Ambassador Volker told us last week."
JIM JORDAN says House Republicans will not take legal action to unmask the whistleblower:

“I think the American people have a right to know who the whistleblower is, but we’re not going to do that."
58 percent of Americans support the impeachment inquiry of Trump, according to a new Washington Post-Schar School Poll.

49 percent support removing Trump from office.…
Joint statement from Schiff, Engel and Cummings says the State Department decided to block Sondland’s testimony at 12:30 a.m. this morning.

“We will be issuing subpoena to Ambassador Sondland for both his testimony and documents.”
CNN - At least one National Security Council official alerted the White House's national security lawyers about concerns over Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president.

The concerns were raised independently of the whistleblower complaint.…
NBC News: Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland consulted directly with President Donald Trump before telling the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine that there had been "no quid pro quo” regarding the administration's pressure campaign on the country.…
"Trump's lawyers told House Democrats in the letter that the President and his administration won't cooperate in the ongoing impeachment inquiry, arguing the proceedings amount to an illegitimate effort to overturn the 2016 election results.”…
White House counsel PAT CIPOLLONE:

"Given that your inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections, the Executive Branch cannot be expected to participate in it.”…
CNN - Trump directed Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and two top State Department officials to deal with his private attorney Rudy Giuliani when the Ukrainian President sought to meet Trump, in a clear circumvention of official channels.…
Asked three times yesterday about Trump’s call for foreign election interference, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) dodges three times.…

Asked four times whether he was aware that the administration was holding up aid to Ukraine for investigations of the Bidens, Mike Pence dodges four times.
Asked 7 times in less than 2 minutes whether it is appropriate for Trump to call for a foreign government to investigate his political rival, Cory Gardner dodges 7 times.

Republicans who have downplayed foreign election interference:

-Kevin McCarthy
-Steve Scalise
-Lindsey Graham
-Jim Jordan
-Brad Wenstrup
-Ron Johnson
-Joni Ernst
-Marco Rubio
-Mike Bost
- Cory Gardner

Two Giuliani Associates Who Helped Him on Ukraine Charged With Campaign-Finance Violations…
WSJ - “The White House gave a po­lit­i­cally ap­pointed of­fi­cial the au­thor­ity to keep aid to Ukraine on hold af­ter ca­reer bud­get staff mem­bers ques­tioned the le­gal­ity of de­lay­ing the funds”…
House Intel, Oversight and Foreign Affairs Committees subpoena Rudy Giuliano’s business associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, for Ukraine documents.

Both men were arrested Wednesday night on campaign finance charges.

Read the subpoena letter here:…
House Intel, Oversight and Foreign Affairs Committees subpoena Energy Secretary Rick Perry for Ukraine documents.

Read the subpoena letter here:…
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) downplays Trump calling for foreign countries to investigate the Bidens:

“I’m going to leave it to the president to make that decision.”

Republicans who have downplayed foreign election interference:

-Kevin McCarthy
-Steve Scalise
-Lindsey Graham
-Jim Jordan
-Brad Wenstrup
-Ron Johnson
-Joni Ernst
-Marco Rubio
-Mike Bost
-Cory Gardner
-Thom Tillis

WSJ - “Lawyers for the CIA of­fi­cer whose whistle­blower com­plaint helped ig­nite an im­peach­ment in­quiry into Pres­i­dent Trump have asked Con­gress whether their client could sub­mit tes­ti­mony in writ­ing in­stead of ap­pear­ing in per­son”…
REPORTER: Were you joking when you asked China to investigate [the Bidens]?

TRUMP: China has to do whatever they want. If they want to look into something, they can look into it. If they don't want to look into it, they don't have to.


“At least 4 national security officials were so alarmed by the Trump administration’s attempts to pressure Ukraine for political purposes that they raised concerns with a White House lawyer both before and immediately after Trump’s July 25 call”…
“The nature and timing of the previously undisclosed discussions with NSC legal adviser John Eisenberg indicate that officials were delivering warnings through official White House channels earlier than previously understood — including before the call”…
At an early July meeting with John Bolton, Kurt Volker and two advisers to Ukraine’s new president, GORDON SONDLAND said there were “investigations that were dropped that need to be started up again.”

An official familiar said “Bolton went ballistic.”…
WaPo confirms WSJ reporting:

“Political appointees in the White House budget office intervened to freeze aid to Ukraine despite some career staffers raising concerns that the move was improper”…
MARIE YOVANOVITCH told House impeachment investigators on Friday that her departure came as a direct result of pressure President Trump placed on the State Department to remove her, according to her prepared remarks obtained by The Washington Post.…
MARIE YOVANOVITCH: “Contacts of Mr. Giuliani may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine.”…
CNN, Bloomberg & ABC all reporting the financial dealings of Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, with two associates indicted on campaign finance charges is under scrutiny of federal investigators.………
“Thus far, with the exception of some minor details, virtually all of the specific points of the [whistleblower] complaint have held up and been confirmed. Trump has no basis to claim the whistleblower complaint is 'very inaccurate.’"…
House Democratic chairmen say the State Department, at the direction of the White House, directed Marie Yovanovitch not to appear.

In response, the House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed her testimony this morning.
Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) asked on Wednesday whether it was appropriate for Trump to ask China to investigate the Bidens:

“I’m not going there. If you want to have an interview with me about the business center, please do so. … Don’t do that again.”…
Asked 8 times in less than 3 minutes whether it was appropriate for Trump to call for a foreign government to investigate his political rival, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) dodges 8 times.

Republicans who have downplayed foreign election interference:

-Kevin McCarthy
-Steve Scalise
-Lindsey Graham
-Jim Jordan
-Brad Wenstrup
-Ron Johnson
-Joni Ernst
-Marco Rubio
-Mike Bost
-Cory Gardner
-Thom Tillis
-Jim Risch
-Rand Paul


“Any effort to prevent witnesses from obeying lawful, congressional subpoenas, will be deemed acts of obstruction and add to a body of evidence that continues to grow that the president is … seeking to cover up his misconduct."
NYT - Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating whether President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani broke lobbying laws in his dealings in Ukraine, specifically his efforts to undermine U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.…
Hunter Biden to resign from board of Chinese firm, says he won’t serve on boards of foreign-owned companies if father wins election…
After texting BILL TAYLOR there was no Ukraine quid pro quo, GORDON SONDLAND to tell Congress this week that TRUMP told him there wasn't one, but he did not know it to be true.

“It’s only true that the president said it, not that it was the truth."…
SONDLAND to tell Congress for months he worked at direction of RUDY GIULIANI to secure “deliverable” sought by Trump:

Public statement from Ukraine that it would investigate Burisma.

In exchange TRUMP would grant Ukraine’s president a White House visit.…
"Sondland’s testimony will raise possibility Trump wasn’t truthful in denial of a quid pro quo as well as an alternative scenario in which Trump's interest in scheme soured...when his admin. faced scrutiny over [withholding] security assistance to Ukraine"…
After returning from the Ukrainian president's inauguration in May, Gordon Sondland, Kurt Volker & Rick Perry tried to get Trump to not focus on conspiracy theories.

Trump ended the meeting saying:

“If you want to do something you have to talk to Rudy.”…
.@AaronBlake notes:

Of the 3 diplomats texting about Ukraine, GORDON SONDLAND was the only one who hadn't suggested there was a quid pro quo.

Now Sondland plans to tell Congress there was a quid pro quo, "but not a corrupt one."…

Asked 5 times in 6 minutes whether it was appropriate for Trump to call for a foreign government to investigate his political rival, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) dodges 5 times.

Part of the interview here:

Republicans who have downplayed foreign election interference:

-Kevin McCarthy
-Steve Scalise
-Lindsey Graham
-Jim Jordan
-Brad Wenstrup
-Ron Johnson
-Joni Ernst
-Marco Rubio
-Mike Bost
-Cory Gardner
-Thom Tillis
-Jim Risch
-Rand Paul
-Kevin Cramer

Asked 4 times in 2 minutes whether it was appropriate for Trump to call for a foreign government to investigate his political rival, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) dodges 4 times.
GOP who have downplayed foreign election interference:

-Kevin McCarthy
-Steve Scalise
-Lindsey Graham
-Jim Jordan
-Brad Wenstrup
-Ron Johnson
-Joni Ernst
-Marco Rubio
-Mike Bost
-Cory Gardner
-Thom Tillis
-Jim Risch
-Rand Paul
-Kevin Cramer
-Lee Zeldin

"Where Parnas and Fruman got their money remains a mystery."…
"In 2017, [Bohai Harvest RST Partners] purchased a stake in a Chinese firm called Megvii ... [Hunter Biden's lawyer said] 'Hunter played no role in directing or making BHR’s investments,' leaving it unclear what Biden did in his position."

JORDAN on Friday:

“[The whistleblower deserves] protection, but...they’re not entitled to anonymity”

TRUMP on Saturday:

“We have to find out who the whistleblower is”

SCHIFF on Sunday:

“Our primary interest…is making sure that person is protected”…
WSJ - Federal prosecutors at SDNY are examining Rudy Giuliani’s business dealings in Ukraine, including his finances, meetings and work for a city mayor there.

Investigators also have examined Giuliani’s bank records.…
Gordon Sondland to tell Congress Trump said Giuliani would have to clear any meeting with Ukraine’s president.

Sondland to say condition was Giuliani’s demand of public stmt from Ukraine promising Biden probe.

Giuliani says Sondland “seemed…in charge.”…
FIONA HILL told Congress she raised concerns to NSC lawyer JOHN EISENBERG about efforts to push Ukraine to open investigations.

JOHN BOLTON told HILL to speak to EISENBERG after both were alarmed from July mtg. on Ukraine that included GORDON SONDLAND.…
“Fiona Hill told impeachment investigators on Monday that Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, ran a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine that circumvented U.S. officials and career diplomats in order to personally benefit President Trump”…
NYT confirms WSJ reporting:

FIONA HILL told Congress that JOHN BOLTON told her to alert WH lawyers about a July 10 meeting on Ukraine.


“I am not part of whatever drug deal Rudy and Mulvaney are cooking up ... Giuliani’s a hand grenade”…
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was paid $500,000 for work he did for a company co-founded by the Ukrainian-American businessman arrested last week on campaign finance charges, Giuliani told Reuters on Monday.…

Lev Parnas & Igor Fruman meet Trump at WH


Parnas posts photo w/ fmr. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex)

Sessions contacts State Dept. about dismissing Marie Yovanovitch


Parnas & Fruman contribute $325k to the pro-Trump super PAC…
Giuliani responds to Bolton calling him a “hand grenade” by calling Bolton an “atomic bomb”…

FIONA HILL told Congress at a July 10 mtg. GORDON SONDLAND told the Ukrainians there would be a meeting between TRUMP and ZELENSKY if Ukraine opened investigations TRUMP wanted.

After the meeting, SONDLAND told the Ukrainians he was referring to BURISMA.…
Hunter Biden says role with Ukraine firm was ‘poor judgment’ but not ‘improper’…
RUDY GIULIANI tells ABC News he will not comply with House Democrats’ subpoena of him in the impeachment inquiry.…
—> More from Giuliani refusing to comply with House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry subpoena
The Office of Management and Budget says it does not plan to turn over documents subpoenaed by the House committees overseeing the impeachment inquiry.…

Vice President Mike Pence will not comply with House impeachment inquiry subpoena
WSJ - A grand jury has issued a subpoena related to SDNY investigation into Rudy Giuliani, seeking documents from fmr. Rep. Pete Sessions about his dealings with Giuliani and associates.

There is no indication Sessions is a target of the investigation.…
WSJ - “Mulvaney carried out the president’s order to suspend nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine. Bolton protested the move and—before the hold on the money was lifted—promised Ukrainian officials ... the U.S. wouldn’t revoke it.”…
—> Pentagon will not comply with House impeachment inquiry subpoena
WASHINGTON (AP) — Gordon Sondland is prepared to tell lawmakers this week that top White House national security officials never personally raised concerns with him about his dealings with Rudy Giuliani in Ukraine.…
“Sondland is ... expected to say that he did not associate Burisma with the Biden family and viewed the emphasis on investigating corruption as part of a goal shared broadly across the administration.”…
Deputy asst. sec. of state for Ukraine, GEORGE KENT, told Congress on Tuesday that MICK MULVANEY organized a meeting last spring where officials decided to take Ukraine policy out of the traditional channels and put PERRY, SONDLAND and VOLKER in charge.…
Fiona Hill told House impeachment investigators this week that she viewed Gordon Sondland as a potential national security risk because he was so unprepared for his job.…
CNN - Federal investigation of Rudy Giuliani includes counterintelligence probe…
Adam Schiff Dear Colleague letter on impeachment:

"As the investigation proceeds, and at a time that it will not jeopardize investigative equities, we will make the interview transcripts public, subject to any necessary redactions for classified or sensitive information."
Mike Pompeo’s fmr. sr. adviser MICHAEL MCKINLEY told impeachment investigators on Wednesday that he quit his State Department job last week concerned about the mistreatment of career diplomats and Trump’s reliance on foreign governments for political dirt.…
MCKINLEY testimony obtained by The Washington Post:

“I was disturbed by the implication that foreign governments were being approached to procure negative information on political opponents”…
Rick Perry tells WSJ he called Rudy Giuliani this spring at Trump’s direction to address Trump’s concerns about Ukraine.

Perry says Giuliani blamed Ukraine for the Steele dossier and made up Manafort evidence, and said Ukraine had Clinton’s email server.…
GORDON SONDLAND told House impeachment investigators on Thursday that TRUMP outsourced U.S. foreign policy on Ukraine to RUDY GIULIANI.

“I would not have recommended that Mr. Giuliani or any private citizen be involved in these foreign policy matters.”…
Read Gordon Sondland’s opening statement before House committees today:…
REPORTER: What you just described is a quid pro quo. It is funding will not flow unless the investigation into the Democratic server happened as well.

MULVANEY: We do that all the time with foreign policy…Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy.
TRUMP yesterday:

“There was no quid pro quo."
.@GeoffRBennett spoke to GORDON SONDLAND this morning before his testimony:

@GeoffRBennett BENNETT: Why was it important for you to show up here today?

SONDLAND: It’s always important to show up when Congress calls.

BENNETT: Are you here to salvage your reputation, sir?

SONDLAND: I don’t have a reputation to salvage.
Trump’s chief of staff admits it: There was a Ukraine quid pro quo…
BREAKING: Mulvaney confirms Ukraine aid withheld in part over request to investigate Democrats, despite Trump’s denial of a quid pro quo…
NEW statement from Mick Mulvaney:

“Let me be clear, there was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election. The president never told me to withhold any money until the Ukrainians did anything related to the server.”
More Mulvaney:

“There never was any condition on the flow of the aid related to the matter of the DNC server.”
1:00 pm:

"Did he also mention to me … the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely … and that's why we held up the money.”

5:56 pm:

“The president never told me to withhold any money until the Ukrainians did anything related to the server.”

ADAM SCHIFF earlier:

“Things have just gone from very, very bad to much, much worse.”
"Late Thursday afternoon, Mr. Mulvaney issued a statement, reviewed by Mr. Trump, reversing his remarks and saying there was no connection.”…

"US authorities investigating an alleged effort by associates of Rudy Giuliani to funnel foreign money into US election campaigns have collected records of financial transactions for over 50 bank accounts as well as correspondence on 10 email addresses”…
GEORGE KENT said he raised concerns in 2015 about HUNTER BIDEN’s Ukraine work complicating efforts to tell Ukrainians to avoid conflicts but was turned away by a Biden staffer who said VP didn’t have “bandwidth” to deal with it as Beau battled cancer.…
It is “the first known example of a career diplomat who raised concerns internally in the Obama administration about Hunter Biden’s board position.”…
“Over 2 weeks of closed-door testimony, a clear portrait has emerged of Trump personally orchestrating effort to pressure a foreign govt to dig up dirt on a potential 2020 political rival—and marshaling full resources of the federal bureaucracy to help”…
REPORTER: Do you mind clarifying what Mick Mulvaney said yesterday?

TRUMP: I think he clarified it. And I do have to say this: We, yesterday, had a tremendous day in Texas. We opened a Louis Vuitton plant.

CNN - GEORGE KENT testified this week that RUDY GIULIANI asked the State Department and the White House in January 2019 to grant a visa to former Ukrainian prosecutor-general VIKTOR SHOKIN.…
WaPo confirms CNN reporting:

RUDY GIULIANI pressed the State Department and the White House to grant a visa to Ukraine’s former top prosecutor VIKTOR SHOKIN.

The visa was denied on corruption grounds.…
WaPo interviewed GIULIANI associate LEV PARNAS in late September before his arrest on campaign finance charges.

PARNAS believed then-ambassador to Ukraine MARIE YOVANOVITCH played a role in the visa denial.

Officials say the denial was made on merits.…
STEPHANOPOULOS: Was [Rudy Giuliani] acting with your blessing and supervision?

POMPEO: [I don’t] talk about internal deliberations inside the administration.

STEPHANOPOULOS: This was not a member of the administration.

Inside Joe Biden’s brawling efforts to reform Ukraine — which won him successes and enemies…
WILL HURD yesterday:

“We haven't heard from any Ukrainian official that felt like there was this [quid pro quo] arrangement.”…

TRUMP today:

“The Ukrainians didn’t complain and they didn’t tell any of our ambassadors.”

Andriy Yermak, a top aide to Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky, was aware of U.S. efforts to commit Ukraine to political investigations in exchange for an Oval Office meeting with President Trump.…

"President Trump’s effort to pressure Ukraine for information he could use against political rivals came as he was being urged to adopt a hostile view of that country by its regional adversaries, including Russian President Vladi­mir Putin”…
WaPo - Acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine BILL TAYLOR told House impeachment investigators on Tuesday that he was told that TRUMP wanted the release of Ukraine aid to be contingent on a public declaration to investigate the Bidens and the 2016 election.…
REPORTER: The president has said that you told him that his phone call with the Ukrainian president was “perfect” and “innocent.” Do you believe that the president has handled this Ukrainian situation perfectly?

MCCONNELL: We’ve not had any conversations on that subject.
SONDLAND on Oct. 17:

"I recall no discussions with any State Dept or WH official about fmr. Vice President Biden or his son”

TAYLOR on Oct. 22:

"Sondland told me Trump told him he wants Zelensky to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma”…

"Sondland said ‘everything’ was dependent on such an announcement [of Ukrainian investigations], including security assistance…He said Trump wanted Zelensky ‘in a public box’ by making a public statement about ordering such investigations”…
Three takeaways from Bill Taylor’s crucial opening statement via @AaronBlake:…
The Washington Post has obtained a copy of Bill Taylor’s 15-page opening statement:…
Statement from White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham:

“President Trump has done nothing wrong — this is a coordinated smear campaign from far-left lawmakers and radical unelected bureaucrats waging war on the Constitution. There was no quid pro quo."
BILL TAYLOR told House investigators today he was told by National Security Council aide TIM MORRISON that GORDON SONDLAND told top Zelensky aide ANDRIY YERMAK that security aid would not come until ZELENSKY committed to pursue the Burisma investigation.…
TAYLOR on his call with SONDLAND:

“Sondland told me that President Trump had told him that he wants Zelensky to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.”…

More from Taylor’s call with Sondland:

“Sondland said, ‘everything’ was dependent on such an announcement [of investigations], including security assistance”…

More from Taylor’s testimony today:

“On Sept. 5, I hosted Sens. Johnson and Murphy for a vist to Kyiv. During their visit, we met with President Zelensky. His first question to the senators was about the withheld security assistance.”…
“Sondland said that he had talked to Zelensky and Yermak and told them that, although this was not a quid pro quo, if Zelensky did not ‘clear things up’ in public, we would be at a ‘stalemate.’ I understood ‘stalemate’ to mean that Ukraine would not receive…military assistance"
AP - Two weeks after Trump called to congratulate Volodymyr Zelensky on his election, Zelensky met with advisers on May 7 to discuss how to navigate Trump and Rudy Giuliani’s insistence on investigations and how to avoid becoming entangled in US elections.…
The May 7 meeting included two of Zelensky's top aides: Andriy Yermak and Andriy Bogdan.

Bill Taylor testified yesterday that Gordon Sondland told Yermak at one point that security aid was contingent on Ukrainian investigations.…

The White House has not released a transcript of Trump’s April call with Volodymyr Zelensky.

Here is the readout of the call:

“[Trump] expressed his commitment to work together…to implement reforms that strengthen democracy...and root out corruption."…
House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committee chairs send a new letter to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan calling on the State Department to release Ukraine documents…

“Many false things have been said about me and my family in the press and media recently. I look forward to defending myself vigorously in court, and I'm certain that in the time, truth will be revealed and I will be vindicated. In the end, I put my faith in God.”
President Trump has sought to dismiss the impeachment inquiry by saying his primary focus with Ukraine was on combating corruption, but his administration has repeatedly tried to slash spending on programs that are tasked with rooting out corruption.…
NYT - Ukraine Knew of Aid Freeze by Early August, Undermining Trump Defense…

Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Tex.) on Trump calling for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens:

"The president is absolutely right to expect that taxpayer monies will be stewarded when we give aid in any form to a foreign country."
Republicans who have downplayed foreign election interference:

-R. Johnson

GORDON SONDLAND’s lawyer on TAYLOR testimony:

“Sondland does not recall any conversation in Warsaw concerning the aid cutoff although he understood that the Ukrainians were, by then, certainly aware of the cutoff and raised the issue directly with Pence”…
"That Sondland did not know about an alleged quid pro quo involving taxpayer money is central to his contention that he did nothing wrong on Trump’s behalf.”…

SCIUTTO: Did you bring up investigating the Bidens as part of a negotiation [with China]?

NAVARRO: You’re asking me what happens in the White House behind closed doors … I’m not going to tell you.

White House delayed Ukraine trade decision in August, a signal that U.S. suspension of cooperation extended beyond security funds…
A newly released letter signed by nearly 70 federal agency inspectors general faulted the Justice Department OLC memo that initially blocked the Ukraine whistleblower’s complaint from reaching Congress as risking having a chilling effect on whistleblowers.…
House Intel, Oversight and Foreign Affairs Committees send subpoenas to three officials:

Acting OMB Director Russell Vought…

OMB Associate Director Michael Duffey…

State Dept. Counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl…
TAPPER: Do you think it’s wrong for a president — any president — to ask a foreign leader to investigate one of his domestic political opponents?

KENNEDY: It depends on the circumstances.
Republicans who have downplayed foreign election interference:

-R. Johnson
-J. Kennedy

Bolton’s former deputy fails to show up for Hill deposition as he seeks court ruling to resolve dispute over testifying…
ADAM SCHIFF: “The lawsuit that Dr. Kupperman filed in district court has no basis in law. A private citizen cannot sue the Congress to try to avoid coming in when they’re served with a lawful subpoena. … his failure to appear as evidence that may warrant a contempt proceeding"
"A senior State Department official went before House impeachment investigators Saturday and said that top officials stymied a show of solidarity for the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine after President Trump had her removed”…
Mike Pence asked five times about his knowledge of a quid pro quo on Ukraine, as confirmed by at least four U.S. officials under oath.

Pence dodges five times.…
NBC News: FIONA HILL alerted JOHN BOLTON in May after learning RUDY GIULIANI was pushing ZELENSKY’s incoming administration to change leadership of Ukraine’s state-owned energy co. Naftogaz.

HILL learned LEV PARNAS and IGOR FRUMAN were involved the push.…
"The revelation significantly moves up the timeline of when the White House learned that Trump's allies had engaged with the incoming Ukrainian administration and were acting in ways that unnerved the Ukrainians”…


RON JOHNSON met fmr Ukrainian diplomat ANDRII TELIZHENKO in July about the unsubstantiated claim that the DNC worked with Ukraine in 2016 to gather info about PAUL MANAFORT.

TELIZHENKO has fueled unsubstantiated DNC and Biden/investigation theories.…
Lt. Col. ALEXANDER VINDMAN, the top White House Ukraine expert, to testify he twice raised concerns to NSC lawyer JOHN EISENBERG about TRUMP’s pressure tactics on Ukraine.

The colonel’s account is echoed by officials including BILL TAYLOR and FIONA HILL.…
VINDMAN: “I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine”…
Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) asked 8 times in less than 90 seconds whether it was appropriate for Trump to call for foreign governments to investigate his political rival.

Amodei dodges 8 times.

Republicans who have downplayed foreign election interference:

-R. Johnson
-J. Kennedy

Nearly 3 weeks after Vice President Pence said he had "no objection" to releasing a reconstructed transcript of his phone call with the leader of Ukraine, the White House still has not made a decision on whether to make the reconstructed transcript public.…
Politico - ALEXANDER VINDMAN testified that he objected to GORDON SONDLAND’s call for Ukrainian investigations during a July 10 White House meeting attended by Energy Sec. RICK PERRY.

PERRY on Oct. 7 to CBN:

“Not once was a Biden name … ever mentioned”…
CAVUTO: Did anything in that call or transcript disturb you, Senator?

SCOTT: No. … I keep saying, tell me what he violated.
Republicans who have downplayed foreign election interference:

-R. Johnson
-J. Kennedy
-R. Scott

ALEXANDER VINDMAN told House impeachment investigators on Tuesday the rough White House transcript of TRUMP’s July call with Ukrainian President ZELENSKY omitted references to Biden and Burisma.

VINDMAN said his attempts to correct the omissions failed.…
“Colonel Vindman’s account offered a hint to solving a mystery surrounding the conversation: what Mr. Trump’s aides left out of the transcript in places where ellipses indicated dropped words.”…

WSJ - The le­gal team rep­re­sent­ing the whistleblower has re­ceived multi­ple death threats that have led to at least one law-en­force­ment investigation.

“None of the threats thus far have ap­peared to be ac­tual cred­i­ble threats of vi­o­lence”…
The five officials who have acknowledged a quid pro quo in Trump’s Ukraine actions:

- Alexander Vindman
- William Taylor
- Gordon Sondland
- Ron Johnson
- Mick Mulvaney…
"Privately, several Republicans found Vindman’s testimony to be damaging and lamented that once again they were forced to defend the president.”…

July 10

Two White House meetings with Ukrainian officials where Gordon Sondland allegedly articulated quid pro quo

July 18

Mick Mulvaney orders OMB to freeze $391m in Ukrainian security aid

July 25

Trump speaks with Zelensky…
In her prepared remarks, CATHERINE CROFT told House impeachment investigators that lobbyist and former House speaker candidate BOB LIVINGSTON called her saying that Trump’s Ukraine Ambassador MARIE YOVANOVITCH should be fired.…
Trump National Security Council aide Tim Morrison resigns on eve of congressional testimony in impeachment probe…
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggests—with no evidence—that Obama withheld weapons to Ukraine because of Hunter Biden:

“I couldn’t answer if it’s because of Hunter Biden that Barack Obama and VP Biden didn’t give defensive weapons systems to Ukraine."…
NSC lawyer JOHN EISENBERG proposed moving the transcript of Trump’s July 25 Ukraine call to a highly classified server and restricting access to it after Lt. Col. ALEXANDER VINDMAN raised concerns about the call.…

Fmr. NSC aide TIM MORRISON corroborated the testimony of BILL TAYLOR that he alerted TAYLOR to a push to withhold Ukraine aid and a White House visit until Ukraine agreed to investigations.

MORRISON said he did not view it as an illegal request.…
Q: Is it OK for the president to pressure foreign governments to interfere in our elections?

DON YOUNG: *Headbutts camera*

Republicans who have downplayed foreign election interference:

-R. Johnson
-J. Kennedy
-R. Scott
-D. Young


Days after Lt. Col. ALEXANDER VINDMAN raised concerns with NSC lawyer JOHN EISENBERG about Trump’s July 25 Ukraine call, EISENBERG told VINDMAN not to tell anyone what happened on the call, VINDMAN testified to Congress.…
WaPo confirms Politico reporting:

JOHN EISENBERG instructed ALEXANDER VINDMAN to not discuss his concerns about Trump’s July 25 call after White House lawyers learned July 29 that a CIA employee had anonymously raised concerns about the call.…
BASH: Was there a time when military aid was held up because the president wanted Ukraine to look into the Bidens?

CONWAY: I don’t know.

Four impeachment inquiry witnesses scheduled to testify Monday not expected to appear:

- John Eisenberg, NSC lawyer
- Robert Blair, sr. adviser to Mick Mulvaney
- Michael Ellis, deputy NSC legal adviser
- Brian McCormack, associate director at OMB…

The House Intelligence Committee has released the transcripts of depositions with fmr. US ambassador to Ukraine MARIE YOVANOVITCH and Mike Pompeo’s fmr. sr. adviser MICHAEL MCKINLEY.


7 takeaways from Marie Yovanovitch’s and Michael McKinley’s Ukraine testimony via @AaronBlake & @byamberphillips…
@AaronBlake @byamberphillips "LEV PARNAS … is now prepared to comply with requests for records and testimony from congressional impeachment investigators, his lawyer told Reuters on Monday.”…
Two impeachment inquiry witnesses scheduled to testify Tuesday not expected to appear:

- Michael Duffey, OMB associate director for national security programs
- Wells Griffith, NSC energy adviser…
House impeachment investigators seek deposition from acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Thursday…

In four new pages of sworn testimony, GORDON SONDLAND recounted how he told Ukrainian officials that their country likely would not receive U.S. military aid unless it publicly committed to investigations President Trump wanted.…
House committees release transcripts of depositions from E.U. ambassador Gordon Sondland and ambassador Kurt Volker:


New statement from WH press secretary Stephanie Grisham:

“Both transcripts released today show there is even less evidence for this illegitimate impeachment sham … Amb. Sondland … ‘presumed' there was a link to the aid—but cannot identify any solid source for that assumption."
5 takeaways from the Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker testimonies via @AaronBlake…
7:54 am

Sondland tries to call Volker then texts: “Call as soon as possible"

8:36 am

Volker texts sr. Zelensky aide Yermak about committing to investigations for WH mtg

9 am

Zelensky mentions investigations on call with Trump…

Volker on his July 25 “heard from White House” text:

“The best of my recollection is I heard from Gordon, who spoke to someone at the White House"

When asked about his Volker text, Sondland speculated about his call with Trump.…

House Intelligence Committee announces first public hearings of impeachment inquiry:

Wednesday, Nov. 13

- Ambassador William Taylor
- Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent

Friday, Nov. 15

- Former Ambassador Marie “Masha” Yovanovitch
House committees release transcript of deposition from ambassador William Taylor:…
Q: You never told Amb. Volker that he needed to tell Andrey Yermak that to relay this message to Zelensky?

SONDLAND: I don’t believe so.

Q: You never asked Kurt Volker to pass a message to Yermak around this time?

SONDLAND: I don’t remember that.

4 big takeaways from Bill Taylor’s full transcript…
John Bolton expressed alarm about shadow Ukraine policy, but at key moments, it’s unclear what he did to stop it…

TRUMP wanted Attorney General BILL BARR to hold a news conference saying TRUMP broke no laws during his July 25 Ukraine call.

BARR declined.…
- Volker testimony:

SCHIFF: When did the suspension in aid come to your attention?

VOLKER: July 18.

- Volker text on July 19 to Sondland:

"Had breakfast with Rudy this morning … Most impt is for Zelensky to say that he will help investigation”…
NEW via @CarolLeonnig @thamburger: Bolton willing to defy White House and testify if court clears the way, according to people familiar with his views…

Adam Schiff outlines three questions impeachment inquiry witnesses should speak to in their testimony.

Schiff’s letter:…
House committees release transcript of deposition from Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent:…
GEORGE KENT testified that TRUMP wanted the Ukraine 2016 election investigation tied to HILLARY CLINTON:

"POTUS wanted nothing less than President Zelensky to go to microphone and say ‘investigations,’ ‘Biden,’ and ‘Clinton.’”…
REGAN: Did you say to him the money is contingent upon you offering something up in the way of a statement, whatever it may be, on how you're handling corruption?

PENCE: Oh of course not, no.

Pence also says the Bidens did not come up during his September meeting with Zelensky.
PENCE asked again yesterday about releasing the transcript of his calls with ZELENSKY:

"Well, I've said I have no objection at all. We — we're working with White House counsel about that.”

Ukraine’s Zelensky Bowed to Trump’s Demands, Until Luck Spared Him
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney subpoenaed to testify Friday in impeachment probe.

He is not expected to appear.…
TRUMP today suggested he may release a transcript of his April call with ZELENSKY:

“If they want it I’ll give it to them. … I have no problem giving it to them.”

House committees release transcript of deposition from former National Security Council official Fiona Hill:…
House committees release transcript of deposition from Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman:…
"The GOP is effectively offering up the three to be fall guys.”…

John Bolton’s lawyer says he has knowledge of “many relevant meetings and conversations” connected to the Ukraine pressure campaign that lawmakers don’t know about.…
NYT: NSC lawyer JOHN EISENBERG denies he ordered the rough transcript of Trump’s Ukraine call moved to highly classified server.

"He directed only that access to the document be restricted…officials overly interpreted his order”…

Months before TRUMP pressed Ukraine’s president for investigations, GIULIANI associates LEV PARNAS and IGOR FRUMAN urged Ukraine’s prior president to announce similar investigations in exchange for a state visit.

GIULIANI says he had no knowledge of mtg.…
“Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testified that Gordon Sondland told him the idea of preconditioning a White House meeting on the Ukrainians helping investigate the Bidens 'had been coordinated with White House Chief of Staff Mr. Mick Mulvaney.’”…
House GOP asks for Hunter Biden and whistleblower to testify in impeachment probe…
ADAM SCHIFF: “The Committee is evaluating the Minority’s witness requests ... This inquiry is not, and will not serve, however, as a vehicle to undertake the same sham investigations into the Bidens or 2016 that the President pressed Ukraine to conduct for his personal benefit”
Pentagon official LAURA COOPER told impeachment investigators last month the Pentagon sought clarification from the Trump admin on July 18 about the hold on aid to Ukraine.

On July 23, OMB said MICK MULVANEY conveyed TRUMP had concerns about Ukraine aid.…
Yesterday, House committees released the transcripts of three depositions:

Dep. Asst. Sec. of Defense Laura Cooper:…

Two fmr. assistants to Amb. Kurt Volker:

Catherine Croft:…

Christopher Anderson:…
CATHERINE CROFT, a Ukraine specialist at the State Department, testified that the Ukrainians “found out very early on” that military aid had been frozen, undercutting a key point of President Trump’s “no quid pro quo” defense.…
Adam Schiff memo on procedures for impeachment inquiry hearings:…
House Intel Cmte announces more public hearings

Tuesday, Nov. 19
-Jennifer Williams
-Alexander Vindman
-Kurt Volker
-Tim Morrison

Wednesday, Nov. 20
-Gordon Sondland
-Laura Cooper
-David Hale

Thursday, Nov. 21
-Fiona Hill

Only 3 GOP requests approved: Morrison, Volker & Hale.
"The president was updated regularly by Giuliani on what he was learning about Parnas’s and Fruman’s efforts in Ukraine, according to a former senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.”…
BILL TAYLOR says his aide heard TRUMP on the phone ask GORDON SONDLAND about Ukrainian investigations one day after TRUMP’s July 25 Ukraine call.

SONDLAND said the Ukrainians “were ready to move forward” and told the aide TRUMP “cares more about the investigations of BIDEN."
TRUMP on TAYLOR’s testimony today about alleged TRUMP-SONDLAND call on July 26:

“I know nothing about that, first time I’ve heard it. … In any event, it’s more secondhand information, but I’ve never heard it."
Bill Barr on Wednesday said he did not remember Trump asking for a news conference to say Trump broke no laws in his July 25 call, but he acknowledged discussions with the White House on how DOJ would communicate with the media.…

House impeachment committees schedule two more closed-door depositions:

Nov. 15 at 3pm
David Holmes, US Embassy in Ukraine

Nov. 16 at 10am
Mark Sandy, OMB…

Of note: Holmes was the Bill Taylor aide who overheard Gordon Sondland’s July 26 call with Trump.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A second U.S. embassy staffer in Kyiv overheard a key cellphone call between President Donald Trump and his ambassador to the European Union discussing the need for Ukrainian officials to pursue “investigations.”…

WaPo confirms AP reporting that a second State Department official, Suriya Jayanti, overheard Gordon Sondland’s July 26 phone call with President Trump where Trump asked Sondland about Ukraine and “investigations.”…

OMB official MARK SANDY is expected to testify to House impeachment investigators on Saturday.

He would be the first OMB employee to testify in the inquiry.…

Bloomberg - RUDY GIULIANI is under federal investigation for possible campaign finance violations and a failure to register as a foreign agent as part of an active investigation into his financial dealings, according to three U.S. officials.…
KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said on Thursday that amb. Gordon Sondland did not explicitly link military aid to Kiev with opening an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Interfax Ukraine reported.…
White House releases rough transcript of Trump’s April call with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky


The readout of Trump’s April call with Zelensky said Trump “expressed his commitment to … root out corruption.”

There is no reference to corruption in the rough transcript of the call released by the White House today.
WSJ - Federal prosecutors are investigating whether RUDY GIULIANI stood to personally profit from a Ukrainian natural-gas business pushed by LEV PARNAS and IGOR FRUMAN, possibly in violation of lobbying laws.…
"The Ukrainians understood the pipeline to be 'part of the essential package' Giuliani and his associates were pushing, often mentioned immediately after the demand for investigations” per a lawyer representing a number of Ukrainian individuals.…
NYT confirms CNN reporting:

David Holmes says he overheard a call on July 26 between President Trump and Gordon Sondland where Trump asked about investigations from Ukraine.…

Original CNN story:…
NYT: "Holmes indicated there was a third person present who would have overheard [the Trump-Sondland call], as well.”…

From Gordon Sondland’s opening statement during Oct. 17 deposition:

“I recall no discussions with any State Department or White House official about former Vice President Biden or his son. Nor do I recall taking part in any effort to encourage an investigation into the Bidens."

Official White House readout of first Trump-Zelensky call was drafted before it occurred, according to a person familiar with the matter…

House committees release transcripts of depositions from fmr. NSC official Tim Morrison and Pence aide Jennifer Williams:


TIM MORRISON told impeachment investigators that GORDON SONDLAND told MORRISON that he told Zelensky aide ANDREY YERMAK that “what could help them move the aid was if the prosecutor general would … announce he was opening the Burisma investigation.”…
TIM MORRISON said the Ukraine rough transcript was moved to a highly classified server by “mistake,” per a conversation MORRISON had with JOHN EISENBERG.

“Staff related that they believed they were instructed by John Eisenberg to put it on that system.”

JENNIFER WILLIAMS corroborated the testimony of ALEXANDER VINDMAN that ZELENSKY referenced Burisma on the July 25 call but it was not in the rough WH transcript.

TIM MORRISON said the rough transcript “was accurate and complete.”…

John Bolton met with President Trump in August over withheld Ukrainian security aid, per Tim Morrison.…
WSJ - Gordon Sondland kept several Trump administration officials apprised of his effort to get Ukraine to launch investigations, including Mick Mulvaney and Rick Perry, according to emails reviewed by WSJ.…
AP - State Dept officials were informed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was feeling pressure from the Trump administration to investigate former VP Biden even before the July phone call, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.…
House committees release transcripts of depositions from Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale and Foreign Service Officer David Holmes:



"I think everybody in Ukraine is so tired about Burisma. We have our own country. We have our independence, we have our problems and questions. That’s it."…
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testifies that he spoke to intelligence official about Trump's July 25 call with Ukrainian leader…

KURT VOLKER: "I now understand that others saw the idea of investigating possible corruption involving…Burisma as equivalent to investigating former Vice President Biden…I should have seen that connection differently, and had I done so, I would have raised my own objections."
VOLKER during his Oct. 3 closed-door deposition on the July 10 meeting:

Q: [Was there discussion] about the investigations that we’ve been talking about?


White House releases statement from Pence national security adviser Keith Kellogg on July 25 call:

"I heard nothing wrong or improper on the call. I had and have no concerns.”
VOLKER today:

"I don’t think raising 2016 elections [should be done]"

VOLKER text to Ukrainians on July 25:

"assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate/'get to bottom of what happened' in 2016 we will nail down date for visit to [DC]"

VOLKER today:

“I wouldn’t call [investigations] a condition [for WH meeting]”

VOLKER text July 25:

“assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate/ 'get to the bottom of what happened' in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington."

GOLDMAN: What did Ambassador Sondland tell you that he told Mr. Yermak [in September]?

MORRISON: That the Ukrainians would have to have the prosecutor general make a statement with respect to the investigations as a condition of having the aid lifted.
TIM MORRISON on WSJ reporting on emails:

“Among the discussions I had with [Fiona] Hill were about Ambassador Sondland—I think she might have coined it ‘the Gordon problem’—and I decided to keep track of what Ambassador Sondland was doing.”

WSJ report:
SCHIFF: We asked you about that [July 10] meeting during your deposition and you told us nothing about this.

VOLKER: I learned other things…and that reminded me that yes, at the very end of that meeting…Gordon [Sondland] did bring [investigations] up.

VOLKER on why he proposed Ukraine pursue an investigation of 2016 election that he called a “conspiracy”:

"If it threads the needle between what is reasonable for Ukraine to do and if it resets the negative perceptions held by Mr. Giuliani and then the president then why not?"
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors are planning to interview an executive with Ukraine’s state-owned gas co as part of an ongoing probe into the business dealings of Rudy Giuliani and two of his Soviet-born business associates.…

Sondland: ‘Was there a quid pro quo? The answer is yes’…
GORDON SONDLAND: "Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker and I worked with Mr. Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the President of the United States. … we followed the president’s orders."
GORDON SONDLAND: "Emails show that the leadership of State, NSC, and the White House were all informed about the Ukraine efforts from May 23, 2019, until the security aid was released on September 11, 2019."
GORDON SONDLAND: "I shared concerns of the potential quid pro quo regarding the security aid with Senator Ron Johnson. And I also shared my concerns with the Ukrainians."
GORDON SONDLAND: President Trump directed us to “talk with Rudy.” We understood that “talk with Rudy” meant talk with Mr. Rudy Giuliani, the President’s personal lawyer.

KURT VOLKER yesterday:

I did not think “talk to Rudy” meant talk to Rudy.

GORDON SONDLAND says he kept the following individuals informed of his efforts:

- Mike Pompeo
- Ulrich Brechbuehl
- Lisa Kenna
- John Bolton
- Fiona Hill
- Tim Morrison

“They knew what we were doing and why."
GORDON SONDLAND on the July 10 meeting:

"I recall mentioning the pre-requisite of investigations before any White House call or meeting."
GORDON SONDLAND: Was there a “quid pro quo?” As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes.
SONDLAND on Warsaw meeting:

"Based on my previous communication with Sec. Pompeo I felt comfortable sharing my concerns with Yermak…I told Yermak that I believed that the resumption of US aid would likely not occur until Ukraine took some kind of action on the public statement"
GORDON SONDLAND undermines claim that investigations were about corruption:

“[Zelensky] had to announce the investigations. He didn’t actually have to do them, as I understood it."
GOLDMAN: The only logical conclusion to you that given all of these factors, that the aid was also a part of this quid pro quo.

GORDON SONDLAND: "President Trump never told me directly that the aid was conditioned on the meetings. The only thing we got directly from Giuliani was that the Burisma and 2016 elections were conditioned on the White House meeting. The aid was my own personal, you know, guess."
GORDON SONDLAND says he does not dispute the testimony of BILL TAYLOR and TIM MORRISON that TRUMP told him in September that ZELENSKY needed to publicly announce investigations before aid would be released.
NEW @thefix mashup:

During his first three hours of testimony on Wednesday, Gordon Sondland undercut at least nine different Republican defenses of President Trump’s actions on Ukraine.…

@thefix New email reveals that Pompeo knew about push for Ukraine to open investigations…
@thefix Deputy Asst. Secretary of Defense LAURA COOPER says since her closed-door deposition her staff has informed her that the Ukrainian embassy sent an email on July 25 asking “What was going on with Ukraine security assistance?”

The email came hours after Trump and Zelensky spoke.
SEWELL: Was it also your understanding that the president directed the hold?

HALE: We were told in that meeting by the OMB representative that they were objecting to proceeding with the assistance because the president had so directed through the acting chief of staff.
SONDLAND: “I mentioned to Vice President Pence before the meetings with the Ukrainians that I had concerns that the delay in aid had become tied to the issue of investigations.”…

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine has widened its investigation into the founder of energy company Burisma to include suspicion of embezzling state funds, Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka said on Wednesday.
DAVID HOLMES on July 26 meeting with ZELENSKY:

President Zelenskyy stated that during the July 25 call, President Trump had “three times” raised “some very sensitive issues,” and that he would have to follow up … on those issues when he and President Trump met “in person.”
Hours after the July 26 Zelensky meeting, David Holmes describes overhearing Trump’s July 26 call with Gordon Sondland:

"Sondland stated that the President only cares about 'big stuff’ … that benefits the President, like the 'Biden investigation' that Mr. Giuliani was pushing."
DAVID HOLMES: [By Aug. 29] my clear impression was [the aid] hold was likely intended by [Trump] either as an expression of dissatisfaction with the Ukrainians who had not yet agreed to the Burisma/Biden investigation or as an effort to increase the pressure on them to do so.
Holmes clarifies that the “sensitive issues” Zelensky said Trump brought up on the July 25 call referred to the Burisma/Biden investigation.

GOLDMAN: What did you understand [Bolton] to mean by "the drug deal that Mulvaney and Sondland were cooking up?"

HILL: I took it to mean investigations for a meeting.

GOLDMAN: Did you go speak to the lawyers?

HILL: I certainly did. … I relayed it precisely.

"He was being involved in a domestic policy errand, and we were being involved in national security/foreign policy. And those two things had just diverged."
FIONA HILL on July 10 meeting:

"Gordon Sondland was basically saying, ‘Well, look, we have a deal here that there will be a meeting … if the Ukrainians open up or announce these investigations into 2016 and Burisma. And I cut it off immediately there."
Records show contact between Pompeo and Giuliani ahead of Ukraine ambassador’s ouster…
Days after the White House Counsel’s Office was made aware the whistleblower had alerted the CIA’s general counsel about Trump’s July 25 call, Mick Mulvaney asked acting OMB director Russell Vought about the legal rationale for withholding aid to Ukraine.…
Adam Schiff Dear Colleague letter:

"As required under House Resolution 660, the Committees are now preparing a report summarizing the evidence we have found this far, which will be transmitted to the Judiciary Committee soon after Congress returns from the Thanksgiving recess."
NYT - Indicted Ukrainian oligarch DMITRY FIRTASH says RUDY GIULIANI offered to help with his U.S. extradition case on bribery and racketeering if he hired pro-Trump lawyers VICTORIA TOENSING and JOE DIGENOVA.…
Per Lev Parnas, GIULIANI also wanted FIRTASH to help with GIULIANI’s campaign for dirt on the Bidens.

FIRTASH declined to say whether anyone asked him for help finding dirt on the Bidens, but says he did not provide any help.…
After FIRTASH hired TOENSING and DIGENOVA, confidential documents from his case began to find their way into articles by JOHN SOLOMON, the reporter whom GIULIANI has acknowledged using to advance his Biden claims.

SOLOMON is also a client of TOENSING.…
"The federal investigation into two associates of Rudolph W. Giuliani is exploring a wide range of potential crimes — including wire fraud and failure to register as a foreign agent”…
CNN - "The Office of Management and Budget's first official action to withhold $250 million in Pentagon aid to Ukraine came on the evening of July 25, the same day President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke on the phone”…
House committees release transcripts of depositions from Office of Management and Budget’s Mark Sandy and State Department’s Philip Reeker:


House committees have also released transcripts of officials who failed to comply with subpoena requests:

Charles Kupperman:…

Brian McCormack:…

Robert Blair:…

John Eisenberg:…

Michael Ellis:…

Michael Duffey:…

Preston Wells Griffith:…

T. Ulrich Brechbuhl and Russell Vought:…

Mick Mulvaney:…
Trump on the July 25 Zelensky call right before mentioning the Biden investigation:

“I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. … If you could speak to him that would be great.”…

O'REILLY: What was Rudy Giuliani doing in Ukraine on your behalf?

TRUMP: Well, you have to ask that to Rudy. ... Rudy has other clients other than me.

O'REILLY: You didn't direct him to go there on your behalf?


Deputy associate director at OMB Mark Sandy told impeachment investigators that two White House budget officials resigned while voicing concerns about the hold on Ukraine aid.

Sandy did not name the employees.…
NYT - President Trump had already been briefed by lawyers from the White House counsel’s office on the whistleblower complaint when he released frozen military aid to Ukraine in September.…
Notable via NYT

Trump told Gordon Sondland in early September that there was no “quid pro quo” before the phrase had entered the public lexicon in the Ukraine affair.…
Rudy Giuliani tweet on November 6:

“The investigation I conducted concerning 2016 Ukrainian collusion and corruption, was done solely as a defense attorney to defend my client against false charges”

"For Giuliani, the agreements would have been a way to accrue financial benefit from a person who was also providing him politically damaging information that could help another client, the president of the United States."

“Asked about a potential probe focusing on the Bidens and their connection with ... Burisma, [Ukraine’s general prosecutor Ruslan] Ryaboshapka said Trump’s attorney-general William Barr had made no contact to formally request a joint investigation.”…

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More from @RiegerReport

Aug 16, 2021
New @thefix mashup:

The Biden administration’s many wrong predictions about Afghanistan…

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on April 18:

“No one, starting with the Taliban, has an interest in going back to a civil war … if they start something up again, they’re going to be in a long war.”

Special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad on May 18:

“The statements that the forces will disintegrate and the Talibs will take over in short order are mistaken. The real choices the Afghans will face is between a long war and negotiated settlement”

Read 13 tweets
Jul 14, 2021
New @thefix mashup:

Under Trump, Republicans touted the coronavirus vaccines.

Now, under Biden, they’re questioning them.…

Ron Johnson

Dec. 13, 2020: “President Trump deserves a lot of credit [for helping produce the vaccines]”

June 28, 2021: “Just because the vaccine is generally safe, doesn’t mean that it's 100% safe.”

Rand Paul

Nov. 19, 2020: “I’ve been a big proponent of releasing it [the vaccines] early”

Dec. 7, 2020: “To government officials…let’s get the vaccine out as soon as we can.”

June 24, 2021: “One dose may be enough, but also maybe zero doses is enough”

Read 6 tweets
Jul 11, 2021
BARTIROMO: It may very well be that Kevin McCarthy is called to testify under oath. Do you want to tell us what took place on that phone call?

TRUMP: No, I don’t have to, because Kevin will speak and I’m sure Kevin will be, you know, very good from that standpoint.

House Jan. 6 committee asks Kevin McCarthy for information about communications with Trump, Mark Meadows…

KEVIN MCCARTHY: “It is with neither regret nor satisfaction that I have concluded to not participate with this select committee’s abuse of power that stains this institution today and will harm it going forward.”…
Read 5 tweets
Jun 25, 2021
Susan Collins and Jeanne Shaheen reject calls to condition passage of bipartisan infrastructure on passage of reconciliation infrastructure.

Collins: “There’s no need for that.”

Shaheen: “I would hope that we trust each other a little more than that.”… Image
Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema on two-track infrastructure plan:

Manchin: "Reconciliation is inevitable”

Sinema: "I’ve already spoken with the president and Leader Schumer … And like always, I am open to finding a path forward”… Image
ROMNEY: “I do take the president at his word. … The president’s other agenda was never linked to the infrastructure effort. … I am totally confident the president will sign it if it comes to his desk."
Read 7 tweets
May 21, 2021
More than 70 officers have left force since January 6, Capitol Police union says…

“The U.S. Capitol Police had specific intelligence that supporters of President Donald Trump planned to mount an armed invasion of the Capitol at least two weeks before the Jan. 6 riot, according to new findings in a bipartisan Senate investigation”…
“The report faults slow mobilization and poor interdepartmental communication — not any sort of stand-down order from the White House, as some Trump critics had speculated — for the fact that it took the National Guard more than three hours to respond”…
Read 20 tweets
May 18, 2021
White House pool report:

"Your pool made an unscheduled stop … The pool is standing behind cones at the landing strip for 'our safety.’ Asked if Biden was driving, Jen Psaki said 'we’ll see’. Then president Biden appeared driving fast in a grey-ish f-150 lightning truck."
President Biden test drives Ford’s new electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck
REPORTER: Mr. President, can I ask you a quick question on Israel before you drive away since it’s so important?

BIDEN: No you can’t. Not unless you get in front of the car as I step on it. I’m only teasing.

Read 4 tweets

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