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Politics Who are the 14 witnesses in the Trump impeachment inquiry and what have they said?

10:45  07 november  2019
10:45  07 november  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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The impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump , the incumbent president of the United States, was initiated by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on September 24, 2019, after a whistleblower alleged that Donald Trump may have abused the power of the presidency.

The latest witness in the inquiry , and why so much testimony is happening behind closed doors. She was expected to say that she and other Trump officials strongly objected to the removal of Ms. Hill, like other witnesses in the impeachment investigation, testified privately — meaning it will take

WASHINGTON – More than a dozen witnesses have been called before a trio of House committees and questioned for hours about President Donald Trump and Ukraine. 

The witnesses include diplomats and White House officials with knowledge of Trump's dealings with Ukraine. Each has provided new details as part of the quickly moving impeachment inquiry examining whether Trump abused his power as president in asking Ukraine to investigate political foes while dangling military aid for the country and a White House meeting. Their testimonies combined span about 100 hours. 

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Democrats say the testimony paints a picture of the Trump ’s abuse of power, while Republicans have raced to the Since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry in September, there has been a Here are the people who have testified so far and what they said

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Several of these witnesses will appear next week when the first public impeachment hearings take place. 

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Here are the 14 witnesses who have been interviewed by the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees, why they matter in the impeachment saga and what we know about their testimony.

Oct. 3: Former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker

Kurt Volker wearing a suit and tie: Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine, arrives for a closed-door interview with House investigators, as House Democrats proceed with the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Oct. 3, 2019. © J. Scott Applewhite, AP Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine, arrives for a closed-door interview with House investigators, as House Democrats proceed with the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Oct. 3, 2019.

Why he matters: A career State Department official, Volker worked with Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and various White House officials to set up Trump's phone call July 25 with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and a potential White House visit. This happened as military aid for the country was on pause. 

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The case for impeachment . President Trump 's conduct described in the testimony and evidence clearly constitutes an impeachable high crime Based on the evidentiary record, what has happened in the case before you is something that I do not think we have ever seen before: a president who

House Republicans complain impeachment witnesses are giving secondhand or thirdhand information. The impeachment inquiry into the behavior of President Donald Trump has reached a public phase, giving the American people their first chance to reach their own judgments.

What he told lawmakers: Volker said he never saw anything that made him believe there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine and said he felt coordinating with Giuliani could change Trump from his negative feelings about Ukraine. His testimony made clear the influence Giuliani had over policy, including Giuliani dictating a statement to Volker that he wanted the Ukrainians to issue on corruption. 

Oct. 11: Former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch 

Marie L. Yovanovitch wearing a hat and sunglasses posing for the camera: Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, arrives on Capitol Hill, Oct. 11, 2019, in Washington, as she is scheduled to testify before congressional lawmakers as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. © J. Scott Applewhite, AP Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, arrives on Capitol Hill, Oct. 11, 2019, in Washington, as she is scheduled to testify before congressional lawmakers as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Why she matters: A career diplomat, Yovanovitch was forced out of her role. 

What she told lawmakers: Yovanovitch was confused by her ouster and the comments made by conservatives and Trump, who called her "bad news." She said she raised concerns about the shadow campaign pushed by Giuliani and how it ran counter to U.S. policy. 

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“The House thus formally ratified the impeachment inquiry begun by the committee last October and empowered the panel to subpoena anyone Politico reports that Mr. Trump is using his considerable fund-raising muscle to reward Republicans who support him in the impeachment inquiry , emailing

The impeachment inquiry has been going on for more than a month - but all previous hearings were private Wednesday's public hearings were the first time the public heard from witnesses directly and a chance for Mr Trump said he was "too busy to watch" the impeachment hearing, although he

Oct. 14: Trump's former Russia expert Fiona Hill

Why she matters: Hill worked for years on the National Intelligence Council and as Trump's senior adviser on the Kremlin and Europe. She held a key role in U.S. policy in Ukraine and was part of several meetings where she expressed concerns over the shadow policy led by Giuliani and White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

What she told lawmakers: Hill told lawmakers national security adviser John Bolton likened the policy in Ukraine to a "drug deal" and called Giuliani a "hand grenade" who was going to blow everyone up, according to The New York Times and NBC News. 

Oct. 15: State Department Ukraine-Russia expert George Kent

Why he matters: Kent serves as a deputy assistant secretary at the State Department. 

What he told lawmakers: Kent told lawmakers he raised red flags about Giuliani's efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden more than six months ago. 

Oct. 16: Michael McKinley, ex-adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo 

P. Michael McKinley wearing a suit and tie: Michael McKinley, a former top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, leaves Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 16, 2019, after testifying before congressional lawmakers as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. © Andrew Harnik, AP Michael McKinley, a former top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, leaves Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 16, 2019, after testifying before congressional lawmakers as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Why he matters: McKinley boasted a career that spanned decades at the State Department and resigned just before his testimony because of low morale at the department and because he said Pompeo did not stick up for career employees, such as Yovanovitch.

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What he told lawmakers: McKinley didn't oversee issues related to Ukraine, so his testimony did not deal with the core allegations against Trump. He outlined his concerns about the ouster of Yovanovitch and said he was troubled that the State Department did not have her back and that she and the department were being politicized.

Oct. 17: U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland

Gordon Sondland et al. standing next to a man wearing a suit and tie: U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, center, arrives on Capitol Hill on Oct. 17, 2019. © Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, center, arrives on Capitol Hill on Oct. 17, 2019.

Why he matters: A businessman and major Trump donor, Sondland  was in communication with the president and Giuliani and attempted to get Ukrainians to investigate several political matters, according to witnesses. 

What he told lawmakers: Sondland amended his original testimony and told lawmakers he communicated a quid pro quo to a Ukrainian official, linking military aid for Ukraine to a public statement committing to investigations Trump and Giuliani wanted.

Oct. 22: Bill Taylor, top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine

Why he matters: Taylor  voiced concerns about conditioning military aid and a White House meeting on political investigations. 

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What he told lawmakers: Taylor directly tied Trump and his allies with a quid pro quo. He said Trump made the order to pause military aid for Ukraine, and it was his "clear understanding" that "security assistance money would not come until the (Ukrainian) president committed to pursue the investigation," according to a transcript of his testimony. 

Oct. 23: Defense official Laura Cooper

a group of people standing together in uniform: Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, arrives on Capitol Hill before testifying Oct. 23, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Cooper was expected to testify before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight and Reform committees as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. © Alex Wroblewski, Getty Images Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, arrives on Capitol Hill before testifying Oct. 23, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Cooper was expected to testify before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight and Reform committees as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

Why she matters: Cooper serves as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia. 

What she told lawmakers: It's not clear exactly what Cooper told lawmakers.

Oct. 26: State Department official Philip Reeker

Why he matters: Reeker serves as the acting assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. 

What he told lawmakers: According to The Wall Street Journal, he discussed with lawmakers failed efforts to help Yovanovitch.

Oct. 29: Ukraine expert Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman

a man wearing a military uniform: National Security Council Director for European Affairs Alexander Vindman arrives for a closed-door deposition at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on October 29, 2019. © MANDEL NGAN, AFP via Getty Images National Security Council Director for European Affairs Alexander Vindman arrives for a closed-door deposition at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on October 29, 2019.

Why he matters: Vindman is one of several officials who listened to Trump's phone call with Zelensky on July 25. He served as the White House's top Ukraine expert.

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What he told lawmakers: Vindman said in prepared remarks he twice reported concerns to superiors that the president and those working for him linked foreign aid to Ukraine with political investigations. He said he worried the efforts undermined U.S. national security. 

Oct. 30: State Department official Catherine Croft 

a group of people in uniform standing in front of a building: Catherine Croft, a foreign service officer with the State Department, walks to the SCIF to testify in a deposition as part of the continue House impeach inquiry of President Trump on October 30, 2019 in Washington, DC. © Samuel Corum, Getty Images Catherine Croft, a foreign service officer with the State Department, walks to the SCIF to testify in a deposition as part of the continue House impeach inquiry of President Trump on October 30, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Why she matters: Croft worked for Volker at the State Department and has expertise on Ukrainian issues. She focused on arms sales and security assistance for the country as it fended off Russia. 

What she told lawmakers: According to a copy of her opening statement, Croft told lawmakers she received calls from a lobbyist trying to oust Yovanovitch. She said she learned that aid was put on hold stemming from an order from the president.  

Oct. 30: State Department official Christopher Anderson

a man wearing a suit and tie: Christopher Anderson, career Foreign Service officer and former adviser to Kurt Volker, the US special envoy to Ukraine, arrives on Capitol Hill to attend a closed-door deposition, on October 30, 2019 in Washington, DC. © Mark Wilson, Getty Images Christopher Anderson, career Foreign Service officer and former adviser to Kurt Volker, the US special envoy to Ukraine, arrives on Capitol Hill to attend a closed-door deposition, on October 30, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Why he matters: Anderson worked for Volker at the State Department and was present for at least one meeting where political investigations were discussed. 

What he told lawmakers: In his opening statement, Anderson said  Giuliani's efforts were discussed at a Ukraine strategy meeting over the summer. At that meeting, Bolton said Giuliani's efforts "could be an obstacle." Anderson said he believed it was important to not request specific investigations from the Ukrainians. 

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Oct. 31: NSC official Timothy Morrison

Why he matters: Morrison is the top Russia and European adviser to Trump's National Security Council and was cited by multiple witnesses in conversations about a quid pro quo. He is a political appointee and not a career official. 

What he told lawmakers: Morrison confirmed testimony given by Taylor that outlined a quid pro quo, basically halting aid until Ukraine committed to investigations. Morrison testified that he didn't believe Trump's call July 25 was illegal.

Nov. 6: State Department's David Hale

Why he matters: Hale is the third highest-ranking official at the State Department. 

What he told lawmakers: Hale told lawmakers about the political considerations in dismissing Yovanovitch and how those decisions affected military aid for Ukraine, according to The Associated Press. AP reported that Hale said Pompeo and other officials believed that backing Yovanovitch could hurt efforts to free the military aid, and some officials worried about the reaction from Giuliani.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Who are the 14 witnesses in the Trump impeachment inquiry and what have they said?

Takeaways so far from House public impeachment hearings .
In several hours of testimony, and even bickering among lawmakers, some memorable moments have emerged. In several hours of testimony, and even bickering among lawmakers, some memorable moments have emerged.

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