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Politics Pence aide said Trump's July 25 call with Ukraine was political and not a normal diplomatic call

01:05  08 november  2019
01:05  08 november  2019 Source:   cnn.com

Read George Kent Full Opening Statement at the First Public Hearing in Trump’s Impeachment Inquiry

  Read George Kent Full Opening Statement at the First Public Hearing in Trump’s Impeachment Inquiry The U.S. State Department official with decades of experience in Ukraine policy appeared Wednesday morning before the House Intelligence Committee. Both officials have expressed alarm in previous closed-door testimonies about Trump’s conduct with regards to Ukraine — highlighting allegations that he pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his political rival, Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden, and used his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to subvert normal diplomatic channels in this pursuit.

Pence himself has repeatedly insisted that Trump did nothing wrong but has not clarified how much he knew about efforts to pressure Ukraine and the parallel Ukraine policy that Trump ' s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others were leading outside the normal diplomatic and official channels.

President Donald Trump on Sunday blasted an adviser to Vice President Mike Pence who told House impeachment investigators this month that Trump ' s asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to probe the Bidens and other Democrats in a July 25 call was "unusual and inappropriate."

a person wearing a suit and tie: Jennifer Williams, an aide to US Vice President Mike Pence, arrives for a deposition as part of the House Impeachment inquiries on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, November 7, 2019.© ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images Jennifer Williams, an aide to US Vice President Mike Pence, arrives for a deposition as part of the House Impeachment inquiries on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, November 7, 2019.

An aide to Vice President Mike Pence who listened to the call between President Donald Trump and the Ukrainian President told impeachment inquiry investigators on Thursday that she found the conversation to be unusual because it was political in nature, according to two sources familiar with the testimony.

Jennifer Williams, an aide in the vice president's office and a long time State Department staffer, said the phone call did not have the normal tone of a diplomatic call. Williams did not raise concerns about the call with her superiors.

New testimony ties Trump more directly to Ukraine pressure campaign

  New testimony ties Trump more directly to Ukraine pressure campaign The acting ambassador to Ukraine described a phone call in which the president checked on the status of “the investigations.”William B. Taylor Jr., the acting ambassador to Ukraine, told lawmakers that the phone conversation between the president and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland in Kyiv was overheard by one of his aides. Afterward, Sondland told the aide that Trump cared more about investigations of former vice president Joe Biden than other issues in Ukraine, Taylor said.

Trump ' s call is at the heart of the Democratic-led inquiry into whether the Republican president misused U.S. foreign policy to undermine He said he only learned later that the aid to Ukraine was conditioned on the investigations. In the first public hearing last week, acting ambassador to Ukraine

The phone call between President Donald Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart at the center of Congress’ impeachment investigation was “inappropriate,” an aide to Vice President Mike Pence told He said he only learned later that the aid to Ukraine was conditioned on the investigations.

She was asked by lawmakers in her closed-door deposition what Pence knows and she testified that she never heard him mention anything about investigations of the 2016 election, Burisma -- the Ukrainian natural gas company on whose board Joe Biden's son Hunter say -- or the Bidens. She did not know of any request from Trump to Pence to bring up investigations during a meeting the vice president had in Warsaw with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on September 1.

The Pence aide made note of the call and the transcript in her nightly notes but testified she did not know if the vice president read the transcript.

Pence himself has repeatedly insisted that Trump did nothing wrong but has not clarified how much he knew about efforts to pressure Ukraine and the parallel Ukraine policy that Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others were leading outside the normal diplomatic and official channels.

Testimony and texts: How the Trump-Ukraine allegations fit together in a timeline

  Testimony and texts: How the Trump-Ukraine allegations fit together in a timeline With so many current U.S. officials testifying in open hearings, here is how the Trump-Ukraine allegations fit together in a timeline.How do each of the testimonies and text messages fit together? What allegations do they contain about Trump's actions and those of his government advisers earlier this year?

Mike Pence who listened to the call between President Donald J. Trump and the Ukrainian President told impeachment inquiry investigators she found the conversation unusual because it was political in nature, and said it did not have the normal tone of a diplomatic call , sources say .

Pence aide said Trump ' s July 25 call with Ukraine was political and not a normal diplomatic call . Prior to CNN, Marsh was a general assignment correspondent for WSVN in Miami, Florida, covering breaking news, local politics and education.

Williams testified that she had limited information about why military aid was being withheld from Ukraine. She was puzzled about it, but kept in the dark about the decision-making process. She described herself as someone who stayed in her lane and wasn't pushing to understand why the aide was withheld.

However, Williams told lawmakers she believed it was tied to what she heard on the call: Trump's request that Ukraine open investigations into the Bidens and the 2016 election, a third source familiar with the testimony told CNN.

Williams, the first person on Pence's national security team to appear, is detailed to the vice president's office as special adviser on European and Russian affairs and was one of two Pence aides on the call. The other was Gen. Keith Kellogg, the vice president's national security adviser, who has not been called to testify.

Ahead of her testimony Thursday, current and former colleagues heaped praise on Williams, with one White House official saying: "She is the most professional person in this building."

The official noted that Williams had recently worked with Pence on negotiating the ceasefire between Turkey and Syrian Kurdish forces. Until Williams joined Pence's staff, she was a spokesperson for several years at the US embassy in London, according to her LinkedIn profile. She also held posts at the embassies in Beirut, Lebanon and Kingston, Jamaica.

Williams' testimony joins a stream of other government officials who have given closed-door depositions in recent weeks as House investigators continue their impeachment inquiry stemming from a whistleblower complaint about Trump's July call with Zelensky.

Where the impeachment case stands as Democrats prepare to bring a barrage of new witnesses .
WASHINGTON - Democrats this week enter a do-or-die phase of their impeachment inquiry following a week of public testimony, as they summon a flurry of witnesses they hope will convince the public that President Trump should be impeached for pressing a foreign government to launch criminal investigations for his political benefit. The hearings follow a rare weekend in which a key White House official was deposed and the transcripts were released from two additional closed-door depositions of administration officials.

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