Former U.S. top diplomat Rice concerned by shadow diplomacy on Ukraine
Former U.S. top diplomat Rice concerned by shadow diplomacy on UkraineRice was critical of President Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential run but has been more restrained since the Republican took office.
Fiona Hill, President Donald Trump's former top adviser on Russia and Europe, told House investigators that her time in the Trump administration was marked by death threats, "hateful calls" and "conspiracy theories," a harassment campaign she said was revived after it was learned she would cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, according to a transcript of her deposition released Friday.
"I received, I just have to tell you, death threats, calls at my home. My neighbors reported somebody coming and hammering on my door," she told investigators in closed-door testimony of her time in the White House. "Now, I'm not easily intimidated, but that made me mad."
Top Ukraine expert shows up for work despite Trump's repeated attacks
The transcript confirmed NBC News' reporting that Hill told Congress that Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney, and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, sidestepped the National Security Council and typical White House process to advocate for a shadow policy on Ukraine, while revealing new details about how Giuliani's work undercut and derailed the diplomats charged with overseeing Ukrainian-U.S. relations.
Hill, who transitioned out of her role in July before officially leaving her job in early September, testified that the ousting of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was a turning point for her. Yovanovitch, she said, was subject to a similar campaign of harassment and "defamation," which she credited to Giuliani.
Pence aide said Trump's July 25 call with Ukraine was political and not a normal diplomatic call
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. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle)
}); 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.
Asked about her conversations with national security adviser John Bolton about Yovanovitch, Hill testified that Bolton's "reaction was pained."
"And he basically said, in fact he directly said: Rudy Giuliani is a hand grenade that is going to blow everyone up," she told congressional investigators.
The transcript of her deposition was released alongside the transcript of testimony from Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council. It's the latest in a series of witness transcripts House Democrats have made public as the impeachment inquiry into Trump enters a new phase.
On Sept. 25, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi initiated an impeachment inquiry against President Trump, following a whistleblower complaint over his dealings with Ukraine.
(Pictured) Donald Trump, accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaks on Oct. 23 in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.
Embattled Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovich Was Advised to Tweet Praise of Donald Trump
Facing a concerted campaign from Rudy Giuliani and his allies to oust her, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich struggled in vain to get cover from U.S. diplomats, including her boss: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. At one point, according to a transcript of her Oct. 11 deposition in front of congressional impeachment investigators, she was told that sending a flattering tweet about President Donald Trump could save her job. BeforeBefore she was recalled from her post in Kyiv in May, Yovanovich was targeted by Giuliani and his associates because she was viewed as an obstacle to their efforts to get the new Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to open an investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings and any rol
Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, talks to reporters on the driveway outside of the White House Nov. 1, in Washington, DC. Conway fielded questions about the ongoing impeachment inquiry, Trump's decision to become a resident of Florida and a potential visit to the White House by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi presides over the House vote on a resolution formalizing the impeachment inquiry against President Donald J. Trump on the House floor in the US Capitol, on Oct. 31.
U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) walks to attend testimony from Timothy Morrison, National Security Council’s Russia and Europe Director, at a closed-door deposition, on Oct. 31.
Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., speaks to reporters as he leaves a closed door meeting where Catherine Croft, a State Department adviser on Ukraine, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper testify as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Oct. 30.
The House of Representatives Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern (D-MA) talks with an aide as he chairs a Rules Committee markup hearing to prepare a resolution directing House congressional committees to continue their ongoing investigations in the impeachment inquiry, on Oct. 30.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi talks to reporters encountered as she walks near the room where witnesses are testifying in the impeachment inquiry led by the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform Committees on Capitol Hill, on Oct. 30.
House Rules Committee members Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., and Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., right, work on the markup of the resolution that will formalize the next steps in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, on Oct. 30.
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) speaks to reporters outside the House Intelligence Committee SCIF as U.S. foreign service officer Catherine Croft, who once served as a deputy to then-Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker, testifies inside as part of the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry, on Oct. 30.
The U.S. House of Representatives Rules Committee holds a markup hearing to prepare a resolution directing House congressional committees to continue their ongoing investigations in the impeachment inquiry into the President Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Oct. 30.
U.S. foreign service officer Catherine Croft, who once served as a deputy to then-Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker, arrives to testify as part of the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry into the President Trump led by the House Intelligence, House Foreign Affairs and House Oversight and Reform Committees on Oct. 30.
Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., a member of the House Rules Committee, argues a point during a markup of the resolution that will formalize the next steps in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol, on Oct. 30, 2019.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) speak to reporters while Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director for European Affairs at the National Security Council, testifies as part of the U.S. House of Representatives impeachment inquiry into President Trump led by the House Intelligence, House Foreign Affairs and House Oversight and Reform Committees on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Oct. 29.
Bill Taylor testimony: Bolton thought Trump-Zelensky call would be 'disaster'
Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor testified before House committees leading the formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump that then-national security adviser John Bolton was opposed to Trump holding the July 25 phone call with Zelensky.“Ambassador Bolton was not interested in having — did not want to have the call because he thought it was going to be a disaster,” Taylor testified. “He thought that there could be some talk of investigations, or worse, on the call.
House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., arrives for a Democratic caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Oct. 29. Her panel is one of the key committees with jurisdiction in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.
Bolton Expressed Concerns About Giuliani in Ukraine, Adviser to Testify
Christopher Anderson says the then-national security adviser was concerned Rudy Giuliani "was a key voice with the President on Ukraine."Former national security adviser John Bolton expressed concerns that Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney, could hamper efforts to strengthen relations between the White House and Ukraine, according to prepared testimony.
U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) exits a closed-door deposition of U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland as part of the U.S. House of Representatives impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Trump led by the House Intelligence, House Foreign Affairs and House Oversight and Reform Committees on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Oct. 28.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, center, speaks with members of the media after former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman signaled that he would not appear as scheduled for a closed door meeting to testify as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Monday, Oct. 28, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Standing with Jordan are Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., left, and Rep. Michael Conaway, R-Texas.
Senate Majority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell participates in a news conference on Oct. 29, in Washington. Republican Senators took the opportunity to criticize House Democrats' approach to an impeachment probe into President Donald J. Trump.
A draft of a U.S. House of Representatives resolution formally laying out the next steps in the Democratic impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, authorizing public committee hearings and the public release of transcripts of closed-door depositions, is seen after its release on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Oct. 29.
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director for European Affairs at the National Security Council, arrives to testify as part of the U.S. House of Representatives impeachment inquiry into President Trump led by the House Intelligence, House Foreign Affairs and House Oversight and Reform Committees on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Oct. 29.
Top Trump adviser next in impeachment hearing hot seat
A top adviser to President Donald Trump on Russia and Europe is resigning on the eve of his testimony in the House's impeachment probe.A senior administration official says Tim Morrison, a National Security Council official, "has decided to pursue other opportunities." The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, adds that Morrison has been considering leaving the administration for "some time.
From left, Reps. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Scott Perry, R-Pa., conduct a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center outside the deposition of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, on Oct. 29.
Philip Reeker, the acting assistant secretary of state for Europe, leaves the Capitol in Washington after a closed-door interview on Oct. 26. Reeker took questions about President Donald Trump's ouster of the ambassador of Ukraine in May and whether he had knowledge about efforts to persuade Ukraine to pursue politically motivated investigations.
Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., speaks with the media outside of the closed door interview for Acting Assistant Secretary of State Philip Reeker at the Capitol in Washington on Oct. 26. Like other impeachment inquiry witnesses, the Trump administration has directed Reeker not to testify, according to a person familiar with the situation who insisted on anonymity to discuss the interaction. But Reeker appeared anyway after receiving his subpoena from the House, the person said.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of President Donald Trump's chief allies, says he will introduce a resolution condemning the Democratic-controlled House for pursuing a "closed door, illegitimate impeachment inquiry," during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, on Oct. 24.
'A bunch of B.S.': Lindsey Graham refuses to read Ukraine transcripts
The non-binding resolution by the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman gives Senate Republicans a chance to show support for the president at a moment when Trump is urging his allies to get tougher and fight harder for him.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., flanked by Rep. Russ Fulcher, R-Idaho, left, and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the ranking member of the Committee on Oversight Reform, right, and other conservative House Republicans, complain to reporters about how House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is conducting the impeachment investigation on Oct. 23 at the Capitol in Washington.
Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) leaves after a closed-door deposition from Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper as part of the U.S. House of Representatives impeachment inquiry on Oct. 23.
Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., speaks at a news conference in front of House Republicans after Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper arrived for a closed door meeting to testify as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, on Oct. 23. Close to two dozen Republicans had attempted to enter a secure room where Cooper was scheduled to testify.
President Donald Trump speaks as Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar (L) and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listen during a cabinet meeting at the Cabinet Room of the White House, on Oct. 21, in Washington, DC. Trump held a cabinet meeting to discuss his administration’s agenda and made extensive remarks about impeachment and the situation on the Syrian/Turkish border.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) arrives with Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA) to hear testimony from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland behind closed-doors, as part of the impeachment inquiry led by the House Intelligence, House Foreign Affairs and House Oversight and Reform Committees on Oct. 17.
Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney answers questions during a briefing at the White House Oct. 17 in Washington, DC. Mulvaney answered a range of questions relating to the issues surrounding the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, and other issues during the briefing.
Michael McKinley, a former top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, leaves Capitol Hill in Washington, on Oct. 16, after testifying before congressional lawmakers as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., right, and Education and Labor Committee Chairman Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., left, speak as they leave a news conference to unveil the College Affordability Act on Capitol Hill, on Oct. 15.
George Kent, deputy assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasian Affairs, arrives to testify at a closed-door deposition as part of the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill, on Oct. 15.
The US President's former top Russia adviser, Fiona Hill (C) leaves after a deposition for the House Intelligence committee regarding an impeachment inquiry Oct. 14 in Washington, DC. Hill, who was subpoenaed by the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees for closed door depositions, is among the handful of current and former Trump administration members being interviewed this week by House panels.
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he departs for travel to Minnesota from the South Lawn of the White House on Oct. 10. The president spoke about the impeachment investigation, the Turkish incursion into Syria, and the Giuliani associates arrested today at Dulles airport on charges of violating campaign finance rules.
Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, left, arrives on Capitol Hill, on Oct. 11, in Washington, as she is scheduled to testify before congressional lawmakers on Friday as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
Representatives Jim Jordan (R-OH) (L), ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) (R) walk down the spiral staircase in the basement of the Capitol on Oct. 11. House Intelligence, House Foreign Affairs, House Oversight and Reform Committee are taking a deposition from former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch as part of the impeachment inquiry.
Kevin Downing, right, attorney representing two Florida businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, leaves the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, on Oct. 10. Two Florida businessmen tied to President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani have been arrested on campaign finance violations resulting from a $325,000 donation to a political action committee supporting Trump's re-election.
Mike Pence answers questions from the press about the whistleblower and President Trump’s call with the president of Ukraine following his remarks on the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) at Manning Farms in Waukee, Iowa, Oct. 9.
Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event, on Oct. 9, 2019, in Rochester, N.H. For the first time, he called for the impeachment of Donald Trump saying, "Donald Trump has violated his oath of office, betrayed the nation, and committed impeachable acts."
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, arrives to give a statement to members of the media on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 8. The Trump administration barred Gordon Sondland, the U.S. European Union ambassador, from appearing before a House panel conducting the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.
Michael Atkinson, the inspector general of the intelligence community, arrives at the Capitol where he will go behind closed doors to be questioned about the whistleblower complaint that exposed a July phone call the president had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which Trump pressed for an investigation of Democratic political rival Joe Biden and his family, at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 4.
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, D.C., on Oct. 3.
President Donald Trump speaks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 3, before boarding Marine One for a trip to Florida. He told reporters, "China should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine."
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is joined by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., at a news conference as House Democrats move ahead in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington on Oct. 2.
President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media as he departs a ceremonial swearing in ceremony for new Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Sept. 30.
Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, participate in an Armed Forces welcome ceremony for the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley on Sept. 30, at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va.
Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, defended himself on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" from accusations lodged by a former White House official that he has trafficked unfounded theories about foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election, on Sept. 29.
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y. holds up a copy of a White House-released rough transcript of a phone call between President Donald Trump and the President of Ukraine as Schumer speaks to the media about an impeachment inquiry on President Trump, on Sept. 25, on Capitol Hill.
Ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., talks to Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, after Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Sept. 26.
Transcripts of testimony from other key figures released this week have largely established a narrative that suggests Trump directed officials to tie nearly $400 million in military and security aid to Ukraine to demands that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announce probes that could benefit Trump.
Text messages obtained as part of the impeachment inquiry into Trump showed Sondland, Giuliani and former U.S. envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker working to facilitate Trump's goal of getting Zelenskiy to commit to investigate the president's political opponents including former Vice President Joe Biden — and making a White House visit for Zelenskiy contingent on such a commitment. Official notes from Trump's July call with Zelenskiy released by the White House showed Trump asking the Ukrainians to work directly with Giuliani, and NBC News has reported that Sondland was also in direct contact with Trump about Ukraine.
The White House sought to limit how much Hill could say, according to letters between the White House and her attorney obtained by NBC News last month. The White House did not tell her not to testify, but said she was responsible for guarding against unauthorized disclosures and outlined areas where her testimony might run up against executive privilege, like direct communications with the president or meetings with other heads of state.
Hill's lawyers argued that executive privilege did not apply, in part because some of the information has already come into the public sphere and thus was no longer confidential. They also argued that executive privilege disappears when there's reason to believe there was government misconduct.