Politics: House to hear from US official who said he overheard Trump, Sondland call - - PressFrom - US
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Politics House to hear from US official who said he overheard Trump, Sondland call

14:55  15 november  2019
14:55  15 november  2019 Source:   abcnews.go.com

Trump denies knowledge of call mentioned in impeachment hearing

  Trump denies knowledge of call mentioned in impeachment hearing President Trump on Wednesday denied knowledge of a phone call that he allegedly had with U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland in July about investigations he sought from Ukraine."First time I heard it," Trump told reporters in the East Room during a press conference with the Turkish president when asked about the call, which was described by a U.S. diplomat in public testimony earlier Wednesday.Trump also dismissed the"First time I heard it," Trump told reporters in the East Room during a press conference with the Turkish president when asked about the call, which was described by a U.S. diplomat in public testimony earlier Wednesday.

The July 26 call between Trump and Gordon Sondland was first described during testimony Wednesday by William Taylor, the acting U . S . ambassador to WASHINGTON (AP) — A second U . S . Embassy staffer in Kyiv overheard a cellphone call between President Donald Trump and his

" He said he heard the president," he said . "It would be an exception to the hearsay rule." (MORE: Trump impeachment inquiry: Who testified before Congress and what they said ). Trump reportedly mocked the new development during a White House meeting with conservative Republican senators

The three House committees conducting the impeachment probe will hear Friday from a new witness who is expected to share testimony that has significant implications for President Donald Trump.

David Holmes is a mid-career Foreign Service officer, repeatedly recognized by the State Department for his work and praised by former colleagues, who currently serves as political counselor at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine.

Holmes is also the staffer that Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Kyiv, said overheard a telephone conversation between Trump and Gordon Sondland about "the investigations," sources tell ABC News.

Trump campaign dismisses Taylor, Kent testimony as 'third-hand opinions'

  Trump campaign dismisses Taylor, Kent testimony as 'third-hand opinions' President Trump’s campaign called the testimony from William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, a top State Department official, “third-hand opinions,” dismissing its value in the ongoing impeachment inquiry into Trump. © Greg Nash Trump campaign dismisses Taylor, Kent testimony as 'third-hand opinions' "The entire world can read the transcript of President Trump's conversation with [Ukrainian] President Zelensky, so people don't need to rely on third-party opinions when they can see the facts for themselves," campaign spokesman Brad Parscale said in a statement released shortly after the public hearing conclude

Trump on Wednesday said he did not recall the July 26 call with Sondland . “No, not at all, not He testified that his staffer could hear Trump on the phone asking Sondland about “the investigations.” She said she’d later find messages from irate officials who ’d been told by Sondland that they were

The July 26 call between Trump and Gordon Sondland was first described during testimony Wednesday by William Taylor, the acting U . S . ambassador to WASHINGTON (AP) — A second U . S . Embassy staffer in Kyiv overheard a cellphone call between President Donald Trump and his

(MORE: Staffer overheard Trump ask status of ‘investigations': New impeachment testimony)

During the first public impeachment hearings on Wednesday, Taylor told the House that a staffer informed him last Friday that Sondland -- the Trump megadonor who serves as ambassador to the European Union -- spoke with Trump by phone after meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelesnkiy on July 26.

During the call -- which occurred during a dinner in Ukraine, one day after Trump's own, controversial call with Zelenskiy -- Holmes overheard Trump ask Sondland the status of "the investigations," according to Taylor. He added that Sondland responded to the president that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward.

Once off the phone, Holmes asked Sondland what Trump thought of Ukraine. Sondland told him that Trump "cares more about the investigations of Biden" than he does about Ukraine, according to Taylor.

Trump campaign dismisses Taylor, Kent testimony as 'third-hand opinions'

  Trump campaign dismisses Taylor, Kent testimony as 'third-hand opinions' President Trump’s campaign called the testimony from William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, a top State Department official, “third-hand opinions,” dismissing its value in the ongoing impeachment inquiry into Trump. © Greg Nash Trump campaign dismisses Taylor, Kent testimony as 'third-hand opinions' "The entire world can read the transcript of President Trump's conversation with [Ukrainian] President Zelensky, so people don't need to rely on third-party opinions when they can see the facts for themselves," campaign spokesman Brad Parscale said in a statement released shortly after the public hearing conclude

AP source: 2nd US embassy official overheard President Trump ’s call with Sondland about need Source: A 2nd US official heard Sondland 's call with Trump . mercurynews.com. " [Fiona] Hill said officials from Europe would literally appear at the gates of the White House and call her personal

He revealed that one of his aides had been with US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland as he carried out a The phone call Taylor described could change all that. In the middle of Wednesday's hearing , the Just last week, when asked about his relationship with Sondland , Mr Trump said , "I

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(MORE: Trump officials penalized State Dept employee over perceived nationality: IG)

It was unclear if Holmes would show up, but he was expected to appear after being subpoenaed by the House, similar to other career State Department employees. 

His testimony could be impactful, adding significant evidence of Trump's direct involvement in the effort to pressure Ukraine to open investigations that would favor him politically, including into former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and Hunter's position on the board of a Ukrainian energy company. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a stalwart Trump ally who has dismissed the impeachment inquiry, said on Thursday that Holmes's evidence would be firsthand evidence.

"He said he heard the president," he said. "It would be an exception to the hearsay rule."

(MORE: Trump impeachment inquiry: Who testified before Congress and what they said)

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump leaves the Oval Office and walks toward Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Nov. 14, 2019, in Washington, DC. © Drew Angerer/Getty Images President Donald Trump leaves the Oval Office and walks toward Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Nov. 14, 2019, in Washington, DC.

Trump reportedly mocked the new development during a White House meeting with conservative Republican senators on Thursday, according to Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota.

"It's so far-fetched ... I don't know if it happened or not, but three months later, the guy's staffer says, 'Oh, by the way -- I think I did hear a phone call, I think it was the president on the other end," Cramer recounted to reporters on Thursday.

But those who have worked with Holmes have defended him as a man of honor and integrity.

"David Holmes is a remarkably talented career diplomat, one of the very best of his generation," Bill Burns, a veteran diplomat who served as ambassador to Russia under President George W. Bush and Deputy Secretary of State under President Barack Obama, told ABC News. "David is scrupulously honest, always meticulous, and full of integrity."

(MORE: 5 key takeaways from the 1st day of the public impeachment hearing)

Holmes has been in the Foreign Service since 2002, receiving the department's Superior Honor Award nine times and the Rivkin Award for Constructive Dissent in 2014, for a dissent cable on the division of labor for U.S. diplomacy on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Before Kyiv, Holmes served in Moscow as the senior energy officer and then the deputy chief of the political section.

He also served on Obama's National Security Council as director for Afghanistan and as special assistant to Burns when he was Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

Holmes has also served in India, Afghanistan, Colombia and Kosovo.

ABC News' Mariam Khan and Trish Turner contributed to this report.

House impeachment investigators release two more transcripts .
House impeachment investigators on Monday released the transcripts of senior State Department official David Hale and David Holmes, the US diplomat in Ukraine who overheard President Donald Trump's phone conversation with US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); House Democrats released the two transcripts on Monday evening ahead of a full week of public testimony with nine officials appearing, including both Holmes and Hale.

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