Four key witnesses are due to appear before the House impeachment investigation on Tuesday to testify to the scandal with Ukraine, promising to make a dramatic one on Capitol Hill today.
– Tuesday morning (9:00 am EST / 2:00 pm GMT) : Lt. Col. Alexander Windman, expert on Ukraine in the National Security Council (NSC), and Jennifer Williams, Assistant to Vice President Mike Pence
– Tuesday afternoon (2.30pm EST / 7.30pm GMT)) : Kurt Volker, former Special Envoy of Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, former Assistant to the NJC
Windman and Williams were Trump's July 25 call with President-elect of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky about political investigations into Joe Biden and they both said they were concerned.
In all, nine current and former U.S. officials testify in a crucial week as the Chamber's historic investigation accelerates and deepens. Democrats say Trump has asked Ukraine to investigate its Democratic rivals in return for US military assistance needed to counter Russian aggression, and that could be grounds for ousting the 45th president. Trump says he has not done such a thing and Democrats just want him to go.
Lt. Col. Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA
"I didn't think it was right to require a foreign government to investigate an American citizen," said Windman, a veteran of the Iraq war. He said there was "no doubt" what Trump wants from Zelensky. It was not the first time Windman, a 20-year-old military officer, was alarmed by the administration's pressure to force Ukraine to investigate Democrats, he testified.
Earlier, during an alarming meeting on July 1
"Ukrainians will have to investigate Bidens," he said. "There was no ambiguity." In both cases, Windman said, he took over his concerns about the transfer of Ukraine's policy to the NSS lead advisor, John Eisenberg.
Williams, a longtime State Department employee who is thoroughly familiar with Pence's national security team, said she also has concerns during a telephone conversation that assistants monitor, as is standard practice. When the White House submitted a rough transcript later that day, it included it in the Vice President's briefings. "I just don't know if he read it," Williams said in an interview with a closed-door house.
Jennifer Williams (Tom Brenner / Reuters)
his proximity to Trump has led the investigation to the president's doorstep, he is scheduled to testify on Wednesday. Others testify that he was part of a diplomatic effort in the shadows with President Rudy Gilani's personal lawyer outside official channels that raised alarms. Pence's role in the impeachment investigation is unclear, and the vice president's aide will surely be questioned by lawmakers seeking answers.
The White House has instructed officials not to appear and most have been summoned to Congress to compel their testimony.
Trump has already attacked Williams, associating her with "Never a Trumpeter," though there are no indications of State Department careers.
offer a changing strategy as the fast moving probe spreads out to the public. That is likely to change this week as Republicans organize a more aggressive attack on all witnesses as the investigation reaches closer to the White House and they try to defend Trump.
In particular, Republicans are expected to try to sack Windman, suggesting that he reports his concerns outside his chain of command, which would be Morrison's, not the NSC's lawyer. People appearing at the public level have already given closed-door interviews to investigators, and copies of these deposits have largely been released.
In an earlier interrogation, Republicans wanted Windman to reveal who else might have talked about his concerns, as he inches closer to publicly naming the still-anonymous signalman whose report triggered the investigation.
Republican Senator Ron Johnson, who was deeply involved in other White House meetings for Ukraine, offered a brief overview of this strategy late Monday when he compared Windman, a Purple Heart veteran, to "bureaucrats" who "They have never accepted Trump as legitimate. "
" They respond by leaking to the press and engaging in ongoing efforts to sabotage his policies and, if possible, remove him from office. It's quite possible that Windman fits that profile, Johnson said.
Windman told House investigators in his earlier testimony that he was not a government intruder. Witnesses are testifying under penalty of perjury, and Sundland has already had to amend his earlier account against conflicting testimony from other current and former U.S. officials.
Morrison referred to Burma as a "bucket of questions" – Bidens, Democrats, investigations – he was trying to "stay away".
Sondland meets with Zelensky's assistant on the sidelines of a Sept. 1 meeting in Warsaw and Morrison, who has been watching the meeting from across the room, testifies that the ambassador told him later that he was pushing for a Ukrainian to investigate bourism as a way for Ukraine to gained access to military funds.
Volker provided the investigators with a text message package with Sundland and another diplomat, Bill Taylor, an on-duty officer in Ukraine, who was alarmed by the connection of the aid investigations, Taylor, who testified publicly last week, calling it "crazy."
A wealthy hotelier who donated $ 1 million (772,000 pounds) for taking office, Trump, Sondland is the only person interviewed to date who has had direct conversations with the president on Ukraine.
Morrison said Sundland and Trump spoke five times between July 15 and September 11, the weeks in which $ 391 million (302 million pounds) of US aid was withheld by Ukraine before being released. Trump said he hardly knew Sondland.
Additional reporting by AP