Homehttps://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/Worldhttps://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/Bill Taylor ready to give public testimony in impeachment study
Bill Taylor ready to give public testimony in impeachment study
A request has not yet been made for Taylor to testify publicly, according to the source. Democrats, however, argue that Taylor would be a logical choice for one of the first witnesses when the House launches public hearings. He details how he believes the White House has linked Ukraine's announcement to an investigation that could help the president politically unfreeze the US security aide and a meeting between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.
The House on Thursday will vote on a resolution that will formalize the rules for the impeachment investigation and set the stage for public hearings in the House Intelligence Committee. House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, declined to comment on what witnesses would lead or when hearings would begin, but lawmakers and aides say the schedule for the hearings to begin next month before Thanksgiving is feasible, though not has been finalized.
Democrats believe that Taylor, a career diplomat who has worked for the administrations of both parties, will be an eyewitness with detailed notes and impeccable memory. They believe he is someone who will authoritatively tell the public why efforts to assist Ukraine and strengthen relations with this key ally have been delayed amid Trump's impetus to investigate Bidens and the 201
6 election. The 15-page opening statement gave some of the most dramatic and horrifying testimonies Democrats have heard so far.
"He is a rock solid, detailed notepad and unthinkable," said reporter Jackie Speyer, a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. "Fifty years given to his country – he doesn't get much more Top Gun than that."
But the Republican strategy for open hearings is also coming into focus. They plan to abandon the lack of direct contact with Trump – claiming diplomats' concerns were only in expressing their personal opinions. This is a key argument they will make with Taylor, who told lawmakers that he had never met Trump one-on-one, according to a source familiar with his testimony.
"Much of this information is based on second, third and even fourth hand information," said New York spokesman Lee Zeldin, who was a Republican spokesman after many of the depositions. Zeldin said Taylor's remarks contained " only two references in his opening statement to Bidens, "and that the reference to the Bidens investigation comes from Taylor from his conversation with National Security Council official Tim Morrison, who was told by US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.  The former by William Taylor slang leaves closed-door session after testifying as part of the Capitol Hill impeachment investigation on October 22. ” data-src-mini=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191022194650-07-bill-taylor-1022-leaving-small-169.jpg” data-src-xsmall=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191022194650-07-bill-taylor-1022-leaving-medium-plus-169.jpg” data-src-small=”http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191022194650-07-bill-taylor-1022-leaving-large-169.jpg” data-src-medium=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191022194650-07-bill-taylor-1022-leaving-exlarge-169.jpg” data-src-large=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191022194650-07-bill-taylor-1022-leaving-super-169.jpg” data-src-full16x9=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191022194650-07-bill-taylor-1022-leaving-full-169.jpg” data-src-mini1x1=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191022194650-07-bill-taylor-1022-leaving-small-11.jpg” data-demand-load=”not-loaded” data-eq-pts=”mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781″ src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP///////wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI+py+0Po5yUFQA7″/>
Taylor, however, also testified that Sondland told him directly that "everything" was conditioned by a public announcement and that Trump said he wanted Zelensky "in a public box" during the investigation . .
Republicans say they are ready for public hearings.
"I'm not worried about anyone in a public setting," said Pennsylvania reporter Scott Perry, a GOP member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee who participated in closed deposits. "If you think the president did something wrong, you will see it in the witness testimony. If you believe the president did not do something wrong, you will see it in the witness testimony."  Perry added, "I don't worry about any of them testifying because facts are facts. Most of these are opinions. These people have different opinions – it's their right to have it. But honestly, the president is right Taylor does one of those things. "
Taylor is one of several witnesses Democrats can ask to return when they go from gathering information behind closed doors in their investigation to making that information public, to file a presidential impeachment case for the third time in US history, they are also interested in other witnesses who may confirm that Trump has urged Ukraine to open an investigation while holding back security aid – and slander Sundland about inconsistencies they see in his an account of his talks with Taylor and the White House meetings on Ukraine.
Sondland's lawyer did not respond to a request for comment when asked if he would like to return to testify publicly. Schiff's office declined to comment on Taylor's potential testimony.
"I don't speak Latin"
Taylor's opening statement provided a preview of what a witness would be to the public about Democrats. He was unequivocal in believing US assistance to Ukraine was being delayed, as Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, demanded an investigation – and he made detailed comments.
"According to Mr. Morrison, President Trump told Ambassador Sundland that he did not want the" quid pro quo. "But President Trump urges President Zelensky to go to the microphone and say that he is launching investigations into Biden's intervention and 2016, and that President Zelensky has to want to do it himself, "Taylor testifies.
While Democrats took hold of Taylor's comments on saying he had put together a clean pro-quo, Taylor did not want to say so explicitly during his closed-door testimony, according to multiple sources familiar with the testimony.
In an earlier undeclared exchange, Schiff asked Taylor if the deal was essentially that Zelensky should announce investigations. and then he would get a visit to the White House and security assistance, and Taylor said yes according to sources.
Schiff asked, "Isn't that the very definition of quid pro quo?"
"And I don't speak Latin, Taylor replies according to sources. He said this is a legal conclusion – he is there to provide the facts – and will allow lawmakers to draw those legal conclusions.
Sources told CNN that when Republicans questioned Taylor, one of the things they focused on was his relationship with Morrison, who is due to give evidence in private on Thursday. While Republicans initially tried to broadcast them as friends, Taylor said he never met Morrison before the two got into those roles, according to one source. They also tried to come up with the idea that it would be wrong for Morrison to convey to Taylor what Sondland said about his conversation with Trump, but Taylor explained that this was Morrison's job.
Taylor did not record any of his telephone conversations, one source said, but throughout his life he was an annotator and had extensive notes from his conversation with Sundland, Morrison and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent. The elements he cites in his opening statement are quotes from his notes or WhatsApp messages, the source says.
More witnesses likely to return
While Schiff and other committee leaders were tight – Democrats say there will be several weeks of public hearings and likely to return witnesses.
These hearings may begin next month as the Chamber's Intelligence, Surveillance and Foreign Affairs committees work to complete all of their closed-door deposits – they have six scheduled this week and several more ready for next week . That timetable may still slip away, but lawmakers warn that many of the deposits have provided additional potential witnesses.
Several Democrats said they were interested in hearing publicly from former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Jovanovic, who was removed earlier this year after Giuliani insisted on his ouster. They are also interested in Fiona Hill, a former leading White House adviser, who reported her concerns about Julian's pressure in Ukraine and testified that former national security adviser John Bolton likens the effort to a "drug deal".
Lt. Colonel Alexander Windman, an expert on the National Security Council in Ukraine, who testified Tuesday that he reported his concerns about the July 25 phone call, will give Democrats a first-hand witness during the Trump-Zelensky conversation.
Multiple sources say that Windman may be a good witness, but he also seemed nervous when he appeared behind closed doors on Tuesday. Sources said Windman seemed a little unprepared at first, but then went into the groove with his answers during part of the deposition questions and answers.
Morrison, who is due to give evidence in private on Thursday, may also be a key witness, as he was quoted in Taylor's opening statement more than a dozen times.
And Democrats also said they wanted to hear again from Sondland, who told Taylor that there was "no quid quo pro" in a text message after talking to Trump. His testimony seems to contradict other witnesses, especially around the July 10 meeting in Ukraine, and Democrats want him to come back to clarify it.
Schiff will not say on Tuesday whether he will attempt to return Sondland.