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Pence's adviser says Trump Ukraine's request to open Biden probe is "unusual and inappropriate"

Vice Presidential Advisor Mike Pence told House impeachment investigators this month that President Trump's request for President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky to open an investigation against former Vice President Joe Biden and his family "struck me as unusual and out of place" shed some light on possible other motives behind the holdup for security assistance. "

The three committees of the Chamber that oversee the impeachment investigation against Trump have released hundreds of closed-door testimony from Jennifer Williams, Pance Special Adviser for Europe and Russia, and Tim Morrison, former senior director for European Affairs Morrison was interviewed on October 31

and Williams was interviewed on November 7.

Both Williams and Morrison listened to the July 25 phone call, which was signaled by an intelligence officer and became the center of is investigating House Democrats say the aid was withheld by Ukraine until its government launched investigations into Biden, his son Hunter and their dealings in the Eastern European district – in particular, the younger Biden's deal with a Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings.

Investigators also met Saturday with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) official Mark Sandy, who participated in key meetings on the nearly $ 400 million aid package that Congress approved for Ukraine.

  Jennifer Williams leaves after his deposition on 7 November. (AP Photo / J Scott Applewhite)

Jennifer Williams leaves after his deposition on November 7th. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

Williams tells lawmakers that the word "Burrism" appears in her notes from a call on July 25, though it does not appear in a memorandum of conversation issued by the White House in September. The transcript shows that Williams initially told lawmakers that Trump had mentioned Zelensky's Burrism, but a letter from her lawyer after the deposition said that "Williams's memory was incorrect" and Zelensky referred to Trump's Burrism.

For his part, Morrison said he consulted NSC attorneys after the July 25 call, as he was worried about details of the conversation leaked to the media, according to transcripts of his testimony published on Saturday.

In his testimony, Morrison stated that he had asked NSC Legal Advisor John Eisenberg and Eisenberg's Deputy Michael Ellis to review the July 25 call "because I was worried they would agree it would be harmful … if the call pack if the call to mem-con [memorandum of conversation] or its contents expires "

  Tim Morrison arrives for his closed-door postponement October 31 (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

Tim Morrison arrives for his postponement of closed October 31. (AP Photo / J. Sc by Apple Apple)

During the call, Morrison said he was worried about how "shameful" Zelensky sounded to Trump, adding that the conversation "was not the full endorsement of the reform program in Ukraine I hoped to hear" [19659003] Morrison added that he and Eisenberg agreed that access to the call should be restricted, but then claimed that Eisenberg later told him that he did not intend to place the call summary on a highly classified server. According to Morrison, Eisenberg's employees apparently put him in error and nothing in the content of the conversation warranted the placement of the classified server.

Morrison also told House investigators that Fiona Hill, a top expert at the NSS in Russia, described US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sundland as "a problem" who "believes he has a mandate to get involved [in Ukraine policy] based on its relationship with Trump, though Ukraine is not an EU member.

"We [Morrison and Hill] have both discussed that Ukraine is not in the EU, which led to the next question, why is it participating in Ukraine?" Said Morrison of Sondland, who is expected to give a public statement Wednesday. Morrison, who will be publicly testifying on Tuesday, added that he was concerned while listening to a July 25 phone call that Hill's fear that Sundland was involved in a "parallel process" of Ukraine's politics is true .

Weeks after July 25, on September 1, Sundland held a conversation with Zelensky's top aide, Andriy Yermak, on the sidelines of a Pence-Zelensky summit in Warsaw.

Morrison stated that he had witnessed the exchange and that Sundland then confined himself to telling him what had been said. Sundland told him that "what could help them move aid is if the Attorney General goes into the microphone and announces that they are starting to investigate Burma," Morrison testified.

"My concern was what Gordon was proposing to get the Ukrainians into our politics," Morrison said. He added, "For the first time, such a thing was injected as a condition of the relief release."

A few days later, on September 7, Morrison told investigators that Sondland "had linked both to the president [Trump] said there was no quid pro quo, but he [Trump] also stated that President Zelensky should want to go to the microphone and make a personal announcement – so it would not be enough for the Attorney General, he wanted to announce Zelensky personally personally that he will open investigations. "

While some, including Trump himself, began questioning Sondland's knowledge of the events, Morrison said the ambassador was" connected to me that he was acting – he discussed these issues with the president. "

While Sondland, Giuliani and others are trying to convince Zelensky to launch the investigations Trump wants from his Democratic rivals, Morrison said he" tried to stay away. "

" Testimony released today shows that President Trump's telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Zelensky on July 25 immediately triggered alarm bells at the White House, "said Chairman of the Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Oversight Committee on Oversight Committee Carolyn Maloney, in a joint statement. ., and the chairman of K. of the Foreign Affairs Committee Elliott Engel, "Both witnesses gave the bills first-hand accounts after hearing the call in the White House Situation Room in person … We look forward to the public testimony of both officials."

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Meanwhile, a top administration official has approached Democrats in parliament in response to reports that they have changed their terminology to describe Trump's allegations in response to poll data .

"The only reaction that comes from the House Democrats who continue to use PR companies and data from the DCCC to push their conspiracy theories as facts seems to be disappointed. Everything so far has to do with room temperature and the testimony is "technical" and not "I'll get what they want," the official said. "Democrats now appear to be desperate to sell any narrative that will justify what most Americans admit was a gross misuse of their powers. Congress. At this point, their fishing expedition will probably even find George Washington guilty of treason. "[19659003] Chad Pergram on Fox News, Jody Curtis, David Sweet, Lucas Tomlinson and Caroline McKee contributed to this report.

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