Democrats examining whether President Donald Trump abused the power of the presidency by pushing Ukraine to scrutinize his chief political rival held a series of closed-door depositions in a secure hearing room in the Capitol basement they described as hot, crowed and smelly.
Members of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform committees and their staff heard testimony that could form the basis of articles of impeachment and have since released to the public thousands of pages of transcripts.
Among the most explosive revelations: the chief diplomat in Ukraine, William Taylor, described a quid pro quo that President Donald Trump vehemently insists did not take place, that of military aid in return for a probe of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.
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“That was my clear understanding, security assistance money would not come until the President [of Ukraine] committed to pursue the investigation,” Taylor said.
E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland revised his testimony to say he told a top aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that Ukraine would not receive U.S. military assistance until it committed to investigating Biden and the 2016 election. Fiona Hill, a former White House Russia adviser, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a member of the National Security Council who listened in on Trump’s July 25 phone call with Zelenskiy, described their concerns about the call and a gradual understanding that the aid and the investigations were linked.
As of the middle of November, witnesses, beginning with Taylor, the U.S. charge d’affaires in Ukraine, George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state, and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch began to testify in public before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
They detailed a "highly irregular" channel of foreign policy to Ukraine involving Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, among others, and a smear campaign against Yovanovitch.
David Holmes, another official at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, testified that he overheard President Trump asking Sondland about "the investigation," the conversation coming just one day after Trump's July call with Ukraine's new president.
A number of administration officials have defied subpoenas and have refused to appear.
Below is a compilation of testimony in the order it has been released.