This Monday, in anticipation of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry reaching the stage of public hearings, House investigators released their first transcripts from hearings that have already been held privately. These documents included testimony from both former top Pompeo aide Mike McKinley and former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. The transcripts and the details they provide about the Trump team’s Ukraine scheme have already been making waves, and now House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) says more transcripts are on the way.
Speaking to reporters this Monday, Schiff explained:
‘We will be releasing further transcripts. Tomorrow, we are scheduled to release the transcripts of Ambassador Volker and Ambassdor Sondland.’
Adam Schiff says they will be releasing transcripts of Ambassador Volker and Ambassador Sondland tomorrow pic.twitter.com/yqusycoj9E
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) November 4, 2019
Kurt Volker was one of the impeachment inquiry’s very first witnesses. He testified about his time as U.S. Special Envoy for Ukraine, a role that he commandeered for the execution of the Trump administration’s shadow foreign policy towards Ukraine that’s sparked the impeachment probe. He’s one of the ones who worked with personal Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and in connection to his testimony, Volker turned over large quantities of text conversation records including himself, Giuliani, and Trump donor turned E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland.
Despite his past as a financial Trump supporter, even Sondland admitted to Congress that he did not support the president’s Ukraine scheme, which included trying to get the country to produce damaging, politically actionable intel on the Bidens. Of course, as other witnesses have made clear, no matter any claims of opposition, Sondland helped carry out the president’s plans anyway. Top Ukraine diplomat Bill Taylor told Congress that at one point, Sondland told Ukraine that “everything” they could want from the U.S. would hinge on them producing that Biden dirt.
Yovanovitch’s testimony transcript has already revealed just how pervasive that the Trump scheme targeting Ukraine really was. Apparently, Giuliani was scheming to get her fired as early as late 2018, and his now federally criminally charged business associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were also in on the act “because they wanted to have business dealings in Ukraine, or additional business dealings,” Yovanovitch said.
Discussing when she eventually was fired, she explained:
‘So the Deputy Secretary said that, you know, he was sorry this was all happening, that the President had lost confidence, and I would need to depart my post… I said, what have I done wrong? And he said, you’ve done nothing wrong. And he said that he had had to speak to ambassadors who had been recalled for cause before and this was not that… I was upset. And… I wanted an explanation because this is rather unusual. But he could not offer one beyond the fact that the President had made a decision.’
In other words, the president of the United States bent foreign policy to his will yet again simply because he felt like it.
No matter his continued stream of complaints, House impeachment investigators are continuing their work. More testimony transcripts yet to be released include those covering Bill Taylor, National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, and others.