Home / World / Trump's impeachment hearings live updates Day 3: Kurt Volker, Tim Morrison testify

Trump's impeachment hearings live updates Day 3: Kurt Volker, Tim Morrison testify



Day 3 of parliamentary hearings continued Tuesday afternoon with two witnesses requested by Republicans: Kurt Volker, the former US special envoy to Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, a National Security Council official who was on President Donald Trump's July 25 talks with Ukraine President.

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Republicans want Morrison. a political appointee, to repeat what he said in his closed-door deposition: that he heard nothing illegal in the conversation, even though he was worried that if it leaked it could be politically fallout.

Volker, one of the so-called "three amigos", communicated with William Taylor, the US's best diplomat in Ukraine, and Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, about what Trump wanted from Ukraine, but according to task will claim he was out of the loop when it came to specific requirements for investigations.

Earlier Tuesday, two White House national security assistants appeared on the July phone call expressing concern over statements Trump made to Ukraine's leaders on Capitol Hill, becoming the first current White House officials to testify publicly in the Democrats' impeachment investigation.

Army, Colonel Alexander Vindman, National Security Council's Ukraine expert, testified together with Jennifer Williams, a national security assistant to Vice President Mike Pence.

  PHOTO: Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council official arrives to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, November 19, 2019.
Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP
Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council official , arrives to testify before the House The Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, November 19, 2019.

Here is how the afternoon portion of the hearing develops. Update for updates.

4:12 p.m.

When Schiff began his questioning, Volker repeated his earlier testimony that he did not suspect Democrat Joe Biden was wrong.

He said "it is not credible to me that former Vice President Biden would have been in any way influenced by financial or personal motives for performing his duties as Vice President."

Volker said he also did not believe charges against Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine. He said they were not credible either.

"I have known former Vice President Biden for a long time. I know how he respects his duties as higher office, and it is simply not credible to me that a US vice president will do anything but act as he sees best for the national interest, "Volker said.

3:27 p.

The afternoon session begins with statements from President Adam Schiff and ranking member Devin Nunes.

  PHOTO: Former special envoy to the State Department of Ukraine Kurt Volker is waiting to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, November 19, 2019.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images
Former Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker waits to testify before House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, November 19, 2019.

"Welcome back to Team Two of the Circus, Ladies and Gentlemen , "Nunes said at the beginning of her opening statement.

Nunes and his Republican colleagues have firmly defended the president's behavior towards Ukraine and tried to throw the weapons investigation as a partisan attack.

The two witnesses were then answered and made their initial statements.

In opening remarks, Kurt Volker noted "a lot of additional information" that he has learned since his October 3 deposition with closed doors in front of impeachment investigators, including details of the alleged quid pro quo effort by President Trump .

"Then I joined [Ukrainian chief of staff Andriy] Yermak and Giuliani and discussed with Yermak and Amb. Sondland a possible statement that could be taken by the Ukrainian president, I did not know of any link between the security support team and Ukraine conducting investigations, "Volker said.

He insisted that he never "deliberately participated in an attempt to urge Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden."

Volker said he was not aware of many important disclosures that have emerged since his first appearance before the committee in October, including Ambassador Gordon Sondland's telephone conversation with President Trump during which the president alleged that his priority in Ukraine was "investigations."

He also said that he has never used the term "The Three Amigos," which other witnesses in the impeachment probe have used to describe Volker, Ambassador Sondland and Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

Volker said he does not believe that Ukrainians were aware of a military aid hold until August 29, a day after Politico reported that the money had been frozen.

Other witnesses testified in separate hearings with closed doors that their Ukrainian counterparts had figured it out earlier than that. The Ministry of State's Catherine Croft could not specify the exact date the Ukrainians found out, other than that it was "earlier than I expected them."

Bill Taylor, the US diplomat in Ukraine, testified last week in open testimony that he thinks there is still no question when they may have heard.

When exactly Ukraine knew the money was on is a key point for Republicans, who claim that Trump cannot be accused of personally imposing a "quid pro quo" in his July 25 phone call because they say Ukraine had no idea that military aid was on hold at that time.

  PHOTO: Former US Special Envoy for Ukraine, Kurt Volker and Supreme Russia and Europe's advisor to President Donald Trump's National Security Council, Tim Morrison, answered during House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, November 19, 2019.
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP / Getty Images
Former US special envoy for Ukraine, Kurt Volker and best Russia and Europe advisor to President Donald Trump's National Security Council, Tim Morrison, answered during House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, November 19 2019.

13:40

When the first part of Tuesday's hearing ended, Schiff thanked Williams and Vindman for their testimony.

"We have brave people like yourself who come forward, who report things, who do what they should do, who have a meaning, as you put it, Colonel, service, duty. Not to the President, but to the Presidency. and to the country. And we thank you for that, "Schiff said.

He added that although other witnesses have testified about allegations the president did not care about Ukraine outside the investigations of Bidens, members of Congress still care about the longstanding US policy in Ukraine.

"The president may not care, but we do. We care about our defense, we care about the defense of our allies. And we wondered about our constitution," Schiff said.

In his closing comments, Republican Rep. Rope. Devin Nunes says "Act One of today's circus is over … Democrats are no closer to impeachment than they were three years ago."

  PHOTO: Rep. Devin Nunes in testimony of Jennifer Williams and Alexander Vindman on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 19, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing by President Donald Trump.
Shawn Thew / AP
Rep. Devin Nunes under testimony by Jennifer Williams and Alexander Vindman on Capitol Hill, Washington, November 19, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing by President Donald Trump.

The second hearing was expected to begin in about an hour.

1:25 p.m.

Democrat Representative Sean Maloney asked Vindman what went through his mind when he heard Trump on the July 25 call.

"Honestly, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It was probably a shock element that, in some cases, perhaps my worst fear of how our Ukraine policy might play out, how this would probably have significant implications for US national security," said Vindman.

"And you went immediately and reported it, right?" Maloney asked.

"I did," replied VIndman

"Why?" Maloney then asked.

"Because it was my duty," Vindman replied.

Maloney then asked Vindman to re-read the section on his opening statement that mentioned his father.

After Maloney asked why he told his dad not to worry about his safety to testify, Vindman said, "Congressman, because this is America. This is the country I have served and defended, that all my brothers have earned and here, the right things. "

A number of people in the audience then began to applaud.

1:21 pm

Democratic Rep. Sean Maloney lamented the political attacks against Vindman during the hearing during his interrogation.

"We even had a member on this committee issue – this is my favorite – ask why you would wear your clothing uniform today. Although that clothing uniform has a chest plate that has a combat infantry badge on it and a purple heart medal band, he said.

"It seems that someone is going to wear the uniform, someone has a breastplate with praise for it."

Republican Rep. Chris Stewart noted that Vindman was wearing his clothing uniform "knowing it is not today's uniform" earlier in the hearing, although active military officers must be in uniform when appearing in an official capacity.

Vindman told Stewart that he felt that the attacks against him "marginalized" him as a military officer. An Army spokesman told ABC News that they support Vindman with concerns about his family's safety as he testifies in the investigation into the remuneration.

12:59 p.

Referring to a theory by Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer, and President Trump that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that disrupted the 2016 presidential election, Vindman called it a "Russian story that President Putin has promoted. "

"And are you aware of any part of the US government, its foreign policy or intelligence apparatus that supports that theory?" Rep. Castro, D-Texas, asked Vindman.

"No, I don't know," Vindman said.

The theory that Ukraine framed Russia in election disputes 2016 has been widely criticized. Tom Bossert, Trump's former home security adviser and now an ABC News contributor, targeted Giuliani in September on ABC's "This Week" and told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos that the theory is "completely false."

12:55 p.

During questioning from Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier, Vindman suggests that he may have already experienced retaliation from the White House.

"In both your situations since you have made deposits and have you seen your experience of your respective jobs change or have you been treated slightly differently?" Speier asked.
Williams said she had not done so, but Vindman said he was excluded from meetings because he raised concerns about the July 25 call.

"I noticed that I was excluded from several meetings that would have been appropriate for my position," Vindman said.

"So in some respects there have been reprisals?" Speier sa.

"I am not sure I could make that judgment. I would say that it is beyond normal issues to not get me involved in any of these events," Vindman said.

12:47 p.m.

Down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol hearing, President Trump, who spoke to reporters at the White House, struck a dismissive tone when asked if he thinks Colonel LL Vindman is a credible witness and notes the moment when Vindman corrected Nunes for he referred to him as "Mr. Vidman ”and also seemed to question their motives in wearing a military uniform to testify.

"I do not know him because he says Lieutenant Colonel, I understand that someone had the misfortune of calling him" loser "and he corrected them. I have never seen the man, I now understand that he is wearing his uniform when he enters. No, I don't know Vindman at all, ”Trump said during a cabinet meeting, reports ABC's Jordyn Phelps.

An American official told ABC News & # 39; Elizabeth McLaughlin at the Pentagon as Vindman testifies before Congress means that he is serving in his official capacity and is therefore required to wear the uniform.

Separately, a spokesman for ABC told Luis Martinez: "A soldier who performs duties in an official capacity will normally be in uniform. In cases where a soldier is described to an agency outside the DoD, the individual would follow the policy of that agency. "

12:43 p.m.

On the question of Hunter Biden's role on the Board of Burisma may have shown the appearance of a conflict of interest, both Vindman and Williams replied in the affirmative.

"Sure the potential, yes," Vindman said.

"Yes," Williams chimed in.

Republicans have called on Hunter Biden to testify as part of the impeachment investigation, but Democrats have so far declined to call him before the committee.

12:17 pm

Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe began her questioning session by referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Thursday conference where she said the president was engaged in "bribery."

  PHOTO: Rep. John Ratcliffe refers to a bundle of deposition prints while asking questions during a House Inquiry Committee hearing as part of the investigation into President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC November 19, 2019.
Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
Rep. John Ratcliffe refers to a stack of deposition transcripts while asking questions during a House Inquiry Committee hearing as part of the Donald Trump Presidential Inquiry on Capitol Hill, Washington, November 19, 2019.

Ratcliffe, stacked copies of all deposition transcripts in front of him, argued that not even some witnesses have used that word to describe what the president did, even though they were worried.

President Schiff then returned to this argument and defended using the term.

"I want to make one thing clear to people watching today. Bribery means a quid pro quo. Bribery means that a specific act is about something of value," Schiff said.

He added "The reason why we do not ask witnesses, who are actual witnesses, to judge whether a crime or bribe has been committed…. First, you may not be aware of all the facts of the present case."

11:54 am

Democratic Representative Jim Himes also hinted that Republicans accused Vindman of disloyalty to the United States in his question about when Vindman was offered the post of Secretary of Defense for Ukraine, which Vindman said he denied.

"It may have come covered in a Brooks Brothers suit and in parliamentary language, but it was designed exclusively to give right-wing media an opening to question your loyalties," Himes said.

"And I want people to understand what it was about. It's that kind of attack – it's the kind you say when defending the indefensible," Himes said.

"Colonel Vindman, would you call yourself & # 39; Never Trumper? & # 39;" Himes asked at one point.

"Representative, I would call myself 'Never Partisan'" replied Vindman.

Moments earlier, Himes suggested the president be engaged in "witness intimidation" when he called Jennifer Williams a "Never Trumper" on Twitter.

"ms. Williams, are you involved in a presidential attack? "Asked Himes, D-Conn.

"No, sir," she replied emphatically.

  PHOTO: Jennifer Williams, aide to Vice President Mike Pence, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC November 19, 2019.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
PHOTO: Jennifer Williams, aide to Vice President Mike Pence, testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC November 19, 2019.

Williams went on to say that the president's tweet "really surprised" her and that she did not consider herself a "never-ending drummer."

"It surprised me too," Himes said. "It looked like witness intimidation and manipulation in an attempt to perhaps shape your testimony today."

11:50 p.m. 1945

In the first extended effort to undermine Vindman's credibility read the rope. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, testified from another former National Security Council official, Tim Morrison, who said he heard concerns that Vindman may have leaked classified information to the press.

  PHOTO: Ohio Republican Representative Jim Jordan questions Jennifer Williams and Alexander Vindman about the persecution of President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, November 19, 2019.
Shawn Thew / AFP via Getty Images
Republican Representative from Ohio Jim Jordan questions Jennifer Williams and Alexander Vindman about the proceeding with President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, November 19, 2019.

"It's delusional that I would," Vindman shot back. " can't say why Mr. Morrison questioned my assessment. "

Vindman read from a performance review prepared by his former head at NSC, Fiona Hill, who gave him glowing feedback on his work.

11:35 p.m.

President Schiff returned the debate to the chairman.

Vindman said there was no "ambiguity" in President Trump's invocation of the name "Biden" during his July 25 talks with the President of Ukraine.

"It was pretty clear that the president wanted Zelenskiy to commit to investigating Bidens?" Schiff asked.

"That's right," Vindman said.

"One of the 'favors' that you correctly characterized as a demand," Schiff added.

"That's right," Vindman replied.

11:18 am

Schiff asks Vindman if he wants to take a short break and Vindman says he would.

11:14 p.m.

Republican Attorney General Steve Castor asked Vindman if he was offered the position of Ukrainian Secretary of Defense during the trip to Ukrainian President Zelensky's inauguration.

  PHOTO: Assistant National Security Council Colonel Alexander Vindman testifies to House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, November 19, 2019.
Andrew Harnik / AP
Assistant to National Security Council lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, November 19 , 2019.

Vindman said he was offered the service three times but dismissed it each time and reported it to his master.

"I'm an American. I came here when I was a toddler and immediately turned down these offers. Didn't entertain them, he said.

"The whole idea was pretty comical," Vindman added, noting that he "didn't leave the door open at all" for the offer.

11:07 a.m.

ABC's Siege notes this exchange between Castor and Vindman:

Vindman said that he recalled that Sondland discussed "Burisma, Bidens and the 2016 election" in the July 10 meeting of the White House with Ukrainian officials.

GOP lawyer Steve Castor followed up, claiming that Vindman, behind closed doors, did not initially remember if the election was coming. Vindman said he clarified this later in his testimony.

  PHOTO: Republican Attorney General Steve Castor speaks with Jennifer William and Colonel Alexander Vindman, as they testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, November 19, 2019.
Shawn Thew / AP [19659010] Steve Castor, the Republican Attorney General, talks to Jennifer William and Colonel Alexander Windman, as they testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, November 19, 2019.

"So when we asked the question, it updated on a certain way your remembrance? " Castor said.

"Yes, I guess it's a term now," Vindman replied with a smile.

Sondland said in his updated testimony that he had "updated his memory."

10:50 am

During a beautiful exchange of the whistle whose complaint brought the nature of the phone call on July 25, Vindman corrected Nunes when the Republican ranking officer referred to him as "Mr. Vindman. "

"Ranking member, it's Colonel Vindman, please," Vindman said.

  PHOTO: Ranking Member Rep. Devin Nunes, speaking to Minority Attorney Steve Castor, right, on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 19. 2019.
Shawn Thew / REUTERS
Ranking Member Rep. Devin Nunes, speaking with minority attorney Steve Castor, right, on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 19. 2019.

In a long series of questions about the whistle – and if Vindman knew the person's identity – Nunes became frustrated when Vindman seemed to avoid answering directly.

"You can answer the question, or you can appeal the fifth," said the rep. Nunes and referred to Vindman's fifth amendment not to indict himself.

President Schiff interrupted and told Nunes that the hearing would not be used as a means for Republicans to expose the whistle.

Vindman's lawyer Michael Volkov also defended his client, saying that it was not about possibly appealing fifth. ABC's Trish Turner in the auditorium reports that this is the first time we have heard extensive comments from a lawyer during these hearings.

10:39 p.m.

Vindman pushed back on Nune's question if he discussed President Trump's telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Zelenskiy on July 25 with reporters.

"I don't get involved with the press at all," Vindman said.

Republican allied president has accused Vindman and other "bureaucrats" of the administration of politically motivated leaks.

It is clear that the GOP suspects Vindman tipped off the whistle, although Vindman says he is not sure who the whistle is.

Vindman acknowledges that he shared the contents of the telephone conversation July 25 with a member of the intelligence community as well as an official with the Department of Foreign Affairs George Kent.

10:26 p.m.

Vindman says he told the US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland that discussions on investigations of Bidens and the 2016 election were inappropriate when he says Sondland addressed them after a meeting with US and Ukrainian officials.

"I said that this request to conduct these meetings was inappropriate. These investigations were inappropriate and had nothing to do with national security policy," Vindman said.

  PHOTO: Democratic Advisor Daniel Goldman questions Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams, as chairman of the ropes. Adam Schiff Listens to Testimonies on Capitol Hill, November 19, 2019 in Washington, DC
Shawn Thew / Getty Images
Democratic Advisor Daniel Goldman questions Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams, as chairwoman. Adam Schiff listens to testimonies on Capitol Hill, November 19, 2019 in Washington, DC

10:19 am

Vindman says he had already traced the "alternative story" around Ukraine when he decided to immediately report the July 25 call to NSC lawyers.

"By this time, I had already traced this from the beginning what I would describe as an alternate story, false story, and I was certainly aware of the fact that it began to play again, gain traction," he said.

He also said that there was a discussion among NSC's lawyers about how to handle the transcript and keep it to a "smaller group" to avoid the sensitive information leaking, but that he did not see it as "disappointed. "

10:13

ABC News & # 39; Mary Bruce notes that Vindman is in violation of White House reading of the April 21 conversation between Presidents Trump and Zelenskiy.

"Vindman says his talking points encouraged the president to address the issue of corruption. At the time, the White House's call said the issue came up. But Vindman notes that the president never actually raised the issue. And the statement that the White House released last week shows that it was not listed, Bruce says.

Vindman testified that he was on that call and that corruption was part of the National Security Council's recommended talking points to the president, but that he did not remember the issue of corruption that came up on the call.

ABC's Ben Siegel reports from the auditorium that Vindman also said, as he did in private testimony, that he warned Zelenskiy against involvement in American domestic politics.

  Special Adviser for Europe and Russia to Vice President Mike Pence, Jennifer Williams and Director of European Affairs for National Security Council, Army Lieutenant Alexander Vindman, answered in Washington, DC, November 19, 2019.
Alex Brandon / AFP via Getty Images
Special Adviser for Europe and Russia to Vice President Mike Pence, Jennifer Williams and Director of European Affairs for the National Security Council, Army Lieutenant Alexander Vindman, answered in Washington, DC November 19, 2019.

10: 03.00

When describing President Trump's call on Ukraine's leaders to launch investigations to help his reelection efforts for 2020, Vindman relayed his military experience to describe why he understood Trump's takeover as "an order," not a "request."

"President, the culture I come from – the military culture – when a senior asks you to do something, even if it is polite and nice, it is not to take a request. It should be taken as an order, ”Vindman said.

"In this case, the difference of power between the two leaders, my impression is that President Zelenskiy would need to carry out these investigations to get the White House meeting."

ABC News political director Rick Klein tweets this analysis: "A key point witnessed last week also – that a" service "is more like a demand in light of Ukraine's dependence on the United States"

10:01 am

Both Vindman and Williams say they remembered hearing the word "Burisma" on the July 25 phone call, but that it was omitted in the printout. "It's not a major failure," Vindman said, but said he was trying to correct the record. Burisma is not mentioned in the transcript released by the White House.

Burisma is the gas company in Ukraine that hired Hunter Biden to sit on the board.

09:47

Vindman, som levererar sitt inledande uttalande i sin amerikanska arméuniform, skjuter tillbaka på kritik som framförts av presidentens allierade och insisterar på att hans roll i undersökningen om impeachment inte kommer från bipartisan partiskhet, men "under en gemensam ed att skydda och försvara Förenta staternas konstitution. ”

”Vi tjänar inte något särskilt politiskt parti, vi tjänar nationen. Jag är ödmjuk att komma före dig idag som en av många som tjänar i världens mest framstående och kapabla militär, säger Vindman.

På måndag föreslog senator Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., Vindman var en "byråkrat" som "aldrig accepterade president Trump som legitim och förargade sin oortodokska stil" och anklagade honom indirekt för att "läcka till pressen och delta i den pågående ansträngningen att sabotera hans politik. ”

 FOTO: Överst Överste Alexander Vindman hälsar sin tvillingbror Yevgeny Vindman som sitter i publiken när Vindman anländer till vittnesbörd som en del av undersökningen om presidenten Donald Trump på Capitol Hill i Washington, DC, Nov. 19, 2019.
Erin Scott/Reuters
Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman greets his twin brother Yevgeny Vindman sitting in the audience as Vindman arrives to give testimony as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Nov. 19, 2019.

Vindman notes his brother is in the audience and then directs his testimony at his father, who fled the Soviet Union 40 years ago and brought Vindman and his brother to the United States.

Vindman said he and his siblings chose public service to repay the country that took them in. Vindman also notes that his actions, if in Russia, would have "surely cost me my life." Then he assured his father "do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth."

PHOTO: Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, arrives to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Nov. 19, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing.
Julio Cortez/AP
Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, arrives to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Nov. 19, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing.

9:38 a.m.

Williams gives her opening statement first, defending her service in the U.S. diplomatic corps after President Trump targeted her on Twitter over the weekend.

“As a career officer, I am committed to serving the American people and advancing American interests abroad, in support of the President’s foreign policy objectives,” Williams said Tuesday.

"I found the July 25th phone call unusual, because in contrast to other presidential calls I had observed, it involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter."

9:22 a.m.

Ranking Member Devin Nunes blamed media coverage of the hearings last week for overstating the impact of last week’s testimony and continued calls for more information about the whistleblower whose complaint launched the impeachment inquiry.

Schiff has said he does not know the identity of the whistleblower and will protect them from being publicly identified due, in part, to security concerns.

9:17 a.m.

The president has called both witnesses "Never Trumpers."

Schiff notes the attacks on Williams and Vindman.

"Ms. Williams, we all saw the President’s tweet about you on Sunday afternoon and the insults he hurled at Ambassador Yovanovich last Friday. You are here today, and the American people are grateful," Schiff says. "Col. Vindman, we have seen far more scurrilous attacks on your character, and watched as certain personalities on Fox have questioned your loyalty. I note that you have shed blood for America, and we owe you an immense debt of gratitude."

9:09 a.m.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff opens the hearing by reviewing what other witnesses have testified, saying President Donald Trump has "placed his own personal and political interests above those of the nation."

Vindman and Williams are sitting side-by-side at the witness table as Schiff introduces them as having been alarmed by the July 25 call.

9:01 a.m.

ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce notes that today's witnesses provide some of the testimony that prompted the impeachment inquiry by raising concerns about the administration's dealings in Ukraine.

"Today we are going to be hearing from witnesses who were on that phone call that sparked this entire impeachment inquiry and they have described what they heard as unusual and inappropriate," Bruce says.

8:45 a.m.

Jennifer Williams has arrived as well. She will be today's first witness. The hearing room is filling up quickly with congressional staff, reporters and spectators.

PHOTO: National Security Council Director for European Affairs Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman arrives to testify before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill Nov. 19, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
National Security Council Director for European Affairs Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman arrives to testify before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill Nov. 19, 2019 in Washington, D.C.

Tuesday's hearing starts off an important week in the impeachment inquiry after the first two days of public testimony last week.

If you missed last week's hearings you can catch up on some of the key takeaways from former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and the first hearing with William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, the State Department's top career official tasked with Ukraine policy.

8:15 a.m.

Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman has arrived in Capitol Hill in his dress blue uniform. He was accompanied by his brother, Yevgeny, who also serves on the National Security Council as an ethics lawyer.

Vindman told investigators, according to a transcript of his closed session, that he was "concerned" by the call, adding that he "did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen," a reference to the suggestion from Trump that Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and his work for Ukrainian energy company Burisma. He also told lawmakers there was "no doubt" in his mind about what Trump sought from Ukraine in the July phone call with Zelenskiy.

In his private testimony, Vindman also told lawmakers he repeatedly raised his concerns about the president's comments — along with the discussion of the investigations that Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, was publicly calling for — with NSC lawyers.

He also said he attempted to get nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine restored after it was put on hold over the summer, drafting a memo that the president refused to sign.

The Iraq War veteran, who received a Purple Heart, is expected to appear in uniform.

PHOTO: Jennifer Williams, a special adviser to Vice President Mike Pence for Europe and Russia who is a career Foreign Service officer, arrives for a closed-door interview at the Capitol, Nov. 7, 2019.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Jennifer Williams, a special adviser to Vice President Mike Pence for Europe and Russia who is a career Foreign Service officer, arrives for a closed-door interview at the Capitol, Nov. 7, 2019.

Williams said in a separate closed session with lawmakers that she found the mention of investigations into the 2016 election and unsubstantiated theories of Ukraine's meddling in the race, and a probe into the Biden family's dealings in Ukraine "unusual and inappropriate."

The president has lashed out at both officials, calling Vindman a "never Trumper" as he testified to Congress last month, and criticizing Williams after her closed-door testimony was released over the weekend.

PHOTO: Tim Morrison, the top Russia official on President Trumps National Security Council, gets off of an elevator as he returns to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Nov. 6, 2019, to review his testimony before the House impeachment inquiry.
Susan Walsh/AP, FILE
Tim Morrison, the top Russia official on President Trump's National Security Council, gets off of an elevator as he returns to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Nov. 6, 2019, to review his testimony before the House impeachment inquiry.

Tim Morrison, a departing NSC official who was also on the Trump-Zelenskiy call, will testify Tuesday afternoon. While he raised concerns about the call to White House lawyers — specifically, how a leak of the transcript would be received in a polarized Washington, and impact bipartisan support for Ukraine — he previously told impeachment investigators that he was "not concerned that anything illegal was discussed," according to a transcript of his deposition released by House Democrats.

PHOTO: After an all-day deposition behind closed doors with the House Intelligence Committee, former United States envoy to the Ukraine Kurt Volker departs the Capitol, Oct. 3, 2019.
Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images
After an all-day deposition behind closed doors with the House Intelligence Committee, former United States envoy to the Ukraine Kurt Volker departs the Capitol, Oct. 3, 2019.

Lawmakers will also question former U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker on Tuesday afternoon.

Republicans, who requested the public testimony from both officials, believe elements of their accounts undermine Democrats' concerns about the withholding of aid for investigations at the center of the impeachment inquiry.

Tuesday's testimony could set the stage for the upcoming appearance of Gordon Sondland, Trump's ambassador to the European Union and an apparent central player in the efforts to encourage Ukraine to launch investigations that could benefit Trump politically.

The House Intelligence Committee is scheduled to hold a total of five public hearings this week with nine witnesses.

Sondland will testify Wednesday morning, followed by senior Defense Department and State Department officials Laura Cooper and David Hale.

Fiona Hill, the NSC's former Russia expert under former national security adviser John Bolton, is scheduled to appear on Capitol Hill Thursday morning, along with Holmes.


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