Democrats release sixth in impeachment probe — George Kent transcript

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Wednesday was third straight day that congressional investigators released full depositions of key players in the Ukraine affair, which has led to the impeachment inquiry into Trump.

Taylor testified that he learned in September from Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, that the aid and a White House visit sought by Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, were both "dependent" on a public statement about an investigation.

House Democrats released the sixth closed-door transcript of their impeachment investigation on Thursday, this time from Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent.

Investigators have been told that President Trump wanted to pressure the government of Ukraine to commit to investigations that could help him in the 2020 election.

On Nov. 15, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will testify.

The three committees that have been leading the investigation appear to be wrapping up the closed-door testimony this week.

Despite the mounting evidence of the quid pro quo, Republicans have continued to excuse the president's actions.

"Let me be clear: Mr. Giuliani does not work for me or for my mission, and I do not know what official or unofficial role, if any, he has with the State Department", he said in his opening statement. She detailed efforts by Giuliani and other Trump allies to push her out of Ukraine, testifying that a senior Ukrainian official told her that "I really needed to watch my back". That claim of a quid pro quo initially contradicted Sondland's testimony, but this week, Sondland said he misremembered events, and confirmed the accuracy of Taylor's account.

Clinton, he clarified, was "shorthand" for the 2016 election. According to the testimony, his administration conditioned both military aid and a sought-after Ukraine meeting with Trump on Kiev's willingness to launch an investigation of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm connected to Biden's son.

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The new information surfaced as the House committees also released a transcript of their interview last month with Kurt Volker, the former special envoy to Ukraine.

Conway also told reporters Wednesday that Sondland's testimony did not change the White House position that no "quid pro quo" took place. "He said that President Trump wanted President Zelensky in a box by making public statement [sic] about ordering such investigations", he testified.

Representative Adam Schiff, walks in Capitol Hill after witnesses failed to show up for closed door testimony during the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on November 5, 2019, in Washington, D.C.

Taylor said he was told by Morrison of a September 1 phone call in which U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland told top Ukrainian aide Andriy Yermak that the military assistance would not be released until assurances by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to open Trump's desired investigations.

Much of the early parts of the investigation by the committees, which include Democratic and Republican lawmakers, were conducted behind closed doors, but now the inquiry is moving into a public phase.

It was conveyed to White House officials and then the Justice Department.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham responded in a statement to Sondland's sudden remembrance of a quid pro quo in the July 25 call despite the diplomat admitting to not knowing anything about the suspension of the aid to Ukraine, dismissing his allegations.

Trump has blasted the House inquiry as a witch hunt and accused Democrats of unfairly targeting him in hope of reversing his surprise victory in the 2016 presidential election.

"Although this irregular channel was well connected in Washington, it operated mostly outside of official State Department channels", Taylor said.