A former top national security adviser to President Trump told Republicans in the House impeachment inquiry Thursday morning to stop advancing a "fictional narrative" that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 USA elections rather than Russian Federation.
Hill will gives House investigators a window into former national security adviser John Bolton's objections to Trump's Ukraine activities, Axios reports in a morning briefing ahead of the hearing.
The two witnesses set to appear Thursday are the last scheduled for public hearings.
But even the 2017 Politico article - which reported that the Ukrainian ambassador to the US and some embassy staff had passed on incriminating information about Trump adviser Paul Manafort to a Democratic operative - noted that this was "far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia's alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic email" in 2016. The inquiry has focused on how President Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce investigations related to the Bidens, as well as alleged actions taken by Ukraine in the 2016 election, as aid was withheld.
He declared that Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani explicitly sought a "quid pro quo" with Ukraine, leveraging an Oval Office visit for political investigations of Democrats.
Asked whether the vice president believes Sondland lied under oath, Pence told WISN 12 that he "never had a conversation with Gordon Sondland about investigating the Bidens" or "the conditional release of financial aid to Ukraine based upon potential investigations" before his meeting with Zelenskiy.
Today's witnesses are a Russian Federation expert and a foreign service officer who overheard a phone call in which President Trump asked about the "investigations" he wanted Ukraine to pursue.
Sondland confirmed this event in his Wednesday public testimony.
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Hill said Bolton told her he didn't want to be involved in any "drug deal" Sondland and Trump's acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney were cooking up over the Ukrainian investigations Trump wanted. He said that while he doesn't dispute much of what Holmes has said, he disputes having used the term "Biden".
However, Sondland said: "Everyone was in the loop".
House impeachment investigators will hear from two key witnesses Thursday who grew alarmed by how President Donald Trump and others in his orbit were conducting foreign policy in Ukraine, capping an intense week in the historic inquiry.
Trump on Thursday railed against the proceedings as a "phony impeachment hoax".
A former White House national security aide will tell lawmakers they should not let domestic politics get in the way of defending against "foreign powers who truly wish us harm".
When: The hearings are expected to continue at 6 a.m. PST (9 a.m. EST) Thursday, Nov. 21.
And if Trump were impeached in the House, that would trigger a trial in the Senate - one that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said this week that he's convinced Trump would win.