While asking for the "favor", according to a rough transcript of the call made public, Trump was withholding some $400 million in military aid to Kyiv.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced amid the impeachment inquiry that he would release the transcript of his very first phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy this week. "I am sure you will find it tantalizing!"
The public hearings are set to begin tomorrow at 10 AM EST.
Trump had suggested he would release the April transcript Tuesday.
The transcript is from a call with Zelenskiy after the Ukrainian was elected president but before he took office.
Former independent counsel Ken Starr and former assistant US attorney Andrew McCarthy will offer additional legal commentary throughout the programming. None has been removed from office, although Richard Nixon resigned as he faced nearly certain impeachment in 1974 over the Watergate scandal.
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Trump contends the transcript of his call with Ukraine's president was "perfect".
It also says they will argue that "the Ukrainian government was not aware of a hold on United States security assistance at the time of the July 25 call; and President Trump met with President Zelensky and U.S. security assistance flowed to Ukraine in September 2019 - both of which occurred without Ukraine investigating President Trump's political rivals". The White House did not release a readout of that conversation when it took place.
"(It is) really disheartening if it does come to pass that President Trump has been using his individual influence as president to further his political ambitions for the next election", said 59-year-old Jablonsky, who considers himself an independent and agrees with Trump politically on issues including trade.
"It was exactly what we had - we were hoping for", said Vindman, who is the director for European affairs at the National Security Council. Among his events this week is a high-profile meeting with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, the day impeachment hearings open.
If that occurs, the 100-seat Republican-controlled Senate would hold a trial on the charges.