"Read the transcript. You'll see the call", Trump said of the April conversation. Some have stated their belief there was a quid pro quo, with the Trump administration requiring the Ukrainian government to open investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in exchange for United States military assistance.
"I recommend that Nervous Nancy Pelosi (who backed up Schiff's lie), Shifty Adam Schiff, Sleepy Joe Biden, the Whistleblower (who miraculously disappeared after I released the transcript of the call), the 2nd Whistleblower (who also disappeared), & the I.G., be part of the list!".
Vindman alerted superiors about the meeting he described and also after he listened to the July phone call in which Trump personally appealed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden and an outlier theory of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election.
They now want to have the whistleblower, an intelligence community official who has asked for anonymity, and Hunter Biden, the son of the Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, to their list of witnesses to testify in open, public, televised impeachment inquiry hearings, according to The Washington Post.
Democrats have invited three diplomats who have previously testified behind closed doors to recount what they knew or heard about Trump and Giuliani's dealings with Ukraine.
The GOP also requested Nellie Ohr, a former Fusion GPS contractor, and Alexandra Chalupa, a former Democratic National Committee staffer, signaling that Republicans still want to focus on unsubstantiated claims related to the 2016 presidential campaign.
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Speier said. "The only thing that the whistleblower can say is that he was told by other people about the phone call". Republicans will also stress that Democrats have sparse direct evidence of abuse of power by Trump.
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Nevertheless, on July 25 Trump delivered the same message to Zelensky- that cooperation, including a meeting and military aid, could be contingent on Ukraine opening the investigations the White House sought.
However, Trump and/or his lawyer would be allowed to attend later hearings before the House judiciary committee, which will debate what, if any, articles of impeachment should be filed and sent to the floor for a vote. The White House has called the inquiry partisan and illegitimate as a basis for not cooperating.
Vindman took his concerns about the call to the NSC's lead counsel - and about Sondland's comments at the White House to his twin brother, Eugene, an ethics lawyer at the National Security Council.
Ambassador William Taylor, a diplomat to Ukraine, and George Kent, deputy assistant secretary for European affairs, are scheduled to testify on November 13, while Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine, will testify on November 15, according to Schiff.
"Republicans, don't be led into the fools trap of saying it was not ideal, but is not impeachable".
The hearings are likely to be fiery, with Republicans determined to paint witnesses as biased against Trump. So far, however, Democrats have not issued a subpoena for Bolton.
President Trump on Sunday called on Republicans to fully support his "perfect" Ukraine call and not just attack the impeachment inquiry. "Yet Democrats are presenting him as their star witness for this whole endeavor to impeach the president".