pcloudy.png
Wednesday June 3rd, 2020 2:34PM

The Latest: Witness describes Sondland’s call to Trump

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the House impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine (all times local):

11:15 a.m.

An impeachment witness is describing in detail a phone call that he overheard between President Donald Trump and Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

The July 26 call took place from an outdoor terrace of a Kyiv restaurant. David Holmes, political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, was at lunch with Sondland and overheard it.

He says he heard Trump ask Sondland if Ukraine’s president was “gonna do the investigation,” and Sondland replied that he was.

Holmes says he asked Sondland if it was true that Trump didn’t care about Ukraine. He says Sondland replied that he only cared about the “big stuff.” He says the “big stuff” included the Biden investigation.

Sondland has said he had no recollection of having discussed the Bidens with Holmes.

___

11:10 a.m.

A Foreign Service officer says he understood that the use of the word “Burisma” was code for “Bidens.”

David Holmes is testifying before a House committee in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Other witnesses testified they did not realize that when Trump allies and others mentioned they were seeking an investigation into Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company, that they meant an investigation into the Bidens. The son of former Vice President Joe Biden sat on the board of Burisma.

But Holmes says others working on Ukraine issues would recognize the connection between the two.

The inquiry is centered on whether Trump wrongly held up military aid for Ukraine until the new president agreed to investigate the Bidens and a debunked theory that Ukraine had meddled in the 2016 election.

___

11:05 a.m.

A former National Security Council adviser says the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani had been making “incendiary” remarks on television about Ukraine.

Fiona Hill is testifying Thursday before a House committee in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Investigators are trying to determine whether Trump wrongly held up critical military assistance unless Ukraine’s new president publicly said he’d investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden and his son.

She was asked why Ambassador John Bolton would call Giuliani a “hand grenade.” She said that Bolton was referring to Giuliani’s many TV appearances floating conspiracy theories on the 2016 election and the Bidens.

She says that Giuliani was “clearly pushing forward” issues that would “probably come back to haunt us.”

And she says: “That’s where we are today.”

___

10:40 a.m.

A former White House national security aide is testifying at a House impeachment hearing that Russia’s goal in 2016 was to put whomever was elected president “under a cloud.”

Fiona Hill is an expert on Russia. She says increased partisanship is “exactly what the Russian government was hoping for.”

She says it is “absolutely the case” that it is to Russia’s benefit to blame Ukraine for intervention in the U.S. election. And that falls into “a long pattern of deflection” by Russia.

President Donald Trump and other Republicans have pushed the theory that Ukraine intervened in the 2016 election while U.S. intelligence agencies have stated unequivocally that it was Russia.

Hill told the committee in her opening statement that Republicans should quit pushing a “fictional” narrative about Ukraine.

10:10 a.m.

A Foreign Service officer says that former White House national security adviser John Bolton mentioned critical security aid to Ukraine will be held until the new president could “favorably impress” President Donald Trump

David Holmes is testifying Thursday before lawmakers in the House impeachment inquiry into Trump. Lawmakers are investigating whether Trump wrongly withheld critical security aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into his Democratic rival.

Holmes says that Bolton told him that a meeting between Trump and Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Warsaw would be crucial. But Trump pulled out of the meeting.

___

10 a.m.

An official at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine is telling impeachment investigators that he came forward with evidence about a phone call he overheard between President Donald Trump and a U.S. diplomat because he believed it was firsthand information relevant to the probe.

David Holmes testified Thursday that he realized that those events bore on the question of whether Trump had knowledge that senior officials “were using the levers of our diplomatic power” to urge Ukraine to open investigations into Democrats.

Holmes testified that he overheard Trump and European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland talking about those investigations.

Holmes said he reminded the top U.S. official in Ukraine, William Taylor, about the overheard call. Taylor relayed that information to impeachment investigators last week, and they then called on him to testify.

___

9:55 a.m.

A Foreign Service officer says he overheard a phone call between President Donald Trump and a U.S. ambassador in which they discussed investigations requested of Ukraine.

David Holmes is testifying Thursday in a House impeachment inquiry into whether Trump wrongly held up military aid to Ukraine until the president committed to investigating Trump’s Democratic political rival.

Holmes says he was at a lunch with Ambassador Gordon Sondland and others and Sondland got on his mobile phone to speak with the president.

Holmes says he overheard Sondland talking with Trump about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Trump’s voice was loud.

He overheard him ask about “doing the investigation.” And Sondland told him Zelenskiy would do it and would do “anything you ask him to.”

Trump tweeted during Holmes’ testimony that he has never been able to overhear anyone talking through a phone. He said: “I’ve even tried, but to no avail. Try it live!”

___

9:50 a.m.

A witness in the House impeachment inquiry is expressing his concerns about the role of Rudy Giuliani in Ukraine policy.

David Holmes is a political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

He says he recognized last spring that the embassy’s priorities had become overshadowed by a political agenda driven by Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, “and a cadre of officials operating with a direct channel to the White House.”

He says that cadre included Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland and Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker. The group referred to itself as “The Three Amigos.”

The campaign by Giuliani involved public statements attacking the ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, as well as a push for Ukraine to investigate interference in the 2016 presidential election and the Bidens.

___

9:30 a.m.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff says Democrats will decide “in the coming days” what response is appropriate after hearing from a dozen witnesses in seven House impeachment hearings.

The seventh hearing began Thursday morning with witnesses Fiona Hill, a former White House national security aide, and David Holmes, a foreign service officer serving in Kyiv. Democrats are investigating President Donald Trump’s dealings in Ukraine as he pushed the country to investigate Democrats and withheld military aid.

Republicans have argued that Trump did nothing illegal. California Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the panel, said Thursday “marks the merciful end of this spectacle.”

___

8:55 a.m.

A former White House national security adviser testifying before a House committee in an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump says that Russia and its proxies have geared up for 2020 election interference.

In prepared testimony, Fiona Hill cautioned against getting sidetracked by other narratives on election interference, as Republican members of the committee continue to push a debunked theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 presidential election.

Hill will tell lawmakers: “We are running out of time to stop them.”

The House committee is looking at whether Trump wrongly conditioned critical military aid for Ukraine on a public statement by their new president to look into the son of Trump’s potential Democratic rival Joe Biden and his ties to a Ukrainian gas company, as well as the 2016 elections.

___

8 a.m.

A former National Security Council aide will tell the House impeachment hearing that one of the central Republican talking points — that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election — is a “fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services.”

In prepared testimony Thursday, Fiona Hill stressed that she is a “nonpartisan foreign policy expert” who has served Republican and Democratic administrations. She says the conclusion by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the election “is beyond dispute.”

She adds, “I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternative narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine — not Russia — attacked us in 2016.”

Hill says the impact of the 2016 Russian campaign remains evident today. She says, “Our nation is being torn apart. Truth is questioned.”

Hill was a top aide to then-national security adviser John Bolton. She’s appearing before the House panel looking into President Donald Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democrats and rival Joe Biden.

Hill says, “I have no interest in advancing the outcome of your inquiry in any particular direction, except toward the truth.”

Trump denies doing anything wrong.

___

7:55 a.m.

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."

Fiona Hill is a former official on the National Security Council who’s testifying Thursday before a House committee in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Hill says in her prepared remarks that "if the president, or anyone else, impedes or subverts the national security of the United States in order to further domestic or political affairs," it is worth the lawmakers’ attention.

But Hill says they cannot lose sight of the foreign powers, such as Russia, that truly wish to do harm to the United States.

Hill took aim at the lawmakers who do not believe Russia meddled in elections, telling them it was a “fictional narrative.”

Hill was an aide to former national security adviser John Bolton. She is testifying before a House panel looking into Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democrats and political rival Joe Biden.

Trump has denied doing anything wrong.

___

12:45 a.m.

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.

David Holmes, a political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, says he was having lunch with Ambassador Gordon Sondland this summer when he heard Trump on the phone asking the envoy about the investigations he wanted from the Ukranian president. The colorful exchange was like nothing he had ever seen, Holmes said in an earlier closed-door deposition.

Fiona Hill says her National Security Council boss, John Bolton, cut short a meeting with visiting Ukrainians at the White House when Sondland started asking them about “investigations.”

The two witnesses set to appear Thursday are the last scheduled for public hearings.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top General short headlines, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Prince Andrew faces new pressure to talk to US about Epstein
Britain’s disgraced Prince Andrew is facing mounting calls to provide information to U.S. law enforcement agencies and to lawyers who are investigating crimes committed by U.S. sex offender Jeffrey Epstein
11:21AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Israeli attorney general to decide on Netanyahu charges
Israel’s attorney general has scheduled a news conference to announce his long-awaited decision on whether to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a series of corruption scandals
11:18AM ( 12 minutes ago )
The Latest: Witness describes Sondland’s call to Trump
Former White House adviser Fiona Hill and Foreign Service officer David Holmes are testifying in the House impeachment inquiry
11:18AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Judge temporarily stops 1st federal executions in 16 years
Federal judge temporarily halts 1st federal executions in 16 years as lawsuit on how the government intends to carry them out continues
10:59AM ( 30 minutes ago )
The Latest: Fiona Hill testifies on Russia’s 2016 goals
Former White House adviser Fiona Hill and Foreign Service officer David Holmes are testifying in the House impeachment inquiry
10:45AM ( 44 minutes ago )
Massachusetts OKs ban on flavored vaping, tobacco products
Massachusetts lawmakers passed a groundbreaking ban Thursday on the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products, including menthol cigarettes
10:45AM ( 45 minutes ago )
AP National News
The Latest: Fiona Hill to warn of more Russian interference
A former National Security Council aide will tell the House impeachment hearing that one of the central Republican talking points _ that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election _ is a ‘fictional narrative’ propagated by Russian security services
9:03AM ( 2 hours ago )
Judge temporarily stops 1st federal execution in 16 years
Federal judge temporarily halts 1st federal execution in 16 years as lawsuit on how the government intends to carry it out continues
9:02AM ( 2 hours ago )
UK’s Labour promises radical changes if it wins Dec. 12 vote
Britain’s main opposition Labour Party has unveiled a platform of radically expanded public spending and state ownership as it tried to close an opinion-poll gap with the governing Conservatives ahead of the U.K.’s Dec. 12 election
8:59AM ( 2 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
NBC’s issues aren’t addressed despite candidates’ letter
A day after four presidential candidates publicly called on NBC to agree to an independent probe of sexual misconduct issues, it wasn’t addressed during a presidential debate
10:39AM ( 50 minutes ago )
Gore kicking off 24 hours of climate talks around the world
Former Vice President Al Gore kicks off “24 Hours of Reality,” featuring climate change presentations around the globe
6:51AM ( 4 hours ago )
Democrats revive ‘Medicare for All’ fight at Atlanta debate
The top Democratic presidential candidates are clashing over a “Medicare for All” plan to provide universal, government-run health insurance _ again
10:59PM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Elections
Bloomberg spending $15M-$20M to register half million voters
Bloomberg spending $15 million to $20 million to register a half million swing-state voters
6:44PM ( 16 hours ago )
Buttigieg looks to prove his staying power in Atlanta debate
Mayor Pete Buttigieg tops Iowa presidential caucus polls, and now he’ll face the scrutiny that comes with his climb as Democrats gather in Atlanta for their fifth 2020 primary debate
3:23PM ( 20 hours ago )
Buttigieg releases more tax returns from McKinsey work
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has released two additional tax returns from the time he worked at consulting firm McKinsey
3:20PM ( 20 hours ago )
General Election News
Bolivian interim leader proposes new elections as toll rises
Bolivia’s self-proclaimed interim president has sent a bill on holding new elections to congress amid escalating violence that has claimed 30 lives since a disputed Oct. 20 vote and the resignation of former leader Evo Morales
6:00PM ( 17 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump insists he wanted ‘nothing’ from Ukraine
Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, is testifying in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump
11:53AM ( 23 hours ago )
The Latest: Sondland questions details of call to Trump
Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, is testifying in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump
11:06AM ( 1 day ago )
General Presidential Election News
Prince Andrew faces new pressure to talk to US about Epstein
Britain’s disgraced Prince Andrew is facing mounting calls to provide information to U.S. law enforcement agencies and to lawyers who are investigating crimes committed by U.S. sex offender Jeffrey Epstein
11:21AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Israeli attorney general to decide on Netanyahu charges
Israel’s attorney general has scheduled a news conference to announce his long-awaited decision on whether to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a series of corruption scandals
11:18AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Snowboard pioneer Jake Burton Carpenter dies at 65
Jake Burton Carpenter, innovator who brought snowboarding to masses, dies at 65
11:14AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Impeachment hearing takeaways: A ‘fictional narrative’
Fiona Hill, a Russia expert and White House national security adviser, warned Republicans
11:10AM ( 20 minutes ago )
The Latest: Hill recalls Giuliani’s ‘incendiary’ remarks
Former White House adviser Fiona Hill and Foreign Service officer David Holmes are testifying in the House impeachment inquiry
11:09AM ( 21 minutes ago )