On Tuesday, Nov. 19, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the lead Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, and Jennifer Williams, a State Department employee who was detailed to Vice President Pence on Eurasia matters, testified. Here is the full text of their testimony.

SPEAKERS:

REP. ADAM B. SCHIFF, D-CALIF., CHAIRMAN

REP. JIM HIMES, D-CONN.

REP. TERRI A. SEWELL, D-ALA.

REP. ANDRE CARSON, D-IND.

REP. MIKE QUIGLEY, D-ILL.

REP. JACKIE SPEIER, D-CALIF.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL, D-CALIF.

REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO, D-TEXAS

REP. DENNY HECK, D-WASH.

REP. VAL B. DEMINGS, D-FLA.

REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI, D-ILL.

REP. SEAN PATRICK MALONEY, D-N.Y.

REP. PETER WELCH, D-VT.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., EX OFFICIO

REP. DEVIN NUNES, R-CALIF., RANKING MEMBER

REP. K. MICHAEL CONAWAY, R-TEXAS

REP. CHRIS STEWART, R-UTAH

REP. MICHAEL R. TURNER, R-OHIO

REP. BRAD WENSTRUP, R-OHIO

REP. JIM JORDAN, R-OHIO

REP. WILL HURD, R-TEXAS

REP. ELISE STEFANIK, R-N.Y.

REP. JOHN RATCLIFFE, R-TEXAS

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY, R-CALIF., EX OFFICIO

DANIEL GOLDMAN, MAJORITY DIRECTOR OF INVESTIGATIONS, HOUSE

INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE

STEVE CASTOR, MINORITY CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE COUNSEL, HOUSE

INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE

WITNESSES:

MS. JENNIFER WILLIAMS, SPECIAL ADVISOR FOR EUROPE AND RUSSIA,

OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT

LIEUTENANT COLONEL ALEXANDER VINDMAN, DIRECTOR FOR EUROPEAN

AFFAIRS, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL

[*]

SCHIFF: The committee will come to order. Good morning, everyone.

This is the third in a series of public hearings the committee will be holding as part of the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry.

Without objection, the chair is authorized to declare a recess of the committee at any time. There is a quorum present.

We will proceed today in the same fashion as our first hearing. I will make an opening statement, and then Ranking Member Nunes will have the opportunity to make a statement. Then we will turn to our witnesses for their opening statements, and then to questions.

For audience members, we welcome you and respect your interest in being here. In turn, we ask for your respect as we proceed with today's hearing. It is the intention of the committee to proceed without disruptions. As chairman, I'll take all necessary and appropriate steps to maintain order and ensure that the committee is run in accordance with House rules and House Resolution 660.

With that, I now recognize myself to give an opening statement in the impeachment inquiry into Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States.

Last week, we heard from three experienced diplomats who testified about President Trump's scheme to condition official acts -- a White House meeting and hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. military aid to fight the Russians -- on a deliverable by the new Ukrainian president, Zelensky: two politically motivated (ph) investigations that Trump believed would help his re-election campaign.

One of those investigations involved the Bidens, and the other involved a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine and not Russia was responsible for interfering in our 2016 election. As Ambassador Sondland would later tell career Foreign Service officer David Holmes immediately after speaking to the president, "Trump did not give a" -- he then used an expletive -- "about Ukraine. He cares about big stuff that benefits the president like the Biden investigation that Giuliani was pushing."

To press a foreign leader to announce an investigation into his political rival, President Trump put his own personal and political interests above those of the nation. He undermined our military and diplomatic support for a key ally and undercut U.S. anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine.

How could our diplomats urge Ukraine to refrain from political investigations of its own citizens if the president of the United States was urging Ukraine to engage in precisely the same kind of corrupt and political investigations of one of our own citizens?

At the White House, career professionals became concerned that President Trump, through an irregular channel that involved his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland and Rudy Giuliani, was pushing a policy towards Ukraine at odds with the national interest.

This morning, we hear from two of the national security professionals who became aware of those efforts.

Lieutenant Colonel Alex Vindman, whose family fled oppression in the Soviet Union when he was a toddler, is a career Army officer, an Iraq War veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart, and an expert in Russia and Ukraine who has worked at the highest levels of the Pentagon. In July 2018, he was detailed to the White House in part to coordinate policy on Ukraine.

SCHIFF: Jennifer Williams is a career Foreign Service officer who is currently detailed to the Office of the Vice President and responsible for Europe- and Eurasia-related issues.

Following his initial and congratulatory phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky on April 21st, President Trump asked Vice President Pence to represent him at Zelensky's upcoming inauguration. Ms. Williams was working on logistics for the trip. Pence would be a coveted attendee, second in significance only to the president, and would have sent an important signal of support to the new Ukrainian president.

In early May, however, Rudy Giuliani had been planning to go to Ukraine to pursue the president's interest in having the Bidens investigated, but had to call off the trip after it became public. Among others, Giuliani blamed people around Zelensky for having to cancel and claimed that they were antagonistic to Trump.

Three days later, the president called off the vice president's attendance at Zelensky's inauguration. Instead, a lower-level delegation was named, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Ambassador Sondland and Ambassador Kurt Volker, the three amigos. Senator Ron Johnson and Lieutenant Colonel Vindman would also attend.

After returning from the inauguration, several members of the delegation briefed President Trump on their encouraging first interactions with Zelensky. They urged Trump to meet with the Ukrainian president, but Trump instead criticized Ukraine and instructed them to "work with Judy -- work with Rudy."

A few weeks later on July 10th, Ambassador Sondland met at the White House with a group of U.S. and Ukrainian officials, including Colonel Vindman, and informed the group that, according to Chief of Staff Mulvaney, the White House meeting sought by the Ukrainian President with Trump would happen if Ukraine undertook certain investigations. National Security Advisor Bolton abruptly ended the meeting and said afterwards that he would not be "part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up on this."

Undeterred, Sondland brought the Ukrainian delegation downstairs to another part of the White House and was more explicit, according to witnesses. Ukraine needed to investigate the Bidens or Burisma if they were to get a White House meeting with Trump. After this discussion, which Vindman witnessed, he went to the National Security Council's top lawyer to report the matter. Vindman was told to return in the future with any concerns. He would soon find the need to do so.

A week later on July 18th, the representative of the Office of Management and Budget announced on a video conference call that Mulvaney, at Trump's direction, was freezing nearly $400 million in military assistance to Ukraine, which was appropriated by Congress and enjoyed the support of the entirety of the U.S. national security establishment.

And one week after that, Trump would have the now-infamous July 25th phone call with Zelensky. During that call Trump complained that the U.S. relationship with Ukraine had not been reciprocal. Later, Zelensky thanks Trump for his support in the area of defense and says that Ukraine was ready to purchase more Javelins, an antitank weapon that was among the most important deterrents of further Russian military action. Trump's immediate response: "I would like you to do us a favor, though."

Trump then requested that Zelensky investigate the discredited 2016 conspiracy theory, and even more ominously look into the Bidens. Neither was part of the official preparatory material for the call, but they were in Donald Trump's personal interest and in the interest of his 2020 reelection campaign, and the Ukrainian president knew about both in advance because Sondland and others had been pressing Ukraine for weeks about investigations into the 2016 election, Burisma and the Bidens.

SCHIFF: Both Colonel Vindman and Ms. Williams were on the July 25th call. Vindman testified that due to the unequal bargaining position of the two leaders and Ukraine's dependency on the U.S., the favor Trump asked of Zelensky was really a demand.

After the call, multiple individuals, including Vindman, were concerned enough to report it to the National Security Council's top lawyer. It was the second time in two weeks that Vindman had raised concerns with NSC lawyers.

For her part, Williams also believed that asking Zelensky to undertake these political investigations was inappropriate and that it might explain something else that she'd become aware of, the otherwise inexplicable hold on U.S. military assistance to Ukraine.

Both Colonel Vindman and Ms. Williams also took note of the explicit use of the word "Burisma" by Zelensky, in fact conspicuously left out of the record of the call now locked away on an ultra-secure server.

Colonel Vindman believed that Zelensky must have been prepped for the call to be able to make the connection between Biden and Burisma, a fact that other witnesses have now confirmed.

In the weeks that followed the July 25th call, Colonel Vindman continued to push for a release of the military aid to Ukraine and struggled to learn why it was being withheld. More disturbing, word of the hold had reached Ukrainian officials prior to its becoming public.

By mid-August, the Ukrainian deputy ambassador asked Vindman why the United States was withholding the aid. Although Vindman didn't have an answer, Sondland made it explicit to Ukrainians at a meeting in Warsaw. They needed to publicly commit to these two investigations if they hoped to get the aid.

Ms. Williams, we all saw the president's tweet about you on Sunday afternoon and the insults he hurled at Ambassador Yovanovitch last Friday. You are here today and the American people are grateful.

Colonel Vindman, we have seen far more scurrilous attacks on your character and watched as certain personalities on Fox have questioned your loyalty. I note that you have shed blood for America and we owe you an immense debt of gratitude. I hope no one on this committee will become part of those vicious attacks.

Today's witnesses, like those who testified last week, are here because they were subpoenaed to appear, not because they are for or against impeachment. That question is for Congress, not the fact witnesses.

If the president abused his power and invited foreign interference in our elections; if he sought to condition, coerce, extort or bribe an ally into conducting investigations to aid his re-election campaign and did so by withholding official acts, a White House meeting or hundreds of millions of dollars of needed military aid, it will be up to us to decide whether those acts are compatible with the office of the presidency.

I now recognize Ranking Member Nunes for any remarks he'd like to make.

NUNES: I thank the gentleman.

I'd like to address a few brief words to the American people watching at home.

If you watched the impeachment hearings last week, you may have noticed a disconnect between what you actually saw and the mainstream media accounts describing it.

When you saw three diplomats who disliked President Trump's Ukraine policy discussing second-hand and third-hand conversations about their objections with the Trump policy, meanwhile, they admitted they had not talked to the president about these matters. And they were unable to identify any crime or impeachable offense the president committed.

But what you read in the press were accounts of shocking, damning and explosive testimony that fully supports the Democrats' accusations. If these accounts have a familiar ring, it's because this is the same preposterous reporting the media offered for three years on the Russian hoax.

NUNES: On a nearly daily basis, the top news outlets in America reported breathlessly on the newest bombshell revelations showing that President Trump and everyone surrounding him were Russian agents. It really wasn't long ago that we were reading these headlines:

From CNN: "Congress Investigating Russian Investment Fund With Ties To Trump Officials." This was false.

New York Times: "Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence." Also false.

Slate: "Was a Trump Server Communicating with Russia?" This was false.

New York Magazine: "Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart Or His Handler?" This was false.

The Guardian: "Manafort Held Secret Talks With Assange In Ecuadorian Embassy." Also false.

Buzzfeed: "President Trump Directed His Attorney To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project."

All of these were false.

There was no objectivity or fairness in the media's Russia stories just as a fevered rush to tarnish and remove a president who refuses to pretend that the media are something different from what they really are: puppets of the Democratic Party.

With their biased misreporting on the Russia hoax, the media lost confidence of millions of Americans, and because they refused to acknowledge how badly they botched the story, they've learned no lessons and simply expect Americans will believe them as they try to stoke yet another partisan frenzy.

In previous hearings I've outlined three questions the Democrats and the media don't want asked or answered. Instead of shedding light on these crucial questions, the media are trying to smother and dismiss them.

These questions start with: What is the full extent of the Democrats' prior coordination with the whistleblower? And who else did the whistleblower coordinate this effort with?

The media have fully accepted the Democrats' stunning reversal on the need for the whistleblower to testify to this committee. When the Democrats were insisting on his testimony, the media wanted it too, but things have changed since it became clear the whistleblower would have to answer problematic questions that include these.

What was the full extent of the whistleblower's prior coordination with Chairman Schiff, his staff and any other people he cooperated with while preparing the complaint? What are the whistleblower's political biases and connections to Democratic politicians? How does the whistleblower explain the inaccuracies in the complaint? What contact did the whistleblower have with the media, which appears to be ongoing? What are the sources of the whistleblower's information, who else did he talk to, and was the whistleblower prohibited by law from receiving or conveying any of that information?

The media have joined the Democrats in dismissing the importance of cross-examining this crucial witness. Now that the whistleblower has successfully kickstarted impeachment, he has disappeared from the story as if the Democrats put the whistleblower in their own witness protection program.

My second question: What was the full extent of Ukraine's election meddling against the Trump campaign?

In these depositions and hearings Republicans have cited numerous indications of Ukraine meddling in the 2016 elections to oppose the Trump campaign. Many of these instances were reported, including the posting of many primary source documents by veteran investigative journalist John Solomon.

NUNES: Since the Democrats switched from Russia to Ukraine for their impeachment crusade, Solomon's reporting on Burisma, Hunter Biden and Ukraine election meddling has become inconvenient for the Democratic narrative and so the media is furiously smearing and libeling Solomon.

In fact, the publication The Hill told its staff yesterday it would conduct a review of Solomon's Ukraine reporting. Coincidentally the decision comes just three days after a Democrat on this committee told a Hill writer that she would stop speaking to The Hill because it had run Solomon's stories. And she urged the writer to relay her concerns to Hill's management. So now that Solomon's reporting is a problem for the Democrats, it's a problem for the media as well.

I'd like to submit for the record John Solomon's October 31st story entitled "Debunking Some Of Ukraine's Scandal Myths About Biden And Election Interference." I encourage viewers today to read this story and draw your own conclusions about the evidence Solomon has gathered.

Ask unanimous consent that we put this into the record, Mr. Chair.

SCHIFF: Without objection.

NUNES: The concerted campaign by the media to discredit and disown some of their own colleagues is shocking. And we see it again in the sudden denunciations of New York Times reporter Ken Vogel as a conspiracy theorist after he covered similar issues including a 2017 Politico piece entitled: "Ukrainian Efforts To Sabotage Trump Backfire."

My third question: Why did Burisma hire Hunter Biden? What did he do for them? And did his position affect any U.S. government actions under the Obama administration?

We have now heard testimony from the Democrats' own witnesses that diplomats were concerned about a conflict of interest involving Hunter Biden. That's because he had secured a well-paid position, despite having no qualifications, on the board on a corrupt Ukrainian company while his father was vice president charged with overseeing Ukrainian issues.

After trying out several different accusations against President Trump, the Democrats have recently settled on bribery. According to widespread reports they replaced their quid pro quo allegation because it wasn't polling well. But if the Democrats and the media are suddenly so deeply concerned about bribery you would think they would take some interest in Burisma paying Hunter Biden $83,000 a month. And you think they would be interested in Joe Biden threatening to withhold U.S. loan guarantees unless the Ukrainians fired a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma. That would be a textbook example of bribery.

The media, of course, are free to act as Democrat puppets and they're free to lurch from the Russia hoax to the Ukraine hoax at the direction of their puppet-masters. But they cannot reasonably expect to do so without alienating half the country, who voted for the president they're trying to expel.

Americans have learned to recognize fake news when they see it, and if the mainstream press won't give it to them straight they'll go elsewhere to find it. Which is exactly what the American people are doing.

With that I yield back.

(CORRECTED COPY: CORRECTIONS THROUGHOUT)

SCHIFF: I thank the gentleman.

Today we are joined by Lieutenant Colonel Vindman and Jennifer Williams.

Lieutenant Colonel Alex -- Alexander Vindman is an active duty military officer who joined the Army after college and served multiple tours overseas, serving in South Korea, Germany and Iraq. He was deployed to Iraq at a time of heavy fighting and was awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded by a roadside bomb.

Since 2008, Colonel Vindman has served as a Foreign Area officer specializing in Eurasia, serving both at home and in U.S. embassies in Ukraine and Russia. He has served as a political-military affairs officer for Russia for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He joined the Trump administration in July of 2018 when he was asked to serve on the National Security Council.

Jennifer Williams began her career in government service in 2005 shortly after graduating from college when she joined the Department of Homeland Security as a political appointee during the George W. Bush administration and after working as a field representative on the 2004 Bush-Cheney presidential campaign.

She joined the Foreign Service the following year, completing tours in Jamaica, Beirut and (ph) Lebanon. Prior to joining the Office of the Vice President, she served at the U.S. Embassy in London as a public affairs officer.

In April 2019, Ms. Williams was detailed to the Office of the Vice President, Mike Pence, where she serves as a special adviser on his foreign policy team, covering Europe and Russia issues. In that capacity, she keeps the vice president aware of foreign policy issues in Europe and Russia, and prepares him for foreign policy engagements and meetings with foreign leaders.

Two final points before our witnesses are sworn. First, witness depositions as part of this inquiry were unclassified in nature and all open hearings will also be held at the unclassified level. Any information that may touch on classified information will be addressed separately.

Second, Congress will not tolerate any reprisal, threat of reprisal, or attempt to retaliate against any U.S. government official for testifying before Congress, including you or any of your colleagues.

If you would both please rise and raise your right hand, I will begin by swearing you in.

Do you swear or affirm that the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

WILLIAMS: (OFF-MIKE)

VINDMAN: (OFF-MIKE)

SCHIFF: Let the record show the witnesses have answered in the affirmative. Thank you and you may be seated.

The microphones are sensitive, so please speak directly into them. Without objection, your written statement will be made part of the record.

With that, Ms. Williams, you are now recognized for your opening statement. And when you are concluded, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, you are recognized immediately thereafter for your opening statement.

Ms. Williams?

WILLIAMS: Thank you Chairman Schiff, Ranking Member Nunes and other members of the committee, for the opportunity to provide this statement.

I appear today pursuant to a subpoena and am prepared to answer your questions to the best of my abilities. I have had the privilege of working as a Foreign Service officer for nearly 14 years, working for three different presidential administrations; two Republican and one Democratic.

I joined the State Department in 2006 after serving in the Department of Homeland Security under Secretary Michael Chertoff. It was with great pride and conviction that I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. Administered (ph) by a personal hero of mine, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

As a career officer, I am committed to serving the American people and advancing American interests abroad in support of the president's foreign policy objectives. I have been inspired and encouraged in that journey by the thousands of other dedicated public servants who I'm proud to call colleagues across the foreign service, civil service, military, and federal law enforcement agencies.

WILLIAMS: I have served overseas tours in Kingston, Jamaica; Beirut, Lebanon; and London, United Kingdom. I have worked to implement humanitarian assistance programs to serve millions of victims of the Syria conflict and served as an adviser on Middle East issues to the Deputy Secretary of State. And this spring, it was the greatest honor of my career to be asked to serve as a special adviser to the vice president for Europe and Russia.

Over the past eight months, I have been privileged to work with the dedicated and capable men and women of the Office of the Vice President to advance the administration's agenda.

I have also worked closely with talented and committed colleagues at the National Security Council, State Department, Department of Defense and other agencies to advance and promote U.S. foreign policy objectives. In this capacity, I have advised and prepared the vice president for engagements related to Ukraine.

As you are aware, on November 7th, I appeared before the committee for a closed-door deposition pursuant to a subpoena. I would like to take this opportunity to briefly summarize my recollection of some of the events I expect the committee may ask me about.

On April 21st, Volodymyr Zelensky won the Ukrainian presidential election. On April 23rd, the vice president called to congratulate President-elect Zelensky. During the call, which I participated in, the vice president accepted an invitation to attend President-elect Zelensky's upcoming inauguration, providing that the scheduling worked out.

The vice president had only a narrow window of availability at the end of May, and the Ukrainian parliament would not meet to set a date for the inauguration until after May 14th. As a result, we did not expect to know whether the vice president would be -- could attend until May 14th at the earliest, and we made only preliminary trip preparations in early May.

On May 13th, an assistant to the vice president's chief of staff called and informed me that President Trump had decided that the vice president would not attend the inauguration in Ukraine. She did not provide any further explanation.

I relayed that instruction to others involved in planning the potential trip. I also informed the NSC that the vice president would not be attending so that it could identify a head of delegation to represent the United States at President-elect Zelensky's inauguration.

On July 3rd, I learned that the Office of Management and Budget had placed a hold on a tranche of security assistance designated for Ukraine. According to the information I received, OMB was reviewing whether the funding was aligned with the administration's priorities.

I subsequently attended meetings of the Policy Coordination Committee, where the hold on Ukrainian security assistance was discussed. During those meetings, representatives of the State and Defense Departments advocated that the hold should be lifted. And OMB representatives reported that the White House chief of staff had directed that the hold should remain in place.

On September 11th, I learned that the hold on security assistance for Ukraine had been released. I have never learned what prompted that decision.

On July 25th, along with several of my colleagues, I listened to a call between President Trump and President Zelensky, the content of which has since been publicly reported.

Prior to July 35th, I had participated in roughly a dozen other presidential phone calls. During my closed-door deposition, members of the committee asked about my personal views and whether I had any concerns about the July 25th call. As I testified then, I found the July 25th phone call unusual because, in contrast to other presidential calls I had observed, it involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter.

After the July 25th call, I provided an update in the vice president's daily briefing book, indicating that President Trump had a call that day with President Zelensky. A hard copy of the memorandum transcribing the call was also included in the book. I do not know whether the vice president reviewed my update or the transcript. I did not discuss the July 25th call with the vice president or any of my colleagues in the Office of the Vice President or the NSC.

On August 29th, I learned that the vice president would be traveling to Poland to meet with President Zelensky on September 1st. At the September 1st meeting, which I attended, President Zelensky asked the vice president about news articles reporting a hold on U.S. security assistance for Ukraine. The vice president responded that Ukraine had the United States' unwavering support, and promised to relay their conversation to President Trump that night.

During the September 1st meeting, neither the vice president nor President Zelensky mentioned the specific investigations discussed during the July 25th phone call.

Thank you again for the opportunity to provide this statement. I would be happy to answer any questions.

VINDMAN: Mr. Chairman, ranking members, thank you for the opportunity to address the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence with respect to the activities relating to Ukraine and my role in the events under investigation.

I have dedicated my entire professional life to the United States of America. For more than two decades, it has been my honor to serve as an officer in the United States Army. As an infantry officer, I served multiple overseas tours including South Korea and Germany, and I was deployed to Iraq for combat operations.

Since 2008, I have been a foreign area officer specializing in European and Eurasian politico-military affairs. I served in the United States embassies in Kiev, Ukraine and Moscow, Russia.

In Washington, D.C., I was the politico-military affairs officer for Russia, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where I drafted the Armed Forces Global Campaign Plan to counter Russian aggression and Russian malign influence.

In July 2018, I was asked to serve at the White House National Security Council. At the NSC, I'm the principal adviser to the national security adviser on Ukraine and other countries in my portfolio.

My role at the NSC is to develop, coordinate and implement plans and policies to manage the full range of diplomatic, informational, military and economic national security issues, the countries in my portfolio. My core function is to coordinate policy with departments and agencies.

The committee has heard from many of my colleagues about the strategic importance of Ukraine as a bulwark against Russian aggression. It is important to note that our country's policy of supporting Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, promoting Ukrainian prosperity and strengthening a free and democratic Ukraine as a counter to Russian aggression has been a consistent bipartisan foreign policy objective and strategy across various administrations both Democratic and Republican.

And that President Zelensky's election in April 2019 created an unprecedented opportunity to realize our strategy -- our strategic objectives.

In the spring of 2019, I became aware of two disruptive actors, primarily Ukraine's then-prosecutor Yuri Lutsenko and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the president's personal attorney promoting false narratives that undermined the United States Ukraine policy.

The NSC and its interagency partners, including the State Department, grew increasingly concerned about the impact that such information was having on our country's ability to achieve our national security objectives.

On April 21st, 2019, Volodymyr Zelensky was elected president of Ukraine in a landslide victory on a unity, reform, and anti-corruption platform. President Trump called President Zelensky on April 21st, 2019, to congratulate him on his victory.

I was the staff officer who produced the call materials, and was one of the staff officers who listened to the call. The call was positive and President Trump expressed his desire to work with President Zelensky and extended an invitation to visit the White House.

VINDMAN: In May, I attended the inauguration of President Zelensky as part of the presidential delegation led by Secretary Perry.

Following the visit, the members of the delegation provided President Trump a debriefing, offering a positive assessment of President Zelensky and his team. After this debriefing, President Trump signed a congratulatory letter to President Zelensky and extended an -- another invitation to visit the White House.

On July 10th, 2019, Oleksandr Danylyuk, then Ukraine's national security advisor, visited Washington, D.C., for a meeting with National Security Advisor Bolton. Ambassador Volker and Sondland -- Ambassadors Volker and Sondland and Secretary Rick Perry also attended the meeting. I attended with Dr. Hill.

We fully anticipated the -- the Ukrainians would raise the issue of meeting -- of a meeting between the presidents. Ambassador Bolton cut the meeting short when Ambassador Sondland started to speak about the requirement that Ukraine deliver specific investigations in order to secure the meeting with President Trump.

Following this meeting there was a short debriefing during which Ambassador Sondland emphasized the importance of Ukraine delivering the investigations into the 2016 elections, the Bidens and Burisma. I stated to Ambassador Sondland that this was inappropriate and had nothing to do with national security. Dr. Hill also asserted his comments, when proper. Following the meeting, Dr. Hill and I agreed to report the incident to NSC's lead counsel, Mr. John Eisenberg.

On July 21st, 2019, President Zelensky won a parliamentary election in another landslide victory. The NSC proposed that President Trump call President Zelensky to congratulate him. On July 25th, 2019, the call occurred. I listened on the -- in on the call in the Situation Room with White House colleagues. I was concerned by the call. What I heard was inappropriate, and I reported my concerns to Mr. Eisenberg. It is improper for the president of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and a political opponent.

I was also clear that if Ukraine pursued an investigation it was -- it was also clear that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the 2016 elections, the Bidens and Burisma it would be interpreted as a partisan play. This would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing by bipartisan support, undermining U.S. national security and advancing Russia's strategic objectives in the region -- region.

I want to emphasize to the committee that when I reported my concerns on July 10th relating to Ambassador Sondland and on July 25th relating to the president, I did so out of a sense of duty. I privately reported my concerns in official channels to the proper authority in the chain of command. My intent was to raise these concerns because they had significant national security implications for our country. I never thought that I'd be sitting here testifying in front of this committee and the American public about my actions. When I reported my concerns, my only thought was to act properly and to carry out my duty.

Following each of my reports to Mr. Eisenberg, I immediately returned to work to advance the president's and our country's foreign policy objectives. I focused on what I have done throughout my military career: promoting America's national security interests.

I want to take a moment to recognize the courage of my colleagues who have appeared and are scheduled to appear before this committee. I want to state that the character attacks on these distinguished and honorable public servants is reprehensible. It is natural to disagree and engage in spirited debate, and this has been the custom of our country since the time of our founding fathers, but we are better than personal attacks.

VINDMAN: The uniform I wear today is that of a United States Army -- is that of the United States Army. The members of our all-volunteer force are made up of a patchwork of people from all ethnicities, regions, socioeconomic backrooms -- backgrounds who come together under a common oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. We do not serve any political party; we serve the nation.

I am humbled to come before you today as one of many who serve in the most distinguished and able military in the world. The Army is the only profession I've ever known. As a young man I decided I wanted to spend my life serving this nation that gave my family -- that gave my family refuge from authoritarian oppression.

For the last 20 years it has been an honor to -- to represent and protect this great country. Next month will mark 40 years since my family arrived in the United States as refugees.

When my father was 47 years old, he left behind his entire life and the only home he had ever known to start over in the United States so his three sons could have a better and safer lives. His courageous decision inspired a deep sense of gratitude in my brothers and myself and has instilled in us a sense of duty and service.

All three of us have served or are currently serving in the military. My little brother sitting behind me here today -- our collective military service is a special part of our family's history -- story in America.

I also recognize that my simple act of appearing here today, just like the courage of my colleagues who have also truthfully testified before this committee, would not be tolerated in many places around the world.

In Russia, my act of expressing concern to the chain of command in an official and private channel would have severe personal and professional repercussions. And offering public testimony involving the president would surely cost me my life.

I'm grateful to my father's -- for my father's brave act of hope 40 years ago and for the privilege of being an American citizen and public servant, where I can live free and -- free of fear for mine and my family's safety.

Dad, I'm sitting here today in the U.S. Capitol talking to our elected professionals -- talking to our elected professionals is proof that you made the right decision 40 years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to the United States of America in search of a better life for our family. Do not worry. I will be fine for telling the truth.

Thank you again for your consideration. I will be happy to answer your questions.

SCHIFF: Thank you, Colonel. Thank you, Ms. Williams.

Colonel, your brother and family are more than welcome here. We're grateful to have them with us.

We will proceed to the first round of questions as detailed in the memo provided to committee members. There will be 45 minutes of questions conducted by the chairman or majority counsel, followed by 45 minutes for the ranking member or minority counsel. Under House Resolution 660, that time may not be delegated to other members.

Following that, unless I specify an additional equal time for extended questioning, we'll proceed under the five-minute rule and every member will have a chance to ask questions.

I now recognize myself or majority counsel for the first 45 minutes.

Before we get into the substance of your testimony, Ms. Williams, I want to ask you about a phone call between Vice President Pence and President Zelensky of Ukraine on September 18th. Were you on that call?

WILLIAMS: I was.

SCHIFF: And did you take notes of the call?

WILLIAMS: Yes, sir.

SCHIFF: Is there something about that call that you think may be relevant to our investigation?

(UNKNOWN): Mr. Chairman? As we previously discussed with the committee, the Office of the Vice President has taken the position that the September...

SCHIFF: Could you -- sir, could you move the microphone a little closer to you?

(UNKNOWN): As we've previously discussed with both majority and minority staff of the committee, the Office of the Vice President has taken the position that the September 18th call is classified. As a result, with respect to the call, I'd refer the committee to the public record, which includes Ms. Williams' November 7th testimony, which has been publicly released, as well as the public readout of that call, which has previously been issued by the White House.

Beyond that, given the position of the Vice President's Office on classification, I've advised Ms. Williams not to answer further questions about that call in an unclassified setting.

SCHIFF: Thank you, Counsel.

Ms. Williams, I would only ask you in this setting whether you think there's something relevant to our inquiry in that call and whether, if so, you'll be willing to make a classified submission to the committee?

WILLIAMS: I would also refer to my -- my testimony that I gave in the closed session. And I'm very happy to appear for a classified setting discussion as well.

SCHIFF: It may not be necessary for you to appear if you'll be willing to submit the information in writing to the committee.

WILLIAMS: I would be happy to do so.

SCHIFF: I thank you.

Colonel Vindman, if I could turn your attention to the April 21st call, that is the first call between President Trump and President Zelensky, did you prepare talking points for the president to use during that call?

VINDMAN: Yes, I did.

SCHIFF: And did those talking points include rooting out corruption in Ukraine?

VINDMAN: Yes.

SCHIFF: That was something the president was supposed to raise in the conversation with President Zelensky?

VINDMAN: Those were the recommended talking points that were cleared through the NSC staff for the president, yes.

SCHIFF: Did you listen in on that call?

VINDMAN: Yes, I did.

SCHIFF: The White House has now released the record of that call. Did President Trump ever mention corruption in the April 21st call?

VINDMAN: To the best of my recollection, he did not.

SCHIFF: On the April 21st call, President Trump told President Zelensky that he would send a high-level U.S. delegation to the inauguration. Following that call, Ms. Williams, was it your understanding that the president wanted the vice president to attend the inauguration in Kyiv?

WILLIAMS: Yes, that was my understanding.

SCHIFF: And did the president subsequently tell the vice president not to attend the inauguration?

WILLIAMS: I was informed by our chief of staff's office, by the vice president's chief of staff's office that the president had told the vice president not to attend. I did not witness that conversation.

SCHIFF: And am I correct that you learned this on May 13th, is that right?

WILLIAMS: That's correct.

SCHIFF: Am I also correct that the inauguration date had not been set by May 13th?

WILLIAMS: That's correct.

SCHIFF: Do you know what accounted for the president's decision to instruct the vice president not to attend?

WILLIAMS: I do not.

SCHIFF: Colonel Vindman, you were a member of the U.S. delegation to the inauguration on May 20th, is that correct?

VINDMAN: Yes, Chairman.

SCHIFF: And during that trip, did you an opportunity to offer any advice to President Zelensky?

VINDMAN: Yes, Chairman.

SCHIFF: What was the advice that you gave him?

VINDMAN: During a bilateral meeting in which the whole delegation was meeting with President Zelensky and his team, I offered two pieces of advice: to be particularly cautious with regards to Ukraine -- to be particularly cautious with regards to Russia and its -- its desire to provoke Ukraine, and the second one was to stay out of U.S. domestic policy.

SCHIFF: You mean politics?

VINDMAN: Politics -- correction.

SCHIFF: And why did you feel it was necessary to advise President Zelensky to stay away from U.S. domestic politics?

VINDMAN: Chairman, in the March and April time frame, it became clear that there were -- there were actors in the U.S., public actors, non-governmental actors, that were promoting the idea of investigations and 2016 Ukrainian interference. And it -- it was consistent with U.S. policy to advise any country, all the countries in my portfolio, any country in the -- in the world, to not participate in U.S. domestic politics. So, I was passing the same advice consistent with U.S. policy.

SCHIFF: I know Mr. Goldman will have more questions about that when I turn to him. But let me turn, if I can, to the hold on security assistance, which I think you both testified you learned about in early July.

Am I correct that neither of you were provided with a reason for why the president put a hold on security assistance to Ukraine?

WILLIAMS: My understanding was that OMB was reviewing the assistance to ensure it was in line with administration priorities, but it was not made more specific than that.

SCHIFF: And Colonel Vindman?

VINDMAN: That is consistent. We had (ph) -- the view was to ensure it was -- remained consistent with administration policies.

SCHIFF: Colonel Vindman, you attended a meeting in John Bolton's office on July 10th, where Ambassador Sondland interjected to respond to a question by senior Ukrainian officials about a White House visit. What did he say at that time?

VINDMAN: To the best of my recollection, Ambassador Sondland said that in order to get a White House meeting, the Ukrainians would have to provide a deliverable, which is investigations -- specific investigations.

SCHIFF: And what was Ambassador Bolton's response or reaction to that comment?

VINDMAN: The -- we had not completed all of the agenda items and we still had time for the meeting, and Ambassador Bolton abruptly ended the meeting.

SCHIFF: Did you report this incident to the National Security Council lawyers?

VINDMAN: Yes, I did.

SCHIFF: Based on Ambassador Sondland's remark at the July 10th meeting, was it your clear understanding that the Ukrainians understood they had to commit to investigations President Trump wanted in order to get the White House meeting?

VINDMAN: It may have not been entirely clear at that moment. Certainly, Ambassador Sondland was calling for these meetings and he had -- he had stated that his -- he had this -- this was developed per a conversation with the Chief of Staff, Mr. Mick Mulvaney, but the connection to the president wasn't clear at that point.

SCHIFF: But the import of what Ambassador Sondland said during that meeting was that there was an agreement with Mick Mulvaney that Zelensky would get the meeting if they would undertake these investigations?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

SCHIFF: About two weeks after that July 10th meeting, President Trump and President Zelensky had their second call, the now-infamous July 25th call. Colonel Vindman, what was your real-time reaction to hearing that call?

VINDMAN: Chairman, without hesitation, I knew that I had to report this to the White House counsel. I had concerns and it was my duty to report my concerns to the proper -- proper people in the chain of command.

SCHIFF: And -- and what was your concern?

VINDMAN: Well, Chairman, as I said in my statement, it was inappropriate -- it was improper for the president to request -- to demand and investigation into a political opponent, especially a foreign power where there's, at best, dubious belief that this would be a completely impartial investigation. And that this would have significant implications if it became public knowledge and it would be perceived as a partisan play. It would undermine our Ukraine policy and it would undermine our national security.

SCHIFF: Now, colonel, you -- you've described this as a demand, this favor that the president asked. What it is about the relationship between the president of the United States and the president of the Ukraine that leads you to conclude that, when the president of the United States asks a favor like this, it's really a demand?

VINDMAN: Chairman, the culture I come from, the military culture, when a senior asks you to do something, even if it's polite and pleasant, it's -- it's not -- it's not to be taken as a request, it's to be taken as an order.

In this case, the power disparity between the two leaders, my impression is that in order to get the White House meeting, President Zelensky would have to deliver these investigations.

SCHIFF: Ms. Williams, I think you described your reaction, in your deposition, as -- when you listened to the call, as you found it, "unusual and inappropriate."

But I was struck by something else you said in your deposition. You said that, "It shed some light on possible other motivations behind a security assistance hold." What did you mean by that?

WILLIAMS: Mr. Chairman, I was asked during the -- the closed-door testimony, how I felt about the call. And in reflecting on what I was thinking in that moment, it was the first time I had heard, internally, the president reference particular investigations that previously I had only heard about through Mr. Giuliani's press interviews and press reporting.

So in that moment, it was not clear whether there was a direct connect or linkage between the ongoing hold on security assistance and what the president may be asking President Zelensky to undertake in -- in regard to investigations. So it was -- it was noteworthy in that regard. I did not have enough information to -- to draw any firm conclusions.

SCHIFF: But it raised the question in your mind as to whether the two were related?

WILLIAMS: It was the first I had heard of any requests of Ukraine which were that specific in nature. So it -- it was noteworthy to me in that regard.

SCHIFF: Both of you recall President Zelensky in that conversation raising the issue or mentioning Burisma. Do you not?

WILLIAMS: That's correct.

VINDMAN: Correct.

SCHIFF: And yet, the word Burisma appears nowhere in the call record that's been released to the public, is that right?

WILLIAMS: That's right.

VINDMAN: Correct.

SCHIFF: Do you know why that's the case? Why that was left out?

WILLIAMS: I do not. I was not involved in the -- in the production of that transcript.

VINDMAN: I attribute to -- that to the fact that this transcript that is being produced may have not caught the word Burisma. And it was -- in -- in the transcript that was released, it was released as the company, which is -- which is accurate, it's not a significant omission.

SCHIFF: Colonel, you pointed out the fact that that word was used, did you not?

VINDMAN: Correct.

SCHIFF: And yet, it was not included in the record released to the public?

VINDMAN: That's right. It's -- I'd say it's informed speculation that the folks that produce these transcripts do the best they can and they just didn't catch the word. And that was my -- my responsibility to -- to then make sure that the transcript was as accurate as possible. And that's what I attempted to do by putting that word back in, because that was in my notes.

SCHIFF: I think, Colonel, you testified in your deposition that you found it striking that Zelensky would bring up Burisma. That it indicated to you that he had been prepped for the call, to expect this issue to come up. What -- what led you to that conclusion?

VINDMAN: It seemed unlikely that he would be familiar with a -- with a single company in the context of a call that had -- that was on the broader bilateral relationship. And he -- and it seemed to me that he was either tracking this issue because it was in the press or he was otherwise prepped.

SCHIFF: Mr. Goldman?

GOLDMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Good morning to both of you.

On July 25th at approximately 9 a.m. you both were sitting in the Situation Room, probably not too much further away than you are right now, and you were preparing for a long-awaited phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky.

Now Colonel Vindman, in advance of this phone call did you prepare talking points as you did for the April 21st call?

VINDMAN: Yes, I did.

GOLDMAN: What were those talking points based upon?

VINDMAN: They were -- so this is not in the public record and -- and I -- I can't comment too deeply but what is -- the areas that we've consistently talked to -- talked about in public is cooperation on supporting his reform agenda, anti-corruption efforts, and helping President Zelensky implement his plans to end Russia's war against Ukraine.

GOLDMAN: In other words, they're based on official U.S. policy?

VINDMAN: Correct.

GOLDMAN: And is there a process to determine official U.S. policy?

VINDMAN: Yes, that is -- my job is to coordinate U.S. policy. So throughout the preceding year that I had been on staff, I had undertaken an effort to make sure we had a cohesive, coherent U.S. policy.

GOLDMAN: And as you listened to the call, did you observe whether President Trump was following the talking points based on the official U.S. policy?

VINDMAN: Counsel, the -- the president could choose to use the talking points or not, he's the president. But they were not consistent with what I provided, yes.

GOLDMAN: Let's take a look at a couple of excerpts from this -- this call. And right after President Zelensky thanked President Trump for the United States' support in the area of defense, President Trump asks President Zelensky for a favor, and then raises this theory of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.

He says in the highlighted portion, "I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine. They say CrowdStrike. I guess you have one of your wealthy people. The server, they say Ukraine has it."

Now, Colonel Vindman, was this statement based on the official talking points that you had prepared?

VINDMAN: No.

GOLDMAN: And was this statement related to the 2016 Ukraine interference in the 2016 election part of the official U.S. policy?

VINDMAN: No, it was not.

GOLDMAN: Now, at the time of this July 25 call, Colonel Vindman, were you aware of a theory that Ukraine had intervened or interfered in the 2016 U.S. election?

VINDMAN: I was.

GOLDMAN: Are you aware of any credible evidence to support this theory?

VINDMAN: I am not.

GOLDMAN: Are you also aware that Vladimir Putin had promoted this theory of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election?

VINDMAN: I am well aware of that fact.

GOLDMAN: And ultimately, which country did U.S. intelligence services determine to have interfered in the 2016 election?

VINDMAN: It is the consensus of the entire Intelligence Community that the Russians interfered in U.S. elections in 2016.

GOLDMAN: Let's go to another excerpt from this call, where President Trump asked President Zelensky to investigate his political opponent, Vice President Joe Biden.

Here, President Trump says, "The other thing. There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it. It sounds horrible to me," he said.

Again, Colonel Vindman, was this included in your talking points?

VINDMAN: It was not.

GOLDMAN: Is such a request to investigate a political opponent consistent with official U.S. policy?

VINDMAN: It is -- was not consistent with the policy as I understood it.

GOLDMAN: Now, are you aware of any credible allegations or evidence to support this notion that Vice President Biden did something wrong or against U.S. policy with regard to Ukraine?

VINDMAN: I am not.

GOLDMAN: Ms. Williams, are you familiar with any credible evidence to support this theory against Vice President Biden?

WILLIAMS: No, I'm not.

GOLDMAN: Now, Ms. Williams, prior to the July 25th call, approximately how many calls between president -- the president of the United States and foreign leaders had you listened to?

WILLIAMS: I would say roughly a dozen.

GOLDMAN: Had you ever heard a call like this?

WILLIAMS: As I testified before, I believe what I found unusual or different about this call was the president's reference to specific investigations and that struck me as different than other calls I had listened to.

GOLDMAN: You testified that you thought it was political in nature. What did -- why did you think that?

WILLIAMS: I thought that the references to specific individuals and investigations such as former Vice President Biden and his son struck me as political in nature given that the former vice president is a political opponent of the president.

GOLDMAN: And so you thought that it could potentially be designed to assist President Trump's reelection effort?

WILLIAMS: I can't speak to what the president's motivation was in referencing it but I just noted that the reference to Biden sounded political to me.

GOLDMAN: Colonel Vindman, you -- you said in your deposition that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the political benefits of the president's demands. For those of us who are not rocket scientists, can you explain what you meant by that?

VINDMAN: So my understanding is that -- that it was -- the connection to investigating to a political opponent was inappropriate and improper. I made that connection as soon as the president brought up the Biden investigation.

GOLDMAN: Colonel Vindman, you testified that the president -- President Trump's request for a favor from President Zelensky would be considered as a demand to President Zelensky.

After this call, did you ever call from any Ukrainians, either in the United States or Ukraine, about any pressure that they felt to do these investigations that President Trump demanded?

VINDMAN: Not that I can recall.

GOLDMAN: Did you have any discussions with officials at the embassy here -- the Ukrainian Embassy here in Washington, D.C.?

VINDMAN: Yes, I did.

GOLDMAN: Did you discuss at all the demand for investigations with them?

VINDMAN: I did not.

GOLDMAN: Did you discuss at all, at any point, their concerns about the hold on security assistance?

VINDMAN: To the best of my recollection, in the August timeframe, the Ukrainian Embassy started to become aware of the hold on security assistance and they were asking if I had any comment on that of if I could substantiate that.

GOLDMAN: And that was before it went -- became public -- is that right?

VINDMAN: Yes.

GOLDMAN: And what did you respond?

VINDMAN: I believe I said that I -- I don't recall, frankly. I don't recall what I said, but I believe it may have been something along the lines of I'm not aware of it.

GOLDMAN: You testified that one of your concerns about the request for investigations related to U.S. domestic politics was that Ukraine may lose bipartisan support. Why was that a concern of yours?

VINDMAN: Ukraine is in a war with -- with Russia and the security assistance that we provide Ukraine is significant.

Absent that security assistance, and maybe even more importantly the signal of support for Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, that would likely encourage Russia to pursue -- to potentially escalate to pursue further aggression, undermining -- further undermining Ukrainian sovereignty, European security, and U.S. security.

GOLDMAN: So in other words, Ukraine is heavily dependent on United States' support, both diplomatically, financially and also militarily?

VINDMAN: Correct.

GOLDMAN: Colonel Vindman, what languages do you speak?

VINDMAN: I speak Russian and Ukrainian and a little bit of English.

(LAUGHTER)

GOLDMAN: You -- do you know what -- do you recall what language President Zelensky spoke on this July 25th phone call?

VINDMAN: I know he made a valiant effort to speak English. He had been practicing up his English, but he also spoke Ukrainian.

GOLDMAN: I want to look at the third excerpt from the July 25th call, and Chairman Schiff addressed this with you in his questioning, and you see in the highlighted portion, it says specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue, is that the portion of the call record that, Colonel Vindman, you though President Zelensky actually said Burisma?

VINDMAN: Correct.

GOLDMAN: And you testified earlier that his use of -- or his understanding that when President Trump mentioned the Biden's that that referred to the company Burisma sounded to you like he was prepped or prepared for this call. Is that right?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

GOLDMAN: I want to go to the next slide if we could, which is actually a text message that neither of you is on, but this is from Ambassador Kurt Volker to Andriy Yermak. And Colonel Vindman, who's Andriy Yermak?

VINDMAN: Andriy Yermak is a senior adviser within the presidential administration -- Ukrainian presidential administration. He's a senior adviser to President Zelensky.

GOLDMAN: Now, this text message is less than half hour before the call on July 25th. And since neither of you are on it, I'll read it.

It says from -- from Ambassador Volker, "Good lunch -- thanks. Heard from White House -- assuming President Z convinces Trump he will investigate," quote, "get to the bottom of what happened," unquote, "in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington. Good luck. See you tomorrow -- Kurt."

Now, is this the sort of thing that you're referring to when you say that it sounded like President Zelensky was prepared for this call?

VINDMAN: That -- that -- this would be consistent, yes.

GOLDMAN: Now, turning to the fourth excerpt from the July 25th call where Ukraine's President Zelensky links the White House meeting to the investigations that President Trump requests.

President Zelensky says, "I also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the United States, specifically Washington, D.C. On the other hand, I also wanted to ensure you that we will be very serious about the case and will work on the investigation."

Colonel Vindman, when President Zelensky says "on the other hand," would you agree that he's acknowledging a linkage between the White House visit that he mentions in the first sentence and the investigations that he mentions in the second sentence?

VINDMAN: It could be taken that way, but I'm not sure if I -- it seems like a reasonable conclusion.

GOLDMAN: And if that is the case, that would be consistent with the text message that Ambassador Volker sent to Andriy Yermak right before the call, is that right?

VINDMAN: Seemingly so.

GOLDMAN: Now, you've testified in your deposition that a White House visit -- an Oval Office visit is very important to President Zelensky. Why is that?

VINDMAN: The show of support for President Zelensky, still a brand new president, frankly, a new politician on the Ukrainian political scene, looking to establish his bona fides as a regional and maybe even a world leader would want to have a meeting with the United States, the most powerful country in the world and Ukraine's most significant benefactor, in order to be able to implement his agenda.

GOLDMAN: It would provide him with some additional legitimacy at home?

VINDMAN: Yes.

GOLDMAN: So just to summarize, in this July 25th call between the president's of the United States and Ukraine, President Trump demanded a favor of President Zelensky to conduct investigations that both of you acknowledge were for President Trumps political interest, not the national interest and in return for his promise of a much-desired White House meeting for President Zelensky.

Colonel Vindman, is that an accurate summary of the exceptions that we just looked at?

VINDMAN: Yes.

GOLDMAN: Ms. Williams?

WILLIAMS: Yes.

GOLDMAN: Colonel Vindman, you immediately reported this call to the NSC lawyers. Why did you do that?

VINDMAN: So at this point, I had already been tracking this, initially what I would describe as alternative narrative, false narrative. And I was certainly aware of the fact that it was starting to reverberate and gain traction.

The fact that it, in the July 10th call, ended up being pronounced by a public official, Ambassador Sondland, had me alerted to this. And I was -- subsequent to that report, I was invited to follow-up with other concerns to Mr. Eisenberg.

GOLDMAN: And we're going to discuss that July 10th meeting in a moment. But when you say alternative, false narratives, are you referring to the two investigations that President Trump referenced in the call?

VINDMAN: Yes.

GOLDMAN: Now, at some point, did you also discuss how the written summary of the call records should be handed with the NSC lawyers?

VINDMAN: There was -- following the report, there was a discussion in the legal shop on the best way to manage the transcript, yes.

GOLDMAN: What did you understand they concluded?

VINDMAN: My understanding is that this was viewed as a sensitive transcript and to avoid leaks. And if I recall, the term "properly," or something along the lines of "preserve the integrity of the transcript," it should be segregated to a smaller group of folks.

GOLDMAN: To preserve the integrity of the transcript? What did -- what did that mean?

VINDMAN: I'm not sure I -- I mean, it seems like a legal term. I'm not an attorney. But it was -- I didn't take it as anything nefarious. I just understood that they wanted to keep it into -- in a smaller group.

GOLDMAN: If there was real interest in preserving the integrity of the transcripts, don't you think they would have accepted your correction that Burisma should have been included?

VINDMAN: Not necessarily. The way these edits occur, they go through, like everything else, a approval process. I made my contribution. It was cleared by Mr. Morrison.

Then when I returned it, you know, sometimes that doesn't happen. There are -- are administrative errors. I think, in this case, I didn't see -- didn't -- when I first saw the transcript without the two substantive items that I had attempted to include, I didn't see that as nefarious. I just saw it as, OK, no big deal. You know, these might be meaningful, but it's not that big a deal.

GOLDMAN: You said two substantive issues. What was the other one?

VINDMAN: There was a reference in a -- in a section -- one second.

Yeah, on page four, the top paragraph -- let me find the right spot.

OK...

GOLDMAN (?): (OFF-MIKE)

VINDMAN: Yes.

"You can look into it, ellipses (ph) -- there are videos," is what I recall.

GOLDMAN: So...

VINDMAN: Or "there are recordings" -- "recordings."

GOLDMAN: Instead of an ellipses, there should -- it should have said, to what you heard, that "there are recordings"?

VINDMAN: Correct.

GOLDMAN: Did you ultimately learn where the call record was put?

VINDMAN: I understood that it was being segregated into a separate system, a separate secure system.

GOLDMAN: Why -- why would it be put on a separate secure system?

VINDMAN: This is definitely not unprecedented. But at times, if you want to limit access to a smaller group of folks, you put it on a secure system to ensure that a smaller group of people with access to the secure system have it.

GOLDMAN: But can't you also limit the number of people who can access it on the regular system?

VINDMAN: You can do that. But to the best of my recollection, the decision was made, frankly, on the fly, after my -- after the fact I -- after I conveyed my concerns to Mr. Eisenberg, Mr. Ellis came in. He hadn't heard the entire conversation. And when it was mentioned that it was sensitive, it was, kind of, an on-the-fly decision to just segregate it in this other system.

GOLDMAN: Mr. Eisenberg and Mr. Ellis are the NSC lawyers?

VINDMAN: Correct.

GOLDMAN: But it was your understanding that it was not a mistake to put it on the highly classified system, is that right?

VINDMAN: I'm not sure I understand.

GOLDMAN: Was it intended to be put on the highly classified system by the lawyers or was it a mistake that it was put there?

VINDMAN: I think it was intended. But, again, it was intended to prevent leaks and to limit access.

GOLDMAN: Now, you testified, both of you, about the April 21st call, a little earlier.

And, Colonel Vindman, you indicated that you did include in your talking points the idea of Ukraine rooting out corruption, but that President Trump did not mention corruption.

I want to go to the White House readout from the April 21st call. And at the -- I'm not going to read the whole thing. But do you see the highlighted portion, where it says "root out corruption?"

VINDMAN: Yes.

GOLDMAN: So, in the end, this readout was false, is that right?

VINDMAN: That's -- that's -- maybe that's a bit of -- it's not entirely accurate. But I'm not sure if I would describe it as false. It was consistent with U.S. policy. And these items are used as messaging tools also.

So a statement that goes out, in addition to, you know, reading out the meeting itself, is also a messaging platform to indicate what is important with regards to U.S. policy.

GOLDMAN: So it is a part of U.S. official policy that Ukraine should root out corruption, even if President Trump did not mention it in that 21st -- April 21st phone call, is that right?

VINDMAN: Certainly.

GOLDMAN: And he also did not mention it in the July 25th phone call, is that right?

VINDMAN: Correct.

GOLDMAN: So even though it was included in his talking points for the April 21st call and presumably even though you can't talk about it for the July 21st call, it was not included in either, is that right?

VINDMAN: For the -- the April 21st call...

GOLDMAN: He did not mention it in either, rather?

VINDMAN: Correct.

GOLDMAN: So when the president says now that he held up security assistance because he was concerned about rooting out corruption in Ukraine, that concern was not expressed in the two phone conversations that he had with President Zelensky earlier this year, is that right?

VINDMAN: Correct.

GOLDMAN: Now, Ms. Williams, you testified that -- earlier -- that after this April 21st call, President Trump asked Vice President Pence to attend President Zelensky's inauguration, is that right?

WILLIAMS: That's correct.

GOLDMAN: And that, on May 13th, you were just informed by the chief of staff's office that Vice President Pence should not -- will not be going, per request of the president, is that right?

WILLIAMS: That's what I was informed, yes.

GOLDMAN: And you didn't know what had changed from April 21st to May 13th, is that right?

WILLIAMS: No, not in terms of that decision.

GOLDMAN: Well, Colonel Vindman, since you in particular are a little bit more, perhaps, than Ms Williams, who has a broader portfolio, focuses on Ukraine, I want to ask you if you were aware of the following things that happened from April 21st to May 13th.

Were you aware that Ambassador Yovanovitch was abruptly recalled from Ukraine in that time?

VINDMAN: Yes.

GOLDMAN: Were you aware that President Trump...

VINDMAN: I'm sorry -- to correct it, so she was recalled prior -- let me see. So she -- the notification occurred towards the end of April and she was finally recalled in the May time frame, I think May 20th, if I recall correctly.

GOLDMAN: So she learned about it after April 21st, on April 24th, is that right?

VINDMAN: Correct.

GOLDMAN: And were you aware that President Trump had a telephone call with President Putin during this time period in early May?

VINDMAN: I was.

GOLDMAN: And were you aware that Rudy Giuliani had planned a trip to go to Ukraine to pressure the Ukrainians to initiate the two investigations that President Trump mentioned on the July 25th call, in this time period?

VINDMAN: I was aware that he was traveling there and that he was -- he had been promoting the idea of these investigations.

GOLDMAN: I want to move now to that July 10th meeting that you referenced, Colonel Vindman. What exactly did Ambassador Sondland say when the Ukrainian officials raised the idea of a White House meeting?

VINDMAN: As I recall, he referred to specific investigations that Ukrainians would have to deliver in order to get these meetings.

GOLDMAN: And what happened to...

VINDMAN: The White House meeting.

GOLDMAN: And what happened to the broader meeting after he made that reference?

VINDMAN: Ambassador Bolton very abruptly ended the meeting.

GOLDMAN: And did -- how did -- did you have any conversations with Ambassador Bolton about this meeting?

VINDMAN: No, I did not.

GOLDMAN: Did you follow Ambassador Sondland and the others to the Ward Room for a meeting follow-up?

VINDMAN: There was a photo opportunity that we leveraged in order to demonstrate U.S. support, so the White House visit demonstrating U.S. support for Ukraine and the new national security advisor who is a technocrat. And then, after that we went down into a short post-meeting huddle or debrief.

GOLDMAN: Were the investigations, the specific investigations that Ambassador Sondland referenced in the larger meeting also discussed in the Ward Room meeting?

VINDMAN: They were.

GOLDMAN: And what did Ambassador Sondland say?

VINDMAN: Ambassador Sondland referred to investigations into the Bidens, Burisma, and 2016.

GOLDMAN: How did you respond, if at all?

VINDMAN: I -- I said that these requests to conduct these meetings was inappropriate, these investigations was inappropriate and had nothing to do with national security policy.

GOLDMAN: Was Ambassador Volker in this meeting as well?

VINDMAN: I don't recall specifically. I believe he was there for at least a portion of the time. I don't recall if he was there for that -- the whole meeting.

GOLDMAN: Was -- was this statement made in front of the Ukrainian officials?

VINDMAN: I -- I believe there was some discussion prior to the Ukrainians leaving. When it was apparent there was some discord between the senior folks, Ambassador Sondland and other White House staff, myself, they were asked to step out. So I don't recall if they were there for the entire discussion.

GOLDMAN: The senior White House staff that you're referring to, does that include Fiona Hill, your immediate supervisor at the time?

VINDMAN: Correct.

GOLDMAN: Now, you said you also reported this incident to the NSC lawyers, is that right?

VINDMAN: Correct.

GOLDMAN: And what was their response?

VINDMAN: John Eisenberg said that he -- he took -- he took notes while I was talking and he said he would look into it.

GOLDMAN: Why did you report this meeting and this conversation to the NSC lawyers?

VINDMAN: Because it was inappropriate. And following the meeting, I had a short conversation following the post-meeting meeting in the Ward Room, I had a short conversation with Ambassador -- correction -- Dr. Hill and we discussed the idea of needing to report this.

GOLDMAN: So am I correct, Colonel Vindman, that at least no later than that July 10th meeting the Ukrainians had understood or at least heard that the Oval Office meeting that they so desperately wanted was conditioned on the specific investigations into Burisma and the 2016 election?

VINDMAN: That was the first time I was aware of the Ukrainians being approached directly by a government official.

GOLDMAN: And directly linking the White House meeting to the investigations?

VINDMAN: Correct.

GOLDMAN: Ms. Williams, you testified that in your opening statement that you attended the September 1 meeting between Vice President Pence and President Zelensky in Warsaw. Is that right?

WILLIAMS: That's correct.

GOLDMAN: What was the first thing that President Zelensky asked Vice President Pence about at that meeting?

WILLIAMS: President Zelensky asked the vice president about the status of security assistance for Ukraine because he had seen the Politico article and other news reporting that the security assistance was being held.

GOLDMAN: And you testified in your deposition that in that conversation President Zelensky emphasized that the military assistance, the security assistance was not just important to assist Ukraine in fighting a war against Russia but that it was also symbolic in nature. What did you -- what did you understand him to mean by that?

WILLIAMS: President Zelensky explained that more than -- or just equally with the financial and physical value of the assistance that it was the symbolic nature of that assistance that really was the show of U.S. support for Ukraine and for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. And I think he was -- he was stressing that to the vice president to really underscore the need for the security assistance to be released.

GOLDMAN: And that if the United States was holding the security assistance, is it also true then that Russia could see that as a sign of weakening U.S. support for Ukraine and take advantage of that?

WILLIAMS: I believe that's what President Zelensky was indicating, that any signal or sign that U.S. support was wavering would be construed by Russia as, potentially, an opportunity for them to strengthen their own hand in Ukraine.

GOLDMAN: Did Vice President Pence provide a reason for the hold on security assistance to the Ukrainian President in that meeting?

WILLIAMS: The vice president did not specifically discuss the reason behind the hold, but he did reassure President Zelensky of the strongest U.S. unwavering support for Ukraine, and they talked about the need for European countries to -- to step up and provide more assistance to Ukraine as well.

GOLDMAN: Did Vice President Pence report back to President Trump on that meeting, to your knowledge?

WILLIAMS: The vice president conveyed to President Zelensky that he would follow up with President Trump that evening and convey to President Trump what he had heard from President Zelensky with regard to his efforts to implement reforms in Ukraine.

I am aware that the vice president spoke to President Trump that evening but I was not privy to the conversation.

GOLDMAN: Are you also aware, however, that the security assistance hold was not lifted for another 10 days after this meeting?

WILLIAMS: That's correct.

GOLDMAN: And am I correct that you didn't learn the reason why the hold was lifted?

WILLIAMS: That's correct.

GOLDMAN: Colonel Vindman, you didn't learn a reason why the hold was lifted either, is that right?

VINDMAN: Correct.

GOLDMAN: Colonel Vindman, are you aware that the committees launched an investigation into Ukraine matters on September 9th, two days before the hold was lifted?

VINDMAN: I am aware and I was aware.

GOLDMAN: And on September 10th the Intelligence Committee requested the whistleblower complaint from the Department of National Intelligence. Are you aware of that?

VINDMAN: I don't believe I was aware of that.

GOLDMAN: Were you aware that the White House was aware of this whistleblower complaint prior to that date?

VINDMAN: The first I heard of the whistleblower complaint is, I believe, when the news broke. I was only aware of the -- the committees investigating the hold on security assistance.

GOLDMAN: So is it accurate to say, Colonel Vindman, that whatever reason that was provided for the hold, including the administrative policies, which -- well, which would support the hold -- support the security assistance. Is that right to your understanding?

VINDMAN: I'm sorry. I didn't -- I didn't understand that. Can you...

GOLDMAN: I was just asking that the administrative policies of President Trump support -- supported this security assistance. Is that -- is that your understanding?

VINDMAN: So the -- the -- the interagency policy was to support security assistance for Ukraine.

GOLDMAN: Thank you. I yield back.

SCHIFF: I now recognize Ranking Member Nunes or minority counsel for 45 minutes.

NUNES: Thank you.

Ms. Williams, welcome. I want to just establish a few basic facts about your knowledge of Ukraine, Burisma, and the role of -- of the Bidens.

WILLIAMS: Yes, sir.

NUNES: You spend an extraordinary amount of your time on Ukraine, correct?

WILLIAMS: Ukraine is one of the countries in my portfolio. I would not say an extraordinary amount of time. But certainly, the vice president has engaged on Ukraine policy quite a bit in the -- my eight months.

NUNES: And it's in your portfolio?

WILLIAMS: That's correct.

NUNES: First off, were you aware in September 2015 then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt publicly called for an investigation in this -- into Zlochevsky, the President of Burisma. Were you aware of these public statements?

WILLIAMS: No, not at the time.

NUNES: You are today, though?

WILLIAMS: I have since heard them, yes.

NUNES: Did you know of anti-Trump efforts by various Ukrainian officials as well as Alexandra Chalupa a DNC consultant?

WILLIAMS: No, I was not aware.

NUNES: Did you know about the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kent's concerns about potential conflict of interest into Hunter Biden sitting on the board of Burisma?

WILLIAMS: I did not work on Ukraine policy during that timeframe. So I've become aware of it...

NUNES: In the last year or so.

WILLIAMS: I've become aware of it through Mr. Kent's testimony, through this process.

NUNES: Did you know that financial records show a Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma, routed more than $3 million to American accounts tied to Hunter Biden?

WILLIAMS: No, I was not aware.

NUNES: Until?

WILLIAMS: Until...

NUNES: You prepared for this hearing?

WILLIAMS: Until others have been testifying in more detail on those issues. That's correct.

NUNES: You've been following it more closely?

WILLIAMS: Correct.

NUNES: Did you know that Burisma's American legal representatives met with Ukrainian officials, just days after Vice President Biden forced the firing of the country's chief prosecutor?

WILLIAMS: Again, sir, I was not working on Ukraine policy during that time. So...

(CROSSTALK)

NUNES: None of these are trick questions. I'm just trying to get through them.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: I understand.

NUNES: Did you know that Burisma lawyers pressured the State Department in February 2016 after the raid, a month before the firing of Shokin, and that they invoked Hunter Biden's name as a reason to intervene?

WILLIAMS: I was not aware.

NUNES: Did you know that Joe Biden called Ukrainian President Poroshenko at least three times in February 2016 after the president and owner of Burisma's home was raided on February 2nd by the state prosecutor's office?

WILLIAMS: Not at the time; again, I've become aware of that through this proceeding.

NUNES: Thank you, Ms. Williams.

Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, I'm going to ask you same questions. Just to establish some basic facts about your knowledge about Ukraine, Burisma, and the role of the Bidens.

In September 2015, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt publicly called for an investigation into Zlochevsky, the president of Burisma. Were you aware of these public statements?

VINDMAN: I wasn't aware of them at the time.

NUNES: When did you become aware of them?

VINDMAN: During the course of the testimony and the depositions after this impeachment inquiry began.

NUNES: Did you know of anti-Trump efforts by various Ukrainian government officials as well as Alexandra Chalupa, a DNC Consultant?

VINDMAN: I'm not aware of any -- any -- any of these interference efforts.

NUNES: Did you know about Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kent's concerns about potential conflict of interest with Hunter Biden sitting on the board of Burisma?

VINDMAN: Only -- the only thing I'm aware of is -- pertains to his deposition.

NUNES: Did you know that financial records show a Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma routing more than $3 million to the American accounts tied to Hunter Biden?

VINDMAN: I'm not aware of this -- this fact.

NUNES: Until recently?

VINDMAN: I guess -- I didn't independently look into it. I'm just not aware of, you know, what kind of payments Mr. Biden may have received. This is not something I'm aware of.

NUNES: Did you know Burisma's American legal representatives met with Ukrainian officials, just days after Vice President Biden forced the firing of the country's chief prosecutor?

VINDMAN: I'm not aware of these meetings.

NUNES: Did you know that Burisma lawyers pressured the State Department in February 2016 after the raid and a month before the firing of Shokin, that they invoked Hunter Biden's name as a reason to intervene?

VINDMAN: I'm not aware of these facts.

NUNES: Did you know that Joe Biden called Ukrainian President Poroshenko at least three times in February 2016 after the president and owner of Burisma's home was raided on February 2nd by the state prosecutor's office?

VINDMAN: I'm aware of the fact that President Biden -- or Vice President Biden was very engaged on Ukraine and had numerous engagements. That's what I'm aware of.

NUNES: Ms. Williams and Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, as you may or may not know this committee has spent nearly three years conducting various investigations starting with the Russia collusion hoax, FISA abuse, Democratic hysteria over the lack of collusion in the Mueller report, and now this impeachment charade.

One of the most concerning things regarding all of these investigations is the amount of classified or otherwise sensitive information I read in the press that derived either from this committee or sources in the administration.

To be clear, I'm not accusing either one of you of leaking information. However, given that you are the first witnesses who actually have some firsthand knowledge of the president's call by listening in on July 25th, it's imperative to the American public's understanding of the events that we get a quick matters out of the -- few matters out of the way first.

Ms. Williams, let me just go to you first. For the purposes of the following questions, I'm only asking about the time period between from July 25th to September 25th.

WILLIAMS: OK.

NUNES: Did you discuss the July 25th phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky or any matters associated with the phone call with any members of the press?

WILLIAMS: No.

NUNES: To be clear you never discussed these matters with The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, CNN, or any other media outlet?

WILLIAMS: No, I did not.

NUNES: Did you ask or encourage any individual to share the substance of the July 25th phone call or any matter associated with the call with any member of the press?

WILLIAMS: I did not.

NUNES: Do you know of any individual who discussed the substance of the July 25th phone call or matter associated with the call with any member of the press?

WILLIAMS: No, I do not.

NUNES: Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, the same questions for you. Did you discuss the July 25th phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky or any matter associated with the phone call with any member of the press?

VINDMAN: I did not.

NUNES: Just to be clear, you did not discuss this with The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, CNN, or any other media outlet?

VINDMAN: I did not.

NUNES: Did you ask or encourage any individual to share the substance of the July 25th phone call or any matter associated with the call with any member of the press?

VINDMAN: I did not.

NUNES: Do you know of any individual who discussed the substance of the July 25th phone call or any matter associated with the call with any member of the press?

VINDMAN: We have an NSC press shop and they field any of these types of questions, I do not engage with the press at all.

NUNES: Let me ask the question again. Do you know of any individual who discussed the substance of the July 25th phone call or any matter associated with the call with any member of the press?

VINDMAN: We have an NSC press shop whose job is to -- to engage on any of these types of questions. I am not aware, but it is possible and likely that the press show would have had -- would field these types of questions.

NUNES: Right. But the question is...

(CROSSTALK)

VINDMAN: After -- I'm sorry.

NUNES: Do you know -- do you -- the question is do you know any individual -- do you personally know any individual who discussed the substance of the July 25th phone call or any matter associated with the call with any member of the press?

VINDMAN: Thank you, ranking member, for clarifying. I do not.

NUNES: (OFF-MIKE) Thank you.

Ms. Williams, did you discuss July 25th phone call with anyone outside the White House on July 25th or July 26th? And if so, with whom?

WILLIAMS: No, I did not discuss the call with anyone outside or inside the White House.

NUNES: Ms. Williams, during your time on the NSC, have you ever accessed a colleague's work computer without their prior authorization or approval?

WILLIAMS: I have not. And just to clarify, I'm in the Office of the Vice President, so not on the NSC.

NUNES: Right. But representing the vice president?

WILLIAMS: No. I have not, no.

NUNES: Thank you for that clarification.

Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, did you discuss the July 25th phone call with anyone outside the White House on July 25th or the 26th? And if so, with whom?

VINDMAN: Yes, I did. My core function is to coordinate U.S. government policy, interagency policy. And I spoke to two individuals with regards to providing a -- some sort of read-out of the call.

NUNES: Two individuals that were not in the White House?

VINDMAN: Not in the White House, cleared U.S. government officials with the -- with appropriate need to know.

NUNES: And what agencies were these officials with?

VINDMAN: Department of State, Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent who is responsible for the portfolio Eastern Europe including Ukraine, and a individual from the office of -- an individual in the Intelligence Community.

NUNES: What -- as you know, the Intelligence Community has 17 different agencies. What agency was this individual from?

SCHIFF: If I could interject here. We don't want to use these proceedings...

(CROSSTALK)

NUNES: It's our -- it's our time, Mr. Chair.

SCHIFF: I know. But we need to protect the whistleblower.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHIFF: If -- please stop.

I want to make sure that there's no effort to out the whistleblower through these -- these proceedings.

If the witness has a good-faith belief that this may reveal the identity of the whistleblower, that is not the purpose that we are here for and I want to advise the witness accordingly.

NUNES: Mr. Vindman, you testified in your deposition that you did not know the whistleblower.

VINDMAN: Ranking Member, it's Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, please.

NUNES: Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, you testified in the deposition that you did not know who the whistleblower was -- or is.

VINDMAN: I do not know who the whistleblower is. That is correct...

(CROSSTALK)

NUNES: So how is it possible for you to name these people and then out the whistleblower?

VINDMAN: Per the advice of my counsel, I've -- I've been advised not to answer specific questions about members of the Intelligence Community.

NUNES: This is -- are you aware that this is the Intelligence Committee that's conducting an impeachment hearing?

VINDMAN: Of course, I am.

NUNES: Wouldn't the appropriate place for you to come to to testify would be the Intelligence Committee about someone within the Intelligence Community?

VINDMAN: Ranking Member, per the advice of my counsel and the instructions from the chairman, I've been advised not to provide any specifics on who I have spoken to with -- inside the Intelligence Community.

What I can offer is that these were properly cleared individuals -- or was a properly cleared individual with a need to know.

NUNES: Well, this is -- I mean, you can really, you can plead the Fifth. But you're here to answer questions and you're here under subpoena. So you can either answer the question or you can plead the Fifth.

(UNKNOWN): Excuse me. On behalf of my client, we are following the rule of the committee, the rule of the chair with regard to this issue.

And this does not call for an answer that is invoking the Fifth or any theoretical issue like that. We're following the ruling of the chair.

NUNES: What -- counselor, what ruling is that?

SCHIFF: If I could interject. The counsel is correct. The whistleblower has the right -- the statutory right to anonymity, these proceedings will not be used to out the whistleblower.

(UNKNOWN): And I've advised my client accordingly, and he's going to follow the ruling of the chair. If there is an alternative or you want to work something out with the chair, that's up to you, Mr. Nunes.

NUNES: Well, we've attempted to subpoena the whistleblower to sit for a deposition. The chair has tabled that motion and then has been unwilling to recognize those motions over the last few days of this impeachment inquisition process.

With that, I'll go to Mr. Castor.

CASTOR: Thank you, Ranking Member Nunes.

The call transcript as -- as published on September 25th is complete and accurate, will both of you attest to that? Ms. Williams?

WILLIAMS: I didn't take a word for word...

CASTOR: Of course.

WILLIAMS: ... accounting. When I first saw the publicly released version, it looks substantively correct to me.

CASTOR: And Colonel Vindman?

VINDMAN: I think, I certainly would describe it as substantively correct or (ph)...

(CROSSTALK)

CASTOR: I think, in your testimony in your deposition, you said very accurate?

VINDMAN: Correct.

CASTOR: OK. And you flagged a couple edits, Colonel Vindman. I think you had Burisma on page -- on page 4...

VINDMAN: Yes.

CASTOR: ... where President Zelensky was -- was talking about the company mentioned in the issue.

VINDMAN: I'm sorry, could you say that question again?

CASTOR: I believe in your testimony, you explained that you offered an edit that on page 4 of the transcript that was ultimately published you thought President Zelensky mentioned the word Burisma.

VINDMAN: I had it in my notes. I know that's what he said, yes.

CASTOR: OK. And Ms. Williams -- and that was on page 4, correct?

VINDMAN: Correct. Correct.

CASTOR: And, Ms. Williams, I believe after your deposition, you went back and checked your notes and you had President Zelensky using the term Burisma as well. Is that correct?

WILLIAMS: That's correct.

CASTOR: But -- but that came up on a different part of the transcript than what Colonel Vindman was relating to, correct?

WILLIAMS: Yes, I believe so.

CASTOR: Yours came up on page 5 and it would've been in substitution for the word case?

WILLIAMS: That's right. That's where I have it in my notes.

CASTOR: OK. Colonel Vindman, we've had some discussion earlier today and also your deposition about whether the president had a demand for President Zelensky.

And you know, I suggested to you in the deposition that the president's words are, in fact, ambiguous. And -- and he uses -- he uses some phrases that certainly could be characterized as hedging. On page 3, in the first paragraph, he talks about, "whatever you can do," he talks about, "if that's possible."

On page 4, he mentions "if you could speak to him" -- talking about the attorney general, Rudy Giuliani.

And then, at the end of the first paragraph on page 4, he says "whatever you can do."

The president also says, you know, "if you can look into it."

And -- and I asked you during your deposition whether you saw or acknowledged the fact that certain people could read that to be ambiguous?

VINDMAN: And I said correct, yes.

CASTOR: And I believe you said, "I think people want to hear what they have already preconceived." Is that what you testified?

(UNKNOWN): Actually, if I could ask for just a page cite.

CASTOR: 256.

(UNKNOWN): 256?

CASTOR: Yeah.

(UNKNOWN): And a line? Thank you. Just a minute, please.

CASTOR: And...

(UNKNOWN): Just a minute.

OK. OK. We got the page.

CASTOR: OK. And then you went on to say, "Yeah" -- you agreed with me. You said, "Yeah, I guess you could interpret it different ways." Is that correct?

VINDMAN: Yes.

CASTOR: OK.

Turning attention to the preparation of the transcripts, that followed the ordinary process, correct?

VINDMAN: I -- so I think it followed the appropriate process in terms of making sure that eventually it came around for -- for clearances, for accuracy. But it was in a different system, so...

CASTOR: Well, I'll get to that in a second. That relates to the storage of it.

You had some concerns; Mr. Morrison articulated his concerns about if the transcript was leaked out. And I think both you and Mr. Morrison agreed that it needed to be protected?

(UNKNOWN): Just a correction. I don't think it was Mr. Morrison. It was Mr. Eisenberg. Right?

CASTOR: Mr. Morrison testified at his deposition.

(UNKNOWN): OK. We don't have that in front of us. If you can give us that, we'll take a look.

VINDMAN: Yeah, I think, in this, I could say for myself, I -- there were the -- concerns about leaks seemed valid. And I wasn't particularly critical. I thought this was sensitive and was not going to question the attorney's judgment on that.

CASTOR: And even on the code word (ph) server, you had access to it?

VINDMAN: Yes.

CASTOR: So at no point in time during the course of your official duties were you denied access to this information...

VINDMAN: Correct.

CASTOR: ... is that correct?

VINDMAN: Ms. Williams, I want to turn to you for a moment. And you testified that you believe the transcript is -- is complete and accurate, other than the one issue you mentioned?

WILLIAMS: Substantively -- substantively accurate, yes.

CASTOR: Now, did you express any concerns to anyone in your office about what you heard on the call?

WILLIAMS: My supervisor was in listening on the call as well, so because he had heard the same information, I did not feel a need to have a further conversation with him about it.

CASTOR: And you never had any concerns with anyone else in the vice president's office?

WILLIAMS: I did not discuss the call further with anyone in the vice president's office.

CASTOR: OK. So you didn't flag it for the chief of staff or the vice president's counsel or anyone of that sort?

WILLIAMS: Again, my -- my immediate supervisor, Lieutenant General Kellogg, was in the room with me.

CASTOR: Right. And after the call, did you and General Kellogg ever discuss the contents of the call?

WILLIAMS: We did not, no.

CASTOR: OK. Now, in the run-up to the meeting in Warsaw, the vice president was meeting with President Zelensky September 1st in Warsaw. You were involved with the preparation of the vice president's briefing materials?

WILLIAMS: I was.

CASTOR: And did you flag for the vice president this -- this, you know, parts of the call that had concerned you?

WILLIAMS: No, we did not include the call transcript in the trip briefing book. We don't normally include previous calls in trip briefing books.

CASTOR: So I'm just wondering, if the -- if the concerns were so significant, how come nobody on the vice president's staff at least alerted him to the issue that President Zelensky might be on edge about something that had been mentioned on the 7/25 call?

WILLIAMS: Again, my -- my supervisor had been in the call with me, and I ensured that the vice president had access to the transcript in the moment on that day. As we were preparing for the September meeting with President Zelensky, the more immediate issue at hand was, two days prior, the news had broken about the hold on the security assistance. So we were much more focused on the discussion that was likely to occur about the hold on security assistance for that meeting.

CASTOR: And to your recollection, you were in the meeting with President Zelensky and Vice President Pence?

WILLIAMS: I was.

CASTOR: And Burisma didn't come up, or the Bidens, or any of these investigations?

WILLIAMS: No. No, it did not.

CASTOR: Colonel Vindman, you -- you testified that the president has well-standing -- or long-standing concerns about corruption in Ukraine, correct?

VINDMAN: I don't -- I don't recall, but there are concerns; there are broad concerns about corruption, yes.

CASTOR: But you would agree that, if we're -- if the U.S. is giving, you know, hundreds of millions of dollars to a foreign nation that has a corruption problem, that that's certainly something that the U.S. government officials and the president would want to be concerned about?

VINDMAN: Yes.

CASTOR: And if -- if a foreign country has a problem with oligarchs taking money, taking U.S. taxpayer dollars, that's -- that's something that the president ought to be concern about in advance of dispensing the aid?

VINDMAN: Yes.

CASTOR: And I believe you did testify that corruption is endemic in Ukraine?

VINDMAN: Correct.

CASTOR: Are you also aware of the president's skepticism of foreign aid generally?

VINDMAN: I am.

CASTOR: And it's something that he's made part of his priorities, to make sure that U.S. foreign aid is spent wisely?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

CASTOR: And -- and you're also aware the president has concerns about burden-sharing among our allies?

VINDMAN: Yes.

CASTOR: And with respect to Ukraine, he was -- he was very interested and engaged in seeing if there was a possibility for our European allies to step up and contribute more?

VINDMAN: Yes, I think that would be in the context of military assistance. In terms of burden-sharing, the -- the European Union provides over $15 billion.

CASTOR: OK.

VINDMAN: Has provided since 2014.

CASTOR: OK. But you are aware of the president's concern of burden-sharing, right?

VINDMAN: Yes, I am.

CASTOR: OK. Turning our attention specifically to the company of Burisma, Mykola Zlochevsky, the co-founder of Burisma -- it's one of Ukraine's largest natural gas producers, correct?

VINDMAN: That is my understanding, yes.

CASTOR: And it's been subject to numerous investigations over the years?

VINDMAN: I'm -- I'm not aware of -- I guess I couldn't point to specific investigations, but there is a what I would call a -- a pattern of questionable dealings and questions about corruption.

CASTOR: Zlochevsky had served as the minister of ecology during President Yanukovych's tenure?

VINDMAN: I came to learn that is correct, yes.

CASTOR: And are you aware -- and George Kent testified, a little bit, about this last week, that under the Obama administration, the U.S. government encouraged Ukraine to investigate whether Zlochevsky used his government position to -- to grant himself or Burisma exploration licenses? Are you aware of that?

VINDMAN: I would -- I would defer to George Kent. He's a fount of knowledge on Ukraine, much deeper knowledge than I -- I have. And if he -- if he -- if he attested to that, then I'd take his word for it.

CASTOR: OK. And he testified that the U.S., along with the United Kingdom, was engaged in trying recoup about $23 million in taxpayer dollars from Zlochevsky and the Burisma entity?

VINDMAN: I understand he testified that, yes, correct.

CASTOR: OK.

And Mr. Kent also testified that the investigation was moving along and then all of a sudden there was a -- a bribe paid and the investigation went away. Did you -- did you hear him mention that?

VINDMAN: I heard him mention that. These are -- these are events that occurred before my time, so, frankly, beyond what he said, I don't -- I don't know much more.

CASTOR: Fair enough.

Right around the time the bribe was paid, the company saw -- sought to bolster their board. Are you aware that they -- they tapped some luminaries for their corporate board?

VINDMAN: Certainly, I learned that at some point, yes.

CASTOR: Including the president of Poland, I believe?

VINDMAN: Yes.

CASTOR: And Hunter Biden?

VINDMAN: Yes, I came to learn that was well.

CASTOR: And are you aware of any specific experience Hunter Biden has in the Ukrainian corporate governance world?

VINDMAN: I -- I don't know much about Mr. Hunter Biden.

CASTOR: And we talked a little bit about -- at your deposition about whether Mr. Biden was qualified to serve on this board, and I believe you acknowledged that apparently he was not, in fact, qualified?

VINDMAN: As far as I can tell, he didn't seem to be. But like I said, I don't know his qualifications.

CASTOR: OK.

Ms. Williams, I want to turn our attention to the -- the inaugural trip.

WILLIAMS: OK.

CASTOR: At one point the vice president and the vice president's office was focusing on attending that, correct?

WILLIAMS: That's right.

CASTOR: And it was -- it's somewhat complicated, because as I understand that the White House doesn't that president and the vice president to be out of the country at the same time?

WILLIAMS: Yes, that's correct.

CASTOR: And during that timeframe, the president was in Japan. I believe he was in Japan May 24th to 28th, and then he returned to Europe for the D-Day ceremonies June 2nd to 7th. And I think -- I think you told us that there was a window you provided of four days at the end of May, that if the vice president was going to attend the inauguration, it had to be the 29th, 30th, 31st or 1st?

WILLIAMS: Our embassy in Kyiv had been in discussions with the Ukrainian, with -- with President Zelensky's team, and as we had learned, obviously, the Ukrainian parliament was not going to come back into session until mid-May, and so we wouldn't know formally what the date would be. But we understood that the initial thinking was that the -- they were looking at dates at the end of May, and so honing in on that timeframe, we were aware of President Trump's plan to travel on either end.

And so, that's why we advised the Ukrainians that if Vice President Pence were to be able to participate, the only really available days would be May 30th, May 31st or June 1st.

CASTOR: OK.

And before the vice president travels to a foreign nation, you have to send the Secret Service, do advance work, book hotels, and it's -- it's a relatively involved preparation experience, right?

WILLIAMS: That's correct.

CASTOR: And did you -- do you know if the Secret Service every deployed, booked hotels or anything of that sort?

WILLIAMS: My understanding is that our advance team was looking into those preparations, including hotel availability, and we were trying to determine when it would be appropriate to send out Secret Service and other advance personnel in order to lay groundwork for a trip. But because we weren't sure yet when the date would be, we hesitated to send those -- those officials out.

CASTOR: OK.

But ultimately the Secret Service, as I understand it, did not deploy?

WILLIAMS: I don't believe they did, no.

CASTOR: OK.

And the -- the -- President Zelensky's inauguration was May 20th, if I'm not mistaken.

WILLIAMS: Yes, that's correct.

CASTOR: And you had about four days notice?

WILLIAMS: In the end, the Ukrainian parliament decided on May 16th to set the date for May 20th, that's correct.

CASTOR: OK.

So you would acknowledge that that made it quite difficult for the vice president and the whole operation to mobilize and get over to Ukraine, correct?

WILLIAMS: It would have been, but we had already stopped the trip planning at that point.

CASTOR: And when did that happen?

WILLIAMS: Stopping the trip planning?

CASTOR: Yes.

WILLIAMS: On May 13th.

CASTOR: OK.

And how did you hear about that?

WILLIAMS: I was called by -- by a colleague in the -- my -- the vice president's chief of staff's office and told to stop the trip planning.

CASTOR: OK.

And as I understand it, it was the assistant to the chief of staff?

WILLIAMS: That's correct.

CASTOR: OK.

And so, you didn't hear about it from General Kellogg or the chief of staff or...

WILLIAMS: Correct.

CASTOR: ... or the president or the vice president, you heard about it from a -- Mr. Short's assistant?

WILLIAMS: That's right.

CASTOR: And did you have any -- any knowledge of the reasoning for stopping the trip?

WILLIAMS: I asked my colleague why we should stop trip planning and why the vice president would not be attending, and I was informed that the president had decided the vice president would not attend the inauguration.

CASTOR: OK.

And -- but do you know why the president decided?

WILLIAMS: No, she did not have that information.

CASTOR: OK.

And ultimately the vice president went to Canada for a USMCA event...

WILLIAMS: That's right.

CASTOR: ... during this -- this window of time, correct?

WILLIAMS: Correct.

CASTOR: So it's entirely conceivable that the president decided that he wanted the vice president to go to Canada on behalf of USMCA instead of doing anything else, correct?

WILLIAMS: I'm really not in a position to speculate what the motivations were behind the president's decision.

CASTOR: Well, you know the vice president's done quite a bit of USMCA events, correct?

WILLIAMS: Absolutely. Yes, sir.

CASTOR: OK.

And are you aware of whether the -- anyone at the State Department inquired with your office about the vice president's availability for the trip to Canada?

WILLIAMS: For the -- at what point?

CASTOR: Early May. Maybe May 8th.

WILLIAMS: I -- I was not involved in the trip planning for Canada. One of my colleagues who covers Western Hemisphere was in charge of that. So, I'm not aware of specific requests about the vice president's availability.

CASTOR: OK.

WILLIAMS: I was aware from my colleague who was planning that trip that we had competing trips potentially for the same window.

CASTOR: OK.

WILLIAMS: But I was told that the Ukraine trip would take priority.

CASTOR: OK.

But ultimately you don't know?

WILLIAMS: I don't know about the Canada trip? Or...

CASTOR: You don't know the reason as to why the vice president was sent to Canada for a USMCA event instead of going to the Ukraine?

WILLIAMS: I would say I don't know the reason behind why the president directed the vice president not to go to Ukraine. I can't speak to the motivations or the -- about the Canada trip.

CASTOR: Colonel Vindman, I'd like to turn a little bit to the July 10th meeting in Ambassador Bolton's office, and the subsequent post-meeting in the Ward Room.

Who all was in the July 10th meeting, to the best of your recollection?

VINDMAN: Are we talking about the Ward Room or are we talking about the actual meeting with Ambassador Bolton?

CASTOR: We'll start with the first meeting in the ambassador's office.

VINDMAN: So, from the U.S. side, we had Ambassador Bolton, Dr. Hill, I believe there was another -- a special assistant to the president, Wells Griffith was in there, from our -- and them myself. From the Ukrainians...

CASTOR: Who from the Ukrainians -- oh, sorry.

VINDMAN: From the Ukrainian side, we had Oleksandr Danylyuk, Andrea Yermak and I think Oleksandr Danylyuk's adviser Alexis Sumitty (ph).

CASTOR: OK.

And you testified that you couldn't recall exactly why Ambassador Bolton stopped the meeting short and you only learned it subsequently talking to Dr. Fiona Hill?

VINDMAN: Yeah. I noted that, you know, it ended abruptly, but I didn't, frankly, you know -- I didn't exactly know why.

CASTOR: And in -- in the -- in the Bolton meeting, you don't remember Ambassador Sondland using the word "Biden"?

VINDMAN: He did not.

CASTOR: OK.

VINDMAN: To the best of my recollection, I don't think he did.

CASTOR: And then the group decamped to take a photo, correct?

VINDMAN: Correct.

CASTOR: OK.

So the general feeling of the group was a positive one at that time, even though it may have ended abruptly?

VINDMAN: I think Ambassador Bolton was exceptionally qualified and he understood the strategic communications opportunity of having a photo. And we prompted him to -- before we completely adjourned to see if he was willing to do a photo and he did.

CASTOR: OK. So you went out to West Executive Ave. or wherever in the White House and you took a photo. I think you said you took it.

VINDMAN: I certainly took a couple of them, yes.

CASTOR: OK.

And in the photo is Secretary Perry, Ambassador Bolton, Ambassador Volker...

VINDMAN: That's right.

CASTOR: ... Mr. Danylyuk and Mr. Yermak?

VINDMAN: Yes.

And I apologize, when I was running through the U.S. side, of course Ambassador Bolton, Volker and Sondland were there and Secretary Perry was there.

CASTOR: OK.

Now, you testified that before the July 10th meeting, you had developed concerns about the narrative involving Rudy Giuliani, is that correct?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

CASTOR: And had you heard a firsthand account from anyone on the inside or had you just been following news accounts?

VINDMAN: So, I certainly was following news accounts. And that's from the Ukrainian side -- Ukrainian press and U.S. press.

CASTOR: OK, and then...

VINDMAN: And then my colleagues in the interagency also were concerned about this. And this had started in the March timeframe kind of emanating from the John Solomon story all the way through. So there'd been ongoing conversations, so several different sources.

CASTOR: OK.

And so when Ambassador Sondland mentions the investigations, you, sort of, had a little bit of a clue of what the issue was?

VINDMAN: Oh, definitely.

CASTOR: OK.

And then you took the photo -- a very nice photo -- and then you went to the Ward Room?

VINDMAN: Correct.

CASTOR: And do you remember -- I think you conceded to us that you had a hard time remembering exactly what was said in the Ward Room. Again, it's four months ago; it's hard to be precise about whether Sondland -- what specific words he used, whether he used "Burisma," "2016," "investigations."

VINDMAN: Yeah. So, I believe that in the deposition the three elements "Burisma," "Bidens" and the 2016 elections were all mentioned.

CASTOR: In the Ward Room?

VINDMAN: Correct.

CASTOR: I think -- you know, I think -- maybe we can go back to this but I think on page 64 of your testimony you told us that you don't remember them using "2016" in the Ward Room.

VINDMAN: I believe that I actually followed up and when you -- because this question was asked multiple times.

CASTOR: Yes.

VINDMAN: I said all three elements were in there, so if you picked out...

CASTOR: OK.

So when we asked the question, it sort of refreshed your recollection?

VINDMAN: Yes, I guess that's a term now.

CASTOR: There was some discussion of, you know, whether when Mr. Morrison took over the portfolio for Dr. Hill whether you were sidelined at all. Did you feel like you were?

VINDMAN: So, I certainly was excluded or didn't participate in the trip to Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus at the end of August, and I wasn't -- initially before it changed from a POTUS trip to a vice president trip to Warsaw, I wasn't participating in that one. So, I didn't miss that, no.

CASTOR: Did you express any concerns to Mr. Morrison about why you weren't included on those trips?

VINDMAN: So, Mr. Morrison -- I was on leave -- I was supposed to be on leave from the 3rd of August through about the 16th or so of August, and he called me and asked me to return. There was obviously high-priority travel to the region and he needed my assistance to help plan for it. And in asking me to return early from leave, which I take infrequently, I assumed that I'd be going on the trip.

So when I was -- after returning from leave early, when I was told I wasn't going, I inquired about it, correct.

CASTOR: OK.

And what feedback did he give you?

VINDMAN: He initially told me the aircraft that was acquired, the MILAIR, was too small and there wasn't enough room.

CASTOR: Did -- had you ever had any discussion with Mr. Morrison about concerns that he or Dr. Hill had with your judgment?

VINDMAN: Did I ever have any conversations with Mr. Morrison about it? No.

CASTOR: OK.

Did Mr. Morrison ever express concerns to you that he -- he thought maybe you weren't following the chain of command in all instances?

VINDMAN: He did not.

CASTOR: And did Dr. Hill or Mr. Morrison ever ask you questions about whether you were trying to access information outside of your lane?

VINDMAN: They did not.

CASTOR: And another, you know, aspect of the Ukraine portfolio that you were not a part of were some of the communications Mr. Morrison was having with Ambassador Taylor?

VINDMAN: Correct.

CASTOR: And did you ever express concern that he was leaving you off those calls?

VINDMAN: Well, certainly it was concerning. He had just come on board. He didn't have the -- you know, he wasn't steeped into all the items that we were working on, including the policy that we had developed over the preceding months. And I thought I could contribute to that, to his -- to the performance of his duties.

CASTOR: OK.

When you were -- you went to Ukraine for the inauguration?

VINDMAN: Correct.

CASTOR: At any point during that trip did Mr. Danylyuk offer you a position of defense minister with the Ukrainian government?

VINDMAN: He did.

CASTOR: And how many times did he do that?

VINDMAN: I believe it was three times.

CASTOR: And do you have any reason why he asked you to do that?

VINDMAN: I don't know, but every single time I dismissed it.

Upon returning I notified my chain of command and the -- the appropriate counterintelligence folks about this -- the offer.

CASTOR: Well, Ukraine is a country that's experiencing a war with Russia . Certainly their minister of defense is a pretty key position for the Ukrainians. President Zelensky, Mr. Danylyuk to bestow that honor on you, at least asking you, that was a big honor, correct?

VINDMAN: I think it would be a great honor. And, frankly, I'm aware of servicemembers that have left service to help nurture the developing democracies in that part of the world, certainly in the Baltics, former officers. And if I recall correctly, it was an Air Force officer that became a minister of defense.

But I'm an American. I came here when I was a toddler. And I immediately dismissed these offers; did not entertain them.

CASTOR: When he -- when he made his offer to you initially did you leave the door open? Was there a reason that he had to come back and ask a second and third time? Or was he just trying to convince you?

VINDMAN: Counsel, you know what? It's the whole notion is rather comical that I was being asked to consider whether I'd want to be the minister of defense. I did not leave the door open at all...

CASTOR: OK.

VINDMAN: ... but it is pretty funny for a lieutenant colonel of the United States Army, which really isn't not that senior, to be offered that illustrious a position.

CASTOR: When he made this offer to you, was he speaking in English or Ukrainian?

VINDMAN: Oh, Mr. Danylyuk is an absolutely flawless English speaker. He was speaking in English.

CASTOR: OK.

VINDMAN: And just to be clear, there were two other staff officers -- Embassy Kyiv staff officers that were sitting next to me when this offer was made.

CASTOR: OK. And who were they?

VINDMAN: So, one of them you may have met. It was Mr. David Holmes. And the other one was -- I don't know, I mean I guess I can -- it's another Foreign Service officer, Keith Bean.

CASTOR: OK.

Yes, we met Mr. Holmes last Friday evening.

VINDMAN: I understand.

(LAUGHTER)

He's a delightful fellow.

CASTOR: And you said, when you returned to the United States you papered it up, given your -- you know, with SCI clearance whenever foreign government makes an overture like that you have to -- you paper it up and you tell your chain of command?

VINDMAN: I did, but I also don't know if I fully entertained it as a legitimate offer. I was just making sure that I did the right thing in terms of reporting this.

CASTOR: OK.

And did any of your supervisors, Dr. Hill at the time, or Dr. Kupperman, or Ambassador Bolton ever follow-up with you about that?

It's rather significant, you know, that Ukrainians offered you the post of defense minister. Did you tell anyone in your chain of command about it?

VINDMAN: After I spoke to -- and I believe it -- that deputy -- or Deputy Senior Director John Erath was there. I -- once I mentioned it to both of them, I don't believe there was ever a follow-up discussion.

CASTOR: OK.

So it never came up with Dr. Kupperman or Dr. Hill?

VINDMAN: Following that conversation I had with Dr. Hill, I don't believe there was a subsequent conversation. And I don't recall ever having a conversation with Dr. Kupperman about it.

CASTOR: OK.

And did you brief Dr. -- or, sorry, Director Morrison when he came on board?

VINDMAN: No, I completely forgot about it.

CASTOR: OK.

And subsequent to the May trip, did Mr. Danylyuk ever ask you to reconsider? Were there any other offers?

VINDMAN: No.

CASTOR: OK.

When he visited for the July 10th meeting in -- with Ambassador Bolton, did it come up again?

VINDMAN: It never came up again.

CASTOR: OK.

And did you ever think that, possibly if this information was got out, that it might create the -- at least a perception of a conflict that the Ukrainians thought so highly of you to offer you the defense ministry post -- you know, on one hand but, on the other hand, you're responsible for Ukrainian policy at the National Security Council?

VINDMAN: So frankly, it would be -- it's more important about what my American leadership, American chain of command thinks than any of the -- and this is, these are honorable people.

I'm not sure if he meant it as a joke or not. But it's much more important what my civilian White House National Security Council chain of command thinks, more so than anybody else.

And frankly, if they were concerned about me being able to continue my duties...

CASTOR: Of course.

VINDMAN: ... they would have brought that to my attention. Dr. Hill stayed on for several more months and we continued to work to advance U.S. Policy.

CASTOR: OK.

During the times relevant of the committee's investigation, did you have any communications with Mr. Yermak or Danylyuk outside the July 10th meeting?

VINDMAN: I recall a courtesy note from Mr. Yermak within days of his return to (ph) July in which he wanted to preserve an open channel of communication. And I said, you know, please feel free to contact me with any concerns.

CASTOR: And were you following this, you know, there was sort of two tracks, Ambassador Taylor walked us through it during his testimony last Wednesday. There was a -- he called it a regular channel and then he called it an irregular but not outlandish channel with Ambassador Sondland and Ambassador Volker.

Were you tracking the Sondland and Volker channel during this time period?

VINDMAN: Yes, so I'm trying to recall at which point I became aware of ambassador -- certainly, I was aware the fact that they were -- they were working together, Sondland -- Ambassador Sondland, Ambassador Volker, and Secretary Perry were working together to advance U.S. policy interests that were in support of what had been agreed to.

But I didn't really learn, like I said, until the July 10th -- actually, that's -- there may have been a slightly earlier point.

I recall a meeting in which Ambassador Bolton facilitated a meeting between Ambassador Volker and Ambassador Bolton in the June timeframe, and there may have been some discussion about this external channel. But...

CASTOR: OK.

VINDMAN: ... I, frankly, didn't become aware of these particular U.S. government officials being involved in this alternate track until on July 10th.

CASTOR: OK.

And I think we -- we had some discussion that, you know, Mr. Giuliani was promoting a negative narrative about the Ukraine and -- and certain officials were trying to help the president understand that with Zelensky it was a new day and Ukraine's going to be different. Is that your understanding?

VINDMAN: That is correct. That is exactly what was being reported by the Intelligence Community, the policy channels within the NSC and the concerted (ph) voices of the various people that have actually met with him, including foreign officials.

CASTOR: And to the extent that you're aware of what Ambassador Sondland's goals were here and Ambassador Volker's goals were here, I mean, you think they were just trying to do the best they could and try to advocate in the best interests of the United States?

VINDMAN: That -- that is -- that is what I believed and that is what I still believe, frankly.

CASTOR: And so to the extent Mr. Giuliani may have had different views, they were trying to help him understand that it was time to change those views?

VINDMAN: I think they were trying to bring him into the tent and have him kind of support the direction that was -- that we had settled on.

CASTOR: And you never conferred with Mr. Giuliani?

VINDMAN: No.

CASTOR: You never had any meetings, phone calls, or anything of that sort?

VINDMAN: I did not.

CASTOR: And did you have any...

VINDMAN: I only know him as New York's finest mayor.

CASTOR: ... America's mayor.

(LAUGHTER)

VINDMAN: America's mayor.

CASTOR: And did you -- did you have any discussions, communications during this relevant time period with the president?

VINDMAN: I'd -- I -- I've never had any contact with the president of the United States.

CASTOR: OK.

My time's expired, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.

SCHIFF: I thank the gentleman.

We're going to now move to the five-minute member rounds.

Are you good to go forward or do you need break?

VINDMAN: I think we'll elect to take a short break.

SCHIFF: OK.

Let's try to take a five- or ten-minute break and we will resume with the five-minute rounds.

Oh, if I could ask the audience and members to please allow the witnesses to leave the room first.

Committee is in recess.

(RECESS)

SCHIFF: The committee will come back to order. We'll now begin a period of five-minute questions from the members. I recognize myself for five minutes.

I want to ask you both about some of the questions you were asked by my colleagues in the minority. First, if I could ask you, Ms. Williams and Colonel Vindman, you were asked a series of questions by the ranking member at the outset. Were you aware of the fact that -- and then there was a recitation of information about Burisma, Zlochevsky, the Bidens. Is it fair to say you have no firsthand knowledge of any of the matters that were asked in those questions?

WILLIAMS: That's correct.

VINDMAN: That is correct.

SCHIFF: Ms. Williams, you were also asked a series of questions about the vice president's schedule and whether he could have made the inauguration, or was the president traveling or the trip to Canada. But let's be clear about something. The president -- you were instructed that the president had told the vice president not to go before you even knew the date of the inauguration. Is that correct?

WILLIAMS: Yes, that's correct.

SCHIFF: So at the time he was told not to go, there was no calculation about where he might be or where the president might be because the date hadn't even been set yet, is that right?

WILLIAMS: That's right. The date had not been set, so were weighing a number of different scenarios of when -- when the inauguration might fall.

SCHIFF: Now, I think you said that originally, the president had told him to go. And then you received the instruction that the president no longer wanted him to go. Were you aware in the interim between the president telling him to go and the president telling him not to go, that Rudy Giuliani had to abort a trip that he was going to make to Ukraine?

WILLIAMS: I had seen that in the press, yes.

SCHIFF: And had you seen in the press that Rudy Giuliani blamed people around Zelensky for having to cancel the trip?

WILLIAMS: For having to cancel his trip?

SCHIFF: Yes.

WILLIAMS: I had read that in the press reporting, yes.

SCHIFF: And did you read in the press reporting also that Giuliani wanted to go to Ukraine to, as he put it, not meddle in an election but meddle in investigations?

WILLIAMS: I did read that, yes.

SCHIFF: And that occurred prior to the president canceling the vice president's trip to the inauguration?

WILLIAMS: It did. I believe it was around May 10th or so.

SCHIFF: Colonel Vindman, you were asked by the minority counsel about the president's words in the July 25th call. And whether the president's words were ambiguous. Was there any ambiguity about the president's use of the word "Biden"?

VINDMAN: There was not.

SCHIFF: It was pretty clear that the president wanted Zelensky to commit to investigating the Bidens, was it not?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

SCHIFF: That is one of the favors that you thought should be properly characterized as a demand?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

SCHIFF: And there's no ambiguity about that?

VINDMAN: In my mind, there was not.

SCHIFF: It's also true, is it not, that these two investigations that the president asked Zelensky for into 2016 and into the Bidens were precisely the two investigations that Rudy Giuliani was calling for publicly, were they not?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

SCHIFF: So when people suggest, well, maybe Rudy Giuliani was acting on his own and maybe he was a freelancer or whatever, the president referred to exactly the same two investigations Rudy Giuliani was out pushing on his behalf. Is that correct?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

SCHIFF: Now, Ms. Williams, you were asked about the meeting the vice president had with Zelensky in September, in which the Ukrainians brought up their concern about the hold on the security assistance. Is that right?

WILLIAMS: That's right.

SCHIFF: And you were asked about whether, in that meeting between the vice president, Zelensky, the Bidens or Burisma came up. And I think you said they did not, correct?

WILLIAMS: That's correct, they did not come up.

SCHIFF: Now that bilateral meeting was a large meeting that involved two or three dozen people, wasn't it?

WILLIAMS: It was.

SCHIFF: So in the context of this meeting with two or three dozen people, the vice president didn't bring up those investigations, correct?

WILLIAMS: No, he did not bring up those investigations. He's never brought up those investigations.

SCHIFF: Were you aware that immediately -- and I mean immediately -- after that meeting broke up, Ambassador Sondland has said that he went over to Mr. Yermak, one of the top advisers to Zelensky, and told Yermak that if they wanted the military aid, they were going to have to do these investigations or words to that effect?

WILLIAMS: I was not aware at the time of any meetings, side meetings that Ambassador Sondland had following our -- the vice president's meeting with President Zelensky. I've only learned that through Ambassador Sondland's testimony.

SCHIFF: So at the big public meeting, it didn't come up. And you can't speak to the private meeting that was held immediately thereafter?

WILLIAMS: Correct. The vice president moved on with his schedule immediately after his meeting with President Zelensky.

SCHIFF: Now, Colonel Vindman, I want to go back to that July 10th meeting or meetings, the one with Ambassador Bolton and then the one in the Ward Room that followed quickly on its heels.

Were you aware that Ambassador Bolton instructed your superior, Dr. Hill, to go talk to the lawyers after that meeting?

VINDMAN: I learned shortly after she was finished talking to Ambassador Bolton, and after we wrapped up with the Ward Room that she did have a meeting with him and that that's what was expressed.

SCHIFF: Now, you thought you should go talk to the lawyers on your own, correct?

VINDMAN: That is my recollection, yes.

SCHIFF: But Bolton also thought that Dr. Hill should go talk to the lawyers because of his concern over this "drug deal that Sondland and Mulvaney were cooking up," is that right?

VINDMAN: That is my understanding.

SCHIFF: And in fact, this -- this "drug deal," as Bolton called it, involved this conditioning of the White House meeting on these investigations that Sondland brought up, is that right?

VINDMAN: That is my understanding.

SCHIFF: And in fact, this same conditioning, or this same issue of wanting these political investigations and tying it to the White House meeting, this came up in the July 25th call, did it not, when the president asked for these investigations?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

SCHIFF: So the very same issue that Bolton said to Hill, "Go talk to the lawyers," the very same issue that prompted you to go talk to the lawyers, ends up coming up in that call with the president. Is that right?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

SCHIFF: And it was that conversation that once again led you back to the lawyer's office?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

SCHIFF: Now I yield to the ranking member.

NUNES: Parliamentary inquiry? Mr. Chairman, you took seven minutes, so I assume you're going to give us equal time?

SCHIFF: Yes, Mr. Nunes?

NUNES: I thank the gentleman.

Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, before I turn to Mr. Jordan, I asked Ms. Williams about this, about if she had ever accessed without authorization a fellow employee's computer system. She answered no to the question.

Have you ever accessed anyone's computer system at the NSC without authorization?

VINDMAN: Without their knowledge? No.

NUNES: Knowledge or authorization?

VINDMAN: I'm sorry?

NUNES: Knowledge or authorization? You never accessed someone's computer without their knowledge or authorization?

VINDMAN: Correct.

NUNES: Mr. Jordan?

JORDAN: I thank the ranking member.

Colonel, I want to thank you for your service and sacrifice to our great country. This afternoon, your -- your former boss, Mr. Morrison, is going to be sitting right where you're sitting and he's going to testify. And I want to give you a chance -- I think we're bringing you a copy -- I want to give you a chance to respond to some of the things Mr. Morrison said in his deposition, page 82 of the transcript from Mr. Morrison.

Mr. Morrison said this, "I had concerns about Lieutenant Colonel Vindman's judgment. Among the discussions I had with Dr. Hill and the transition was our team, its strength, its weaknesses. And Fiona and others had raised concerns about Alex's judgment."

When Mr. Morris (sic) was asked by Mr. Castor, "Did anyone ever bring concerns to you that they believe Colonel Vindman may have leaked something, Mr. Morrison replied, 'Yes.'"

So your boss had concerns about your judgment. Your former boss, Dr. Hill, had concerns about your judgment. Your colleagues had concerns about your judgment. And your colleagues felt that there were times when you leaked information. Any idea why they have those impressions, Colonel Vindman?

VINDMAN: Yes, Representative Jordan. I guess I'll -- I'll start by reading Dr. Hill's own words as she -- she attested to in my last evaluation that was dated middle of July, right before she left.

"Alex is a top 1 percent military officer and the best Army officer I have worked with in my 15 years of government service. He is brilliant, unflappable and exercises excellent judgment..."

JORDAN: So it was...

VINDMAN: I'm sorry...

JORDAN: OK, I'm sorry.

VINDMAN: "... exemplary during numerous visits," so forth and so on. But I think you get the idea.

Mr. Morrison...

(UNKNOWN): (OFF-MIKE)

VINDMAN: The date -- yeah, the date of that was -- yeah, let's see -- I'm sorry -- July 13th.

So, Mr. Jordan, I would say that I can't say what Mr. Morrison -- why Mr. Morrison questioned my judgment. We had only recently started working together. He's -- he wasn't there very long and we were just trying to figure out our relationship. Maybe it was a different cultures, military culture versus...

JORDAN: And, Colonel, you never leaked information?

VINDMAN: I never did, never would. That is -- that is preposterous that I would do that.

JORDAN: OK.

Colonel, it's it's interesting. We deposed a lot of people in the bunker and the basement of the Capitol over the last several weeks, but of all those depositions, only three of the individuals we deposed were actually on the now somewhat famous July 25th phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky. There was you. There was the individual sitting beside you, Ms. Williams, and then were, of course, was your boss, Mr. Morrison, who I just read from his deposition.

When we asked Ms. Williams who she spoke to after the call about the call, she was willing to answer our questions and Chairman Schiff allowed her to answer her questions. When we asked Mr. Morrison who he spoke to after the call about the call, he was willing to answer our question and Mr. Schiff allowed -- Chairman Schiff allowed him to answer our question.

But when we asked you, you first told us three individuals at the NSC, your brother and the two lawyers. And then you said there was a group of other people you communicated with, but you would only give us one individual in that group, Secretary Kent. And the chairman would only allow you to give us that name. When we asked you who else you communicated with, you would not tell us.

So I want to know first how many other people are in that group of people you communicated with outside the four individuals I just named?

VINDMAN: Mr. Jordan, on a call readout, certainly after the first call, there were probably half a dozen or more people that I read out. Those are people with the proper clearance and the need to know. In this case, because of the sensitivity of the call and Mr. Eisenberg told me not to speak to anybody else, I only read out, outside of the NSC, two individuals.

JORDAN: Two individuals.

VINDMAN: DASS Kent and one other person.

JORDAN: And you're not willing to tell us who that other individual is?

VOLKOV: Mr. Chairman, point of order?

JORDAN: Mr. Chairman...

VOLKOV: Mr. Chairman, point of order?

SCHIFF: The gentleman will suspend. Counsel?

VOLKOV: Mr. Chairman, I would ask you to enforce the -- the rule with regard to the disclosure with regard to the intelligence officers (ph).

SCHIFF: Thank you, Counsel.

You know, as I indicated before, this committee will not be used to out the whistleblower. That same...

JORDAN: Mr. Chairman, can you...

SCHIFF: ... necessity to protect the whistleblower...

JORDAN: ... first stop the time so I don't lose the time?

SCHIFF: ... will persist.

You are recognized again, Mr. Jordan.

JORDAN: Mr. Chairman, I don't see how this is outing the whistleblower. The witness has testified in his deposition that he doesn't know who the whistleblower is. You have said -- even though no one believes you, you have said you don't know who the whistleblower is, so how is this outing the whistleblower to -- to find out who this individual is?

SCHIFF: Mr. Jordan, this is your time for questioning. You can use it any way you like, but your question should be addressed to the witness...

JORDAN: What I'd like to...

SCHIFF: And your questions should not be addressed to trying to out the whistleblower.

JORDAN: Well, OK. OK.

Colonel Vindman, there's another thing Mr. Morrison told us in his deposition. He said he was not concerned about the call itself. He said there was nothing illegal or improper on the call, but he was concerned about the call leaking, the contents of the call leaking.

(UNKNOWN): Excuse me.

JORDAN: ... He said this, he was concerned, "how it would play out in Washington's polarized environment," how the contents, "would be used in Washington's political process."

(UNKNOWN): Excuse me.

JORDAN: Mr. Morrison was right.

(UNKNOWN): Excuse me, Mr. Jordan. Could I get a page?

JORDAN: Page 44.

(UNKNOWN): Thank you.

JORDAN: Mr. Morrison was right. The call leaks, the whistleblower goes to Chairman Schiff's staff. Then he runs off to the lawyer. The same lawyer who said in January of 2017, the coup has started against President Trump.

The one thing the Democrats didn't -- one thing they didn't count on. One thing they didn't count on was the president releasing the call transcript and letting us all see what he said. They didn't count on that.

The transcript shows no linkage. The two individuals on the call have both said no pressure, no pushing, no linkage with security assistance dollars to an investigation.

Ms. Williams, after the call on the 25th, we know that Colonel Vindman talked to several people. After the call on the 25th, how many people did you talk to about the call?

WILLIAMS: I did not speak to anybody about the call.

JORDAN: Didn't speak to anybody?

WILLIAMS: No.

JORDAN: I yield back.

SCHIFF: Mr. Himes?

HIMES: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to enter the Lieutenant Colonel's performance review into the record.

SCHIFF: May I inquire of Colonel Vindman, whether he would like us to do that. If you would, we're happy to. If you would prefer it not be on the record, I'd leave that to you.

(UNKNOWN): (OFF-MIKE) With redactions...

VINDMAN: Yes, I guess, with redactions. It has PII in it, and that should be protected. And maybe the only elements that are relevant are the -- the actual narrative, chairman...

(CROSSTALK)

SCHIFF: Did you -- did you read the relative portions, or?

VINDMAN: ... I mean, that was the -- the short version. There were some other paragraphs in there, but...

HIMES: Mr. Chairman, I'll -- I'll withdraw my request.

SCHIFF: OK, thank you.

HIMES: Thank you both for your testimony.

Ms. Williams, you joined the Foreign Service in 2006, correct?

WILLIAMS: Correct.

HIMES: Prior to becoming a non-partisan career official, you worked as a field representative for the Bush-Chaney campaign in 2004 and then you held a political appointment in the Department of Homeland Security under Secretary Chertoff. Is that correct?

WILLIAMS: That's correct, sir.

HIMES: And now, as a Foreign Service Officer you have served three presidents, two Republicans and one Democrat, in a variety of roles, correct?

WILLIAMS: Yes, sir.

HIMES: And in your current position, you're detailed from State to advise the vice president on foreign policy towards Europe and Russia, correct?

WILLIAMS: That's right.

HIMES: Ms. Williams, on Sunday the president personally targeted you in a tweet. This is after he targeted Ambassador Yovanovitch during her hearing testimony. I'd like to show and read you the tweet.

It reads, "Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever that is, to read both transcripts of the presidential calls and see the just released statement from Ukraine. Then she should meet with the other Never Trumpers, who I don't know and mostly never even heard of, and work out a better presidential attack."

Ms. Williams, are you engaged in a presidential attack?

WILLIAMS: No, sir.

HIMES: Ms. Williams, are you a Never Trumper?

WILLIAMS: I'm not sure I know an official definition of a Never Trumper. But...

HIMES: Would you describe yourself that way?

WILLIAMS: ... I -- I would not, no.

HIMES: Did that make -- did that tweet make an impression on you when you read it?

WILLIAMS: It certainly surprised me. I was not expecting to -- to be called out by name.

HIMES: It surprised me, too. And it looks an awful lot like witness intimidation and tampering, in an effect -- and in an effort to try to get you to perhaps to shape your testimony today.

Lieutenant Colonel, you previously testified that you've dedicated your entire professional life to the United States of America.

Colonel, above your left-breast you are wearing a device, which is a Springfield musket on a blue field. What is that device?

VINDMAN: It's a Combat Infantryman's Badge.

HIMES: How do you get the Combat Infantryman's Badge?

VINDMAN: You have to be serving in a brigade and below a tactical unit -- that means a fighting unit, a frontline unit, in combat.

HIMES: Under fire?

VINDMAN: Correct.

HIMES: You're also wearing a Purple Heart. Can you tell us in 20 or 30 seconds why you're wearing a Purple Heart?

VINDMAN: In 2014, in the ramp-up to probably the largest urban operations -- urban operation in decades outside of Fallujah, we were conducting a reconnaissance patrol in conjunction with the Marines. And my vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device that penetrated the armor.

HIMES: Were you injured?

VINDMAN: I was.

HIMES: The day after you appeared for your deposition, lieutenant colonel, President Trump called you a Never Trumper. Colonel Vindman, would you call yourself a Never Trumper?

VINDMAN: Representative, I'd call myself never partisan.

HIMES: Thank you.

Colonel Vindman, in your military career you've served under four presidents, two Democrats and two Republicans. Have you ever waivered from the oath you took to support and defend the Constitution?

VINDMAN: Never.

HIMES: You have any political motivations for your appearance here today?

VINDMAN: None.

HIMES: Colonel Vindman, multiple right-wing conspiracy theorists including Rudy Giuliani have accused you of harboring loyalty towards Ukraine. They make these accusations based only on the fact that your family, like many American families, immigrated to the United States. They've accused you of espionage and dual loyalties.

We've seen that in this room this morning. The three minutes that were spent asking you about the offer made to make you the minister of defense, that may have come cloaked in a Brooks Brothers suit and in parliamentary language, but that was designed exclusively to give the right-wing media an opening to question your loyalties.

And I -- I want people to understand what that was all about. It's the kind of attack -- it's the kind of thing you say when you're defending the indefensible. It's what you say when it's not enough to attack the media, the way the ranking member gave over his opening statement or to attack the Democrats, but it's what you stoop to when the indefensibility of your case requires that you attack a man who is wearing a Springfield rifle on a field of blue above a Purple Heart.

I, sir, thank you for your serve and yield back the balance of my time.

SCHIFF: Mr. Conaway.

CONAWAY: Thank you. Mr. Chairman, I yield my five minutes to Mr. Ratcliffe.

RATCLIFFE: I thank the gentleman for yielding.

In a press conference last Thursday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, said that President Trump committed the impeachable offense of bribery, evidenced in his July 25th call transcript with President Zelensky.

In concert with that, multiple Democratic members of this Committee gave TV and radio interviews over this past week discussing how the president's conduct support his impeachment for committing bribery. All of which struck me as very odd, because for the longest time this was all about quid pro quo, according to the whistleblower complaint.

But after witness, after witness, began saying there was no quid pro quo or even that quid pro quo was not even possible, we saw a shift from the Democrats. They briefly started to refer to the president's conduct on the July 25th call as extortion.

And now, it's shifted again, last week, to bribery. Ms. Williams, you used the word unusual to describe the president's call last -- or on July 25th. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, you used the word inappropriate, improper.

Now, I've word searched each of your transcripts, and the word bribery or bribe doesn't appear anywhere in that.

Ms. Williams, you didn't -- you've never used the word "bribery" or "bribe" to explain President Trump's conduct, correct?

WILLIAMS: No, sir.

RATCLIFFE: Colonel Vindman, you haven't either?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

RATCLIFFE: The problem is, in an impeachment inquiry that the speaker of the House says is all about bribery, where bribery is the impeachable offense, no witness has used the word "bribery" to describe President Trump's conduct, none of them.

These aren't all of the deposition transcripts. These are just the 10 that have been released: six weeks of witness interviews in this impeachment inquiry, hundreds of hours of testimony, thousands of questions asked, thousands of answers given.

The number of times that witnesses have been asked any question about whether or not President Trump's conduct constituted bribery before Ambassador Yovanovitch was asked by my colleague Congressman Stewart last Thursday, is zero. The number of times witnesses have used the word "bribery" or "bribe" to describe President Trump's conduct in the last six weeks of this inquiry is zero.

In fact, in these 3,500 pages of sworn deposition testimony in just these 10 transcripts released thus far, the word "bribery" appears in these 3,500 pages exactly one time. And ironically, it appears not in a description of President Trump's alleged conduct; it appears in a description of Vice President Biden's alleged conduct.

This is important because as early as next week, my Democratic colleagues are going to say, we need to vote on the evidence from this impeachment inquiry, on the impeachment of the president for bribery. And they're going to send a report to the Judiciary Committee. And because there's more Democrats than Republicans, it's going to likely pass.

And when that happens, the American people need to be clear that when the Democrats, what they are describing as bribery, not a single witness is describing as bribery.

We've heard many times in the course of this proceeding, that the facts of the president are not in dispute. But the American people are asking if the facts are the same, why do the crimes that the president is being accused of keep changing? Why do we go from quid pro quo to extortion, now to bribery?

Chairman Nunes told you the answer. The answer is polling. Washington Times asked Americans what would be the most damning accusation. And it didn't come back quid pro quo, it didn't come back extortion. It came back bribery. So this case is all about bribery.

Look, it's bad enough that the Democrats have forbidden White House lawyers from participating in this proceeding. It's hard enough to defend yourself without your lawyers present. But what's even worse is trying to defend yourself against an accusation that keeps changing in the middle of the proceeding.

If Democrats accuse the president of high crime or impeachable offense, he at least ought to know which one it is. And when Speaker Pelosi says this is all about bribery, she's promised us evidence of bribery that would be compelling and overwhelming. And instead, it's invisible.

I yield back.

SCHIFF: Ms. Sewell?

SEWELL: Mr. Chairman, I'd like to join everyone in thanking both of our witnesses for your service.

Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, as part of your policy portfolio in the White House, you maintain a relationship with Ukrainian officials, do you not?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

SEWELL: You explained, earlier in your testimony, that your job within the White House was to coordinate United States and Ukraine policy. Is that right?

VINDMAN: It is to coordinate United States policy vis-a-vis Ukraine, correct.

SEWELL: You testified in the spring of this year that these officials, these Ukrainian officials began asking you, quote, "advice on how to respond to Mr. Giuliani's advances," end quote. Is that correct?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

SEWELL: What do you understand they meant by "Mr. Giuliani's advances"?

VINDMAN: I understood that to mean both his public commentary, so publicly calling for investigations into 2016, Burisma and Hunter Biden as well as his direct overtures to the government of Ukraine, directly and through proxies. That's what I understood.

SEWELL: And as you understand it, under whose authority do you think Mr. Giuliani was acting under?

VINDMAN: Congresswoman, I don't know.

SEWELL: Did the Ukrainian officials you spoke to understand that Mr. Giuliani was telling them to investigate Vice President Biden's son and debunk the 2016 conspiracy theories?

VINDMAN: I'm sorry. Can you say that again, ma'am?

SEWELL: Do you think that the Ukrainian officials that you spoke to understood the underlining meaning of -- of Mr. Giuliani's advances to be both investigating the Bidens as well as debunking the 2016 conspiracy theories?

VINDMAN: Yes. I think -- to be clear, I think you're referring to debunking that it was a Russian interference...

SEWELL: Exactly.

VINDMAN: ... and...

SEWELL: Now, was this...

VINDMAN: ... somehow implicating themselves (ph) that it was Ukrainian, interference, I'm not sure.

SEWELL: Exactly.

Now, was this official U.S. foreign policy, to push for investigation into the Bidens?

VINDMAN: It was not part of any process that I participated in.

SEWELL: Now, Ms. Williams, do you agree that pressing these two investigations was inconsistent with official U.S. Ukraine policy?

WILLIAMS: Obviously, anti-corruption reforms is a big part of our policy.

SEWELL: I...

WILLIAMS: I understand. I was not in a position to determine whether these particular investigations were appropriate.

SEWELL: That's fair.

Colonel, is it true that President Trump directed the Ukrainian president on the call on July 25th, to work with Mr. Giuliani on these investigations?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

SEWELL: In fact, Mr. Giuliani has made no secret of the fact that he is acting on behalf of President Trump. As Mr. Giuliani told The New York Times -- and I'm going to put this on the screen -- he told them, quote, "My only client is the president of the United States. He's the one I have the obligation to report to. Tell him -- and to tell him what happens."

He added that the investigations would be, quote, "very, very helpful to my client and may turn out to be helpful to my government," end quote.

Colonel, is it fair to say that Ukrainian officials that you are, on a daily basis -- well, you're in contact with, given your portfolio, were concerned about Mr. Giuliani's advances?

VINDMAN: Yes, they were.

SEWELL: In your assessment, did they understand the political nature of the request being asked of them?

VINDMAN: I believe they did.

SEWELL: Did they understand that it was affecting U.S. domestic policy?

VINDMAN: I'm not sure what they frankly understood about U.S.... (CROSSTALK)

SEWELL: Had (ph) you...

VINDMAN: ... I think...

SEWELL: ... just (ph)...

VINDMAN: ... they understood the implications, yes.

SEWELL: Now, you testified earlier that you warned the Ukrainians not to get involved in U.S. domestic policy, is that right?

VINDMAN: I counseled them, yes.

SEWELL: Counseled them.

In fact, you testified that -- that they -- they -- that you felt like it was important that you were espousing not just what you thought, but -- but tradition and policy of the United States, to say that?

VINDMAN: It is what I knew for a fact to be U.S. policy.

SEWELL: Now, why do you think it's important for foreign governments not to get involved in political affairs of a nation like the United States?

VINDMAN: Congresswoman, the first thought that comes to mind is a Russian interference in 2016. The impact that had on internal politics and the consequences it had for Russia itself...

SEWELL: Exactly.

VINDMAN: This administration enforced sanctions -- heavy sanctions against Russia for their interference that would not be in U.S. policy...

SEWELL: and so Mr. -- Mr. Colonel, I'm running out of time.

VINDMAN: I understand.

SEWELL: Is it -- is it normal for a private citizen, anon-U.S. government official to get involved in foreign policy and foreign affairs like Mr. Giuliani?

VINDMAN: I do not know if I have the experience to say that but certainly wasn't helpful and it didn't help advance U.S. national security interests.

SEWELL: Thank you Mr. Chairman. I yield back.

SCHIFF: Mr. Turner.

TURNER: Ms. Williams, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, I want to thank you also for your service. Your knowledge and expertise is incredibly important as we look to formulating policy with both our allies and to try to counter those who are not our allies. I think we're all very concerned about an European policy and how it can thwart Russian aggression. Ms. Williams, and you are responsible as you said as part of your portfolio you advise the vice president about Ukraine. Correct?

WILLIAMS: Correct.

TURNER: Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, you said that you are the principal -- in your opening you say you are the principal advisor to the president on Ukraine and you are coordinate U.S.-Ukraine policy. Correct?

VINDMAN: Congressman, I -- in this statement I issued this morning I probably eased that back. I took that off my job description that I have on my eval but I certainly spend much more time advising ambassador than I did the president. I had no contact(ph).

TURNER: But your statement as you submitted it and read it today says, At the NSC I am the principal advisor to the National Security Advisor and the president on Ukraine. Correct?

VINDMAN: That is not what I read into the transcript. That might have been what I had in there yesterday when I was drafting it but I chose to ease back on that language even though it was in my evaluation just because I didn't to overstate my role.

TURNER: But you wrote what I just read.

VINDMAN: But Congressman, what I'm saying is what I read into the record this morning didn't say that.

TURNER: OK. Noted. Because you know Ukraine, you know that we work through our allies and our multilateral relations and you know that Ukraine is an aspiring member of the E.U. and NATO, right Ms. Williams?

WILLIAMS: Yes, that's correct.

TURNER: Lieutenant Colonel Vindman?

VINDMAN: Yes, that's correct.

TURNER: And you know that probably that the E.U. and the NATO and NATO both have offices in the Ukraine and that we try to advance our policy with the E.U. and NATO and you would agree that our Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Ambassador Sondland would be responsible for advancing our policy interests with Ukraine at the E.U. and at NATO. Right Ms. Williams?

WILLIAMS: I would say that certainly in terms of this specific relationship between NATO and Ukraine, that would fall to Ambassador Hutchinson and between the E.U. and Ukraine to Ambassador Sondland but obviously we have an ambassador in Ukraine as well.

TURNER: Right. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, you would agree?

VINDMAN: I -- I agree with Ms. Williams.

TURNER: Great. Now Lieutenant Colonel you said in your written statement that Mayor Rudolph Giuliani promoted false information that undermined the United States Ukraine policy. Have you ever met Giuliani?

VINDMAN: Just to be again accurate I said false narrative just because that's what I said in the record this morning but I have not met him.

TURNER: And so you've never had a conversation with him about Ukraine or been in a meeting where him -- with him where he has spoken to others about Ukraine?

VINDMAN: No, just what I saw him -- his comments on TV...

TURNER: So news reports?

VINDMAN: ... and the news. Yes.

TURNER: And similarly you've never met the President of the United States, right?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

TURNER: So you've never advised the President of the United States on Ukraine?

VINDMAN: I advised him indirectly. I made all his preparations for the calls and...

TURNER: But you've never spoken to the president and told him advice on Ukraine?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

TURNER: So on your -- in your written statement, you said in May I attended the inauguration of President Zelensky as part of the president delegation led by Secretary Perry. Following the visit the members of the delegation provide President Trump a debriefing. Well, that's not really accurate, right? Because the members didn't because you were a member but you weren't in that meeting were you?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

TURNER: OK, so we'll just have a note there that that meeting occurred without you. Now you do know that this impeachment inquiry is about the President of the United States don't you Lieutenant Colonel Vindman?

VINDMAN: I do representative.

TURNER: Excellent. Now you've said that you're responsible for coordinating U.S -- Ukranian policy?

VINDMAN: Correct.

TURNER: Does the Secretary of State Pompeo report to you?

VINDMAN: He does not.

TURNER: Ambassador Volker?

VINDMAN: He does not, we coordinate.

TURNER: Ambassador of Ukraine, E.U., NATO, Assistant Secretary for Europe, anyone at DOD report to you with respect to your responsibilities of -- of coordinating U.S. policy with Ukraine?

VINDMAN: Congressman, at my level I convene what's called a Sub-Policy Coordinating Committee. That's Deputy Assistant Secretary. I coordinate with -- I chair those meetings and...

TURNER: Does anybody need your approval in your role on Ukraine policy to formulate Ukraine policy? Do they seek your approval?

VINDMAN: According to the NSPM-4, the policy signed by the president...

TURNER: So he gets to do it.

VINDMAN: Policy should be coordinated...

TURNER: He gets to do it.

VINDMAN: ...by NSC, correct. We help advise.

TURNER: Ms. Williams, do you have any information that any person who has testified as part of this impeachment inquiry either in secret or in public has either perjured themselves or lied to this committee?

WILLIAMS: I have not read the other testimonies and I...

TURNER: So you do not -- do you have any evidence though that they have perjured themselves or lied?

WILLIAMS: No because I have not read them.

TURNER: Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, do you have any evidence that anyone who has testified before this committee in the impeachment inquiry has perjured themselves or lied this committee?

VINDMAN: Not that I am aware of.

TURNER: I yield back.

SCHIFF: Mr. Carson.

CARSON: Thank you Chairman Schiff. I yield to the Chairman.

SCHIFF: I thank the gentleman for yielding. I wanted to just make one point clear for folks that are watching the hearing today. Bribery does involve a quid pro quo. Bribery involves the conditioning of an official act for something of value. An official act may be a White House meeting. An official act may be $400 million in military aid and something of value to a president might include investigations of their political rival.

The reason we don't ask witnesses that are fact witnesses to make the judgment about whether a crime of bribery has been committed or whether more significantly the -what the founders had in mind when they itemized bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors is your fact witnesses, it will be our job to decide whether the impeachable act of bribery has occurred. That's why we don't ask you those questions. For one thing, you're also not aware of all the other facts that have been adduced during the investigation. With that I yield back to Mr. Carson.

CARSON: Thank you Chairman. Thank you both for your service. Colonial Vindman, you were in a July 10 White House meeting in Ambassador Bolton's office. Isn't that right, sir?

VINDMAN: I'm sorry. Could you say that again?

CARSON: You were in a July 10 White House meeting with Ambassador Bolton?

VINDMAN: Correct.

CARSON: In that meeting the Ukrainians asked about when they would get their Oval Office meeting and Ambassador Sondland replied that they need to quote, speak about Ukraine delivering specific investigations in order to secure a meeting with the president, end quote. Is that correct, sir?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

CARSON: Colonel Vindman, did you later learn why Ambassador Bolton cut the meeting short?

VINDMAN: I did.

CARSON: After Ambassador Bolton ended that meeting, sir, some of the group that attended a follow on meeting in a different room in the White House called the Ward(ph) Room. Is that correct, sir?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

CARSON: And Ambassador Solomon was there with the senior Ukrainian officials. Is that correct?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

CARSON: Did NSC lawyers tell you to come directly to them sir, if you had any other concerns after July 10th?

VINDMAN: They said -- said that -- I believe the words were something to the effect of, if you have any other concerns, feel free to come back.

CARSON: In -- in this follow-on meeting, sir, Ambassador Sondland left, in your words, "no ambiguity" about what specific investigations he was requesting. Ambassador Sondland made clear that he was requesting an investigation of Vice President Joe Biden's son, isn't that correct, sir?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

CARSON: And he stated that he was asking these requests in coordination with Chief of Staff, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, correct, sir?

VINDMAN: That is what I heard him say.

CARSON: Colonel, in your career, had you ever before witnessed an American official request that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen who is related to the president's political opponent?

VINDMAN: I have not.

CARSON: And Colonel, you immediately raised concerns about this, correct, sir?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

CARSON: What exactly happened?

VINDMAN: After I reported it to the -- I'm sorry. Oh, you -- I'm -- I'm sorry. Could you say that again? I apologize.

CARSON: You raised concerns about this, correct, sir?

VINDMAN: Correct.

CARSON: What happened?

VINDMAN: To the -- to Ambassador Sondland, if I understood you correctly, I stated that it was inappropriate and had nothing to do with national security policy.

CARSON: Did you also raise concern that -- that day with White House lawyers?

VINDMAN: I did.

CARSON: What did you tell them?

VINDMAN: I reported the same thing that I -- I reported the content of the conversation with Ambassador Sondland. At that point, I wasn't aware that Dr. Hill had a -- had a conversation with Ambassador Bolton, so I just related what I had -- what -- what I experienced to -- to the attorney, lead legal counsel.

CARSON: As we are now aware, sir, Ambassador Bolton expressed his concerns and instructed Dr. Fiona Hill, your supervisor, to also meet with the same White House lawyers to tell them what happened. Colonel Vindman, I agree that there is no question that Ambassador Sondland was proposing a transaction to Ukrainian officials trading White House meetings for specific investigations with the full awareness of the president's chief of staff, White House attorneys and his national security advisor. In my view, sir, that's appalling.

Thank you both for your service. I yield back to the chairman.

SCHIFF: Thank the gentleman.

I would just point out, as well, that when the matter does move to the Judiciary Committee, and no decision has been made about the ultimate resolution, the White House, through its counsel, will have the opportunity to submit -- make a submission to the Judiciary Committee.

I now turn to Dr. Wenstrup.

WENSTRUP: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, thank you very much for being here. As an Army colonel who served a year in Iraq, I appreciate your service and the sacrifice that you made during that time, and I know the environment.

And I understand and appreciate the importance of chain of command. In your deposition, you emphasize the importance of chain in command. You were a direct report to Dr. Fiona Hill, and then Mr. Tim Morrison, and they were your seniors, correct?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

WENSTRUP: When you had concerns about the 7/25 call between the two presidents, you didn't go to Mr. Morrison about that, did you?

VINDMAN: I immediately went to John Eisenberg, the lead legal counsel.

WENSTRUP: So that doesn't seem like change (sic) of command. So in the...

VINDMAN: But that's not...

WENSTRUP: So in the -- in the deposition with Mr. Morrison on page 58 to 60...

(UNKNOWN): I'm sorry. Could he answer the question, please?

SCHIFF: Congressman, excuse me.

(UNKNOWN): Mr. Chair...

SCHIFF: Please allow Colonel Vindman to answer.

VINDMAN: Yeah. So I reported it to John Eisenberg. I attempted to report it to Mr. Morrison. I...

WENSTRUP: OK, thank you.

VINDMAN: He didn't -- he didn't avail himself, and at that point, I was told not to -- to (inaudible)

WENSTRUP: Well, he did avail himself, and I'll get into that.

SCHIFF: Will you please allow the witness to -- to finish? Colonel, are you finished with your answer?

VINDMAN: Yes. Thank you.

SCHIFF: Thank you.

WENSTRUP: OK. In your -- in the Morrison deposition on page 58 to 60, the question was, "Do you know if anyone else on the call went Eisenberg to express concerns?" And your answer -- and the answer was, "I learned, based on today's proceedings, based on open-source reporting, which I have no firsthand knowledge, that other personnel did raise concerns." Question: "Who?" "Based on open source without firsthand knowledge, Alex Vindman, on my -- on -- Alex Vindman, on my staff." The question then, "And he reports to you, correct? Answer: "He does."

Lieutenant Colonel Vindman's direct report was Mr. Morrison, and it didn't happen. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, in your deposition, page 96, the question was, "OK, after the call on 7/25, do you have any discussions with Mr. Morrison about your concerns?" Answer: "After the call, I -- well, per the -- per the exercise and the chain of command and expressing (ph), I immediately went to the senior NSC legal counsel and shared those concerns." That would be Mr. Eisenberg, correct?

VINDMAN: I'm sorry. My -- my lawyers was talking. Could you say that again, please, Doctor?

WENSTRUP: You went to Mr. Eisenberg. You've already said that...

VINDMAN: Yes.

WENSTRUP: ... so we can go on. And you are not a JAG officer. You're not a lawyer, and on page 153 of -- of your testimony deposition, in reference to that meeting with Mr. Eisenberg you said, "I was not making a legal judgment. All I was doing is sharing my concerns with my chain of command," yet we've established that your direct report is to Mr. Morrison. So let's establish your role and your title.

In your deposition, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, page 200, 201 in a colloquy with Mr. Stewart, you said, "I would say first of all, I'm the director for Ukraine. I'm responsible for Ukraine. I'm the most knowledgeable and -- and I'm -- for the -- the National Security Council and -- and the White House." Are you the only one of -- of the entire universe of our government or otherwise that can advise the president on Ukraine? Couldn't someone like Ms. Williams also advise on Ukraine? It's in her portfolio.

VINDMAN: That's not typically what would happen. It would be -- frankly, it would be Ambassador Bolton that (inaudible)

WENSTRUP: So other -- so other people can advise on Ukraine besides you.

Going on in your testimony you said, "I understand all the nuances, the contexts and so forth surrounding these issues. I, on my judgment, went. I expressed concerns within the chain of command, which I think to me as a military officer is completely appropriate, and I exercised that chain of command."

Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, in your deposition, page 259, you said, "I forwarded my concerns through the chain of command, and the seniors then decide the action to take." Mr. Morrison's your senior. He didn't know about it. How can he decide an action to take? But that's what you said.

In Mr. Morrison's deposition, page 60, the question is, "At what point did you learn that Lieutenant Colonel Vindman went to Eisenberg." You said -- he said, "About the 25th phone call?" He said, "Yes. In the course of reviewing for this proceeding, reviewing the open record."

So the question -- next question: "So Eisenberg never came to you and relate to you the conversation?" He said, "No." He said, "And Ellis (ph) never did, either?" "Not to the best of my recollection."

So Mr. Morrison was skipped in your chain of command about your other concerns. So Mr. Morrison said he's the final clearing authority. He said he saw your edits. "Do you remember if all of the edits were incorporated?" And he said, "Yes. I accepted all of them." That's on page 61, 62.

So he believes all your edits were accepted. Let me ask you, were -- in your edits did you insist that the word demand be put into the transcription between the conversation of the two presidents?

VINDMAN: I did not.

WENSTRUP: But you did say that in your opening statement today.

Thank you, and I yield back.

SCHIFF: Ms. Speier?

SPEIER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you both for your testimony and your service.

Colonel Vindman, wasn't it the case that Mr. Eisenberg, the attorney, had said to you after the July 5th meeting, that you should come to him if you have any other concerns?

VINDMAN: After the July 10th meeting, yes, ma'am, that is correct.

SPEIER: And it is not going outside the chain of command to speak to the lawyer within the institution, is that correct?

VINDMAN: No, he is the senior between the two, certainly.

SPEIER: All right. Our colleagues on the other side of the aisle have been complaining about other witnesses having only secondhand information. But in both your cases, you have firsthand information because you were on the July 25th phone call. Is that correct?

WILLIAMS: That's correct.

VINDMAN: That is correct.

SPEIER: Now, Colonel, you in your comments today said, "I want to state that the vile character attacks on these distinguished and honorable public servants is reprehensible." Would you like to expand on that at all?

VINDMAN: Ma'am, I think they stand on their own. I don't think it's necessary to expand on it.

SPEIER: So in both your situations, since you have given depositions, since those depositions have been made public, have you seen your experience in your respective jobs changed or have you been treated any differently?

WILLIAMS: I have not, no.

VINDMAN: Since the report on the July 25th, as I stated, I did notice I was being excluded from several meetings that would have been appropriate for my position.

SPEIER: So in some respects, then, there have been reprisals?

VINDMAN: I'm not sure if I can make that judgment. I could say that it was out of the course of normal affairs to not have me participate in some of these events.

SPEIER: Thank you.

In preparation for the July 25th phone call, it's standard for the National Security Council to provide talking points. Is that correct?

VINDMAN: Correct.

SPEIER: Because the words of the president carry incredible weight, is that not correct?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

SPEIER: So it's important to ensure that everyone has carefully considered the implications of what the president might say to a foreign leader?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

SPEIER: Colonel Vindman, you are the National Security Council's director for Ukraine. Did you participate in preparing the talking points for the president's call?

VINDMAN: I did. I prepared them.

SPEIER: So you prepared them, they were then reviewed and edited by multiple senior officers at the NSC and the White House, is that correct?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

SPEIER: Did the talking points for the president contain any discussion of investigations into the 2016 election, the Bidens or Burisma?

VINDMAN: They did not.

SPEIER: Are you aware of any written product from the National Security Council suggesting that investigations into the 2016 election, the Bidens or Burisma are part of the official policy of the United States?

VINDMAN: No, I am not.

SPEIER: Some of President Trump's allies have suggested that the president requested these investigations for official policy reasons as part of some plan to root out corruption in Ukraine. In your experience, did the official policies of the United States include asking Ukraine to specifically open investigations into the Bidens and interference by Ukraine in the 2016 election?

VINDMAN: Nothing that we prepared or had discussed up until that point included any of these elements.

SPEIER: Would it ever be U.S. policy in your experience to ask a foreign leader to open a political investigation?

VINDMAN: There are proper procedures in which to do that. Certainly the president is well within his right to do that. It is not something the NSC, certainly a director at the NSC, would do. As a matter of fact, we are prohibited from being involved in any transaction between the Department of Justice and a foreign -- and a foreign power to ensure that there is no perception of manipulation from the White House. So it is not something that we participate in.

SPEIER: Ms. Williams, in your experience, did the official policies of the United States include asking Ukraine to open investigations into the Bidens?

WILLIAMS: I had not seen any reference to those particular cases in our policy formulation process.

SPEIER: All right. Let me just say to you, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, that in listening to your opening statement, I had chills up and down my spine. And I think most Americans recognize what an extraordinary hero you are to our country and I would say to your father, he did well.

I yield back.

SCHIFF: Mr. Stewart?

STEWART: Thank you.

Ms. Williams, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, thanks (ph) to both of you for being here today.

Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, I see you're wearing your dress uniform. Knowing that's not the uniform of the day, that you normally wear a suit to the White House, I think it's a great reminder of your military service.

I too come from a military family. These are my father's Air Force wings. He was a pilot in World War II. Five of his sons served in the military. So as one military family to another, thank you and your brothers for your service, your example here.

I'd very quickly -- I'm curious, when Ranking Member Nunes referred to you as Mr. Vindman, you quickly corrected him and wanted to be called Lieutenant Colonel Vindman. Do you always insist on civilians calling you by your rank?

VINDMAN: Mr. Stewart, Representative Stewart, I'm in uniform, wearing my military rank. I just thought it was appropriate to stick with that...

STEWART: Well...

VINDMAN: ... because -- I'm sorry, Mr. Stewart...

STEWART: ... I'm sure (ph) -- I'm assure you he meant no...

VINDMAN: ... I apologize. Because...

STEWART: ... disrespect.

VINDMAN: ... I don't believe he did. But the attacks that I've had in the press, in -- in Twitter, have kind of eliminated the fact that -- either marginalizing me as a military officer, or...

STEWART: Listen, I just...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: ... I'm just -- I'm just telling you that the ranking member meant no disrespect to you.

VINDMAN: I believe that.

STEWART: I'd like to go back to your previous testimony earlier today. Much has been talked about, as we've discussed, between the -- President Trump and President Zelensky and the world "favor," and this being interpreted as a basis for impeachment.

And your interpretation of the word "favor" -- and I'll paraphrase you, and you -- feel free to correct me -- you said, "In the military culture," which you and I are both familiar with, "when a superior officer asks for a favor of a subordinate, they will interpret that as a demand." Is that a fair synopsis of what you previously stated?

VINDMAN: Representative, when a superior makes a request, that's an order.

STEWART: OK. In short, then, you think your interpretation of a favor as a demand is based on your military experience and the military culture?

VINDMAN: I think that is correct.

STEWART: I think that is correct. Is President Trump a member of the military?

VINDMAN: He is not.

STEWART: Has he ever served in the military?

VINDMAN: Not that I'm aware of.

STEWART: Is President Zelensky a member of the military?

VINDMAN: I don't (ph)...

STEWART: The answer is no.

VINDMAN: ... believe so, I don't know.

STEWART: He's not. Would it be fair, then, to take a person who has never served in the military and to take your re-evaluation of their words based on your military experience and your military culture, and to attack that culture and that meaning of those words to someone who has never served?

VINDMAN: Representative, I made that judgment. I stick by that judgment.

STEWART: OK. Well, I've got to tell you, I think it's nonsense. Look, I was in the military. I could distinguish between a favor and an order and a demand, and so could my subordinates. And I think President Zelensky did as well. He never initiated an investigation. In fact, he's been very clear. He said, I never felt any pressure at all.

So you interpreted the word "favor," but the two people who were speaking to each other did not interpret that as a demand. It was your interpretation. Is that fair?

VINDMAN: The context of this call, consistent with the July 10th -- July 10th meeting with the reporting that was going on, including the president's personal attorney, made it clear that this was not simply a request.

STEWART: Well, that's not true at all.

VINDMAN: It made it...

STEWART: It's not clear at all. You say it makes it clear. It's not clear at all. And the two individuals who were talking to each other didn't interpret it that way.

I'd like to go on to discuss your reaction to the phone call and, again, your previous testimony. And for brevity, and for clarity, I'm going to refer to your previous testimony, page 155. Your attorney is welcome to follow along.

Quoting you, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, "I did not know whether this was a crime or anything of that nature. I thought it was wrong."

And I'd like to key on the word "wrong" here, because we're going to come back to that. "In my mind, did I consider this factor that could have been other implications? Yes. But it wasn't the basis of, I don't know, lodging a criminal complaint or anything like that."

Then you go on to talk about policy concerns and moral and ethical judgments. So your concerns regarding this phone call were not legal. They were based on moral, ethical and policy differences.

Let me ask you then -- and what you thought were wrong, to use your word. You said this "was wrong" -- not illegal but wrong.

There are, as I've stated previous, sitting here a couple days ago, there are dozens of corrupt nations in the world, hundreds of corrupt government officials. Exactly one time did a vice president go to a nation and demand the specific firing of one individual and give a six-hour time limit and withhold or threaten to withhold $1 billion in aid if not. It was the one individual who was investigating a company that was paying his son. So I'll ask you, was that also wrong?

VINDMAN: I -- that is not what I understand -- I, frankly, don't have any firsthand knowledge of that...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: You have not seen a video?

VINDMAN: I've -- I've seen the video. I've seen bits of it.

STEWART: That's all I described is the video. Everything I just said to you was in the video. Was that wrong as well?

VINDMAN: Congressman, this is something I actually participated in, I witnessed; that, I don't know...

STEWART: Well, I think the American people can make a judgment...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: ... that, too.

SCHIFF: The time of the gentleman has expired.

Colonel Vindman, if you'd like to answer the question, you're more than welcome to.

VINDMAN: I frankly don't know any -- that much more about that particular incident. I saw the snippet of the video, but I don't know if I could make a judgment off that.

SCHIFF: Thank you.

Mr. Quigley?

QUIGLEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Colonel, it's one thing to ask somebody a favor like, "Hey, go pick up my dry cleaning," and it's another when the commander in chief of the most powerful Army in the world asks an ally who's in a vulnerable position to do him a favor, is it not?

VINDMAN: Yes.

QUIGLEY: Let me go back to that military assistance, if I could. Ms. Williams, again, when do you first learn that security assistance was being held up, the nearly $400 million that was referenced?

WILLIAMS: July 3rd.

QUIGLEY: And were you aware of any additional, or did you attend any additional meetings in which that military assistance being withheld was discussed?

WILLIAMS: I did. I attended meetings on July 23rd and July 26th where the security assistance hold was discussed. I believe it may have also been discussed on July 31st.

QUIGLEY: And at that point did anyone provide a specific reason for the hold?

WILLIAMS: In those meetings the OMB representative reported that the assistance was being held at the direction of the White House chief of staff.

QUIGLEY: And did they give reasons beyond that it was being withheld by the White House chief of staff?

WILLIAMS: Not specifically. The reason given was that there was an ongoing review whether the -- the funding was still in line with administration priorities.

QUIGLEY: Did anyone in any of those meetings or in any other subsequent discussion you had discuss the legality of withholding that aid?

WILLIAMS: There were discussions, I believe in the July 31 meeting and possibly prior as well in terms of defense and state department officials were looking into how they would handle a situation in which earmarked funding from Congress that was designated for Ukraine would be resolved if the funding continued to be held as we approach the end of the fiscal year.

QUIGLEY: And from what you witnessed, did anybody in the national security community support withholding the assistance?

WILLIAMS: No.

QUIGLEY: Colonel, again just for the record, when did you first learn the security assistance was being withheld?

VINDMAN: On or about July 3rd.

QUIGLEY: And what exactly had you learned from the State Department I believe that prompted you to draft the notice on July 3rd.

VINDMAN: So are on or about July 3rd I became aware of inquiries into security assistance funding in general. There are two typical pots -- State Department and DOD, and I believe it was around that date that OMB put a hold on congressional notification.

QUIGLEY: Had you had any earlier indications that this might be the case?

VINDMAN: Prior to that there were -- there were some general inquiries on how the funds were being spent, things like nature; nothing specific, but hold certainly.

QUIGLEY: Were you aware of anyone in the national security community who supported withholding the aid?

VINDMAN: No.

QUIGLEY: No one from the national security?

VINDMAN: None.

QUIGLEY: No one from the State Department?

VINDMAN: Correct.

QUIGLEY: No one from the Department of Defense?

VINDMAN: Correct.

QUIGLEY: Did anyone to your understanding raise the legality of withholding this assistance?

VINDMAN: It was raised on several occasions.

QUIGLEY: And -- and who raised those concerns?

VINDMAN: So following the July 18th sub-PCC, which is again what I coordinate or what I convene at my level. There was a July 23rd PCC that would have been conducted by Mr. Morrison. There were questions raised as to the legality of the hold. Over the subsequent week the issue was analyzed and during the July 26th deputies -- so the deputies from all the departments and agencies there was an opinion rendered that it was legal to put the hold.

QUIGLEY: It was -- excuse me?

VINDMAN: There was an opinion legal -- an opinion rendered that it was OK to -- that the hold was legal.

QUIGLEY: On a purely legal point of view.

VINDMAN: Correct.

QUIGLEY: Very good. I yield back to the Chairman.

SCHIFF. I thank the gentleman for yielding. Ms. Stefanik.

STEFANIK: Ms. Williams, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, thank you for being here and thank you both for your service. As millions of Americans are watching throughout the hysteria and frenzied media coverage, two key facts have not changed that are critical to these impeachment proceedings. One, Ukraine in fact received the aid and two, there was no investigation into the Bidens. My question to both of you today will focus on the following, systemic corruption in Ukraine, two highlighting for the public that by law aid to Ukraine requires anti corruption efforts and three, who in our government has the decision-making authority when it comes to foreign policy and national security matters.

So on corruption in Ukraine, as Ambassador Yovanovitch testified, one of the key reasons why President Zelensky was overwhelmingly elected by the Ukrainian people was that they were finally standing up to rampant corruption in their country. Would you both agree with the ambassador's assessment?

VINDMAN: Yes.

WILLIAMS: Yes.

STEFANIK: And Ms. Williams, corruption was such a critical issue from your perspective that when you prepared the vice president for his congratulatory call with President Zelensky, you testified that the points you wanted to communicate on the call where the following quote, look forward to seeing President Zelensky really implement the agenda on which he had run related anticorruption reforms. That is correct?

WILLIAMS: That is, yes.

STEFANIK: And Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, would you agree that this focus on anticorruption is a critical aspect of our policy towards Ukraine?

VINDMAN: I would.

STEFANIK: And Lieutenant Vindman, you are aware that in 2014 during the Obama Administration, the first anticorruption investigation partnered between the U.S., the U.K. and Ukraine was into the owner of the company, Burisma?

VINDMAN: I'm aware of it now.

STEFANIK: And Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, you testified that you were aware that Burisma had questionable business dealings. That's part of its track record?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

STEFANIK: You also testified that regarding Burisma, money laundering, tax evasion comports with your understanding of how business is done in Ukraine. Is that correct?

VINDMAN: I'm not aware of specific incidents but my understanding is that it would not be out of the realm of the possible for Burisma.

STEFANIK: Well, that's page 207 from your testimony but I'll move on. You are aware that Hunter Biden did sit on the board of Burisma at this time?

VINDMAN: I am.

STEFANIK: Well I know -- I know that my constituents in New York 21 have many concerns about the fact that Hunter Biden, the son of the vice president, sat on the board of a corrupt company like Burisma. The Obama Administration, state Department was also concerned and yet Adam Schiff refuses to allow this committee to call Hunter Biden despite our requests. Every witness who has testified and has been asked this has answered yes. Do you agree that Hunter Biden on the board of Burisma has the potential for the appearance of a conflict of interest?

VINDMAN: Certainly the potential, yes.

STEFANIK: And Ms. Williams?

WILLIAMS: Yes.

STEFANIK: Now shifting to the legal requirements that our aid to Ukraine is conditioned on anticorruption. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, you testified that you understood that Congress had passed under the Ukrainian Security Assistance Initiative, a legal obligation to certify that corruption is being addressed?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

STEFANIK: And you also testified that it is required by the National Defense Authorization Act?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

STEFANIK: So for the public listening, we are not just talking about President Trump focusing on anticorruption in Ukraine, but it is so critical so important that hard-earned taxpayer dollars when given to foreign nations that by law overwhelmingly bipartisan support requires anticorruption in Ukraine in order to get U.S. taxpayer-funded aid. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, you spoke extensively about the importance of defense of legal aid to Ukraine, specifically Javelins. This is in your deposition.

VINDMAN: Correct.

STEFANIK: And you testified that the Javelin in particular, because of its effectiveness in terms of influencing the Russian decision calculus for aggression, it is one of the most important tools we had -we have when it comes to providing defense of lethal aid.

VINDMAN: The system itself and the signaling of U.S. support, yes.

STEFANIK: And it is a fact that that aid was provided under President Trump and not President Obama.

VINDMAN: That is correct.

STEFANIK: And my last question Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, I know you serve in the NSC in the White House. I served in the West Wing of the White House for President Bush on the Domestic Policy Council and in the Chief of Staff's office so I'm very familiar with the policy process. I also know that as a staff member, the person who sets the policy in the United States is the president, not the staff and you testified that the president sets the policy correct?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

STEFANIK: And I respect your deep expertise, your tremendous service to our country. We can never repay those that have worn the military uniform and served our nation but I was struck when you testified in your deposition. I would say first of all, I am the Director for Ukraine. I am responsible for Ukraine. I'm the most knowledgeable. I'm the authority for Ukraine for the National Security Council and the White House. I just want a clarification. You report to Tim Morrison, correct?

VINDMAN: In my advisor...

STEFANIK: Your direct report is Tim Morrison, correct?

VINDMAN: In my advisor -- just to clarify, only in my advisory capacity, I advise up through the chain of command. That's what I do.

STEFANIK: And the chain of command is Tim Morrison to Ambassador John Bolton, the national security advisor to the president of the United States.

VINDMAN: Correct.

STEFANIK: And do you agree that the president sets the policy as commander-in-chief, as you testified previously?

VINDMAN: Absolutely.

STEFANIK: Thank you. My time's expired.

SCHIFF: Mr. Swalwell?

SWALWELL: Thank you both.

Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, I think follow-up question that my colleague from New York did not ask you, but is relevant for everyone at home -- isn't it true that the Department of Defense had certified that the anticorruption requirements of Ukraine had been met when the hold was put on by the president?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

SWALWELL: Now, Mr. Jordan suggested that the president did something none of us expected by releasing that call transcript. You listened to the call, is that right, Lieutenant Colonel?

VINDMAN: That is.

SWALWELL: Ms. Williams, you also listened to the call, is that right?

WILLIAMS: Yes.

SWALWELL: Fair to say, Ms. Williams, a lot of other people at the White House listened to the call or read the transcript?

WILLIAMS: I can't characterize how many. I believe there were four -- four, five or six of us in the -- the listing room at the time.

SWALWELL: And the transcript was distributed to others, is that right?

WILLIAMS: I wasn't part of that process, but that's my understanding.

SWALWELL: So the president is asking for us and his defenders to give him a gold star because a number of people listened to the call or saw the call transcript, and then he released it. The difference, of course, between this and, say, his one on meet -- one-on-one meeting in Helsinki with Vladimir Putin was there, it was a one-on-one meeting, and he took the notes from the interpreter so none of us could see it, the point being the president had no choice but to release a call that everyone had seen.

Now, you've been asked to also characterize what exactly legally all of this means, and Mr. Ratcliffe pointed out that no one had used the term bribery in our depositions. And Ms. Williams, you're not a lawyer, are you?

WILLIAMS: I'm not, no.

SWALWELL: Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, are you a lawyer?

VINDMAN: Lawyer's back there.

SWALWELL: The lawyer's your brother, right?

VINDMAN: Yeah.

SWALWELL: Born 20 seconds after you, is that what you said?

VINDMAN: Nine minutes.

SWALWELL: Nine minutes after you. That's -- you're the older brother.

VINDMAN: Yeah. Lifetime of wisdom there.

SWALWELL: Now, I want to give you a -- a hypothetical here. Suppose you have a shooting victim and the police respond after the victim is doing a little bit better and they ask the victim, "Well, tell us what happened." And the victim says, "Well, someone came up to my car, shot into the car, hit me in the shoulder, hit me in the back, hit me in the neck. Miraculously, I survived, but I can identify, you know, who the person is that pulled the trigger." And the police say, "OK, you were shot. You know who it is. But shucks, you didn't tell us that this was an attempted murder, so we're going to have to let the person go." Is that how it works in our justice system, that unless victims or witnesses identify the legal theories of a case, we just let people off the hook? Is that how it works, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman?

VINDMAN: I'm not an attorney, but it doesn't seem so.

SWALWELL: I don't think your brother would think so either.

Ms. Williams, Vice President Pence was described to our committee by Mr. Morrison has a, quote, "voracious reader of his intelligence read book (ph)." And after the April 21 call with President Zelensky, you put a transcript of that call in the vice president's read book (ph), is that right?

WILLIAMS: That's correct.

SWALWELL: And then the vice president called President Zelensky two days later, is that right?

WILLIAMS: That's correct.

SWALWELL: And you told us in the deposition that he stuck pretty faithfully to what President Trump had said in that April 21 call, is that right?

WILLIAMS: I believe his remarks were consistent, but he also spoke on other issues, as well, including anticorruption.

SWALWELL: And you would describe the -- the vice president as somebody who would make follow-up calls to world leaders after the president had done so, is that right?

WILLIAMS: He has on occasion. It's not a normal practice. It depends on the situation.

SWALWELL: And in that case, he stuck to President Trump's talking points.

WILLIAMS: I would say that I provided talking points for the April 23rd call for the vice president, which included discussion of the -- President Zelensky's inauguration, which President Trump had also discussed with President Zelensky. But I would say the vice president discussed other issues with President Zelensky, as well.

SWALWELL: And as was stated earlier, the president sets the foreign policy for the United States, is that right?

WILLIAMS: Absolutely.

SWALWELL: And you told us that after the July 25 call between President Trump and President Zelensky that you put the call transcript in Vice President Pence's intelligence briefing book, is that right?

WILLIAMS: I ensured it was there. My colleagues prepare the book, but yes.

SWALWELL: So let's flash forward to September 1. Vice President Pence meets with President Zelensky, is that right?

WILLIAMS: That's correct.

SWALWELL: You're there.

WILLIAMS: Yes.

SWALWELL: And President Zelensky, with Vice President Pence, they talk about a lot of things, but you will agree that Vice President Pence did not bring up the Bidens, is that correct?

WILLIAMS: That's correct. He did not.

SWALWELL: He did not bring up investigations.

WILLIAMS: No.

SWALWELL: Is one reasonable explanation that although Vice President Pence will do a lot of things for President Trump, that he was not willing to bring up investigations in Bidens because he thought it was wrong?

WILLIAMS: I'm not in a position to speculate. We had not discussed those particular investigations in any of the preparatory sessions with the vice president and I'm not...

SWALWELL: But you didn't bring it up with the Ukrainians after the July 25 call, right?

WILLIAMS: He did not in that meeting, no.

SWALWELL: And you did not either.

WILLIAMS: No.

SWALWELL: And Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, did you ever ask the Ukrainians to do what President Trump was asking them to do after the July 25 phone call?

VINDMAN: I did not. I didn't render any opinion on what was asked in the 25...

SWALWELL: Thank you. Yield back.

SCHIFF: Mr. Hurd?

HURD: Ms. Williams, I want to join my colleagues in thanking you for your service. We share a personal hero in Dr. Rice, so great minds think alike.

Did you participate in or overhear any conversations about how potential information collected from the Ukrainians on the Bidens would be used for political gain?

WILLIAMS: No, I did not participate or overhear any conversation along those lines.

HURD: Thank you.

Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, I think all of us would agree that your father made the right move to come here, and we're glad that -- that he did. You've talked about how part of your responsibilities is developing talking points for your principles, is that correct?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

HURD: President -- I'm assuming you also do that for your direct supervisor currently right now, Mr. Morrison, is that correct?

VINDMAN: Mr. Morrison has left the position some time ago already, at least three weeks ago.

HURD: So -- so -- but you do the -- you've prepared talking points for your supervisors, is that correct?

VINDMAN: Typically, frankly, the -- at -- at that level they don't really take talking points, especially if they have expertise. Your talking points are more intended for national security advisor, although Ambassador Bolton didn't real -- really require them because of his deep expertise.

HURD: (inaudible)

VINDMAN: It's the next level up. The president...

HURD: But traditionally, I'm just trying to establish...

VINDMAN: I know.

HURD: ... that this position is somebody...

VINDMAN: Is accurate, right? (ph)

HURD: ... who creates talking points for a number of people. Is that correct?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

HURD: Do they always use them?

VINDMAN: No.

HURD: Is -- is President Trump known to stick to a script?

VINDMAN: I -- I don't believe so.

HURD: So is it odd that he didn't use your talking points?

VINDMAN: No, it is not.

HURD: In your deposition -- if your lawyer wants to follow on, it's page 306 -- you were asked about events during the temporary hold on U.S. assistance to -- to Ukraine. This is that 55-day period or so. And you testified that the U.S. administration did not receive any new assurances from Ukraine about anticorruption efforts and that the facts on the ground did not change before the hold was lifted. Is that -- is accurate in recounting your testimony?

VINDMAN: That is accurate.

HURD: When was President Zelensky sworn in?

VINDMAN: He was sworn in on -- excuse me -- May 20th, 2019.

HURD: And then he had a new parliament, too, elected after he was, is that correct?

VINDMAN: He did.

HURD: And when was that parliament seated?

VINDMAN: That was -- that was, I'm sorry, July 21st, 2019.

HURD: They -- they -- that was when they won, right? They -- they weren't seated until August.

HURD: Your boss' boss, Ambassador Bolton, traveled to Ukraine in late August, right? August 27h, 28th, is that correct?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

HURD: Did he take you with you? Did he...

VINDMAN: I...

HURD: ... take you with him?

VINDMAN: He didn't, he didn't.

HURD: We know from other witnesses that when Ambassador Bolton was there, he met with President Zelensky and his staff, and they talked about how they were visually exhausted because one of the things that President Zelensky did during that time period was change the Ukrainian constitution to remove absolute immunity from Rada deputies, right? They're some of their parliamentarians. Because that had been the source of raw corruption for -- for a number of years. Is that accurate?

VINDMAN: That is accurate.

HURD: Were you -- were you aware of this important change to Ukrainian law?

VINDMAN: Of course. Yeah.

HURD: And you don't believe that's a significant anti-corruption effort?

VINDMAN: No, it is -- it is significant.

HURD: It's pretty significant, correct?

Also, Ambassador Taylor testified that President Zelensky, with this new parliament, opened Ukraine's High Anti-Corruption Court, right? This had been an initiative that many folks and the U. (ph) -- and our State Department had been -- had been pushing to happen, and that was established in that time frame. Were you aware of this?

VINDMAN: Yes.

HURD: Do you think this is a significant anti-corruption...

VINDMAN: I do.

HURD: When you talked about -- you -- how many times have you met President Zelensky?

VINDMAN: I think it was just the one time from the presidential delegation. Multiple engagements, but just the one trip.

HURD: And that's a one-on-one meeting?

VINDMAN: That was in a bilateral -- larger bilateral format. Then there was -- there were a couple of smaller venue -- they're all in -- there was never a one-on-one. But there were a couple of -- again -- again, touch points. So the bilateral meeting, handshake, meet and greet...

HURD: Gotcha.

VINDMAN: ... he had a short...

(CROSSTALK)

HURD: So there was a lot of people in the room...

VINDMAN: Yeah

HURD: ... when you met...

VINDMAN: Yes. Yes, Congressman.

HURD: But you still advised the Ukrainian president to watch out for the Russians?

VINDMAN: Yes.

HURD: And that was -- that was -- and that -- and everybody else in the room, I'm assuming, the national security advisor was there, I believe, in this case, you had other members of the administration? Was that -- were your points pre-approved, did they know you were going to bring up those points?

VINDMAN: I -- we did have a huddle beforehand. And it's possible I flagged him, but I don't -- I don't recall specifically. It's possible that they -- I didn't.

HURD: And you counseled the Ukrainian president to stay out of U.S. politics?

VINDMAN: Correct.

HURD: Mr. Chairman, I yield back the time I do not have.

SCHIFF: Gentleman yields back.

Mr. Castro?

CASTRO: Thank you, Chairman.

Ms. Williams, thank you for your service to the country.

Colonel Vindman, thank you for your service. And it's great to talk to a fellow identical twin. I hope that your brother's nicer to you than mine is to me...

(LAUGHTER)

... doesn't make you grow a beard.

(LAUGHTER)

You both listened in real time to the July 25th call. In particular, you would have heard President Trump ask the president of Ukraine, quote, "I'd like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine. they say CrowdStrike," and (ph), quote, "the server, they say Ukraine has it."

This is a debunked conspiracy theory that has no basis in fact. President Trump's own former Homeland Security advisor, Thomas P. Bossert, called the president's assertion that Ukraine intervened in the 2016 elections, quote, "not only a conspiracy theory," but, quote, "completely debunked," unquote.

Colonel Vindman, are you aware of any evidence to support the theory that the Ukrainian government interfered in the 2016 election?

VINDMAN: Congressman, I am not. And furthermore, I would say that this is a Russian narrative that President Putin has promoted.

CASTRO: And are you aware of any part of the U.S. government, its foreign policy, or intelligence apparatus that supports that theory?

VINDMAN: No, I am not aware of.

CASTRO: And you are aware that other parts of the U.S. government, our intelligence community for example, has said definitively that it was the Russians who interfered in the 2016 elections?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

CASTRO: Well, it seems incredibly odd, though, unfortunately, but no inconsistent to me that President Trump would be giving credence to a conspiracy theory about Ukraine that helps Russia, really, in at least two ways.

First, it ignores and frankly undermines the assessment of the U.S. intelligence community and seeks to weaken a state dependent on the United States' support to fight Russian aggression. It also, for the United States, hurts our national security and emboldens Russia.

And I want to look at what President Trump was doing on his call instead of pushing back against Russian hostility. He was pressuring Ukraine to do his political work. President Trump stated on that July 25th call, quote, "There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution. And a lot of people want to find out about that. So whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution. So if you can look into it, it sounds horrible to me."

Colonel Vindman, when you hear those words, do you hear the president requesting a thoughtful and well-calibrated anti-corruption program consistent with U.S. policy?

VINDMAN: I do not.

CASTRO: In fact, it sounds like President Trump was encouraging the Ukrainian president to engage in precisely the same type of behavior for President Trump's own political benefit that we discourage foreign leaders from undertaking in their own countries. And discouraging other countries from undertaking politically motivated investigation is in fact a major part of official U.S. anti-corruption policy, is that correct?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

CASTRO: And are you in fact aware of any evidence that Vice President Biden improperly interfered in investigation of his family members?

VINDMAN: I am not.

CASTRO: These false narratives, it should be said, are damaging our country. They poison our politics and distract from the truth. And pressing another country to engage in corruption is antithetical to who we are as a nation.

You also mentioned that this request -- well, you felt this request was wrong. And you've also said that corruption in Ukraine is endemic to Ukraine, just as it is in other places around the world.

What is the -- can you speak to, what is the danger of a -- a president of the United States, whether it's Donald Trump or any future president, asking another nation where there's rampant corruption to investigate a political rival or just any other American citizen? What would be the danger to that American?

VINDMAN: Congressman, the Ukraine -- the Ukrainian judiciary is imperfect at the moment. And the -- the reliance on U.S. support could conceivably cause them to tip the scales of justice in favor of finding a -- the U.S. citizen guilty, if they thought they needed to do that international (ph)...

(CROSSTALK)

CASTRO: So they could trump up charges if they wanted to, in a corrupt system like that?

VINDMAN: They could. And Ukraine is making progress. Certainly more broadly in Russia, that is likely to happen, where the state will be involved in -- in judicial outcomes and drive them.

CASTRO: Thank you.

I yield back, Chairman.

SCHIFF: Mr. Ratcliffe?

RATCLIFFE: Thank you, Chairman.

Ms. Williams, you testified that what you noted as being unusual about the call that took place on July 25 was that the president raised what appeared to be a domestic political issue. Correct?

WILLIAMS: Correct.

RATCLIFFE: But raising an issue, even one that you thought was unusual is different than making a demand. Would you agree?

WILLIAMS: Yes.

RATCLIFFE: And as I read your deposition, it didn't sound like, from your testimony that you heard what took place on that call as a demand for investigations. Is that fair?

WILLIAMS: I don't believe I'm in a position to characterize it further than the president did in terms of asking for a favor.

RATCLIFFE: You didn't hear a demand?

WILLIAMS: Again, I would just refer back to the transcript itself.

RATCLIFFE: Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, you've testified and explained to us why in your mind it was a demand. And you've given us reasons, a disparity of power between the two presidents.

And because you did feel that way, you also felt that you had a duty to report what you thought was improper. Is that correct?

VINDMAN: That's correct.

RATCLIFFE: OK. So two different people, two impartial observers; one felt the need to report the call because there was a demand that was improper and one that didn't report it to anyone. You didn't report it to anyone. Right, Ms. Williams?

WILLIAMS: I insured that the information was available to my superiors.

RATCLIFFE: So while all this might seem as clear as mud, I think your honest and candid assessments of what you heard on the call tells us what we need to know. We have two independent folks, non partisans, and I'm not hearing a consensus between the two of you about what exactly you both heard on the call that you heard at the exact same time.

And if you can't reach an agreement with regard to what happened on the call, how can any of us? An impeachment inquiry is supposed to be clear. It's supposed to be obvious. It's supposed to be over whelming and compelling.

And if two people on the call disagree honestly about whether or not there was a demand and whether or not anything should be reported on a call that is not a clear and compelling basis to undo 63 million votes and remove a president from office. I yield my remaining time to Mr. Jordan.

JORDAN: I thank the gentleman for yielding. Colonel Vindman, why didn't you go -- after the call, why didn't you go to Mr. Morrison?

VINDMAN: I went immediately per the -- per the instructions from the July 10 incident. I met -- went immediately to Mr. Eisenberg. After that -- once I made that -- my -- expressed my concerns; it was an extremely busy week. We had a PCC just finish. We had the call and then we had a deputies meeting, which consumed all my time.

I was working extremely long days. I attempted to try to communicate -- I managed to speak to two folks in the inner agency. I attempted to try to talk to Mr. Morrison. That didn't happen before I received instructions from John Eisenberg to not talk to anybody else any further.

JORDAN: So the lawyer -- you not only didn't go to your boss, you said you tried but you didn't go to your boss. You went straight to the lawyer and the lawyer told you not to go to your boss?

VINDMAN: No, he didn't tell me until -- what ended up unfolding is I had the conversation with the attorney. I did my coordination -- my core function, which is coordination. I spoke to the appropriate people within the inner agency and circling (ph) back around; Mr. Eisenberg came back to me and told me not to talk to anybody else.

JORDAN: I'm going to read from the transcript here. Why didn't you go to your direct report, Mr. Morrison. You're responsible -- this is page 102 (ph), because Mr. Eisenberg had told me to take my concerns to him.

Then I ask you did -- did Mr. Eisenberg tell you not to report, to go around Mr. Morrison. And you said actually he did say that I shouldn't talk to any other people. Is that right?

VINDMAN: Yes, but there's a whole -- there's a period of time in there between when I spoke to him and when he circled back around. It wasn't that long a period of time but it was enough time for me to ...

JORDAN: Enough time for you to go talk to someone that you won't tell us who it is right.

VINDMAN: I've -- I've -- I've been instructed not to, Representative Jordan.

JORDAN: Well, here's what I'm getting. The lawyer told you don't talk to any other people and you interpret that as not talking to your boss but you talk to your brother, you talk to the lawyers, you talk to Secretary (inaudible), you talk to the one guy Adam Schiff won't tell you -- won't let us -- won't let you tell us who he is. Is that right.

VINDMAN: Representative Jordan, I did my job.

JORDAN: I'm not saying you didn't. All I'm saying is you -- your -- the instructions from the lawyer was you shouldn't talk to anybody and you interpret that as don't talk to my boss but I'm going to go talk to someone that we can't even ask you who that individual is.

VINDMAN: That is incorrect.

JORDAN: Well, I just read what you said. I shouldn't talk to any other people.

SCHIFF: The time of the gentleman has expired.

VINDMAN: There's -- I'm sorry, Chairman, but that sequence is not the way it played out.

(CROSSTALK)

JORDAN: I'm reading through (ph) the transcript Colonel Vindman.

SCHIFF: Jordan, please let Colonel Vindman ...

VINDMAN: There's -- the sequence played out where immediately afterwards I expressed my concerns. I did my coordination function, Mr. Eisenberg circled back around, told me not to talk to anybody else. In that period of time I did not manage to talk to ...

JORDAN: So that's when it happened. That's when you talked to someone.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHIFF: Mr. Heck, you are recognized. Mr. Heck.

VINDMAN: That's right.

HECK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Colonel Vindman, let's go back to that pair of meetings on July 10 in Ambassador Bolton's office and down in the war (ph) room where you witness Ambassador Sondland inform the Ukrainian officials that as a prerequisite to a White House meeting between the two presidents, quote, the Ukrainians would have to deliver an investigation into the Bidens, end quote.

You said that Ambassador Sondland was quote, calling for an investigation that didn't exist into the Bidens in Burisma, is that correct?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

HECK: It's that same afternoon you went to Mr. Eisenberg, the council, correct?

VINDMAN: That meeting occurred in the afternoon and within, you know, a couple -- I'm sure it was within a couple hours I spoke to Mr. Eisenberg.

HECK: How did he react?

VINDMAN: He was cool, calm, and collected. He took notes and he said he would look into it.

HECK: And did he not also tell you to feel free to come back if you had additional concerns.

VINDMAN: He did. He did, Congressman.

HECK: Ambassador Sondland had told you that his request the Ukrainians had been coordinated with the chief of staff -- acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney. Did you report that to Mr. Eisenberg?

VINDMAN: I did.

HECK: And what was his reaction?

VINDMAN: He -- he took notes and he said he was going to -- he'll follow up or look into it. I don't recall exactly what he said.

HECK: Colonel, you've also testified that on the July 25 call now between the two presidents, quote, there was no doubt, end quote, that President Trump asked for investigations into the 2016 election and Vice President Biden's son in return for a White House meeting. Within an hour of that call you reported back to Mr. Eisenberg, did you not?

VINDMAN: I did.

HECK: Went back to him just to see (inaudible) suggestion would be appropriate.

VINDMAN: He's an assistant the president. He -- it was less a suggestion and more than -- more of an instruction.

HECK: Did you tell the lawyers that President Trump asked President Zelensky to speak to Mr. Giuliani.

VINDMAN: Yes.

HECK: And the lawyers -- it was at this point, told you not to talk to anyone else.

VINDMAN: That is -- that's -- that is not correct with regards to timing. They didn't fall back -- they didn't circle back around. What ended up happening is in my coordination role I spoke to state (ph) -- I spoke to number (ph) of intelligence community and the general counsel from one of the intelligence bodies notified Mr. Eisenberg that there was -- you know that there was information on the call, on the July 25th call, as that point Mr. Eisenberg told me I shouldn't talk to anybody else about it.

HECK: Colonel, I want to go back to 2014 in Iraq. When you were blown up, I presume that given the point in your military career and what else was going on in the world that upon recovery there was the very real prospect or possibility that you might once again find yourself in harms way. Is that correct?

VINDMAN: Yes, Congressman, it happened in 2004, but yes.

HECK: Four, excuse me, thank you. Did you consider leaving the military service at that point?

VINDMAN: No. Frankly, Congressman, I suffered light wounds I was fortunate compared to my counterparts in the same vehicle. And I returned to duty as, I think it may have been that same day.

HECK: But you could have been subjected to additional harm. You chose to continue service in uniform.

VINDMAN: I continued to serve in combat for the remaining 10 or 11 months of the tour.

HECK: You know, Colonel, I have to say I find it a rich but incredible painful irony that within a week of the President contrary to all advise of the Senior Military Officials he pardons those who were convicted of war crimes, which was widely decried in the military community. Within the week of him doing that he is engaged in an effort and allies on his behalf including some here today to demean your record of service and the sacrifice and contribution you have made. Indeed, sir, less than 20 minutes ago the White House officially quoted out, out of context the comments referred to earlier by Mr. Morrison in (ph) your judgment.

I can only conclude, sir, that what we though was just the President is the subject of our deliberations in this inquiry isn't sufficient to capture what's happening here. Indeed what subject to this inquiry and what is apparel is our constitution and the very values upon which it is based. I want to say thank you for your service. But you know thank you doesn't cut it. Please know, however, that it comes from the bottom of my heart and I know on the bottoms of the heart of countless other Americans, thank you for the service, sir. I yield back.

SCHIFF: Mr. Jordan.

JORDAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Sunday the Speaker of United States House of Representatives called the President of the United States an impostor. Speaker of the House called the President an impostor. The guy, 63 million people for, the guy who won an Electoral College landslide, the Speaker calls an impostor. That's what happened to our country, to this Congress. The Speaker statement says it all. The Democrats have never accepted the will of the American people. Democrats don't trust the American people. The American people who wanted to send someone to this town who was willing to shake it up a bit.

They don't trust that and they have tried to do everything they can to undo what the American people decided on November 8, 2016. They've been out to get the President since the day he was elected. The whistleblowers lawyer, the whistleblowers legal team said this January 30, 2017, the President had been in office about a week, "coup has starter, first of many steps". Next sentence "impeachment will follow ultimately". I guess we're in the final step. It started three and half years ago. Congressman Tlaib started this Congress. First day of Congress said "impeach the President".

Representative Greene said if we don't impeach him the President's going to win reelection. We got to do it. Mot importantly, most importantly five Democrat members of this committee voted to move forward with impeachment before the phone call ever happened. The truth is the attacks actually started before the Inauguration even before the election. Ranking Member talked about this. Hi opening statement July 2016 FBI opens investigation so called Trump-Raja (ph) coordination collusion which was never there. Opened an investigation spied on two American citizens associated with the Presidential campaign. My guess is that's probably never happened in American History, but they did it.

And for 10 months Jim Comey FBI investigated the President, guess what after 10 months they had nothing. And you know why we know that because when we disposed Mr. Comey last Congress he told us they didn't have a thing. No matter, Special Counsel Mueller gets appointed and they do a two year $40 million, 19 lawyer unbelievable investigation and guess what they come back and they got nothing. But the Democrats don't care. So now we get this, a bunch of depositions in the bunker and the basement of the Capital, witnesses who aren't allowed to answer questions about who they talked to about the phone call. We get this all based on some anonymous whistleblower, no first hand knowledge biased against the President.

These facts have never changed, we learned these right away. Who worked with Vice President Biden , who wrote a memo the day after somebody talked to him about the call, awaited 18 days to file a complaint, 18 days to file a complaint. What did he do in those 18 days? We all know, ran off and talked with Chairman Schiff's staff. And then hired the legal team that I just talked about, one of those steps in the whole impeachment coup as his legal team has said.

This is scary what these guys are putting our country through. It is sad, it is scary, it is wrong. And the good news is the American people see through it all, they know the facts are on the President's side as Representative Stefanik said, four facts will never change. We've got the transcript which they never thought the President would release. Shows no coordination, not conditionality, no linkage. We got the two guys on the call President Trump, President Zelensky, who have side nothing wrong no pressure no pushing here. We've got the fact that Ukrainians didn't even know aid was held up at the time of the call and most importantly we have yet to have one witness tell us that the any evidence from anyone that President Zelensky did anything on investigations to get the aid released.

Those facts will never change. The facts are on the President's side, the process is certainly not. It has been the most unfair process we have ever seen and the American people understand that. Those 63 million Americans they understand it and frankly I think a lot of other do as well. They see what this for what it is. And they know this is wrong, especially wrong just 11 months before the next election. I yield bank.

SCHIFF: Mr. Welch.

WELCH: Thank you. What this hearing is about, I think was best stated by Colonel Vindman's opening statement. The question before us is this, is it improper for the President of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate the United States citizen and political opponent? It's very well stated.

I just listened to Mr. Jordan, as you did as well, and I heard his criticisms in the process, nothing really happened, a lot of people are out to get the president. I didn't hear an answer to the question, as to whether it's proper for the President of the United States to demand a foreign government to investigate a U.S. citizen and political opponent.

And to date, I haven't heard any one of my Republican colleagues address that question.

Colonel Vindman and Ms. Williams, thank you. I want to ask some questions that go through the background. What's come out during this process is that we had two Ukraine policies.

One was bipartisan and long-standing, and that was to assist Ukraine, which had freed itself from the domination of Russia, to fight corruption and to resist Russian aggression. Is that a fair statement, Colonel Vindman?

VINDMAN: I think that's a fair characterization, Congressman.

WELCH: And to give folks a reminder of the extent of corruption, by the way, a legacy of Putin's Russia, is your understanding that when their prior president, Mr. Yanukovych fled to Russia into the arms of Mr. Putin, he took with him $30 to $40 billion of that impoverished country?

VINDMAN: Those -- there are different estimates, but it's on that scale, yes.

WELCH: Vast scale for a poor country. And is it your understanding that powerless, but motivated Ukrainians rose up in protest to this incredible graft in theft and abuse by their president?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

WELCH: And that was in the Maidan -- it was called the Maidan Revolution, the Revolution of Dignity, correct?

VINDMAN: Correct.

WELCH: And young people went into that square in downtown Kiev, and demonstrated for months, correct?

VINDMAN: Correct. And 100 died.

WELCH: One hundred and six young people died, and older people died, correct? That is in -- in -- in -- between February 18, 2014 and February 22, is that correct?

VINDMAN: Correct.

WELCH: One hundred and six died, including people who were shot by snipers, kids, and Yanukovych had put snipers on the rooftops of buildings to shoot into that square and kill, murder, slaughter, those young people. Is that your understanding?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

WELCH: In our bipartisan support, and by the way, I want to say to my Republican colleagues, a lot of leadership to have this bipartisan support came from your side, thank you. But our whole commitment was to get rid of corruption and to stop that Russian aggression, is that correct?

VINDMAN: That amounts to some of the key pillars.

WELCH: That's right. And the Giuliani, Sondmand (ph), and it appears, Trump policy was not about that, it was about investigations into a political opponent. Correct? I'll take that question back, we know it.

And you know, I'm going to say this to President Trump, you want to investigate Joe Biden, you want to investigate Hunter Biden, go at it. Do it. Do it hard. Do it dirty. Do it the way you do do it. Just don't do it by asking a foreign leader to help you in your campaign. That's your job, it's not his.

My goal in these hearings is two things, one is to get an answer to Colonel Vindman's question. And the second, coming out of this, is for us, as a Congress, to return to the Ukraine policy that Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy both support. It's not investigations, it's the restoration of democracy in Ukraine and the resistance of Russian aggression. I yield back.

SCHIFF: Mr. Maloney.

MALONEY: thank you both for being here. You know, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, this may be one of your first Congressional hearings like this, so you may not --

VINDMAN: And hopefully the last.

(LAUGHTER)

MALONEY: I can't blame you for feeling that way, sir. Particularly when I've been sitting here listening to my Republican colleagues, one of the advantages of being down here at the kids table, is that you get to hear the folks above your ask their questions. And I've been listening closely to my Republican colleagues and I've heard them say just about everything except to contradict any of the substantive testimony you've both given.

You may have notices, there's been a lot of complaints and there's been a lot of insinuations and there's been a lot of suggestions maybe that -- that you're -- that you're service is somehow not -- not to be trusted.

You know, you were treated to questions about your loyalty because of some half-baked job offer, I guess, the Ukrainians made you, which you, of course, dutifully reported. I guess, Mr. Castor's implying you're -- you've got some dual loyalty, which is, of course, an old smear we've heard many times in our history, to try to demean you as though maybe you're -- you've overstated the your importance of your job.

But, of course, you were -- this -- the guy on the National Security Council responsible for directing Ukrainian policy. We've heard the air out some allocations, with no basis improve, but they just want to get them out there and hope maybe some of those strands of spaghetti, I guess, will stick on the wall if they keep throwing them.

We've even had a member of this Committee question -- this is my favorite, question why you would wear your dress uniform today. Even though that dress uniform includes a breastplate that has a Combat Infantry badge on it and a Purple Heart metal ribbon.

Seems like if anybody gets to wear their uniform, it's somebody who's got breastplate with those accommodations on it. So, let's do it again, let's do the substance, can we do that? Because we've had a lot of -- a lot of dust kicked up.

Ms. Williams, you heard the call with your own ears, right?

WILLIAMS: Yes sir.

MALONEY: Not second hand, not hear say, you heard the president speak. You heard his voice on the call?

WILLIAMS: Correct.

MALONEY: And you conclusion was what he said about investigating the Bidens was your words, unusual and inappropriate, I believe. Am I right?

WILLIAMS: That was my testimony.

MALONEY: And Mr. Vindman, you were treated to a July 10th meeting in the White House, where you heard Ambassador Sondland raise investigations, conditioning a White House meeting on that investigations, that you thought were unduly political, I believe that's how you described them. And you went to NSC Council and you reported, right?

VINDMAN: Correct.

MALONEY: And then later, you too, were on the White House call, am I right? You heard it with your own ears?

VINDMAN: Correct.

MALONEY: Not second hand, not from somebody else, not hear say, right?

VINDMAN: Correct.

MALONEY: You heard the president's voice on the call?

VINDMAN: I did.

MALONEY: And you heard him raise that subject again, that Ambassador Sondland had raised before, about investigating the Bidens, right?

VINDMAN: I did.

MALONEY: And I want to ask you, when you heard him say that, what was the first thought that went through your mind?

VINDMAN: Frankly, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. There was probably an element of shock that maybe in certain regards my worst fear of how our Ukraine policy could play out was playing out. And how this was likely to have significant implications for U.S. national security.

MALONEY: And you went immediately and you reported it, didn't you?

VINDMAN: I did.

MALONEY: Why?

VINDMAN: Because that was my duty.

MALONEY: Do you still have your opening statement handy?

VINDMAN: I do.

MALONEY: Read the last paragraph for me again, not the one -- the very last one, the second to last one. Would you read that one again for me? Because I think the American public deserves to hear it again.

VINDMAN: The dad...

MALONEY: That's the one.

VINDMAN: I think my dad would appreciate this one too.

Dad, my sitting here today in the U.S. Capitol, talking to our elected officials, is proof that you made the right decision 40 years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to the United States America in search of a better life for our family. Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.

MALONEY: You realize when you came forward out of sense of duty that you are putting yourself in direct opposition to the most powerful person in the world. Do you realize that, sir?

VINDMAN: I knew I was assuming a lot of risk.

MALONEY: And I'm struck by that word don't -- that phrase "do not worry," you addressed your dad. Was your dad a warrior?

VINDMAN: He did serve. It was a different military though.

MALONEY: And he would have worried if you were putting yourself up against the president of the United States, is that right?

VINDMAN: He deeply worried about it because in his context there was -- it was the ultimate risk.

MALONEY: And why you have confidence that you can do that and tell your dad not to worry?

VINDMAN: Congressman, because this is America. This is the country I have served and defended, that all of my brothers have served. And here, right matters.

MALONEY: Thank you, sir. I yield back.

(APPLAUSE)

SCHIFF: Ms. Demings.

DEMINGS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

First of all, Ms. Williams, let me thank you for your service to our nation. It truly matters.

Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, I had the honor of speaking to a group of veterans this past weekend. And what I said to them was that no words, no words are really adequate or sufficient to fully express our gratitude for their service to our nation. So, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, today I say to you, there are no words that are sufficient to fully express our gratitude to you for what you have done for our nation and, amazingly, what you are still willing to do for our nation.

It is vitally important that the American people understand how President Trumps unethical demand that Ukraine deliver a politically-motivated investigation in exchange for military assistance created a security risk for our, the United States of America, national security. The president was not just playing a political game by upholding military aid and meetings with Ukraine, threatening the hundreds of millions of dollars of military assistance that Congress had appropriated has real-life consequences for Ukraine and for the USA.

In your test deposition, Colonel Vindman, you testified, and I quote, "a strong and independent Ukraine is critical to our security interests." Could you please explain why a strong and independent Ukraine is so critical, and why it is so vital to U.S. interests?

VINDMAN: We sometimes refer to Ukraine as a front-line state. It's on the front-line of Europe. It's -- they have actually described to me, the Ukrainians, that that is -- it is a -- they consider themselves as a barrier between Russian aggression and Europe. And what I have heard them describe is the need for U.S. support in order to serve this role in order to protect European and Western security.

DEMINGS: Lieutenant Colonel, this is not just a theoretical conflict between Ukraine and Russia. You have already said this morning that Russia is actively fighting to expand into Ukraine, that Ukraine is in a hot war with Russia right now, is that correct?

VINDMAN: It's stable, but it's still a hot war.

DEMINGS: And isn't it true, Lieutenant Colonel, that even if the security assistance was eventually delivered to Ukraine, the fact that it was delayed, just that fact, could signal to Russia that the bond between Ukraine and the U.S. was weakening?

VINDMAN: That was the concern of myself and my colleagues.

DEMINGS: And was the risk of even the appearance that the U.S.-Ukraine bond is shaky is that it could embolden Russia to act with more aggression, would you say that is correct?

VINDMAN: I believe that was my testimony.

DEMINGS: Just last month, during an interview, President Putin joked about interfering in our political elections. I can only guess that is what we have become to Russia and its president. I think he felt emboldened by the president's reckless actions, both attempts to hold critical military aid from Ukraine and President Trump's effort to blame Ukraine, not Russia, for election interference.

Ms. Williams and Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, I can only say that every American, regardless of our politics, should be critically concerned about that. And let me just say this. Yes, we do trust the American people. But you know what, the American people trust us too as members of Congress to support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And we intend to do just that.

Thank you again for your service.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back.

SCHIFF: Mr. Krishnamoorthi.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Good afternoon, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman and Ms. Williams. Thank you for your service.

Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, I am concerned that your loyalty has been questioned not just because you are bringing forward evidence of wrongdoing against the president, president of United States, but because you are an immigrant. Recently FOX News host Brian Kilmeade said, "he," meaning you, "were born in the Soviet Union, emigrated with his family young, he tends to feel simpatico with the Ukraine." I find this statement reprehensible because it appears that your immigrant heritage is being used against you.

Lieutenant Colonel, I came to this country when I was three months old. Your family fled the Soviet Union and moved to America when you are just three-and-a-half years old, right?

VINDMAN: Correct.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: And I understand that your father worked multiple jobs while also learning English, right?

VINDMAN: Correct.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Your father stressed the importance of embracing what it means to be an American, correct?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: You and your family faced difficult times during your childhood, correct?

VINDMAN: Yes.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I can relate. That's my story too. But your father went on to become an engineer, right?

VINDMAN: He reestablished himself in his former profession in the United States.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I can relate. I -- I got a B.S. in engineering. Of course some people claim I practice the B.S. part now.

(Laughter)

Your father never gave up working hard to build his very own American dream, did he?

VINDMAN: He did not.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, your father achieved the American dream and so did you and your family. From one immigrant American to another immigrant American, I want to say to you that you and your family represent the very best of America. I assume that you are as proud to be an American as I am, correct?

VINDMAN: Yes, sir.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Sir, I want to turn your attention to Yuriy Lutsenko. You called him a disruptive actor in your opening statement, correct?

VINDMAN: Correct.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Mr. Lutsenko, the former prosecutor general in Ukraine has made various claims about various Americans, right?

VINDMAN: Correct.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: You are unaware of any factual basis for his accusations against Ambassador Yovanovitch. Right?

VINDMAN: Correct.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: He also was a source for an article by John Solomon in "The Hill," right?

VINDMAN: That is correct.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: And you said that key elements of that article as well as his accusations are false. Right?

VINDMAN: Correct.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Lutsenko is not a credible source, correct?

VINDMAN: Correct.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Sir, the other side claims that there was absolutely no pressure on this July 25 phone call. I think that's what we heard earlier, right?

VINDMAN: I believe so.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: And you have termed what President Trump asked in terms of investigations on that phone call as a demand. Correct?

VINDMAN: Correct.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: And you've pointed out the large power disparity between President Trump on the one hand and President Zelensky on the other. Correct?

VINDMAN: Yes.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: There was pressure on that phone call, right?

VINDMAN: The -- the Ukranians needed the meeting. The Ukrainians subsequently when they found out about it needed the security assistance.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: So the pressure was brought to bear on them, correct?

VINDMAN: I believe so.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Sir, Colonel Vindman, last week we heard a decorated military veteran namely Ambassador Bill Taylor come before us. You interacted regularly with Ambassador Taylor and you know him to be a man of integrity and he's a patriotic American. Isn't that right?

VINDMAN: A superb individual.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I asked Ambassador Taylor a series of questions based on his experience as an infantry commander. I asked him quote, is an officer allowed to hold up action placing his troops at risk until someone provides him a personal benefit? Ambassador Taylor responded, no sir. Colonel Vindman, do you agree with Ambassador Taylor?

VINDMAN: I do.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I then asked Ambassador Taylor quote, is that because they would be betraying their responsibility to the nation? Ambassador Taylor responded, yes, sir. Colonel Vindman, do you agree with Ambassador Taylor?

VINDMAN: I do.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I then asked Ambassador Taylor, quote, could that type of conduct trigger a court martial? Ambassador Taylor said yes sir. Do you agree with Ambassador Taylor Colonel Vindman?

VINDMAN: I do.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Thank you for your service.

SCHIFF: That concludes the member questioning. Representative Nunes, you're recognized for any concluding remarks.

NUNES: Well Act 1 of today's circus is over. For those of you who have been watching at home, the democrats are no closer to impeachment then where they were three years ago. In the process they've -- the Department of Justice, FBI, State Department, elements within the I.C., the ICIG have all suffered long-term damage. The democrats can continue to put -- to poison the American people with this nonsense. We sat here all morning without any evidence for impeachment which would be a very serious crime, high crime and misdemeanor as it says in the Constitution. No such thing.

Policy disagreements and the democrats failure to acknowledge their involvement in the 2016 election, I would say it's astonishing but that would be putting too little emphasis on their actions. With that I yield back the balance of my time.

SCHIFF: I thank the gentleman. I want to thank our witnesses today, Ms. Williams, Colonel Vindman, both of you for your service to the country, for your testimony here today and I just want to address briefly some of the evidence you presented as well as others thus far in the impeachment inquiry.

First of all, I want to join my colleagues in thanking you Colonel Vindman for your military service and I should tell you that notwithstanding all of the questions you got on why didn't you go talk to your supervisor. Why didn't you go talk to Mr. Morrison? Why did you go to the national security lawyer as if there is something wrong with going to the national security lawyer.

Are you aware that we asked Mr. Morrison whether he went to the national security lawyer right after the call and that he did.

VINDMAN: I am.

SCHIFF: And are you aware also that we asked him, well if you have this problem with Colonel Vindman not going to you instead of the lawyer, naturally you must have got your supervisor in you know what his answer was? He didn't go to his supervisor, either. He went directly to the National Security Council lawyers. I hope my colleagues will give him the same hard time for not following his chain of command that he complained about with you apparently.

The president may attack you and has. Others on right-wing TV might attack you, and they have. But I thought you should know and maybe you know already that this is what the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had to say about you Colonel Vindman. He is a professional, competent, patriotic and loyal officer. He has made an extraordinary contribution to the security of our nation in both peacetime and combat. I am sure your dad is proud to hear that.

My colleagues have tried to make the argument here today and we've heard it before that the president was just interested in fighting corruption. That's our goal, fighting corruption in Ukraine, this terribly corrupt country. The problem of course with that is there is no evidence of the president trying to fight corruption. The evidence all points in the other direction. The evidence points the direction of the president inviting Ukraine to engage in the corrupt act of investigating a U.S. political opponent.

Ambassador Yovanovitch was known as a strong fighter of corruption so what does the president do? He recalls her from her post. Ambassador Yovanovitch, in fact, was at a meeting celebrating other anticorruption fighters including a woman who had acid thrown in her face on the day she was told to get on the next plane back to Washington. You prepared talking points for the president's first conversation with Zelensky. He's supposed to talk about rooting out corruption. If this President had such a deep interest in rooting out corruption in Ukraine, surely he would've brought it up in the call but of course we now know that he did not.

We then see Rudy Giuliani not fighting corruption but asking for an investigation of the Bidens and my colleagues say well maybe he was acting on his own. Even though he says he's acting as the President's lawyer, maybe he was really acting on his own but the two investigations that Rudy Giuliani wanted, come up in the meeting you participate in on July 10th at the White House, when Ambassador Sondland brings up the Bidens and Burisma of 2016, tells the Ukrainians who want that meeting at the White House, you've got to do these investigations.

Now they would say Ambassador Sondland was acting on his own, but that doesn't quite work either because we have the call record from July 25th, which the President was forced to release, in which the President doesn't bring up corruption, he doesn't say how are those anti-corruption courts going or great work at the Rada. Of course not.

What does the President say? I want you to invest the -- investigate the Bidens and this debunked conspiracy theory pushed by Vladimir Putin, that also helps me in my re-election. So much for fighting corruption.

The message to Ukraine -- the real message to Ukraine, our U.S. policy message is don't engage in political investigations. The message from the President, however, was the exact opposite -- do engage in political investigations and do it for my re-election.

And it's also made clear they want the White House meeting and ultimately if they want $400 million in U.S. aid, this is what they have to do. The only lament I hear from my colleagues is it wasn't successful, they got caught, they didn't get the political investigations and they still had to release the money. Now, they still haven't gotten the White House meeting but they had to release the money because the whistleblower blew the whistle -- the whistleblower the President wants to punish -- and because Congress announced it was doing investigations, and very soon thereafter, the President was forced to lift the hold on the aid.

They argue well this makes it -- this makes it OK, that it was a failed effort to bribe Ukraine, a failed effort to extort Ukraine. That doesn't make it better, it's no less odious because it was discovered and it was stopped.

And we have courageous people like yourself who come forward, who report things, who do what they should do, who have a sense, as you put it, Colonel, of duty -- of duty. Not to the person of the President, but to the presidency and to the country, and we thank you for that.

At the end of the day, I think this all comes back to something we heard from another career foreign service officer just last Friday, in a conversation he overheard with the President in a restaurant in Ukraine, in which the President, not Rudy Giuliani, not anyone else, the President of the United States wanted to know are they going to do the investigation? This is the day after that July 25th call -- are they going to do the investigations? And he's ensured by Ambassador Sondland they're going to do it.

And what does Sondland relate to this foreign service officer after he hangs up that call? The President doesn't give a expletive about Ukraine, he only cares about the big things that help his personal interests. That's all you need to know.

And it isn't just about Ukraine. Of course, Ukraine is fighting our fight against the Russians, against their expansionism. That's our fight, too -- that's our fight, too, at least we thought so on a bipartisan basis, that's our fight, too. That's why we support Ukraine with the military aid that we have.

Well the President may not care about it but we do. We care about our defense, we care about the defense of our allies and we darn well care about our Constitution. We are adjourned. I please ask the -- the audience to allow the witnesses and the members who have to go vote to leave first.