On Tuesday, Nov. 19, Kurt Volker, former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, a former NSC aide, testified in front of the House Intelligence Committee as part of the impeachment inquiry.





































SCHIFF: The committee will come to order. Good afternoon, this is the fourth 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 other hearings, I'll make an opening statement and then the Ranking Member will have an opportunity to make his opening statement and we will turn to our witnesses for opening statements and then to questions.

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. This afternoon, we will hear from two witnesses requested by the minority, Ambassador Kurt Volker, the State Department Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, and Tim Morrison, the Senior -- former Senior Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council. I appreciate the minority's request for these two important witnesses as well as Undersecretary of State David Hale, from whom we will hear tomorrow.

As we have heard from other witnesses, when Joe Biden was considering whether to enter the race for the presidency in 2020, the President's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani began a campaign to weaken vie (sic) President Biden's -- Vice President Biden's candidacy by pushing Ukraine to investigate him and his son.

To clear away any obstacle to the scheme, days after the new Ukrainian President was elected, Trump ordered the recall of Marie Yovanovitch, the American Ambassador in Kiev, who was known for pushing anti-corruption efforts.

Trump also canceled Vice President Mike Pence's participation in the inauguration of President Zelensky on May 20th and instead sent a delegation headed by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland and Ambassador Kurt Volker.

These three returned from Kiev and briefed President Trump on their encouraging first interactions with the new Ukrainian administration. Hopes that Trump would agree to an early meeting with the Ukrainian President were soon diminished, however, when Trump pushed back.

According to Volker, he just didn't believe it, he was skeptical and he also said that's not what I hear, I hear, you know, he's got some terrible people around him. President Trump also told them he believed that Ukraine tried to take him down. He told the three amigos talk to Rudy and they did.

One of those interactions took place a week before the July 25th phone call between Trump and Zelensky, and Ambassador Volker had breakfast with Rudy Giuliani at the Trump Hotel. Volker testified that he pushed back on Giuliani's accusation against Joe Biden.

On July 22nd, just days before Trump would talk to Zelensky, Ambassador Volker had a telephone conference with Giuliani and Andriy Yermak, a top advisor to the Ukrainian President so that Giuliani could be introduced to Yermak.

On July 25th, the same day as the call between President Trump and Zelensky, but before it took place, Ambassador Volker sent a text message to Yermak, quote "heard from the White House, assuming President Z convinces Trump he will investigate/get to the bottom of what happened in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington. Good luck!"

Later that day, Donald Trump would have the now infamous phone call with Zelensky, in which he responded to Ukraine's appreciation for U.S. defense support and a request by President Zelensky to buy more Javelin anti-tank missiles by saying I would like you to do us a favor, though, and the favor involved the two investigations that Giuliani had been pushing for into the Bidens in 2016.

Ambassador Volker was not on the call but when asked about what it reflected, he testified no President of the United States should ask a foreign leader to help interfere in a U.S. election. Among those listening in on the July 25th call was Tim Morrison, who had taken over as the NSC Senior Director for European Affairs at the NSC only days before but had been briefed by his predecessor Fiona Hill about the irregular second channel that was operating in parallel to the official one.

Lieutenant Colonel Vindman and Ms. Williams, from whom we heard this morning, like them, Morrison emerged from the call troubled. He was concerned enough about what he heard on the July 25th call that he went to see the NSC legal advisor soon after it had ended.

Colonel Vindman's fear was that the President had broken the law potentially but Morrison said of his concern that -- his concern was that the call could be damaging if it were leaked. Soon after this discussion with lawyers at the NSC, the call record was hidden away on a secure server used to store highly classified intelligence, where it remained until late September when the call record was publicly released.

Following the July 25th call, Ambassador Volker worked with Sondland and the Ukrainian President's close advisor Yermak on a statement that would satisfy Giuliani. When Yermak sent over a draft that still failed to include the specific words Burisma and 2016, Giuliani said the statement would lack credibility. Ambassador Volker then added both Burisma and 2016 to the draft statement.

Both Volker and Morrison were, by late July, aware that the security assistance had been cut off at the direction of the President and Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. As the Ukrainians became aware of the suspension of security assistance and that negotiations over the scheduling of a White House meeting between Trump and Zelensky dragged on, the pressure increased and any pretense that there was no linkage soon dropped away.

Morrison accompanied Vice President Pence to Warsaw on September 1st, where Pence and Zelensky met, and Zelensky raised the suspended security assistance. Following that meeting, Sondland approached Yermak to tell him that he believed that what could help move the aid was if the Ukrainian Prosecutor General would go to the mic and announce that he was opening the Burisma investigation.

SCHIFF: On September 7th, Ambassador Sondland had a telephone call with Trump and asked him what he wanted from Ukraine. Quoting to Morrison, who spoke with Sondland after the call, Trump insisted that there was no quid pro quo, but President Zelensky must personally announce the opening of the investigations and he should want to do it. Solomon also said that if President Zelensky didn't agree to make a public statement about the investigations, U.S. and Ukraine would be at a stalemate meaning it would not receive the much-need security assistance.

Morrison had a sinking feeling after the call as he realized that the ask was now being directed at Zelensky himself and not the prosecutor general as Sondland had relayed to a senior Ukrainian aid in Warsaw on September 1st.

While President Trump claimed there was no quid pro quo, his instance that Zelensky himself must publicly announce the investigations or they'd be at a stalemate made sure that at least two official acts, a White House meeting and $400 million in military aid were conditioned on receipt of what Trump wanted -- investigations to help his campaign.

The efforts to secure the investigations would continue for several more days but appear to have abruptly ended soon after the three committees of Congress announced an investigation into the Trump-Giuliani Ukraine scheme. Only then would the aid be released. And I now recognize Ranking Member Nunes for any remarks he would like to make.

NUNES: Welcome back to Act 2 of today's circus ladies and gentlemen. We are here to continue what the democrats tell us is a serious, somber, and even prayful process of attempting to overthrow a duly-elected president. If they're successful the end result would be to disenfranchise tens of millions of Americans who thought the president is chosen by the American people not by 13 democrat partisans on a committee that's supposed to be overseeing the government's intelligence agencies.

And isn't it strange how we have morphed into the impeachment committee, presiding over a matter that has no intelligence component whatsoever. Impeachment, of course, is the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee, not the Intelligence Committee. But putting this farce in our court provides two main advantages for the Democrats. It made it easier for them to shroud their depositions in secrecy and it allowed them to avoid giving too big of a role in this spectacle to another Democrat Committee Chairman in whom the Democrat leaders obviously have no confidence.

Who can possibly view these proceedings as fair and impartial? They are being conducted by Democrats who spent three years saturating the airwaves with dire warnings that President Trump is a Russian agent and these outlandish attacks continue to this very day.

Just this weekend in front of a crowd of Democratic Party activists, the chairman of this committee denounced President Trump as a profound threat to our democracy and vowed that we will send that charlatan in the White House back to the golden throne he came from. How can anyone believe the people who utter such dramatic absurdities are conducting a fair impeachment process and are only trying to discover the truth?

It is obvious the Democrats are trying to topple the president solely because they despise him, because they promised since selection day to impeach him and because they are afraid he will win reelection next year.

No witnesses have identified any crime or impeachable offense committed by the president but that doesn't matter. Last week the Democrats told us his infraction was asking for quid pro quo; this week it's bribery. Who knows what ridiculous crime they'll be accusing him of next week. As witnesses, the democrats have called a parade of government officials who don't like President Trumps Ukraine policy even though they acknowledge he provided Ukraine with lethal military aid after the Obama Administration refused to do so.

They also resent his conduct of policy through channels outside their own authority and control. These actions, they argue, contradict the so-called inter-agency consensus. They don't seem to understand that the president alone is Constitutionally vested with the authority to set the policy. The American people elect a president, not an inter-agency consensus. And of course our previous witnesses had very new -- very little new information to share in these hearings. That is because these hearings are not designed to uncover new information; they're meant to showcase a hand-picked group of witnesses who the Democrats determined through their secret audition process will provide testimony most conductive and conducive to their accusations.

In fact, by the time any witness says anything here people are actually hearing it for the third time. They heard it first through the Democrat's cherry-picked leaks to their media sympathizers during the secret depositions and second when the Democrats published those deposition transcripts in a highly staged manner.

Of course there are no transcripts from crucial witnesses like Hunter Biden who could testify about his well-paying job on the board of a corrupt Ukrainian company or Alexandra Chalupa who worked on an election meddling scheme with Ukrainian officials on behalf of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. That's because the Democrats refused to let us hear from them.

As for evidence, we're left with -- what we're left with is the transcript of the Trump-Zelensky phone call which the president made public. That means Americans can read for themselves an unremarkable conversation with President Zelensky who repeatedly expressed satisfaction with the call afterward. The Democrats however claim President Zelensky was being bribed and therefore he must be lying when he says the call was friendly and posed no problems. There's some irony here. For weeks we've heard the Democrats bemoan the damage President Trump supposedly caused to the U.S.-Ukrainian relations.

But when the Ukrainian president contradicts their accusations, they publicly dismiss him as a liar. I may be wrong, but I am fairly sure calling a friendly foreign president, newly elected, a liar violates their so-called inter-agency consensus.

So overall, the Democrats would have you believe President Zelensky was being blackmailed with a pause on lethal military aid that he did not even know about that President Trump did not mention to him and that diplomats have testified they always assumed would be lifted which it was. Without the Ukrainians undertaking any of the actions they were supposedly being coerced into doing. This process is not serious, it's not sober and it is certainly not prayerful. It is an ambitious attack to deprive the American people of the right to elect a president the Democrats don't like. As I mentioned, the Chairman of this committee claims that democracy is under threat. If that is true, it is not the president who poses a danger. I yield back.

SCHIFF: I thank the gentleman. We are joined this afternoon by Ambassador Kurt Volker and Mr. Timothy Morrison. Ambassador Kurt Volker served in the U.S. foreign service for nearly 30 years working on European and Eurasian political and security issues under five different presidential administrations.

During the George W. Bush administration he served as the Acting Director for European and Eurasian Affairs in the National Security Council, and later as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Eurasian Affairs.

In 2008 President Bush appointed Ambassador Volker to the United States permanent representative to NATO where he served until May 2009. In July 2017 Ambassador Volker was appointed to be the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine negotiations, serving in that position until he resigned in September.

It is a pleasure to welcome Mr. Morrison back to the legislative branch where he served for almost two decades as a Republican staffer. He was a professional staff member for Representative Mark Kennedy of Minnesota, and Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona.

Later Mr. Morrison served as the long time policy director for the Republican staff of the House Armed Services Committee. July 2018 Mr. Morrison joined the National Security Council as Senior Director for countering weapons of mass destruction. Following the departure of Dr. Fiona Hill in July 2019 Mr. Morrison assumed the position of Senior Director for Russia and Europe.

Two final points before the witnesses are sworn. First witnesses -- 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 unclassified 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 testifying before Congress including you, or of 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 are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God?

Let the record show that the witnesses answered in the affirmative. Thank you, and please be seated.

The microphones are sensitive, so please speak directly in to them. Without objection your written statements will also be made part of the record. With that, Mr. Morrison you are recognized for your opening statement, and immediately thereafter Ambassador Volker you're recognized for your opening statement.

MORRISON: Chairman Schiff, Ranking Member Nunes and members of the Committee. I appear before you today under subpoena to answer your questions about my time as Senior Director for European Affairs at the White House, and the National Security Council as related to Ukraine and U.S. security sector assistance to that country.

I will provide you the most complete, and accurate information I can consistent with my obligations to protect classified and privileged information. Whether the conduct that is the subject of this inquiry merits impeachment is a question for the U.S. House of Representatives.

I appear here today only to provide factual information based upon my knowledge and recollection of events. I will not waste time restating the details of my opening statement from my deposition on October 31, 2019 which has recently been made public.

However, I will highlight the following key points -- first as I previously stated, I do not know who the whistleblower is, nor do I intend to speculate as to who the individual may be.

Second, I have great respect for my former colleagues from the NSE and the rest of the interagency. I am not here today to question their character or integrity. My recollections and judgments are my own.

Some of my colleague's recollections of conversations and interactions may differ from mine, but I do not view those differences as the result of an (inaudible) purpose. Third, I continue to believe Ukraine is on the frontlines of a strategic competition between the west and Vladimir Putin's (inaudible) Russia.

Russia is a failing power, but it is still a dangerous one. The United States aids Ukraine and her people, so they can fight Russia over there and we don't have to fight Russia here. Support for Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty has been a bipartisan objective since Russia's military invasion in 2014. It must continue to be.

As I stated during my deposition, I feared at the time of the call on July 25, how its disclosure would play in Washington's political climate. My fears have been realized. I understand the gravity of these proceedings, but I beg you not to lose sight of the military conflict underway in eastern Ukraine today.

The ongoing illegal occupation of Crimea, and the importance of reform of Ukraine's politics and economy. Every day that the focus of discussion involving Ukraine is centered on these proceedings, instead of those matters -- is a day when we are not focused on the interest of Ukraine, the United States, and western style liberalism share.

Finally, I concluded by act of service at the National Security Council the day after I last appeared before you. I left the NSC completely of my own volition. I felt no pressure to resign, nor have I feared any retaliation for my testimony. I made this career choice some time before I decided to testify on October 31.

I am prepared to answer your questions to the best of my ability and recollection.

SCHIFF: Thank you. Ambassador Volker.

VOLKER: Thank you very much Mr. Chairman -- Ranking Member. Thank you very much for the opportunity to provide this testimony today. As you know, I was the first person to come forward to testify as part of this inquiry. I did so voluntarily, and likewise voluntarily provided relevant documentation in my possession, in order to be as cooperative, clear, and complete as possible.

I am here today voluntarily, and I remain committed to cooperating fully and truthfully with this committee. All I can do is provide the facts as I understood them at the time. I did this on October 3, in private and I will do so again today.

Like many others who have testified in this inquiry, I'm a career foreign policy professional. I began my career as an intelligence analyst for North Europe, for the Central Intelligence Agency in 1986 before joining the State Department in 1988.

I served in diplomatic postings, primarily focused on European, political and security issues for over 20 years under presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

My last three positions before leaving the senior foreign service in 2009 where I was director for NATO and West European Affairs at the National Security Council. Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs at the State Department -- and finally, as U.S. Ambassador to NATO.

In the spring of 2017, then Secretary of State Tillerson asked if I would come back to government service as U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine negotiations. I did this on a part-time, voluntary basis with no salary paid by the U.S. taxpayer, simply because I believed it was important to serve our country in this way.

I believed I could steer U.S. policy in the right direction. For over two years as U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine negotiations, my singular focus was advancing the foreign policy, and national security interests of the United States.

In particular, that meant pushing back on Russian aggression and supporting the development of a strong, resilient, Democratic and prosperous Ukraine. One that overcomes a legacy of corruption and becomes integrated in to a wider Trans-Atlantic community.

This is critically important for U.S. national security, if we can stop and reverse Russian aggression in Ukraine, we can prevent it elsewhere. If Ukraine, the cradle of Slavic civilization predating Moscow succeeds as a freedom loving, prosperous and secure democracy, it gives us enormous hope that Russia may one day change, providing a better life for Russian people and overcoming its current plague of authoritarianism, corruption, aggression toward neighbors, and threats to NATO and the United States. The stakes for the United States and a successful Ukraine could not be higher.

At no time was I aware of or knowingly took part in an effort to urge Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden. As you know from the extensive real-time documentation I have provided, Vice President Biden was not a topic of our discussions. I was not on the July 25th phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky. I was not made aware of any reference to Vice President Biden or his son by President Trump until the transcript of that call was released on September 25th, 2019.

From July 7, 2017 until September 27th, 2019, I was the lead U.S. diplomat dealing with Russia's war on Ukraine. My role was not some irregular channel but the official channel.

I reported directly to Secretaries of State Tillerson and Pompeo, kept the national security advisor and secretary of Defense well informed of my efforts, and worked closely with Ambassador Masha Yovanovitch, NSC Senior Director Hill and her successor Tim Morrison, then-Assistant Secretary Wess Mitchell and his successor Acting Assistant Secretary Phil Reeker, Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper, NSC Director Alex Vindman and many, many others. I have known many of them for several years, it was a team effort.

When Ambassador Yovanovitch left Kyiv, I identified and recommended Bill Taylor to Secretary Pompeo so we would still have a strong, seasoned professional on the ground.

For two years before the events at the heart of this investigation took place, I was the most senior U.S. diplomat visiting the conflict zone, meeting with victims of Russia's aggression; urging increased U.S. security assistance including lethal defensive weapons; working with Ukrainian President Poroshenko, and then his successor President Zelensky and their team; working with France and Germany in the so-called Normandy process; pressing for support from NATO, the E.U. and OSCE; supporting the OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission; and engaging in negotiations and other contacts with Russian officials.

At this time I took the position in the summer of 2017, there were major complicated questions swirling in public debate about the direction of U.S. policy toward Ukraine. Would the administration lift sanctions against Russia? Would it make some kind of grand bargain with Russia in which it would trade recognition of Russia's seizure of Ukrainian territory for some other deal in Syria or elsewhere? Would the administration recognize Russia's claimed annexation of Crimea? Will this just become another frozen conflict?

There were also a vast number of vacancies in key diplomatic positions, so no one was really representing the United States in the negotiating process about ending the war in Eastern Ukraine.

During over two years of my tenure as U.S. special representative, we fundamentally turned U.S. policy around. U.S. policy toward Ukraine was strong, consistent and enjoyed support across the administration, bipartisan support in Congress, and support among our allies and Ukraine.

We changed the language commonly used to describe Russia's aggression. I was the administration's most outspoken public figure highlighting Russia's invasion and occupation of parts of Ukraine, calling out Russia's responsibility to end the war.

I visited the war zone three times, meeting with soldiers and civilians alike, always bringing media with me to try to raise the public visibility of Russia's aggression and the humanitarian impact on the lives of the citizens of the Donbas. We coordinated closely with our European allies and Canada to maintain a united front against Russian aggression and for Ukraine's democracy, reform, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Ukraine policy is perhaps the one area where the U.S. and its European allies had to be (ph) in lockstep. This coordin (ph) helped -- this coordination helped to strengthen U.S. sanctions against Russia and to maintain E.U. sanctions as well.

Along with others in the administration, I strongly advocated for lifting the ban on the sale of lethal defensive weapons or at least the defensive arms to Ukraine, advocated for increasing U.S. security assistance to Ukraine and urged other countries to follow suit.

My team and I drafted the Pompeo declaration of July 25th, 2018, in which the secretary clearly and definitively laid out the U.S. policy of non-recognition of Russia's claimed annexation of Crimea. I engaged with our allies, with Ukraine, and with Russia in negotiations to implement the Minsk agreements, holding a firm line on insisting on the withdrawal of Russian forces, dismantling of the so-called people's republics and restoring Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Together with others in the administration, we kept U.S. policy steady through presidential and parliamentary elections in Ukraine and worked hard to strengthen the U.S.-Ukraine bilateral relationship under the new president and government, helping shepherd in a peaceful transition of power in Ukraine.

So in short, whereas two years ago most observers would have said that time is on Russia's side, by 2019 when I departed we had turned the tables and time was now on Ukraine's side. It's a tragedy for the United States and for Ukraine that our efforts in this area which were bearing fruit have now been thrown into disarray.

One of the critical aspects of my role as U.S. special representative was that as the most senior U.S. official appointed to work solely on the Ukraine portfolio, I needed to step forward to provide leadership. If we needed to adopt a policy position, I made the case for it. If any -- if we need to -- if anyone needed to speak out publicly, I would do it. When we failed to get a timely statement about Russia's illegal attack on Ukraine's navy and seizure of Ukraine's sailors, I tweeted about it in order to condemn the act. If a problem arose, I knew it was my job to try to fix it.

That was my perspective when I learned in May 2019 that we had a significant problem that was impeding our ability to strengthen our support for Ukraine's new president in his effort to ramp-up Ukraine's fight against corruption and implementation of needed reforms. I found myself faced with a choice, to be aware of a problem and to ignore it, or to accept that it was my responsibility to try to fix it. I tried to fix it.

The problem was that, despite the unanimous positive assessment and recommendations of those of us who were part of the U.S. presidential delegation that attended the inauguration of President Zelensky, President Trump was receiving a different negative narrative about Ukraine and President Zelensky. That narrative was fueled by accusations from Ukraine's then-prosecutor general and conveyed to the president by former mayor, Rudy Giuliani.

As I previously told this committee, I became aware of the negative impact this was having on our policy efforts when four of us who were part of the presidential delegation to the inauguration met as a group with President Trump on May 23rd. We stressed our finding that President Zelensky represented the best chance for getting Ukraine out of the mire of corruption it had been in for over 20 years. We urged him to invite President Zelensky to the White House.

The president was very skeptical. Given Ukraine's history of corruption, that's understandable. He said the Ukraine was a corrupt country full of terrible people. He said they tried to take me down. In the course of that conversation, he referenced conversations with Mayor Giuliani. It was clear to me that despite the positive news and recommendations being conveyed by this official delegation about the new president, President Trump had a deeply rooted negative view on Ukraine rooted in the past. He was receiving other information from other sources, including Mayor Giuliani that was more negative, causing him to retain this negative view.

Within a few days on May 29, President Trump indeed signed the congratulatory letter to President Zelensky, which included an invitation to the president to visit him at the White House. However, more than four weeks past and we could not nail down a date for the meeting. I came to believe that the president's long-held negative view toward Ukraine was causing hesitation in actually scheduling the meeting, much as we had seen in our Oval Office discussion. After weeks of reassuring Ukrainians that it was just a scheduling issue, I decided to tell President Zelensky that we had a problem with the information reaching President Trump from Mayor Giuliani. I did so in a bilateral meeting at a conference on Ukrainian economic reform in Toronto on July 2, 2019 where I lead the U.S. delegation.

I suggested that he call President Trump directly in order to renew their personal relationship and to assure President Trump that he was committed to investigating and fighting corruption, things on which President Zelensky had based his presidential campaign. I was convinced that getting the two presidents to talk with each other would overcome the negative perception Ukraine, the present Trump still harbored. President Zelensky's senior aide Andriy Yermak, approached me several days later and asked to be connected to Mayor Giuliani, I agreed to make that connection. I did so because I understood that the new Ukrainian leadership wanted to convince those like Mayor Giuliani who believe such a negative narrative about Ukraine, that times have changed and that is under President Zelensky, Ukrainians were -- Ukraine is worthy of U.S. support.

Ukrainians believed that if they could get their own narrative in across in a way that convinced Mayor Giuliani that they were serious about fighting corruption and advancing reform, Mayor Giuliani would convey that assessment President Trump, thus correcting the previous negative narrative. It made sense to me and I tried to be helpful. I made clear the Ukrainians that Mayor Giuliani was a private citizen, the president's personal lawyer and not representing the U.S. government. Likewise in my conversations with Mayor Giuliani, I never considered him to be speaking on the president's behalf or getting instructions. Rather, the information flow was the other way, from Ukraine to Mayor Giuliani in the hopes this will clear up the information reaching President Trump.

On July 10 after hearing from Mr. Yermak, I wrote to Mayor Giuliani to seek to get together, and finally on July 19 we met for breakfast for a longer discussion. At that meeting, I told Mr. Giuliani that in my view, the prosecutor general, with whom he had been speaking, Mr. Lutsenko, was not credible and was acting in a self-serving capacity. To my surprise Mayor -- Mayor Giuliani said that he already come to that same conclusion. Mr. Giuliani also mentioned both the accusations about Vice President Biden and about interference in the 2016 election and stressed that all he wanted to see was for Ukraine to investigate what happened in the past and apply its own laws.

Concerning the allegations, I stressed that no one in the new team governing Ukraine had anything to do with anything that may have happened in 2016. They were making television shows at the time. I also said that is not credible to me, that former Vice President Biden would have been influenced in any way by financial or personal motives in carrying out his duties as vice president. A different issue is whether some individual Ukrainians may have attempted to influence the 2016 election, or thought they could buy influence. That is at least plausible, given Ukraine's reputation for corruption. But the accusation of Vice President Biden acted inappropriately did not seem at all credible to me.

After that meeting, I connected Mayor Giuliani and Mr. Yermak by text and later by phone. They met in person, on August 2, 2019. In conversations with me following that meeting, which I did not attend, Mr. Giuliani said that he had stressed the importance of Ukraine conducting investigations into what happened in the past and Mr. Yermak stressed that he told Mr. Giuliani it is the government's program to root out corruption and implement reforms and they would be conducting investigations as part of this process anyway. Mr. Giuliani said he believed Ukrainian president needed to make a statement about fighting corruption and that he had discussed this with Mr. Yermak. I said I did not think that this would be a problem since that is the government's position anyway.

I followed up with Mr. Yermak and he said that they would indeed be prepared to make a statement. He said it would reference Burisma and 2016, in a wider context of bilateral relations and rooting out corruption anyway. There was no mention of Vice President Biden. Rather, in referencing Burisma and 2016 election interference, it was clear to me that he Mr. Yermak, was only talking about whether any Ukrainians had acted inappropriately. At this time, I was focused on our goal of getting President Zelensky and President Trump to meet with each other and I believe that their doing so would overcome the chronically negative view President Trump toward Ukraine. I was seeking to solve the problem I saw when we met with President Trump in the Oval Office on May 23.

As a professional diplomat, I was comfortable exploring whether there was a statement Ukraine could make about its own intentions to investigate possible corruption that would be helpful in convincing Mr. Giuliani to convey to President Trump a more positive assessment of the new leadership in Ukraine. On August 16, Mister Yermak shared a draft with me, which I thought looked perfectly reasonable. It did not mention Burisma or 2016 elections, but was generic. Ambassador Sondland and I had a further conversation with Mr. Giuliani who said that in his view, in order to be convincing that this government represented real change in Ukraine, the statement should include specific reference to Burisma and 2016.

Again, there is no mention of Vice President Biden these conversations. Ambassador Sondland and I discussed these points and I edited the statement drafted by Mr. Yermak to include these points to see how it looked. I then discussed it further with Mr. Yermak. He said that for number of reasons, including the fact that Mr. Lutsenko was still officially the prosecutor general, they do not want to mention Burisma or 2016. I agreed, and the idea of putting out a statement was shelved. These were the last conversations I had about this statement, which were on or about August 17 and 18. My last contact with Mr. Giuliani, according to my records was on August 13 until he tried to reach me on September 20 after the impeachment inquiry was launched.

At this time, that is to say, in the middle of August, I thought the idea of issuing this statement have been definitively scrapped. In September, I was surprised to learn that there had been further discussions with Ukrainians about President Zelensky possibly making a statement in an interview with U.S. media similar to what we had discussed in August. Since these events and since I gave my testimony on October 3rd, a great deal of additional information and perspectives have come to light.

I've learned many things that I did not know at the time of the events in question. First, at the time I was connecting Mr. Yermak and Mr. Giuliani and discussing with Mr. Yermak and Ambassador Sondland to possible statement that could be made by the Ukrainian president, I did not know of any linkage between the hold on security assistance and Ukraine pursuing investigations.

No one had ever said that to me and I never conveyed such a linkage to the Ukrainians. I opposed the hold on U.S. security assistance as soon as I learned about it on July 18 and I thought we could turn it around before the Ukrainians ever knew or became alarmed about it.

I did not know the reason for the hold but I viewed it as a U.S. policy problem that we needed to fix internally and I was confident we would do so. I believe the Ukrainians became aware of the hold on August 29th and not before.

That date is the first time any of them asked me about the hold by forwarding an article that had been published in Politico. When I spoke the Ukrainians about the hold after August 29th, instead of telling them that they needed to do something to get the hold released, I told them the opposite.

That they should not be alarmed. It was an internal U.S. problem and we were working to get it fixed. I did not know others were conveying a different message to them around the same time.

Second, I did not know about the strong concerns expressed by then National Security Advisor, John Bolton, to members of his NSC staff regarding the discussion of investigations. I participated in the July 10th meeting between National Security Advisor Bolton and then Ukrainian Chairman of the National Security Defense Council, Alex Danylyuk.

As I remember, the meeting was essentially over when Ambassador Sondland made a general comment about investigations. I think all of us thought it was inappropriate. The conversation did not continue and the meeting concluded.

Later on the Ward Room, I may have been engaged in a side conversation or had already left the complex because I do not recall further discussion regarding investigations of Burisma.

Third, I did not understand that others believed that any investigation of the Ukrainian company, Burisma, which had a history of accusations of corruption was tantamount (ph) to investigating Vice President Biden. I drew a sharp distinction between the two.

It has long been U.S. policy under multiple administrations to urge Ukraine to investigate and fight internal corruption. I was quite comfortable with Ukraine making its own statement about its own policy of investigating and fighting corruption at home.

At the one in person meeting I had with Mayor Giuliani on July 19th, Mayor Giuliani raised and rejected the conspiracy theory that Vice President Biden would have been influenced in his duties as Vice President by money paid to his son.

As I previously testified, I have known Vice President Biden for 24 years. He is an honorable man and I hold him in the highest regard. At no time was aware of or knowingly took part in an effort to urge Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden.

And as you know from the extensive documentation I provided, Vice President Biden was not a topic of discussion. I was not on the July 25th phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky.

And I was not made aware of any reference to Vice President Biden or his son by President Trump until the transcript of that call was released on September 25th, 2019. Throughout this time I understood that there was an important distinction between Burisma and Biden and I urged the Ukrainians to maintain such a distinction.

I did not know that President Trump or others had raised Vice President Biden with Ukrainians or had conflated the investigation of possible Ukrainian corruption with investigation of the former Vice President.

In retrospect for the Ukrainians it would clearly have been confusing. In hindsight I now understand that others saw the idea of investigating possible corruption involving the Ukrainian company, Burisma, as equivalent to investigating former president -- Vice President Biden.

I saw them as very different. The former being appropriate and unremarkable, the latter being unacceptable. In retrospect I should have seen that connection differently and had I done so I would have raised my own objections.

Fourth, much has been made of the term three amigos in reference to Secretary Perry, Ambassador Sondland, and myself. I've never used that term and frankly cringe when I hear it because for me the three amigos will always refer to Senator McCain, Senator Lieberman, and Senator Graham in reference to their work to support the surge in Iraq.

Moreover, I was never aware of any designation by President Trump or anyone else including Ambassador Sondland or the three of us as a group in charge of Ukraine policy. Rather, as I understood it, each of us in our respective official capacities continued to work together after our attendance of President Zelensky's inauguration to push for greater U.S. support for Ukraine.

Leading the diplomacy around Ukraine negotiations have long been my official responsibility but I welcome the added support and influence of a cabinet member and our EU Ambassador.

Fifth, I was not aware that Ambassador Sondland spoke with President Trump on July 26th, while Ambassador Taylor and I were visiting the conflict zone. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, allow me to thank you again for the opportunity to provide this testimony. I believe that U.S. foreign policy and national security interest in Ukraine are of critical importance and I would be pleased to answer your questions. Thank you.

SCHIFF: Thank you gentlemen for your opening statements. We'll now proceed to the first round of questions as detailed in the memo I provided the committee members. So it'll be 45 minutes of questions conducted by the chairman or majority council, followed by 45 minutes for the Ranking member or minority council.

Following that, unless I specify 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 council for the first round of questions.

Ambassador Volker, I was going to just yield to the minority council but there are a couple points that you made in your opening statement that I wanted to ask about first. First you said that now former Attorney General Lutsenko was not credible.

Mr. Lutsenko is the author of a number of allegations against Ambassador Yovanovitch, a number of allegations that were shared with John Solomon of the Hill. A number of allegations that have been repeatedly brought up by my Republican colleagues. Why is it that you found Mr. Lutsenko not credible and told Mr. Giuliani so?

VOLKER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First off, the allegations themselves, including those against Ambassador Yovanovitch, did not appear to me to be credible at all. I know her to be an incredibly confident professional, someone I've worked with for many, many years.

The suggestions that she was acting in some inappropriate matter were not credible to me. I've known Vice President Biden for a long time. Those accusations were not credible. And then separate from that, I also was aware of the political situation in Ukraine.

We had a situation where President Poroshenko appeared to not be in a favorable position going into the elections where it was increasingly apparent, then candidate Zelensky was going to win.

As is often the case in Ukraine, a change in power would mean change in prosecutorial powers as well. And there have been efforts in the past at prosecuting the previous government. I think Mr. Lutsenko, in my estimation, and I said this to Mayor Giuliani when I met with him, was interested in preserving his own position. He wanted to avoid being fired by a new government in order to prevent prosecution of himself -- possible prosecution of himself, possibly also this is something that President Poroshenko would have welcomed, as well, because he probably would have avoided any efforts to prosecute President Poroshenko, as well.

So by making allegations like this and making sure they were reaching U.S. media, I think that Mr. Letsenko was trying to make himself appear to be an important and influential player in the United States.

SCHIFF: Ambassador, let me also ask you about the allegations against Joe Biden, because that has been a continuing refrain from some of my colleagues, as well. Why was it you found the allegations against Joe Biden, related to his son or Burisma, not to be believed?

VOLKER: Simply because I've known Vice President -- former Vice President Biden for a long time, I know how he respects his duties of higher office and it's just not credible to me that a Vice President of the United States is going to do anything other than act as how he sees best for the national interest.

SCHIFF: Finally, Ambassador, before I turn it over, I was struck by something you said on Page 8 of your statement, which reads "in hindsight, I now understand that others saw the idea of investigating possible corruption involving the Ukrainian company Burisma as equivalent to investigating former Vice President Biden. I saw them as different, the former being appropriate and unremarkable, the latter being unacceptable."

In retrospect, you said "I should have seen that connection differently, and had I done so, I would have raised my own objections." What is it now, Ambassador, in retrospect that you recognize that you didn't at the time that leads you to conclude that you would or should have raised these objections?

VOLKER: Yeah, that others did not see the distinction between these things as I saw it. As I said, there is a history of corruption in Ukraine, there's a history with the company of Burisma -- it's been investigated. That is well known.

There is a separate allegation about the Vice President acting inappropriately. His son was a board member of this company but those things I saw as completely distinct. And what I was trying to do in working with the Ukrainians was to thread a needle, to see whether things that they can do that are appropriate and reasonable as part of Ukraine's own policy of fighting corruption, that help clarify for our President that they are committed to that very -- that very effort.

There's a way to thread that needle, I -- I thought it was worth the effort to try to solve that problem. As it turns out, I now understand that most of the other people didn't see or didn't consider this distinction, that for them it was synonymous.

SCHIFF: Well one of those people who saw it as synonymous turns out to be the President of the United States. I take it you didn't know until the call record was released that the President in that call doesn't raise Burisma, he asked for an investigation of the Bidens. Is that right?

VOLKER: That is correct.

SCHIFF: I take it since you say that -- you acknowledge that asking for an investigation of the Bidens would have been unacceptable and objectionable, that had the President asked you to get Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, you would have told him so?

VOLKER: I would have objected to that. Yes, sir.

SCHIFF: Mr. Goldman?

GOLDMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just one follow up on that, Ambassador Volker. When -- when you say thread the needle, you're -- you mean that you understood the relationship between Vice President Biden's son on -- and Burisma but you were trying to separate the two of them in your mind? Is that right?

VOLKER: Well I believe that they were separate, that -- and I -- this references the conversation I had with Mr. Giuliani as well, where I think the allegations against Vice President Biden are self-serving and not credible.

A separate question is whether it is appropriate for Ukraine to investigate possible corruption of Ukrainians that may have tried to corrupt things or buy influence. To me, they are very different things. As I said, I think the former is unacceptable, I think the latter in this case is ...

GOLDMAN: Understood but you -- you understood the relationship between Hunter Biden and Burisma? That's ...

VOLKER: I knew that he had been a board member of the company, yes.

GOLDMAN: Let's go back ...

VOLKER: That's why it was so important to maintain the distinction.

GOLDMAN: Let's focus on the -- the July 25th call for a moment. And Mr. Morrison, July 25th was day number what for you as the Senior Director overseeing Ukraine?

MORRISON: I -- I officially took over on the 15th, approximately 10 days, very few days actually in the office.

GOLDMAN: You testified in your deposition that you received an e-mail on the morning of July 25th from Ambassador Sondland shortly before the call. Is that right?


GOLDMAN: And I believe in that e-mail, Ambassador Sondland told you that he had briefed President Trump about the -- in advance of the call. Is that right?


GOLDMAN: And I -- you also testified that Ambassador Sondland had told you on another occasion that he could call the President whenever he wanted. Is that right?

MORRISON: I -- yes.

GOLDMAN: And on July 25th, did you in fact make an effort to confirm whether or not the phone call between Ambassador Sondland and President Trump actually occurred?


GOLDMAN: And did it -- did it happen?


GOLDMAN: On other occasions when Ambassador Sondland told you that he spoke with President Trump, did you -- on some other occasions, did you also seek confirmation of that fact?

MORRISON: On some, yes.

GOLDMAN: And on those occasions when you did seek to confirm that they had spoken, what did you find?

MORRISON: They had.

GOLDMAN: Now I want to pull up a text message on the morning of July 25th between -- well, it's -- should be another one. Oh yeah, sorry -- Ambassador Sondland with you, Ambassador Volker. And at 7:54, Ambassador -- in the morning, Ambassador Sondland says "call ASAP." Then at 9:35, Ambassador Volker, you respond. Is the screen working in front of you or just to the side?


GOLDMAN: So if you could go ahead and read what you said ...


GOLDMAN: ... at 9:35?

VOLKER: Yes, so I say "hi Gordon, got your message. Had a great lunch with Yermak and then passed your message to him. He will see you tomorrow, think everything is in place."

GOLDMAN: And who is Yermak?

VOLKER: Andriy Yermak is the Senior Advisor to President Zelensky of Ukraine.

GOLDMAN: Now what was the message that you had received?

VOLKER: That President Zelensky should be clear, convincing, forthright with President Trump about his commitment to fighting corruption, investigating what happened in the past, get to the bottom of things, whatever there is, and -- and if he does that, President Trump was prepared to be reassured, that he would say yes, come on, let's get this date for this visit scheduled.

GOLDMAN: And did you understand from that message that Ambassador Sondland had spoken to President Trump?

VOLKER: I wasn't sure whether he had or not. He, as Mr. Morrison just said, said that he does speak with President Trump. I knew that he had conversations in general. I didn't know specifically about one leading up to this.

GOLDMAN: Now on the screen in front of you is another text message from you that same morning ...


GOLDMAN: ... at 8:36 in the morning to Andriy Yermak.

VOLKER: Yes, I believe because of the time difference, this is actually in the afternoon in Ukraine.

GOLDMAN: In Ukraine so this is East Coast time. That's right. So this is slightly less than a half hour before the call between President Trump and President Zelensky.

VOLKER: Right. And...

GOLDMAN: And can you just read what you wrote there?

VOLKER: Yes. And just after the lunch that I had with Andriy Yermak, it was a good lunch thanks. I heard from the White House. Assuming President Z convinces Trump he will investigate and get to the bottom of what happened in 2016. We will nail down a date for a visit to Washington. Good luck. See you tomorrow. Kurt.

GOLDMAN: And does this accurately relay the message that you had received from Ambassador Sondland?


GOLDMAN: Now Mr. Morrison, did the National Security Council also prepare talking points for President Trump for this call?

MORRISON: The NSC staff did, yes.

GOLDMAN: And per usual custom, were these talking points based on the official United States policy objectives?

MORRISON: They were.

GOLDMAN: And since there's been a little bit of dispute about what that means, can you explain how official U.S. policy is determined through the interagency process?

MORRISON: We operate under what's known as NSPM-4 - National Security Presidential Memorandum - 4. It's available on the internet. That lays out how the president wants to be provided options for his decision.

GOLDMAN: And there's an extensive process to finalize any policy. Is that right?

MORRISON: Sometimes.

GOLDMAN: Did you, Mr. Morrison, you listened to this call on the 25th. Is that right?


GOLDMAN: Where did you listen from?

MORRISON: The White House Situation Room.

GOLDMAN: In your deposition you testified that the call was not what you were hoping to hear. What did you mean by that?

MORRISON: I was hoping for a more full-throated statement of support from the president concerning President Zelensky's reform agenda given where we were at the time with respect to the overwhelming mandate President Zelensky, servant of the party people had received in the Rada election.

GOLDMAN: And that Rada which is the Ukrainian Parliament. That election had occurred four days earlier.

MORRISON: That sounds right.

GOLDMAN: And President Zelensky's party won in a landslide. Is that right?

MORRISON: They received more than a majority in their own right.

GOLDMAN: So at least in Ukraine there was tremendous support for Zelensky's anticorruption agenda. Is that right?

MORRISON: At the time.

GOLDMAN: And within the interagency, within the National Security Agency's here in the United States, was there broad support for President Zelensky?

MORRISON: There was broad support for getting President Zelensky a chance.

GOLDMAN: And to that point he had shown that he was - he had at least put his money where his mouth was for the three months that he had been in office. Is that right?

MORRISON: Approximately three months, yes.

GOLDMAN: Now I want to show a couple of excerpts from this call record to each of you. The first is President Trump responding to a comment by President Zelensky related to defense support from the United States and the purchase of Javelins and President Trump then says 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 crowd strike. I guess you have one of your wealthy people, the server, they say Ukraine has it.

And if we could go to the next excerpt where 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.

Now Mr. Morrison, were these references to crowd strike the server in 2016 election and to Vice President Biden and his son were included in the president's talking points?

MORRISON: They were not.

GOLDMAN: And were they consistent with what you understood at that time to be official U.S. policy. I was not aware of any of much of this at the time. And in fact, subsequent to this call, you did nothing to implement the - the investigations that President Trump -- implement the request for the investigations that President Trump asked for. Is that right?

MORRISON: I did not understand any instruction to do so.

GOLDMAN: And you didn't - you were not aware of anyone else within your - you coordinate the interagency process and you were not aware of anyone else who was doing that either. Is that right?

MORRISON: Correct.

GOLDMAN: Now you testified in your deposition, hearing this call confirmed what you call the parallel process that your predecessor Fiona Hill had warned you about. What did you mean by that?

MORRISON: During the period in which Dr. Hill and I were conducting handoff meetings so that I could be up to speed on the various things that were occurring in the portfolio at the time. She mentioned the traditional NSPM-4 process and the parallel process and in the context of discussing the parallel process she mentioned she was like Burisma, which were noteworthy to me at the time because I had never heard of them before and upon hearing them in the call it wound up confirming, OK there's something here.

GOLDMAN: And who did she inform you was involved in this parallel process?

MORRISON: As I recall, it was definitely Ambassador Sondland and I believe Mr. Giuliani.

GOLDMAN: And after she informed you of this company Burisma, what if anything did you do to determine what that was?

MORRISON: After that particular handoff meeting I proceeded to look it up on the internet; I Googled it.

GOLDMAN: And did you find that it had some association with Hunter Biden.


GOLDMAN: Now Ambassador Volker, you did not listen to this call but you testified that you were surprised and troubled when you read the call record after it was released on September 25th and you also said that after reading the call record, it was clear to you that the Biden, Burisma and the 2016 election investigations that President Trump discussed on the call were designed to serve the president's political interests not the national interests. What did you mean when you said that?

VOLKER: Sir, I don't recall that language from my testimony - from my October 3rd testimony.

GOLDMAN: Yes it was.

VOLKER: Thank you. Well what I do mean by that and I'd like to phrase it in my own words now is I don't think that raising 2016 elections or Vice President Biden or these things I consider to be conspiracy theories that have been circulated by the Ukrainians particularly the former prosecutor general are - they're - they're not things that we should be pursuing as part of our national security strategy with Ukraine. We should be supporting Ukraine's democracy, reforms, it's own fight against corruption domestically, its struggle against Russia, its defense capabilities. These are the heart of what we should be doing and I don't think pursuing these things serves a national interest.

GOLDMAN: Mr. Morrison, shortly after you heard the July 25th call, you testified that you alerted the NSC legal adviser John Eisenberg pretty much right away. Is that right?

MORRISON: Correct.

GOLDMAN: And you indicated in your opening statement, at least from your deposition, that you went to Mr. Eisenberg out of concern over the potential political fallout if the call record became public, not because you thought it was illegal. Is that right?

MORRISON: Correct.

GOLDMAN: But you would agree, right, that asking a foreign government to investigate a domestic political rival is inappropriate, would you not?

MORRISON: It's not what -- it's not what we recommended the president discuss.

GOLDMAN: Now, in a second meeting with Mr. Eisenberg, what did you recommend that he do to prevent the call record from leaking?

MORRISON: I recommended we restrict access to the package.

GOLDMAN: Had you ever asked the NSC legal advisor to restrict access before?


GOLDMAN: Did you speak to your supervisor, Dr. Kupperman, before you went to speak to John Eisenberg?


GOLDMAN: Did you subsequently learn that the call record had been put in a highly classified system?


GOLDMAN: And what reason did Mr. Eisenberg give you for why the call record was put in the highly classified system?

MORRISON: It was a mistake.

GOLDMAN: He said it was just a mistake?

MORRISON: It was an administrative error.

GOLDMAN: Now, isn't it also true, though, that you had authority to restrict access on the regular system if you wanted to?

MORRISON: I believe I could have instructed the appropriate staff to do so, yes.

GOLDMAN: So why did you go to the NSC legal advisor to recommend that?

MORRISON: Well, I was also concerned that, based on the participants in the listening room that day, I did not then -- and I do not now -- recall any representatives from the NSC legal advisor's office, as they were often on head of state calls but not always. And I wanted to make sure that John Eisenberg as the legal advisor and his deputy were aware to -- to review this particular transcript.

GOLDMAN: And you wanted them to review it because you were concerned about the political -- potential political consequences, not because of -- it was -- anything was wrong?

MORRISON: Correct. And political consequences is -- was an umbrella term I used in my statement to describe a series of effects I feared about what would happen if and when the content of the transcript or the content of the MemCon leaked.

GOLDMAN: So just to make sure I understand this correctly, Mr. Morrison, you heard the call, you recognized that President Trump was not discussing the talking points that the NSC had prepared based on official U.S. policy and was instead talking about the investigations that Fiona Hill had warned you about. And then you reported it immediately to the NSC legal advisor, is that the -- the correct chain of events here?

MORRISON: That's correct.

GOLDMAN: Now, Ambassador Volker, in the July 25th call, President Zelensky volunteers to President Trump that Rudy Giuliani had already spoken with one of this associates and that President Zelensky hopes Giuliani will come to Ukraine. And in response, President Trump proceeds to mention Mr. Giuliani on three separate occasions during this call.

You testified about a May 23rd meeting in the Oval Office where the president spoke quite negatively about Ukraine and how it would -- tried to take him down, and that he also repeated some of the allegations that Mr. Giuliani was making. Is that correct?


GOLDMAN: OK. And those allegations were in the media, were they not?


GOLDMAN: And during that meeting, President Trump told you and Ambassador Sondland and Secretary Perry to talk to Giuliani, isn't that correct?

MORRISON: He -- I didn't take it as an instruction, I want to be clear about that. He said, that's not what I hear. You know, when we were giving him our assessment about President Zelensky and where Ukraine is headed (ph), he said, that's not what I hear. I hear terrible things, he's got terrible people around him. Talk to Rudy.

And I understood in that context, him just saying, that's where he hears it from. I didn't take it as an instruction.

GOLDMAN: So when he said, talk to Rudy, you didn't take it -- him to mean to -- for you to talk to Rudy?

MORRISON: No, I didn't take it that way. I took it as -- that just -- just part of the dialogue that I hear to -- I hear other things, I hear them from Rudy, John (ph), I hear them from other people. That's not what's going on, he's surrounded by terrible people. Talk to Rudy. You know, it just seemed like part of the dialogue.

GOLDMAN: Well, after that meeting, did you in fact talk to Rudy?

MORRISON: After that meeting, not immediately, no. Remember, this was May 23rd. And we continued to proceed with our effort to get the White House visit for President Zelensky scheduled, and to keep ramping up our support for the new Ukrainian president and ultimately, the new Ukrainian government.

I -- I did however, on July 2nd, as I was becoming concerned that we were not succeeding at this, tell President Zelensky, I think we have a problem. And that problem being this negative feed of information from Mr. Giuliani.

GOLDMAN: And ultimately, I think as you testified in your opening statement, you introduced Mr. Yermak to Mr. Giuliani and they eventually met, is that right?

MORRISON: That is correct.

GOLDMAN: Now, during this whole time in July and after the call into early August when they met, Ukraine still desperately wanted that Oval Office meeting for President Zelensky, correct?

MORRISON: That is correct.

GOLDMAN: And you also wanted that for President Zelensky, is that right?

MORRISON: That is correct.

GOLDMAN: Why was that Oval Office meeting so important to President Zelensky?

MORRISON: I think that he felt that he was not well-understood by President Trump. He is a charismatic leader who ran a remarkable campaign in Ukraine against the legacy of corruption and political malaise that had been there. He had a massive showing in the presidential election, 73 percent support. He believed he was leading a movement of major change in Ukraine, and that President Trump was -- did not see that or didn't appreciate that.

But if he had a chance to sit down and speak with President Trump face-to-face, he believed that he could be very convincing about that and I agree with him.

GOLDMAN: That certainly was your assessment, right?

MORRISON: It was my assessment, and I believe it was also what President Zelensky believed.

GOLDMAN: And certainly you understood from your experience in Ukraine, that there would be a significant boost in legitimacy at home for President Zelensky if there were photos of him in the Oval Office, et cetera, right?

MORRISON: Yes, that is correct.

GOLDMAN: Now, you knew -- you testified in your -- your opening statement that Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Yermak, Zelensky's aide, met on August 2nd. Where did they meet?

MORRISON: They met in Madrid.

GOLDMAN: And what -- did you learn that Mr. Giuliani requested anything of the Ukrainians at that meeting?

MORRISON: Only when I spoke with Mr. Giuliani afterwards. He said that he thought Ukraine should issue a statement. And then I spoke with Mr. Yermak after that and he said yes, and we are prepared to make a statement. And that then kicked off the series of discussions that I said (ph) in my testimony.

GOLDMAN: We'll get into that in a second. But Mr. Giuliani did not explain to you what needed to be included in that statement, in that call you had?

MORRISON: He said something more general as I recall. I recall him saying, fight corruption, that -- their commitment to being different. Mr. Yermak told me when I spoke with him, as I recall, that the statement would include specific mention of Burisma and 2016.

GOLDMAN: Right. Let's go through some of the text messages so we know exactly who said what. And first, let's start on August 9th. This is a text exchange between you and Ambassador Sondland, where Ambassador Sondland writes at the top, Morrison ready to get dates as soon as Yermak confirms. And what did you respond?

VOLKER: I said, "excellent!!" with two exclamation points, "How did you sway him with?" with a smile afterwards.

GOLDMAN: Ambassador Sondland responded "not sure I did, I think POTUS really wants the deliverable." What did you say to that?

VOLKER: "But how does he know that?"

GOLDMAN: And Ambassador Sondland says, "Yep, clearly lots of convos going on." Now, Mr. Morrison you're referenced in this text message, have you discussed confirming a date for a White House visit for President Zelensky with Ambassador Sondland around this time?

MORRISON: I likely would have.

GOLDMAN: And did you have any discussions with him about a statement for -- that Ukraine was -- that they were trying to get Ukraine to make?

MORRISON: I did not.

GOLDMAN: Were you aware that -- do you yourself know what Ambassador Sondland meant by "the deliverable"?

MORRISON: I did not at the time, I think I have an understanding now.

GOLDMAN: And what is your understanding now?

MORRISON: There seems to have been discussions about a statement, various drafts of which have been discussed in various proceedings.

GOLDMAN: But this, to your knowledge was part of that parallel process you were talking about?


GOLDMAN: If we can now go to the next exhibit which is another text exchange a little -- a few minutes later between Ambassador Sondland and you, Ambassador Volker. Where Ambassador Sondland says, "to avoid misunderstandings, might be helpful to ask Andriy for a draft statement embargoed so that we can see exactly what they propose to cover even though Ze -- Zelensky, does a live press survey (ph) so they can still summarize in a brief statement. Thoughts, and how did you respond?

VOLKER: Agree.

GOLDMAN: And this relates to the statement that Mr. Giuliani wanted, is that right Ambassador Volker?

VOLKER: It relates to the statement that he and Mr. Yermak had discussed.

GOLDMAN: Right. And now to the next day, on August 10 there's another text exchange between you and Mr. Yermak, whose the same aid that Mr. Giuliani had met in Madrid.

And if you could read what you wrote at the top at 5:02 P.M. I wrote, "I agree with your approach. Let's iron out statement and use that to get date, and then President Zelensky can go forward with it."

GOLDMAN: And Mr. Yermak responds, "once we have a date we will call for a press briefing announcing upcoming visit and outlining vision for the reboot of U.S.-Ukraine relationship including, among other things Burisma and election meddling in investigations.

And what did you respond?

VOLKER: "Sounds great!!"

GOLDMAN: Now the date that he's referring to, that is the date for the White House visit?

VOLKER: That is correct.

GOLDMAN: Now two days later on August 12, you receive another text message from Mr. Yermak which reads -- special attention should be paid to the problem of interference in the political processes of the United States, especially with the alleged involvement of some Ukrainian politicians. I want to declare that this is unacceptable, we intend to initiate and complete a transparent and unbiased investigation of all available facts and episodes, which in turn will prevent the recurrence of this problem in the future.

Now, Ambassador Volker, this was a draft, was it not -- of the statement that you and Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Yermak, and Ambassador Sondland had been discussing?

VOLKER: This is the first draft of that, from Mr. Yermak after the conversations that we had.

GOLDMAN: And it does not mention Burisma or the 2016 election interference, correct?

VOLKER: It does not.

GOLDMAN: And you testified in your deposition that you and Ambassador Sondland, and Mayor Giuliani had a conversation about this draft after you received it, is that right?

VOLKER: That is correct.

GOLDMAN: And Mr. Giuliani said that if the statement did not include Burisma and 2016 election it would not have any credibility, is that right?

VOLKER: That's correct.

GOLDMAN: Now, this was the same Rudy Giuliani that President Trump was discussing in that May 23 meeting, and asked you to -- you and the others to talk to, correct?

VOLKER: That is the same Mr. Giuliani.

GOLDMAN: And even at that point on May 23, you were aware of these investigations that he was publicly promoting, correct?

VOLKER: I knew that he had adopted, or was interested in all of those conspiracy theories that had come from (inaudible) --

GOLDMAN: Back in May you knew that?

VOLKER: Back in May.

GOLDMAN: Now he was insisting from a public commitment from President Zelensky to do these investigations, correct?

VOLKER: Now, what do we mean by these investigations?

GOLDMAN: Burisma and the 2016 election.

VOLKER: Burisma and 2016, yes.

GOLDMAN: And, at the time that you were engaged in coordinating for this statement, did you find it unusual that there was such an emphasis on a public statement from President Zelensky to carry out the investigations that the president was seeking?

VOLKER: I didn't find it that unusual. I think when you're dealing with a situation where, I believe the president was highly skeptical about President Zelensky being committed to really changing Ukraine after this entirely negative view of the country, that he would want to hear something more from President Zelensky to be convinced that -- OK, I'll give this guy a chance.

GOLDMAN: And he -- perhaps he also wanted a public statement because it would lock President Zelensky in to do these investigations that he thought might benefit him?

VOLKER: Well again, we're -- when we say these investigations what I understood us to be talking about was Ukrainian corruption.

GOLDMAN: Well, what we're talking about is Burisma and the 2016 election, let's just --

VOLKER: Correct, correct -- yes, right.

GOLDMAN: We can agree on that, and so when we're talking about these investigations, isn't it clear that a public statement would be important to Mr. Giuliani because it was politically useful to the president?

VOLKER: The way I saw it as that it would be helpful. It would be a way of convincing to Mayor Giuliani and also the president that this team in Ukraine is serious about fighting corruption reform, that they are different.

And if that would be helpful in getting a more positive attitude and the White House meeting scheduled, then that would be useful.

GOLDMAN: And that would be helpful to get that White House meeting --

VOLKER: Correct.

GOLDMAN: In fact, it was a necessary condition as you understood at that point, right?

VOLKER: I wouldn't have called it a necessary condition. And in fact when it became clear later that we were not able to agree on an agreement that the Ukrainians were comfortable with -- I agree with the Ukrainians just to drop it, it's not worth it.

GOLDMAN: No, I understand that -- but you're -- is it your testimony, that based on the text that you wrote linking the investigations, and the 2016 election on July 25 to the White House Meeting. You're saying that by this point in August with this back and forth that you were unaware that this public statement was a condition for the White House meeting?

VOLKER: I wouldn't call it a condition, it's a nuance, I guess. But I viewed it as very helpful. If we could get this done it would help improve the perception that President Trump and others had, and then we would get the date for a meeting. If we didn't have a statement I wasn't giving up and thinking that oh well then, we'll never get a meeting.

GOLDMAN: Let's go to the next day where there's another text exchange, and at the top could you just read the first text there/?

VOLKER: Yes. It says, "Hi Andriy, good talking. Following is text with insert at the end for the two key items. We will work on official request."

XXX on official request."

GOLDMAN: And then you'll see the highlighted portion of the next text -- the other is identical to your previous one and then it just adds including --

VOLKER: It includes that -- correct.

GOLDMAN: Including those involving Burisma and the 2016 elections, is that right?

VOLKER: That is correct.

GOLDMAN: And that was what Mr. Giuliani insisted on adding to the statement?

VOLKER: That is what he said would be necessary for that to be credible.

GOLDMAN: And the Ukrainians ultimately did not issue the statement, is that right?

VOLKER: That is correct.

GOLDMAN: And President Zelensky ultimately did not get the Oval Office meeting either, did he.

VOLKER: Not yet.

GOLDMAN: Now I'm going to move forward to September, in early September when the security assistance begins to more overtly be used as leverage to pressure the Ukrainians to conduct these investigations that President Trump wanted. Mr. Morrison, you accompanied Vice President Pence to Warsaw when he met with President Zelensky, is that right?

MORRISON: I was in Warsaw when the vice president was designated as the president's representative. I was accompanying Ambassador Bolton.

GOLDMAN: Understood, but you were at the bilateral meeting with the vice president and President Zelensky, correct?


GOLDMAN: And in that meeting, were the Ukrainians concerned about the hold on security clearance -- security clearance, military assistance, rather?


GOLDMAN: What did they say?

MORRISON: It was the first issue that President Zelensky raised with Vice President Pence. They were very interested. They talked about its importance to Ukraine, its importance to the relationship.

GOLDMAN: And what was Vice President Pence's response?

MORRISON: The vice president represented that it was a priority for him and that we were working to address. And he characterized President Trump's concerns about the state of corruption in Ukraine and the president's prioritization of getting the Europeans to contribute more to security sector assistance.

GOLDMAN: And did he directly explain to the Ukrainians that those were the actual reasons for the holds or was he just commenting on general concerns of the president?

MORRISON: I don't know that he necessarily acknowledged a hold. We -- he mentioned that we were reviewing the assistance. And that's the way I heard it. That's the way I would characterize it. And those were the points he raised to help President Zelensky understand where we were in our process.

GOLDMAN: And to your knowledge, though, on sort of the staff level, as the coordinator of all the inter-agency process, you were not aware of any review of the Ukraine security assistance money, were you?

MORRISON: Well, we were -- we had been running a review. We had been running an inter-agency process to provide the president the information that I had been directed to generate for the president's consideration as to the state of inter-agency support for continuing Ukraine security sector assistance.

GOLDMAN: And the entire inter-agency supported the continuation of the security assistance, isn't that right?

MORRISON: That is correct.

GOLDMAN: Now, after this larger meeting with the Vice President Pence and President Zelensky, you testified at your deposition that you saw Ambassador Sondland immediately go over and pull Andriy Yermak aside and have a conversation, is that right?

MORRISON: I mean, it was President Zelensky left the room, Vice President Pence left the room, and then in sort of an anteroom Ambassador Sondland and presidential adviser Yermak had this discussion, yes.

GOLDMAN: And what did Ambassador Sondland tell you that he told Mr. Yermak?

MORRISON: That the Ukrainians would have to have the prosecutor general make a statement with respect to the investigations as a condition of having the aid lifted.

GOLDMAN: You testified that you were not comfortable with what Ambassador Sondland had told you, why not?

MORRISON: Well, I was concerned about what I saw as essentially an additional hurdle to accomplishing what I had been directed to help accomplish, which was giving the president the information he needed to determine that the security sector assistance can go forward.

GOLDMAN: So now there's a whole other wrinkle to it, right?

MORRISON: There was the appearance of one based on what Ambassador Sondland represented.

GOLDMAN: And you told Ambassador Taylor about this conversation as well, is that right?

MORRISON: I promptly reached out to Ambassador Taylor to schedule a secure phone call.

GOLDMAN: And in your deposition, you testified that his testimony, other than one small distinction between President Zelensky and the prosecutor general, was accurate as to what you told him, is that correct?

MORRISON: About that conversation, yes.

GOLDMAN: And generally speaking, you confirmed everything that Ambassador Taylor told you except for that one thing and a small other ministerial matter relating to the location of a meeting, is that correct?

MORRISON: Correct.

GOLDMAN: Now, did you tell Ambassador Bolton about this conversation as well?

MORRISON: I reached out to him as well and requested his availability for a secure phone call.

GOLDMAN: And what was his response when you explained to him what Ambassador Sondland had said?

MORRISON: Tell the lawyers.

GOLDMAN: Did you go tell the lawyers?

MORRISON: When I returned to the States, yes.

GOLDMAN: Did he explain to you why he wanted you to tell the lawyers?

MORRISON: He did not.

GOLDMAN: Now a few days later, on September 7th, you spoke again to Ambassador Sondland who told you that he had just gotten off the phone with President Trump, isn't that right?

MORRISON: That sounds correct, yes.

GOLDMAN: What did Ambassador Sondland tell you that President Trump said to him?

MORRISON: If I recall this conversation correctly, this was where Ambassador Sondland related that there was no quid pro quo, but President Zelensky had to make the statement and that he had to want to do it.

GOLDMAN: And by that point, did you understand that the statement related to the Biden and 2016 investigations?

MORRISON: I think I did, yes.

GOLDMAN: And that that was essentially a condition for the security assistance to be released?

MORRISON: I understood that that's what Ambassador Sondland believed.

GOLDMAN: After speaking with President Trump.

MORRISON: That's what he represented.

GOLDMAN: Now you testified that hearing this information gave you a sinking feeling, why was that?

MORRISON: Well, I believe if we're on September 7th, end of the fiscal year is September 30th, these are one-year dollars. The DoD and the Department of State funds. So we only had so much time and in fact because Congress imposed a 15-day notification requirement on the State Department funds, September 7th, September 30th, that really means September 15th in order to secure a decision from the president to allow the funds to go forward.

GOLDMAN: Did you tell Ambassador Bolton about this conversation as well?

MORRISON: I did, yes.

GOLDMAN: And what did he say to you?

MORRISON: He said to tell the lawyers.

GOLDMAN: And why did he say to tell the lawyers?

MORRISON: He did not explain his instruction.

GOLDMAN: But he is not going to -- he doesn't tell you to go tell the lawyers because you are running up on the eight-day deadline there, right?

MORRISON: Again, I don't know why he directed that, but it seems reasonable and is consistent with what I was going to do anyway.

GOLDMAN: Because -- and you weren't going to go tell them because of that concern, right? You were concerned about what you were hearing Ambassador Sondland relay to you, correct?

MORRISON: Correct.

GOLDMAN: So, just so we are clear, you reported two concerning conversations that you had with Ambassador Sondland to the lawyers in early September in which you understood from him that the president was withholding security assistance as additional leverage to get Ukraine to publicly announce the specific political investigations that President Trump had discussed on the July 25th call, is that accurate?

MORRISON: I was concerned about what Ambassador Sondland was saying were requirements, yes.

GOLDMAN: Right. And you understood though that the investigations that Ambassador Sondland was referring to were the two that President Trump referenced on the July 25th call, correct?

MORRISON: By this point, yes.

GOLDMAN: During this early September time period, Mr. Morrison, did you have conversations with Ambassador Volker about any of this?

MORRISON: I believe we had one conversation.

GOLDMAN: And what do you recall about that conversation?

MORRISON: I believe on or about September 6th, Ambassador Volker was in town to provide an update on some of his activities and he provided that update and then we had a one-on-one conversation about this -- this track, this separate process.

GOLDMAN: And what do you recall saying to him about the separate process?

MORRISON: I -- I think I was interested in understanding his -- his understanding of events.

GOLDMAN: Did you explain to him what your understanding of events was?

MORRISON: I think I was primarily on receive mode.

GOLDMAN: Okay. Ambassador Volker, do you recall this conversation?

VOLKER: Thank you. I -- I do remember a conversation with Tim. I'm not sure about the timing. I left around that time to go on a trip and so it may have been a little bit earlier. I'm not sure about the timing. And what I do remember the discussion being is Tim asking me what is my impression of the role that Ambassador Sondland plays? And my response to that was -- well, I find it helpful that he has political contacts in the White House. I don't have those contacts. I'm working the national security, the diplomatic front and I don't have the political contacts, and so if he's able to use those to support the same goals that we are working toward then I view that as helpful.

GOLDMAN: Well, that's a good segue to the next exhibit, which is the September 8th text exchange between you and Ambassador Taylor and Ambassador Sondland. And at the top Ambassador Sondland says, guys are multiple convos with Z, that's Zelensky, period POTUS, period, let's talk. And then Ambassador Taylor about 15, 16 minutes later, Gordon and I just spoke. I can brief you, meaning you Ambassador Volker, if you and Gordon don't connect. Approximately one hour later, Ambassador Taylor says the nightmare is they give the interview and don't get the security assistance. The Russians love it, and I quit. and then at the bottom about five hours later. How do you respond?

VOLKER: I said, I'm not in the loop. Talk Monday?

GOLDMAN: So you were not in the loop in terms of all of these conversations that Ambassador Taylor, Mr. Morrison and Ambassador Sondland were having?

VOLKER: Yes, that's correct.

GOLDMAN: Now ultimately the hold was lifted on September 11th, is that right, Ambassador Volker?

VOLKER: That's my understanding.

GOLDMAN: Mr. Morrison, were you aware that prior to September 11th that the White House -- that there was a whistle-blower complaint circulating around the White House?

MORRISON: I don't believe so. No.

GOLDMAN: But you were aware of a request to preserve records, were you not?

MORRISON: I -- we -- we received a number of those requests. I have a general recollection as one related to Ukraine.

GOLDMAN: One final question. When was the hold lifted?

MORRISON: As I understand it, the president gave that direction the evening of September 11th.

GOLDMAN: Which was two days after Congress announced the investigation? Were you aware of that?

MORRISON: I believe I was familiar with the letter from the three-committee chairman.

GOLDMAN: I yield.

SCHIFF: That concludes the majority 45 minutes. Before I turn to the minority, are you both and your counsel okay, or do you need a break? Okay. Ranking member Nunes, you're recognized for 45 minutes.

NUNES: Well, ambassador and Mr. Morrison, I have some bad news for you. TV ratings are way down, way down. Don't hold it personally, I don't think it's you guys. But whatever drug deal the Democrats are cooking up here on the dais, the American people aren't buying it. I know you both answered this in your opening statement, but I just want to bring a little more clarity to it. Mr. Morrison, I'll start with you. Did anyone ever ask you to bribe or export anyone at any time during your time in the White House?

MORRISON: No, sir.

NUNES: And you were the top person for Ukraine in the White House, correct? At the NSC level?

MORRISON: I would argue Ambassador Bolton would be.

NUNES: Reporting to Ambassador Bolton.

MORRISON: I was senior official. Yes, sir.

NUNES: Ambassador Volker, toy have a storied career. We're very thankful for your service and you were the special envoy to Ukraine?

VOLKER: That's correct.

NUNES: Did anyone at the White House ever ask you to bribe or extort anything out of anyone at any time?

VOLKER: No, sir.

NUNES: Thank you. I want to thank you both for being here and I'll yield to Mr. Caster.

CASTER: Thank you, Mr. Nunes. Thank you both for being here today and also for participating in the lengthy depositions. Ambassador Volker, you were the first one on October 3rd and Mr. Morrison you were with us on Halloween. So thank you for your participation. Mr. Morrison, I also want to thank you, you were a longtime Hill staffer. I certainly have appreciation for that, nearly 20 years. So thank you, and Ambassador Volker, a Hatboro, Pennsylvania resident?

VOLKER: Absolutely.

CASTER: That's an incredible part of the country. Very proud of it. I'm from nearby. I just want to walk through some of your positions. You were a Senate confirmed ambassador to NATO, for a stint?

VOLKER: That is correct.

CASTER: And you were at State Department and your portfolio spanned much of what I believe George Kent has currently?

VOLKER: I was the principal deputy assistant secretary, so I had -- working for the assistant secretary and had all of Europe and Eurasia, and particular responsibility for NATO, Western Europe and the European Union.

CASTER: And you were involved with the national Security Council. You were the director for NATO of Western Europe?

VOLKER: That is correct.

CASTER: And then you were the senior director for European and Eurasian affairs?

VOLKER: I was acting for several months, six months or so in that capacity.

CASTER: Mr. Morrison had -- and we'll note that all of the witnesses that we've interacted with have heaped praise on you. Ambassador Yovanovitch has said you're a career diplomat and has had very high praise. And for over two years, you served as the special representative for our Ukraine negotiations?

VOLKER: That is correct.

CASTER: And you served for free?

VOLKER: That is correct.

CASTER: You served on a voluntary basis?

VOLKER: I did.

CASTER: And you put a lot of time and effort into that job, didn't you?

VOLKER: Yes, I did.

CASTER: The taxpayers certainly got their money's worth, didn't they?

VOLKER: Not for me to say.


CASTER: And you believe America's policy for Ukraine has been strengthened during your tenured as the special representative?

VOLKER: Absolutely. When I look back at the record, I think we did an awful lot to support Ukraine.

CASTER: Is it fair to say that's in part due to President Trump?

VOLKER: President Trump approved each of the decisions made along the way, providing lethal defensive equipment and the non-recognition statement with Crimea, I think being two of the most important ones.

CASTER: And for many years there had been an initiative in the inner agency to advocate for lethal defensive weaponry for Ukraine, is that correct?

VOLKER: That is correct.

CASTER: And it wasn't until President Trump and his administration came in, that that went through?

VOLKER: That is correct.

CASTER: The delegation to President Zelensky's inauguration in May, I believe you testified it was one of the largest delegations?

VOLKER: I believe it was. I can't be 100 percent sure, but I believe it was the largest the national delegation.

CASTER: OK, and included in the delegation was Secretary Perry.

VOLKER: Secretary Perry, Ambassador Sondland, myself, Senator Ron Johnson was there and also the charge d'affaires at the U.S. embassy at the time, Joe Pennington.

CASTOR: OK. And the -- we talked a little bit this morning, but the President Zelensky's inauguration came together rather quickly?

VOLKER: It did. I believe we had about three day's notice in which to put the delegation together.

CASTOR: And there's been some discussion about whether the vice president was going to be able to lead that effort. And as it turned out, he -- he was not able to lead it. Do you have any information as to why the vice president was unable to join?

VOLKER: I don't.

CASTOR: And Mr. Morrison, do you have any information as to why the vice president was unable to participate in the delegation?


CASTOR: Ambassador Volker, you testified during your deposition that aid, in fact, does get held up from time to time for a whole assortment of reasons. Is that your understanding?

VOLKER: That is true.

CASTOR: And sometimes the -- the holdups are rooted in something at OMB, sometimes it's at the Defense Department, sometimes it's at the State Department, and sometimes it's on the Hill, correct?

VOLKER: That is correct.

CASTOR: And so when the aid was held up for 55 days for Ukraine that didn't, in and of itself, strike you as uncommon?

VOLKER: No. It's something that had happened in my career in the past, I had seen holdups of assistance. I just assumed it was part of the decision-making process, somebody had an objection and we had to overcome it.

CASTOR: OK. And in fact, there were concerns that, you know, perhaps President Zelensky wasn't going to be the reformer that he campaigned on?

VOLKER: That was a supposition that I made because of the meeting with the president on May 23rd. I thought that could be what's behind it.

CASTOR: And in fact, the aid was lifted shortly after he was able to convene a parliament?

VOLKER: I believe he -- let me get the dates straight. I believe, yes, he was able to convene the parliament around the 1st of September and I believe the aid was released on the 11th of September.

CASTOR: And when he was able to convene a parliament, he was able to push through a number of anti-corruption initiatives?

VOLKER: That began with the parliament seated on that day. It was a 24-hour session but then it continued for some time.

CASTOR: And that was an encouraging sign?

VOLKER: It started off in a very encouraging way, yes.

CASTOR: And other than these things going on in the background with the pause in the aid, the U.S. relations with Ukraine, you testified, are -- you stated it was about as good as you'd want them to be?

VOLKER: Can you repeat the question? I'm sorry.

CASTOR: You testified at your deposition that once the aid was lifted, despite all the things going on the background, that U.S.-Ukrainian relations were -- were strong, were as...


CASTOR: ... good as you'd want them to be.


CASTOR: And you referenced that the security sector assistance was lifted, you know, any hold on that. That there was a positive meeting in New York at the...

VOLKER: That's correct.

CASTOR: ... UNGA and there was momentum in putting pressure on the Russians. Is that correct?

VOLKER: That is correct.

CASTOR: In your deposition, you made it clear that President Trump had a deep-rooted negative view on Ukraine and their corruption environment?


CASTOR: And you first became aware of his views back in September 2017.

VOLKER: That is correct.

CASTOR: Can you tell us a little bit about that?

VOLKER: Yes. In September of 2017, I was invited by Secretary Tillerson to do a pre-brief with President Trump before his meeting with President Poroshenko on the margins of U.N. General Assembly.

I did the pre-brief and then I took part in the bilateral meeting.

CASTOR: And so, long before President Zelensky was elected, President Trump had a -- had a negative view of -- of Ukraine?

VOLKER: Yes, he had a very strongly negative view.

CASTOR: Back in 2017, do you remember anything he said or did that -- that gave you a feeling that he -- he had these negative views?

VOLKER: Yes. I want to be very careful here because this was a bilateral meeting between the two presidents; I don't want to stray into classified material. But I can tell you that my impression was that he had a very strongly negative view of Ukraine at the time.

CASTOR: Fair enough. And you described the president's skepticism at your -- at your deposition as a reasonable position?


CASTOR: And I believe you said most people who know anything about Ukraine would -- would possibly think that?


CASTOR: And you viewed it as part of your role to help change his mind, that President Zelensky was a genuine reformer, that he was not running for office for -- for self enrichment, that he was indeed a good person?

VOLKER: That's correct.

CASTOR: During the May 23rd meeting with the president in the Oval Office, could you just relay to us the concerns the president articulated about Ukraine?

VOLKER: Yes. The president came into the meeting and immediately started speaking. He had a -- just a string of comments that Ukraine is a terrible place, they're all corrupt, they're terrible people, they tried to take me down.

I tried to explain along with the others that were there, each of us took turns speaking. I tried to explain that President Zelensky agrees with you, that he was elected because of that situation in Ukraine and he has a strong mandate from the people of Ukraine to change it, and that's why it's important that we actually show him very strong support now.

But the president was not convinced and he said that Zelensky is no different, that he has terrible people around him. You know, that's not what I hear about Ukraine -- what we're telling him. You know, I hear that -- you know, nothing is changed. Talk to Rudy.

That kind of dialogue, as I described.

CASTOR: And when the president said that the Ukrainians tried to take him down, did you have any idea of what he was referring to?

VOLKER: I did. I believe that he was referring to the -- the rumors of efforts to interfere in the 2016 election by providing damaging information about the president or about Paul Manafort to the Hillary Clinton campaign. That was one of the rumors that had been -- been out there and that had gotten some support from the Ukrainian prosecutor general.

CASTOR: And to the best of your knowledge, the president genuinely believed that, right?

VOLKER: I believe he was concerned about it. I don't know what he actually believed, but the -- he brought it up.


And Mr. Morrison, you were also aware of the -- the president's skeptical view of foreign aid generally?


CASTOR: And that there was an initiative that he was looking at foreign aid pretty broadly?


CASTOR: And trying to scrutinize to make sure the U.S. taxpayers were getting their money's worth?


CASTOR: And the president was also interested, was he not, in better understanding opportunities for increased burden sharing among the Europeans?


CASTOR: And what can you tell us about that?

MORRISON: The -- the president was concerned that the United States seemed to -- to bear the exclusive brunt of security assistance to Ukraine. He wanted to see the Europeans step up and contribute more security assistance.

CASTOR: And was there any interagency activity, whether it be with the State Department or the Defense Department and coordination by the National Security Council to look into that a little bit for the president?

MORRISON: We were surveying the -- the data to understand who was contributing what and sort of in what categories.

CASTOR: And so the President events concerns (ph) the interagency tried to address them?


CASTOR: And -- and by late August, we just discussed with Ambassador Volker, the -- that a new Rada was seated. And did that give possibly some hope that President Zelensky would be able to push through some of these reforms?


CASTOR: And did you hope during this time period, during this 55 days where the aid was paused, that potentially Zelensky would be able to demonstrate his bona -- you know, bonafides and would subsequently be able to, you know, get the President to lift the aid?


CASTOR: In fact, you -- you traveled with Ambassador Bolton to the Ukraine right around Labor Day weekend, correct?


CASTOR: And you met with President Zelensky on -- I believe it was August 29th?

MORRISON: Ambassador Bolton had a meeting with President Zelensky and I staffed that meeting.

CASTOR: And that's right around the time when the -- the Rada had met and they had started to push through their reforms?

MORRISON: As I recall, the meeting -- the day of the meeting between Ambassador Bolton and President Zelensky was actually the first day of the new Rada.

CASTOR: And some of these reforms included naming a new Prosecutor General?

MORRISON: A new Prosecutor General, a brand new Cabinet, yes.

CASTOR: And they pushed through some legislation that eliminated immunity for Rada members?

MORRISON: Yes, eliminating a parliamentary immunity.

CASTOR: And I believe you -- you provided some color into this experience, this meeting. You said that the Ukrainians had been up all night working on some of these legislative initiatives.

MORRISON: Yes, the -- the Ukrainians with whom we met were by all appearances exhausted from the pace of activity.

CASTOR: And was Ambassador Bolton encouraged by the -- the activity?

MORRISON: Yes, he was.

CASTOR: And was the meeting altogether favorable?


CASTOR: And at that point in time after the meeting, Ambassador Bolton, did -- did he head off to Warsaw with the Vice President or did he just -- I know you went to Warsaw.

MORRISON: Well we -- we had a few stops between Ukraine and -- and Poland, but yes, Ambassador Bolton proceeded to Warsaw, where we were expecting to ensure everything was staged properly for the President's arrival.

CASTOR: And did you have an opportunity to brief the Vice President on ...

MORRISON: I did not.

CASTOR: Did Ambassador Bolton?


CASTOR: And what -- what do you remember from what Ambassador Bolton shared with the Vice President about the Zelensky meeting?

MORRISON: So I -- I was not there. The -- the issue I remember most starkly was Ambassador Bolton was quite annoyed that Ambassador Sondland crashed the pre-brief ...


MORRISON: ... but the Ambassador had everything he needed to ensure that the -- either the -- the President or the Vice President were well prepared.

CASTOR: But did you brief Ambassador Bolton before he had an opportunity to meet with the Vice President?

MORRISON: I -- I didn't need to, I was -- Ambassador Bolton was there.

CASTOR: OK. But -- but as far as you know, Ambassador Bolton communicated to the Vice President that the -- the goings on in Ukraine were positive ...

MORRISON: That's my understanding.

CASTOR: ... with President Zelensky? And at this time, Ambassador Bolton was advocating for the lifting of the -- the aid?

MORRISON: He -- he had been for some time, yes.

CASTOR: And did you participate in the -- in the Warsaw meetings?

MORRISON: We -- we had a reduced schedule, from what had been arranged for the President, for the Vice President but the Vice President met with President Duda of Poland and he met with President Zelensky and I participated in both meetings.

CASTOR: And what do you remember from the meeting with President Zelensky?

MORRISON: It seemed very -- it seemed very positive, very cordial.

CASTOR: And what was the message -- I mean President Zelensky, he raid -- raised the issue of the aid, correct?


CASTOR: And what -- how did the Vice President respond?

MORRISON: He -- he represented his support for the aid, he represented the -- the strong commitment of the United States to Ukraine and he explained that President Trump, because this is after the Politico article had come out that -- that made clear there was a hold, he explained that what we were doing was -- the United States government, the -- the interagency was examining what more Europe could do in the security space and taking a look at how Ukraine was reforming what -- what had -- has been a history of corruption.

CASTOR: And was there any discussion during the meeting with President Zelensky on the part of Vice -- Vice President about any of these investigations we've come to talk about?


CASTOR: So Burisma wasn't raised?


CASTOR: The 2016 election wasn't raised?


CASTOR: And the Vice President didn't mention any investigations at all, did he?


CASTOR: You mentioned the August 28th Politico article. Was that the first time that you believed the Ukrainians may have had a real sense that the aid was on hold?


CASTOR: So from the 55 day period spanning July 18th through September 11th, it -- it didn't really become public until August 28th?

MORRISON: That -- that's correct. Ambassador Taylor and I had a number of phone calls where we in fact talked about do the Ukrainians know yet because we both felt very strongly it was important that we ensure that the President was able to make the decision to release the aid before the Ukrainians ever found out about it.

CASTOR: OK. And Ambassador Volker, is that -- is that also your -- your recollection ...

VOLKER: Yes, it is.

MORRISON: ... that it wasn't until the -- the Politico article that ...

VOLKER: That's correct. I received the text message from one of my Ukrainian counterparts on August 29th forwarding that article and that's the first they raised it with me.

MORRISON: And can you share a little bit with us about your communications during that time period about the hold in the aid?

VOLKER: Yes. I didn't have any communications with the Ukrainians about the hold on aid until after they raised it with me, for the same reason that Tim just gave, on the hope that we could get it taken care of ourselves before it became something that they became aware of.

Inside the U.S. government, I was aware that the hold was placed -- I was aware of that on July 18th. It was referenced at an interagency meeting and I got a readout from that meeting from one of my assistants. I then immediately spoke with several people in the administration to object. I thought that this was a bad decision or a bad hold -- maybe not a decision but, you know, a -- a process and I wanted to make sure all of the arguments were marshaled to get it lifted.

And so I spoke with the Pentagon, with Laura Cooper, I spoke with Assistant Secretary of Pol-Mil Affairs at the State Department who was going to represent the State Department at the next higher level meeting, I believe I spoke with officials in the European Bureau, with the National Security Council staff.

So I was actively trying to convey that this needed to be lifted and I wanted them to be able to use my name in doing so because I felt that the best prospect for positioning ourselves for negotiations with Russia is the strongest defense capability for Ukraine.

MORRISON: And during this time period, did you come to believe that any of these investigations were -- were part of the -- the hold-up in the aid?

VOLKER: No, I did not.

MORRISON: Backtracking just a little bit, on July 3rd you met in Tirana (ph) with President Zelensky and there's been some, you know -- Ambassador Taylor and -- and Mr. Kent provided some testimony that they had some apprehension, that -- that part of this irregular channel that Ambassador Taylor referenced would -- would rear its head in Toronto. I'm just wondering if you can tell us whether that in fact happened.

VOLKER: Yes, thank you. I can only tell you what -- what I know. There may have been other conversations or other things. But I know that we had a conversation; Bill Taylor and, I believe, Gordon Sondland and I around the 28th of June that later connected to a, believe, a conversation with President Zelensky although I may not have been part of the latter.

That being said, I was convinced after that conversation we had gotten nowhere. We had our White House briefing of President Trump on May 23rd. He signed a letter inviting President Zelensky to the White House on May 29th.

And for several weeks we were just temporizing with the Ukrainians saying well, we're working on it. It's a scheduling issue. You know we'll get there, don't worry. And I told Bill and Gordon that I was going to see President Zelensky in Toronto and I feel an obligation to tell him the truth.

That we have a problem here, we're not getting a date scheduled. Here's what I think the problem is, it's the negative information flow from Mayor Giuliani. And that he would -- also that I would advise him that he should call President Trump personally because he needed to renew that personal relationship and be able to convey to President Trump that he was serious about fighting corruption, investigating things that happened in the past, and so forth.

So I -- I did all of that with President Zelensky in a publicized (ph) after our formal bilateral meeting.

CASTOR: And during that meeting in Toronto or this series of meetings, there was no discussion of preconditions, investigations of anything of that sort.


CASTOR: And you were there with Mr. Kent?

VOLKER: Yes, I believe so.

CASTOR: And did you ever have any discussions with him about preconditions or investigations?

VOLKER: Not at that time. I think later on these things came up about when we were talking about statement, whether there were investigations. But I believe at this time in Toronto it was really more referring to investigations generically that that is how you go about fighting corruption and that President Zelensky should reaffirm his commitment to President Trump in a direct phone call.

CASTOR: OK. And at any point in time did -- had -- had Mr. Kent raised any concerns to you about any of this?

VOLKER: Not at that time.

CASTOR: Next event I want to cover is the July 10th meeting in Ambassador Bolton's office. Talked a little bit about it this morning. I don't know if you caught the coverage. But there was testimony that at some point Ambassador Sondland mentioned investigations and reportedly that the meeting ended abruptly. What can you tell us about that fact?

VOLKER: Thank you. And let me answer that question first. I'd like to come back to your prior question for a second too, if I may. But on the July 10th meeting this was a meeting that we had arranged between Alex Danyluk who was the head of the National Security and Defense Council and the National Security Advisor Bolton.

Attending the meeting was also Secretary Perry, Ambassador Sondland, myself, I believe Fiona Hill and also Andriy Yermak. The purpose was really a counterpart visit. I thought that this would be the best opportunity. It was the first high level meeting that we were having in Washington with a senior U.S. official, Ambassador Bolton, after President Zelensky's inauguration.

I thought it would be great opportunity for the Ukrainians to make their case. And they -- they are new team in town, real deal about fighting corruption. I was rather disappointed with the meeting as it transpired. It struck me as down in the weeds, talking about reform of national security structures in Ukraine legislation that they were working on and not the big picture and not the bilateral relationship.

So was a bit disappointed by that. At -- at the end of the meeting I do recall having seen some of the other testimony. I believe Ambassador Sondland did raise the point of investigations in a generic way.

This was after the meeting was already wrapping up and I think all of us thought it was inappropriate and the conversation did not pick up from there. It was -- the meeting was over. We all went outside and we had a picture taken in front of the -- the White House.

And then all of us, except Ambassador Bolton went down to the Ward Room to talk through follow up about how do we follow up on this meeting to keep the momentum and the relationship.

And I think we broke up into several small groups. I remember having a conversation with Secretary Perry and one of his assistance about energy reform as part of that. I don't recall other conversations following up on investigations with Burisma.

CASTOR: And to the best of your knowledge there certainly was no precondition discussed, right.

VOLKER: No. No. Again, the -- the issue of the security assistance was one where I thought that this was really related to a -- a general negative view about Ukraine. There was nothing specific ever communicated to me about it or the reasons why it was held. And we certainly didn't want to talk about it with the Ukrainians, we wanted to fix it.

CASTOR: OK. And then a couple weeks later, the July 25th call happened and you were headed to Ukraine during that time period?

VOLKER: Yes, I was actually already on my way to Ukraine. I think two days prior to that.

CASTOR: And you received readouts both from the U.S. side and the Ukrainian side. Could you tell us about that?

VOLKER: Yes. So I was not on a phone call. I had arrived in Ukraine and I'd had that lunch with Mr. Yermak that we saw on the day of the phone call. I had been pushing for the phone call because I thought it was important to renew the personal connection between the two leaders and to congratulate President Zelensky on the Parliamentary election.

The read out that I received from Mr. Yermak and then also from the U.S. side, although I'm not exactly sure who it was from on the U.S. side but there was a U.S. and a Ukrainian read out were largely the same.

That it was a good call. It was a congratulatory phone call for the president win in the Parliamentary election. President Zelensky did reiterate his commitment to reform and fighting corruption in Ukraine.

And President Trump did reiterate his invitation to President Zelensky to come visit him -- visit him in the White House. It's exactly what I thought the phone call would be, so I was not surprised at getting that as the read out.

CASTOR: And did you ever have any discussions with Ambassador Taylor about this?

VOLKER: At that time we were -- we were together in Ukraine at that time. We went the very next day to visit the conflict zone and I'm sure he heard the same read out that I did.

CASTOR: And you had a meeting with President Zelensky on the 26th?

VOLKER: Yes, we had a meeting the day after of the phone call on the 26th in the morning before heading out to the conflict zone.

CASTOR: And were any of these concerning elements that some witnesses have raised about the call, raised in the meeting with President Zelensky.

VOLKER: No. Only the very bare bones read out that I had received that was also how it was discussed in the meeting with President Zelensky.

CASTOR: So to the extent there's been assertions that President Zelensky was concerned about demands President Trump had made.

VOLKER: I don't recall that.

CASTOR: You don't recall that?

VOLKER: I do not recall being -- I don't recall -- well, let me turn that around and say he was very positive about the phone call. I don't recall him saying anything about demands but he was very upbeat about the fact of the call.

CASTOR: And there was no discussion on the part of President Zelensky on how to navigate the various...

VOLKER: I don't recall that.

CASTOR: ... concerns that people have articulated about the call?

VOLKER: I -- I don't remember that.

CASTOR: And Mr. Zeldin asked you in the deposition, that in no way, shape or form in either readouts from the United States or Ukraine, did you receive any indication whatsoever or anything that resembled a quid pro quo? Is that correct?

VOLKER: That's correct.

CASTOR: And the same would -- would go for this new allegation of bribery?

VOLKER: I have only seen an allegation of bribery...


VOLKER: ... in the last week.

CASTOR: It's the same common set of facts, it's just instead of quid pro quo, now it's bribery?

VOLKER: I was never involved in anything that I considered to be bribery at all.

CASTOR: OK. Or extortion?

VOLKER: Or extortion.


VOLKER: Mr. Castor, may -- may I address two specific points?

CASTOR: Of course.

VOLKER: One is, I'm reminded that the meeting with Ambassador Bolton and Mr. Danyluk (ph) took place on July 10th. And I did not become aware of the hold on security assistance until July 18th.

CASTOR: Right, OK.

VOLKER: So that is another reason why that did not come up.

CASTOR: OK. And at that point in time, you didn't know that the potential pause in the security assistance was -- was brewing?

VOLKER: I did not, no. I heard about it for the first time on the 18th of July.


VOLKER: May I make a second observation as well?

CASTOR: Absolutely.

VOLKER: I do remember having seen some of the testimony of Mr. Kent, a conversation in which he had asked me about the conspiracy theories that were out there in Ukraine. I don't remember what the date of this conversation was.

And my view was, well, if there are things like that, then why not investigate them? I don't believe that there's anything to them. If there is -- 2016 election interference is what I was thinking of -- we would want to know about that. But I didn't really there was -- believe there was anything there to begin with.

CASTOR: You testified in your deposition, to the extent the Ukrainians were going to investigate other Ukrainians for wrongdoing, that was perfectly appropriate in your mind?

VOLKER: Correct. That is -- that has been U.S. policy for years.

CASTOR: So if -- if certain Ukrainians involved with the Burisma company, if they...

VOLKER: Well that, I think, is the only plausible thing to look at there. As I said, I don't find it plausible or credible that Vice President Biden would have been influenced in his duties. But whether individual Ukrainians in the society that we know Ukraine has been for decades, were trying to act in a corrupt way or to buy influence, that's plausible.

CASTOR: Right.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Kent, last Wednesday, told us about, you know, there was an investigation into Burisma, trying to recoup millions of taxpayer dollars and the Ukrainians were pursuing an investigation, there was a bribe paid. Were you tracking that?

VOLKER: I was aware of those kinds of things. I couldn't give you those kinds of details. I just know that there was a reputation around the company.

CASTOR: OK. And subsequent to the -- to those facts and the bribe being paid, the Burisma company wanted to improve their image and added some folks to their board, including the president of Poland, including Hunter Biden. Are you familiar with that?

VOLKER: That's what I understand.

CASTOR: And to the extent the Ukrainians, the folks affiliated with Burisma wanted to hire those people for their board for protection purposes so they could continue to engage in misdeeds, if that was a fact worth investigating, you certainly would be supportive of Ukrainians trying to get to the bottom of that, correct?

VOLKER: Well, I can't speculate as to any of the specifics of what was motivating Burisma or not. Ukrainian government authorities investigating possible corruption by Ukrainian citizens is a perfectly appropriate thing...


VOLKER: ... for them to do.

CASTOR: Mr. Morrison, I want to turn our attention back to the July 25th call, you were in the room. Did anything concern you on the call?


CASTOR: And after the call ended, you, like Colonel Vindman, one of your next steps was to engage the NSC lawyers. And your reasons for doing that were slightly different than Colonel Vindman's. And you articulated three -- three concerns. And do you want to share them with us or would you -- would you rather I do it?

MORRISON: So I think I articulated two concerns. If I'm forgetting one, please remind me.


MORRISON: But the two concerns I had were, one, I did not see representatives of NSC legal on the call. And so I wanted to make sure that the legal advisor and his deputy were aware of the call. And I was also concerned about taking steps to protect the MemCon, limit its disclosure for fear of the consequences of it leaking.

CASTOR: And you were concerned about it leaking for -- because you were worried about how it would play out in Washington's polarized political environment, correct?


CASTOR: And you were also worried, how -- how that would lead to the bipartisan support here in Congress of -- towards Ukraine, right?


CASTOR: And you were also concerned that it might affect the Ukrainians' perception negatively?


CASTOR: And in fact, all three of those things have played out, haven't they?


CASTOR: You -- you didn't ask the -- the lawyers to put it on the codeword system, correct?

MORRISON: I want to be precise about the -- the lexicon here. I did not ask for it to be moved to a compartmented system.

CASTOR: OK. You just wanted the transcript to be controlled?

MORRISON: I wanted access to be restricted.

CASTOR: OK. And when you learned that the transcript had been stored on the compartmented server, you believe that was a mistake, correct?

MORRISON: Well, it was represented to me that it was a mistake. I -- I was trying to pull up that MemCon because we were in the process of pulling together Ambassador Bolton's materials and the president's materials for what was a planned bilat between POTUS and President Zelensky.

And when I went to do that, I could not pull up the package in our system. And I did not understand why. I spoke with the NSC executive secretariat staff, asked them why and they did their research and they informed me it had been moved to the higher classification system at the direction of John Eisenberg, whom I then asked why.

I mean, that's -- if that was the judgment he made, that's not necessarily mine to question but I didn't understand it. And he essentially told me, I gave no such direction. He did his own inquiry and he represented back to me that it was -- his understanding was that it was a kind of administrative error that, when he also gave direction to restrict access, the executive secretariat staff understood that as an apprehension that there was something in the content of the MemCon that could not exist on the lower classification system.

CASTOR: So to the best of your knowledge, there's no malicious intent in moving the transcript to the compartmented server?

MORRISON: Correct.

CASTOR: And to your knowledge, anybody on the NSC staff that needed access to the transcript for their official duties, always was able to -- to access it, correct? People that had a need to know and a need to access it?

MORRISON: Once it was moved to the department system?

CASTOR: Yes. OK. The MemCon of the July 25th call was in your experience prepared normally?


CASTOR: That there isn't an exact transcription of what's said on the call. Correct?

MORRISON: Correct.

CASTOR: That there's note takers in the Situation Room and then they prepare a draft and it's circulated among relevant parties?

MORRISON: Essentially. Yes.

CASTOR: And you had responsibility for coordinating any edits?

MORRISON: Yes, we -- we look at the shorthand, we'll call it a transcript but the memorandum of conversation and we ensure that that transcription is as close to accurate as possible given our requirements under the Presidential Records Act.

CASTOR: OK. And Colonel Vindman testified that he thought it was very accurate. Did you as well?

MORRISON: I viewed it as complete inaccurate.

CASTOR: OK. Colonel Vindman did articulate that he had a couple of edits he wanted Burisma inserted. I think it was on page three or four in place of the company in one of the sections where President Zelensky was talking. Are you aware of that edit request?

MORRISON: I understand that he said in either this proceeding or the deposition that he wanted that request, yes.

CASTOR: OK. At the time did you understand that he had asked for that?

MORRISON: I -- I don't recall that. It was my practice if an edit was -- if I believed an edit accurately represented a call, I would accept it. If I didn't hear it in the call, if it didn't exist in my notes, I wouldn't have made the edit.

CASTOR: OK. Yes, he just on page four he wanted to swap out the word company for Burisma. And when that edit from Colonel Vindman was not installed, did he give you any negative feedback that it was crucial that that edit get in the document?

MORRISON: Not that I can recall.

CASTOR: OK. Did he ever raise any concerns to you about the accuracy of the transcript?

MORRISON: Not that I can recall.

CASTOR: Did he ever raise any concerns to you generally about the call?

MORRISON: When we were discussing the frack changes version of the MEMCON(ph), I believe he had some concerns about the call. I believe we both agreed we wanted that more full-throated embrace of President Zelensky and his reform agenda and we didn't get it.

CASTOR: You indicated in your deposition that when you took over the portfolio for Dr. Hill July 15th, you were alerted to potential issues in Colonel Vindman's judgment?


CASTOR: Did she relay anything specific to you -- specifically to you -- why she thought that?

MORRISON: Not -- not as such. It was more of an overarching statement from her and her deputy became my deputy that they had concerns about judgment.

CASTOR: Did any other NSC personnel raise concerns with you about Mr. Vindman?


CASTOR: I'm sorry, Colonel Vindman. And what were some of those concerns that were brought to your attention?

MORRISON: There were ...

(UNKNOWN): I'm sorry -- we are not going to (inaudible) instruction not to -- and we're instructed not to answer because I think that it's beyond the scope of what you're asking for -- these concerns Mr. Castor, predated any involvement with Ukrainian sector assistance.

CASTOR: Well during the deposition I asked you Mr. Morrison whether others raised the concern that Ms. -- Colonel Vindman may have leaked information?

MORRISON: You did ask that, yes.

CASTOR: And your answer was?

MORRISON: Others have represented that, yes.

CASTOR: OK. And I asked you whether you were concerned Colonel Vindman did not keep you in the loop at all times with his official duties?


CASTOR: And in fact when he went to the National Security Council lawyers following the July 25th call, he did not first come to you. Is that correct?

MORRISON: Correct.

CASTOR: And you were his supervisor in the chain of command. Correct?

MORRISON: Correct.

CASTOR: And in hindsight did you wish that he had come to you first before going to the lawyers?


CASTOR: And why is that?

MORRISON: One, if he had concerns about something about the content of the call, that's something I would have expected to have been notified of. I also think just as a matter of practice, since we both went to the lawyers, we didn't necessarily both need to and economy of effort may have prevailed.

CASTOR: OK. At any point, subsequently did he become frustrated that he felt cut out of some of the Ukraine portfolio?


CASTOR: And what was the nature of his concerns?

MORRISON: Well he -- the easiest way to say it is he was concerned with respect to, for example, the Ukraine trip that he was not -- he did not go. He asked me why it is my practice to have a number of the conversations with Ambassador Taylor one-on-one. There were certain other matters.

CASTOR: OK. And did you ever get the sense that you resolved his concerns or did they linger?

MORRISON: I -- I explained to him my thinking and that was that.

CASTOR: OK. Before my time expires, Ambassador Volker, I want to turn quickly to the -- what Ambassador Taylor describes as the irregular channel. He -- he was a participant with you and Ambassador Sondland hundreds of text messages. Correct?

VOLKER: Correct.

CASTOR: And so did he ever raise concerns about what was going on during the time period of the early August time period?

VOLKER: Only as you saw reflected in the text messages themselves where he said is this now a linkage or are we doing this? He had a concern about just in general Rudy Giuliani, which I think a lot of us had, but he said what do you do about it, about the role that he's playing. And as you note, we were in frequent contact -- near daily contact throughout this entire period.

CASTOR: And so did he ever engage you in a one-on-one telephone call to articulate his concerns.

VOLKER: We were on many one-on-one telephone calls. He did not raise those concerns that way, no.

CASTOR: OK. And this -- I mean you're an experienced diplomat. At one point in time, Senate confirmed, Ambassador Sondland is the Ambassador to the European Union. Secretary Perry is a Secretary of Energy -- certainly not -- doesn't sound like an irregular bunch. Did he ever articulate to you that he thought the three of you working on Ukraine policy was a problem?

VOLKER: No he did not.

CASTOR: And were you surprised during his testimony when he came in for the deposition when he sort of established these two tracks that one was a regular channel that he was in charge of and the other was an irregular...

VOLKER: Yes. I -- I -- I don't agree with his characterization of that because I had been in my role for a couple of years, I had been the lead on U.S.-Ukraine negotiations and negotiating with Russia, and the interagency work, and the work with our allies.

And we had a Secretary of Energy who was a cabinet official. And I think having support from various U.S. officials for our -- strengthening our engagement with Ukraine, I view it as a very positive thing. And if the concern is not us so much then, because we're all U.S. officials, but Mayor Giuliani, I don't view that as a channel at all because he's not a representative of the U.S. government, he's a private citizen.

I viewed him as perhaps a useful barometer in understanding what may be helpful communication from the Ukrainian government, but no someone in a position to represent the U.S. government at all.

CASTOR: OK, thank you. OK.

SCHIFF: OK, why don't we take a 5 or 10 minute break? If I could ask the audience to allow the witnesses to leave the room first -- we are in recess.


SCHIFF: Committee will come to order. We're now going to proceed to a 15 minute round by either Chair in the majority or Ranking Member minority. Mr. Goldman, you are recognized for 15 minutes.

GOLDMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ambassador Volker, I - I do want to just correct the record from the first round. You were right to point out - you asked if a quote that I represented you made in the deposition was your words and - and I actually read the wrong part in the quote. What you actually said was "it creates a problem again where all of the things that we're trying to do to advance the bilateral relationship, strengthen our support for Ukraine, strengthen the positioning against Russia is now getting sucked into a domestic political debate in the U.S., domestic political narrative that overshadows that." So I - you were right to point that out and I apologize for the - the mistake.

I want to go back to a couple of things that you said during the minority's round. Can you repeat again what the readout that you got of the July 25th call?

VOLKER: Yes, I received a readout from both Ukrainian colleague Andriy Yermak as well as from a U.S. person - I don't now remember whether it was my staff or someone from the embassy or where - and the readout was that it was a good phone call, that it was a congratulatory phone call for the President's win in the parliamentary election, that President Zelensky did reiterate his commitment to fighting corruption and advancing reform in Ukraine and that President Trump renewed his invitation for President Zelensky to come to the White House.

GOLDMAN: OK. And I believe you said that that - that readout was exactly as you expected the call to go. Is that right?

VOLKER: Exactly. That's what we were trying to tee up.

GOLDMAN: OK. I just want to show you once again the July 25th text that you wrote to Andriy Yermak, which was the message that you were relaying to him so that he could prepare President Zelensky. And you'll recall this, right, where you said that -- that this was the message, good lunch, thanks, heard from White House, assuming President Z convinces Trump he will investigate, quote "get to the bottom of what happened in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington."

That's -- that's what you expected from the call, right?

VOLKER: Yeah, I expected that President Zelensky would be convincing in his statements and comments with President Trump, that he was exactly that, that he would investigate, get to the bottom of things that had happened in 2016. And that if he was strong in conveying who he is as a person and doing that, that President Trump would be convinced and renew the invitation to the White House.

GOLDMAN: Right. But you don't mention corruption in this text, do you?

VOLKER: This is -- it's...

GOLDMAN: The word "corruption" is not...

VOLKER: ... paraphrase (ph)...

GOLDMAN: ... in this text, right?

VOLKER: ... the word "corruption" is not there. Investigating things that have happened in the past that would be corrupt, would be investigating corruption.

GOLDMAN: You say a couple times in your opening statement and you just said it again, that is -- you know, investigating things that happened in the past. You are aware, of course, that most investigations relate to things that happened in the past, right?

VOLKER: Sure (ph).



GOLDMAN: OK. So that's -- that doesn't really move the needle, whether it's current or past in terms of the subject of the investigation...

VOLKER: Yeah...

GOLDMAN: ... right?

VOLKER: ... yeah, the subject of the investigation are things that happened in the past.

GOLDMAN: You also talked a little bit about the meeting that you had on July 26th with President Zelensky and Ambassador Sondland in -- in Kiev, is that right?

VOLKER: On the 26th? We had a meeting...

GOLDMAN: And Ambassador Taylor?

VOLKER: ... with President Zelensky, yes.

GOLDMAN: OK. And I believe you testified that the topic of investigations did not come up at all. Is that right?

VOLKER: Yeah, I don't recall them coming up. Just the general...


VOLKER: ... phone call.

GOLDMAN: You didn't take notes of that call -- of that meeting, right?

VOLKER: No, I did not.

GOLDMAN: Right. Because you had -- there were...

VOLKER: Note-takers (ph).

GOLDMAN: ... staffers there to do that?

VOLKER: Correct.

GOLDMAN: And so if there are two staffers who have -- who took notes of that meeting and testified that the subject of either sensitive topics or investigative topics came up, are we better off taking their word for it than yours?

VOLKER: I have no reason to doubt their notes if they were notes taken contemporaneously at the meeting.

GOLDMAN: OK. Another witness testified before us, Laura Cooper, about a meeting that she had with you on July -- on August 20th. Do you recall having that meeting with her? Because you didn't mention it in your...

VOLKER: Yes, I did.

GOLDMAN: ... your deposition. OK.

VOLKER: I did mention that I had been making the rounds to weigh in on lifting the hold on security assistance, to do that with all of the interagency players.

GOLDMAN: Mm-hmm. And she recalled with some specificity that meeting, which I believe was also (ph) based on her notes, that you described the statement that you were trying to get President Zelensky to make to -- and I'll quote what she said -- "disavow interference in U.S. elections and commit to the prosecution of individuals involved in election interference."

And if he were to agree to do that, she testified, then you thought that it might help to lift the hold on security assistance. Is that your recollection of the conversation as well?

VOLKER: Not exactly.

GOLDMAN: So how does yours differ?

VOLKER: I recall talking about the statement that we had discussed earlier, the one that had been in the -- the subject of these exchanges between Mr. Yermak and myself, myself, Ambassador Sondland and Rudy Giuliani and then back to Yermak.

So I discussed, this is an effort we are doing. That this could be helpful in getting a reset of the thinking of the president, the negative view of Ukraine that he had. And if we did that, I thought that would also be helpful in unblocking whatever hold there was on security assistance. That if there was this negative presumption about Ukraine, getting this stuff on track would be helpful.

GOLDMAN: All right. So that's a different interpretation. But you don't doubt that what she testified is -- is inaccurate, do you?

VOLKER: I -- I believe she accurately reflected what she understood from the conversation.

GOLDMAN: OK. You testified a little bit about the June 28th conference call that you had with Ambassador Sondland, Ambassador Taylor. I'm not sure if Deputy Secretary Kent was on the line...

VOLKER: I don't believe so.

GOLDMAN: ... and Secretary Perry, before you looped in President Zelensky? Am I right about the participants of that, or was Perry -- Secretary Perry not on it?

VOLKER: Yeah. I am pretty sure that Deputy Assistant Secretary Kent was not on it. I don't remember whether Secretary Perry was on it, and I don't remember whether I stayed on for President Zelensky joining the call or not.


VOLKER: There were two separate calls...


GOLDMAN: Were there -- were there any staff members or note-takers on the call?

VOLKER: I don't believe so.


VOLKER: We were having a call among ourselves to talk about what were the messages we thought we needed to convey.

GOLDMAN: And at that point, we've had other testimony from people who did take notes, that there was a discussion about the investigations or what -- what you needed to do -- what President Zelensky needed to do in order to get the White House meeting. Do you recall that?

VOLKER: I recall seeing that in Ambassador Taylor's testimony. I believe there may have even been a text message to that effect. And again, it comes down to what are we talking about in terms of these investigations. Because what I certainly understood is we're talking about Ukraine looking into and fighting corruption internally and being convincing about this, presenting the new president and the new team as a change in Ukraine.

GOLDMAN: Well, you understood that the investigations were Burisma and the 2016 election, right?


GOLDMAN: OK. And you interpreted those...

VOLKER: Well (ph)...


GOLDMAN: ... to be -- you interpreted those to be OK because in theory they were looking into Ukrainians?

VOLKER: Correct.

GOLDMAN: OK. But we can agree, can we not, that the investigations, all the investigations that we're talking about here today were Burisma and the 2016 election?

VOLKER: Correct.

GOLDMAN: OK. Now, and what you then amended your testimony today to say is that in retrospect, if you did not realize that the purpose for Mr. Giuliani and President Trump to want the Burisma investigation was to -- for political benefits in digging up dirt or -- or getting some information on Vice President Biden. That's what you learned subsequently, right?

VOLKER: It's correct that I learned about the president's interest in investigating Vice President Biden from the phone call transcript, which came much, much later.

From Giuliani, I didn't know that he was actively pursuing this. I did know that he raised this with me directly and I had pushed back on it.

GOLDMAN: Well, you knew that Ambassador Sondland was pursuing this at the July 10th meeting when he raised these investigations himself.

VOLKER: Again, he didn't specify Biden, he didn't specify Burisma as I recall either. I understood it to be a generic comment, and something again not appropriate for that meeting.

GOLDMAN: Right. I understand. But Biden wasn't mentioned, but you do agree that when investigations are referenced in this context, it is Burisma and the 2016 election, no?

VOLKER: Yes. That's what I understand.

GOLDMAN: OK (ph), right. And on that July 10th call, when Ambassador Sondland raised the investigations, he did that in response to a question from the Ukrainians about the White House meeting, isn't that right?

VOLKER: Can you repeat the question? I didn't catch that.

GOLDMAN: When Ambassador -- you said that Ambassador Sondland mentioned specific investigations at the July 10th meeting in Ambassador...

VOLKER: Mm-hmm.

GOLDMAN: ... Bolton's office. And you said that you thought that was inappropriate.


GOLDMAN: Didn't he make that comment in response to a question from the Ukrainian officials about when they could schedule the White House meeting?

VOLKER: That I'm not sure about. I remember the meeting essentially already being over, and then Ambassador Sondland bringing that up.

GOLDMAN: And in the July 2nd or 3rd meeting in Toronto that you had with President Zelensky, you also mentioned investigations to him, right?


GOLDMAN: And, again, you were referring to the Burisma...

VOLKER: I was thinking of Burisma...

GOLDMAN: ... and the 2016?

VOLKER: ... and 2016.

GOLDMAN: OK. And you understood that that's what the Ukrainians interpreted references to investigations to be, related to Burisma and the 2016 election?

VOLKER: I -- I don't know specifically at that time if we had talked to that specifically, Burisma 2016. That was my assumption though that they would have been thinking that too.

GOLDMAN: Now Mr. Morrison, when did you have that conversation with Fiona Hill about Burisma and the parallel track involving Ambassador -- parallel process rather involving Ambassador Sondland and Rudy Giuliani. Do you recall?

MORRISON: We had a number of handoff discussions between 1 July and 15 July.

GOLDMAN: So in that period of time you were certainly aware of this effort to promote this Burisma investigation that Ambassador Sondland and Rudy Giuliani were going about or at least you had heard about it from Dr. Hill.

MORRISON: I had heard about it from Dr. Hill.

GOLDMAN: OK. I want to pull up another excerpt from a recent "Wall Street Journal" article that quotes an email from July 13th that Ambassador Sondland sent to you and he wrote to you quote, sole purpose is for Zelensky to give POTUS assurances of new sheriff in town. Corruption and -- corruption ending unbundling, moving forward and any hampered investigations will be allowed to move forward transparently.

And you responded, tracking. What did you understand Ambassador Sondland to mean when he wrote to you, any hampered investigations will be allowed to move forward transparently?

MORRISON: I don't know that I had any understanding. These are -- July 13 emails. I wasn't even in the seat yet but I knew that among the head of state meetings we were attempting to schedule was one between the president and President Zelensky.

GOLDMAN: Right, but it was before this that Dr. Hill had told you about Burisma and Ambassador Sondland in particular his desire for this parallel process to investigate Burisma, right?


GOLDMAN: So you had that association when you received his email asking you about investigations, correct?

MORRISON: Not necessarily.



GOLDMAN: Why not?

MORRISON: Because Ambassador -- among the discussions I had with Dr. Hill were about Ambassador Sondland. I think she might have coined it the 'Gordon problem.' And I decided to keep track of what Ambassador Sondland was doing. I didn't necessarily always act on things Gordon suggested he believed were important. So he wanted to get a meeting. I understood that the president wanted to do and had agreed to a meeting and so I was working -- I was tracking that we needed to schedule a meeting.

GOLDMAN: You were not endorsing the notion of President Zelensky sending a message about investigations. Is that your testimony?

MORRISON: That is my testimony.

GOLDMAN: Ambassador Volker, I want to jump ahead, after the aid was released, you went to the YES Conference, right in Ukraine and are you aware that Ambassador Taylor who testified based on quite detailed notes indicated that earlier a few days before that, Ambassador Sondland had told him that President Trump is a businessman and so before he writes a check he likes to see people pay up, something to that effect. You're aware of that?

VOLKER: I am familiar with that testimony.

GOLDMAN: Yes, and you're also familiar that Ambassador Taylor said that you said something very similar to him when you were in Ukraine for the YES Conference. Do you recall saying that to Ambassador Taylor?

VOLKER: Yes I do. I was repeating what Gordon Sondland had said to me to explain to Bill Taylor what that understanding was.

GOLDMAN: And in what context did Ambassador Sondland say that to you?

VOLKER: I think we were talking about the release of the hold on security assistance.


VOLKER: And he was saying that the president has -- he's already got a negative view of Ukraine. He sees a check on his desk that's going to the Ukrainians, not sure about them so he wants to hold on to it until he's assured.

GOLDMAN: Right. And the pay up before he writes the check is to get the investigations that he wants isn't that right?

VOLKER: That was not clear to me.

GOLDMAN: What did you think it meant?

VOLKER: I didn't think that there was a pay up. As we said the language was similar. I had hear from Gordon that he sees this check. He's not sure he wants it. He wants to make sure that he's got a deal with the Ukrainians. I didn't know specifically other than this the generic formulation.

GOLDMAN: Mr. Chairman, I yield back.

SCHIFF: Fifteen minutes to Ranking Member Nunes.

NUNES: Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Chair. Do you expect any more of these magical 15 minute motions that you come up with in the back?

SCHIFF: I don't how magical they are, they are prescribed by House Resolution 660 that we can have successive rounds of up to 45 minutes so this is part of the prescribed procedure under the House Resolution.

NUNES: Do you expect you're going to have more this evening, are you...

SCHIFF: I do not expect more will be necessary.

NUNES: Thank the gentleman. So for everyone watching, this is another example of how out of control this process has become where the democrats just magically give themselves additional minutes, which their right in the little special rule that they wrote they can do, but you'd at least think they'd have the decency to just tell us that you're going to have 15 minutes more and I would say that you can go four hours, we can go five hours. We'll give you all you want. You can keep digging if you want. The deeper the hole you dig, I think the more viewers will turn off because people just aren't buying the drug deal that you guys are trying to sell.

I would add that since we are getting into primetime, these are two witnesses that were your witnesses that you called into depose. The -- we still ask for witnesses that you did not depose including the whistleblower who you and others claim not to know which we still need to get to the bottom of that because it is the most important material fact witness to how this whole mess began in the first place.

Secondly we've asked for the DNC operatives that were working with Ukranians to dig up dirt for what you call or what the left calls conspiracy theories. They are right. They are conspiracy theories of dirt that they've dug up to spin their own conspiracy theories to attack the Trump campaign in the 2016 election. So I have no more questions for these witnesses. I know our members do. Mr. Castor, you have a little bit of cleanup here?

CASTOR: Thank you Mr. Nunes. I'll try to be quick and yield some time back so we don't have to use every last minute. Ambassador Volker, are you aware of a statement just last week from Foreign Minister Prystaiko about the -- he said that no one ever told the Ukranians, certainly not him that there was any linkage between the security assistance funds and investigations.

VOLKER: Yes, I saw that statement, yes.

CASTOR: And do you know the foreign minister?


CASTOR: And during times relevant, did you ever have any discussions with him about the investigations and links ...

VOLKER: Not about investigations with him. I believe I kept that discussion to being with Mr. (inaudible). And we did discuss with Foreign Minister Prystaiko and at the time his diplomatic adviser, security assistants after it was raised, after August 29th and I did discuss that with him

CASTOR: The primary person you worked with was Mr. Yermak?


CASTOR: And Mr. Yermak also had some meetings with Ambassador Sondland, did he ever give -- did Mr. Yermak ever give you any feedback from his interactions with Ambassador Sondland?

VOLKER: I can't say whether he did or didn't, we were in frequent contact and we were just talking about the issues as we went along.

CASTOR: The episode at Warsaw where apparently Ambassador Sondland pulled Mr. Yermak aside, did he give you -- did Mr. Yermak give you any feedback on that meeting?

VOLKER: I did not get anything specific after that. This was around September 1st or second. And it was at that time that I had been, I think texted by Mr. Yermak and was subsequently in touch with him and Prystaiko where I told them both, and also the defense minister, I told them all, don't worry, we know about this, we are trying to fix it. And I think I left the conversation at that.

CASTOR: And does the Ukrainian officials, the best of your knowledge, they trusted you?

VOLKER: Very much so. We had a close relationship.

CASTOR: And so when you made statements like that to them, do you think they believe you?

VOLKER: I think they believe me I think they would also have other conversations and they would hear things from other people, but I also think that I was sincere with them.

CASTOR: And they trusted Ambassador Taylor?


CASTOR: I would just like to demystify a little bit of the whole Mayor Giuliani role here, you met with him I believe one time?

VOLKER: That's correct.

CASTOR: And you had some exchange in text messages with him, correct?

VOLKER: Yes between, I guess it was the 10th of July and it -- around the 13th of august.

CASTOR: And during your deposition we sort of did an accounting of your communications with Mr. Giuliani, it wasn't that -- there weren't that many, we sort of accounted for them all and then Ambassador Sondland when he came in, he didn't have -- he didn't have any one-on-one meetings with Mayor Giuliani to your knowledge, is that correct?

VOLKER: I don't believe he did, but I don't know.

CASTOR: And in fact, I think Ambassador Sondland testified that there were a couple conference calls that he may have been on with you.

VOLKER: That is true.

CASTOR: OK. Getting back to the regular channel that Ambassador Taylor coined, in his deposition testimony, did you ever have an opportunity to sort of close the loop with him about any concerns whatsoever? Or is it all just the specific incidents raised in those texts?

VOLKER: It's only those specific instances.

CASTOR: Do you believe Ambassador Taylor in your communications with him believe that Mr. Giuliani was in far greater communication with yourself, Secretary Perry and ambassador Sondland?

VOLKER: I don't know what he thought.

CASTOR: OK. I think that's all I have, Mr. Nunes.

NUNES: I have nothing more. Would the gentleman allow us to use our magic minutes to yield to one of our members who would like to go?

SCHIFF: The House rules don't permit that, Mr. Nunes.

NUNES: I yield back.

SCHIFF: We will now go to a five minute member questions. I recognize myself for five minutes. Ambassador Volker, I want to ask you something in our opening statement with respect to the July 10th meeting, you testified, I (ph) participated in the July 10 meeting with National Security Adviser Bolton and then-Ukrainian chairman of the National Security and Defense Council, (inaudible), and I remember the meeting was essentially over wham Ambassador Sondland made a generic come meant about investigations, I think all of us thought it was inappropriate, the conversation did not continue and the meeting concluded. Mr. Volker, we asked you about that meeting during your deposition, you told us nothing about this. I believe we ask you about why the meeting came to an end and why you had earlier indicated, I think to Ambassador Taylor, that it did not go well. And your answer was that Danilov was in the weeds on national security policy. Why did you not tell us about this?

VOLKER: Because that's what I remembered from the meeting, what I provided in my October 3rd statement. As I said, I learned other things including seeing the statements from Alex Vindman and from Fiona Hill, and that reminded me that at the very end of that meeting as was were counted in Colonel Vindman's statement, I did remember that, that yes, that's right, Gordon did bring that up and that was it.

SCHIFF: So at the time, we deposed, and I think we were there for six or seven or eight hours and we were asking you specifically what you knew about these investigations, you didn't remember the Gordon Sondland and brought this up at the July 10th meeting with the Ukrainians an Ambassador Bolton called an end to the meeting. Ambassador Bolton describe that meeting as a drug deal that Sondland and Mulvaney cooked up, and you have no recollection of that?

VOLKER: Right, so in terms of Gordon bringing it up, no I did not remember that at the time of my October 3rd testimony. I read the account by Alex (ph), and jogged my memory, that yes, that's right, that did happen. I do not still recall it being an abrupt end to the meeting. The meeting was essentially over, and we got up, we went out to the little circle in front of the White House, we took a photograph. It did not strike me as abrupt.

SCHIFF: Now, Mr. Volker, you said in your testimony today, I think all of us thought it was inappropriate. If as you say, Ambassador Sondland only mention the investigations in the Bolton meeting, and you don't recall hearing him being specific, although others have testified that he was in the boardroom (ph), why did you think it was inappropriate?

VOLKER: I thought -- I will put it this way, it was a bit of an eye roll moment where you have a meeting, you're trying to advance the substance of the bilateral relationship, you have the head of the National Security and Defense Council. It was a disappointing meeting because I don't think that you the Ukrainians got as much out of that in terms of their presentation as they could have. And then this comes up at the very end of the meeting. It's like, this is not what we should be talking about.

SCHIFF: But ambassador, you've said that you think it was appropriate to ask the Ukrainians to do investigations of 2016 and Burisma as long as Burisma didn't mean the Bidens, something that you should understand you should have seen otherwise. But nonetheless, if it was appropriate, why are you saying today that all of us thought it was inappropriate?

VOLKER: Because it was not the place or the time to bring up that. This was a meeting between the national security adviser and the chairman of the National Security and Defense Counsel, the first high level meeting we are having between Ukraine and the United States after President Zelensky's election.

SCHIFF: Is part of the reason it was inappropriate also that it was brought up in the context of trying to get the White House meeting?

VOLKER: Possibly, although I do not recall that being -- I know this is the councils question, I don't remember the exact context of when that came up, I viewed the meeting as essentially having ended.

SCHIFF: I think you've said in your updated testimony that you do think it's inappropriate and objectionable to seek to get a foreign government to investigate a political rival, am I correct?

VOLKER: To investigate the vice president of the United States or someone who is a U.S. official, I don't think we should be asking foreign governments to do that. I would also say that's true for a political rival.

SCHIFF: And you recognized when you got the call record, when you finally did see the call record, that's what took place in that call, correct?

VOLKER: That's correct.

SCHIFF: Mr. Morrison, Ambassador Volker thinks it's inappropriate to ask a foreign head of state of investigate a U.S. person, let alone a political rival. But you've said you had no concern with that. Do you think that's appropriate?

MORRISON: As a hypothetical matter, I do not.

SCHIFF: Well, I'm not talking about a hypothetical matter. Read the transcript. In that transcript, does the president not ask Zelensky to look into the Bidens?

MORRISON: Mr. Chairman, I can only tell you what I was thinking at the time. That is not what I understood the president to be doing.

SCHIFF: But nonetheless, this was the first and only time where you went from listening to a presidential call directly to the National Security lawyer, is it not?

MORRISON: Yes, that's correct.

SCHIFF: And I think you've said that your concern was not that it was unlawful but that it might leak. Is that right?

MORRISON: That is correct.

SCHIFF: Now, the -- the problem with the leaking is that -- what would be leaking is a president asking a foreign head of state to investigate Mr. Biden, isn't that the problem?

MORRISON: Well, I -- I believe I stated I had sort of three concerns about what the impact of the call leaking might be.

SCHIFF: Well, if it was a perfect call, would you have had a concern of it leaking?

MORRISON: No -- well, no, I -- I would still have a concern about it leaking.

SCHIFF: OK. And would you have thought it was appropriate if President Trump had asked Zelensky to investigate John Kasich, or to investigate Nancy Pelosi, or to Ambassador Volker? Would that be appropriate?

MORRISON: In -- in those hypothetical cases, no. It's not appropriate.

SCHIFF: But you're not sure about Joe Biden?

MORRISON: Sir, again, I can only speak to what I understood at the time and why I acted the way I did at the time.

SCHIFF: Finally, my colleagues asked about, well, doesn't aid get held up for all kinds of reasons. Ambassador Volker, have you ever seen military aid held up because a president wanted his rival investigated?

VOLKER: No, I have not seen that.

SCHIFF: Have you ever seen that, Mr. Williams -- Mr. Morrison? I'm sorry.

MORRISON: No, chairman.

SCHIFF: I yield to the ranking member.

NUNES: So you took two additional minutes. Are you giving our side seven minutes?

SCHIFF: Of course.

NUNES: I recognize Mr. Turner.

TURNER: Thank you.

Ambassador Volker, Mr. Morrison, good to see you again. I appreciate your service to your country and your service in government. Our country is safer today because of the work of -- of both of you men.

I want you to know that during all the testimony that we've had, no one has ever alleged that either of you have done anything inappropriate or improper. And everyone has spoken of both of you as having a high level of professionalism and a high degree of ethical standards.

Ambassador Volker, I appreciated in your opening statement your comments of your work to focus on Russia as an invasion of Ukraine and an occupation, and your work on legal defensive arms. That would include the Javelins, would it not, Ambassador Volker?

VOLKER: Yes, that's right.

TURNER: And that made a big difference with Ukraine, did it not?

VOLKER: A very big difference.

TURNER: Mr. Morrison, would you speak to -- tell us about your military service.

MORRISON: Mr. Turner, I'm a U.S. Naval Reserve officer. I'm an intelligence officer.

TURNER: And where did you go to law school?

MORRISON: George Washington University.

TURNER: Now, gentlemen, there's been a lot of talk about a lot of people. And we're going to have to pick up the pace here because these are like short periods of time that we have now for this portions of questions.

A lot of people talking about their perceptions, their beliefs, their feelings even, what they heard, and their understandings and their thoughts. Ambassador Taylor, Mr. Kent, Ambassador Yovanovitch, and Lieutenant Colonel Vindman all had conversations with each other and with other people and all had a whole bunch of hearsay.

But I can assure you, this boils down to just one thing. This is an impeachment inquiry concerning the president of the United States. So the only thing that matters besides all these people talking to each other, and all their feelings and all of their -- their thoughts and understandings, it really only comes down to what did the president of the United States intend, and what did he say, and what did the Ukrainians understand or hear.

Ambassador Volker, you're one of the first people that we've had in these open public testimony that's had conversations with both. So I get to ask you, you had a meeting with the president of the United States and you believe that the policy issues that he raise concerning Ukraine were valid, correct?


TURNER: Did the president of the United States ever say to you that he was not going to allow aid from the United States to go to the Ukraine unless there were investigations into Burisma, the Bidens, or the 2016 elections?

VOLKER: No, he did not.

TURNER: Did the Ukrainians ever tell you that they understood that they would not get a meeting with the president of the United States, a phone call with the president of the United States, military aid or foreign aid from the United States unless they undertook investigations of Burisma, the Bidens, or the 2016 elections?

VOLKER: No, they did not.

TURNER: You know, pretty much, Ambassador Volker, you just like took apart their entire case. I mean, if the president of the United States does not believe (ph) or intended and the Ukrainians don't understand it, and you're the only one who actually stands in between them.

Now, I got to (ph) ask you, Ambassador Volker, you know, the three amigo thing or whatever that -- that they are -- they're trying to disparage you with, you're not part of an irregular channel, right, Ambassador Volker? Aren't you the official channel?

VOLKER: That is correct.

TURNER: Explain that. Explain how you're the official channel and not an irregular channel.

VOLKER: So I was appointed by the secretary of State, Secretary Tillerson, in July of 2017 to be the U.S. special representative for Ukraine negotiations. That's a role that's different from assistant secretary of State or different from ambassador in Ukraine.

That role is particularly focused on the diplomatic activities surrounding the efforts to reverse Russia's invasion and occupation of -- of Ukraine. It is Minsk agreement implementation. It is the Normandy process with France and Germany. It is support from NATO. It is support for sanctions from the European Union. It's the OSCE and the Monitoring Missions. It is the efforts of individuals allies like Poland, like the U.K., like Canada that are supporting Ukraine.

It is work at a senior level in the interagency with...


TURNER: Excellent.

VOLKER: ... the secretary of Defense...

TURNER: Great -- great description. I'm going to cut you off there.

Ambassador Volker, you were also one of the few people who as actually spoken to Giuliani, the so-called irregular channel. Again, all these other people had feelings and understandings about what Giuliani was doing.

Did Giuliani ever tell you that United States aid or a meeting with the president of the United States would not occur for the Ukrainians until they agreed to a -- an investigation of Burisma, the Bidens, or the 2016 election?

VOLKER: Yes, everything I heard from Giuliani, I took to be his opinion...


TURNER: Excellent. So -- so I would assume then that the Ukrainians never told you that -- that Giuliani had told them that in order to get a meeting with the president, a phone call with the president, military aid or -- or foreign aid from the United States that they would have to do these investigations?


TURNER: Great. OK.

Mr. Morrison, you testified that you spoke to Ambassador Sondland and he told you of a conversation that he had with the president of the United States. On page 128 of his testimony, he relates the content of a conversation that he had with the president and he was asked about it. It's the only one he relates.

And he said in your -- and he said I -- he was asked whether or not there was a quid pro quo. He said, 'I didn't frame the question,' basically to the president, 'that way as a link. I did not frame the question that way, I asked the open-ended question what do you want?'

This is Mr. Sondland in his testimony asking this question to the president of the United States, and this is what he reports of (ph) the president of the United States. He said, 'I want nothing. I don't want to give them anything, I don't want anything from them. I want Zelensky to do the right thing.'

That's what he -- and he kept repeating, no quid pro quo over, and over again. Mr. Morrison, do you have any reason to believe that Mr. Sondland is not telling the truth as to (ph) the content of his conversation with the president of the United States?

MORRISON: No, Congressman.

TURNER: Now do either of you have any information or evidence that anyone who has testified before this Committee either in the secret dungeon testimonies that have been released, or in these open testimonies has perjured themselves or has lied to this Committee?

VOLKER: I have no reason to think that.

TURNER: Mr. Morrison?

MORRISON: No, sir.

TURNER: Mr. Morrison, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman reported to you, is that correct?

MORRISON: He did, sir.

TURNER: Now you -- you have a legal background. He said that he listened to the phone call -- a phone call which you said you'd saw nothing that had occurred illegally. And he said that he believed the president of the United States demanded to President Zelensky that these investigations move forward.

Do you believe -- because he only was telling us his opinion, do you believe in your opinion that the president of the United States demanded that President Zelensky undertake these investigations?

MORRISON: No, sir.

TURNER: To both of you, Ukraine is an aspirant to the E.U. Ambassador Sondland is the Ambassador to the E.U., is the Ukraine in the Ambassador's portfolio? Ambassador Volker?

VOLKER: Yes, also because the E.U. sanctions are incredibly important.

TURNER: Mr. Morrison?

MORRISON: I agree, sir.

TURNER: I yield back.

SCHIFF: Mr. Himes.

HIMES: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you gentlemen for your testimony today. President Trump has described his July 25 phone call with President Zelensky as, "perfect." And I think he's done that on Twitter not once, not twice -- but by my count 11 times.

It feels to me, like this characterization of "perfect," is of a piece (ph) with the idea that we hear in defense of the president's request to the Ukrainians. That that's just normal course of business pursuing anti-corruption. And I've been concerned from the start that this is actually not about going after corruption, it is in fact about aiming corruption at the vice president.

Mr. Morrison, you listened in on the call in the White House Situation Room. Did you hear the president mention the company CrowdStrike and the server?

MORRISON: I believe so, yes sir.

HIMES: Did you hear President Trump mention the Bidens?

MORRISON: Yes sir.

HIMES: Did you hear President Trump in the length of that phone call use the word "corruption?"

MORRISON: Sir, I don't believe he did.

HIMES: Was the request that Ukraine investigate CrowdStrike and the Bidens consistent with what you understood to be official U.S. policy towards combating corruption in Ukraine?

MORRISON: Sir, it was the first I heard of much of this.

HIMES: In fact, in your deposition you testified that you wanted to stay away from what you described as this, "bucket of investigations," why did you want to stay away from those issues?

MORRISON: That was what I was advised by Dr. Hill.

HIMES: You also testified that the president's call was not, and I'm quoting you here, "the full throated endorsement of the Ukraine reform agenda that I was hoping to hear." What did you mean by that?

MORRISON: Sir, what we -- myself, Colonel Vindman, others -- what we prepared in the package we provided the president was a background on President Zelensky, background on his positions about reforming Ukraine, reforming its institutions, rooting out corruption.

We were hoping -- we recommended the president very clearly support what President Zelensky had run on in his own election, and what his Servant of the People party had run on in its election where it received a majority mandate.

HIMES: That didn't come up in the call, did it?

MORRISON: No, sir.

HIMES: Do -- are you aware of any other discussion in which the president actually raised those things with the -- with the new Ukrainian president?

MORRISON: Corruption reform?


MORRISON: Sir, it's been some time since I refreshed myself on the discussion that took place at the U.N. General Assembly, so I hesitate to say did he ever raise it. But he did not raise it at the time of the 25 July phone call.

HIMES: OK. Switching gears a little bit, you strike me as a process guy. And I -- it's nagging at me because you characterized the -- Ambassador Sondland's linking in whatever way it happened, of aid to an investigation as the Gordon (ph) problem. You said it caused you to roll your eyes. Ambassador Volker said it was everybody in the July 10 meeting thought it was inappropriate. John Bolton characterizes this as the drug deal.

So it seems like everybody in the room understands that there's a huge problem here. My understanding is that it would be normal course of business when you have an ambassador out there going rogue as apparently there was consensus Ambassador Sondland was doing, that either the National Security Adviser John Bolton, or the Secretary of State might reign them in. Why didn't that happen?

MORRISON: Sir, I can't speak to that but I would generally agree that ambassadors work for the secretary of state and the president.

HIMES: Do you have -- you don't have any idea -- you worked for him, you don't have any idea why John Bolton would characterize what the ambassador was doing as a "drug deal," but not reign him in?

MORRISON: Ambassadors don't work for the National Security Adviser, sir.

HIMES: No, but John Bolton's National Security Adviser, he presumably spends time with the secretary of state. I'm just puzzled that everybody in the room is characterizing this as the Gordon problem, or inappropriate, or a drug deal -- and the secretary of state does nothing.

MORRISON: Sir, I'm sorry was there a question?

HIMES: Well yeah, I just -- do you have any -- you don't have any insight in to that?

MORRISON: No, sir.

HIMES: Ambassador Volker, you testified that you were troubled once you read the record of the president's July 25 call. You testified, "that asking the president of Ukraine to work together with the attorney general to look in to this, you can see as it has happened this becomes explosive in our domestic politics."

And in your new testimony you call this "unacceptable." What specifically in that call to the Ukraine president do you find "unacceptable," or troubling?

VOLKER: It is the reference to Vice President Biden.

HIMES: Thank you, I yield back the balance of my time.

SCHIFF: Mr. Conaway.

CONAWAY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This morning we heard much about July 25 call in which the president asked for a favor, at least in Lieutenant Colonel Vindman's mind that was equivalent to a demand, an order, a requirement.

And yet, in the last part of the conversation between the two heads of state, President Trump talks about a prosecutor that he's particularly in favor of and would like to see stay there. And Zelensky though, says Mr. President no since we've won the absolute majority in our parliament, the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate.

Does that -- to either one of you, does that sound like a head of state whose been cowed or bullied, and is under the thumb of the president of the United States?

VOLKER: Not at all.

MORRISON: No, sir.

CONAWAY: All right. The impact of those -- the pause that occurred, the 55 day pause in the lethal (ph) assistance -- or the security assistance. None of us have really understood exactly what happened during that timeframe. No one knew about it other than internal U.S. folks until late August. And so the Russians would not necessarily have known about. But the potential impact that I agree with on Russia's interpretation of our support for Ukraine wasn't known until those last 14 days.

But the impact on the lethal aid that they already had, should Russia had tried to move the line of -- of contact further west with their tanks would -- would lethal assistance that we'd already given been available to them to push back on that?

VOLKER: Yes, it would.

CONAWAY: Mr. Morrison, comments?

MORRISON: Sir, I agree with that but I would also add the -- the hold, as I understood it, applied to Ukraine's security assistance, (inaudible) UASI, and FMF. It did not apply to FMS and javelins were provided under FMS.

CONAWAY: OK. So the most lethal weapon that President Trump provided to the Ukrainians that President Obama and his public -- his national policy, which he set, was available to them should the Russians have pushed their tanks west, the javelins?

MORRISON: Yes, sir.

CONAWAY: Throughout that process, even with the pause, even with all the stuff that was going on?

MORRISON: Yes, sir.

CONAWAY: OK. Associated Press is reporting that (inaudible) and Ambassador Volker, you mentioned it earlier that the Russians in an act of war took two gunships and a tug and 24 sailors last November and yet the Russians have now given the 24 sailors back in September and the Associated Press is reporting today that the -- they're giving the -- they're giving the gun boats and the tug back.

Does that sound like a -- Ukraine is inept (ph) at being able to negotiate with the Russians because they're wounded in some way by our actions?

VOLKER: No. I would -- I would not say that the Ukrainians are inept.

CONAWAY: All right. Thank you, sir. Mr. Chairman, I would like as a personal request, request that you and or one of your lawyer members on the committee that are lawyers to put into the record the federal statute that provides for the absolute immunity or right to immunity that you've exerted over and over and over.

I don't think it's there but if it in fact federal statute and or a brief (ph) that you can site, put that into the record so that we'll know that. And before you get mad and accuse me of wanting to out the whistleblower, you get upset every time somebody accuses you personally of knowing who the whistleblower is.

I get upset every time you anonymity -- excuse me -- anonymity -- every time you accuse me of simply -- because I want to know the whistleblower and we want to know what's going on that we want to out that interviewer (ph).

That's unfair for you to make that accusation and I get just as mad. This is about leveling the playing field between our two teams. Your team knows the whistleblower. They have intimate knowledge of who he or she is.

The IGIC -- ICIG even mentioned industry (ph) biases. Your team full understands that. Our team should fully understand that. It's simply leveling the playing field. And I know that you've overrun my -- my request for a close door subpoena, I understand that. But I do think that it's important that you put in the record the basis on which you continue to assert this absolute right to anonymity.

Excuse me I spoke -- misspoke earlier -- anonymity, the whistleblower. Also, the Speaker, on -- of September the 23rd issued a dear colleague (ph). That's a document that we all use to talk to each other. And it went to 434 other members of Congress.

It was intended to be the truth. It was intended to be straight forward. She says in that dear colleague (ph) that the whistleblower has -- by law is required to testify to the House's and the Senate intelligence committees.

Now you're defying the Speaker in this regard. I understand that's between you and her. But if she's correct, then you're defying the -- defying the law.

If on the other hand she mislead us into thinking something that was not true, then I think you need to tell the Speaker that she needs to retract that Dear Colleague letter, at least set the record straight as is the Speaker -- is the whistleblower required by law, as the Speaker said, to testify to us or not. And -- and what is his absolute right to anonymity that -- that you question. With that, I yield back.

SCHIFF: Time of the gentleman has expired. I'd be happy to enter into the record the whistleblower's statute that allows the whistleblower to remain anonymous as well as Ranking Member Nunes' prior comments talking about the importance of anonymity for whistleblowers. And with that I recognize Ms. Sewell.

SEWELL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ambassador Volker, it seems by early July it's become pretty clear that Mr. Giuliani has become a major problem for the U.S. Ukraine relations. You previously testified that on July 2nd you met with the Ukrainian president and his aid in -- in Toronto, is that right?

VOLKER: I -- I had a bilateral meeting between the U.S. and the Ukrainian delegations and then a pull aside meeting with the president and his chief of staff.

SEWELL: There you discussed Mr. Giuliani's, quote, negative view, quote of Ukraine based on a conspiracy theory about the 2016 election, right.

VOLKER: I -- I conveyed that he was repeating a negative narrative about Ukraine based on accusations of the then Prosecutor General Lutsenko.

SEWELL: Are you saying that you didn't think that they were negative views?

VOLKER: No, no. That they were negative views.

SEWELL: OK. But that wasn't your -- that wasn't your description?

VOLKER: I'm -- I'm sorry, I lost the question. If you could repeat.

SEWELL: Well, I was trying to get at who -- who said the negative views that (inaudible).

VOLKER: So the prosecutor general of Ukraine was putting out this series of conspiracy theories that I believe were self serving and inaccurate. Mr. Giuliani had repeated these to me. So I believe that he was at least affected by those and believed those and was concerned about those ...

SEWELL: And believed that they were negative.

VOLKER: Believed that they were negative and was conveying them to the president.

SEWELL: So was it problematic that he believed that they were negative views? Was it true?

VOLKER: Yes. It -- the whole thing was problematic.

SEWELL: Ambassador Taylor testified that on July 2nd you told Ukrainians that they needed to quote cooperate on investigations, end quote. You're now saying that you don't recall that -- saying those words. Is that correct?

VOLKER: I don't believe I said the words cooperate on investigations.

SEWELL: Did you say investigations?

VOLKER: I believe I did, yes.

SEWELL: And what did you mean by investigations.

VOLKER: I meant Burisma in 2016 was in my mind but I wanted to keep it general and that Ukraine in being convincing to Giuliani and hopefully also the president that they were serious about fighting corruption, would engage in whatever investigations necessary to clean up the country.

SEWELL: Now, moving to July 10th. Ambassador Volker sent you a text message -- you sent a text message to Giuliani and I think it's on the -- it's on the screen now. And you said, Mr. Mayor, could we meet for coffee or lunch in the next week or so. I'd like to update you on my conversation about Ukraine.

I'd like -- I think we have an opportunity to get what you need. Did you say that? Is that an accurate ...

VOLKER: That is an accurate text message.

SEWELL: And what did you mean by what you need?

VOLKER: Contact with the actual government of Ukraine, the people who are now representing President Zelensky and his team.

SEWELL: Later that day, you and Ambassador Sondland met with Ukraine officials at the White House. We heard from several witnesses that Ambassador Sondland told the Ukrainians that they needed to cooperate with a quote, unquote investigations in order to get the Oval Office meeting scheduled on the books. Were these investigations a part of the official U.S. policy toward Ukraine?

VOLKER: U.S. policy toward Ukraine was about fighting corruption and Ukraine going after that ...

SEWELL: But was it specifically about these kinds of investigation. You said the investigation was Burisma ...

VOLKER: No, wait.


VOLKER: In order to fight corruption, you need to conduct investigations, you need to see what Ukrainian citizens had been up to and doing ...

SEWELL: But was that the purpose of that or was it - or was it because the President know - you knew that - well, that the President wanted those investigations to be done as a condition of - for them to actually have a meeting with the - with the - in the White - in the White House.

VOLKER: Well, as - first off, we have to be clear what we're talking about in terms of investigations. We're not talking about Vice President Biden, we're not talking about some of the ...

SEWELL: But Burisma doesn't - is not - has nothing to do with - you're saying that ...

VOLKER: I'm saying that whether Ukrainians within the company of Burisma had acted in a corrupt way or sought to buy influence, that's a legitimate thing for Ukraine to investigate. And if Ukraine can make a statement about their intentions on fighting corruption domestically, that is helpful in order to convince President Trump ultimately that this ...

SEWELL: With all due respect, Ambassador Volker, we heard from two witnesses this morning that those investigations were not official U.S. policy. Ambassador Volker, I don't know if you understand what you were getting yourself into but sitting here today, I trust you understand that pressuring Ukraine to involve itself in U.S. domestic policy is just simply wrong. I yield back the balance of my time.

SCHIFF: Mr. Turner?

TURNER: I yield my time to Jim Jordan.

JORDAN: I - I thank the gentlemen. Ambassador Volker, you - you were the Special Representative to Ukraine, is that right?

VOLKER: That is correct.

JORDAN: And prior to that in your diplomatic service, you worked at the NSC, you were Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, you were Ambassador to NATO - Senate confirmed Ambassador to NATO in your distinguished diplomatic career. So it may not bother you when you're referred to as the irregular channel but it bothers Representative Turner and it bothers me.

You were the Special Envoy to Ukraine and in that role, you said in your opening statement, you were the administration's most outspoken public figure highlighting Russia's invasion and occupation of Ukraine and calling out Russia's responsibility in the war. Is that right?

VOLKER: That is correct.

JORDAN: And in that capacity, you strongly advocated for lifting the ban on sale of lethal defensive arms to Ukraine. Is that right?

VOLKER: That is correct.

JORDAN: And President Trump did it, didn't he?

VOLKER: That is correct.

JORDAN: But in spite of that, President Trump was still skeptical of giving hard earned tax dollars to Ukraine, right?


JORDAN: You said that in your testimony, as well, and the reason he's skeptical is, let's be honest, the guy doesn't like foreign aid. Right?

VOLKER: That's one reason and then Ukraine's history of corruption is another.

JORDAN: One of the third most corrupt countries on the planet and Europe isn't doing enough and oh, by the way, in the President's mind, he did think Ukraine was trying to influence the 2016 election because things happened. The Democrats want to deny it but when the Ambassador from Ukraine here to the United States writes an op-ed on August 4th, 2016 criticizing then candidate Trump, that's certainly trying to influence the election.

When Minister Avakov, a - a key minister in their government says all kinds of negative things about candidate Trump, that certainly looks like it's trying to influence the election. And when Mr. Leshchenko states in the Financial Times during the campaign the majority of the Ukrainian political figures want Hillary Clinton to win, that probably sticks in a candidate's mind.

I know we all run campaigns and when people say bad things about us in the course of the campaign, we don't necessarily - necessarily think great things about them. But you were convinced Zelensky was the real deal, right?

VOLKER: That is correct.

JORDAN: Cause you spent a lot of time with the guy and guess what? When aid was frozen, you knew if you could get these two guys together, it'd work out. When aid was frozen, what did you say? You told the Ukrainians don't worry about it. Well you didn't say it, you said don't be alarmed, right?

VOLKER: That is correct.

JORDAN: And guess what happened? By the time aid's - when aid's frozen and when it's released, all kinds of interactions between President Zelensky and senior U.S. officials - right? Starts with the call - starts with the call with President Trump and President Zelensky.

Next day, you meet with President Zelensky in Ukraine. Then we have Ambassador Bolton meeting with him, then we have Vice President Pence meeting with him, then we have U.S. senators Johnson and Murphy meeting with him, and guess what? In none of those meetings, not a single one did security assistance dollars in exchange for an investigation, not once did they come up, did that - did that conversation come up. Is that right?

VOLKER: That is correct.

JORDAN: Not once, no discussion of aid for investigations and, as you testified, you never believed aid for investigations was ever being talked about either, in any of these conversations.

VOLKER: That is correct.

JORDAN: But what happened in those meetings? They all became convinced of the same thing you knew, they all saw the same darn thing, this guy was the real deal, he is a legitimate reformer and they all came back - they all came back and told the President, hey Mr. President, this guy's real, go ahead and release the dollars.

Oh, by the way, in that same timeframe, you know what else happened? Their Parliament - their newly elected Parliament, as Mr. Morrison testified to, stayed up all night to pass the reform measures, to get rid of the prosecutor, to put in the supreme high anti-corruption court, to get rid of this - this - this ability, this - that - that - that no one in their Congress, in their Parliament could ever be hit with a crime? I mean, that's unbelievable.

All that happens and they come back and tell President Trump, hey guess what, time to release the dollars, and he did it, right?

VOLKER: The dollars were released.

JORDAN: Yeah, you did your job - you did your job and you've got to put up with all of this because the Democrats are out to get this President. You did your job just the way Mr. Turner described you did your job over all of these years - all these years and the Democrats put you through this.

You have served our country well, the - the - the kind of - the kind of diplomat we want serving and here's - here's the - here's the saddest - one of the saddest things about all of this, that - what the Democrats are putting us through, you two guys who are here telling it straight, you've both decided you're going to step out of government because of what these guys are doing. And that - that's the sad thing.

People like Ambassador Volker and Tim Morrison, who have served our country so well, are now stepping out of our government because of what these guys are doing. And that's why Mr. Turner got so fired up a few minutes ago, why I'm so fired up too, cause we appreciate - we appreciate what you guys did. I yield back.

SCHIFF: Mr. Carson?

CARSON: Thank you, Chairman Schiff. Ambassador Volker, I want to focus on the press statement that President Trump and Rudy Giuliani wanted Ukraine to make, announce - announcing investigations to benefit President Trump.

On August 9th, sir, Ambassador Sondland and you had this exchange. Ambassador Sondland says "Morrison, ready to get dates as soon as your man confirms." You reply "excellent, how did you sway him?" and Ambassador Sondland says "not sure I did, I think POTUS really wants deliverable."

Deliverable here was a public announcement that Ukraine was going to conduct investigations into Burisma and alleged 2016 election interference by Ukraine. Is that correct, sir?

VOLKER: Thank you. I understood the deliverable to be the statement that we had been talking about.

CARSON: On August 13th, UN Ambassador Sondland discussed a draft statement from Ukraine with Mr. Giuliani. Sir, why did you discuss the draft statement with Mr. Giuliani?

VOLKER: Because the idea of the statement had come up from Mr. Yermak's meeting with Mr. Giuliani. Remember that Mr. Yermak asked me to connect him with Mr. Giuliani. I did, they had a meeting and then they both called me afterwards, Mr. Giuliani said that he thought Ukraine should make a statement about fighting corruption, Mr. Yermak said and we will say also specifically Burisma and 2016, Mr. Yermak provided me a draft statement and I wanted to be assured that this statement would actually correct the perception that Mr. Giuliani had of Ukraine and what they stand for now so that that would also be conveyed to President Trump and solve this problem that I had observed with our May 23rd meeting with the president.

The problem being that he's getting a bad set of information, a statement like this could potentially correct that.

CARSON: So was Mr. Giuliani satisfied with this statement?

VOLKER: No, he was not.

CARSON: Why not?

VOLKER: He believed that it needed to say Burisma and 2016 specifically or else it would not be credible, it would not mean anything new.

CARSON: So, in fact, Mr. Giuliani wanted a statement that referenced Burisma and the 2016 election explicitly, one that would benefit essentially President Trump. Mr. Ambassador, here is the text you sent to the Ukrainian official on August 13th. Let's put that up on the screen. You said: "Hi, Andriy, good talking. Following is the text with an insert at the end for the two key items."

Mr. Ambassador, those two key items were specific references to investigations of Burisma and the 2016 election, isn't that right, sir?

VOLKER: That is correct.

CARSON: Did Mr. Giuliani, sir, dictate those two key items to you, sir?

VOLKER: Well, as you see, I had just had a conversation with Mr. Yermak to describe to him the conversation that we had just had with Mr. Giuliani. Mr. Giuliani said that it would need to include these things for it to be convincing to him. I put them in so we understood what he was talking about and I shared it with Andriy to say this is what he is talking about.

CARSON: And you included them in the proposal to the Ukrainians?

VOLKER: I put it back in to be clear to the Ukrainians this is what the conversation was.

CARSON: Mr. Ambassador, if you believe the statement that Mr. Giuliani dictated in August was not a good idea, sir, why were the Ukrainians still considering giving an interview with the same themes in September?

VOLKER: Well, if I may, Congressman, I conveyed this to the Ukrainians in order to be clear so we knew what the conversation was about. This was following up on his prior conversation. The Ukrainians then said they had reasons not to do that and they described those reasons. And I agreed with them. And we agreed to just scrap the statement.

From that point on, I didn't have any further conversations about this statement. So I don't know how it came up or why it came up that there would be a possibility of President Zelensky doing an interview with U.S. media later saying something like this. And in the end he didn't do that either.

CARSON: Thank you, sir.

Mr. Morrison, you said that the president's requests during the July 25th were not consistent with U.S. policy. I emphatically agree with you, sir. Yet these text messages show that Ambassador Volker spent much of August pressing Ukraine to meet those requests. We can only be grateful. I guess if the president essentially got caught and Congress passed a law to ensure the funding was released to Ukraine before it was too late. I thank you both for your service.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back.

SCHIFF: Dr. Wenstrup.

WENSTRUP: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Both you gentlemen, thank you very much for being here. I want to start, if I can, with you, Mr. Morrison, in discussing the 7/25 phone call and the concerns that Lieutenant Colonel Vindman had. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman came to you with edits for the transcript. And you stated that you accepted all of his edits. Is that correct?

MORRISON: I would have selected all of the edits that I believed were faithful to what was actually discussed.

WENSTRUP: Did he come to you with an edit that said the word "demand" should be in there?

MORRISON: I don't recall that specifically, sir, no.

WENSTRUP: He didn't either. How soon after the phone call did he meet with you on that particular issue?

MORRISON: We got the draft, as was normal, fairly quickly after the call. So that same day.

WENSTRUP: That same day. So today he said: "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 political opponent." Now he was going to Mr. Eisenberg with his concerns about the conversation, yet he did not at any point on the edits say that there should be a demand.

And, you know, he didn't do that. But he did say he didn't come to you with his concerns because you weren't available, but that same day he came to you with edits. Was that correct?

MORRISON: I believe that's generally correct, yes, sir.

WENSTRUP: OK. And, well, he said you weren't available. And you didn't hear the president make a demand, did you?

MORRISON: No, sir.

WENSTRUP: So some time between the call and today, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman must have been hearing some voices and he heard demand at the time. But he didn't hear it that day and he didn't make it an issue that day. But today he does. I think that is pretty bizarre.

When Lieutenant Colonel Vindman went to legal, Mr. Eisenberg, do you know if he was advised not to speak to you?

MORRISON: I don't have any firsthand knowledge of that, no, sir.

WENSTRUP: Do you know if he was advised to contact the IGIC?

MORRISON: No, sir. I have no firsthand knowledge of that.

WENSTRUP: So you don't know what he was advised when he went to legal?

MORRISON: No, sir, I do not.

WENSTRUP: Thank you. I appreciate that.

Mr. Volker, I want to tell you I really enjoyed your opening testimony today, taking us through that. I know it's kind of long, but I thought it was extremely well-done and I appreciate it. You talk about letters signed and sharing concerns about leadership in your assigned country, about agreeing with and sometimes disagreeing with the leadership of your own country when you felt it was appropriate.

Now you're the boots on the ground for the administration, let's face it. You're part of that team that is there to serve the country in that way. And that all to me sounded like works of a very good diplomat. And I want to thank you for that.

VOLKER: Thank you, sir.

WENSTRUP: It's truly appreciated.

And, you know, corruption was a concern, legitimately in Ukraine. And in many ways Mr. Jordan pointed out some of the things that were done by Ukrainians in plain sight, I might use that term, in plain sight by putting op-eds in our newspapers. And it's certainly more than one country can be trying to influence our elections, would you agree with that?

VOLKER: I agree with that.

WENSTRUP: And, you know, we keep hearing that that whole thing about the Ukrainians, that has all been debunked, it was just the Russians. Well, you know, that comes from an IC community (sic) that some of the people that have come up with those conclusions are some of the very same people that we're going to find out, if we haven't already, were deeply involved with this whole Russian collusion hoax.

But I want to say, you did a great job. You vetted Zelensky's intentions, what he intended to be as a president. Would you say that's accurate?

VOLKER: Yes, that was in fact one of the key objectives of the presidential delegation at the inauguration, to take our own judgment and report back to the president.

WENSTRUP: And that's what your job should be. And you became comfortable with this president, correct?

VOLKER: Yes, I did.

WENSTRUP: And you worked to assure our president that you were comfortable with this president, is that correct?

VOLKER: That's correct.

WENSTRUP: And in some ways you have to work sometimes through any means available. And that might include working with Rudy Giuliani if it could be helpful to you to get that message and advice to the president, would that be correct?

VOLKER: I believe that the messages being conveyed by Mr. Giuliani were a problem because they were at variance with what our official message to the president was, and not conveying that positive assessment that we all had. And so I thought it was important to try to step in and fix the problem.

WENSTRUP: And in that, I think you turned a (ph) useful barometer of where things were?


WENSTRUP: Those useful barometers, I think, can come in a lot of different fashions like Dennis Rodman in North Korea or James Taylor in France thinking you've got a friend if they can help to cause, and in that situation, it's not illegal. Good job ambassador. Thank you very much,, I yield back.

SCHIFF: Ms. Speier.

SPEIER: Chairman, thank you and thank you both for your participation and for your service. I want to take us out some 30,000 feet for a minute and talk about cover-up's. But for the fact that the whistleblower came forward, we didn't know anything about this. But for the fact that the inspector general of the CIA found it to be both urgent and credible, we wouldn't know anything about it. Mr. Morrison, you said that after you heard the call, you went directly to the attorneys and the National Security Council and recommended that they be limited access and they were subsequently put into a special server.

The White House has not released any documents whatsoever to this committee. So to you Mr. Volker, thank you, but for the fact that you as a private citizen with your own personal phone and you're text messages with Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Sondland and Mr. (inaudible) and whomever else, but for those text messages that we've been putting up on the screen all day, we would have nothing. Nothing, and this cover-up would be complete. That's something we should think about. Now, on July 19th, you had breakfast with Rudy Giuliani at the Trump hotel, correct?

VOLKER: That's correct.

In that conversation at one point he brought up Mr. Lutsenko was saying that's not credible, is that correct?


SPEIER: And then he brought up Mr. Biden, and I'm going to quote you here," I've known him for a long time, he's a person of integrity. To Giuliani, simply not credible to me. Joe Biden would be influenced in his duties as vice president by money or things for his son or anything like that." And we've had many discussions over the last few days about these investigations into Burisma and Biden and the 2016 CrowdStrike server. And you in that conversation with Mr. Giuliani basically debunked all of that. Now, at that time, at that breakfast who else was with you at that breakfast?

VOLKER: There was someone that Mr. Giuliani brought along, I later learned that this was Lev Parnas, who we've learned a lot about since them.

SPEIER: So Mr. Lev Parnas was at this lunch that Mr. Giuliani had with you, and we now know that Mr. Parnas has since been indicted for campaign -- foreign campaign contribution to President Trump's political active (ph)committee. Is that correct?

VOLKER: I haven't (ph) seen that.

SPEIER: All right. On May 23rd, you were in that discussion with the president and at one point ,he referred to Zelensky having terrible people around him. Who do you think he was calling terrible people around him?

VOLKER: There were two people that came to mind. One of them was a former investigative journalist and later parliamentarian named Serhiy Leschenko. Serhiy Leschenko is someone that in many of these stories is seen as bringing forth a black ledger relating to Paul Manafort's activities in Ukraine, that was one person. The other person I thought it could refer to was the person who was being named as President Zelensky's chief of presidential administration, Andriy Bohdan. He was known as a lawyer for one of the main oligarchs in Ukraine, Igor Kolomoyski and there was a lot of controversy at the time about him being appointed to the administration.

SPEIER: Do you think of them as most terrible people?

VOLKER: I don't think either one of them is terrible people. No.

SPEIER: All right, thank you. Mr. Morrison, earlier in testimony that was solicited (ph) from our colleagues on the other side of the aisle, you indicated that others had represented to you that Colonel Vindman leaked. Do you remember saying that?

MORRISON: Yes ma'am.

SPEIER: All right, Colonel Vindman this morning under oath said that he did not, does not leak. Now, would you therefore want to make a brief rearrange your comments about the references you made to Colonel Vindman?

MORRISON: No ma'am.

SPEIER: So even though under oath he said that he has never leaked do, you believe that people who said to you that he may have leaked.

MORRISON: Ma'am, I didn't believe or disbelieve, I'm merely relating what they told me.

SPEIER: Well they told you and so then you decided to continue to put that forward even though you had no evidence. Thank you, I yield back.

MORRISON: No Ma'am. Ma'am, I'm sorry. Chairman, if I could answer. That is incorrect. They -- Dr. Hill, (inaudible) others in the NSC raise concerned about Alex, those concerns were noted, I didn't take them for face value, I treated them as representation of others, I was on alert but I formed my own judgments. I took no action because of the statements of someone else and that couldn't independently validate.

SCHIFF: Mr. Stewart.

STEWART: Thank you gentlemen and welcome to the impeachment-palooza 2019, which is the Democratic plan to compel America to impeach president Donald J. Trump through the sheer force of boredom (ph) because it's been a long day and it turns out impeachment is very boring if you don't have any compelling or any condemning evidence. Good news and bad news, and good news is, I'm going to be very, very brief. We're going on ten-plus hours on this. I will yield back some of my time, the bad news is, most of my colleagues after me won't. So we've still got some time to go. Ambassador Volker, very quickly. Do you think that someone should be immune from investigation on the suspected ethical or criminal activity just because they were a candidate for office, even for office of the president of the United States?

VOLKER: I don't think anyone should be above the law.

STEWART: Well of course not, that would be absurd to suggest that and I was certain that's how you would answer that question. What if somebody's alleged ethical or criminal investigations overseas in the country, occurred in another country? Would it be improper to seek the host country's help such as we do with INTERPOL or any other law enforcement?

VOLKER: There are channels for doing that for American citizens who may have committed crimes abroad.

STEWART: And again, to seek the host nation's -- their government's help is not unusual at all?

VOLKER: That is -- that is correct. We often have treaties for that.

STEWART: Thank you. And again, that's painfully obvious, and to me, that's exactly and the only thing that the president was doing here. Mr. Morrison. I wonder for just briefly, to Lieutenant Colonel Vindman's testimony where he described the six people, I believe it was five or six people, that were in the situation room listening to this phone call between the two presidents. Colonel Vindman described these individuals as exceptional. He stated that there was no reason to question their integrity or professionalism. This was an exchange that he and I had in the closed-door testimony.

Do you agree with the description of this -- these national security staff as exceptional people?

MORRISON: Sir, they are patriots, yes.

STEWART: People of great integrity and professionalism?

MORRISON: Yes, sir.

STEWART: Do any of these -- I'm sorry. Did any of these exceptional individuals, people of unquestioned integrity and professionalism, indicate to you that they had thought that the president of the United States engaged in any illegal or unethical behavior as a result of this phone call?

MORRISON: Not that I'm aware of, congressman.

STEWART: Did any of them suggest to you in any way that they thought the president was involved with bribery or any such thing associated with that?

MORRISON: Not that I'm aware of, congressman.

STEWART: You know, it's only -- that only leaves two possible explanations, either these individuals of what we've described as great integrity -- either that's not true, which I don't believe, or they just interpreted an ambiguous conversation very differently than did Colonel Vindman.

And I have one last thing just as an aside, as an Air Force officer I've never understood why President Obama was against providing lethal aid to Ukraine. Ambassador, do you have some insight into why they refused to do that?

VOLKER: I -- I would only point to the statements from the administration at the time. There was a perception that our allies would oppose it, that Germany would oppose it. There was a perception that Germany should be in the lead. There was a perception that it could it could be provocative to Russia or escalate the conflict.

As I've said extensively at the time and -- and as special representative, I don't agree with those arguments. I -- and I believe that the record has borne out that providing those lethal defensive arms was actually very important...


STEWART: Well, I agree with you, ambassador. I think that you got it right and I think President Trump got it right.

And with that, I yield back.

SCHIFF: Mr. Quigley?

QUIGLEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Ambassador, I want to direct your attention to a meeting you had with Ambassador Taylor and Mr. Yermak September 14th Kyiv. Do you recall this meeting, sir?

VOLKER: I believe we had dinner. It was around the time of the YES Conference.

QUIGLEY: OK. And do you remember discussing with Mr. Yermak, Ukraine's intent to investigate their former president, Mr. Poroshenko?

VOLKER: I remember raising the issue of the possibility of prosecutions.

QUIGLEY: Well, they brought it up. Is that -- you raised it and they talked about their...


VOLKER: No, I -- I believe...

QUIGLEY: ... intention.

VOLKER: ... that there (ph) -- excuse me, congressman, I'm sorry. To be clear, there was a lot of talk in Kyiv at that time about whether the new team would be prosecuting the former president. And I had met with President Poroshenko. I had met with others in the opposition as well.

And I wanted to call Mr. Yermak's attention to the potential problems of this. I'm very familiar with other examples of countries in the region that have gone for prosecutions of the former government and these have created deep divisions in society.

And so, I cited President Zelensky's inauguration speech -- I'm sorry, his National Day speech from August 24th that was all about unifying the country. And I cautioned Mr. Yermak to say that pursuing prosecution of President Poroshenko risks deepening the divisions in the country, exactly the opposite of what President Zelensky has said he wants to do.

QUIGLEY: So it's fair to describe it as you discouraged him from such action?

VOLKER: I -- yes, I discouraged him. I raised concerns about what the potential impact would be.

QUIGLEY: And what was Mr. Yermak's response?

VOLKER: I believe, and I'm refreshed in this by seeing the testimony of others...

QUIGLEY: Mr. Taylor?

VOLKER: ... Mr. Taylor's testimony...

QUIGLEY: Ambassador Taylor and Mr. Kent.

VOLKER: Right. And I -- I believe, based on that testimony, that Mr. Yermak said, what, you mean like asking us to investigate Clinton and Biden?

QUIGLEY: So it was -- it was something along the lines of it's OK for you to ask us to investigate in the manner in which you are, these so-called investigations, but you don't want us to investigate our own president. Is that a fair way to describe this?

VOLKER: Well, I didn't quite understand what he was referring to because, to my knowledge, we weren't asking to investigate Clinton or Biden. And so I was kind of puzzled by the remark and that's why I didn't respond.

QUIGLEY: Did you go and investigate what he might have meant or ask anybody?

VOLKER: No. I thought it -- I took it something of a deflection from the point I was making about unifying Ukraine.

QUIGLEY: But in (ph) all this time, I mean, Mr. Giuliani in this time -- in that May to September, he -- he mentioned the Biden investigation. He mentioned Biden over 50 times, and 20-something times in relation to Ukraine. None of that stirred your curiosity?

VOLKER: Well, as...

QUIGLEY: You've just now finally come to this point?

VOLKER: ... Yes, as I testified, I met with Mr. Giuliani once. And he did bring up Vice President Biden and I pushed back on that. And I maintained a very clear distinction that Ukraine investigating its own citizens in corruption would be fine. Going beyond that to say we're going to investigate the vice president...


VOLKER: ... is not fine.

QUIGLEY: Did you have any discussions with anyone in the State Department or anywhere else in the administration about concerns about the investigation into Poroshenko?

VOLKER: Yes. So I know that I raised this with Ambassador Taylor in advance of that. We had been in some of the same meetings, some of the country team there. I don't remember whether I had raised it with George Kent or Phil Reeker or not, I may well have done. But it was something that we discussed as part of our meetings in Kyiv at that time.

QUIGLEY: I yield to the chairman.

SCHIFF: So Ambassador, when you had this conversation and you urged Ukrainians not to investigate or prosecute their former present, Poroshenko, their response was, oh, you mean like you're asking us to investigate the Clintons and the Bidens? That was their response?

VOLKER: That's what I recall now from seeing Ambassador Taylor's testimony, yes.

SCHIFF: And you didn't understand that at the time. But then, at the time, had you read the call record?


SCHIFF: Now that you've read the call record, that makes a little bit more sense, doesn't it?


SCHIFF: You know, I was curious about something you said earlier when you said that the 2016 conspiracy theory of Lutsenko had no merit but you didn't see any harm in Ukraine investigating it if they wanted to investigate it. Is that right?


SCHIFF: Don't they have enough legitimate corruption to investigate without spending time investigating a debunked conspiracy theory?

VOLKER: There is all kinds of corruption to investigate in Ukraine.

SCHIFF: But nonetheless, you proposed that they go ahead and do this investigation that was something you thought without merit because this was part of an effort to fix the problem that Giuliani was creating?

VOLKER: I did not propose it.

SCHIFF: Well, I think you said you were OK with it, or you amended statements...


VOLKER: I didn't (ph) -- yes.

SCHIFF: ... as we've seen to include it because, well, if it would help fix the Giuliani problem. Was that the -- the thinking?

VOLKER: Yes, that's -- that's correct. If it threads the needle between what is reasonable for Ukraine to do and if it resets the -- the negative perceptions held by Mr. Giuliani and then the president, then -- then why not?

SCHIFF: This was part of what you described in your opening statement as your effort to -- when you see a problem, to fix it. Is it clear to you now, Ambassador Volker, based on the September 25th call, that you were not able to fix it?

VOLKER: Based on the transcript that was released on the 25th, I can see now that there were (ph) a lot else going on that was about Vice President Biden than I knew at the time. And I -- the efforts that I was making were -- were clearly not in the context of what had already been discussed by the president on July 25th.

SCHIFF: So it's fair to say that you were not able to fix the Giuliani problem.

VOLKER: That's correct.

SCHIFF: Ms. Stefanik.

STEFANIK: Thank you Ambassador Volker and Mr. Morrison for your years of service, and your professional expertise and leadership on national security issues. And I want to particularly thank Mr. Morrison for his great work on the House Armed Services Committee on which I serve.

I wanted to start with the July 25 call between President Trump and President Zelensky. Mr. Morrison, you were on that call and there was no mention of withholding aid on the call, correct?

MORRISON: That is correct, Congresswoman.

STEFANIK: And there was no quid pro quo, correct?

MORRISON: Correct.

STEFANIK: No bribery?

MORRISON: Correct.

STEFANIK: No extortion?

MORRISON: Correct.

STEFANIK: And Ambassador Volker, I presume you got a read out of the call, is that correct?

VOLKER: A very terse read out, but yes.

STEFANIK: In this tertiary read out of the call, Ambassador, from the U.S. participants was there any reference to withholding aid?

VOLKER: No, there was not.

STEFANIK: Any reference to bribery?

VOLKER: No, there was not.

STEFANIK: Any reference to quid pro quo?

VOLKER: No, there was not.

STEFANIK: Any reference to extortion?

VOLKER: No, there was not.

STEFANIK: And I presume you also got feedback from your Ukrainian counterparts as to how the call went. Did they mention the withholding of aid?

VOLKER: No, they did not.

STEFANIK: Did they mention any quid pro quo?

VOLKER: No, they did not.

STEFANIK: And did they mention any bribery?

VOLKER: No, they did not.

STEFANIK: And in fact, the day after the call you met with President Zelensky, this would be on July 26 --

VOLKER: That's correct.

STEFANIK: And in that meeting he made no mention of quid pro quo?


STEFANIK: He made no mention of withholding the aid?


STEFANIK: He made no mention of withholding the aid?


STEFANIK: He made no mention of bribery?


STEFANIK: So the fact is that Ukrainians were not even aware of this hold on aid, is that correct?

VOLKER: That's correct.

STEFANIK: And in the coming weeks you were in touch with Ukrainians as part of your official duties and this included talking to Ukrainians over the phone, in person, on text -- and the Ukrainians never brought up an investigation in to the Bidens, is that correct?

VOLKER: That's correct.

STEFANIK: They never brought up the withholding of the aid?

VOLKER: That's correct.

STEFANIK: They never brought up quid pro quo or bribery?

VOLKER: Let me bring up the aid -- they did bring that up after the "Politico," article appeared on the (inaudible) --

STEFANIK: I'm going to get to that, but until the "Politico" article --

VOLKER: Until then, no.

STEFANIK: They did not bring it up. And you said in your closed door deposition, "it never came up in conversation with them, and I believe they had trust in me -- that they would have asked if that was really what they were worried about --"

VOLKER: That's correct --

STEFANIK: Is that correct?

VOLKER: That is correct.

STEFANIK: And as you pointed out, the Ukrainians never even knew their foreign aid was on pause until the article was published in "Politico," in August?

VOLKER: That's correct.

STEFANIK: So they didn't know during the call.

VOLKER: That's correct.

STEFANIK: And in fact, you had to correct Chairman Schiff on this timeline in the closed door deposition. The Chairman of this Committee asked you, "when they became aware that military assistance was being withheld for a reason you couldn't explain," no one could explain, weren't they under even greater pressure to give the president what he asked for on the call.

And you answered, Ambassador Volker, "to my knowledge the news about a hold on security assistance did not get in to Ukrainian government circles as indicated to me by the current foreign minister, then diplomatic advisor -- until the end of August, is that your testimony?

VOLKER: Yes, it is.

STEFANIK: And Chairman Schiff also got the facts wrong again when he asked you this, "at the point they learned their aid was paused, wouldn't that give them added urgency to meet the president's request on the Bidens?"

And you answered, Ambassador Volker, "I think the Ukrainians felt like they are going in the right direction and they had not done anything. They had not done anything on an investigation."

Isn't it the case, Ambassador Volker, at one point Chairman Schiff said to you -- when you were truthfully testifying, "Ambassador you're making this much more complicated than it has to be." That's page 127 from the deposition -- is that correct?

VOLKER: I remember that.

STEFANIK: But the truth is, the facts are indeed not complicated. And I'm going to close out with two questions for the both of you. Did Ukraine open investigation in to the Bidens? Mr. Morrison?

MORRISON: Not to my knowledge, ma'am.

STEFANIK: Ambassador Volker?

VOLKER: Not to my knowledge, either.

STEFANIK: Did either of you ever have any evidence of quid pro quo? Mr. Morrison?

MORRISON: No, ma'am.

STEFANIK: Ambassador Volker?

VOLKER: I did not.

STEFANIK: Any evidence of bribery?

MORRISON: No, ma'am.

VOLKER: No, ma'am.

STEFANIK: Any evidence of treason?

MORRISON: No, ma'am.

VOLKER: No evidence of treason.

STEFANIK: With that I yield back.

SCHIFF: Mr. Swalwell.

SWALWELL: Thank you. Mr. Morrison, did Ambassador Bolton want the security aid hold lifted?

MORRISON: Yes, Congressman, he did.

SWALWELL: You testified that Ambassador Bolton had a one-on-one meeting with President Trump in late August related to Ukraine security assistance, is that right?

MORRISON: Sir, can you point to where I testified to that?

SWALWELL: On page 266, you said "Ambassador Bolton had a one-on-one meeting with President Trump in late August 2019, but the president was not yet ready to approve the release of the assistance." Do you remember that?

MORRISON: Sir, was this -- this was 226?

SWALWELL: Yes -- 266 and 268. But I'm asking you, did that happen or did it not?

MORRISON: Sir, I just want to be -- I want to be clear, characterizing it. OK, yes sir, I see. Yes --

SWALWELL: You testified to that. What was the outcome of that meeting between Ambassador Bolton and President Trump?

MORRISON: Ambassador Bolton did not yet leave, the president was ready to approve the assistance.

SWALWELL: Did Ambassador Bolton inform you of any reason for the ongoing hold that stemmed from this meeting?

MORRISON: No, sir.

SWALWELL: Mr. Morrison, do you consider yourself loyal to the president?

MORRISON: Yes, sir.

SWALWELL: And the president executes the foreign policy of the United States, is that right?

MORRISON: Well, sir, I would say he decides --

SWALWELL: He sets the (inaudible) --

MORRISON: He sets it, yes sir.

SWALWELL: And as a staffer on the National Security Council, and even someone who serves in the military it's your job to faithfully execute the foreign policies priorities of the president, is that right?

MORRISON: Sir, my oath is to obey all lawful orders.

SWALWELL: On July 25 you listened to the president of the United States talk to the president of Ukraine, is that correct?

MORRISON: July 25, yes sir.

SWALWELL: And regardless of what you had prepared as far as talking points for that call, for the president -- you heard the president of the United States ask the president of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, is that correct?

MORRISON: Yes sir, he made a request.

SWALWELL: And after the July 25 call between President Trump and the Ukrainian president, fair to say that you talked to your Ukrainian counterparts a number of times?

MORRISON: Yes, sir.

SWALWELL: How many times when you talk to your Ukrainian counterparts did you ask them to investigate the Bidens?

MORRISON: Never, sir.

SWALWELL: Why not?

MORRISON: Sir, it was not a policy objective that I was aware of.

SWALWELL: But, with all due respect Mr. Morrison, you're not in the White House to carry out your policy objectives -- you just testified that the president sets the foreign policy objectives for the United States, and the one call that you listened to between the president of the United States and the president of Ukraine, the president of the United States' priorities were to investigate the Bidens.

And I'm asking you, sir, why didn't you follow up on the president's priorities when you talked to the Ukrainians?

MORRISON: Sir, I did not understand it as a policy objective.

SWALWELL: Mr. Morrison, I know that you put that conversation in the server because, as you said you feared the political consequences and some other reasons that you gave -- but you also chose to defy the president's request to not come here, as others have like Mr. Mulvaney and Mr. Bolton -- and you have come here, and you've been truthful. I appreciate that.

And Mr. Morrison, whether you acknowledge it publicly or not, I believe that you knew that what the President asked the Ukrainians to do was wrong.

And as you just described, your duty is to follow the foreign policy priorities of the President but to also only follow something that is a lawful order. And I don't think you believe that was a lawful order and that's why you did not follow up on those priorities.

Mr. Volker, we've heard a lot today about this President being such an anti-corruption President, he really cared about fighting corruption. Is Russia a corrupt country?

VOLKER: There's a - we're talking about President Zelensky?

SWALWELL: No, President Trump.

VOLKER: President Trump.

SWALWELL: Is Russia a corrupt country?

VOLKER: Yes, it is.

SWALWELL: And President Trump has met a number of times in person with President Putin, is that right?

VOLKER: Yes, a few times.

SWALWELL: And he's had a number of phone calls with President Putin, is that right?


SWALWELL: Is Turkey a corrupt country?

VOLKER: Yes, I believe so.

SWALWELL: And just last week, despite their corruption, at the White House, President Erdogan had an audience with the President of the United States. Is that correct?

VOLKER: Yes, he did.

SWALWELL: Finally, Mr. Giuliani, on May 9th, told the New York Times President Trump basically knows what I'm doing as his lawyer. Are you familiar with that statement from the New York Times?

VOLKER: No, I'm not.

SWALWELL: But you agree, as someone who has a lawyer sitting next to you, that a lawyer acts on a client's behalf and only on a client's behalf. Is that right?

VOLKER: I believe that a lawyer acts on his client's behalf. I'm not sure about only on a client's behalf because I think, as I understood Mayor Giuliani in this case, he was doing a lot that I considered to be on his own. I did not believe he was always instructed.

SWALWELL: And when he said we're not meddling in an election, we're meddling in an investigation, he didn't say I, he said we, is that correct?

VOLKER: I - I'm - I'm taking that from the statement.

SWALWELL: I yield back.

SCHIFF: Mr. Hurd?

HURD: Mr. Morrison, my colleague from California suggests he knows your opinions and your thoughts better than you do. Do you have anything - he didn't give you the opportunity to respond, do you have a response or want to give a response?

MORRISON: No sir, I - I heard the - the President make a request, I - I received no direction at any time to attempt to weed a policy process different from what I laid out in my deposition. I was directed by Dr. Kupperman to launch an interagency process to ensure a unity of opinion in the interagency as to the importance of continuing security sector assistance and - and that's what I did. I - I acted at - upon the direction I was given.

HURD: Good copy. While we're with you, Mr. Morrison, thanks for your testimony - your - your clear and sober testimony today. Did you participate in or overhear any conversations about how political information collected by Ukraine on the Bidens would be used for political gain?

MORRISON: No, sir.

HURD: Ambassador Volker, same question. Did you participate in or overhear any conversations about how potential information collected by Ukraine on the Bidens would be used for political gain?

VOLKER: No, I did not.

HURD: There's been a lot of discussions about a text exchange you had with Mr. Yermak on - on August 12th that talked about this proposed statement and - and Mayor Giuliani provided some feedback on what he thought needed to be included in that.

Did - did Mayor Giuliani get feedback from the President on what should go into that proposed statement?

VOLKER: I have no reason to think that he had discussed it with the President.

HURD: Based on your recollection, Ambassador Volker, who within the Zelensky regime has Mayor Giuliani interacted with? Now, in addition to Mr. Yermak, which we've already talked about and also the former Attorney General ...


VOLKER: ... of him having claimed that he met ...


... predecessor as Prosecutor General ...

HURD: Yeah, but that's not within ...

VOLKER: That's not under the ...


HURD: ... regime that - in which - in which we're - we're talking about.

VOLKER: I don't know who else he would have met with.

HURD: In - in as few words as possible, what - what was your understanding of Ambassador Sondland's role in Ukraine?

VOLKER: He cared about Ukraine, he wanted to see U.S. support for Ukraine increased, he wanted to see European Union support for Ukraine increased, including maintenance of sanctions, and he wanted to be helpful.

HURD: Was Ambassador Sondland having conversations with senior Zelensky officials without letting other people know?

VOLKER: I don't believe that he was not letting people know. I think he may have had some conversations but I think he was just acting, you know, and - and I think we circled back quite frequently with myself, Ambassador Taylor and others.

HURD: Can you say that you have a clear understanding of what Ambassador Sondland and Mayor Giuliani were doing in all of their interactions with Ukrainian officials?

VOLKER: I can't say that I had a clear understanding. I thought that Ambassador Sondland and I were working on the same objective, which is getting a meeting between President Zelensky and President Trump, and that a statement, as I understood it, that mentioned Burisma and 2016 would be potentially helpful.

I didn't know anything more about their interactions or what their thoughts were.

HURD: If you didn't have a clear understanding as the Special Representative of Ukraine, do you think the Ukrainians had a clear understanding?

VOLKER: No, I don't.

HURD: You thought there was a difference between Burisma, Biden and the 2016 election. Is that correct ...

VOLKER: That is correct.

HURD: ... earlier? Do you think the Ukrainians had a similar understanding?

VOLKER: Yes, I do.

HURD: There's also a perception that when Ambassador Yovanovitch, who we've all, you know - for - her 33 years of - of being an awesome ambassador (inaudible) that when she left Kiev, that the U.S. position on corruption would weaken. That's kind of a narrative that's floating around. Who was the person that took over for her in the interim? Who was the charge after ...

VOLKER: Immediately after Masha was Joe Pennington.

HURD: Was - was this individual strong or weak on corruption?

VOLKER: I would say in line with all of the rest of our policy.

HURD: And after that individual, who was that person replaced with?

VOLKER: And that was Bill Taylor.

HURD: Who you suggested for this - for that ...


HURD: ... position, correct? Was Ambassador Taylor strong or weak on corruption?

VOLKER: Very strong.

HURD: Mr. Morrison, in my last 23 minutes, who sets official U.S. policy?

MORRISON: Sir, the President.

HURD: Not some other staffer within the NSC process?

MORRISON: Sir, the NSC staff exists to ensure the President has a full array of options for his - his decision.

HURD: Thank you. I yield back.

SCHIFF: Mr. Castro?

CASTRO: Thank you, Chairman. Thank you gentlemen for your testimony today. Is it correct to say that both you gentlemen are - were either appointed or hired by the White House, by the Trump administration?

MORRISON: Yes, sir.

VOLKER: In my case, by Secretary Tillerson.

CASTRO: But part of the Trump administration?

VOLKER: Yes, serving in the same administration.


CASTRO: Ambassador Volker, you previously testified that Ambassador Gordon Sondland quote "I just know that he had a relationship with President Trump that I did not have." In fact, in one text message dated July 26th, you wrote to Ambassador Sondland quote "great photo, Gordon, can you get this to POTUS without intermediaries?"

July 26th was the same day that Ambassador Sondland spoke to the President from a restaurant in Kiev. Is that right?

VOLKER: I'm sorry, the date again?

CASTRO: July 26th.

VOLKER: Yes, that - I know that to be correct now.

CASTRO: Were you aware of that call?

VOLKER: No, I was not.

CASTRO: Well, this committee certainly is aware of it now, as we all are. We're you aware that Ambassador Sondland had a direct line to the president?

VOLKER: He claimed that he spoke to the president frequently.

CASTRO: Did you have reason to doubt that?

VOLKER: Ambassador Sondland has a big personality and sometimes says things that might be a bit bigger than life. But I ...

CASTRO: But he too -- he was a political appointee. He was handpicked by the president or somebody in the president's administration to serve in his position.

VOLKER: Correct. And I believe that he could speak with the president.

CASTRO: He had also been a large donor to one of Trump's -- President Trump's campaign committees, is that correct?

VOLKER: I have learned that (inaudible).

CASTRO: And Mr. Morrison, you stated during your testimony that when you met Ambassador Sondland for the first time, he represented that quote, his mandate from the president was to go make deals.

And in fact, you testified that between July 25th and September 11th of this year, you heard or learned that Ambassador Sondland and President Trump spoke on several occasions. Is it accurate that every time you checked, you were able to confirm that Ambassador Sondland had, in fact, spoken to the president?

MORRISON: Yes, Congressman.

CASTRO: Mr. Morrison, you also testified that Ambassador Sondland emailed you and several White House staff to say that he briefed President Trump in advance of his July 25th call with the Ukrainian president. Is that correct?

MORRISON: Yes, Congressman.

CASTRO: Did Ambassador Sondland tell you what he briefed the president on?

MORRISON: It was -- he -- he sent me an email, sir. It was a very succinct (ph). It was a list of three items; it was a very succinct item with respect to Ukraine. I -- I briefed the president on the call.

CASTRO: And you testified that you personally confirmed that Ambassador Sondland and President Trump had spoken before the July 25th call?

MORRISON: That is correct Congressman.

CASTRO: And presumably the White House situation room keeps a record of those calls.

MORRISON: Sir that is how I was able to confirm it.

CASTRO: OK. You separately testified that your staff prepared a briefing memo with suggested points for the president to raise on July 25th. Points that were consistent with U.S. policy, is that correct?

MORRISON: Correct, Congressman.

CASTRO: But the president didn't use those points did he?

MORRISON: No, sir, he did not.

CASTRO: So I guess let me get this straight, you prepared materials for the president, you prepared -- your materials did not include references to Biden or the 2016 election, is that right?

MORRISON: Right, Congressman.

CASTRO: And then Ambassador Sondland, the guy who is the Gordon problem, the guy who's got a direct link to the president, the guy who's talking about making deals briefed President Trump. Is that right?

MORRISON: Correct, Congressman.

CASTRO: And then President Trump raised the 2016 election and Vice President Biden and his son to the Ukrainian president after has briefed by Ambassador Sondland. Is that right?

MORRISON: Correct, Congressman.

CASTRO: It sounds like Ambassador Sondland and the president were on the same page. They both are working to benefit the president's personal political interest even when that undermined U.S. foreign policy.

I want to ask you in the short time that I have, both of you gentlemen who serve the United States government, whether putting President Trump aside, whether you believe that it's proper for any president now or later to ask a foreign government to investigate a U.S. citizen and specifically a U.S. citizen that could be a political rival. Ambassador?

VOLKER: I -- I don't believe it is appropriate for the president to do that. If we have law enforcement concerns with a U.S. citizen generally, there are appropriate channels for that.

CASTRO: Mr. Morrison?

MORRISON: I agree with Ambassador Volker, sir.

CASTRO: Thank you, Chairman. I yield back.

SCHIFF: Mr. Ratcliffe.

RATCLIFFE: Thank you, Chairman. Gentlemen, I appreciate both of you being here today. I know it's been a long day for you. Mr. Morrison, I'm going to try and summarize some of what we've heard to shorten this. You were on the July 25th call, Colonel Vindman was on the July 25th call. Correct?

MORRISON: Yes, Congressman.

RATCLIFFE: And I will tell you that he testified earlier today that he heard what he thought was a demand on that call that was improper and felt that he had a duty to report that. I think we've established already that he did not discuss or report any of that to you, correct?

MORRISON: Yes, Congressman.

RATCLIFFE: But you did have a discussion with Colonel Vindman about other concerns that he had with the call and I believe you said the fidelity of the translation and the fact that you both shared a discussion about not -- they're not being a full throated embrace of the Ukrainian reform agenda. Is that fair?

MORRISON: Yes, Congressman.

RATCLIFFE: OK. But with respect to his concern about something improper, specifically at no point did he come to you and say I heard something that I thought was improper and was a crime.

MORRISON: Sir, I have no recollection of him doing that.

RATCLIFFE: No bribe, no extortion, no quid pro quo, all the things that Ms. Stefanik asked you.

MORRISON: No -- no, sir.

RATCLIFFE: All right. And as you were listening, did you hear President Trump make a demand of anything that would constitute a crime?

MORRISON: Sir, I've been trying to stay on the safe side of making legal conclusions but -- but no, sir, I did not hear him make any sort of demand.

RATCLIFFE: All right. You have a law degree.

MORRISON: I do, sir.

RATCLIFFE: So you're at least generally familiar with bribery and extortion, generally.

MORRISON: I'm not a lawyer for the United States, sir.

RATCLIFFE: All right. But is it fair to say that as you were listening to the call you weren't thinking wow, the president's -- the president is bribing the president of Ukraine that never crossed your mind.

MORRISON: It did not sir.

RATCLIFFE: Or that he was extorting the president of the Ukraine.

MORRISON: It did not sir.

RATCLIFFE: Or -- or doing anything improper.

MORRISON: Correct, sir.

RATCLIFFE: All right. And have you heard or read in the media where President Zelensky agrees with you and said repeatedly and consistently that he didn't hear any demand, he didn't hear any conditions, he didn't feel any pressure, he didn't experience anything improper or corrupt on the call?

MORRISON: Sir, I attended the bilat (ph) in -- in New York and the U.N. General Assembly and he made clear at the time in front of the press that he felt no pressure.

RATCLIFFE: So did anyone on the National Security Council after this call, express to you that some crime; bribery, extortion, quid pro quo, anything had occurred?

MORRISON: No, sir.

RATCLIFFE: I want to ask you, Mr. Morrison, about the whistleblower complaint. I don't want to ask you to speculate as to the identity but I want to ask you about the accusations that started this as to the veracity.

First of all, who apparently was not on the call, advised the ICIG that he or she was concerned that the president's conduct constituted under title 50 USE (ph) Section 3033; quote, a serious problem, abuse or violation of law or executive order, end quote.

Again, to be clear, you didn't hear a violation of law or executive order as you listened to the call?

MORRISON: Sir, I made no judgment about any illegal conduct occurring.

RATCLIFFE: The whistleblower also reported in starting this inquiry, asserted that the -- that President Trump quote, sought to pressure the Ukrainian leadership to take actions to help the president's 2020 re-election bid. President Trump does not mention 2020 during the call, does he?

MORRISON: No, sir, I don't believe he did.

RATCLIFFE: President Trump doesn't mention his re-election bid during the call, does he?

MORRISON: Sir, I don't believe he did.

RATCLIFFE: And you did not hear President Trump pressure or have a demand of any kind, as we've already established, correct?

MORRISON: Correct, sir.

RATCLIFFE: A whistleblower like Colonel Vindman also uses the word demand --

(UNKNOWN): Did you say "whistleblower like Colonel Vindman," I don't think that's the (inaudible).

SCHIFF: Council be sure to use the microphone.

(UNKNOWN): Thank you -- I'm sorry, in all due respect Congressman, I believe you just said "a whistleblower like Colonel Vindman,"

RATCLIFFE: No, I said -- I'm sorry.

(UNKNOWN): I believe, (inaudible) --

RATCLIFFE: Yeah, the whistleblower, like Colonel Vindman also uses the word demand. On page four the whistleblower asserted "Ambassador Volker and Sondland purportedly provided advice to Ukrainian leadership about how to navigate the demands the president had made of Mr. Zelensky."

Again, there were no demands from your perspective, Mr. Morrison?

MORRISON: That is correct, sir.

RATCLIFFE: All right. So, speculations about the whistleblower aside, with regard to motivations the fact is that the whistleblower was wrong about many of the facts as well, correct?

MORRISON: As -- sir, I'm not intimately familiar with the whistleblower complaint, but I did not hear a demand in that call.

RATCLIFFE: I yield back.

SCHIFF: The time of the gentleman has expired. Mr. Heck.

HECK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ambassador Volker, I want to thank you for being here today. And I frankly found some of your opening statement to be -- not just genuine but downright eloquent.

In particular I noted the passages about pushing back on Russian aggression and supporting the development of a strong, resilient, democratic and prosperous Ukraine. When there overcomes (ph) a legacy of corruption, and that this is critically important for U.S. national security.

Some of us believe that we're not pushing back strongly enough on Russia, some of us believe that we're not being supportive enough of the Ukraine. But one of our challenges is to go home to the people for whom we work and help explain to them why it is in our national security interest.

You have an audience like you'll never have again, to look in to the camera and tell the American public why it is important to support Ukraine -- why it should matter to them if the biggest issue in their life is getting their kids off to school, paying their bills and the like, sir?

VOLKER: Thank you so much, Congressman. I agree with you completely that we are not pushing back hard enough on Russia, and that we owe Ukraine a great deal of support.

HECK: Why does it matter?

VOLKER: Russia is trying to upend security in Europe, it's trying to reassert its domination of neighboring countries whether it's Georgia, or Ukraine, or the Baltic states. It has led to war in Europe. The war in Ukraine has left more people dead in Europe in a European war than anything since the Balkans. More people displaced by war in Europe since anything since World War 2.

These are people who stand up for freedom, for democracy -- they want reform. They want to see their country be successful, like Germany, like Sweden, like us. And they are fighting a war of aggression against them, designed to hold them back. And if we want to live in a world of freedom for the United States, we ought to be supporting freedom for people around the world.

HECK: Thank you for that. So we're here in part because under cover of a concern for general corruption, some of us believe there wasn't -- in fact there was something quite nefarious as the alternative.

That there wasn't a concern about general corruption, but reviewing the record on that, sir, is it not true that in March of this year the Department of Defense certified Ukraine as having been sufficient -- having made sufficient progress to continue to receive military assistance?

VOLKER: I don't know the details of that, but I believe that to be correct.

HECK: Is it not true that on April 21, President Zelensky, when an overwhelming mandate was 73 percent of the vote based largely on his effort and advocacy for anti-corruption?

VOLKER: That is correct.

HECK: Is it not true that this mandate was affirmed and expanded (ph) on July 21, when his party won one party control, again on the basis of anti-corruption?

VOLKER: That is correct.

HECK: In fact, subsequently he enacted sweeping reforms to combat anti-corruption, did he not?

VOLKER: Yes, he has.

HECK: And is it not true that everybody on the ground thought, or will filled with optimism that Ukraine was getting serious about combating corruption?

VOLKER: That is correct.

HECK: Ambassador Volker, did you know that one of the very first anti-corruption measures passed in the Ukraine was a law to provide for the impeachment of the president?

VOLKER: I did not know that.

HECK: It's true, because he thought we should start with himself. I raise this because my friends on the other side of the aisle keep characterizing this impeachment inquiry as inherently wrong because -- and I'm quoting them, "it will overturn an election." Over and over, "it will overturn an election."

Well impeachment is an anti-corruption tool. And for my friends on the other side of the aisle, yes, it does overturn an election by definition it overturns an election. I don't know if they've got a problem with our Constitution and its provisions for impeachment, but I recommend they reread the relevant passages and Article I, Sections 2 and 3 and some of the history about how we got there.

Look, none of us wants to be here despite what's being said -- none of us came to this easily, I didn't. I will recall for the rest of my life the 48 hours I spent at our family cabin, literally plunged in self reflection, and literally prayerful (ph) deliberation about this whole matter.

Collectively we are going to have to grapple with this very grave decision, it's waiting -- and it's going to get hard. And it's hard in proportion to its importance to our great republic. A republic if we can keep it.

I yield back, Mr. Chairman.

SCHIFF: Mr. Jordan.

JORDAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ambassador Volker, in the now famous call transcript, the bottom of page 3, President Trump said this, "I heard you had a prosecutor and he was shut down, that's really unfair." I just -- for clarification, do you believe President Trump was talking about Lutsenko or Shokin?

VOLKER: Shokin.

JORDAN: Shokin, thank you so much -- that's what I thought as well. Mr. Morrison, you testified in your deposition that you had issues with Colonel Vindman's judgment, is that right?

MORRISON: It is, sir.

JORDAN: And you said specifically that you had concerns with Colonel Vindman exercising, "appropriate judgment as to whom he said what," is that right?

MORRISON: It is, sir.

JORDAN: You testified that Dr. Hill, your predecessor at NSC told you that she had concerns about Colonel Vindman's judgment, is that right?

MORRISON: It is, sir.

JORDAN: And you testified that Colonel Vindman did not always adhere to the chain of command, is that right?

MORRISON: I believe so, yes sir.

JORDAN: You testified that you were aware of issues with Colonel Vindman trying to access information outside his lane, is that correct?

MORRISON: Sir, I believe I stated that I was aware that there were those who were concerned about that, yes sir.

JORDAN: OK, thank you. You testified that Colonel Vindman was not included on certain trips, is that right?

MORRISON: Yes, sir.

JORDAN: And you testified that colleagues expressed concerns to you about Colonel Vindman leaking information, is that right?

MORRISON: Yes, sir.

JORDAN: Now, when I ask Colonel Vindman why he didn't go to you with his concerns about the call even though you, his boss had no concerns about anything being -- I think your language was, "nothing improper, nothing illegal," on the call. I asked Colonel Vindman earlier this morning why he didn't go to you, and instead went and talked to the lawyers, his brother, Secretary Kent and one other person that he wouldn't tell us and Chairman Schiff wouldn't allow him to tell us.

When I asked him why he did that, he indicated that the lawyers had instructed him to do that and he tried to get a hold of you. Is that -- is that fair?

MORRISON: Sir, I watched part of the proceedings this morning, I hear him say that. Yes sir.

JORDAN: OK. Well one think that chairman Schiff brought up at the end of this morning's hearing, he said -- he pointed out that you, Colonel Vindman's boss also went to the lawyers. But your reason for going to the lawyer was a little bit different, wasn't it?

MORRISON: Yes sir.

JORDAN: Yes, I think you had a few things that Mr. Caster and you talked about earlier in today's hearing, but I think at the top of your list was, you were concerned about the contents of the call leaking out. Is that fair?

MORRISON: Yes sir.

JORDAN: And that's exactly what happened. Isn't it?

MORRISON: Sir, I don't know -- I don't know that the contents leaked out. There was a whistleblower complaint, the president chose to declassify the (inaudible).

JORDAN: Well it seems to me you were prophetic, Mr. Morrison, because you said in your statement today, as I stated during my deposition, I feared at the time of the call on July 25th, how disclosure of the contents of the call would play in Washington's political climate. My fears have been realized. It seems to me you saw what might happen and it sure enough did. It's a fair to say?

MORRISON: Yes sir.

JORDAN: And we get all of this, we get all of this, and that's the part -- that's the part that get me. We get all of this, these hearings, these weeks in a bunker in the basement of the Capitol, and four facts that we keep coming back to have never changed and will never change, we've heard from both of us today to confirm these fundamental facts. We've got the call transcript as you both said, no linkage to security assistance dollars in investigations in the transcript. We've got the two individuals who were on the call, they've both said no linkage, no pressure, no pushing. We've got the fact that the Ukrainians didn't go and know aid had been withheld until august 29th, and most importantly the Ukrainians did nothing as far as starting, promising to start, announcing they were going to start the investigation, did nothing and the aid got released. I believe he got released because of what we've been talking about, the good work of Mr. -- excuse me, Ambassador Volker and others. I believe that's why it happened, and yet here we are. And you called it all, you saw this coming and that's why you went to the lawyers and that's why -- that's why the concern was there. And that's the part that's most troubling I yield back, Mr. Chairman. I yield to the gentleman from Ohio.

TURNER: Ambassador Volker, on Daily Mail, they currently have this headline, it says Ukraine Special Envoy Kurt Volker walks back his closed door testimony and says he quote, "has now learned there, was a link between the U.S. military aid and the Biden probe." That's not your testimony today is?

VOLKER: I don't believe that's in my testimony.

TURNER: Thank you, I yield back.

SCHIFF: Mr. Welch.

WELCH: Thank you. Just following up on Mr. Jordan, the easiest way to avoid investigation is to not do anything wrong. I want to talk a little bit about why we are here. Official government actions can't be traded for help in a political campaign. Let me give an analogy and ask if you if you agree. Could a mayor of a city withhold funding for the police department budget unless the police chief agree to open up investigation into a political rival. Mr. Morrison?

MORRISON: In that hypothetical, no, I don't think he should do that.

WELCH: Yes. Mr. -- Ambassador Volker, I'm sure you would agree.


WELCH: The same would be true if it were a governor withholding the budget request of the state police, unless the state agreed to conduct an investigation into a political rival. Would you agree?

VOLKER: Correct.

MORRISON: Yes, sir.

WELCH: In your view, is it any difference for a member of Congress? Of course not, right? Would you agree that the president has the same obligation, as the mayor, as the governor and a member of congress to not withhold aid unless he gets an investigation into a political rival. Mr. Morrison?

MORRISON: Yes, I would agree with that hypothetical.

VOLKER: I would agree.

WELCH: We're having a debate here, both sides, as to how to read what is plainly before us. The presidential phone call where the president ignored the work of the advisers and National Security Council talking points, and instead chose to talk about the Bidens and talk about Hunter Biden, and asked for an investigation. So we are just going to have to debate that. Isn't the principle that no person, including the president is above the law, absolutely essential and worth the effort to make certain that we can guarantee. I'm sorry, Ambassador Morrison? I'm sorry, Ambassador Volker?


WELCH: And Mr. Morrison?

MORRISON: Sir, the rule of law central to our democracy.

WELCH: That's so true. You know, we've had some discussions and challenge from the other side, that the president has the authority in foreign policy to do what he likes. And in fact, he does. A recent precedent by president trump to take our troops out of Syria and allow the Turkish forces to go in literally meant that some Kurdish families went to bed Saturday night and woke up Sunday morning, pack their kids and fled for their lives. A lot of people, including both sides of the aisle totally disagreed with that, but the president has the authority to do it, impulsive as that decision may have been, unwise as it may have been, as threatening our national security. We are not talking about that here. And Ambassador Volker, I listened to your testimony and I take it and thank you for making efforts to try to advance what had been a bipartisan Ukraine policy, to help Ukraine get rid of corruption, help resist Russian aggression. But what you came to learn painfully is that there was a sidebar Ukraine policy with Giuliani as an advocate, and it appears Ambassador Sondland is very much involved. Is that correct?

VOLKER: I don't know anything about that, sir.

WELCH: You don't, but as you have been involved, and with the benefit of hindsight, while you were working on what you thought was stopping aggression and eliminating corruption, there was a side deal here to get investigations going, correct?

VOLKER: Yes. So my objective was purely focused on support for Ukraine, national security and I have now have learned though other testimony about the president's statement about investigating Biden and other conversations that I did not know about.

WELCH: Right. Thank you for that, and thank you for your candor about the Vice President Biden's integrity and service. But the bottom line here is that, at the end of the day, we're going to have to make a judgment about what the president was up to with respect to that request for the favor, and how it repudiated the policy that it was the bipartisan effort in Ukraine and raises questions about he, in that hypothetical example I gave of the Mayor, held himself to be above the law. I yield back.

SCHIFF: Mr. Maloney?

MALONEY: Gentlemen, thank you for being here. Ambassador Volker, I was struck by your opening statement. It moved a long way from the testimony you presented to us in October and I know you gave a reason for that, which is that you were in the dark about a lot of these things. Is that fair to say?

VOLKER: That is one thing, is that I learned a lot out of the testimony of ...

MALONEY: You learned a lot ...


MALONEY: ... you learned a lot and what you said on Page 8, I'm referring to your statement that you gave this morning - excuse me, this afternoon, that I did not know - this is quoting - "I did not know that President Trump or others had raised Vice President Biden with Ukrainians or had conflated the investigation of possible Ukrainian corruption with investigation of the former Vice President Biden," right?

VOLKER: Correct.

MALONEY: You didn't know Burisma meant Biden. That's what you're saying, right?

VOLKER: Right, I had - I had separated the two.

MALONEY: I got it. Well you didn't know, right? I mean, you were - you were - well I - do we have to go through it, sir? I mean, you were - you were there on May 23rd for the meeting with the President when he said talk to Rudy and Rudy surely cared about the investigations which you now know meant Biden, right? But you missed it on May 23rd, right?

VOLKER: No, sir. I understood at the time that Hunter Biden, Vice President Biden's son, had been a board member of Burisma ...

MALONEY: I understand but you didn't read that as - as a request to investigate the Bidens at that time, that's all I'm saying.

VOLKER: Correct.

MALONEY: And on July 10th, you were in not one but two meetings in the White House where Ambassador Sondland raised the investigations but you didn't know it was about the Bidens. That's your testimony, right, at the time?

VOLKER: That's right. I did not think he was talking about anything specific.

MALONEY: Right. You heard him say investigations, you thought it was inappropriate and the Chairman asked you about that but you said oh, it's cause I didn't know it was the Bidens, I just thought it was inappropriate and then I guess when they were in the War Room (ph) and in - and Ambassador Sondland raised Burisma and the Bidens in 2016, you - you missed that, too, as I understand it.

VOLKER: That is correct.

MALONEY: Right. And - and - and then, of course, on July 18th you knew aid was withheld and then in August, you spent a good part of the time with this statement with Rudy Giuliani, right? I mean you were the guy making the changes and interacted with Ukrainians, you were putting in Rudy's changes, which included a call for investigating Burisma and the 2016 elections, which you now know meant Bidens, right? You didn't know it at the time, right? But now we know it, right?

And then on September 1st, you were in Warsaw. I mean, you're at every point at this. You were in Warsaw and you were there when Ambassador Sondland told Andriy Yermak that he was not going to get security assistance, he wasn't going to get a White House meeting unless there was the investigation and - and I understand you missed that, you were out of the loop then ...

VOLKER: That's not correct, sir. So I was not in Warsaw at these meetings.

MALONEY: Oh, excuse me, you were not at Warsaw but you heard about it right after from Sondland. Is that right?

VOLKER: No, that's not quite correct, either. It was some time later.

MALONEY: I got it. So but now we know, right, now you know what - what it meant and you said in retrospect, I should have seen that connection differently and had I done so, I would have raised my own objections.

VOLKER: Right, that is correct, and it ...

MALONEY: What are the objections you would have raised, sir?

VOLKER: That - what I would have raised is that people are conflating investigating the Bidens with investigating this Ukrainian company Burisma ...

MALONEY: But if you - would you have objected to the President asking for an investigation of the Bidens? As you sit here now, you said I would have raised my own objections ...


MALONEY: ... if you knew it was the Bidens.

VOLKER: If I knew we were talking about investigating Vice President Biden and asking the Ukrainians to do that ...

MALONEY: And his son.

VOLKER: ... that would be - that would be inappropriate and I would have objected to that.

MALONEY: Right, and when - and so if you had heard him ask for it on the call and you said in - in retrospect, Ukrainians clearly would have been - it would have been confusing, right?

VOLKER: That's correct.

MALONEY: Is confusing the right word, sir? I mean, it would have put them in the position of having to do something inappropriate, right ...

VOLKER: No ...

MALONEY: ... investigate the Bidens.

VOLKER: I think confusing's the right word because they were clearly hearing something different from the President in one conversation and different from me, as the U.S. Special Representative, different ...

MALONEY: Well - or maybe, sir, they understood that investigating Burisma and investigating 2016 in fact meant the Bidens, even though you didn't. I mean, in fact, at the time, you were talking to Yermak and putting those changes in the statement, he had talked to Sondland, right, at the same time and - and - and so the point being that - that they were put in an impossible position, they were being asked to do something inappropriate, and you now know that, right, and you would have - you would have raised your own objections.

VOLKER: Well I - I know they were asked in the phone call to do that. In the conversations that I had with the Ukrainians, we were not asking them to do that, and even at that point, the Ukrainians, perhaps with a knowledge of this phone call, which I did not have knowledge of at the time, is that we just don't want to go there.

MALONEY: Right. And so - so in retrospect, though, you would have raised objections, you would have said it's inappropriate for the President to do this?

VOLKER: Correct.

MALONEY: And Mr. Morrison, can I just ask you, sir, so you - I'm stuck - I'm stuck on this issue of - of you didn't see anything wrong with the call but you went straight to NSC Legal to report it. Is that your testimony to us today?

MORRISON: Yes, sir.

MALONEY: Thank you, sir. I yield back.

SCHIFF: Ms. Demings?

DEMINGS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Morrison - and to both of you, thank you so much for your service, thanks for being here. It's been a long day. Mr. Morrison, just to follow up on the question from my colleague, you responded earlier to a series of questions about the call and basically saw nothing wrong with it, yet you skipped your chain of command to go to legal counsel to find out - I guess to find out what to do because you were concerned about the political fallout, not about anything being inappropriate or wrong with the call. Is that correct?

MORRISON: Ma'am, I don't agree with the premise, no.

DEMINGS: OK, could you tell me why you felt the need? You saw nothing basically wrong with the call yet you skipped your chain of command to go to counsel because of what? What was the reason for that?

MORRISON: I - I - I don't know that I - again, I don't agree with the premise, ma'am. I don't think I did skip my chain of command. If I had seen something wrong, I would have ...

DEMINGS: And who do you - who's your direct report?

MORRISON: The Deputy National Security Advisor.

DEMINGS: And the name of the person?

MORRISON: Dr. Charles Kupperman, at the time.

DEMINGS: OK, Dr. Kupperman. Did you speak with him before you spoke with legal counsel?

MORRISON: No - no, ma'am.

DEMINGS: But you don't feel you skipped your chain of command in doing so, going directly to counsel?

MORRISON: Ma'am, if I may, I viewed my engagement with the NSC Legal Advisor as one largely focused on administrative matters. I was interested in locking down the transcript. That's an administrative matter. I was interested in making sure that the Legal Advisor was aware of the call because I didn't see anybody from the Legal Advisor's Office ...

DEMINGS: And why were you so concerned about the Legal Advisor being aware of this call that you saw nothing basically wrong with the substance or content of the call?

MORRISON: Because I - I did not see anybody from the Legal Advisor's Office in the listening room and I wanted to make sure somebody from the Legal Advisor's Office was aware and I wanted to make sure it was a senior person.

DEMINGS: And what is it that you wanted them to be aware of specifically?

MORRISON: I - I - I wanted them to - to be aware of the call because I - I wanted them to know what had transpired.

DEMINGS: What concerned you to the point where you wanted them to know what had transpired that you went directly to legal counsel to inform them of?

MORRISON: My - my equivalent of the head of NSC Legal was - was and is John Eisenberg, he was - he was my equivalent in that position. I wouldn't go to somebody subordinate to him, I would go to him ...

DEMINGS: Didn't you testify earlier that you were concerned about the political fallout based on the political climate in D.C.?

MORRISON: Yes, ma'am.

DEMINGS: That...

VOLKER: Yes, ma'am.

DEMINGS: OK. All right. And so how long have you supervised Lieutenant Colonel Vindman?

MORRISON: Ma'am, approximately -- well, I guess not approximately, July 15 to October 31 or so.

DEMINGS: OK, all right. Thank you.

Ambassador Volker, you testified that you believe congressional pressure helped unfreeze the security assistance being released. Do you still stand by that testimony today?

VOLKER: I believe it was important. I met with staff members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. I then saw the letter that several senators signed and sent to Chief of Staff Mulvaney. And I was briefed about the possibility of a couple of phone calls from some senior members of the Senate as well.

DEMINGS: Thank you.

Mr. Chairman, I yield my remaining time to you.

SCHIFF: I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.

Ambassador Volker, I just want to follow up on a couple of questions about Ukrainians not being aware of the aid being withheld. You're aware, I'm sure, of the testimony of Colonel Vindman, that in fact he was contacted by someone within the Ukrainian embassy who was concerned about the whole prior to its becoming public?

VOLKER: I was not aware of that. But I take that.

SCHIFF: Are you aware of Ms. Croft's testimony and transcripts that have been released that in fact Ukrainians found out quite quickly after the hold was placed in July that she was impressed with Ukrainian tradecraft, and that the Ukrainians had a reason to keep it silent and not make it public?

VOLKER: I saw that in her testimony.

SCHIFF: You don't have any reason to question whether in fact that testimony was accurate, do you?

VOLKER: No, I don't.

SCHIFF: So the Ukrainians did find out before it was public, at least according to these two witnesses. But, nevertheless, the Ukrainians found out it was public when it was published in the newspaper, right?

VOLKER: That is correct, in August 29th.

SCHIFF: And at the time they found out from the newspaper, they still hadn't had the White House meeting. And they still didn't have the aid. And at that point, they had already had the conversation with the president in which he asked them to investigate the Bidens, correct?

VOLKER: That is correct.

SCHIFF: Mr. Krishnamoorthi.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Good evening to both of you and thank you for your service.

Ambassador Volker, on page seven of your opening statement today, you said since events surrounding your earlier testimony, October 3rd, quote-unquote, "a great deal of additional information, perspectives have come to light, I have learned many things that I did not know at the time of the events in question," correct?

VOLKER: Yes, that is correct.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: That includes conversations that occurred as well as meetings that occurred of which you weren't a part, correct?

VOLKER: That's correct.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Sir, you obviously were not a part of the July 25th call, isn't that right?

VOLKER: That is correct.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: You were not aware that Ambassador Sondland, according to your opening statement, had a call with President Trump on July 26th, correct?

VOLKER: That is correct.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: On September 1st, you weren't present for the sidebar meeting between Ambassador Sondland and special adviser Yermak, isn't that right?

VOLKER: That is correct.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: And you certainly weren't part of the phone call between Ambassador Taylor and Ambassador Sondland in which Ambassador Sondland, according to multiple people now, said that everything, a White House meeting as well as military aid, were dependent on public announcement of investigations, isn't that right?

VOLKER: That is correct.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: And certainly, sir, you weren't part of the phone call on September 7th between Ambassador Sondland and President Trump in which President Trump insisted that President Zelensky go to a mic and publicly announce investigations of President Trump's domestic rivals. Isn't that right?

VOLKER: That is correct.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: And certainly you weren't part of the September 8th phone call between Ambassador Sondland and ambassador -- I'm sorry President Trump where President Trump again insists that these announcements have to happen. Isn't that right?

VOLKER: That is correct.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Sir, you say that you weren't a witness to any kind of quid pro quo or conditionality between military assistance and investigations, what someone called missiles for misinformation today. Isn't that right?

VOLKER: That is correct.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: But sir, you weren't present for many if not all of the phone calls and conversations where these alleged instances of quid pro quo occurred. Isn't that right?

VOLKER: That is correct.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Sir, let me turn your attention to another topic that's come up today or actually it came up last Friday. You have high regard for Ambassador Yovanovitch, correct?

VOLKER: Yes, I do.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I presume that you were aware that as the Ambassador was testifying, President Trump actually tweeted very disparaging remarks about her, right.

VOLKER: Yes, I saw that moment.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: And I presume that you disapprove of those types of tweets, correct?

VOLKER: Yes, I don't think that's appropriate.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: You've supervised many, many people over the years during your career in the Foreign Service, right.

VOLKER: Yes, I have.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: And you would never do that to one of your direct reports or anybody who worked in your organization, right.

VOLKER: No, I would not.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: It's just wrong.

VOLKER: Yes, I believe that even when you feel like you need to criticize, criticism is private, praise is public.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: And I also believe that you're a man of honor and you would not attack a veteran, you would not attack someone who is currently serving in the military who is doing their duty, correct?

VOLKER: I respect the service of our members in uniform.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: In fact, there's a certain man that we both admire, the late Senator John McCain.


KRISHNAMOORTHI: Who unfortunately was attacked not only when he was alive but after he died by the current president. Isn't that right?

VOLKER: That is true.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: And I -- I presume that you would disapprove of all of those attacks on John McCain, right.

VOLKER: Yes, I know -- I knew John McCain very, very well for a very long time. He's an honorable man and very much a war hero for this country.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well today, sir, as Lieutenant Colonel Vindman was testifying, our president used the official Twitter account of the Office of the President to attack Lieutenant Colonel Vindman's credibility. I presume you don't approve of those types of tweets either, do you?

VOLKER: I was not aware of that and -- and as with Ambassador Yovanovitch, not appropriate.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Thank you, sir.

VOLKER: Thank you.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Thank you for your service and thank you, Mr. Morrison, for yours as well.

SCHIFF: That concludes the member questioning. I now recognize Ranking Member for any closing comments he has.

NUNES: Thank you. As the first day of this week's impeachment, T.V. marathon draws to a close. I'd like to remind the American people what we're watching. Public hearings are the culmination of three years of incessant Democrat efforts to find a crime to impeach the president.

First they tried to manufacture evidence that the president colluded with Russia. To accomplish this task, the DNC and the Clinton campaign worked with a former British spy, Christopher Steele.

Steele assembled a dossier of false information, alleging the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. That dossier was largely assembled from Russian and Ukrainian sources that the Democrat contractors worked with.

Next they primed their hopes on the work of Robert Mueller. Mueller spent two years and millions of tax payer dollars seeking evidence of crime that we know wasn't committed. Mueller's failure was a devastating blow to Democrats who clearly hoped his work to be the basis for the removal of the president.

Today we are witnessing the Ukraine hoax, a direct to T.V. sequel to the Russia collusion hoax. The plot of the Ukrainian hoax is hard to follow. It shifts from day to day. First the Democrats claim they had evidence of quid pro quo, then extortion and witness intimidation.

Now Democrats are pinning their hopes on bribery. Like any good Hollywood production, Democrats needed a screen test before releasing their latest attack on the president.

They leveraged the secrecy of the House Intelligence Committee to interview a cast of characters in preparation for these public hearings. With the media's enthusiastic support, they built a narrative based on selectively leaked testimony.

Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats on this committee are seeking the truth and we want to know the answers to the following questions that they refuse to ask. To what extent did the whistleblower coordinate with the Democrats on this committee and/or its staff.

What is the full extent of Ukraine's election meddling against the Trump campaign in 2016. Why did Burisma hire Hunter Biden and what did he do for them and did his position impact any U.S. government actions under the Obama administration.

The American people were promised a grave and somber impeachment inquiry; instead they got the salacious spy screen (ph) comedy that they have been working on for three years. Goodnight, see you in the morning.

SCHIFF: I thank the gentleman and I thank you both for your testimony today. I would highlight a couple things about what we've heard this afternoon. First, Mr. Volker, your written testimony in which you say in hindsight I now understand that others saw the idea of investigating possible corruption involving the Ukraine company Burisma as equivalent to investigating former Vice President Biden.

I saw them as very different. The former being appropriate and unremarkable, the latter being unacceptable. In retrospect you said I should have seen that connection differently and had I done so, I would have raised my own objections.

Ambassador, we appreciate your willingness to amend your earlier testimony in light of what you now know. And I think you've made it very clear that knowing what you do today that, in fact, the president sought an investigation of his political rival, Vice President Biden that you would not have countenanced any effort to encourage the Ukrainians to engage in such conduct.

I appreciate also that you were able to debunk, I hope for the last time, the idea that Joe Biden did something wrong when he, in accordance with U.S. policy, sought to replace a corrupt prosecutor. Something that not only the U.S. State Department wanted, not only the European Union wanted, and not only the IMF wanted but was the consensus position of the United States national security infrastructure.

You didn't get a lot of questions about that today as other witnesses did because I think you effectively said that was all nonsense. We appreciate your candor about that. Mr. Morrison, I think what is most remarkable about your testimony is the acknowledgment that, immediately after the vice president met with President Zelensky in Warsaw, you witnessed Gordon Sondland meeting with Andriy Yermak, a top advisor to President Zelensky, and then immediately thereafter, Sondland told you that he had informed the Ukrainians that if they wanted that 400 million in military aid, they were going to have to do those investigations that the president wanted. And you were later informed, and this is also significant as you testified here today, that the -- Ambassador Sondland and his subsequent conversations with President Trump had informed you that it wasn't going to be enough for the Ukrainian prosecutor general to announce the investigations the president wanted, President Zelensky had to do it himself, if he wanted to get that aid in the meeting with the White House.

Now you've been asked to opine on the meaning of the term bribery, although you weren't asked to opine on the terms high crimes and misdemeanors. But bribery, for those at home, is the conditioning of official acts in exchange for something of value. The official acts we're talking about here are a White House meeting that President Zelensky desperately sought and as you've acknowledged, Ambassador Volker, was deeply important to this country at war with Russia, to show the United States had this new president's back. That meeting was important, that meeting is an official act.

The military assistance is even more significant, because Ukrainians are dying every day in their war with Russia. And so the withholding of military assistance to get these investigations, which you now have acknowledged Ambassador Volker, was wrong for the president to request, the idea of withholding that military aid to get these political investigations, should be anathema to -- repugnant to every American, because it means the sacrifice, not just Ukrainian national security, but American national security, for the interests of the president personally and politically.

Now, my Republican colleagues all they seem to be upset about with this, not that the president sought investigation of his political rival, not that he held a White House meeting and $400 million in aid we all passed on a bipartisan basis, to pressure Ukraine to do those investigations, their objection is he got caught. Their objection is that someone blew the whistle, and they would like this whistleblower identified and the president wants this whistleblower punished. That's their objection, not that the president engaged in this conduct, but that he got caught.

Their defense is, as well, he ended up releasing the aid. Yes, after he got caught. It doesn't make this any less odious. Americans maybe watching this and asking, why should the United States care about Ukraine? Why should we care about Ukraine? And this was the import of the conversation, the now infamous conversation in that Kiev restaurant with Gordon Sondland holding the phone away from his head because the president was talking so loud. What does the president ask in that call the day after the now infamous call he had with Zelensky? What does he asked on that cell phone call? Not whether the Rada (ph) had passed some new anti corruption reform, no. Are Ukrainians going to do the investigation? Meaning into Biden. And Sondland's answer is, they're going to do it. They'll do essentially anything the president wants.

What's more telling is the conversation I think that Sondland has with the Foreign Service Officer Holmes afterwards, in which the president says, basically, Donald Trump doesn't give an "expletive" about Ukraine. He cares about the big things. Mr. Holmes says, well, Ukraine's at war with the Russians, that's kind of a big thing. And Sondland's answer is, no, he cares about big things that affect his personal interests.

This is why Americans should care about this. Americans should care about what happens to our allies, who are dying. Americans should care about their own national security and their own president and their own Constitution, and they will need to ask themselves as we will have to ask ourselves in Congress, are we prepared to accept that a president of the United States can leverage official acts of military assistance, White House meetings, to get an investigation of a political rival? Are we prepared to say, well, you know, I guess that's what we should expect of a president?

I don’t think we want to go there. I don’t think our founding fathers would have wanted us to go there. Indeed, when the founding fathers provided a remedy, that remedy being impeachment, they had the very concerned that the president made may portray the national security interests of the country for personal interests. They put that remedy in the Constitution, not because they wanted to willy-nilly, overturn elections, no, but because they wanted a powerful anti-corruption mechanism, when that corruption came from the highest office in the land. We are adjourned. I ask the audience to please allow the witness to leave the room before they exit.

This transcript is provided by ASC Services LLC on behalf of Bloomberg Government.