Transcript for Day 3 of impeachment hearings: Volker, Vindman, Williams, Morrison testify
So now. Paul. Today on Capitol Hill welcome back to act to him today circus ladies and gentlemen. Morning everyone from week to urban public impeachment hearings the impeachment inquiry into Donald 45 president of the United States. Today the committee heard from a total of four witnesses to call by the Democrats to by Republicans. First two White House advisors who were listening in on the July 25 phone call between president trump. And presidential and ski of Ukraine fewer both please rise. And raise your right hand Jennifer Williams is a State Department aid device president Mike Pence. I fell in July 25 phone call unusual. Because in contrast to other presidential calls I had observed involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter. Lieutenant colonel Alexander vin movement coordinates Ukraine policy for the National Security Council. It is improper for the president of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a US citizen. And a political opponent. Inman said he immediately reported his concerns to the NSC lawyers frankly I couldn't believe what I what I was hearing. It was probably an element of shock. That may be in certain regards mighty. Worst fear of how our Ukraine policy could play out how this is likely to have significant implications for. US national security UN immediately reported it to you I did watt. Because that was my duty. Binh Minh is an army ranger and a decorated combat veterans. After being wounded by an IA ED in Iraq he earned a purple heart. His hands shook nervously today has hunt began his testimony. Explaining how his father had fled the former Soviet Union to bring the family to America. That. I'm sitting here today in the US capitol tartar elect to professionals is proof that you made the right decision forty years ago to leave the Soviet Union. Come here to the United States of America in search of a better life for our friendly when he and his twin brother were boys filmmaker Ken Burns interviewed them. About their journey to America for a 1985 documentary. About the statue of liberty. The closeness of the twins evident as they talked in unison. We might even came out ia. And we went to air. I'm not good thanks so we wouldn't K Italy and routinely. That closeness would follow them as they became men both joining the armed forces. The bond on full display today as one brother watched the other brother testified both of them who now work at the White House. My little brother stood behind me here today our collective military service is a special part of our story in America. One have been men's old bosses is retired brigadier general Peters walked. There is an aspect of him that wants to if you will pay back. This country. That has given him these great opportunities. As a self made young man he has excelled if not exceeded. In every position that he's been in. But Republicans pushed back hearted men questioning his competence. Your former boss Dr. Phil I concerns about your judgment your colleagues tech concerns about your judgment. And your colleagues felt that there were times when you leaked information. Any idea why date. Have those impressions colonel than. Yes it represented Jordan I guess I'll I'll start by you are reading. Doctor hill's own words. As she. She attested to in my last evaluation that was dated middle July right before she left. Alex is a top 1% military officer and a best army officer I've worked with in my fifteen years of government service. They questioned his loyalty and colonel you never leaked information. I never gave it never would that is preposterous that would do that they suggested he might feel an allegiance to Ukraine. It mr. Downey look offer you position of defense minister with Ukrainian government. He did. And how many times that he do that. I believe it was three times I'm an American I came here where an iris toddler. And ID immediately dismiss these offers if not entertain them. Republicans on the committee even questioned his wardrobe the technical didn't and I see you were in your dress uniform. Knowing that's not the uniform of the day you normally Wear a suit at one point the ranking Republican neglected to use his proper title mr. bin Laden. You testified in your deposition that she did not know the whistle blower. Remember tsao lieutenant colonel Lemmon please. Ruling is a question to colonel bin Laden was the the big witness for Democrats because the minute he heard the call he was concerned and he's been consistent in that view. Since the moment he heard the phone call I don't think do with her colonel women with their particularly effective witness. Fingers nervous. My third income jumped all over the place on some issues the Republicans on the committee were. Work alone in trying to undermine the Inman. President was very much watching today's hearing at one point he tweed about the impeachment a dozen times in just a matter of minutes his strategy on all of this. Crystal clear attack. He even went after been meant for wearing his military uniform. I never saw the man I understand though it wears his uniform when he goes in no I don't know Binyamin at all infuriated US army officer of any rank and you're testifying before congress. You're gonna put on your address your issue and that is. As close to being a requirement is it can get I was remembering lieutenant colonel Oliver North. Who is on the NSC staff when he testified on the hill you know and is full marine dress uniform is well and that made quite an impression. The White House follow that up with this tweet from the official White House account attacking one of its own staff members. By quoting another White House staff member sent testify later that day. Didn't talk about his uniform the president did that they didn't talk about him being an ever trump or they went right for that quote. From Tim Morrison from his previous testimony. And and again today. There was a question about his judgment and they left of that hanging. Morrison was then means boss at the National Security Council you testified at deposition that you had issues with colonel in men's judgment is that right. You deserve. You said he specifically that you're concerned with colonel been exercising quote appropriate judgment as to whom he said what is that right. It is our test by the doctor Hilliard predecessor in a Scientology that she had concerns about colonel Benjamin Damon's judgment is that right it's are. And you test by the colonel Denton and did not always adhere to the chain of command is that right. I believe so yes are. Over the weekend the president also attacked this morning's other witness Jennifer Williams saying. She should meet with the other never troopers who I don't know and mostly never even heard of and work out a better presidential attack. Ms. Williams are you engaged in a presidential attack. Answer Chileans are you would never trump or. I'm not sure I know an official definition of it never temper would you describe yourself that would have I would not now Connecticut Democrat Jim Hines asked him in the same question colonel Inman would you call yourself and never trump for. Senator I call myself never partisan house of course. He's under stress normal human being. Would go and in juror something like that without that but he's got the courage of his convictions I believe over time. When this plays out he will fall on the right side of history this morning's two witnesses did not agree on whether the president was asking. Or ordering Ukraine to investigate the Biden's you have two people who listen to save focal at the same time. Acute different conclusions both and I thought it was inappropriate bright but in a probe district. If inappropriate. Is that the figure was for removing your pres the United States and reversing a national election we be reversed from all the time. Presidents have done things her inappropriate remarks the public often over my lifetime. But in the end that's not enough to remove a presidency through averse national. And this afternoon's witnesses called by the Republicans were ambassador -- Volcker the former US special envoy to Ukraine. And Tim Morrison of the National Security Council. Morrison testified that ambassador Gordon's Sunderland told him in September. Ukraine would only receive the 400 million dollars in military aid. If presidents are Lynn ski announced an investigation of the Biden's. And that that was the essentially a condition for the security assistance to be released I understood that that's what investors solemn. After speaking with president truck. It's what you were present. Volcker also claimed at the time he didn't realize the political significance of asking for an investigation of breeze from a the Ukrainian energy company that paid Hunter Biden 50000 dollars a month to sit on its board in. In hindsight I now understand that others saw the idea investigating possible corruption involving Ukraine company for re small. As equivalent to investigating former president Vice President Biden it's a little hard to understand. Considering everything that happened. How Kurt Volcker didn't know. That the president was tying Greece and to the bites. Any EV he is now saying. If he had made that connection earlier. He would have viewed it is in a probe in retrospect. I should have seen that connection differently and had I done so I would have raised my own objections. But after day three public hearings the questions still remains. How does this move the needle. I think he will be impeached. But in the end I thought the game here the game is on impeachment it's removal. And you know removal I think we take twenty. Republican senators that's an avalanche. And there's nothing here to even start a couple of rocks fall down that mountain little an avalanche which. Which raises the stakes for tomorrow's hearing on ambassador court as Saarland is on Nazi how much pressures on Gordon's on the right. A lot because remember he's changed his testimony Lugar already. Well what's he gives states more because he's going to be really the first witness. That we will have whoo it's at least alleged had a number of direct conversations with the president. On this issue Gordon someone will be the single most important witness to testify. Some unpleasant just in the room where it happened he was also on speed dial with a man in the Oval Office allegedly calling the shots.
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