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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

breaking trump has caused release of thousands of isis prisoners - source pbs -only hope is if russioan troops prevent tthat

after todays 15 page testimony by bill taylor & trumps stories of lynching president is dead man walking - one question how many people in congress follow him to jail and whether eg climate will be ruined before rotten city dc gets to some common sense

businessmen quid pro quo
sondland defines businessman as getting what he wants before reciprocating even if that is a whole nations lives

god bless the america before it was taken off by sondlands defiinition of businessman

Opening Statement ofAmbassador William B . Taylor - October 22 , 2019 Mr. Chairman, appreciate the opportunity to appear today to providemy perspective on the events thatare the subjectof the Committees' inquiry. Mysole purpose isto provide the Committees withmy views about the strategic importance ofUkraineto theUnited States aswell as additional information about the incidents in question. I havededicatedmy life to serving U. S . interests at homeand abroad in both military and civilian roles. Mybackground and experience arenonpartisan and I havebeen honored to serve under every administration, Republican and Democratic, since 1985. For 50 years, I have served the country , starting as a cadet at West Point, then as an infantry officer for six years, including with the Division in Vietnam ; then at the Department of Energy; then as a member of a Senate staff; then atNATO ; then with the State Departmenthere and abroad in Afghanistan , Iraq, Jerusalem , and Ukraine; andmore recently, as Executive Vice President of the nonpartisan United States Institute of Peace. While I have served in many places and in different capacities, I have a particular interest in and respect for the importanceofour country' s relationship with Ukraine. Our nationalsecurity demands that this relationship remain strong However, in August and Septemberof this year, I becameincreasingly concerned that our relationship with Ukraine was being fundamentally undermined by an irregular, informalchannel of U . S. making andby the withholding of vital security assistance for domestic politicalreasons. I hopemyremarkstoday will help the Committees understandwhy I believed that to be the case At the outset, I would like to convey severalkey points. First, Ukraine is a strategic partner oftheUnited States, important for the security of our country as well as Europe. Second , Ukraine is, rightat this moment- while we sit in this room for the last five years, under armed attack from Russia. Third , the security assistanceweprovide is crucialto Ukraine' s defense against Russian aggression, and,more importantly, sendsa signal to Ukrainians Russians that we are Ukraine' s reliable strategic partner. And finally, as the Committees are now aware, I said on September 9 in a message to Ambassador Gordon Sondland that withholding security assistance in exchange for help with a domestic political campaign in the United States would be crazy I believed that then, and I still believe that Letmenow provide the Committees a chronology of the events that led to my concern OnMay 28 of this year, Imet with Secretary MikePompeo who askedmeto return to Kyiv to lead our embassy in Ukraine. Itwas— and is criticaltimein U . S. -Ukrainerelations: VolodymyrZelenskyy hadjust been elected presidentand Ukraineremainedatwar with Russia. As the summerapproached, a new Ukrainian governmentwould be seated, parliamentaryelectionswere imminent, and the Ukrainian politicaltrajectorywould be set for thenext severalyears. I had served as Ambassador to Ukrainefrom 2006 to 2009, havingbeen nominated byGeorge W . Bush, and, in the intervening 10 years, I have stayed engaged with Ukraine, visiting frequently since 2013 as a boardmemberof a smallUkrainian non-governmentalorganization supporting good governance and reform . Across the responsibilitiesI have had in public service, Ukraine is special forme, and SecretaryPompeo' s offer to return as ChiefofMission was compelling. I am convinced of the profound importance ofUkraineto the security of the United States and Europe for two related reasons: First, if Ukrainesucceeds in breakingfree ofRussian influence, it is possible for Europeto bewhole, free, democratic, and at peace. In contrast, ifRussia dominatesUkraine, Russia will again becomean empire, oppressing itspeople, and threatening itsneighborsand the restofthe world . Second, with the annexation of the Crimea in 2014 and the continued aggression in Donbas, Russia violated countless treaties , ignored all commitments , and dismissed all the principles that have kept the peace and contributed to prosperity in Europe sinceWorld War II. To restore Ukraine s independence , Russia must leave Ukraine. This has been and should continue to be a bipartisan U . S . foreign policy goal When I was serving outside of government during the Obama ad􀀀ninistration and after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014 , I joined two other former ambassadors to Ukraine in urging Obama administration officials at the State Department , Defense Department , and other agencies to provide lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine in order to deter further Russian aggression . I also supported much stronger sanctions against Russia . 2 All to say, I cared aboutUkraine's future and the important U . S . interests there. So, when Secretary Pompeo askedmeto go back to Kyiv , I wanted to say “ yes. Butitwasnotan easy decision. The formerAmbassador, Masha Yovanovitch, had been treated poorly, caughtin a web ofpoliticalmachinations both in Kyiv and in Washington. I feared that those problemswere stillpresent. When I talked to her about accepting the offer, however, she urged meto go, both for policy reasons and for themorale ofthe embassy. Beforeansweringthe Secretary, I consulted both mywife and a respected former senior Republicanofficialwhohasbeen amentorto me. I will tell you thatmy wife, inno uncertain terms, strongly opposed the idea. Thementorcounseled: if your country asks you to do something you do it you can be effective. I could be effective only if the U . S. policy ofstrong support for Ukraine strong diplomatic support along with robust security, economic, and technical assistance — were to continue and if I had the backingofthe Secretary ofState to implement thatpolicy. I worried aboutwhat I had heard concerning the role of RudolphGiuliani, who hadmadeseveralhigh-profile statements aboutUkraine and U . S . policy toward the country. So duringmymeeting with Secretary Pompeo on May 28, I made clear to him and the otherspresentthat if U . S . policy toward Ukraine changed, hewould notwant me posted there and I could notstay He assuredmethatthe policy of strong support for Ukrainewould continueand that hewould supportmein defending thatpolicy. With that understanding, I agreed to go back to Kyiv. Because I was appointed by the Secretary butnotreconfirmed by the Senate,myofficialposition was Chargé d 'Affaires ad interim . I returned to Kyiv on June 17, carrying the originalcopy of a letter President Trump signed the day after I metwith the Secretary. In that letter, President Trump congratulated PresidentZelenskyy on his election victory and invited him to ameetingin the OvalOffice. I also broughtwith mea framed copy ofthe Secretary ' s declaration thatthe United Stateswould neverrecognize the illegal Russian annexation of Crimea. Butonce arrived in Kyiv, I discovered a weird combination ofencouraging, confusing, andultimately alarming circumstances. First, the encouraging: PresidentZelenskyy was taking over Ukrainein a hurry. Hehad appointed reformistministers and supported long- stalled anti- corruption legislation. Hetook quick executiveaction, including opening Ukraine' s High Anti-Corruption Court, which wasestablished under the previous presidential administration butneverallowed to operate. Hecalled snap parliamentary elections his partywas so new ithad no representation in the Rada — and later won an overwhelmingmandate, controlling 60 percent of the seats. With his new parliamentarymajority, PresidentZelenskyy changed the Ukrainian constitution to remove absolute immunity from Radadeputies, which had been the sourceofraw corruption for two decades. Therewasmuch excitementin Kyiv that this time thingscould bedifferent- a new Ukrainemight finally be breaking from its corrupt, post- Sovietpast. And yet, I found a confusingand unusualarrangementformaking U .S . policy towardsUkraine. There appeared to be two channelsof U .S . policy-makingand implementation, one regularand one highlyirregular. Asthe Chief ofMission, 1 had authority over the regular, formaldiplomatic processes, including the bulk of the U . S . effort to supportUkraineagainst the Russian invasion and to help it defeat corruption. This regular channelofU . S . policy-makinghas consistently had strong, bipartisan support both in Congressand in all administrations since Ukraine' s independence from Russia in 1991. Atthe same time, however, therewas an irregular, informal channel of U . S . policy -making with respect to Ukraine, onewhich included then - Special Envoy Volker, Ambassador Sondland , Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and as I subsequently learned,Mr. Giuliani. I was clearly in the regular channel, but I was also in the irregular one to the extent that Ambassadors Volker and Sondland includedmein certain conversations. Although this irregular channelwas well connected in Washington , itoperated mostly outside of official State Department channels . This irregular channel began when Ambassador Volker, Ambassador Sondland, Secretary Perry, and Senator Ron Johnson briefed President Trump on May 23 upon their return from President Zelenskyy s inauguration. The delegation returned to Washington enthusiastic aboutthe new Ukrainian president and urged President Trump tomeet with him early on to the U . S . Ukraine relationship. Butfrom what I understood , President Trump did not share their enthusias􀀀n for ameeting with Mr. Zelenskyy. When I first arrived in Kyiv, in June and July , the actions ofboth the regular and the irregular channels of foreign policy served the same goal - a strong U . S . Ukrainepartnership butitbecameclear tomeby August that the channelshad diverged in their objectives. Asthis occurred, I becameincreasingly concerned. In late June, onethe goals ofboth channelswas to facilitate a visit by President Zelenskyy to the White House for a meetingwith President Trump, which PresidentTrump had promised in his congratulatory letter ofMay 29. The Ukrainians were clearly eager for the meeting to happen. Duringa conference call with Ambassador Volker, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs PhilReeker, Secretary Perry, Ambassador Sondland, and Counselor of the U . S. Departmentof State Ulrich Brechbuhlon June 18, itwas clear that ameetingbetween the two presidents was an agreed-upon goal. Butduringmysubsequentcommunicationswith Ambassadors Volker and Sondland, they relayed tomethat the President wanted to hear from Zelenskyy" before scheduling themeeting in the OvalOffice. Itwas notclear tomewhat this meant. On June 27, Ambassador Sondland told meduring a phone conversation that PresidentZelenskyy needed tomake clear to President Trump thathe, President Zelenskyy, wasnotstanding in theway of“ investigations. " I sensed somethingodd when Ambassador Sondland toldmeon June 28 that he did notwish to includemostoftheregular interagency participants in a call planned with PresidentZelenskyy later that day. Ambassador Sondland, Ambassador Volker, Secretary Perry, and I were on this call, dialing in from different locations. However, Ambassador Sondland said that hewanted to make surenoone was transcribing ormonitoringas they added PresidentZelenskyy to the call. Also , before PresidentZelenskyy joined the call, Ambassador Volker separately told the U . S. participants that he, Ambassador Volker, planned to be explicit with PresidentZelenskyy in a one-on- one meeting in Toronto on July 2 aboutwhat PresidentZelenskyy should do to get the White Housemeeting. Again , itwasnot clear to meon that call what thismeant, butAmbassador Volker noted thathewould relay that President Trumpwanted to see rule of law , transparency, but also, specifically, cooperation on investigations to to the bottom of things. ” Once PresidentZelenskyy joined the call, the conversation was focused on energy policy and the Stanytsia-Luhanska bridge. PresidentZelenskyy also said he looked forward to the White House visitPresident Trump had offered in his May 29 letter. I reported on this call to Deputy AssistantSecretaryofState GeorgeKent, who had responsibility for Ukraine, and I wrote amemofor the record dated June30 that summarized our conversationwith PresidentZelenskyy. Bymid-July itwasbecomingclear tomethatthemeeting PresidentZelenskyy wantedwas conditioned on the investigationsofBurismaand allegedUkrainian interference in the 2016 U . . elections. Itwas also clear that this condition was driven by the irregularpolicy channelI had cometo understand was guided byMr. Giuliani . On July 10, Ukrainianofficials AlexanderDanyliuk, the Ukrainiannational security advisor, and Andriy Yermak, an assistant to PresidentZelenskyy, and Secretary Perry, then -NationalSecurity Advisor John Bolton, Ambassador Volker, and Ambassador Sondlandmetatthe White House. I did notparticipate in the meetingand did notreceive a readoutof ituntilspeakingwith the National Security Council' s (NSC' ) then-Senior Directorfor European and Russian Affairs, Fiona Hill, and theNSC' s Director of EuropeanAffairs, Alex Vindman, on July 19. On July 10 in Kyiv, metwith PresidentZelenskyy' s chiefof staff, Andrei Bohdan, and then-foreign policy advisor to the presidentand now Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko, who told methat they had heardfrom Mr. Giulianithat the phonecall between thetwo presidentswasunlikely to happen and that they were alarned and disappointed. I relayedtheir concernsto Counselor Brechbuhl. In a regularNSC secure video -conference callon July 18, heard a staff person from the Office ofManagementand Budget (OMB) say that there was a hold on security assistance to Ukrainebut could not say why. Toward the endof an otherwise normalmeeting, a voice on the call the person was off-screen - said that she was from OMB and thather bosshad instructed her notto approve any additionalspending ofsecurity assistance for Ukraineuntil further notice. and others sat in astonishment Ukrainianswere fighting the Russiansand counted on not only the training andweapons, butalso the assuranceof U . S . support. All thattheOMBstaffperson said was that thedirectivehad come from the President to the Chief of Staff to OMB. In an instant, I realized that one of the key pillars of our strong support for Ukrainewas threatened. Theirregular policy channel was runningcontrary to goals of longstandingU . S . policy. There followed a series of led interagencymeetings, starting at the staff level and quickly reaching the levelof Cabinet secretaries. At every meeting, the unanimous conclusion was that thesecurity assistance should be resumed, the hold lifted. Atone point, the Defense Department was asked to perform an analysis of the effectiveness of the assistance. Within a day , the Defense Departmentcame back with thedetermination that the assistance waseffective and should be resumed . Myunderstandingwas that the Secretaries ofDefense and State, theCIA Director, and the National Security Advisor sought a jointmeeting with the President to convince him to release the hold, but such a meeting washard to schedule and the hold lastedwell into September. The next day on the phone, Dr. Hill and Mr. Vindman tried to reassuremethat they werenot aware ofany official change in U . . policy toward Ukraine, OMB' s announcement notwithstanding. They did confirm that thehold on security assistance for Ukraine camefrom Chief of StaffMick Mulvaney and that the Chief of Staffmaintained a skeptical view ofUkraine. In the sameJuly 19 phone call, they gavemean accountofthe July 10meeting with the Ukrainian officials at the White House. Specifically, they toldmethat Ambassador Sondland had connected “ investigations with an OvalOfficemeeting for PresidentZelenskyy, which so irritated Ambassador Bolton that he abruptly ended themeeting, tellingDr. Hill andMr. Vindman that they should havenothing to do with domestic politics. Healso directed Dr. Hill to the lawyers. Dr. Hillsaid that Bolton referred to this as a " drug deal” after the July 10 meeting. Ambassador Bolton opposed a call between PresidentZelenskyy and President Trump outofconcern that it “ would be a disaster. Needless to say, the Ukrainians in themeetings were confused . Ambassador Bolton , in the regular Ukraine policy decision -making channel, wanted to talk about security , energy , and reform ; Ambassador Sondland, a participant in the irregular channel, wanted to talk about the connection between a White House meeting and Ukrainian investigations. Also during our July 19 call, Dr. Hill informed methat Ambassador Volker had met with Mr. Giuliani to discuss Ukraine . This caughtmeby surprise. The next day I asked Ambassador Volker about that meeting , but received no response . I began to sense that the two decision making channels the regular and irregular were separate and at odds. Later on July 19 and in the earlymorningofJuly 20 (Kyiv time), I receivedtext messageson a three-way WhatsApptextconversation with Ambassadors Volker and Sondland, a record ofwhich I understandhas already been provided to the Committeesby Ambassador Volker. AmbassadorSondland said that a call between President Trump and PresidentZelenskyy would take place soon. Ambassador Volkersaid that whatwas ost impt is for Zelensky to say thathe willhelp investigation- and addressany specific personnel issues there are any " Later on July 20, I had a phone conversation with Ambassador Sondland while he was on a train from Paris to London Ambassador Sondland told methathehad recommended to President Zelenskyy that heuse the phrase , “ I will leaveno stone unturned with regard to investigations when President Zelenskyy spoke with President Trump . Also on July 20, I liad a phone conversation withMr. Danyliuk, duringwhich he conveyed to methatPresidentZelenskyy did notwant to be used as a pawn in a U . . re- election campaign. The nextday I textedboth Ambassadors Volker and Sondland aboutPresidentZelenskyy s concern. On July 25, PresidentTrump and PresidentZelenskyy had the long-awaited phone conversation. Strangely, even though I wasChiefofMission and was scheduled to meetwith PresidentZelenskyy alongwith Ambassador Volker the followingday, I receivedno readoutofthe call from the White House. The Ukrainian government issued a short, cryptic summary. During a previously planned July 26 meeting, President Zelenskyy told Ambassador Volker and methat hewas happy with the call but did not elaborate. President Zelenskyy then asked about the face-to - face meeting in the Oval Office as promised in the May 29 letter from President Trump. After our meetingwith PresidentZelenskyy, Ambassador Volker and I traveled to the front line in northern Donbasto receive a briefingfrom the commander of the forces on the lineof contact. Arrivingfor the briefingin themilitaryheadquarters, the commanderthanked us forsecurityassistance, butI was aware that this assistancewas on hold, whichmade uncomfortable. Ambassador Volkerand I could see the andhostile Russian-led forces on the other sideofthedamaged bridgeacross the lineof contact. Over 13,000 Ukrainianshadbeen killed in thewar, one or two a week . More Ukrainianswould undoubtedlydie withoutthe U .S. assistance. Although I spent themorningof July 26 with President Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian officials, the first summary of the Trump- Zelenskyy callthat I heard from anybody inside the U . S . government was during a phonecall had with Tim Morrison, Dr. Hill' s recentreplacement attheNSC, on July 28. Mr. Morrison told methat the call " could have been better and that President Trumphad suggested that President Zelenskyy or his staff meet with Mr. Giulianiand Attorney General William Barr. I did not see any official readout of the call untilitwas publicly released on September 25. OnAugust 16 , exchanged textmessageswith Ambassador Volker in which I learned thatMr. had asked that the United States submit an official request for an investigation into Burisma' s alleged violations of Ukrainian law , ifthat is what the United States desired A formal U .S . request to the Ukrainiansto conduct an investigation based on violations of their own law struckmeas improper, and I recommended to Ambassador Volker thatwe stay clear. find out the legal aspects of the question, however, I gave him thenameof a Deputy Assistant Attorney Generalwhom I thought would be the proper pointofcontact for seeking a U .S . referral for a foreign investigation . Bymid-August, because the security assistance had been held for over amonth for no reason that I could discern , I was beginningto fear that the longstanding U . S . policy ofstrong support for Ukrainewasshifting. I called Counselor Brechbuhlto discuss this on August 21. He said that he was not aware of a change of U . S policy butwould check on the status of the security assistance. Myconcerns deepened the nextday, on August 22, during a phone conversation with Mr. Morrison. I asked him if there had been a change in policy of strong support for Ukraine, to which he responded, “ itremains to beseen . Healso told meduring this call that the President doesn ' t wantto provideany assistance atall.” That was extremely troubling to me. As I had told Secretary Pompeo in May, if the policy of strong support for Ukrainewere to change, I would have to resign. Based on mycallwith Mr.Morrison, I waspreparing to do so . Just days later, on August 27, Ambassador Bolton arrived in Kyiv andmet with PresidentZelenskyy. During theirmeeting, security assistance was not discussed - amazingly, newsofthehold did notleak outuntilAugust29. on the otherhand, was alltoo aware of and still troubled by the hold. Near the end of Ambassador Bolton ' s visit, I asked to meethim privately , during which I expressed to him myserious concern about thewithholding ofmilitary assistance to Ukraine while theUkrainianswere defending their country from Russian aggression . Ambassador Bolton recommended that I send a first-person cable to Secretary Pompeo directly , relayingmyconcerns. I wrote and transmitted such a cable on August 29 describingthe “ folly in withholdingmilitary aid to Ukraine at a timewhen hostilitieswere still active in the east and when Russiawas watchingclosely to gauge the levelof American support for the Ukrainian government. I told the Secretary that I could not and would notdefend such a policy. Although I received no specific response, I heard thatsoon thereafter, the Secretary carried the cable with him to a meetingat the White House focused on security assistance forUkraine. The sameday that I sentmycable to the Secretary, August 29,Mr. Yermak contactedmeand was very concerned, askingaboutthe withheld security assistance. The hold that the White House had placed on the assistance had just been madepublic that day in a Politico story. Atthatpoint, I was embarrassed that I could give him no explanation forwhy itwaswithheld Ithad stillnotoccurred to methat the hold on security assistance could be related to the investigations.” That, however, would soon change. On September 1, just three days aftermy cable to Secretary Pompeo, President Zelenskyy metVice PresidentPence at a bilateralmeeting in Warsaw . President Trump had planned to travel to Warsaw but atthe last had cancelled becauseof Hurricane Dorian . Just hours before the Pence-Zelenskyy meeting, I contacted Mr. Danyliuk to let him know that the delay of U . . security assistance was an " allornothing” proposition, in the sense that if the White House did not lift the hold prior to the end of the fiscal year (September 30), the funds would expire and Ukrainewould receive nothing. I washopefulthatat the bilateralmeeting or shortly thereafter, the White House would lift the hold, butthis was notto be Indeed, I received a readout of thePence- Zelenskyy meeting over the phone from Mr. Morrison, during which he toldmePresidentZelenskyy had opened the meeting by asking the Vice President about security cooperation. The Vice President did not respond substantively, but said thathe would talk to President Trump that night. The Vice Presidentdid say that President Trump wanted the Europeansto do more to support Ukraine and thathe wanted the Ukrainiansto do more to fight corruption . During this same phone call had with MrMorrison , he went on to describe a conversation Ambassador Sondland had with Mr. Yermak at Warsaw . Ambassador Sondland told Mr. Yermak that security assistance money would not come until President Zelenskyy committed to pursue the Burisma investigation . I was alarmed by what Mr. Morrison toldmeabout the Sondland -Yermak 10 conversation . This was the first time I had heard that the security assistance not just the White Housemeeting — was conditioned on the investigations. Very concerned, on thatsameday I sent Ambassador Sondland a textmessage asking if now sayingthat security assistance and [a ] WH meeting are conditioned on investigations? Ambassador Sondland responded askingmeto callhim , which I did . During that phonecall, AmbassadorSondland toldmethat President Trumphad told him thathewants PresidentZelenskyy to state publicly that Ukrainewill investigate Burismaand alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U . S . election. AmbassadorSondland also told me that henow recognized thathehadmade a mistakeby earlier telling the Ukrainian officials to whom he spoke that a White Housemeeting with PresidentZelenskyy was dependenton a public announcement ofinvestigations fact, AmbassadorSondland said , everything dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance. Hesaid thatPresident Trumpwanted PresidentZelenskyy " in a public box” by making a public statement aboutordering such investigations. In the same September 1 call, told Ambassador Sondland that President Trump should havemore respect for another head of state and that whathe described was notin the interest of either President Trump or President Zelenskyy. At that point asked Ambassador Sondland to push back on PresidentTrump s demand. Ambassador Sondlandpledged to try . Wealso discussed the possibility that the Ukrainian Prosecutor General, rather than PresidentZelenskyy, would make a statement about investigations, potentially in coordination with Attorney General Barr's probe into the investigation of interference in the 2016 elections. Thenext day, September 2, Mr. Morrison called to inform methatMr. Danyliuk had asked him to cometo his hotel room in Warsaw , whereMr. Danyliuk expressed concern about the possible lossof U .S . for Ukraine. In particular,Mr. Morrisonrelayed tomethat the inability ofany U . S . officials to respond to theUkrainians explicit questions aboutsecurity assistance was troubling them . I was experiencing the sametension in my dealings with the Ukrainians, including during ameeting I had hadwith Ukrainian DefenseMinister Andriy Zagordnyuk that day. Duringmy call with Mr. Morrison on September 2 , I also briefed Mr. Morrison on what Ambassador Sondland had toldmeduring our call the day prior. On September5 , I hosted Senators Johnson andMurphy for a visit to Kyiv Duringtheir visit, wemet with PresidentZelenskyy . His first question to the senators was about the withheld security assistance. Myrecollection of the meeting is thatboth senators stressed that bipartisan support for Ukraine in Washington was Ukraine' s mostimportant strategic asset and that President Zelenskyy should notjeopardize that bipartisan support by getting drawn into U . S . domestic politics. I had been making (and continue to make this pointto all ofmy Ukrainian official contacts . But the push tomake President Zelenskyy publicly commit to investigations ofBurisma and alleged interference in the 2016 election showed how the official foreign policy of the United States was undercut by the irregular efforts led byMr. Giuliani. Two days later, on September 7, I had a conversation with Mr.Morrison in which hedescribed a phone conversation earlier that day between Ambassador Sondland and President Trump. Mr. Morrison said that hehad a " sinking feeling after learningabout this conversation from Ambassador Sondland. According toMr. Morrison, PresidentTrump told AmbassadorSondland thathewas notasking for a " pro quo. ButPresident Trump did insistthatPresidentZelenskyy go to a microphoneand say he is opening investigationsof Biden and 2016 election interference, and that PresidentZelenskyy should wantto dothis himself. Mr. Morrison said that he told Ambassador Bolton and theNSC lawyers of this phone callbetween President and Ambassador Sondland. The following day, on September 8 , Ambassador Sondland and I spoke on the phone. Hesaid hehadtalked to President Trump as I had suggested a week earlier, butthat PresidentTrump was adamant that PresidentZelenskyy, himself, had to “ clearthings up and do it in public .” President Trump said itwas not a " quid pro quo. " Ambassador Sondland said that hehad talked to President Zelenskyy andMr. Yermak and told them that, although this was nota quid pro quo, if PresidentZelenskyy did not clear things up public, wewould be at a stalemate. understood a stalemate mean that Ukrainewould notreceive themuch-needed military assistance. Ambassador Sondland said that this conversation concluded with PresidentZelenskyy agreeing to makea public statementin an interview with CNN . After the call with Ambassador Sondland on September , I expressed mystrong reservations in a textmessage to Ambassador Sondland, stating thatmy nightmare is they the Ukrainians) give the interview and don ' t get the security assistance. TheRussians love it. (And I quit .). ” I wasserious. Thenextday, I said to Ambassadors Sondland and Volker that" t ]hemessage to the Ukrainians(andRussians) we send with the decision on security assistance is key. With the hold ,wehave already shaken their faith in . " I also said, " think it s crazy to withhold security assistance forhelp with a politicalcampaign. Ambassador Sondland responded about five hourslater that I was " incorrectabout PresidentTrump' s intentions. The Presidenthasbeen crystalclear no quid pro quo s ofany kind." Before textmessages, duringour call on September 8 , Ambassador Sondland tried to explain tomethatPresident Trump is a businessman. When a businessman isabout to sign a check to someone who owes him something, he said, the businessman asks thatperson to pay up before signing the check. Ambassador Volker used the saineterms severaldays later whilewewere together at the Yalta European Strategy Conference. I argued to both thatthe explanationmadeno sense : the Ukrainiansdid not ” President Trumpanything, and holdingup security assistance for domestic politicalgain was "crazy, " as I had said inmytext messageto Ambassadors Sondland and Volker on September 9 . Finally, I learned on September11that the holdhadbeen lifted and thatthe security assistancewould be provided. After I learned thatthe security assistance wasreleased on September11, I personally conveyed the newsto President Zelenskyy and ForeignMinister Prystaiko. And I again reminded Mr. Yermak of thehigh strategic valueof bipartisan support for Ukraine andthe importance ofnotgetting involved in other countries' elections. Myfear at the timewas that since Ambassador Sondland had toldmePresidentZelenskyy already agreed to do a CNN interview , President Zelenskyywouldmake a statementregarding investigations” thatwould have played into domestic U .S . politics. I sought to confirm through Mr. Danyliuk that PresidentZelenskyy was notplanning to give such an interview to themedia. While Mr. Danyliuk initially confirmedthat on September 12, I noticed during a meeting on the morning of September 13 at President Zelenskyy' s office thatMr. Yermak looked uncomfortable in response to the question . Again , I askedMr. Danyliuk to confirm that there would beno CNN interview , which he did. On September 25 at theUN GeneralAssembly session in New York City, President Trumpmet PresidentZelenskyy face-to - face. Healso released the transcriptof the July 25 call. The United States gave the Ukrainians virtually no noticeof the release, and they were livid. Although this wasthe first time I had seen the details ofPresident Trump' s July 25 callwith PresidentZelenskyy , in which hementioned Vice PresidentBiden, had come to understand wellbefore then that “ investigations was a term that Ambassadors Volker and Sondland used to meanmatters related to the 2016 elections, and to investigations of Burismaand the Bidens I recognize that this is a rather lengthy recitation ofthe events of the past few months told from my vantage point in Kyiv But I recognize the importance of thematters your Committees are investigating , and I hope that this chronology will provide some framework for your questions. wish to conclude by returning to the points Imadeat the . Ukraine is importantto the security of the United States. Ithasbeen attacked by Russia , which continues its aggression against Ukraine. Ifwebelieve in the principle of sovereignty ofnationson which our security and the security ofour friends and alliesdepends,wemust support Ukraine in its fightagainst its bullyingneighbor. Russian aggression cannot stand. There are two Ukrainestories today. The first is theonewearediscussingthis morningand that you have been hearing for the pasttwoweeks. It is a rancorous story aboutwhistleblowers,Mr. Giuliani, side channels, quid pro quos, corruption, and interference in elections. In this story Ukraineis an object. Butthere is another Ukraine story a positive, bipartisan one. In this second story, Ukraine is the subject. This one is about youngpeoplein a young nation, strugglingto break free ofits past, hopefulthat their new governinentwill finally in new Ukraine, proud ofits independence from Russia, eager to join Western institutions and enjoy a moresecure and prosperouslife. This story describes a nation developing an inclusive, democratic nationalism , not unlike whatwe in America, in our bestmoments, feelabout our diverse country - less concerned about what languagewe speak, what religion ifanywepractice, where ourparents and grandparents came from ; more concerned about buildinga new country Because ofthe strategic importance ofUkraine in our effort to create a whole, free Europe, we, throughRepublican and Democratic administrationsover three decades, have supported Ukraine. Congresshasbeen generousover the years with assistance funding, both civilian andmilitary, and political support. With overwhelming bipartisan majorities, Congresshassupported Ukraine with harsh sanctionson Russia for invading and occupying Ukraine. Wecan be proudof that support and thatwe have stoodup to a dictator' s aggression against a democratic neighbor Itis this second story that I would like to leave you with today . AndI am glad to answer your questions.

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