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‘Trump asked Ukraine to probe Biden, son’

Transcripts of hearings give details

There was no hinting around, it was a straight-out trade, two key White House officials told impeachment investigators. If Ukraine’s new leader wanted an Oval Office welcome from Donald Trump — and he did — he would have to open a public probe into the President’s Democratic foe Joe Biden and his son.

“There was no ambiguity,” said Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an Army officer assigned to the National Security Council, recounting an extraordinary day of meetings at the White House last summer.

Impeachment inquiry

According to transcripts released on Friday in the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, Lt. Col. Vindman and Fiona Hill, a former White House Russia adviser, both gave firsth-and descriptions of scenes central to the congressional probe.

Lt. Col. Vindman Vindman testified that Gordon Sondland, a Trump donor serving as Ambassador to the European Union, told the visiting officials that if they hoped to win that coveted face-to-face meeting, “the Ukrainians would have to deliver an investigation into the Bidens.”

In another episode that day at the White House, Ms. Hill testified that Mr. Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton “immediately stiffened” as Mr. Sondland “blurted out” that he had worked out with Mr. Trump’s acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney just that trade the Ukrainians’ probe for an Oval Office welcome.

The hundreds of pages of transcripts showed the investigation’s deep reach into the White House ahead of next week’s public hearings.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 10:15:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/trump-asked-ukraine-to-probe-biden-son/article29933010.ece

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