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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Key Witnesses Are Questioned in Impeachment Hearing; Volker Says He Found The Reference to Biden During President Trump's July 25th Call Unacceptable. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired November 19, 2019 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[19:00:00]

VOLKER: -- 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.

[19:05:00]

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?

VOLKER: Yes.

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.

[19:10:00] 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?

VOLKER: Yes.

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.

[19:15:00] 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...

(CROSSTALK)

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...

(CROSSTALK)

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...

[19:20:00]

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...

QUIGLEY: Sure.

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?

VOLKER: No.

SCHIFF: Now that you've read the call record, that makes a little bit more sense, doesn't it?

VOLKER: Yes.

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?

VOLKER: Yes. 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...

(CROSSTALK)

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?

[19:25:00]

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?

VOLKER: No.

STEFANIK: He made no mention of withholding the aid?

VOLKER: No.

STEFANIK: He made no mention of withholding the aid?

VOLKER: No.

STEFANIK: He made no mention of bribery?

VOLKER: No.

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?

[19:30:00]

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?

VOLKER: Yes.

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?

[19:35:00]

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 ...

(AUDIO GAP)

VOLKER: ... of him having claimed that he met ...

(AUDIO GAP)

... predecessor as Prosecutor General ...

HURD: Yeah, but that's not within ...

VOLKER: That's not under the ...

(AUDIO GAP)

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 ...

VOLKER: Yes.

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.

MORRISON: Sure.

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.

[19:40:00]

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.

[19:50:00]

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?

[19:55:00]

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.

VOLKER: Yes.

[20:00:00]