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Public Impeachment Testimony Continues; Ex-Envoy Changes Past Testimony, Now Says Push to Investigate Burisma Connected to Biden. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired November 19, 2019 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: But his aides and his campaign, the White House, they have been sending out some very negative messages about Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, for example.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they have.
And they were trying to use something that Morrison had said behind closed doors, when he said that there had been people who essentially questioned Vindman's judgment at the NSC.
Specifically, I think he cited Fiona Hill, who we're going to hear from on Thursday.
But in his opening statement, I think he realized just how much play those comments got, because he said today he wasn't here to criticize or undermine any of his colleagues.
And, of course, you saw Vindman be prepared to address that. As he was there testifying earlier today, he brought a performance review from Fiona Hill, that official that Morrison had the conversation with, where it praised him multiple times and his performance in the job.
BLITZER: You see Tim Morrison and Kurt Volker. They're beginning to walk back into the hearing room. They will sit down, and then this hearing will resume.
The next round will be these five-minute sessions, where all of the members, the Democrats and the Republicans, they have five minutes to ask questions.
It'll start with the chairman, Adam Schiff, and Devin Nunes, the ranking member. They will ask their questions. And then it'll go on presumably, Nia, for, what, at least another hour, hour-and-a-half.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, another hour or so.
And what's been interesting to see is Schiff's position here. He, of course, is a Harvard-trained lawyer. And he's been, I think, very strategic in trying to advance the case, right, in a way that I think Nunes isn't.
Nunes seems to be directly talking to the president, directly talking to the base. At some point, he addressed the witnesses. And he said, oh, I'm sorry to break this bad news, but the ratings are down for this, which isn't helping build any case at all. It's just sort of a talking point about what's happening.
But that's been really interesting to see sort of the interchange between Schiff. And, of course, I think the lawyer that the Democrats have, Daniel Goldman, has better than..
BLITZER: All right, here's Schiff:
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): ... now going to proceed to a 15-minute round by either chair and majority or ranking member of minority.
Mr. Goldman, you're recognized for 15 minutes.
GOLDMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ambassador Volker, I - I do want to just correct the record from the first round. You were right to point out - you asked if a quote that I represented you made in the deposition was your words and - and I actually read the wrong part in the quote.
What you actually said was "it creates a problem again where all of the things that we're trying to do to advance the bilateral relationship, strengthen our support for Ukraine, strengthen the positioning against Russia is now getting sucked into a domestic political debate in the U.S., domestic political narrative that overshadows that." So I - you were right to point that out and I apologize for the - the mistake.
I want to go back to a couple of things that you said during the minority's round. Can you repeat again what the readout that you got of the July 25th call?
VOLKER: Yes, I received a readout from both Ukrainian colleague Andriy Yermak as well as from a U.S. person - I don't now remember whether it was my staff or someone from the embassy or where - and the readout was that it was a good phone call, that it was a congratulatory phone call for the President's win in the parliamentary election, that President Zelensky did reiterate his commitment to fighting corruption and advancing reform in Ukraine and that President Trump renewed his invitation for President Zelensky to come to the White House.
GOLDMAN: OK. And I believe you said that that - that readout was exactly as you expected the call to go. Is that right?
VOLKER: Exactly. That's what we were trying to tee up.
GOLDMAN: OK. I just want to show you once again the July 25th text that you wrote to Andriy Yermak, which was the message that you were relaying to him so that he could prepare President Zelensky. And you'll recall this, right, where you said that -- that this was the message, good lunch, thanks, heard from White House, assuming President Z convinces Trump he will investigate, quote "get to the bottom of what happened in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington."
That's -- that's what you expected from the call, right?
VOLKER: Yeah, I expected that President Zelensky would be convincing in his statements and comments with President Trump, that he was exactly that, that he would investigate, get to the bottom of things that had happened in 2016. And that if he was strong in conveying who he is as a person and doing that, that President Trump would be convinced and renew the invitation to the White House.
GOLDMAN: Right. But you don't mention corruption in this text, do you?
VOLKER: This is -- it's...
GOLDMAN: The word "corruption" is not...
VOLKER: ... paraphrase (ph)...
GOLDMAN: ... in this text, right?
VOLKER: ... the word "corruption" is not there. Investigating things that have happened in the past that would be corrupt, would be investigating corruption.
GOLDMAN: You say a couple times in your opening statement and you just said it again, that is -- you know, investigating things that happened in the past. You are aware, of course, that most investigations relate to things that happened in the past, right?
VOLKER: Sure (ph).
GOLDMAN: OK. So that's -- that doesn't really move the needle, whether it's current or past in terms of the subject of the investigation...
GOLDMAN: ... right?
VOLKER: ... yeah, the subject of the investigation are things that happened in the past.
GOLDMAN: You also talked a little bit about the meeting that you had on July 26th with President Zelensky and Ambassador Sondland in -- in Kiev, is that right?
VOLKER: On the 26th? We had a meeting...
GOLDMAN: And Ambassador Taylor?
VOLKER: ... with President Zelensky, yes.
GOLDMAN: OK. And I believe you testified that the topic of investigations did not come up at all. Is that right?
VOLKER: Yeah, I don't recall them coming up. Just the general...
VOLKER: ... phone call.
GOLDMAN: You didn't take notes of that call -- of that meeting, right?
VOLKER: No, I did not.
GOLDMAN: Right. Because you had -- there were...
VOLKER: Note-takers (ph).
GOLDMAN: ... staffers there to do that?
GOLDMAN: And so if there are two staffers who have -- who took notes of that meeting and testified that the subject of either sensitive topics or investigative topics came up, are we better off taking their word for it than yours?
VOLKER: I have no reason to doubt their notes if they were notes taken contemporaneously at the meeting.
GOLDMAN: OK. Another witness testified before us, Laura Cooper, about a meeting that she had with you on July -- on August 20th. Do you recall having that meeting with her? Because you didn't mention it in your...
VOLKER: Yes, I did.
GOLDMAN: ... your deposition. OK.
VOLKER: I did mention that I had been making the rounds to weigh in on lifting the hold on security assistance, to do that with all of the interagency players.
GOLDMAN: Mm-hmm. And she recalled with some specificity that meeting, which I believe was also (ph) based on her notes, that you described the statement that you were trying to get President Zelensky to make to -- and I'll quote what she said -- "disavow interference in U.S. elections and commit to the prosecution of individuals involved in election interference."
And if he were to agree to do that, she testified, then you thought that it might help to lift the hold on security assistance. Is that your recollection of the conversation as well?
VOLKER: Not exactly.
GOLDMAN: So how does yours differ?
VOLKER: I recall talking about the statement that we had discussed earlier, the one that had been in the -- the subject of these exchanges between Mr. Yermak and myself, myself, Ambassador Sondland and Rudy Giuliani and then back to Yermak.
So I discussed, this is an effort we are doing. That this could be helpful in getting a reset of the thinking of the president, the negative view of Ukraine that he had. And if we did that, I thought that would also be helpful in unblocking whatever hold there was on security assistance. That if there was this negative presumption about Ukraine, getting this stuff on track would be helpful.
GOLDMAN: All right. So that's a different interpretation. But you don't doubt that what she testified is -- is inaccurate, do you?
VOLKER: I -- I believe she accurately reflected what she understood from the conversation.
GOLDMAN: OK. You testified a little bit about the June 28th conference call that you had with Ambassador Sondland, Ambassador Taylor. I'm not sure if Deputy Secretary Kent was on the line...
VOLKER: I don't believe so.
GOLDMAN: ... and Secretary Perry, before you looped in President Zelensky? Am I right about the participants of that, or was Perry -- Secretary Perry not on it?
VOLKER: Yeah. I am pretty sure that Deputy Assistant Secretary Kent was not on it. I don't remember whether Secretary Perry was on it, and I don't remember whether I stayed on for President Zelensky joining the call or not.
VOLKER: There were two separate calls...
GOLDMAN: Were there -- were there any staff members or note-takers on the call?
VOLKER: I don't believe so.
VOLKER: We were having a call among ourselves to talk about what were the messages we thought we needed to convey.
GOLDMAN: And at that point, we've had other testimony from people who did take notes, that there was a discussion about the investigations or what -- what you needed to do -- what President Zelensky needed to do in order to get the White House meeting. Do you recall that?
VOLKER: I recall seeing that in Ambassador Taylor's testimony. I believe there may have even been a text message to that effect. And again, it comes down to what are we talking about in terms of these investigations. Because what I certainly understood is we're talking about Ukraine looking into and fighting corruption internally and being convincing about this, presenting the new president and the new team as a change in Ukraine.
GOLDMAN: Well, you understood that the investigations were Burisma and the 2016 election, right?
GOLDMAN: OK. And you interpreted those...
VOLKER: Well (ph)...
GOLDMAN: ... to be -- you interpreted those to be OK because in theory they were looking into Ukrainians?
GOLDMAN: OK. But we can agree, can we not, that the investigations, all the investigations that we're talking about here today were Burisma and the 2016 election?
GOLDMAN: OK. Now, and what you then amended your testimony today to say is that in retrospect, if you did not realize that the purpose for Mr. Giuliani and President Trump to want the Burisma investigation was to -- for political benefits in digging up dirt or -- or getting some information on Vice President Biden. That's what you learned subsequently, right?
VOLKER: It's correct that I learned about the president's interest in investigating Vice President Biden from the phone call transcript, which came much, much later.
From Giuliani, I didn't know that he was actively pursuing this. I did know that he raised this with me directly and I had pushed back on it.
GOLDMAN: Well, you knew that Ambassador Sondland was pursuing this at the July 10th meeting when he raised these investigations himself.
VOLKER: Again, he didn't specify Biden, he didn't specify Burisma as I recall either. I understood it to be a generic comment, and something again not appropriate for that meeting.
GOLDMAN: Right. I understand. But Biden wasn't mentioned, but you do agree that when investigations are referenced in this context, it is Burisma and the 2016 election, no?
VOLKER: Yes. That's what I understand.
GOLDMAN: OK (ph), right. And on that July 10th call, when Ambassador Sondland raised the investigations, he did that in response to a question from the Ukrainians about the White House meeting, isn't that right?
VOLKER: Can you repeat the question? I didn't catch that.
GOLDMAN: When Ambassador -- you said that Ambassador Sondland mentioned specific investigations at the July 10th meeting in Ambassador...
GOLDMAN: ... Bolton's office. And you said that you thought that was inappropriate.
GOLDMAN: Didn't he make that comment in response to a question from the Ukrainian officials about when they could schedule the White House meeting?
VOLKER: That I'm not sure about. I remember the meeting essentially already being over, and then Ambassador Sondland bringing that up.
GOLDMAN: And in the July 2nd or 3rd meeting in Toronto that you had with President Zelensky, you also mentioned investigations to him, right?
GOLDMAN: And, again, you were referring to the Burisma...
VOLKER: I was thinking of Burisma...
GOLDMAN: ... and the 2016?
VOLKER: ... and 2016.
GOLDMAN: OK. And you understood that that's what the Ukrainians interpreted references to investigations to be, related to Burisma and the 2016 election?
VOLKER: I -- I don't know specifically at that time if we had talked to that specifically, Burisma 2016. That was my assumption though that they would have been thinking that too.
GOLDMAN: Now Mr. Morrison, when did you have that conversation with Fiona Hill about Burisma and the parallel track involving Ambassador -- parallel process rather involving Ambassador Sondland and Rudy Giuliani. Do you recall?
MORRISON: We had a number of handoff discussions between 1 July and 15 July.
GOLDMAN: So in that period of time you were certainly aware of this effort to promote this Burisma investigation that Ambassador Sondland and Rudy Giuliani were going about or at least you had heard about it from Dr. Hill.
MORRISON: I had heard about it from Dr. Hill.
GOLDMAN: OK. I want to pull up another excerpt from a recent "Wall Street Journal" article that quotes an email from July 13th that Ambassador Sondland sent to you and he wrote to you quote, sole purpose is for Zelensky to give POTUS assurances of new sheriff in town. Corruption and -- corruption ending unbundling, moving forward and any hampered investigations will be allowed to move forward transparently.
And you responded, tracking. What did you understand Ambassador Sondland to mean when he wrote to you, any hampered investigations will be allowed to move forward transparently?
MORRISON: I don't know that I had any understanding. These are -- July 13 emails. I wasn't even in the seat yet but I knew that among the head of state meetings we were attempting to schedule was one between the president and President Zelensky.
GOLDMAN: Right, but it was before this that Dr. Hill had told you about Burisma and Ambassador Sondland in particular his desire for this parallel process to investigate Burisma, right?
GOLDMAN: So you had that association when you received his email asking you about investigations, correct?
MORRISON: Not necessarily.
GOLDMAN: Why not?
MORRISON: Because Ambassador -- among the discussions I had with Dr. Hill were about Ambassador Sondland. I think she might have coined it the 'Gordon problem.' And I decided to keep track of what Ambassador Sondland was doing. I didn't necessarily always act on things Gordon suggested he believed were important. So he wanted to get a meeting. I understood that the president wanted to do and had agreed to a meeting and so I was working -- I was tracking that we needed to schedule a meeting.
GOLDMAN: You were not endorsing the notion of President Zelensky sending a message about investigations. Is that your testimony?
MORRISON: That is my testimony.
GOLDMAN: Ambassador Volker, I want to jump ahead, after the aid was released, you went to the YES Conference, right in Ukraine and are you aware that Ambassador Taylor who testified based on quite detailed notes indicated that earlier a few days before that, Ambassador Sondland had told him that President Trump is a businessman and so before he writes a check he likes to see people pay up, something to that effect. You're aware of that?
VOLKER: I am familiar with that testimony.
GOLDMAN: Yes, and you're also familiar that Ambassador Taylor said that you said something very similar to him when you were in Ukraine for the YES Conference. Do you recall saying that to Ambassador Taylor?
VOLKER: Yes I do. I was repeating what Gordon Sondland had said to me to explain to Bill Taylor what that understanding was.
GOLDMAN: And in what context did Ambassador Sondland say that to you?
VOLKER: I think we were talking about the release of the hold on security assistance.
VOLKER: And he was saying that the president has -- he's already got a negative view of Ukraine. He sees a check on his desk that's going to the Ukrainians, not sure about them so he wants to hold on to it until he's assured.
GOLDMAN: Right. And the pay up before he writes the check is to get the investigations that he wants isn't that right?
VOLKER: That was not clear to me.
GOLDMAN: What did you think it meant?
VOLKER: I didn't think that there was a pay up. As we said the language was similar. I had hear from Gordon that he sees this check. He's not sure he wants it. He wants to make sure that he's got a deal with the Ukrainians. I didn't know specifically other than this the generic formulation.
GOLDMAN: Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
SCHIFF: Fifteen minutes to Ranking Member Nunes.
NUNES: Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Chair. Do you expect any more of these magical 15 minute motions that you come up with in the back?
SCHIFF: I don't how magical they are, they are prescribed by House Resolution 660 that we can have successive rounds of up to 45 minutes so this is part of the prescribed procedure under the House Resolution.
NUNES: Do you expect you're going to have more this evening, are you...
SCHIFF: I do not expect more will be necessary.
NUNES: Thank the gentleman. So for everyone watching, this is another example of how out of control this process has become where the democrats just magically give themselves additional minutes, which their right in the little special rule that they wrote they can do, but you'd at least think they'd have the decency to just tell us that you're going to have 15 minutes more and I would say that you can go four hours, we can go five hours. We'll give you all you want. You can keep digging if you want. The deeper the hole you dig, I think the more viewers will turn off because people just aren't buying the drug deal that you guys are trying to sell.
I would add that since we are getting into primetime, these are two witnesses that were your witnesses that you called into depose. The -- we still ask for witnesses that you did not depose including the whistleblower who you and others claim not to know which we still need to get to the bottom of that because it is the most important material fact witness to how this whole mess began in the first place.
Secondly we've asked for the DNC operatives that were working with Ukranians to dig up dirt for what you call or what the left calls conspiracy theories. They are right. They are conspiracy theories of dirt that they've dug up to spin their own conspiracy theories to attack the Trump campaign in the 2016 election. So I have no more questions for these witnesses. I know our members do. Mr. Castor, you have a little bit of cleanup here?
CASTOR: Thank you Mr. Nunes. I'll try to be quick and yield some time back so we don't have to use every last minute. Ambassador Volker, are you aware of a statement just last week from Foreign Minister Prystaiko about the -- he said that no one ever told the Ukranians, certainly not him that there was any linkage between the security assistance funds and investigations.
VOLKER: Yes, I saw that statement, yes.
CASTOR: And do you know the foreign minister?
VOLKER: I do.
CASTOR: And during times relevant, did you ever have any discussions with him about the investigations and links ...
VOLKER: Not about investigations with him. I believe I kept that discussion to being with Mr. (inaudible). And we did discuss with Foreign Minister Prystaiko and at the time his diplomatic adviser, security assistants after it was raised, after August 29th and I did discuss that with him
CASTOR: The primary person you worked with was Mr. Yermak?
Yes VOLKER: . CASTOR: And Mr. Yermak also had some meetings with Ambassador Sondland, did he ever give -- did Mr. Yermak ever give you any feedback from his interactions with Ambassador Sondland?
VOLKER: I can't say whether he did or didn't, we were in frequent contact and we were just talking about the issues as we went along.
CASTOR: The episode at Warsaw where apparently Ambassador Sondland pulled Mr. Yermak aside, did he give you -- did Mr. Yermak give you any feedback on that meeting?
VOLKER: I did not get anything specific after that. This was around September 1st or second. And it was at that time that I had been, I think texted by Mr. Yermak and was subsequently in touch with him and Prystaiko where I told them both, and also the defense minister, I told them all, don't worry, we know about this, we are trying to fix it. And I think I left the conversation at that.
CASTOR: And does the Ukrainian officials, the best of your knowledge, they trusted you?
VOLKER: Very much so. We had a close relationship.
CASTOR: And so when you made statements like that to them, do you think they believe you?
VOLKER: I think they believe me I think they would also have other conversations and they would hear things from other people, but I also think that I was sincere with them.
CASTOR: And they trusted Ambassador Taylor?
CASTOR: I would just like to demystify a little bit of the whole Mayor Giuliani role here, you met with him I believe one time?
VOLKER: That's correct.
CASTOR: And you had some exchange in text messages with him, correct?
VOLKER: Yes between, I guess it was the 10th of July and it -- around the 13th of august.
CASTOR: And during your deposition we sort of did an accounting of your communications with Mr. Giuliani, it wasn't that -- there weren't that many, we sort of accounted for them all and then Ambassador Sondland when he came in, he didn't have -- he didn't have any one-on- one meetings with Mayor Giuliani to your knowledge, is that correct?
VOLKER: I don't believe he did, but I don't know.
CASTOR: And in fact, I think Ambassador Sondland testified that there were a couple conference calls that he may have been on with you.
VOLKER: That is true. CASTOR: OK. Getting back to the regular channel that Ambassador Taylor coined, in his deposition testimony, did you ever have an opportunity to sort of close the loop with him about any concerns whatsoever? Or is it all just the specific incidents raised in those texts?
VOLKER: It's only those specific instances.
CASTOR: Do you believe Ambassador Taylor in your communications with him believe that Mr. Giuliani was in far greater communication with yourself, Secretary Perry and ambassador Sondland?
VOLKER: I don't know what he thought.
CASTOR: OK. I think that's all I have, Mr. Nunes.
NUNES: I have nothing more. Would the gentleman allow us to use our magic minutes to yield to one of our members who would like to go?
SCHIFF: The House rules don't permit that, Mr. Nunes.
NUNES: I yield back.
SCHIFF: We will now go to a five minute member questions. I recognize myself for five minutes. Ambassador Volker, I want to ask you something in our opening statement with respect to the July 10th meeting, you testified, I (ph) participated in the July 10 meeting with National Security Adviser Bolton and then-Ukrainian chairman of the National Security and Defense Council, (inaudible), and I remember the meeting was essentially over wham Ambassador Sondland made a generic come meant about investigations, I think all of us thought it was inappropriate, the conversation did not continue and the meeting concluded. Mr. Volker, we asked you about that meeting during your deposition, you told us nothing about this. I believe we ask you about why the meeting came to an end and why you had earlier indicated, I think to Ambassador Taylor, that it did not go well. And your answer was that Danilov was in the weeds on national security policy. Why did you not tell us about this?
VOLKER: Because that's what I remembered from the meeting, what I provided in my October 3rd statement. As I said, I learned other things including seeing the statements from Alex Vindman and from Fiona Hill, and that reminded me that at the very end of that meeting as was were counted in Colonel Vindman's statement, I did remember that, that yes, that's right, Gordon did bring that up and that was it.
SCHIFF: So at the time, we deposed, and I think we were there for six or seven or eight hours and we were asking you specifically about what you knew about these investigations, you didn't remember the Gordon Sondland and brought this up at the July 10th meeting with the Ukrainians an Ambassador Bolton called an end to the meeting. Ambassador Bolton describe that meeting as a drug deal that Sondland and Mulvaney cooked up, and you have no recollection of that? VOLKER: Right, so in terms of Gordon bringing it up, no I did not remember that at the time of my October 3rd testimony. I read the account by Alex (ph), and jogged my memory, that yes, that's right, that did happen. I do not still recall it being an abrupt end to the meeting. The meeting was essentially over, and we got up, we went out to the little circle in front of the White House, we took a photograph. It did not strike me as abrupt.
SCHIFF: Now, Mr. Volker, you said in your testimony today, I think all of us thought it was inappropriate. If as you say, Ambassador Sondland only mention the investigations in the Bolton meeting, and you don't recall hearing him being specific, although others have testified that he was in the boardroom (ph), why did you think it was inappropriate?
VOLKER: I thought -- I will put it this way, it was a bit of an eye roll moment where you have a meeting, you're trying to advance the substance of the bilateral relationship, you have the head of the National Security and Defense Council. It was a disappointing meeting because I don't think that you the Ukrainians got as much out of that in terms of their presentation as they could have. And then this comes up at the very end of the meeting. It's like, this is not what we should be talking about.
SCHIFF: But ambassador, you've said that you think it was appropriate to ask the Ukrainians to do investigations of 2016 and Burisma as long as Burisma didn't mean the Bidens, something that you should understand you should have seen otherwise. But nonetheless, if it was appropriate, why are you saying today that all of us thought it was inappropriate?
VOLKER: Because it was not the place or the time to bring up that. This was a meeting between the national security adviser and the chairman of the National Security and Defense Counsel, the first high level meeting we are having between Ukraine and the United States after President Zelensky's election.
SCHIFF: Is part of the reason it was inappropriate also that it was brought up in the context of trying to get the White House meeting?
VOLKER: Possibly, although I do not recall that being -- I know this is the councils question, I don't remember the exact context of when that came up, I viewed the meeting as essentially having ended.
SCHIFF: I think you've said in your updated testimony that you do think it's inappropriate and objectionable to seek to get a foreign government to investigate a political rival, am I correct?
VOLKER: To investigate the vice president of the United States or someone who is a U.S. official, I don't think we should be asking foreign governments to do that. I would also say that's true for a political rival.
SCHIFF: And you recognized when you got the call record, when you finally did see the call record, that's what took place in that call, correct?
VOLKER: That's correct.
SCHIFF: Mr. Morrison, Ambassador Volker thinks it's inappropriate to ask a foreign head of state of investigate a U.S. person, let alone a political rival. But you've said you had no concern with that. Do you think that's appropriate?
MORRISON: As a hypothetical matter, I do not.
SCHIFF: Well, I'm not talking about a hypothetical matter. Read the transcript. In that transcript, does the president not ask Zelensky to look into the Bidens?
MORRISON: Mr. Chairman, I can only tell you what I was thinking at the time. That is not what I understood the president to be doing.
SCHIFF: But nonetheless, this was the first and only time where you went from listening to a presidential call directly to the National Security lawyer, is it not?
MORRISON: Yes, that's correct.
SCHIFF: And I think you've said that your concern was not that it was unlawful but that it might leak. Is that right?
MORRISON: That is correct.
SCHIFF: Now, the -- the problem with the leaking is that -- what would be leaking is a president asking a foreign head of state to investigate Mr. Biden, isn't that the problem?
MORRISON: Well, I -- I believe I stated I had sort of three concerns about what the impact of the call leaking might be.
SCHIFF: Well, if it was a perfect call, would you have had a concern of it leaking?
MORRISON: No -- well, no, I -- I would still have a concern about it leaking.
SCHIFF: OK. And would you have thought it was appropriate if President Trump had asked Zelensky to investigate John Kasich, or to investigate Nancy Pelosi, or to Ambassador Volker? Would that be appropriate?
MORRISON: In -- in those hypothetical cases, no. It's not appropriate.
SCHIFF: But you're not sure about Joe Biden?
MORRISON: Sir, again, I can only speak to what I understood at the time and why I acted the way I did at the time.
SCHIFF: Finally, my colleagues asked about, well, doesn't aid get held up for all kinds of reasons. Ambassador Volker, have you ever seen military aid held up because a president wanted his rival investigated? VOLKER: No, I have not seen that.
SCHIFF: Have you ever seen that, Mr. Williams -- Mr. Morrison? I'm sorry.
MORRISON: No, chairman.
SCHIFF: I yield to the ranking member.
NUNES: So you took two additional minutes. Are you giving our side seven minutes?
SCHIFF: Of course.
NUNES: I recognize Mr. Turner.
TURNER: Thank you.
Ambassador Volker, Mr. Morrison, good to see you again. I appreciate your service to your country and your service in government. Our country is safer today because of the work of -- of both of you men.
I want you to know that during all the testimony that we've had, no one has ever alleged that either of you have done anything inappropriate or improper. And everyone has spoken of both of you as having a high level of professionalism and a high degree of ethical standards.
Ambassador Volker, I appreciated in your opening statement your comments of your work to focus on Russia as an invasion of Ukraine and an occupation, and your work on legal defensive arms. That would include the Javelins, would it not, Ambassador Volker?
VOLKER: Yes, that's right.
TURNER: And that made a big difference with Ukraine, did it not?
VOLKER: A very big difference.
TURNER: Mr. Morrison, would you speak to -- tell us about your military service.
MORRISON: Mr. Turner, I'm a U.S. Naval Reserve officer. I'm an intelligence officer.
TURNER: And where did you go to law school?
MORRISON: George Washington University.
TURNER: Now, gentlemen, there's been a lot of talk about a lot of people. And we're going to have to pick up the pace here because these are like short periods of time that we have now for this portions of questions.
A lot of people talking about their perceptions, their beliefs, their feelings even, what they heard, and their understandings and their thoughts. Ambassador Taylor, Mr. Kent, Ambassador Yovanovitch, and Lieutenant Colonel Vindman all had conversations with each other and with other people and all had a whole bunch of hearsay.
But I can assure you, this boils down to just one thing. This is an impeachment inquiry concerning the president of the United States. So the only thing that matters besides all these people talking to each other, and all their feelings and all of their -- their thoughts and understandings, it really only comes down to what did the president of the United States intend, and what did he say, and what did the Ukrainians understand or hear.
Ambassador Volker, you're one of the first people that we've had in these open public testimony that's had conversations with both. So I get to ask you, you had a meeting with the president of the United States and you believe that the policy issues that he raise concerning Ukraine were valid, correct?
TURNER: Did the president of the United States ever say to you that he was not going to allow aid from the United States to go to the Ukraine unless there were investigations into Burisma, the Bidens, or the 2016 elections?
VOLKER: No, he did not.
TURNER: Did the Ukrainians ever tell you that they understood that they would not get a meeting with the president of the United States, a phone call with the president of the United States, military aid or foreign aid from the United States unless they undertook investigations of Burisma, the Bidens, or the 2016 elections?
VOLKER: No, they did not.
TURNER: You know, pretty much, Ambassador Volker, you just like took apart their entire case. I mean, if the president of the United States does not believe (ph) or intended and the Ukrainians don't understand it, and you're the only one who actually stands in between them.
Now, I got to (ph) ask you, Ambassador Volker, you know, the three amigo thing or whatever that -- that they are -- they're trying to disparage you with, you're not part of an irregular channel, right, Ambassador Volker? Aren't you the official channel?
VOLKER: That is correct.
TURNER: Explain that. Explain how you're the official channel and not an irregular channel.
VOLKER: So I was appointed by the secretary of State, Secretary Tillerson, in July of 2017 to be the U.S. special representative for Ukraine negotiations. That's a role that's different from assistant secretary of State or different from ambassador in Ukraine.
That role is particularly focused on the diplomatic activities surrounding the efforts to reverse Russia's invasion and occupation of -- of Ukraine. It is Minsk agreement implementation. It is the Normandy process with France and Germany. It is support from NATO. It is support for sanctions from the European Union. It's the OSCE and the Monitoring Missions. It is the efforts of individuals allies like Poland, like the U.K., like Canada that are supporting Ukraine.
It is work at a senior level in the interagency with...
VOLKER: ... the secretary of Defense...
TURNER: Great -- great description. I'm going to cut you off there.
Ambassador Volker, you were also one of the few people who as actually spoken to Giuliani, the so-called irregular channel. Again, all these other people had feelings and understandings about what Giuliani was doing.
Did Giuliani ever tell you that United States aid or a meeting with the president of the United States would not occur for the Ukrainians until they agreed to a -- an investigation of Burisma, the Bidens, or the 2016 election?
VOLKER: Yes, everything I heard from Giuliani, I took to be his opinion...
TURNER: Excellent. So -- so I would assume then that the Ukrainians never told you that -- that Giuliani had told them that in order to get a meeting with the president, a phone call with the president, military aid or -- or foreign aid from the United States that they would have to do these investigations?
TURNER: Great. OK.
Mr. Morrison, you testified that you spoke to Ambassador Sondland and he told you of a conversation that he had with the president of the United States. On page 128 of his testimony, he relates the content of a conversation that he had with the president and he was asked about it. It's the only one he relates.
And he said in your -- and he said I -- he was asked whether or not there was a quid pro quo. He said, 'I didn't frame the question,' basically to the president, 'that way as a link. I did not frame the question that way, I asked the open-ended question what do you want?'
This is Mr. Sondland in his testimony asking this question to the president of the United States, and this is what he reports of (ph) the president of the United States. He said, 'I want nothing. I don't want to give them anything, I don't want anything from them. I want Zelensky to do the right thing.'
That's what he -- and he kept repeating, no quid pro quo over, and over again. Mr. Morrison, do you have any reason to believe that Mr. Sondland is not telling the truth as to (ph) the content of his conversation with the president of the United States?
MORRISON: No, Congressman.
TURNER: Now do either of you have any information or evidence that anyone who has testified before this Committee either in the secret dungeon testimonies that have been released, or in these open testimonies has perjured themselves or has lied to this Committee?
VOLKER: I have no reason to think that.
TURNER: Mr. Morrison?
MORRISON: No, sir.
TURNER: Mr. Morrison, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman reported to you, is that correct?
MORRISON: He did, sir.
TURNER: Now you -- you have a legal background. He said that he listened to the phone call -- a phone call which you said you'd saw nothing that had occurred illegally. And he said that he believed the president of the United States demanded to President Zelensky that these investigations move forward.
Do you believe -- because he only was telling us his opinion, do you believe in your opinion that the president of the United States demanded that President Zelensky undertake these investigations?
MORRISON: No, sir.
TURNER: To both of you, Ukraine is an aspirant to the E.U. Ambassador Sondland is the Ambassador to the E.U., is the Ukraine in the Ambassador's portfolio? Ambassador Volker?
VOLKER: Yes, also because the E.U. sanctions are incredibly important.
TURNER: Mr. Morrison?
MORRISON: I agree, sir.
TURNER: I yield back.
SCHIFF: Mr. Himes.
HIMES: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you gentlemen for your testimony today. President Trump has described his July 25 phone call with President Zelensky as, "perfect." And I think he's done that on Twitter not once, not twice -- but by my count 11 times.
It feels to me, like this characterization of "perfect," is of a piece (ph) with the idea that we hear in defense of the president's request to the Ukrainians. That that's just normal course of business pursuing anti-corruption. And I've been concerned from the start that this is actually not about going after corruption, it is in fact about aiming corruption at the vice president.
Mr. Morrison, you listened in on the call in the White House Situation Room. Did you hear the president mention the company CrowdStrike and the server?
MORRISON: I believe so, yes sir.
HIMES: Did you hear President Trump mention the Bidens?
MORRISON: Yes sir.
HIMES: Did you hear President Trump in the length of that phone call use the word "corruption?"
MORRISON: Sir, I don't believe he did.
HIMES: Was the request that Ukraine investigate CrowdStrike and the Bidens consistent with what you understood to be official U.S. policy towards combating corruption in Ukraine?
MORRISON: Sir, it was the first I heard of much of this.
HIMES: In fact, in your deposition you testified that you wanted to stay away from what you described as this, "bucket of investigations," why did you want to stay away from those issues?
MORRISON: That was what I was advised by Dr. Hill.
HIMES: You also testified that the president's call was not, and I'm quoting you here, "the full throated endorsement of the Ukraine reform agenda that I was hoping to hear." What did you mean by that?
MORRISON: Sir, what we -- myself, Colonel Vindman, others -- what we prepared in the package we provided the president was a background on President Zelensky, background on his positions about reforming Ukraine, reforming its institutions, rooting out corruption.
We were hoping -- we recommended the president very clearly support what President Zelensky had run on in his own election, and what his Servant of the People party had run on in its election where it received a majority mandate.
HIMES: That didn't come up in the call, did it?
MORRISON: No, sir.
HIMES: Do -- are you aware of any other discussion in which the president actually raised those things with the -- with the new Ukrainian president?
MORRISON: Corruption reform?
MORRISON: Sir, it's been some time since I refreshed myself on the discussion that took place at the U.N. General Assembly, so I hesitate to say did he ever raise it. But he did not raise it at the time of the 25 July phone call.
HIMES: OK. Switching gears a little bit, you strike me as a process guy. And I -- it's nagging at me because you characterized the -- Ambassador Sondland's linking in whatever way it happened, of aid to an investigation as the Gordon (ph) problem. You said it caused you to roll your eyes. Ambassador Volker said it was everybody in the July 10 meeting thought it was inappropriate. John Bolton characterizes this as the drug deal.
So it seems like everybody in the room understands that there's a huge problem here. My understanding is that it would be normal course of business when you have an ambassador out there going rogue as apparently there was consensus Ambassador Sondland was doing, that either the National Security Adviser John Bolton, or the Secretary of State might reign them in. Why didn't that happen?
MORRISON: Sir, I can't speak to that but I would generally agree that ambassadors work for the secretary of state and the president.
HIMES: Do you have -- you don't have any idea -- you worked for him, you don't have any idea why John Bolton would characterize what the ambassador was doing as a "drug deal," but not reign him in?
MORRISON: Ambassadors don't work for the National Security Adviser, sir.
HIMES: No, but John Bolton's National Security Adviser, he presumably spends time with the secretary of state. I'm just puzzled that everybody in the room is characterizing this as the Gordon problem, or inappropriate, or a drug deal -- and the secretary of state does nothing.
MORRISON: Sir, I'm sorry was there a question?
HIMES: Well yeah, I just -- do you have any -- you don't have any insight in to that?
MORRISON: No, sir.
HIMES: Ambassador Volker, you testified that you were troubled once you read the record of the president's July 25 call. You testified, "that asking the president of Ukraine to work together with the attorney general to look in to this, you can see as it has happened this becomes explosive in our domestic politics."
And in your new testimony you call this "unacceptable." What specifically in that call to the Ukraine president do you find "unacceptable," or troubling?
VOLKER: It is the reference to Vice President Biden.
HIMES: Thank you, I yield back the balance of my time.
SCHIFF: Mr. Conaway.
CONAWAY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This morning we heard much about July 25 call in which the president asked for a favor, at least in Lieutenant Colonel Vindman's mind that was equivalent to a demand, an order, a requirement.
And yet, in the last part of the conversation between the two heads of state, President Trump talks about a prosecutor that he's particularly in favor of and would like to see stay there. And Zelensky though, says Mr. President no since we've won the absolute majority in our parliament, the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate.
Does that -- to either one of you, does that sound like a head of state whose been cowed or bullied, and is under the thumb of the president of the United States?
VOLKER: Not at all.
MORRISON: No, sir.
CONAWAY: All right. The impact of those -- the pause that occurred, the 55 day pause in the lethal (ph) assistance -- or the security assistance. None of us have really understood exactly what happened during that timeframe. No one knew about it other than internal U.S. folks until late August. And so the Russians would not necessarily have known about. But the potential impact that I agree with on Russia's interpretation of our support for Ukraine wasn't known until those last 14 days.
But the impact on the lethal aid that they already had, should Russia had tried to move the line of -- of contact further west with their tanks would -- would lethal assistance that we'd already given been available to them to push back on that?
VOLKER: Yes, it would.
CONAWAY: Mr. Morrison, comments?
MORRISON: Sir, I agree with that but I would also add the -- the hold, as I understood it, applied to Ukraine's security assistance, (inaudible) UASI, and FMF. It did not apply to FMS and javelins were provided under FMS.
CONAWAY: OK. So the most lethal weapon that President Trump provided to the Ukrainians that President Obama and his public -- his national policy, which he set, was available to them should the Russians have pushed their tanks west, the javelins?
MORRISON: Yes, sir. CONAWAY: Throughout that process, even with the pause, even with all the stuff that was going on?
MORRISON: Yes, sir.
CONAWAY: OK. Associated Press is reporting that (inaudible) and Ambassador Volker, you mentioned it earlier that the Russians in an act of war took two gunships and a tug and 24 sailors last November and yet the Russians have now given the 24 sailors back in September and the Associated Press is reporting today that the -- they're giving the -- they're giving the gun boats and the tug back.
Does that sound like a -- Ukraine is inept (ph) at being able to negotiate with the Russians because they're wounded in some way by our actions?
VOLKER: No. I would -- I would not say that the Ukrainians are inept.
CONAWAY: All right. Thank you, sir. Mr. Chairman, I would like as a personal request, request that you and or one of your lawyer members on the committee that are lawyers to put into the record the federal statute that provides for the absolute immunity or right to immunity that you've exerted over and over and over.
I don't think it's there but if it in fact federal statute and or a brief (ph) that you can site, put that into the record so that we'll know that. And before you get mad and accuse me of wanting to out the whistleblower, you get upset every time somebody accuses you personally of knowing who the whistleblower is.
I get upset every time you anonymity -- excuse me -- anonymity -- every time you accuse me of simply -- because I want to know the whistleblower and we want to know what's going on that we want to out that interviewer (ph).
That's unfair for you to make that accusation and I get just as mad. This is about leveling the playing field between our two teams. Your team knows the whistleblower. They have intimate knowledge of who he or she is.
The IGIC -- ICIG even mentioned industry (ph) biases. Your team full understands that. Our team should fully understand that. It's simply leveling the playing field. And I know that you've overrun my -- my request for a close door subpoena, I understand that. But I do think that it's important that you put in the record the basis on which you continue to assert this absolute right to anonymity.
Excuse me I spoke -- misspoke earlier -- anonymity, the whistleblower. Also, the Speaker, on -- of September the 23rd issued a dear colleague (ph). That's a document that we all use to talk to each other. And it went to 434 other members of Congress.
It was intended to be the truth. It was intended to be straight forward. She says in that dear colleague (ph) that the whistleblower has -- by law is required to testify to the House's and the Senate intelligence committees. Now you're defying the Speaker in this regard. I understand that's between you and her. But if she's correct, then you're defying the -- defying the law.
If on the other hand she mislead us into thinking something that was not true, then I think you need to tell the Speaker that she needs to retract that Dear Colleague letter, at least set the record straight as is the Speaker -- is the whistleblower required by law, as the Speaker said, to testify to us or not. And -- and what is his absolute right to anonymity that -- that you question. With that, I yield back.
SCHIFF: Time of the gentleman has expired. I'd be happy to enter into the record the whistleblower's statute that allows the whistleblower to remain anonymous as well as Ranking Member Nunes' prior comments talking about the importance of anonymity for whistleblowers. And with that I recognize Ms. Sewell.
SEWELL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ambassador Volker, it seems by early July it's become pretty clear that Mr. Giuliani has become a major problem for the U.S. Ukraine relations. You previously testified that on July 2nd you met with the Ukrainian president and his aid in -- in Toronto, is that right?
VOLKER: I -- I had a bilateral meeting between the U.S. and the Ukrainian delegations and then a pull aside meeting with the president and his chief of staff.
SEWELL: There you discussed Mr. Giuliani's, quote, negative view, quote of Ukraine based on a conspiracy theory about the 2016 election, right.
VOLKER: I -- I conveyed that he was repeating a negative narrative about Ukraine based on accusations of the then Prosecutor General Lutsenko.
SEWELL: Are you saying that you didn't think that they were negative views?
VOLKER: No, no. That they were negative views.
SEWELL: OK. But that wasn't your -- that wasn't your description?
VOLKER: I'm -- I'm sorry, I lost the question. If you could repeat.
SEWELL: Well, I was trying to get at who -- who said the negative views that (inaudible).
VOLKER: So the prosecutor general of Ukraine was putting out this series of conspiracy theories that I believe were self serving and inaccurate. Mr. Giuliani had repeated these to me. So I believe that he was at least affected by those and believed those and was concerned about those ...
SEWELL: And believed that they were negative.
VOLKER: Believed that they were negative and was conveying them to the president.
SEWELL: So was it problematic that he believed that they were negative views? Was it true?
VOLKER: Yes. It -- the whole thing was problematic.
SEWELL: Ambassador Taylor testified that on July 2nd you told Ukrainians that they needed to quote cooperate on investigations, end quote. You're now saying that you don't recall that -- saying those words. Is that correct?
VOLKER: I don't believe I said the words cooperate on investigations.
SEWELL: Did you say investigations?
VOLKER: I believe I did, yes.
SEWELL: And what did you mean by investigations.
VOLKER: I meant Burisma in 2016 was in my mind but I wanted to keep it general and that Ukraine in being convincing to Giuliani and hopefully also the president that they were serious about fighting corruption, would engage in whatever investigations necessary to clean up the country.
SEWELL: Now, moving to July 10th. Ambassador Volker sent you a text message -- you sent a text message to Giuliani and I think it's on the -- it's on the screen now. And you said, Mr. Mayor, could we meet for coffee or lunch in the next week or so. I'd like to update you on my conversation about Ukraine.
I'd like -- I think we have an opportunity to get what you need. Did you say that? Is that an accurate ...
VOLKER: That is an accurate text message.
SEWELL: And what did you mean by what you need?
VOLKER: Contact with the actual government of Ukraine, the people who are now representing President Zelensky and his team.
SEWELL: Later that day, you and Ambassador Sondland met with Ukraine officials at the White House. We heard from several witnesses that Ambassador Sondland told the Ukrainians that they needed to cooperate with a quote, unquote investigations in order to get the Oval Office meeting scheduled on the books. Were these investigations a part of the official U.S. policy toward Ukraine?
VOLKER: U.S. policy toward Ukraine was about fighting corruption and Ukraine going after that ...
SEWELL: But was it specifically about these kinds of investigation. You said the investigation was Burisma ...
VOLKER: No, wait.
VOLKER: In order to fight corruption, you need to conduct investigations, you need to see what Ukrainian citizens had been up to and doing ...
SEWELL: But was that the purpose of that or was it - or was it because the President know - you knew that - well, that the President wanted those investigations to be done as a condition of - for them to actually have a meeting with the - with the - in the White - in the White House.
VOLKER: Well, as - first off, we have to be clear what we're talking about in terms of investigations. We're not talking about Vice President Biden, we're not talking about some of the ...
SEWELL: But Burisma doesn't - is not - has nothing to do with - you're saying that ...
VOLKER: I'm saying that whether Ukrainians within the company of Burisma had acted in a corrupt way or sought to buy influence, that's a legitimate thing for Ukraine to investigate. And if Ukraine can make a statement about their intentions on fighting corruption domestically, that is helpful in order to convince President Trump ultimately that this ...
SEWELL: With all due respect, Ambassador Volker, we heard from two witnesses this morning that those investigations were not official U.S. policy. Ambassador Volker, I don't know if you understand what you were getting yourself into but sitting here today, I trust you understand that pressuring Ukraine to involve itself in U.S. domestic policy is just simply wrong. I yield back the balance of my time.
SCHIFF: Mr. Turner?
TURNER: I yield my time to Jim Jordan.
JORDAN: I - I thank the gentlemen. Ambassador Volker, you - you were the Special Representative to Ukraine, is that right?
VOLKER: That is correct.
JORDAN: And prior to that in your diplomatic service, you worked at the NSC, you were Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, you were Ambassador to NATO - Senate confirmed Ambassador to NATO in your distinguished diplomatic career. So it may not bother you when you're referred to as the irregular channel but it bothers Representative Turner and it bothers me.
You were the Special Envoy to Ukraine and in that role, you said in your opening statement, you were the administration's most outspoken public figure highlighting Russia's invasion and occupation of Ukraine and calling out Russia's responsibility in the war. Is that right?
VOLKER: That is correct. JORDAN: And in that capacity, you strongly advocated for lifting the ban on sale of lethal defensive arms to Ukraine. Is that right?
VOLKER: That is correct.
JORDAN: And President Trump did it, didn't he?
VOLKER: That is correct.
JORDAN: But in spite of that, President Trump was still skeptical of giving hard earned tax dollars to Ukraine, right?
JORDAN: You said that in your testimony, as well, and the reason he's skeptical is, let's be honest, the guy doesn't like foreign aid. Right?
VOLKER: That's one reason and then Ukraine's history of corruption is another.
JORDAN: One of the third most corrupt countries on the planet and Europe isn't doing enough and oh, by the way, in the President's mind, he did think Ukraine was trying to influence the 2016 election because things happened. The Democrats want to deny it but when the Ambassador from Ukraine here to the United States writes an op-ed on August 4th, 2016 criticizing then candidate Trump, that's certainly trying to influence the election.
When Minister Avakov, a - a key minister in their government says all kinds of negative things about candidate Trump, that certainly looks like it's trying to influence the election. And when Mr. Leshchenko states in the Financial Times during the campaign the majority of the Ukrainian political figures want Hillary Clinton to win, that probably sticks in a candidate's mind.
I know we all run campaigns and when people say bad things about us in the course of the campaign, we don't necessarily - necessarily think great things about them. But you were convinced Zelensky was the real deal, right?
VOLKER: That is correct.
JORDAN: Cause you spent a lot of time with the guy and guess what? When aid was frozen, you knew if you could get these two guys together, it'd work out. When aid was frozen, what did you say? You told the Ukrainians don't worry about it. Well you didn't say it, you said don't be alarmed, right?
VOLKER: That is correct.
JORDAN: And guess what happened? By the time aid's - when aid's frozen and when it's released, all kinds of interactions between President Zelensky and senior U.S. officials - right? Starts with the call - starts with the call with President Trump and President Zelensky.
Next day, you meet with President Zelensky in Ukraine. Then we have Ambassador Bolton meeting with him, then we have Vice President Pence meeting with him, then we have U.S. senators Johnson and Murphy meeting with him, and guess what? In none of those meetings, not a single one did security assistance dollars in exchange for an investigation, not once did they come up, did that - did that conversation come up. Is that right?
VOLKER: That is correct.
JORDAN: Not once, no discussion of aid for investigations and, as you testified, you never believed aid for investigations was ever being talked about either, in any of these conversations.
VOLKER: That is correct.
JORDAN: But what happened in those meetings? They all became convinced of the same thing you knew, they all saw the same darn thing, this guy was the real deal, he is a legitimate reformer and they all came back - they all came back and told the President, hey Mr. President, this guy's real, go ahead and release the dollars.
Oh, by the way, in that same timeframe, you know what else happened? Their Parliament - their newly elected Parliament, as Mr. Morrison testified to, stayed up all night to pass the reform measures, to get rid of the prosecutor, to put in the supreme high anti-corruption court, to get rid of this - this - this ability, this - that - that - that no one in their Congress, in their Parliament could ever be hit with a crime? I mean, that's unbelievable.
All that happens and they come back and tell President Trump, hey guess what, time to release the dollars, and he did it, right?
VOLKER: The dollars were released.
JORDAN: Yeah, you did your job - you did your job and you've got to put up with all of this because the Democrats are out to get this President. You did your job just the way Mr. Turner described you did your job over all of these years - all these years and the Democrats put you through this.
You have served our country well, the - the - the kind of - the kind of diplomat we want serving and here's - here's the - here's the saddest - one of the saddest things about all of this, that - what the Democrats are putting us through, you two guys who are here telling it straight, you've both decided you're going to step out of government because of what these guys are doing. And that - that's the sad thing.
People like Ambassador Volker and Tim Morrison, who have served our country so well, are now stepping out of our government because of what these guys are doing. And that's why Mr. Turner got so fired up a few minutes ago, why I'm so fired up too, cause we appreciate - we appreciate what you guys did. I yield back.
SCHIFF: Mr. Carson? CARSON: Thank you, Chairman Schiff. Ambassador Volker, I want to focus on the press statement that President Trump and Rudy Giuliani wanted Ukraine to make, announce - announcing investigations to benefit President Trump.
On August 9th, sir, Ambassador Sondland and you had this exchange. Ambassador Sondland says "Morrison, ready to get dates as soon as your man confirms." You reply "excellent, how did you sway him?" and Ambassador Sondland says "not sure I did, I think POTUS really wants deliverable."
Deliverable here was a public announcement that Ukraine was going to conduct investigations into Burisma and alleged 2016 election interference by Ukraine. Is that correct, sir?
VOLKER: Thank you. I understood the deliverable to be the statement that we had been talking about.
CARSON: On August 13th, UN Ambassador Sondland discussed a draft statement from Ukraine with Mr. Giuliani. Sir, why did you discuss the draft statement with Mr. Giuliani?
VOLKER: Because the idea of the statement had come up from Mr. Yermak's meeting with Mr. Giuliani. Remember that Mr. Yermak asked me to connect him with Mr. Giuliani. I did, they had a meeting and then they both called me afterwards, Mr. Giuliani said that he thought Ukraine should make a statement about fighting corruption, Mr. Yermak said and we will say also specifically Burisma and 2016, Mr. Yermak provided me a draft statement and I wanted to be assured that this statement would actually -