House Approves Resolution Of Donald Trump's Political Trial Investigation

It marks the first significant vote since President Trump's investigation into Ukraine began last month

The House of Representatives passed a resolution that sets the framework for the next phase of the political trial investigation, the first significant vote since the investigation focused on President Trump's actions regarding Ukraine began last month.

The resolution was passed in a vote of 232-196, with all Democrats, except two, supporting the measure and all opposing Republicans. The independent in the House, representative Justin Amash of Michigan, voted in favor of the resolution.

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The resolution passed Thursday morning establishes a roadmap for the investigation and will make the investigation more public, although there is no time frame for when that will occur. The resolution authorizes the House Intelligence Committee to publish transcripts of past interviews and gives Republicans more power, including the right to call witnesses, although those requests are subject to the approval of Democrats.

"The House is a separate and equitable branch of government," said Democratic President Hakeem Jeffries (D., NY). "We have the constitutional responsibility to serve as a control and balance in an out of control executive branch."

The resolution allows Trump and his lawyer to attend all hearings, interrogate witnesses and make final presentations, once the investigation is transferred to the Judiciary Committee. Republicans and the White House have criticized the resolution because it does not grant the president these rights while the investigation is in charge of the Intelligence Committee, as it is now. Democrats argue that this is because the investigation is still in its information gathering stage.

"This will be seen as another partisan exercise, one that most have been pressing since the first days of the 116th Congress," said Oklahoma representative Tom Cole, the chief Republican on the Rules Committee.

In private statements made so far, Republicans and Democrats in all three jurisdiction committees have had the same time to question witnesses, but legislators who are not in the panels have been excluded.

In the latest witness testimony, Tim Morrison, who had been overseeing the National Security Council's policy on Europe and Russia from July through Wednesday, faced questions from the committees on Thursday.

According to the testimony of previous witnesses, Morrison allegedly expressed concern over Trump's phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart and was aware of Trump's desire to withhold aid to Ukraine. That call, in which Trump sought Kyiv investigations into the 2016 elections and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, is a centerpiece of the political trial investigation.

Morrison was one of the White House officials who heard Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. A senior administration official said Morrison's departure from his post was not a response to the political trial investigation and that he had been considering it since John Bolton's departure as a national security adviser.

Morrison is testifying in accordance with a subpoena, which an official working on the political trial investigation said the House Intelligence Committee issued after the White House ordered him not to submit his statement.

His statement comes immediately after that of Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an NSC staff member who told House of Representatives investigators Tuesday that Trump's request that Ukrainians investigate Biden and other matters could have been interpreted as a "supporter". to play."

On Wednesday, Trump on Twitter dismissed Colonel Vindman's testimony as the words of a "Never Trumper" who "could not find NO Quid Pro Quo in the Transcript of the phone call."

Colonel Vindman's lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Morrison, who replaced Fiona Hill in July, was cited more than a dozen times in the recent testimony of the interim ambassador to Ukraine, Bill Taylor. Taylor alleges that in a July 28 phone call, Morrison said the call between Trump and Zelensky "could have been better," and mentioned that Trump had suggested that Zelensky meet with Attorney General William Barr and his personal lawyer, Rudy. Giuliani

The role of Biden's son, Hunter, in the energy company Burisma Holdings Ltd., at a time when his father, the vice president of President Obama, was pressing anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine, has been subject to intense scrutiny after the accusations without Trump's support that the Democrat and favorite candidate for president tried to unduly help his son's business interests in Ukraine. Ukrainian officials have not presented evidence of irregularities by Biden, and both deny having done anything wrong.

Trump, in the July 25 call, asked Zelensky to "investigate" Biden and his son and said he would order Barr and Giuliani to contact Zelensky to help him in a possible investigation, according to an approximate transcript published by the White House.

Taylor also told the House of Representatives investigators that when he asked about the delay in military aid to Ukraine, Morrison informed him in a phone call on August 22 that Trump "does not want to provide any assistance." Morrison also allegedly told Taylor in a phone call in early September that the US ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, had told Andriy Yermak, an assistant to Zelensky, "that the security assistance money it wouldn't come until President Zelensky promised to persecute him. " Burisma's investigation. "

"I was alarmed by what Morrison told me about the Sondland-Yermak conversation," Taylor said in his opening statement. "This was the first time I heard that security assistance, not just the White House meeting, was conditioned on investigations."

Barbara Van Gelder, a lawyer for Morrison, declined to comment on previous testimony or provide information on what Morrison plans to tell the investigators of the House. Democrats will probably ask Morrison to substantiate the comments provided by Taylor and others that there was a link between security assistance and Trump's desire for Ukraine to undertake investigations.

Morrison is no stranger to Capitol Hill. Before joining the National Security Council, he served as policy director in the Chamber's Armed Services Committee. He also served as chief of staff of the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces.

A conservative official was taken to serve in the White House by Bolton in July 2018 in the role of chief director of weapons of mass destruction and biodefense, a position he held until he succeeded Hill.

Earlier this month, Hill told House committees that she and other White House officials were so alarmed by the administration's efforts to pressure Ukraine to open certain investigations that expressed concerns with a House lawyer. Blanca, according to people familiar with the matter. Hill also described to lawmakers Giuliani's efforts to pressure Ukraine to organize investigations into the Bidens, efforts that eluded typical government procedures for foreign policy, as well as the possible electoral interference of 2016, the people said.

THE WITNESSES OF UKRAINE
October 3: Kurt Volker, former US special representative For the Ukrainian negotiations, he testifies and delivers text messages with other State Department officials that show officials trying to use a possible meeting between Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart as a lever to pressure Kiev to investigate Joe Biden.

October 11: Marie Yovanovitch, a former US ambassador to Ukraine, testifies that Trump sought to remove her for more than a year and that her allies, including Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, attacked her in a "concerted campaign."

October 14: Fiona Hill, former Russian senior adviser to President Trump, testifies that she and other White House officials were so alarmed by the administration's efforts to pressure Ukraine to open certain investigations that raised objections with a lawyer for the White House.

October 15: George Kent, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, testifies that he had worried that he had been excluded from Ukrainian diplomacy and that he expressed concern in 2015 about Joe Biden's son on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

October 16: Michael McKinley, former assistant principal to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, testifies that he left office because of frustration with Pompeo regarding Yovanovitch's treatment.

October 17: Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, criticizes President Trump for his efforts to recruit Ukraine in the investigation of a political rival and says that he and other US officials were "disappointed" by the directive of the President of working with Giuliani in Ukraine matters. ( Statement )

October 22: William Taylor, head of business at the United States Embassy in Kiev, testifies that President Trump made nearly $ 400 million in aid to the Ukrainian contingent in the Ukrainian president who investigates two issues related to US policy. ( Statement )

October 23: Laura Cooper, a Department of Defense official who oversees Ukraine, is the first Pentagon official to testify before investigators.

October 26: Philip Reeker, interim assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs, says senior officials stymied a show of solidarity for Yovanovitch.

October 29: Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director of European affairs at the National Security Council, says he is concerned about Trump's July 25 call to Ukraine, especially the request to investigate the Bidens. ( Statement )

October 30: Catherine Croft, who served in the state as a special adviser to Ukraine, says Trump repeatedly described Ukraine as corrupt in deciding whether to provide the country with javelin missile systems. (Statement) Christopher Anderson, who was a special advisor to Volker, the former US envoy for the Ukrainian negotiations, says Bolton warned US diplomats in June that Rudy Giuliani could pose an obstacle to improving relations with Ukraine. ( Statement )

October 31: Tim Morrison, director of the National Security Council of Russia and Europe.

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