House impeachment inquiry requests White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney testify

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Democrats have released excerpts from transcripts of their closed door depositions with European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland and Former Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker.

The transcripts of two State Department officials-one former and one current-were released by House Democrats on November 5, a day after they first released transcripts gathered during the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

In Volker's testimony, he said there was no "linkage" between a White House meeting and Ukrainian investigations.

On Sept. 22, just as reports emerged that the whistleblower complaint was related to Ukraine, Giuliani texted Volker and said, "all I need is for you to tell the truth".

That "feed" led directly to Trump.

Sondland agreed with investigators that a Trump-Zelensky meet would be conditioned on commitment to investigations into the Bidens and 2016 election interference. Some lawmakers said it appeared Sondland committed perjury.

Asked by Foreign Affairs Republican Rep.

Now Sondland's version appears more in line with other witnesses who have said there was a quid pro quo.

The testimony shows just how tired US diplomats were of Giuliani - and how they treated him like something of a pariah.

The original 10-hour October 17 deposition by Sondland, a donor to President Trump, came under intense scrutiny in recent weeks as other impeachment witnesses offered testimony that seemed to conflict with what Sondland said under oath last month.

Mr Trump asked for the "favour" immediately after speaking about how much the U.S. does for Ukraine. But he notably did not endorse Giuliani's involvement.

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The pressure campaign evolved over time, Sondland said, questioning its legality. Again, I'm not a lawyer. "I think that's really between the president and his, you know, the electorate, as to whether the voters think that that's proper or not".

So concerned was Volker about Giuliani having Trump's attention about Ukraine that he once pulled aside Zeleskiy and a top aide during a reception to explain what he once called "the Giuliani factor".

While Rudy Giuliani's role in pressing various Ukrainian officials for political dirt is well known by now, the text message log makes clear that US and Ukrainian diplomats recognized as much in the moment.

Sondland's addendum doesn't challenge Taylor's claim. It was only months after those efforts began that Sondland realized there was a problem. "We will work on official request".

"They never shared those misgivings with me, then or later". "I was very concerned". "Was largely the fact that we don't want our people, like Vice-President Biden and his son, [contributing] to the corruption already in the Ukraine".

And six White House officials scheduled to give depositions on Monday and Tuesday have not shown up.

But when news of Rudy's attempts to dig up political dirt on Trump's behalf collided with the revelation that he was also acting as an unofficial emissary of sorts to the Ukrainian government, the former New York Mayor sought to distance himself from the mess.

"His attitude towards Ukraine was just general and negative", Volker said. At that point, Bolton cut the meeting short.

Volker testified that Trump said of the Ukrainians: "They are all corrupt, they are all bad people". My question is not whether you reached out to Mr. Giuliani.

Sondland deflected blame for the situation to his colleagues.

"I have news for everybody: Get over it. I went back to doing my thing".

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