New testimonies burden Trump policy


The House of Representatives' intelligence committee released the transcripts of interviews with two US government officials on Saturday night (local time). Former National Security Council member Tim Morrison and a colleague of Vice President Mike Pence, Jennifer Williams, had already testified in public a few days ago in Congress. Their statements were only published now.

Both had overheard a telephone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj on July 25, which is in the center of the Ukraine affair. Both expressed concern over attempts to urge the Ukrainian leadership to pressure political investigations against Joe Biden's son.

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In a telephone conversation between US President Trump and Ukrainian President Selenskyj, Trump is said to have asked his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate his potential Democratic challenger Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Trump is accused of having tied the payment of 400 million US dollars in military aid to Kiev for the start of the investigation. Democrats in the US House of Representatives see Trump's behavior as abuse of office and have initiated preliminary investigations into impeachment. Joe Biden is considered the most promising candidate for the presidential candidacy of the Democrats. This could put the former vice-president in the presidential election campaign against Trump next November. His son Hunter had worked in the past for the gas company Burisma in the Ukraine.

Both government officials interviewed in Congress expressed concerns about attempts to urge the Ukrainian leadership to press for political investigation into Trump's rival. Williams called Trump's call for such specific investigations in the telephone conversation with Selensky "unusual" and "inappropriate." She said, "For me, that gave rise to possible other motives behind the reluctance of military aid." It appeared that it was more about the President's "personal political agenda" than US foreign policy goals.

Morrison testified, as some other witness had said, that temporarily suspended military aid to Ukraine was linked to the Kiev authorities publicly announcing investigations into Burisma. The US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland had told him that. Sondland had also told him to act on Trump's instructions in these matters. "Sondland believed and told me at least that the President gave him instructions." This reinforces the suspicion of Trump and increases the pressure on Sondland, which will testify publicly in Congress next week.

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