Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump participate in a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House on November 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. During their meeting, Trump and Erdogan were scheduled to discuss Turkeys purchase of a Russian air defense system as well as the Turkish offensive against the Kurds in Syria.
Alex Wong | Getty Images
House committees on Saturday released the closed-door transcripts of two top national security officials who listened to the July 25 phone call with Ukraines president, which is at the center of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.The depositions were of National Security Council official Timothy Morrison and Jennifer Williams, a special adviser to Vice President Mike Pence for Europe and Russia.
In her deposition, Williams told the committees that she found the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to be "unusual an inappropriate." Trump asked Zelensky on that call to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.Williams said that the call "shed some light on possible other motivations" for freezing nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine.
"I found the specific references to be — to be more specific to the president in nature, to his personal political agenda, as opposed to a broader…foreign policy objective of the United States," Williams said about Trumps request for investigations.
House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry against the president over allegations that he violated his oath of office and U.S. national security by asking a foreign leader to investigate a political rival for personal gain.
Prior to the call, Williams said she had not heard any type of conversation in the office about Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election or investigating the Bidens.
In his testimony, Morrison said U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland indicated to an advisor to Ukraines president, Andriy Yermak, that the military assistance was tied to an investigation into the gas company Burisma, in which Hunter Biden was a board member.
"He [Sondland] told me that in his — that what he communicated was that he believed the — what could help them move the aid was if the prosecutor general would to go the mike and announce that he was opening the Burisma investigation," Morrison said.