What You Need to Know: Testimony from State Dept. official
WASHINGTON (AP) — For only the fourth time in U.S. history, the House of Representatives has started a presidential impeachment inquiry. House committees are trying to determine whether President Donald Trump violated his oath of office by asking Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden and his family and to investigate the country’s involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
A quick summary of the latest news and what’s to come:
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
— House impeachment investigators have released a transcript of testimony from George Kent, a career official at the State Department. Kent said Trump wanted to hear three words from Ukraine’s president: investigations, Biden and Clinton.
— Former national security adviser John Bolton failed to appear for an interview with impeachment investigators Thursday, making it unlikely that he will provide testimony to the House. Democrats say they will simply use the no-shows as evidence of the president’s obstruction of Congress.
— The president wanted Attorney General William Barr to hold a press conference to declare Trump broke no laws during his July phone conversation with Ukraine’s president, according to a person familiar with the matter. Trump is angrily lashing out at media after the revelation, first reported by The Washington Post.
— The Oval Office has emerged as such a sought-after destination that Ukraine’s new president was hell-bent on getting there and the White House was unafraid to dangle it as leverage.
— Acting White House Chief of Staff “Mick” Mulvaney is scheduled to provide a deposition but is not expected to appear. Mark Sandy, the associate director for national security programs at the White House Office of Management and Budget, is also scheduled to appear, but probably will not do so.
NUMBERS THAT MATTER
Former national security adviser John Bolton’s refusal to show up for a closed-door interview with impeachment investigators Thursday brings to 10 the number of Trump administration figures declining to appear before the panel this week. The White House has said it will not cooperate with the probe.
Freshly-released transcripts of the deposition of State Department official George Kent, who spoke to impeachment investigators on Oct. 15:
Previously released transcripts:
Top Ukraine diplomat William Taylor, who is scheduled to testify at an open hearing next Wednesday: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6542426-George-Kent-interview-transcript-REV.html
Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union: http://apne.ws/8NmlA02
Kurt Volker, former U.S. envoy to Ukraine: http://apne.ws/rTdEmG4
Michael McKinley, former adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: http://apne.ws/PrBMFaM
Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, also scheduled to testify at an open hearing next week: http://apne.ws/mBvxghb