President Donald Trump will release the transcript of the second call he had with Ukraine’s president today, as the Democrat initiated impeachment probe by the House of Representatives of Trump moves into its second day.
The probe is led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA).
Moving forward in the impeachment inquiry, witness testimony continues, including additional closed-door depositions and a key witness to appear on Friday.
Trump to release second call transcript with Ukraine President today
During a press conference yesterday, President Donald Trump said that on Thursday he will release the transcript from a second call he held with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy which occurred in April.
The second call took place prior the July 25 call with Ukraine’s leader that is the focal point of the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry alleging Trump requested quid pro quo and withheld nearly $400 million in security aid to Ukraine to leverage President Zelenskiy to investigate the 2016 dealings of Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
In a pair of previous tweets, Trump wrote: “Just like Schiff fabricated my phone call, he will fabricate the transcripts that he is making and releasing!”
“In order to continue being the most transparent President in history, I will be releasing sometime this week the transcript of the first, and therefore most important, phone call I had with the President of Ukraine. I am sure you will find it tantalizing!”
Additional closed-door depositions
Democrats will hold at least two more closed-door depositions this week, as they seek testimony from two individuals that previously refused to cooperate under instructions from the Trump administration before the impeachment hearings became official.
These privately-held depositions will occur simultaneously with the continuing public hearings. The depositions will be conducted by the Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight and Reform committees.
The first private deposition will occur on Friday, to be held with David Holmes, who is a political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, and who has previously remarked that an aide’s hand overheard a conversation in July between Ambassador Gordon Sondland and Trump about Ukraine conducting investigations.
The second private deposition will occur on Saturday, to be held with Mark Sandy, who is an official at the Office of Management and Budget. Officials are trying to find out whether military aid was withheld from Ukraine.
Key witness to testify on Friday
On Friday, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who Trump ousted in May, will testify before lawmakers.
Yovanovitch alleged in a previous closed-door deposition that there was a “concerted campaign” against her. She alleged Trump’s personal lawyer, that Rudy Giuliani, had pushed her to probe Joe Biden and Trump’s other political opponents.
Eight additional witnesses will testify next week
Next week, eight additional witnesses will testify, all of whom have previously spoken in closed-door sessions to Democrat investigators in lengthy depositions, some of which lasted 10 hours or more.
Some of the key witnesses scheduled to appear next week are:
- Gordon Sondland, a European Union Ambassador, who held conversations with Trump about the Ukraine policy.
- Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council official, who has stated he raised concerns about Trump’s push for investigations.
- Fiona Hill, a former Russia adviser to the White House, who previously told lawmakers about the concerns about Ukraine held by former national security advisor John Bolton.