Democrats seek to question Trump budget chief in Ukraine impeachment probe

Fiona Hill, US President Donald Trump's former adviser on Russian Federation, has testified before three committees of the House of Representatives as part of the impeachment probe, media reported, citing sources.

Fiona Hill's testimony, as reported by the New York Times, Politico and NBC News, revealed what Mr Bolton thought of an effort by some White House officials to pressure Ukraine.

Hill said Bolton had previously called Giuliani a "hand grenade who's going to blow everyone up".

The person familiar with Sondland's testimony said that before Sondland sent that text, he spoke to Trump, who told him there was no quid pro quo.

She went on to say on Sunday that Congress" impeachment proceedings already had a "confession', according to the Daily Wire.

Republicans, meanwhile, continued their attack on House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff's handling of the impeachment inquiry, charging that the California Democrat was selectively releasing information by not making the interview transcripts public. On Friday, the lawmakers have scheduled an interview with Laura Cooper, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia.

Yovanovitch, in her deposition, recounted the circumstances of her ouster as ambassador and denied the accusations promulgated by Giuliani and other Trump allies - that she had been "disloyal" to the president and had tried to obstruct Ukrainian investigations of corruption.

On Tuesday, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent is scheduled to testify.

As the impeachment inquiry has heated up, it has also brought more scrutiny to Giuliani's role in spearheading a separate investigation into Ukraine. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she wants the committees to move "expeditiously".

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Sondland is expected to appear for a deposition under subpoena Thursday and will certainly be asked about those talks. He's expected to tell Congress that his text message reassuring another envoy that there was no quid pro quo in their interactions with Ukraine was based exclusively on what Trump told him, according to a person familiar with his coming testimony.

In yet another development, Trey Gowdy, a former Republican congressman who was announced last Wednesday as joining Trump's outside legal team for the impeachment fight, no longer will be doing so, at least for now, according to Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for Trump.

Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin told reporters Hill "was a remarkably thorough and authoritative witness" who recalled "particular events and particular meetings".

One witness who cannot be called before Congress is the still-anonymous government whistleblower who is affected by the impeachment inquiry.

Those meetings took place in early July, weeks before a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in which Trump urged that Zelenskiy investigate political rival Joe Biden's family and Ukraine's own involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

Purpura also reiterated the White House view that "there is no valid impeachment inquiry underway" in warning she could not discuss such issues even if lawmakers cited the investigation as grounds to ask about them.

A few more notes from the numbers: (1) A slight majority of independents (47/53) oppose the inquiry, (2) a supermajority (71 percent) believe Trump's request of the Ukrainians was either improper or illegal, as opposed to proper (29 percent). and (3) a strong majority (63/37) want the White House to cooperate with House Democrats on their probe.

Mr Trump has pushed back, with no fewer than 10 tweets on Monday against Democrats and their investigation. But it's not merely the way in which Adam Schiff and company are conducting their inquiry that poses a political risk; the existence of the inquiry itself, and what it says about Democratic priorities, could turn into a problem for Trump's opposition.

  • Sonia Alvarado