Dems release first impeachment probe transcripts from closed-door interviews


House Democrats leading the Trump impeachment inquiry publicly released the first transcripts from their closed-door interviews on Monday — airing concerns from witnesses about the activities of President Trump’s associates related to Ukraine — amid an outcry from Republicans that the proceedings are being conducted in private.

The panels released testimony from former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and Michael McKinley, a former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Both have appeared on Capitol Hill for testimony as part of the inquiry.

Among revelations in the transcripts: Yovanovitch testified that Ukraine told her about Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s campaign to oust her. Yovanovitch was pushed out of her job in May on Trump’s orders.

Yovanovitch said she learned from Ukrainian officials last November or December that Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, was in touch with Ukraine’s former top prosecutor, Yuri Lutsenko, “and that they had plans, and that they were going to, you know, do things, including to me.”

“Basically, it was people in the Ukrainian Government who said that Mr. Lutsenko, the former prosecutor general, was in communication with Mayor Giuliani,” she said.

McKinley, meanwhile, said in his deposition that part of the reason he resigned was he was a witness to State Department officials trying to dig up dirt on the president’s opponents—something he hadn’t seen “in 37 years in the Foreign Service.”

“To see the emerging information on the engagement of our missions to procure negative political information for domestic purposes, combined with the failure I saw in the building to provide support for our professional cadre in a particularly trying time, I think the combination was a pretty good reason to decide … I had no longer a useful role to play,” McKinley said.

The interviews were released by Rep. Adam Schiff of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Eliot Engel of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Rep. Carolyn Maloney of the Oversight and Reform Committee. – READ MORE

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