Published: Tue, October 15, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

'Fear': Trump insiders defying stonewall in impeachment probe

'Fear': Trump insiders defying stonewall in impeachment probe

Fiona Hill, who worked as a top analyst on Russian Federation on the National Security Council staff until this summer, testified under subpoena for roughly 10 hours on Monday as part of an ongoing impeachment inquiry.

The aide, Fiona Hill, testified that Mr. Bolton told her to notify the chief lawyer for the National Security Council about a rogue effort by Mr. Sondland, Mr. Giuliani and Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, according to the people familiar with the testimony.

New York Congressman Lee Zeldin, Republican member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, questions which rules are governing the House Democrats" "fly-by-night' impeachment inquiry.

Michael McKinley has agreed to appear voluntarily for a closed transcribed interview on Wednesday, just days after he announced his resignation as a senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Laura Cooper, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence overseeing Ukraine, will testify on Friday.

Trump and Zelensky have denied the accusations.

President Trump made his request one day after Schiff changed his mind when saying a testimony from the whistleblower, who helped spark the House Democrats' impeachment probe against the president, might not be necessary. A total Impeachment Scam!,' Trump tweeted.

Adding to the nearly dizzying number of developments, the Wall Street Journal reported that federal investigators for at least the past couple of months have been questioning witnesses as they look into Mr Rudy Giuliani's business dealings in Ukraine.

The envoy is set to testify before House committees on Thursday. He has not said whether he will comply.

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Trump has defended the conversation, calling it "perfect" and "appropriate".

In another development, Trey Gowdy, a former Republican congressman who on October 9 announced that he was joining Trump's impeachment legal team, will no longer be doing so, at least for now, according to Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for Trump.

Mr Sekulow had praised Mr Gowdy last week as "a great asset" to the legal team.

Hill had notably stepped down days before the now-infamous transcribed phone call between POTUS and his Ukrainian counterpart that underlies the Democrats' impeachment inquiry, started after they suspected Trump of having asked a foreign country to dig up dirt on his domestic rival Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 presidential vote in exchange for the continuation of United States military aid.

Donald Trump on Monday accused Democrats of coaching the whistle-blower to get the details of his call with the Ukrainian president wrong and again demands the identity of the person to be revealed.

The White House memo of the call shows Trump sought a "favour" from Zelensky.

Hill served in the National Security Council but left the administration shortly before Trump's 25 July call with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.

Mr Sondland, a Trump backer and not a career diplomat, participated in a text message exchange with Mr Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine.

First of all, there doesn't need to be a quid pro quo, but it is clear already I think from the text messages that this meeting [with Trump] that the Ukraine president sought was being conditioned on their willingness to interfere in the USA election to help the president [by investigating Joe Biden and his son, Hunter]. 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. That's according to several officials familiar with the planning.

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