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Impeachment probe turns to Pence adviser who heard Trump’s call with Ukrainian leader – The Washington Post


The Home impeachment probe shifted its degree of curiosity Thursday to what Vice President Pence knew in regards to the shadow marketing campaign to compel Ukraine to open investigations that will attend the Trump administration.

Efforts to beget out the picture have been stymied by the White Home’s insistence that high administration officers defy congressional subpoenas. Weak nationwide security adviser John Bolton did not appear for scheduled testimony Thursday, and performing White Home chief of employees Mick Mulvaney is predicted to skip his listening to Friday.

That leaves Jennifer Williams, a particular adviser to the vice chairman for Europe and Russia, as possible the closing notice within the month-extended closed-door intervals of the impeachment investigation. She spent about 4 hours on Capitol Hill on Thursday.

Her licensed first rate, Justin Shur, talked about Wednesday that “Jennifer is a longtime devoted Disclose Division employee” and would reply investigators’ questions if required.

“We demand her testimony will largely replicate what’s already within the public yarn,” Shur talked about in a assertion.

Williams testified under a subpoena the Home Intelligence Committee issued Thursday morning, after the White Home tried to cease her from attending the deposition. Cease to the entire administration officers to testify to this degree include achieved so in compliance with subpoenas.

Williams is the necessary factor specific individual from Pence’s employees to current testimony within the impeachment probe and became anticipated to subject questions in regards to the vice chairman’s interactions with Ukrainian leaders and any contact he may effectively possibly include had with Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s private licensed first rate and degree man for attempting for investigations of Trump’s political opponents.

Within the origin, Pence became anticipated to handbook an American delegation attending Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s inauguration in Would possibly effectively additionally. However Trump ordered Pence to abolish these plans, U.S. officers talked about.

Williams’s testimony may effectively possible shed extra mild on why Trump instructed Pence now to now not wait on the inauguration. The presence of the vice chairman on the ceremony would have been an important tag of reinforce for Zelensky, a political newbie in a nation mired in an inside battle with Russian-backed forces occupying the nation’s east.

When Pence became instructed to stop dwelling, the White Home dispatched Vitality Secretary Rick Perry in his place.

Pence did meet with Zelensky in Warsaw on the sidelines of a World Battle II commemoration Sept. 1, after Trump pulled out to video show a storm barreling towards Florida. The assembly got here acceptable days after the Ukrainians realized Trump had frozen $391 million in navy wait on earmarked for the nation.

The money became essential militarily and a tag to Russia of U.S. reinforce to Ukraine in its extended, stalemated battle.

On the time, the Ukrainians have been crestfallen that they weren’t going with a purpose to construct their case for the wait on immediately to the president.

“Trump now now not going to Warsaw now. Pence going,” Kurt D. Volker, the administration’s then-specific envoy for Ukraine, texted the nation’s safety minister. “I’m so sorry.”

The message became amongst the internal communications became over to impeachment investigators.

In his assembly with the Ukrainians, Pence became evasive relating to the reasons for the decide on wait on, telling Zelensky and his workforce that Trump became fascinating to see them function additional to deal with corruption and that he became pissed off that the European allies weren’t offering additional reinforce. He promised he would elevate the issue of the frozen wait on with the president that night when he purchased help to Washington.

“It became now now not a precise assertion of concord,” one Western diplomat talked about.

Williams would include briefed Pence ahead of his assembly with Zelensky. She additionally became one in every of a handful of U.S. officers on Trump’s controversial July 25 call with Zelensky by which Trump requested the Ukrainian leader to open an investigation into archaic vice chairman Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who landed a profitable area serving on the board of an imprecise Ukrainian fuel firm.

Officers shut to Pence talked about he wasn’t responsive to the requires Trump manufactured from Zelensky on the call regardless that Pence probably acquired a tough transcript of the dialog in his nightly briefing information. As Pence’s high adviser on Ukraine issues, Williams would have been responsible for ensuring that Pence knew what took place on the call.

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