The Latest: Impeachment panel releases Kent transcript

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and the House impeachment investigation (all times local):

2:55 p.m.

House impeachment investigators have released another transcript in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

The testimony released Thursday is from George Kent, a career official at the State Department. He testified that he was told to “lay low” on Ukraine policy as the Trump administration, and the president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, were interacting with Ukraine outside of traditional foreign policy channels.

House investigators are pushing out key transcripts from hours of closed-door interviews in the impeachment inquiry as they prepare for public sessions with witnesses next week.

Kent also raised concerns about the Trump administration’s recall of its Ukraine ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch.

Kent, Yovanovitch and diplomat William Taylor are expected to appear in the public sessions.


9:30 a.m.

An aide to Vice President Mike Pence has arrived on Capitol Hill to testify behind closed doors in the Democrats’ impeachment investigation.

Jennifer Williams’ appearance comes as higher profile witness, former national security adviser John Bolton, has so far failed to show up for his scheduled interview.

Democrats booked Bolton after other witnesses, including former White House aide Fiona Hill, testified about Bolton’s concerns over the administration’s Ukraine policy.

Democrats are investigating President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

Williams is a career foreign service officer in the State Department who is detailed to Pence’s office as an adviser for Europe and Russia.


9 a.m.

President Donald Trump is denying he wanted Attorney General William Barr to hold a news conference to declare that Trump broke no laws when he pressed Ukraine’s president to investigate Democrats.

Trump tweets that the story first reported by The Washington Post is “just another FAKE NEWS story with anonymous sources that don’t exist.”

The Post says Barr rebuffed the request, which came around the time the White House released a rough transcript of the call.

House Democrats are investigating Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate political rivals as aid money was being withheld from the Eastern European country.


12:05 a.m.

Democrats are set to begin public impeachment hearings next week after a series of closed-door sessions with current and former government officials.

The goal is to present a convincing narrative of presidential misconduct by Donald Trump.

First to testify will be William Taylor, the current top diplomat in Ukraine. He’s relayed in private his understanding that there was a quid pro quo, with Trump holding up military aid to Ukraine as the U.S. ally faced threats from neighboring Russia.

That aid is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry. The assistance is alleged to have been held hostage until Ukraine agreed to investigate Trump political foe Joe Biden as well as the idea that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. The claim is at odds with U.S. intelligence findings.

Categories: National & International News