The remarks led the colonel to directly express concern to Mr. Sondland that they were inappropriate, and then later report the episode to the top lawyer at the National Security Council.
— Danny Hakim
Colonel Vindman counseled Ukrainians not to interfere in U.S. domestic politics
Vindman transcript, Page 57: “I’d periodically talked to the Ukrainian officials at the U.S. embassy here. And I would say — when they would ask me, you know, what do we do in this situation, I’d give them the same counsel consistently. The counsel I’d always give them is it’s a domestic issue, stay out of U.S. domestic issues. It could fracture bipartisan support.”
In his testimony, the colonel said this is a consistent message he delivered to Ukrainian officials, including to Mr. Zelensky in a bilateral meeting on May 21 led by the energy secretary, Rick Perry.
— Danny Hakim
The deputy secretary of state was ‘concerned’ about Giuliani’s shadow foreign policy role.
Hill transcript, Page 300-301: “He just expressed that he was also concerned. He didn’t give any specifics, you know, back again. He just gave me a good, you know, respectful hearing. And it was clear that he was very upset about what had happened to Ambassador Yovanovitch.”
Ms. Hill said she spoke frequently with the deputy secretary of state, John J. Sullivan, who she said shared her concerns about Mr. Giuliani’s dealings with senior Ukraine government officials. Mr. Giuliani had all but bypassed the State Department’s expert diplomats to press Ukraine’s president to investigate Mr. Trump’s political enemies.
Mr. Sullivan, who has been nominated as ambassador to Russia, also told Ms. Hill “that both he and Secretary Pompeo had tried their best to head off what happened,” according to the transcript.
Hill transcript, page 301: Daniel Noble, the senior investigative counsel for House Intelligence Committee: “Did he ever say whether he ever tried to, himself, do something about it or get Secretary Pompeo to do something about it?”
Ms. Hill: “He said that both he and Secretary Pompeo had tried their best to head off what happened.”
Mr. Noble: “Did he explain how they had tried?”
Ms. Hill: “He did not.”
— Lara Jakes
Trump sounded different on the July 25 call than he did in his congratulatory call to Mr. Zelensky in April
Vindman testimony, Page 250: “The tone in the call on the 21st of April was very positive, in my assessment. The call, the tone of the call on July 25th was not. It was — it was — I’m struggling for the words, but it was not a positive call. It was dour. If I think about it some more, I could probably come up with some other adjectives, but it was just — the difference between the calls was apparent.”
Colonel Vindman was on both calls Mr. Trump had with Mr. Zelensky this year — the first one on April 21 to congratulate Mr. Zelensky on his victory. Impeachment investigators have asked about the April call as well. On Friday, Mr. Trump said, “If they want it, I will give it to them.” It was not immediately clear when the April transcript might be released.
— Eileen Sullivan
Hill sought to shame Jim Jordan’s top investigator for focusing on a Ukrainian-U.S. Democratic Party operative
Hill transcript, Page 336-337: “It does not amount to a large-scale Ukrainian government effort to subvert our elections, which is comparable to anything that the Russians did in 2016. And if we start down this path, not discounting what one individual or a couple of individuals might have done, ahead of our 2020 elections, we are setting ourselves up for the same kind of failures and intelligence failures that we had before. Look, and I feel very strongly about this. I’m not trying to mess about here. … And so you should, too, in terms of our national security.”
Steve Castor, a top aide to Representative Jim Jordan, the ranking member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, repeatedly pressed Ms. Hill about a January 2017 article in Politico. The article describes how Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-American woman who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee, met in 2016 with officials at Ukraine’s Embassy in an effort to expose ties between Russia and Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort — ties that eventually led to his resignation from the campaign.
Ms. Hill suggested that individual Ukrainian-Americans were also providing such information to Republican campaigns in the primary season, saying she “could give you a long list of people who were reaching out on all kinds of different fronts to all of the campaigns, all of the campaigns, from all kinds of different sources who were trying to do something like this.”