Impeachment Hearing Live(ish) Transcripts

Transcript: Impeachment Hearing, Day 3 (Afternoon): Kurt Volker, Timothy Morrison

EVENT: Washington, DC
DATE: November 19, 2019 @ 02:30 pm ET
Text-Only View
Adam B. Schiff
The meeting will come to order. Good afternoon. This is the fourth in a series of public hearings the committee will be holding as part of the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry. Without objection the chair is authorized to declare recesses of the committee at any time. There is a quorum present.
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We will proceed today in the same fashion as our other hearings. I will make an opening statement and then the Ranking Member will have an opportunity to make his opening statement then we will turn to our witnesses for opening statements and then to questions. With that I now recognize myself to give an opening statement in the impeachment inquiry into Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States.
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This afternoon we will hear from two witnesses requested by the minority ambassador Kurt Volker, the State Department special representative for Ukraine negotiations, and Tim Morrison, the senior -- former senior director for European affairs at the National Security Council. I appreciate the minorities request for these two important witnesses as well as undersecretary of state David Hale from whom we will hear tomorrow.
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As we have heard from other witnesses when Joe Biden was considering whether to enter the race for the presidency in 2020 the president's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani began a campaign to weaken Vice President Biden's -- Vice President Biden's candidacy by pushing Ukraine to investigate him and his son. To clear away any obstacle to these game days after the new Ukraine President was elected Trump order the recall of Marie Yovanovitch, the American ambassador in Kiev who was known for pushing anticorruption efforts.
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Trump also canceled vice President Mike pence's participation in the inauguration of President Zelensky on May 20 and instead sent a delegation headed by energy Secretary Rick Perry, ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland and Ambassador Kurt Volker. These three return from cave and brief President Trump on their encouraging first interactions with the new Ukrainian administration.
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Hopes that Trump would agree to an early meeting with Ukrainian President were soon diminished however when Trump pushed back. According to Volker he just didn't believe it, he was skeptical and he also said that's not what I hear, I hear you know he's got some terrible people around him. President Trump also told them he believed that Ukraine tried to take him down.
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He told the three amigos talk to Rudy and they did. One of those interactions took place a week before the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky when Ambassador Volker had breakfast with Rudy Giuliani at the Trump Hotel. Volker testified that he pushed back on Giuliani's accusation against Joe Biden.
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On July 22, just days before Trump would talk to Zelensky, Ambassador Volker had a telephone conference with Giuliani and Andriy Yermak, the top advisor to the Ukrainian President so that Giuliani could be introduced to Yermak. On July 25 the same day as the call between President Trump and Zelensky but before it took place Ambassador Volker sent a text message to Yermak quote heard from the White House assuming President Zelensky convinces Trump he will investigate/get to the bottom of what happened in 2016 we will nail down date for visit to Washington.
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Good luck! Later that day Donald Trump would have the now infamous phone call with Zelensky in which he responded to Ukraine's appreciation for U.S. defense support and a request by President Zelensky to buy more Javelin antitank missiles by saying I would like you to do us a favor though and the favor and all the two investigations that Giuliani had been pushing for into the Bidens in 2016. Ambassador Volker was not on the call but when asked about when it reflected he testified no President of the United States should ask a foreign leader to help interfere in a U.S. election.
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Among those listening in on the July 25 call was Tim Morrison who had taken over as the NSC senior director for European affairs at the NSC only days before but had been briefed by his predecessor Fiona Hill about the irregular second channel that was operating in parallel to the official one. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman and Ms. Williams from whom we heard this morning like them Morrison emerged from the call troubled.
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He was concerned enough about what he heard on the July 25 call that he went to see the NSC legal advisor soon after it had ended. Colonel Vindman's here was that the president had broken the law potentially but Morrison said of his concern that his concern was that the call could be damaging if it were leaked.
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Soon after this discussion with lawyers at the NSC the call record was hidden away on a secure server used to store highly classified intelligence where it remained until late September when the call record was publicly released. Following the July 25 call Ambassador Volker worked with Sondland and the Ukraine president's close advisor Yermak on a statement that would satisfy Giuliani.
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When Yermak sent over a draft that still failed to include the specific words Burisma and 2016 Giuliani said the statement would lack credibility. Ambassador Volker then added both Burisma and 2016 to the draft statement. Both Volker and Morrison were by late July aware that the security assistance had been cut off at the direction of the president and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney appeared as the Ukrainians became aware of the suspension of security assistance and the negotiations over the scheduling of a White House meeting between Trump and Zelensky dragged on the pressure increased and any pretense that there was no linkage soon dropped away.
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Morrison accompanied Vice President Pence to Warsaw on September 1 where Pence and Zelensky met and Zelensky raised the suspended security assistance. Following that meeting Sondland approached Yermak to tell him that he believe that what could help move the aid was if the Ukrainian prosecutor general would go to the mic and announce that he was opening the Burisma investigation.
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On September 7 Ambassador Sondland had a telephone call with Trump and asked him what he wanted from Ukraine. According to Morrison who spoke with Sondland after the call Trump insisted that there was no quid pro quo but President Zelensky must personally announce the opening of the investigations and he should want to do it. Sondland also said that President Zelensky didn't agree to make a public statement about the investigations U.S. and Ukraine would be at a stalemate meaning it would not receive the much-needed security assistance.
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Morrison had a sinking feeling after the call as he realized that the ask was now being directed at Zelensky himself and not the prosecutor general as Sondland had relayed to his senior Ukrainian aid in Warsaw on September 1. While President Trump claimed there was no quid pro quo his insistence that Zelensky himself must publicly announcing investigations or they would be at a stalemate made clear that at least two official acts a White House meeting and $400 million in military aid were conditioned on receipt of what Trump wanted, investigations to help his campaign.
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The efforts to secure the investigations would continue for several more days but appear to have abruptly ended soon after three committees of Congress announced an investigation into the Trump Giuliani Ukraine scheme. Only then would the aid be released. I now recognize Ranking Member Nunes for any remarks he would like to make.
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Devin Nunes
Welcome back to act two of today's circus ladies and gentlemen. We are here to continue what the Democrats tell us is a serious, somber and even prayerful process of attempting to overthrow a duly elected president. If they are successful the end result would be to disenfranchise tens of millions of Americans who thought the president is chosen by the American people not by 13 Democrat partisans on a committee that is supposed to be overseeing the government's intelligence agencies.
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And isn't it strange how we have morphed into the impeachment committee presiding over a matter that has no intelligence component whatsoever. Impeachment of course is the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee not the Intelligence Committee. But putting this far center court provides two main advantages for the Democrats it made it easier for them to shroud their depositions in secrecy and it allowed them to first give too big of a role in the spectacle to another Democrat Committee Chairman in whom the Democrat leaders obviously have no confidence.
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Who can possibly view these proceedings as fair and impartial? They are being conducted by Democrats who spent three years saturating the airwaves with dire warnings that President Trump is a Russian agent and these outlandish attacks continue to this very day. Just this weekend in front of a crowd of Democratic Party activists the chairman of this committee denounced President Trump as a profound threat to our democracy and vowed that we will send that charlatan in the White House back to the golden throne he came from.
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How can anyone believe that people who would utter such dramatic absurdities are conducting a fair impeachment process and are only trying to discover the truth? It is obvious the Democrats are trying to topple the president solely because they despise them because they have promised since election day to impeach him and because they are afraid he will win reelection next year.
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No witnesses have identified any crime or impeachable offense committed by the president but that doesn't matter. Last week the Democrats told us his infraction was asking for a quid pro quo. This week it's bribery. Who knows what ridiculous crime they will be accusing him of next week? As witnesses the Democrats have called a parade of government officials who don't like President Trump's Ukraine policy even though they acknowledge he provided Ukraine with lethal materi -- military aid after the Obama administration refused to do so. They also resent his conduct of policy through channels outside their own authority and control.
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These actions they argue contradict the so-called inter-agency consensus. They don't seem to understand that the president alone is constitutionally vested with the authority to set the policy. The American people elect the President not an inter-agency consensus. And of course our previous witnesses had very new -- very little new information to share in these hearings.
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That is because these hearings are not designed to uncover new information, they are meant to showcase a hand-picked group of witnesses who the Democrats determined through their sacred audition process will provide testimony most conductive and conducive to their accusations. In fact by the time any witness says anything here people are actually hearing it for the third time.
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They heard it first through the Democrats' cherry-picked leaks to their media sympathizers during the secret depositions and second when the Democrats published those deposition transcripts in a highly staged manner. Of course there are no transcripts from crucial witnesses like Hunter Biden who could testify about his well-paying job on the board of a corrupt Ukrainian company or Alexandra Chalupa who worked on an election meddling scheme with Ukrainian officials on behalf of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.
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That is because the Democrats refused to let us hear from them. As for evidence we are left with -- what we're left with is the transcript of the Trump Zelensky Vogel which the president made public. That means Americans can read for themselves and unremarkable conversation with President Zelensky repeatedly expressed satisfaction with the call afterward.
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The Democrats however claim President Zelensky was being bribed and therefore he must be lying when he says the call was friendly and posed no problems. There is some irony here. Where we sleep or the Democrats bemoan the damage President Trump supposedly caused to the U.S. Ukrainian relations but when the Ukrainian President contradicts their accusations they publicly dismiss him as a liar.
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I may be wrong but I'm fairly sure calling a friendly foreign president newly elected a liar violates their so-called interagency consensus. So overall the Democrats would have you believe President Zelensky was being blackmailed with a pause on lethal military aid that he didn't even know about. That President Trump did not mention to him and that diplomats have testified they always assumed would be lifted which it was without the Ukrainians undertaking any of the actions they were supposedly being coerced into doing.
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This process is not serious, it is not sober and it is certainly not prayerful. It is an ambitious attack to deprive the American people of their right to elect a president the Democrats don't like. As I mentioned the chairman of this committee claims that democracy is under threat. If that's true, it's not the president who poses the danger.
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I yield back.
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Adam B. Schiff
I thank the gentleman. We are joined this afternoon by Ambassador Kurt Volker and Mr. Timothy Morrison. Ambassador Kurt Volker served in the U.S. Foreign Service for nearly 30 years working on European and Eurasian political and security issues under five different presidential administrations. During the George W. Bush administration, he served as the acting director for European and Eurasian affairs in the national Security Council and later as the deputy assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs.
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In 2008, President Bush appointed Ambassador Volker to the United States permanent representative to NATO where he served until May 2009. In July 2017, Ambassador Volker was appointed to be the U.S. special representative for Ukraine negotiations serving in that position until he resigned in September. It is a pleasure to welcome Mr. Morrison back to the legislative branch where he served for almost 2 decades as a Republican staffer.
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He was a professional staff member for representative Mark Kennedy of Minnesota and Senator John Kyle of Arizona. Later, Mr. Morrison served as the longtime policy director for the Republican staff of the House Armed Services Committee. In July 2018, Mr. Morrison joined the national Security Council as senior director for countering weapons of mass destruction.
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Following the departure of Doctor Fiona Hill in July 2019, Mr. Morrison assumed the position of senior director for Russia and Europe. Two final points before the witnesses are sworn, first, witnesses -- witness depositions up as part of this inquiry were unclassified in nature and all open hearings will also be here held at the unclassified level.
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Any information they touch on unclassified information will be addressed separately. Second, Congress will not tolerate any reprisal, threat of reprisal, or attempt to retaliate against any U.S. government official who testifying before Congress, including you or of any of your colleagues. If you would both please rise and raise your right hand, I will begin by swearing you in. Do you swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
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Tim Morrison
[Inaudible]
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Adam B. Schiff
Let the record show that the witnesses answered in the affirmative. Thank you, and please be seated. The microphones are sensitive, so please speak directly into them. Without objection, your written statements will also be made part of the record. With that, Mr. Morrison, you are recognized for your opening statement and immediately thereafter, Mr. Ambassador Volker, you are recognized for your opening statement.
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Tim Morrison
Chairman Schiff, ranking member Nunes and members of the committee, I appear before you today under subpoena to answer your questions about my time as senior director for European affairs at the White House and the national Security Council as related to Ukraine and U.S. security sector assistance to that country.
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I will provide you the most complete and accurate information I can consistent with my obligations to protect classified and privileged information. Whether the conduct that is the subject of this inquiry merits impeachment is a question for the U.S. House of Representatives. I appear here today only to provide factual information based upon my knowledge and recollection of events.
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I will not waste time restating the details of my opening statement for my deposition on October 31 of 2019, which has recently been made public. However, I will highlight that following key points. First, as I previously stated, I do not know who the whistleblower is nor do I intend to speculate as to who the individual may be. Second, I have great respect for my former colleagues from the NSC and the rest of the interagency.
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I'm not here today to question their character or integrity. My recollections and judgments are my own. Some of my colleagues' recollections of conversations and interactions may differ from mine, but I do not view those differences as the result of an untoward purpose. Third, I continue to believe Ukraine is on the front lines of a strategic competition between the West and Vladimir Revanchist Russia.
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Russia is a failing power, but it is still a dangerous one. The United States AIDS Ukraine and her people so they can fight Russia over there and we don't have to fight Russia here. Support for Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty has been a bipartisan objective since Russia's military invasion in 2014. It must continue to be. As I stated during my deposition, I feared at the time of the call on July 25 how its disclosure would play in Washington's political climate.
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My fears have been realized. I understand the gravity of these proceedings, but I beg you not to lose sight of the military conflict underway in eastern Ukraine today. The on growing ongoing illegal occupation of Crimea and the importance of reform of Ukraine's politics and economy. Every day that the focus of discussion involving Ukraine is centered on these proceedings instead of those matters is a date when we are not focused on the interests Ukraine, the United States and Western styled liberalism share.
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Finally, I conclude concluded my active service at the national Security Council the day after I last appeared before you. I left the NSC completely of my own volition. I felt no pressure to resign, nor have I feared any retaliation for my testimony. I made this career choice sometime before I decided to testify on October 31. I'm prepared to answer your questions to the best of my ability and recollection.
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Adam B. Schiff
Thank you. Ambassador Volker
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Kurt Volker
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member. Thank you very much for the opportunity to provide this testimony today. As you know, I was the first person to come forward to testify as part of this inquiry. I did so voluntarily and likewise voluntarily provided relevant documentation in my possession in order to be as cooperative, clear, and complete as possible.
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I'm here today voluntarily and I remain committed to cooperating fully and truthfully with this committee. All I can do is provide the facts as I understood them at the time. I did this on October 3 in private and I will do so again today. Like many others who have testified in this inquiry, I'm a career foreign policy professional.
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I began my career as an intelligence analyst for Northern Europe for the Central intelligence agency in 1986. Before joining the State Department in 1988. I served in diplomat of postings, primarily focused on European political and security issues for over 20 years under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.
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My last three positions before leaving the senior foreign service in 2009 were as director for NATO and West European affairs at the national Security Council, principal PD Assistant Secretary of State for European affairs at the State Department and finally as U.S. ambassador to NATO. In the spring of 2017, then Secretary of State Tillerson asked if I would come back to government service as U.S. special representative for Ukraine negotiations.
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I did this on a part-time voluntary basis with no salary paid by that U.S. taxpayer simply because I believed it was important to serve our country in this way. I believed I could steer U.S. policy in the right direction. For over two years, as U.S. special representative for Ukraine negotiations, my singular focus was advancing the foreign policy and national security interests of the United States.
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In particular, that meant pushing back on Russian aggression and supporting the development of a strong, resilient, democratic, and prosperous Ukraine, one that overcomes a legacy of corruption and becomes integrated into a wider transatlantic community. This is critically important for U.S. national security.
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If we can stop and reverse Russian aggression in Ukraine, we can prevent it elsewhere. If Ukraine, the cradle of Slavic civilization predating Moscow succeeds as a freedom loving prosperous and secure democracy, it gives us enormous hope that Russia may one day change, providing a better life for Russian people and overcoming its current plague of authoritarianism, corruption, aggression toward neighbors, and threats to NATO and the United States.
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The stakes for the United States and a successful Ukraine could not be higher. At no time was I aware of or knowingly took part in an effort to urge Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden. As you know from the extensive real-time documentation, I have provided, Vice President Biden was not a topic of our discussions.
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I was not on that July 25 phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky. I was not made aware of any reference to Vice President Biden or his son by President Trump until the transcript of that call was released on September 25, 2019. From July 7, 2017 until September 27, 2019, I was the lead U.S. diplomat dealing with Russia's war on Ukraine.
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My role was not some irregular channel, but the official channel. I reported directly to Secretaries of State Tillerson and Pompeo, kept the national security advisor and secretary of defense well informed of my efforts and worked closely with Ambassador Yovanovitch and as a senior director Hill and her successor Tim Morrison, then assistant secretary Wes Mitchell and his successor acting assistant secretary Phil Rieger, deputy assistant secretary George Kent, deputy assistant secretary of defense Laura Cooper, NSC director Alex Vindman, and many, many others.
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I have met known many of them for several years. It was a team effort. When Ambassador Yovanovitch Kiev, identified and recommended Bill Taylor to Secretary Pompeo so we would still have a strong, seasoned professional on the ground. For two years before the events at the heart of this investigation took place, I was the most senior U.S. diplomat visiting the conflict zone, meeting with victims of Russia's aggression, urging increased U.S. security assistance, including lethal defensive weapons, working with Ukrainian President Poroshenko and then his successor, President Zelensky, and their teams, working with France and Germany in the so-called Normandy process, pressing for support from NATO, the EU, and OSCE, supporting the OSCE's special monitoring mission, and engaging in negotiations and other contacts with Russian officials.
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At the time I took the position in the summer of 2017, there were major complicated questions swirling in public debate about the direction of U.S. policy toward Ukraine. With the administration lift sanctions against Russia? Would it make some kind of grand bargain with Russia, in which you would trade recognition of Russia's seizure of Ukrainian territory for some other deal in Syria or elsewhere?
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Would the administration recognize Russia's claimed annexation of Crimea? Will this just become another frozen conflict? There also a vast number of vacancies in key diplomatic positions, so no one was really representing the United States in the negotiating process about ending the war in eastern Ukraine.
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During over two years of my tenure as U.S. special representative, we fundamentally turned U.S. policy around. U.S. policy toward Ukraine was strong, consistent, and enjoyed support across the administration, bipartisan support in Congress, and support among our allies and Ukraine. We changed the language commonly used to describe Russia's aggression.
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I was the administration's most outspoken public figure, highlighting Russia's invasion and occupation of parts of Ukraine, calling out Russia's responsibility to end the war. I visited the war zone three times, meeting with soldiers and civilians alike, always bringing media with me to try to raise the public visibility of Russia's aggression and the humanitarian impact on the lives of the citizens of the Donbass.
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We coordinated closely with our European allies and Canada to maintain a united front against Russian aggression and for Ukraine's democracy, reform, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. Ukraine policy is perhaps the one area where the U.S. and its European allies had been in lockstep. This cordon helped -- this coordination helped to strengthen U.S. sanctions against Russia and to maintain EU sanctions as well.
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Along with others in the administration, I strongly advocated for lifting the ban on the sale of lethal defensive weapons -- or lethal defensive arms to Ukraine, advocated for increasing U.S. security assistance to Ukraine, and urged other countries to follow suit. My team and I drafted the Pompeo Declaration of July 25th, 2018, in which the secretary clearly and definitively laid out the U.S. policy of non-recognition of Russia's claimed annexation of Crimea.
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I engage with our allies, with Ukraine, and with Russia in negotiations to implement the Minsk Agreements, holding a firm line on insisting on the withdrawal of Russian forces, dismantling of the so-called People Republics, and restoring Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity. Together with others in the administration, we kept U.S. policy steady through presidential and parliamentary elections in Ukraine and worked hard to strengthen the U.S./Ukraine bilateral relationship under the new president and government, helping shepherd in a peaceful transition of power in Ukraine.
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So, in short, whereas two years ago most observers would have said that time was on Russia's side, by 2019 when I departed we had turned the tables and time was now on Ukraine's side. It's a tragedy for the United States and for Ukraine that our efforts in this area, which were bearing fruit, have now been thrown into disarray.
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One of the critical aspects of my role as U.S. special representative was that, as the most senior U.S. official appointed to work solely on the Ukraine portfolio, I needed to step forward to provide leadership. If we needed to adopt a policy position, I made the case for it. If any -- if we needed to -- if anyone needed to speak out publicly, I would do it. When we fail to get a timely statement about Russia's illegal attack on Ukraine's Navy and seizure of Ukraine sailors, I tweeted about it in order to condemn the act.
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If a problem arose, I know was my job to try to fix it. That was my perspective when I learned in May 2019 that we had a significant problem that was impeding our ability to strengthen our support for Ukraine's new president in his effort to ramp up Ukraine's fight against corruption and implementation of needed reforms.
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I found myself faced with a choice, to be aware of a problem and to ignore it or to except that it was my responsibility to try to fix it. I tried to fix it. The problem was that, despite the unanimous positive assessment and recommendations of those of us who were part of the U.S. presidential delegation that attended the inauguration of President Zelensky, President Trump was receiving a different negative narrative about Ukraine and President Zelensky [Inaudible] Zelensky to the White House.
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The president was very skeptical. Given Ukraine's history of corruption, that's understandable. He said that Ukraine was a corrupt country, full of terrible people. He said they tried to take me down. In the course of that conversation, he referenced conversations with Mayor Giuliani. It was clear to me that, despite the positive news and recommendations being conveyed by this official delegation about the new president, President Trump had a deeply rooted negative view on Ukraine rooted in the past.
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He was receiving other information from other sources, including Mayor Giuliani, that was more negative, causing him to retain this negative view. Within a few days, on May 29th, President Trump indeed signed the congratulatory letter to President Zelensky, which included an invitation to the president to visit him at the White House.
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However, more than four weeks past and we could not nail down a date for the meeting. I came to believe that the president's long held negative view toward Ukraine was causing hesitation in actually scheduling the meeting, much as we had seen in our Oval Office discussion. After weeks of reassuring the Ukrainians that it was just a scheduling issue, I decided to tell President Zelensky that we had a problem with the information reaching President Trump from Mayor Giuliani.
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I did so in a bilateral meeting at a conference on Ukrainian economic reform in Toronto on July 2nd, 2019, where I led the U.S. delegation. I suggested that he call President Trump directly in order to renew their personal relationship and to assure President Trump that he was committed to investigating and fighting corruption, things on which President Zelensky had based his presidential campaign.
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I was convinced that getting the two presidents to talk with each other would overcome the negative perception of Ukraine that President Trump still harbored. President Zelensky's senior aid, Andre Yermak, approach me several days later to ask to be connected to Mayor Giuliani. I agreed to make that connection.
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I did so because I understood that the new Ukrainian leadership wanted to convince those, like Mayor Giuliani who believed such a negative narrative about Ukraine, that times have changed and that, under President Zelensky, Ukrainian -- Ukraine is worthy of your support. The Ukrainians believed that if they could get their own narrative in -- across in a way that convinced Mayor Giuliani that they were serious about fighting corruption and advancing reform, Mayor Giuliani would convey that assessment to President Trump, thus correcting the previous negative narrative.
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That made sense to me and I tried to be helpful. I made clear to the Ukrainians that Mayor Giuliani was a private citizen, the president's personal lawyer, and not representing the U.S. government. Likewise, in my conversations with Mayor Giuliani, I never considered him to be speaking on the president's behalf or giving instructions.
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Rather, the information flow was the other way, from Ukraine to Mayor Giuliani in the hopes that this would clear up the information reaching President Trump. On July 10th, after hearing for Mr. Yermak, I wrote to Mayor Giuliani to seek to get together. And finally, on July 19th, we met for breakfast for a longer discussion.
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At that meeting, I told Mr. Giuliani that in my view the prosecutor general with whom he had been speaking, Mr. Lutsenko, was not credible and was acting in a self-serving capacity. To my surprise, Mayor Giuliani said that he had already come to that same conclusion. Mr. Giuliani also mentioned both the accusations about Vice President Biden and about interference in the 2016 election and stressed that all he wanted to see was for Ukraine to investigate what happened in the past and apply its own laws.
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Concerning the allegations I stressed that no one in the new team governing Ukraine had anything to do with anything that may have happened in 2016. They were making television shows at the time. I also said that it is not credible to me that former Vice President Biden would have been influenced in any way by financial or personal motives in carrying out his duties as vice president.
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A different issue is whether some individual Ukrainians may have attempted to influence the 2016 election or thought they could buy influence. That is at least plausible given Ukraine's reputation for corruption but the accusation of Vice President Biden acted inappropriately did not seem at all credible to me. After that meeting I connected Mayor Giuliani and Mr. Yermak by text and later by phone.
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They met in person on August 2, 2019. In conversations with me following that meeting which I did not attend Mr. Giuliani said that he had stressed the importance of Ukraine conducting investigations into what happened in the past and Mr. Yermak stressed that he told Mr. Giuliani it is the government's program to root out corruption and implement reforms and they would be conducting investigations as part of this process anyway.
[00:35:08.560 - 00:35:36.160]

Mr. Giuliani said he believed Ukrainian President needed to make a statement about fighting corruption and that he had discussed this with Mr. Yermak. I said I did not think that this would be a problem since that is the government's position in the way. I followed up with Mr. Yermak and he said that they would indeed be prepared to make a statement.
[00:35:36.160 - 00:35:54.680]

He said it would reference Burisma and 2016 in a wider context of bilateral relations and rooting out corruption anyway. There was no mention of Vice President Biden. Rather in referencing Burisma and 2016 election interference it was clear to me that he Mr. Yermak was only talking about whether in the Ukrainians had acted inappropriately.
[00:35:54.680 - 00:36:19.040]

At this time I was focused on our goal of getting President Zelensky and President Trump to meet with each other and I believe that they are doing so would overcome the chronically negative view President Trump had towards Ukraine. I was seeking to solve the problem I saw when we met with President Trump in the oval office on May 23. As a professional diplomat I was comfortable exploring whether there was a statement Ukraine could make about its own intentions to investigate possible corruption that would be helpful in convincing Mr. Giuliani to convey to President Trump a more positive assessment of the new leadership in Ukraine.
[00:36:19.040 - 00:36:57.680]

On August 16, Mr. Yermak shared a draft with me which I thought looked perfectly reasonable. It did not mention Burisma or 2016 elections or was generic. Ambassador Sondland and I had a further conversation with Mr. Giuliani who said that in his view in order to be convincing that this government represented real change in Ukraine the statement should include specific reference to Burisma and 2016. Again there was no mention of Vice President Biden in these conversations.
[00:36:57.680 - 00:37:28.040]

Ambassador Sondland and I discussed these points and I edited the statement drafted by Mr. Yermak to include these points to see how it looked. I then discussed it further with Mr. Yermak. He said that for a number of reasons including the fact that Mr. Lutsenko was still officially the prosecutor general they did not want to mention Burisma or 2016. I agreed and the idea of putting out a statement was shelved.
[00:37:28.040 - 00:37:52.880]

These were the last conversations I had about this statement which were on or about August 17-18. My last contact with Mr. Giuliani according to my records was on August 13 until he tried to reach me on September 20, after the impeachment inquiry was launched. At this time that is to say in the middle of August I thought the idea of issuing this statement had been definitively scrapped.
[00:37:52.880 - 00:38:18.040]

In September I was surprised to learn that there had been further discussions with Ukrainians about President Zelensky possibly making a statement in an interview with U.S. media similar to what we had discussed in August. Since these events and since I gave my testimony on October 3, a great deal of additional information and perspectives have come to light.
[00:38:18.040 - 00:38:41.640]

I have learned many things that I did not know at the time of the events in question. First, at the time I was connecting Mr. Yermak and Mr. Giuliani and disgusting with Mr. Yermak and Ambassador Sondland a possible statement that could be made by the Ukrainian president. I did not know of any linkage between the hold on security assistance and Ukraine pursuing investigations.
[00:38:41.640 - 00:39:03.720]

No one had ever said that to me and I never conveyed such a linkage to the Ukrainians. I opposed the hold on U.S. security assistance as soon as I learned about it on July 18 and I thought we could turn it around before the Ukrainians ever knew or became alarmed about it. I did not know the reason for the hold but I viewed it as a U.S. policy problem that we needed to fix internally and I was confident we would do so. I believe the Ukrainians became aware of the hold on August 29, and not before.
[00:39:03.720 - 00:39:32.000]

That date is the first time any of them ask me about the hold by forwarding an article that have been published in Politico. When I spoke to the Ukrainians about the hold after August 29 instead of telling them that they needed to do something to get the hold released I told them the opposite, that they should not be alarmed, it was an internal U.S. problem and we were working to get it fixed.
[00:39:32.000 - 00:39:55.080]

I did not know others were conveying a different message to them around the same time. Second, I did not know about the strong concerns expressed by then national security advisor John Bolton to members of his NSC staff regarding the discussion of investigations. I participated in the July 10 meeting between National Security Advisor Bolton and then Ukrainian Chairman of the national security and defense counsel, Alex Danyliuk.
[00:39:55.080 - 00:40:21.400]

As I remember the meeting was essentially over when Ambassador Sondland made a general comment about investigations. I think all of us thought it was inappropriate. The conversation did not continue and the meeting concluded. Later on in the war room I may have been engaged in a side conversation or had already left the complex because I do not recall further discussion regarding investigations of Burisma.
[00:40:21.400 - 00:40:43.600]

Third, I did not understand that others believe that any investigation of Ukrainian company Burisma which had a history of accusations of corruption was tantamount to investigating vice President Biden. I drew a sharp distinction between the two. It has long been U.S. policy under multiple administrations to urge Ukraine to investigate and fight internal corruption.
[00:40:43.600 - 00:41:07.480]

I was quite comfortable with Ukraine making its own statement about its own policy of investigating and fighting corruption at home. At the one in person meeting I had with Mayor Giuliani on July 19, Mayor Giuliani raised and I rejected the conspiracy theory that Vice President Biden would have been influenced in his duties as vice president by money paid to his son.
[00:41:07.480 - 00:41:28.680]

As I previously testified I have known Vice President Biden for 24 years, he is an honorable man and I hold him in the highest regard. At no time was I aware of or knowingly took part in an effort to urge Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden and as you know from the extensive documentation I provided vice president was not a topic of discussion.
[00:41:28.680 - 00:41:49.320]

I was not on the July 25 phone calls between President Trump and President Zelensky and I was not made aware of any reference to Vice President Biden or his son by President Trump until the transcript of that call was released on September 25, 2019. Throughout this time I understood that there was an important distinction between Burisma and Biden and I urged the Ukrainians to maintain such a distinction.
[00:41:49.320 - 00:42:09.560]

I did not know that President Trump or others had raised Vice President Biden with Ukrainians [Inaudible] conflated the investigation of possible Ukrainian corruption with investigation of the former vice president. In retrospect for the Ukrainians it would clearly have been confusing. In hindsight I now understand that other saw the idea of investigating possible corruption involving the Ukrainian company Burisma as equivalent to investigating former President -- vice president Biden.
[00:42:09.560 - 00:42:35.280]

I saw them is very different, the former being appropriate and unremarkable, the latter being unacceptable. In retrospect I should have seen that connection differently and had I done so I would have raised my own objections. Fourth, much has been made of the term Three Amigos in reference to Secretary Perry, Ambassador Sondland and myself.
[00:42:35.280 - 00:42:53.720]

I have never use that term in frankly cringe when I hear it because for me the Three Amigos will always refer to Senator McCain, Senator Lieberman and Senator Graham in reference to their work to support the surge in Iraq. Moreover I was never aware of any designation by President Trump for anyone else putting Ambassador Sondland or the three of us as a group in charge of Ukraine policy.
[00:42:53.720 - 00:43:17.320]

Rather as I understood it each of us in our own respective official capacities continue to work together after our attendance of President Zelensky's inauguration to push for greater U.S. support for Ukraine. Leading the diplomacy around Ukraine negotiations had long been my official responsibility that I welcomed the added support and influence of cabinet member and our EU ambassador.
[00:43:17.320 - 00:43:40.800]

Fifth, I was not aware that Ambassador Sondland spoke with President Trump on July 26 while ambassador Taylor and I were visiting the conflict zone. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, allow me to thank you again for the opportunity to provide this testimony. I believe that U.S. foreign policy and national security interest in Ukraine are of critical importance and I will be pleased to answer your questions.
[00:43:40.800 - 00:44:22.760]

Thank you.
[00:44:22.760 - 00:44:23.760]
Adam B. Schiff
Ambassador Volker, I was going to just yield to the minority counsel, but there are a couple of points that you made in your opening statement that I wanted to ask about first. First, you said that now former Attorney General Lutsenko was not credible. Mr. Lutsenko is the author of a number of allegations against Ambassador Yovanovitch, a number of allegations that were shared with John Solomon of the Hill, a number of allegations that have been repeatedly brought up by my Republican colleagues.
[00:44:23.760 - 00:45:11.240]

Why is it that you found Mr. Lutsenko not credible and told Mr. Giuliani so?
[00:45:11.240 - 00:45:19.480]
Kurt Volker
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First of all, the allegations themselves, including those against Ambassador Yovanovitch did not appear to me to be credible at all. I know her to be an incredibly competent perfection all, someone I've worked with for many, many years. The suggestions that she was acting in some inappropriate manner were not credible to me. I've known Vice President Biden for a long time.
[00:45:19.480 - 00:45:45.240]

Those accusations were not credible. And then separate from that, I also was aware of the political situation in Ukraine. We had a situation where President Poroshenko appeared to not be in a favorable position going into the elections where it was increasingly apparent then candidate Zelensky was going to win.
[00:45:45.240 - 00:46:08.280]

As is often the case in Ukraine, a change in power would mean change in prosecutorial powers as well and there have been efforts in the past to add prosecuting the previous government. I think Mr. Lutsenko in my estimation, and I said this to Mayor Giuliani when I met with him, was interested in preserving his own position.
[00:46:08.280 - 00:46:26.480]

He wanted to avoid being fired by a new government in order to prevent prosecution of himself, possible prosecution of himself, possibly also this is something that President Poroshenko would have welcomed as well because he probably would have avoided any efforts to prosecute president partitioning go as well.
[00:46:26.480 - 00:46:44.480]

So by making allegations like this and making sure they were reaching U.S. media, I think that Mr. Lutsenko was trying to make himself appear to be an important and influential player in the United States.
[00:46:44.480 - 00:46:59.160]
Adam B. Schiff
Ambassador, let me also ask you about the allegations against Joe Biden, because that has been a continuing refrain from some of my colleagues as well. Why was it you found the allegations against Joe Biden related to his son and Burisma not to be believed?
[00:46:59.160 - 00:47:15.160]
Kurt Volker
Simply because I've known Vice President -- former Vice President Biden for a long time. I know how he respects his duties of higher office and it's just not credible to me that a Vice President of the United States is going to do anything other than act as how he sees best for the national interest.
[00:47:15.160 - 00:47:33.240]
Adam B. Schiff
And finally, ambassador, before I turn it over, I was struck by something you said on page 8 of your statement which reads, "In hindsight, I now understand that others so the idea of investigating possible corruption involving the Ukrainian company Burisma as equivalent to investigating former Vice President Biden.
[00:47:33.240 - 00:47:54.320]

I saw them as different, the former being appropriate and unremarkable, the latter being unacceptable. In retrospect," you said, "I should have seen that connection differently and had I done so, I would have raised my own objections." What is it now, ambassador, in retrospect that you recognize that you didn't at the time that leads you to conclude that you would or should have raised these objections?
[00:47:54.320 - 00:48:21.160]
Kurt Volker
Yeah, that others did not see the distinction between these things as I saw it. As I said, there is a history of corruption in Ukraine, there's a history with the company of Burisma. It's been investigated. That is well known. There is a separate allegation about the Vice President acting inappropriately.
[00:48:21.160 - 00:48:43.800]

His son was a board member of this company, but those things I saw as completely distinct. And what I was trying to do in working with the Ukrainians was to thread a needle to see whether things that they can do that are appropriate and reasonable as part of Ukraine's and policy of fighting corruption that helps clarify for our president that they are committed to that very -- that very effort.
[00:48:43.800 - 00:49:09.320]

If there's a way to thread the needle, I thought it was worth the effort to try to solve the problem. As it turns out, I now understand that most of the other people didn't see or didn't consider this distinction that for them it was synonymous.
[00:49:09.320 - 00:49:23.680]
Adam B. Schiff
Well, one of those people who saw it synonymous turns out to be the president of the United States. I take it you didn't know until the call record was released that the president in that call doesn't raise charisma. He asked for an investigation of the Bidens. Is that right?
[00:49:23.680 - 00:49:40.480]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[00:49:40.480 - 00:49:41.080]
Adam B. Schiff
I take it since you say that you acknowledge that asking for an investigation of the Bidens would have been unacceptable and objectionable, that had the president asked you to get Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, you would have told him so?
[00:49:41.080 - 00:49:59.440]
Kurt Volker
I would have objected to that, yes, sir.
[00:49:59.440 - 00:50:00.880]
Adam B. Schiff
Mr. Goldman.
[00:50:00.880 - 00:50:02.200]
Daniel Goldman
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just one follow-up on that, Ambassador Volker. When you say thread the needle, you -- you mean that you understood the relationship between Vice President Biden's son and Burisma, but you were trying to separate the two of them in your mind, is that right?
[00:50:02.200 - 00:50:21.960]
Kurt Volker
I believe that they were separate that -- and this references the conversation I had with Mr. Giuliani as well where I think the allegations against Vice President Biden are self-serving and not credible. Separate question is whether it is appropriate for Ukraine to investigate possible corruption of Ukrainians that may have tried to correct things or by influence.
[00:50:21.960 - 00:50:45.960]

To me, they are very different things. And as I said, I think the former is unacceptable. I think the latter in this case is
[00:50:45.960 - 00:50:52.560]
Daniel Goldman
-- Understood, but you -- you understood the relationship between Hunter Biden and Burisma. That's the
[00:50:52.560 - 00:50:56.720]
Kurt Volker
-- I knew that he had been a board member of the company. Yes.
[00:50:56.720 - 00:50:58.840]
Daniel Goldman
Let's go back
[00:50:58.840 - 00:50:59.840]
Kurt Volker
-- That's why it was so important to maintain a distinction.
[00:50:59.840 - 00:51:02.200]
Daniel Goldman
Let's focus on the July 25 call for a moment. And Mr. Morrison, July 25 was they number what for you as that senior director overseeing Ukraine?
[00:51:02.200 - 00:51:15.280]
Tim Morrison
I officially took over on the 15th. Approximately 10 days, very few days actually in the office.
[00:51:15.280 - 00:51:24.520]
Daniel Goldman
You testified in your deposition that you received an email on the morning of July 25 from Ambassador Sondland shortly before the call. Is that right?
[00:51:24.520 - 00:51:35.040]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[00:51:35.040 - 00:51:35.560]
Daniel Goldman
And I believe in that email Ambassador Sondland told you that he had briefed President Trump about the -- in advance of the call. Is that right?
[00:51:35.560 - 00:51:44.240]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[00:51:44.240 - 00:51:44.760]
Daniel Goldman
And you also testified that Ambassador Sondland had told you on another occasion that he could call the president whenever he wanted. Is that right?
[00:51:44.760 - 00:51:55.480]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[00:51:55.480 - 00:51:57.920]
Daniel Goldman
And on July 25, did you in fact make an effort to confirm whether or not the phone call between Ambassador Sondland and President Trump actually occurred?
[00:51:57.920 - 00:52:09.160]
Tim Morrison
I did.
[00:52:09.160 - 00:52:10.000]
Daniel Goldman
And did it -- did it happen?
[00:52:10.000 - 00:52:11.880]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[00:52:11.880 - 00:52:12.520]
Daniel Goldman
On other occasions when Ambassador Sondland told you that he spoke with President Trump, did you -- on some other occasions, did you also seek confirmation of that fact?
[00:52:12.520 - 00:52:23.040]
Tim Morrison
On some, yes.
[00:52:23.040 - 00:52:24.880]
Daniel Goldman
And on those occasions when you did seek to confirm that they had spoken, what did you find?
[00:52:24.880 - 00:52:30.800]
Tim Morrison
They had.
[00:52:30.800 - 00:52:31.560]
Daniel Goldman
Now, I'm going to pull up a text message on the morning of July 25 between -- well, it should be another one. Oh yeah, sorry. Ambassador Sondland with you, Ambassador Volker. And at 7:54, Ambassador Sondland -- in the morning, Ambassador Sondland says "Call ASAP." Then at 9:35, Ambassador Volker, you respond.
[00:52:31.560 - 00:53:01.440]

Is the screen working in front of you or just to the side? Yeah. So if you could go ahead and read what you said
[00:53:01.440 - 00:53:07.800]
Kurt Volker
-- Yes
[00:53:07.800 - 00:53:08.400]
Daniel Goldman
-- At 9:35.
[00:53:08.400 - 00:53:10.000]
Kurt Volker
Yeah. So I said hi, Gordon. I had got your message. I had a great lunch with Yermak and then passed your message to him. He will see you tomorrow. I think everything is in place.
[00:53:10.000 - 00:53:20.040]
Daniel Goldman
And who is Yermak?
[00:53:20.040 - 00:53:24.600]
Kurt Volker
Andriy Yermak is the senior advisor to President Zelensky of Ukraine.
[00:53:24.600 - 00:53:34.120]
Daniel Goldman
Now what was the message that you had received?
[00:53:34.120 - 00:53:37.920]
Kurt Volker
That President Zelensky should be clear, convincing, forthright with President Trump about his commitment to fighting corruption, investigating what happened in the past, get to the bottom of things, whatever there is, and if he does that, President Trump was prepared to be reassured that he would say yes, come on, let's get this date for this visit scheduled.
[00:53:37.920 - 00:54:04.360]
Daniel Goldman
And did you understand from that message that Ambassador Sondland had spoken to President Trump?
[00:54:04.360 - 00:54:09.400]
Kurt Volker
I wasn't sure whether he had or not. He, as Mr. Morrison just said, said that he does speak with President Trump. I knew that he had conversations in general. I didn't note specifically about one leading up to this.
[00:54:09.400 - 00:54:22.560]
Daniel Goldman
Now, on the screen in front of you is another text message from you that same morning.
[00:54:22.560 - 00:54:28.040]
Kurt Volker
Yes.
[00:54:28.040 - 00:54:28.520]
Daniel Goldman
At 8:36 in the morning to Andriy Yermak.
[00:54:28.520 - 00:54:31.960]
Kurt Volker
Yes, I believe because of the time difference, this is actually in the afternoon in Ukraine.
[00:54:31.960 - 00:54:36.920]
Daniel Goldman
In Ukraine and so this is East Coast time, that's right.
[00:54:36.920 - 00:54:39.280]
Kurt Volker
Right.
[00:54:39.280 - 00:54:39.440]
Daniel Goldman
So this is slightly less than a half hour before the call between President Trump and President Zelensky.
[00:54:39.440 - 00:54:44.640]
Kurt Volker
Right, and
[00:54:44.640 - 00:54:45.120]
Daniel Goldman
-- And can you just read what you wrote there?
[00:54:45.120 - 00:54:47.280]
Kurt Volker
Yes. And just after the lunch that I had with Andriy Yermak. It says, "Good lunch. Thanks. Heard from White House. Assuming President Zelensky can convince his Trump, he will investigate, get to the bottom of what happened in 2016. We will nail down a date for a visit to Washington. Good luck. See you tomorrow.
[00:54:47.280 - 00:55:02.400]

Kurt."
[00:55:02.400 - 00:55:03.440]
Daniel Goldman
And does this accurately relay the message that you had received from Ambassador Sondland?
[00:55:03.440 - 00:55:08.360]
Kurt Volker
Yes.
[00:55:08.360 - 00:55:08.840]
Daniel Goldman
Now, Mr. Morrison, did the National Security Council also prepare talking points for President Trump for this call?
[00:55:08.840 - 00:55:16.880]
Tim Morrison
The NSC staff did, yes.
[00:55:16.880 - 00:55:18.840]
Daniel Goldman
And per usual custom, are these -- were these talking points based on the official United States policy objectives?
[00:55:18.840 - 00:55:27.760]
Tim Morrison
They were.
[00:55:27.760 - 00:55:28.280]
Daniel Goldman
And since there has been a little bit of dispute about what that means, can you explain how official U.S. policy is determined with -- through the interagency process?
[00:55:28.280 - 00:55:39.880]
Tim Morrison
We operate under what's known as NSPM-4, National Security Presidential Memorandum 4. It's available on the Internet. That lays out how the president wants to be provided options for his decision.
[00:55:39.880 - 00:55:53.200]
Daniel Goldman
And there's an extensive process to finalize any policy, is that right?
[00:55:53.200 - 00:56:00.360]
Tim Morrison
Sometimes.
[00:56:00.360 - 00:56:02.720]
Daniel Goldman
Did you -- Mr. Morrison, you -- you listened to this call on the 25th, is that right?
[00:56:02.720 - 00:56:10.720]
Tim Morrison
I did.
[00:56:10.720 - 00:56:11.040]
Daniel Goldman
Where did you listen from?
[00:56:11.040 - 00:56:12.160]
Tim Morrison
The White House situation room.
[00:56:12.160 - 00:56:13.360]
Daniel Goldman
In your deposition, you testified that the call was not what you were hoping to hear. What did you mean by that?
[00:56:13.360 - 00:56:20.880]
Tim Morrison
I was hoping for a mole -- more full throated statement of support from the president concerning President Zelensky's reform agenda, given where we were at the time with respect to the overwhelming mandate President Zelensky's Servant of the Party people had received in the Rata election.
[00:56:20.880 - 00:56:41.200]
Daniel Goldman
And that Rata, which is the Ukrainian Parliament, that election had occurred four days earlier?
[00:56:41.200 - 00:56:46.480]
Tim Morrison
That sounds right.
[00:56:46.480 - 00:56:47.200]
Daniel Goldman
And President Zelensky's party won in a landslide, is that right?
[00:56:47.200 - 00:56:50.960]
Tim Morrison
They received more than a -- a -- a majority in their own right.
[00:56:50.960 - 00:56:55.160]
Daniel Goldman
So, at least in Ukraine, there was tremendous support for Zelensky's anticorruption agenda, is that right?
[00:56:55.160 - 00:57:02.000]
Tim Morrison
At the time.
[00:57:02.000 - 00:57:04.600]
Daniel Goldman
And within the interagency, within the national security agencies here in the United States, was there broad support for President Zelensky?
[00:57:04.600 - 00:57:14.120]
Tim Morrison
There was broad support for giving President Zelensky a chance.
[00:57:14.120 - 00:57:19.280]
Daniel Goldman
And to that point, he had shown that he was -- he had at least put his money where his mouth was for the three months that he had been in office, is that right?
[00:57:19.280 - 00:57:27.880]
Tim Morrison
Approximately three months, yes.
[00:57:27.880 - 00:57:30.680]
Daniel Goldman
Now, I want to show a couple of excerpts from this call record to -- to each of you. The first is President Trump responding to a comment by President Zelensky related to defend support from the United States and the purchase of Javelins. And President Trump then says, "I would like you to do us a favor though, because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine.
[00:57:30.680 - 00:58:00.320]

They say CrowdStrike. I guess you have one of your wealthy people. The server, they say Ukraine has it." And if we could go to the next excerpt where President Trump says, "The other thing, there's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution. And a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great.
[00:58:00.320 - 00:58:22.960]

Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it, it sounds horrible to me." Now, Mr. Morrison, were -- these references to CrowdStrike, the server and 2016 election, and to Vice President Biden and son, where they included in the president's talking points?
[00:58:22.960 - 00:58:41.560]
Tim Morrison
They were not.
[00:58:41.560 - 00:58:44.960]
Daniel Goldman
And where they consistent with what you understood at that time to be official U.S. policy?
[00:58:44.960 - 00:58:50.160]
Tim Morrison
I -- I was not aware of any -- of -- of much of this at the time.
[00:58:50.160 - 00:58:54.080]
Daniel Goldman
And in fact, subsequent to this call, you did nothing to implement the -- the investigations that President Trump -- implement the request for the investigations that President Trump asked for, is that right?
[00:58:54.080 - 00:59:06.720]
Tim Morrison
I did not understand any instruction to do so.
[00:59:06.720 - 00:59:09.120]
Daniel Goldman
And you didn't -- you were not aware of anyone else within your -- you coordinate the interagency process, and you were not aware of anyone else who was doing that either, is that right?
[00:59:09.120 - 00:59:18.080]
Tim Morrison
Correct.
[00:59:18.080 - 00:59:18.520]
Daniel Goldman
Now, you -- you testified in your deposition that hearing this call confirmed what you called the parallel process that your predecessor, Fiona Hill, had warned you about. What did -- what did you mean by that?
[00:59:18.520 - 00:59:33.640]
Tim Morrison
During the period in which Dr. Hill and I were conducting handoff meetings so that I could be up to speed on the various things that were occurring in the portfolio at the time, she mentioned the traditional NSPM-4 process and the parallel -- parallel process. And in the context of discussing the parallel process, she mentioned issues like Burisma, which were noteworthy me -- to me at the time because I had -- had never heard of them before.
[00:59:33.640 - 01:00:08.080]

And upon hearing them in the -- the call, it wound up confirming, okay, there -- there's something here.
[01:00:08.080 - 01:00:15.040]
Daniel Goldman
And who did she inform you was involved in this parallel process?
[01:00:15.040 - 01:00:19.120]
Tim Morrison
As I recall, it was definitely Ambassador Sondland and I believe Mr. Giuliani.
[01:00:19.120 - 01:00:23.480]
Daniel Goldman
And after she informed you of this company Burisma, what if anything did you do to determine what that was?
[01:00:23.480 - 01:00:32.200]
Tim Morrison
After that particular handoff meeting, I -- I proceeded to look it up on the Internet. I Googled it.
[01:00:32.200 - 01:00:38.560]
Daniel Goldman
And did you find that it had some association with Hunter Biden?
[01:00:38.560 - 01:00:42.520]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[01:00:42.520 - 01:00:42.960]
Daniel Goldman
Now, Ambassador Volker, you did not listen to this call, but you testified that you were surprised and troubled when you read the call record after it was released on September 25th. And you also said that after reading the call record it was clear to you that the Biden/Burisma and the 2016 election investigations that President Trump discussed on the call were design to serve the president's political interests, not the national interest.
[01:00:42.960 - 01:01:13.480]

What did you mean when you said that?
[01:01:13.480 - 01:01:15.160]
Kurt Volker
Sir, I don't recall that language from my testimony. It's from my October 3rd testimony?
[01:01:15.160 - 01:01:22.400]
Daniel Goldman
Yes, it was.
[01:01:22.400 - 01:01:24.200]
Kurt Volker
Thank you. Well, what I do mean by that, and -- and I'd like to phrase it in my own words now, is I don't think that raising 2016 elections or Vice President Biden or these -- these things that I consider to be conspiracy theories that have been circulated by the Ukrainians, particularly the former prosecutor general, are -- they're -- they're not things that we should be pursuing as part of our national security strategy with Ukraine.
[01:01:24.200 - 01:01:53.960]

We should be supporting Ukraine's democracy, reforms, and its own fight against corruption domestically, its struggle against Russia, its defense capabilities. These -- these are the heart of what we should be doing, and I don't think pursuing these things serves a national interest.
[01:01:53.960 - 01:02:15.280]
Daniel Goldman
Now, Mr. Morrison, shortly after you heard the July 25th call, you testified that you alerted the NSC legal advisor, John Eisenberg, pretty much right away, is that right?
[01:02:15.280 - 01:02:29.600]
Tim Morrison
Correct.
[01:02:29.600 - 01:02:30.240]
Daniel Goldman
And you indicated in your opening statement, or at least from your -- your deposition, that you went to Mr. Eisenberg out of concern over the potential political fallout if the call record became public and -- and not because you thought it was illegal. Is that right?
[01:02:30.240 - 01:02:45.880]
Tim Morrison
Correct.
[01:02:45.880 - 01:02:47.000]
Daniel Goldman
But you -- you would agree, right, that asking a foreign government to investigate a domestic political rival is inappropriate, would you not?
[01:02:47.000 - 01:02:56.720]
Tim Morrison
It -- it's not what -- it's not what we recommended the president discuss.
[01:02:56.720 - 01:03:01.000]
Daniel Goldman
Now, in a second meeting with Mr. Eisenberg, what did you recommend that he do to prevent the call record from leaking?
[01:03:01.000 - 01:03:10.840]
Tim Morrison
I recommended we restrict access to the package.
[01:03:10.840 - 01:03:13.920]
Daniel Goldman
Had you ever asked the NSC legal advisor to restrict access before?
[01:03:13.920 - 01:03:18.360]
Tim Morrison
No.
[01:03:18.360 - 01:03:18.760]
Daniel Goldman
Did you speak to your supervisor, Dr. Kupperman, before you went to speak to John Eisenberg?
[01:03:18.760 - 01:03:25.200]
Tim Morrison
No.
[01:03:25.200 - 01:03:25.440]
Daniel Goldman
Did you subsequently learn that the call record had been put in a highly classified system?
[01:03:25.440 - 01:03:31.280]
Tim Morrison
I did.
[01:03:31.280 - 01:03:31.880]
Daniel Goldman
And what reason did Mr. Eisenberg give you for why the call record was put in the highly classified system?
[01:03:31.880 - 01:03:38.360]
Tim Morrison
It was a mistake.
[01:03:38.360 - 01:03:39.280]
Daniel Goldman
He said it was just a mistake?
[01:03:39.280 - 01:03:41.880]
Tim Morrison
It -- it was an administrative error.
[01:03:41.880 - 01:03:44.320]
Daniel Goldman
Now, isn't it also true though that you had authority to restrict access on the regular system if you wanted to?
[01:03:44.320 - 01:03:53.040]
Tim Morrison
I -- I believe I could have instructed the appropriate staff to do so, yes.
[01:03:53.040 - 01:03:56.880]
Daniel Goldman
So, why did you go to the NSC legal advisor to recommend that?
[01:03:56.880 - 01:04:01.080]
Tim Morrison
Well, I was also concerned that -- based on the participants in the listening room that day, I did not then and I do not now recall any representatives from the NSC legal advisor's office, as they were often on head of state calls but not always, and I wanted to make sure that John Eisenberg as the legal advisor and his deputy were aware to -- to review this particular transcript.
[01:04:01.080 - 01:04:26.240]
Daniel Goldman
And you wanted them to review it because you were concerned about the political -- potential political consequences, not because of -- anything was wrong?
[01:04:26.240 - 01:04:34.400]
Tim Morrison
Correct. And political consequences is -- was an umbrella term I used in my statement to describe a series of effects I -- I feared about what would happen if and when the content of the transcript or the content of the Mem-Comm leaked.
[01:04:34.400 - 01:04:47.680]
Daniel Goldman
So just to make sure I understand this correctly Mr. Morrison you -- you heard the call, you recognize that President Trump was not discussing the talking points that the NSC had prepared based on official U.S. policy and was instead talking about the investigations that Fiona Hill had warned you about and then you reported it immediately to the NSC legal advisor.
[01:04:47.680 - 01:05:13.360]

Is that the correct check of event's here?
[01:05:13.360 - 01:05:15.400]
Tim Morrison
That is correct.
[01:05:15.400 - 01:05:16.320]
Daniel Goldman
Now Ambassador Volker in the July 25 call President Zelensky volunteers to President Trump that Rudy Giuliani had already spoken with one of his associates and that President Zelensky hopes Giuliani will come to Ukraine and in response President Trump proceeds to mention Mr. Giuliani on three separate occasions during this call.
[01:05:16.320 - 01:05:41.200]

You testified about a May 23 meeting in the Oval Office where the President spoke quite negatively about Ukraine and how it tried to take him down and that he also repeated some of the allegations that Mr. Giuliani was making is that correct?
[01:05:41.200 - 01:05:58.920]
Kurt Volker
Yes.
[01:05:58.920 - 01:06:00.040]
Daniel Goldman
And those allegations were in the media were they not?
[01:06:00.040 - 01:06:03.000]
Kurt Volker
Yes.
[01:06:03.000 - 01:06:03.480]
Daniel Goldman
And during that meeting President Trump told you and Ambassador Sondland and Secretary Perry to talk to Giuliani isn't that correct?
[01:06:03.480 - 01:06:11.920]
Kurt Volker
He -- I didn't take it as an instruction. I want to be clear about that. He said that is not what I hear you know when we were giving him our assessment about President Zelensky and where Ukraine is that is not what I hear. I hear terrible things he has got terrible people around him, talk to Rudy and I understood in the context him just saying that is where he hears it from.
[01:06:11.920 - 01:06:36.800]

I didn't take it as an instruction.
[01:06:36.800 - 01:06:38.840]
Daniel Goldman
So when he said talk to Rudy you didn't take it to mean for you to talk to Rudy?
[01:06:38.840 - 01:06:44.840]
Kurt Volker
No, I didn't take it that way. I -- I took it as that just part of the dialogue been I hear other things, I hear them from Rudy Giuliani or other people that is not what's going on, he is surrounded by terrible people, talk to Rudy you know it just seemed like part of the dialogue.
[01:06:44.840 - 01:07:02.520]
Daniel Goldman
Well, after that meeting did you in fact talk to Rudy?
[01:07:02.520 - 01:07:06.920]
Kurt Volker
After that meeting not immediately, no. Remember this was May 23 and we continue to proceed with our effort to get the White House visit for President Zelensky scheduled and to keep ramping up our support for the Ukrainian President and ultimately the Ukrainian government. I did however on July 2 as I was becoming concerned that we were not succeeding at this tell President Zelensky I think we have a problem and that problem being this negative feed of information from Mr. Giuliani.
[01:07:06.920 - 01:07:39.600]
Daniel Goldman
And ultimately I think as you testified in your opening statement you introduced Mr. Yermak to Mr. Giuliani and they eventually met. Is that right?
[01:07:39.600 - 01:07:49.240]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[01:07:49.240 - 01:07:50.120]
Daniel Goldman
Now during this whole time in July and after they call into early August when they met Ukraine still desperately wanted that Oval Office meeting for President Zelensky, correct?
[01:07:50.120 - 01:07:59.680]
Kurt Volker
That is current.
[01:07:59.680 - 01:08:00.280]
Daniel Goldman
And you also wanted that for President Zelensky, is that right?
[01:08:00.280 - 01:08:03.640]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[01:08:03.640 - 01:08:04.560]
Daniel Goldman
Why was that Oval Office meeting so important to President Zelensky?
[01:08:04.560 - 01:08:07.840]
Kurt Volker
I think that he felt that he was not well understood by President Trump. He is a charismatic leader who ran a remarkable campaign in Ukraine against the legacy of corruption and political malaise that had been there. He had a massive showing in the presidential election, 73% support. He believed he was leading a movement of major change in Ukraine and that President Trump was -- did not see that or didn't appreciate that.
[01:08:07.840 - 01:08:36.520]

But if he had a chance to sit down and speak with President Trump face to face he believed that he could be very convincing about that and I agree with him.
[01:08:36.520 - 01:08:44.720]
Daniel Goldman
That -- that certainly was your assessment, right?
[01:08:44.720 - 01:08:47.080]
Kurt Volker
It was my assessment and I believe it was also what President Zelensky believed.
[01:08:47.080 - 01:08:50.720]
Daniel Goldman
And certainly that you understood from your experience in Ukraine that there would be a significant boost in legitimacy at home for President Zelensky if there were photos of him in the Oval Office, etc., right?
[01:08:50.720 - 01:09:02.080]
Kurt Volker
Yes, that is correct.
[01:09:02.080 - 01:09:03.400]
Daniel Goldman
Now you knew -- you testified in your -- your opening statement that Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Yermak, Zelensky's aide, met on August 2. Where did they meet?
[01:09:03.400 - 01:09:13.360]
Kurt Volker
They met in Madrid.
[01:09:13.360 - 01:09:14.320]
Daniel Goldman
And what -- did you learn that Mr. Giuliani requested anything of the Ukrainians at that meeting?
[01:09:14.320 - 01:09:21.080]
Kurt Volker
Only when I spoke with Mr. Giuliani afterwards he said that he thought Ukraine should issue a statement and then I spoke with Mr. Yermak after that and he said yes, and we are prepared to make a statement and that then kicked off the series of discussions that I said in my testimony.
[01:09:21.080 - 01:09:38.520]
Daniel Goldman
We -- we will get into that in a second but Mr. Giuliani did not explain to you what needed to be included in that statement in that call you had?
[01:09:38.520 - 01:09:47.200]
Kurt Volker
He said something more general as I recall. I recall him saying crook -- fight corruption, their commitment to being different. Mr. Yermak told me when I spoke with him as I recall that the statement would include specific mention of Burisma and 2016.
[01:09:47.200 - 01:10:04.480]
Daniel Goldman
Right. Let's go through some of the text messages so we know exactly who said what and first let's start on August 9. This is a text exchange between you and Ambassador Sondland where Ambassador Sondland writes at the top Morrison ready to get dates as soon as Yermak confirms and what did you respond?
[01:10:04.480 - 01:10:26.880]
Kurt Volker
I said excellent with two exclamation points. How did you sway him with a smile afterwards?
[01:10:26.880 - 01:10:32.760]
Daniel Goldman
Ambassador Sondland responded not sure I did, I think POTUS really wants the deliverable and what did you say to that?
[01:10:32.760 - 01:10:39.920]
Kurt Volker
But how does he know that?
[01:10:39.920 - 01:10:41.280]
Daniel Goldman
And Ambassador Sondland says yeah, clearly lots of convos going on. Now Mr. Morrison you are referenced in this text message. Have you discussed confirming a date for a White House visit for President Zelensky with Ambassador Sondland around this time?
[01:10:41.280 - 01:10:57.160]
Tim Morrison
I likely would have.
[01:10:57.160 - 01:10:59.320]
Daniel Goldman
And did you have any discussions with him about a statement that Ukraine was -- that they were trying to get Ukraine to make?
[01:10:59.320 - 01:11:11.920]
Tim Morrison
I did not.
[01:11:11.920 - 01:11:13.840]
Daniel Goldman
Were you aware that -- do you yourself know what Ambassador Sondland meant by the deliverable?
[01:11:13.840 - 01:11:21.160]
Tim Morrison
I did not at the time, I think I have an understanding now.
[01:11:21.160 - 01:11:26.320]
Daniel Goldman
And what is the understanding now?
[01:11:26.320 - 01:11:29.560]
Tim Morrison
There seems to have been discussions about a statement various drafts of which have been discussed in various proceedings.
[01:11:29.560 - 01:11:36.560]
Daniel Goldman
But this to your knowledge was part of that parallel process you were talking about?
[01:11:36.560 - 01:11:42.280]

If we can now go to the next exhibit which is another text exchange just a few minutes later between Ambassador Sondland and you, Ambassador Volker where Ambassador Sondland says to avoid misunderstandings might be helpful to ask Andriy for a draft statement embargoed so that we can see exactly what they propose to cover even though Z, Zelensky, does a live presser they can still summarize in a brief statement.
[01:11:42.280 - 01:12:11.600]

Thoughts? And how did you respond?
[01:12:11.600 - 01:12:13.840]
Tim Morrison
Agree.
[01:12:13.840 - 01:12:14.280]
Daniel Goldman
And this relates to these statement that Mr. Giuliani wanted, is that right, Ambassador Volker?
[01:12:14.280 - 01:12:19.720]
Kurt Volker
It relates to the statement that he and Mr. Yermak had discussed.
[01:12:19.720 - 01:12:22.720]
Daniel Goldman
And now to the next day on August 10 there is another text exchange between you and Mr. Yermak who is the same aid that Mr. Giuliani had met in Madrid and if you -- you can read what you wrote at the top at 5:02 PM.
[01:12:22.720 - 01:12:39.600]
Kurt Volker
Right, I wrote I agree with your approach. Let's iron out statement and use that to get date and then President Zelensky can go forward with it.
[01:12:39.600 - 01:12:49.240]
Daniel Goldman
And Mr. Yermak responds once we have a date we will call for a press briefing to announcing upcoming visit and outlining vision for the reboot of U.S. Ukraine relationship including among other things Burisma and election meddling and investigations and what did you respond?
[01:12:49.240 - 01:13:03.640]
Kurt Volker
Sounds great.
[01:13:03.640 - 01:13:04.640]
Daniel Goldman
Now the date that he is referring to that is the date for the White House visit?
[01:13:04.640 - 01:13:08.360]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[01:13:08.360 - 01:13:09.520]
Daniel Goldman
Now two days later on August 12 you receive another text message from Mr. Yermak which reads special attention should be paid to the problem of interference in the political processes of the United States especially with the alleged involvement of some Ukrainian politicians. I want to declare that this is unacceptable.
[01:13:09.520 - 01:13:25.400]

We intend to initiate and complete a transparent and unbiased investigation of all available facts and episodes which in turn will prevent the recurrence of this problem in the future.
[01:13:25.400 - 01:13:39.920]

Now Ambassador Volker this was a draft was it not of the statement that you and Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Yermak and Ambassador Sondland have been discussing?
[01:13:39.920 - 01:13:49.280]
Kurt Volker
This is the first draft of that from Mr. Yermak after the conversations that we had.
[01:13:49.280 - 01:13:56.720]
Daniel Goldman
And it does not mention Burisma or the 2016 election interference, correct?
[01:13:56.720 - 01:14:02.360]
Kurt Volker
It does not.
[01:14:02.360 - 01:14:03.400]
Daniel Goldman
And you testified in your deposition that you and Ambassador Sondland and Mayor Giuliani have a conversation about this draft after you received it, is that right?
[01:14:03.400 - 01:14:11.800]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[01:14:11.800 - 01:14:12.600]
Daniel Goldman
And Julie -- Mr. Giuliani said that if the statement did not include Burisma and 2016 election it would not have any credibility is that -- is that right?
[01:14:12.600 - 01:14:24.920]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[01:14:24.920 - 01:14:26.880]
Daniel Goldman
Now this was the same Rudy Giuliani that President Trump was discussing in that May 23 meeting and ask you to talk -- you and the others to talk to, correct?
[01:14:26.880 - 01:14:39.480]
Kurt Volker
That is the same Mr. Giuliani.
[01:14:39.480 - 01:14:43.200]
Daniel Goldman
And even at that point on May 23 you were aware of these investigations that he was publicly promoting, correct?
[01:14:43.200 - 01:14:50.600]
Kurt Volker
I knew that he had adopted or was interested in all of those conspiracy theories that had come from Lutsenko.
[01:14:50.600 - 01:14:58.080]
Daniel Goldman
Back in May you knew that?
[01:14:58.080 - 01:14:59.960]
Kurt Volker
Back in May.
[01:14:59.960 - 01:15:00.800]
Daniel Goldman
Now he was insisting on a public commitment from President Zelensky to do these investigations, correct?
[01:15:00.800 - 01:15:06.320]
Kurt Volker
Well, now what do we mean by these investigations?
[01:15:06.320 - 01:15:09.400]
Daniel Goldman
Burisma and the 2016 election.
[01:15:09.400 - 01:15:12.800]
Kurt Volker
Burisma and 2016, yes.
[01:15:12.800 - 01:15:16.200]
Daniel Goldman
And at the time that you were engaged in coordinating for this statement, did you find it unusual that there was such an emphasis on a public statement from President Zelensky to carry out the investigations that the president was seeking?
[01:15:16.200 - 01:15:29.600]
Kurt Volker
I didn't find it that unusual. I think when you're dealing with a situation where I believe the president was highly skeptical about President Zelensky being committed to really changing Ukraine after his entirely negative view of the country, that he would want to hear something more from President Zelensky to be convinced that, okay, I'll give this guy a chance.
[01:15:29.600 - 01:15:51.360]
Daniel Goldman
And he -- perhaps could also wanted a public statement because it would lock President Zelensky in it to do these investigations that he thought might benefit him?
[01:15:51.360 - 01:16:03.640]
Kurt Volker
Well, again, we're -- when we say these investigations, what I understood us to be talking about was Ukrainian corruption, whether anything
[01:16:03.640 - 01:16:12.720]
Daniel Goldman
-- Well, what -- what we're talking about is Burisma and the 2016 election.
[01:16:12.720 - 01:16:20.040]
Kurt Volker
Correct.
[01:16:20.040 - 01:16:20.320]
Daniel Goldman
Let's just
[01:16:20.320 - 01:16:20.640]
Kurt Volker
-- Correct, yes
[01:16:20.640 - 01:16:22.720]
Daniel Goldman
-- We can agree on that.
[01:16:22.720 - 01:16:24.320]
Kurt Volker
Right.
[01:16:24.320 - 01:16:24.880]
Daniel Goldman
And so, when we're talking about these investigations, isn't it clear that a public statement would be important to Mr. Giuliani because it was politically useful to the president?
[01:16:24.880 - 01:16:36.120]
Kurt Volker
The way I saw it is that it would be helpful.
[01:16:36.120 - 01:16:39.640]
Daniel Goldman
Right.
[01:16:39.640 - 01:16:40.240]
Kurt Volker
It would be a way of being convincing to Mayor Giuliani and also the president that this team in Ukraine is serious about fighting corruption, reform, that they are different. And if that would be helpful in getting a more positive attitude and the White House meeting scheduled, then that would be useful.
[01:16:40.240 - 01:16:58.320]
Daniel Goldman
And that would be helpful to get that White House meeting?
[01:16:58.320 - 01:17:01.360]
Kurt Volker
Correct.
[01:17:01.360 - 01:17:01.720]
Daniel Goldman
In fact, it was a necessary condition, as you understood at that point, right?
[01:17:01.720 - 01:17:04.920]
Kurt Volker
I wouldn't have called it a necessary condition. And in fact, when it became clear later that we were not able to agree on an agreement that the Ukrainians were comfortable with, I agreed with the Ukrainians just to drop it. It's not worth it.
[01:17:04.920 - 01:17:17.480]
Daniel Goldman
No, I understand that. But your -- your -- is it your testimony that, based on the text that you wrote linking the investigations and the 2016 election on July 25th to the White House meeting, you're saying that by this point in August with this back and forth that you were unaware that this public statement was a condition for the White House meeting?
[01:17:17.480 - 01:17:37.760]
Kurt Volker
I wouldn't have called it a condition. It's a -- it's a nuance, I guess. But I viewed it as very helpful. If we could get this done, it would help improve the perception that President Trump and others had and that we would get the date for a meeting. If we didn't have a statement, I wasn't giving up and thinking that, oh, then we'll never get a meeting.
[01:17:37.760 - 01:17:57.520]
Daniel Goldman
Let's go to the next day where there was another text exchange. And at the top, could you just read the first
[01:17:57.520 - 01:18:05.080]
Kurt Volker
-- Yes
[01:18:05.080 - 01:18:05.600]
Daniel Goldman
-- Text there?
[01:18:05.600 - 01:18:06.200]
Kurt Volker
It says, "Hi, Andriy, good talking. Following is text with insert at the end for the two key items. We will work on official request."
[01:18:06.200 - 01:18:13.720]
Daniel Goldman
And then you'll see the highlighted portion of the next text. The other is identical to your previous one, and then it just adds including
[01:18:13.720 - 01:18:20.440]
Kurt Volker
-- It adds -- it includes that, correct
[01:18:20.440 - 01:18:21.920]
Daniel Goldman
-- Including these involving Burisma and the 2016 elections. Is that right?
[01:18:21.920 - 01:18:25.280]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[01:18:25.280 - 01:18:26.280]
Daniel Goldman
And that was what Mr. Giuliani insisted on adding to the statement?
[01:18:26.280 - 01:18:29.760]
Kurt Volker
That's what he said would be necessary for that to be credible.
[01:18:29.760 - 01:18:32.560]
Daniel Goldman
And the Ukrainians ultimately did not issue the statement, is that right?
[01:18:32.560 - 01:18:36.920]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[01:18:36.920 - 01:18:37.560]
Daniel Goldman
And President Zelensky ultimately did not get the Oval Office meeting either, did he?
[01:18:37.560 - 01:18:41.880]
Kurt Volker
Not yet.
[01:18:41.880 - 01:18:44.520]
Daniel Goldman
Now, I want to move forward to September, in early September when the security assistance begins to more overtly be used as leverage to pressure the Ukrainians to conduct these investigations that President Trump wanted. Mr. Morrison, you accompanied Vice President Pence to Warsaw when he met with President Zelensky, is that right?
[01:18:44.520 - 01:19:10.920]
Tim Morrison
I was in Warsaw when the vice president was designated as the president's representative. I was accompanying Ambassador Bolton.
[01:19:10.920 - 01:19:19.720]
Daniel Goldman
Understood. You were at the bilateral meeting with the -- with the vice president and President Zelensky, correct?
[01:19:19.720 - 01:19:25.000]
Tim Morrison
I was.
[01:19:25.000 - 01:19:25.600]
Daniel Goldman
And in that meeting, where the Ukrainians concerned about the hold a security clearance -- security clearance -- military assistance, rather?
[01:19:25.600 - 01:19:36.360]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[01:19:36.360 - 01:19:37.080]
Daniel Goldman
Would
[01:19:37.080 - 01:19:37.320]
Tim Morrison
-- Yes.
[01:19:37.320 - 01:19:38.920]
Daniel Goldman
What did they say?
[01:19:38.920 - 01:19:41.200]
Tim Morrison
It was the first issue that President Zelensky raised with Vice President Pence. They were very interested. They -- they talked about its importance to -- to Ukraine, its importance the relationship.
[01:19:41.200 - 01:19:56.800]
Daniel Goldman
And what was Vice President Pence's response?
[01:19:56.800 - 01:19:59.680]
Tim Morrison
The vice president represented that it was a priority for him and that we were working to address, and he characterized President Trump's concerns about the state of corruption in Ukraine and the president's prioritization of getting the Europeans to contribute more to security sector assistance.
[01:19:59.680 - 01:20:27.600]
Daniel Goldman
And did he directly explained to the Ukrainians that those -- that those for the actual reasons for the hold, or was he just commenting on general concerns of the president?
[01:20:27.600 - 01:20:40.040]
Tim Morrison
I -- I don't know that he necessarily acknowledged a hold. We -- we mentioned that we were reviewing the -- the assistance. I mean, that's the way I -- I heard it. That's the way I would characterize it. And -- and -- and those were the points he raised to help President Zelensky understand where we were in our process.
[01:20:40.040 - 01:20:59.560]
Daniel Goldman
And to your knowledge though, on sort of the staff level as the coordinator of all the interagency process, you were not aware of any review of the Ukraine security assistance money, were you?
[01:20:59.560 - 01:21:12.200]
Tim Morrison
Well, we were -- we had been running a review. We had been running an interagency process to provide the president the information that I had been prep -- directed to generate for -- for the president's consideration as to the state of interagency support for continuing Ukraine security sector assistance.
[01:21:12.200 - 01:21:32.400]
Daniel Goldman
And the entire interagency supported the continuation of the security assistance, isn't that right?
[01:21:32.400 - 01:21:37.120]
Tim Morrison
That is correct.
[01:21:37.120 - 01:21:37.680]
Daniel Goldman
Now, after this larger meeting with Vice President Pence and President Zelensky, you testified at your deposition that you saw Ambassador Sondland immediately go over and pull Andriy Yermak aside and have a conversation, is that right?
[01:21:37.680 - 01:21:51.800]
Tim Morrison
I mean, it was -- President Zelensky left the room. Vice President Pence left the room. And in sort of an anteroom, Ambassador Sondland and presidential adviser Yermak had this discussion, yes.
[01:21:51.800 - 01:22:04.920]
Daniel Goldman
And what did Ambassador Sondland say -- tell you that he told Mr. Yermak?
[01:22:04.920 - 01:22:11.920]
Tim Morrison
That the Ukrainians would have to have the prosecutor general make a statement with respect to the investigations as a condition of having the aid lifted.
[01:22:11.920 - 01:22:23.680]
Daniel Goldman
And you testified that you were not comfortable with what Ambassador Sondland had told you. Why not?
[01:22:23.680 - 01:22:30.040]
Tim Morrison
Well, I was concerned about what I saw as essentially an additional hurdle to accomplishing what I had been directed to -- to help accomplish, which was giving the president the information needed to determine that the security sector assistance could go forward.
[01:22:30.040 - 01:22:45.480]
Daniel Goldman
So, now there is a -- a whole other wrinkle to it, right?
[01:22:45.480 - 01:22:48.560]
Tim Morrison
There was the appearance of one based on what Ambassador Sondland represented.
[01:22:48.560 - 01:22:53.240]
Daniel Goldman
And you told Ambassador Taylor about this conversation as well, is that right?
[01:22:53.240 - 01:22:59.200]
Tim Morrison
I -- I probably reached out to Ambassador Taylor to schedule a secure phone call.
[01:22:59.200 - 01:23:03.480]
Daniel Goldman
And in your deposition, you testified that his testimony, other than one small distinction between President Zelensky and the prosecutor general, was accurate as to what you told him, is that correct?
[01:23:03.480 - 01:23:14.800]
Tim Morrison
About that conversation, yes.
[01:23:14.800 - 01:23:16.240]
Daniel Goldman
And generally speaking, you confirmed everything that Ambassador Taylor told you except for that one thing and a small other ministerial matter relating to the location of the meeting. Is that correct?
[01:23:16.240 - 01:23:27.160]
Tim Morrison
Correct.
[01:23:27.160 - 01:23:27.480]
Daniel Goldman
Now, did you tell Ambassador Bolton about this conversation as well?
[01:23:27.480 - 01:23:31.760]
Tim Morrison
I -- I reached out to him as well and requested his availability for a secure phone call.
[01:23:31.760 - 01:23:36.160]
Daniel Goldman
And what was his response when you explain to him what Ambassador Sondland had said?
[01:23:36.160 - 01:23:40.200]
Tim Morrison
Tell the lawyers.
[01:23:40.200 - 01:23:41.720]
Daniel Goldman
Did you go tell the lawyers?
[01:23:41.720 - 01:23:44.080]
Tim Morrison
When I return to the States, yes.
[01:23:44.080 - 01:23:45.440]
Daniel Goldman
And did he explain to you why he wanted you to tell the lawyers?
[01:23:45.440 - 01:23:48.440]
Tim Morrison
He did not.
[01:23:48.440 - 01:23:49.160]
Daniel Goldman
Now, a few days later on September 7th, you spoke again to Ambassador Sondland, who told you that he had just gotten off the phone with President Trump, isn't that right?
[01:23:49.160 - 01:24:00.000]
Tim Morrison
That -- that sounds correct, yes.
[01:24:00.000 - 01:24:01.600]
Daniel Goldman
What did Ambassador Sondland tell you that President Trump said it to him?
[01:24:01.600 - 01:24:06.000]
Tim Morrison
If I recall this conversation correctly, this was where Ambassador Sondland related that there was no quid pro quo, but President Zelensky had to make the statement and that he had to want to do it.
[01:24:06.000 - 01:24:19.280]
Daniel Goldman
And by that point, did you understand that the statement related to the Biden and 2016 investigations?
[01:24:19.280 - 01:24:30.720]
Tim Morrison
I -- I think I did, yes.
[01:24:30.720 - 01:24:32.040]
Daniel Goldman
And that that was a -- essentially a condition for the security assistance to be released?
[01:24:32.040 - 01:24:38.600]
Tim Morrison
I understood that that's what Ambassador Sondland believed.
[01:24:38.600 - 01:24:40.960]
Daniel Goldman
After speaking with President Trump?
[01:24:40.960 - 01:24:43.280]
Tim Morrison
That's what he represented.
[01:24:43.280 - 01:24:45.800]
Daniel Goldman
Now, you testified that hearing this information gave you a sinking feeling. Why was that?
[01:24:45.800 - 01:24:50.560]
Tim Morrison
Well, I believe if were on September 7, the end of the fiscal year is September 30th. The -- these are one year dollars the DOD and the Department of State funds. So, we only had so much time. And in fact, because Congress imposed a 15 day notification requirement on the State Department funds, September 7th, September 30th, that really means September 15th in order secure a decision from the president to allow the funds to go forward.
[01:24:50.560 - 01:25:19.400]
Daniel Goldman
Did you tell Ambassador Bolton about this conversation as well?
[01:25:19.400 - 01:25:23.000]
Tim Morrison
I did. I did, yes.
[01:25:23.000 - 01:25:24.640]
Daniel Goldman
And what did he say to you?
[01:25:24.640 - 01:25:25.560]
Tim Morrison
He said to tell the lawyers.
[01:25:25.560 - 01:25:27.040]
Daniel Goldman
And why did he say to tell the lawyers?
[01:25:27.040 - 01:25:29.680]
Tim Morrison
He did not explain his direction.
[01:25:29.680 - 01:25:31.000]
Daniel Goldman
But he's not going to -- he doesn't tell you to go tell the lawyers because you're running up on the eight day deadline there, right?
[01:25:31.000 - 01:25:37.200]
Tim Morrison
Again, I -- I don't know why he -- he directed that, but it seemed reasonable and is consistent with what I was going to do anyway.
[01:25:37.200 - 01:25:44.280]
Daniel Goldman
Because -- and you weren't going to go tell them because of that concern, right? You were concerned about what you are hearing Ambassador Sondland relay to you, correct?
[01:25:44.280 - 01:25:51.640]
Tim Morrison
Correct.
[01:25:51.640 - 01:25:52.720]
Daniel Goldman
So just so we're clear, you -- you reported to concerning conversations that you had with Ambassador Sondland to the lawyers in early September in which you understood from him that the president was withholding security assistance as additional leverage to get Ukraine to publicly announce that specific political investigations that President Trump had discussed on the July 25 call.
[01:25:52.720 - 01:26:17.440]

Is that accurate?
[01:26:17.440 - 01:26:18.560]
Tim Morrison
I was concerned about what Ambassador Sunderland was -- was saying were requirements. Yes.
[01:26:18.560 - 01:26:22.920]
Daniel Goldman
Right. And you understood though that the investigations that Ambassador Sondland was referring to were the two that President Trump referenced on that July 25 call, correct?
[01:26:22.920 - 01:26:31.120]
Tim Morrison
By this point, yes.
[01:26:31.120 - 01:26:32.040]
Daniel Goldman
And during this early September time period, Mr. Morrison, did you have any conversations with Ambassador Volker about any of this?
[01:26:32.040 - 01:26:38.320]
Tim Morrison
I believe we had one conversation.
[01:26:38.320 - 01:26:40.720]
Daniel Goldman
And what do you recall about that conversation?
[01:26:40.720 - 01:26:42.960]
Tim Morrison
I believe on or about September 6, Ambassador Volker was in town to provide an update on some of his activities and that -- and he provided that update and then we had a one-on-one conversation about this -- this track, this separate process.
[01:26:42.960 - 01:27:04.520]
Daniel Goldman
And what do you recall saying to him about that separate process?
[01:27:04.520 - 01:27:07.880]
Tim Morrison
I think I was interested in understanding his -- his understanding of events.
[01:27:07.880 - 01:27:14.160]
Daniel Goldman
Did you explain to him what your understanding of -- of events was?
[01:27:14.160 - 01:27:18.400]
Tim Morrison
I think I was primarily on receive mode.
[01:27:18.400 - 01:27:21.320]
Daniel Goldman
And Ambassador Volker, what do you -- do you recall this conversation?
[01:27:21.320 - 01:27:25.240]
Kurt Volker
Thank you. I do -- I do remember a conversation with Tim. I'm not sure about the timing. I left around that time to go on a trip, and so it may have been a little bit earlier. I'm not sure about the timing. And what I do remember the discussion being is Tim asking me what is my impression of the role that Ambassador Sondland plays.
[01:27:25.240 - 01:27:49.200]

And my response to that was well, I find it helpful that he has political contacts in the White House. I don't have those contacts. I'm working the national security the demonic front, but I don't have the political contacts. And so if he's able to use those to support that same goals that we are working toward, then I viewed that as helpful.
[01:27:49.200 - 01:28:09.800]
Daniel Goldman
Well, that's a good segue to our next exhibit, which is the September 8 text exchange with you and Ambassador Taylor and Ambassador Sondland. And at the top, Ambassador Sondland says "Guys, multiple convos with Z." That's Zelensky. "POTUS. Let's talk." And then ambassador Taylor about 15, 16 minutes later it says, "Gordon and I just spoke.
[01:28:09.800 - 01:28:35.160]

I can brief you," meaning you, Ambassador Volker, "If you and Gordon don't connect." Approximately one hour later, Ambassador Taylor says, open "The nightmare is they give the interview and don't get the security assistance. The Russians love it and I quit." And then at the bottom, about five hours later, how do you respond?
[01:28:35.160 - 01:28:54.120]
Kurt Volker
I say, "I'm not in the loop. Talk Monday?"
[01:28:54.120 - 01:28:56.240]
Daniel Goldman
So you were not in the loop in terms of all of these conversations that Ambassador Taylor, Mr. Morrison, Ambassador Sondland were having?
[01:28:56.240 - 01:29:05.160]
Kurt Volker
Yes, that's correct.
[01:29:05.160 - 01:29:06.560]
Daniel Goldman
And now ultimately, the hold was lifted on September 11. Is that right, Ambassador Volker?
[01:29:06.560 - 01:29:11.320]
Kurt Volker
That's my understanding.
[01:29:11.320 - 01:29:12.600]
Daniel Goldman
Okay. And Mr. Morrison, were you aware that prior to September 11 that the White House -- that there was a whistleblower complaint circulating around the White House?
[01:29:12.600 - 01:29:21.600]
Tim Morrison
I don't believe so, no.
[01:29:21.600 - 01:29:23.280]
Daniel Goldman
But you were aware of a request to preserve records, were you not?
[01:29:23.280 - 01:29:26.560]
Tim Morrison
I -- we -- we received a number of those requests. I -- I have a general recollection of one as related to Ukraine.
[01:29:26.560 - 01:29:34.560]
Daniel Goldman
And one final question. One was the hold lifted?
[01:29:34.560 - 01:29:37.520]
Tim Morrison
As I understand it, the president gave that direction the evening of September 11.
[01:29:37.520 - 01:29:41.440]
Daniel Goldman
Which is two days after Congress announced an investigation. Were you aware of that?
[01:29:41.440 - 01:29:45.200]
Tim Morrison
I believe I was familiar with the letter from the three committee, Chairman.
[01:29:45.200 - 01:29:48.280]
Daniel Goldman
I yield.
[01:29:48.280 - 01:29:49.920]
Adam B. Schiff
That concludes that majority 45 minutes. Before I turn to the minority, are you both and your counsel okay or do you need a break? Okay. Ranking member Nunes, your recognized for 45 minutes.
[01:29:49.920 - 01:30:05.080]
Devin Nunes
Well, Ambassador and Mr. Morrison, I have some bad news for you. TV ratings are way down. Way down. I don't -- don't hold it personally. I don't think it's you guys. But whatever drug deal the Democrats are cooking up, here on the dais, the American people aren't buying it. I know you've both answered this in your opening statements, but I just want to bring a little more clarity to it. Mr. Morrison, I'll start -- start with you.
[01:30:05.080 - 01:30:38.520]

Are -- did anyone ever asked you to bribe or extort anyone at any time during your time in the White House?
[01:30:38.520 - 01:30:45.960]
Tim Morrison
No, sir.
[01:30:45.960 - 01:30:47.360]
Devin Nunes
And you were the top person for Ukraine in the White House, correct, at the NSC level?
[01:30:47.360 - 01:30:52.520]
Tim Morrison
I would argue Ambassador Bolton would be, but
[01:30:52.520 - 01:30:56.240]
Devin Nunes
-- Reporting to Ambassador Bolton.
[01:30:56.240 - 01:30:57.640]
Tim Morrison
I was the senior official, yes, sir.
[01:30:57.640 - 01:30:58.920]
Devin Nunes
Ambassador Volker, you have a storied career. Were very thinking for your service and you were the special envoy to Ukraine.
[01:30:58.920 - 01:31:06.920]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[01:31:06.920 - 01:31:09.120]
Devin Nunes
Did anyone at the White House ever asked you to write or extort anything out of anyone at any time?
[01:31:09.120 - 01:31:15.800]
Kurt Volker
No, sir.
[01:31:15.800 - 01:31:16.520]
Devin Nunes
I want to thank you both for being here and I'll yield to Mr. Castor.
[01:31:16.520 - 01:31:22.040]
Steve Castor
Thank you, Mr. Nunes. Thank you both for being here today and also for participating in the lengthy depositions. Ambassador Volker, you were the first one on October 3 and Mr. Morrison, you were with us on Halloween. So thank you for your participation. Mr. Morrison, I also want to thank you, a longtime Hill staffer.
[01:31:22.040 - 01:31:41.360]

I certainly have appreciation for that. Nearly 20 years, so thank you. And Ambassador Volker [Inaudible]
[01:31:41.360 - 01:31:49.560]
Kurt Volker
Absolutely.
[01:31:49.560 - 01:31:51.120]
Steve Castor
It's an incredible part of the country.
[01:31:51.120 - 01:31:53.720]
Kurt Volker
Very proud of it.
[01:31:53.720 - 01:31:54.920]
Steve Castor
Yeah, I'm from nearby. I just want to walk through some of your positions. You were Senate confirmed ambassador to NATO for a stent.
[01:31:54.920 - 01:32:03.080]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[01:32:03.080 - 01:32:04.120]
Steve Castor
And then you were at the State Department and your portfolio span much of what I believe George Kent has currently?
[01:32:04.120 - 01:32:11.440]
Kurt Volker
I was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, so I had all working for the assistant secretary, I had all of Europe and Eurasia and particular responsibility for NATO, Western Europe, and the European Union.
[01:32:11.440 - 01:32:24.440]
Steve Castor
And then you -- you were involved with the national Security Council. You had -- you are the director for NATO and Western Europe?
[01:32:24.440 - 01:32:30.600]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[01:32:30.600 - 01:32:31.480]
Steve Castor
And then you were the senior director for -- for European and Eurasian affairs?
[01:32:31.480 - 01:32:36.080]
Kurt Volker
I was acting for several months, six months or so in that capacity.
[01:32:36.080 - 01:32:40.280]
Steve Castor
Okay. Much like the job that
[01:32:40.280 - 01:32:42.680]
Kurt Volker
-- Same job that
[01:32:42.680 - 01:32:43.920]
Steve Castor
-- Mr. Morrison had. And we'll note that all the witnesses that we have interacted with have just heaped praise on you. Ambassador Yovanovitch said you were a brilliant diplomat, so that's very high praise. And for over two years, you served as the special representative for Ukraine negotiations.
[01:32:43.920 - 01:33:03.360]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[01:33:03.360 - 01:33:04.080]
Steve Castor
And you served for free?
[01:33:04.080 - 01:33:06.040]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[01:33:06.040 - 01:33:07.440]
Steve Castor
You served on a voluntary basis
[01:33:07.440 - 01:33:09.720]
Kurt Volker
I did.
[01:33:09.720 - 01:33:10.200]
Steve Castor
And you put a lot of time and effort into that job, didn't you?
[01:33:10.200 - 01:33:14.040]
Kurt Volker
Yes, I did.
[01:33:14.040 - 01:33:14.680]
Steve Castor
The taxpayers got there -- certainly got their money's worth, didn't they?
[01:33:14.680 - 01:33:17.440]
Kurt Volker
Not for me to say.
[01:33:17.440 - 01:33:18.480]
Steve Castor
And you believe America's policy towards Ukraine has been strengthened during your tenure as the special representative.
[01:33:18.480 - 01:33:29.560]
Kurt Volker
Absolutely. When I look back at the record, I think we -- we did an awful lot to support Ukraine.
[01:33:29.560 - 01:33:33.960]
Steve Castor
And is it fair to say that in part due to President Trump?
[01:33:33.960 - 01:33:36.560]
Kurt Volker
President Trump approved each of the decisions made along the way providing legal defense of equipment and the nonrecognition statement on Crimea I think being two of the most important ones.
[01:33:36.560 - 01:33:48.520]
Steve Castor
And for many years there have been an initiative in the interagency to advocate for a lethal defensive weaponry for Ukraine. Is that correct?
[01:33:48.520 - 01:33:56.760]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[01:33:56.760 - 01:33:57.400]
Steve Castor
And it wasn't until President Trump and his administration came in that that went through?
[01:33:57.400 - 01:34:02.960]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[01:34:02.960 - 01:34:08.480]
Steve Castor
The delegation to President Zelensky's inauguration in May, I believe you testified it was one of the largest delegations.
[01:34:08.480 - 01:34:18.400]
Kurt Volker
I believe it was. I can't be 100 percent sure, but I believe it was the largest national delegation.
[01:34:18.400 - 01:34:23.720]
Steve Castor
Okay, and included in that delegation was Secretary Perry?
[01:34:23.720 - 01:34:28.000]
Kurt Volker
Secretary Perry, Ambassador Sondland, myself, Senator Ron Johnson was there, and also the charge d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy at the time, Joe Pennington.
[01:34:28.000 - 01:34:37.440]
Steve Castor
Okay. And the -- we talked a little bit this morning, but President Zelensky's inauguration came together rather quickly?
[01:34:37.440 - 01:34:49.880]
Kurt Volker
It did. I believe we had about three day's notice in which to put the delegation together.
[01:34:49.880 - 01:34:54.240]
Steve Castor
There's been some discussion about whether the Vice President was going to be able to lead that effort. And as it turned out, he was not able to lead it. Do you have any information as to why the Vice President was unable to join?
[01:34:54.240 - 01:35:06.160]
Kurt Volker
I don't.
[01:35:06.160 - 01:35:06.720]
Steve Castor
And Mr. Morrison, do you have any information as to why the Vice President was unable to participate in the delegation?
[01:35:06.720 - 01:35:14.680]
Tim Morrison
No.
[01:35:14.680 - 01:35:15.520]
Steve Castor
Ambassador Volker, you testified during your deposition that aid in fact does get held up from time to time for a whole assortment of reasons. Is that your understanding?
[01:35:15.520 - 01:35:30.880]
Kurt Volker
That is true.
[01:35:30.880 - 01:35:32.480]
Steve Castor
And sometimes the holdups are rooted in something at OMB, sometimes it's at the Defense Department, sometimes it's at the State Department, sometimes it's on the hill, correct?
[01:35:32.480 - 01:35:41.320]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[01:35:41.320 - 01:35:41.960]
Steve Castor
And so, when the aide was held up for 55 days, for Ukraine, that didn't in and of itself strike you as uncommon?
[01:35:41.960 - 01:35:53.880]
Kurt Volker
No, it's something that had happened in my career in the past. I had seen holdups of assistance. I just assumed it was part of the decision-making process. Somebody had an objection and we had to overcome it.
[01:35:53.880 - 01:36:05.440]
Steve Castor
And in fact there were concerns that perhaps President Zelensky was they going to be the reformer that he campaigned on?
[01:36:05.440 - 01:36:15.840]
Kurt Volker
That was a supposition that I made because of the meeting with the President on May 23 I thought back could be what is behind it.
[01:36:15.840 - 01:36:23.920]
Steve Castor
And in fact the aide was lifted shortly after he was able to convene a Parliament?
[01:36:23.920 - 01:36:29.680]
Kurt Volker
I believe he -- let me get the date straight. I believe yes, he was able to convene the parliament around 1 September and I believe the aide was released on 11 September.
[01:36:29.680 - 01:36:42.120]
Steve Castor
And when -- when you say able to convene a Parliament he was able to push through a number of anticorruption initiatives?
[01:36:42.120 - 01:36:47.000]
Kurt Volker
That began with the parliament seated on that day, it was a 24 hour session but then it continued for some time.
[01:36:47.000 - 01:36:53.480]
Steve Castor
And that was an encouraging sign?
[01:36:53.480 - 01:36:55.480]
Kurt Volker
It started off in a very encouraging way, yes.
[01:36:55.480 - 01:37:00.400]
Steve Castor
And other than these things going on in the background with the pause in the aide, the U.S. relationship with the Ukraine you testified are you -- you stated it was about as good as you would want them to be?
[01:37:00.400 - 01:37:13.320]
Kurt Volker
Can you repeat the question? I'm sorry.
[01:37:13.320 - 01:37:16.840]
Steve Castor
You -- you testified at your deposition that once the aide was lifted despite all of the things going on in the background that U.S. Ukrainian relations were -- were strong or as good as
[01:37:16.840 - 01:37:24.920]
Kurt Volker
Yes, yes.
[01:37:24.920 - 01:37:26.320]
Steve Castor
And you -- you referenced that the security sector assistance was lifted, you know any hold on that that there was a positive meeting in New York
[01:37:26.320 - 01:37:35.000]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[01:37:35.000 - 01:37:36.440]
Steve Castor
-- at the UNGA and there was momentum and putting pressure on the Russians. Is that correct?
[01:37:36.440 - 01:37:41.560]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[01:37:41.560 - 01:37:45.640]
Steve Castor
In your deposition you made it clear that President Trump had a deep-rooted negative view in Ukraine and their corruption in environment.
[01:37:45.640 - 01:37:53.600]
Kurt Volker
Yes. And you first became aware of his views back in September 2017.
[01:37:53.600 - 01:38:01.240]

That is correct.
[01:38:01.240 - 01:38:01.840]
Steve Castor
Can you tell us a little bit about that?
[01:38:01.840 - 01:38:03.080]
Kurt Volker
Yes, in September 2017 I was invited by Secretary Tillerson to do a pre-brief with President Trump before his meeting with President [Inaudible] on the margins of the UN General assembly. I did the pre-brief and then I took part in the bilateral meeting.
[01:38:03.080 - 01:38:18.920]
Steve Castor
And so long before President Zelensky was elected President Trump had a -- had a negative view of
[01:38:18.920 - 01:38:26.840]
Kurt Volker
Yes, he had a very strongly negative view.
[01:38:26.840 - 01:38:29.240]
Steve Castor
Back in 2017 did you remember anything you said or did that -- that gave you a feeling that he had these negative views?
[01:38:29.240 - 01:38:36.320]
Kurt Volker
Yes. I want to be very careful here because this was a bilateral meeting between the two presidents and I don't want to stray into classified material but I can tell you my impression was that he had a very strongly negative view of Ukraine at the time.
[01:38:36.320 - 01:38:50.200]
Steve Castor
Fair enough. And you described the presidents skepticism at your deposition. Is that a reasonable position?
[01:38:50.200 - 01:38:58.640]
Kurt Volker
Yes.
[01:38:58.640 - 01:39:00.200]
Steve Castor
And I believe you said most people who know anything about Ukraine would possibly think that.
[01:39:00.200 - 01:39:06.320]
Kurt Volker
Yes.
[01:39:06.320 - 01:39:06.880]
Steve Castor
And you viewed it as part of your role to help change his mind, that President Zelensky was a genuine reformer, that he was not running for office for -- for self-enrichment, that he was indeed a good person.
[01:39:06.880 - 01:39:24.280]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[01:39:24.280 - 01:39:26.240]
Steve Castor
During the May 23 meeting with the President in the Oval Office could you just relate to us the concerns the President articulated about the Ukraine?
[01:39:26.240 - 01:39:42.800]
Kurt Volker
Yes, the President came into the meeting and he immediately started speaking. He had a -- just a string of comments that Ukraine is a terrible place, they are all corrupt, they are terrible people, they tried to take me down. I tried to explain along with the others that were there, each of us took turns speaking, I tried to explain that President Zelensky agrees with you, then he was elected because of that situation in Ukraine and he has a strong mandate from the people of Ukraine to change it and that is why it is important that we actually show him very strong support now but the President was not convinced and he said that Zelensky is no different, that he has terrible people are around him you know it's not what I hear about Ukraine we aren't telling him I hear that nothing has changed, talk to Rudy that -- back kind of dialogue as I described.
[01:39:42.800 - 01:40:42.040]
Steve Castor
And when the President said that the Ukrainians try to take him down did you have any idea what he was referring to?
[01:40:42.040 - 01:40:49.240]
Kurt Volker
I did. I believe that he was referring to the rumors of efforts to interfere in the 2016 election by providing damaging information about the President or about Paul Manafort to the Hillary Clinton campaign. That was one of the rumors that had been out there and that had gotten some support from the Ukrainian prosecutor general.
[01:40:49.240 - 01:41:12.480]
Steve Castor
And to the best of your knowledge the President genuinely believe that, right?
[01:41:12.480 - 01:41:16.640]
Kurt Volker
I believe he was concerned about it. I don't know what he actually believed but he brought it up.
[01:41:16.640 - 01:41:21.680]
Steve Castor
Okay. And Mr. Morrison you are also aware the presidents skeptical view of foreign aid to generally?
[01:41:21.680 - 01:41:30.000]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[01:41:30.000 - 01:41:31.200]
Steve Castor
And that there was an initiative that he was looking at foreign aid pretty broadly?
[01:41:31.200 - 01:41:37.400]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[01:41:37.400 - 01:41:38.280]
Steve Castor
In trying to scrutinize to make sure the U.S. taxpayers are getting their money's worth?
[01:41:38.280 - 01:41:41.760]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[01:41:41.760 - 01:41:42.400]
Steve Castor
And the President was also interested was he not in better understanding opportunities for increased burden sharing among the Europeans?
[01:41:42.400 - 01:41:52.920]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[01:41:52.920 - 01:41:53.520]
Steve Castor
And what can you tell us about that?
[01:41:53.520 - 01:41:55.360]
Tim Morrison
The President was concerned that the United States seem to bear the exclusive brunt of security assistance to Ukraine. He wanted to see the Europeans step up and contribute more security assistance.
[01:41:55.360 - 01:42:10.680]
Steve Castor
And was there any interagency activity whether it be with the State Department or the Defense Department, coordination by the national Security Council to look into that a little bit for the President?
[01:42:10.680 - 01:42:22.320]
Tim Morrison
We were surveying the data to understand who was contributing want and sort of in what categories.
[01:42:22.320 - 01:42:30.280]
Steve Castor
And so the presidents [Inaudible] concerns the enter agency tried to address them?
[01:42:30.280 - 01:42:38.000]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[01:42:38.000 - 01:42:39.200]
Steve Castor
And by late August we just discussed with Ambassador Volker that a new [Inaudible] was seated and did that give possibly some hope that President Zelensky would be able to push through some of these reforms?
[01:42:39.200 - 01:42:51.440]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[01:42:51.440 - 01:42:52.040]
Steve Castor
And did you hope during this time. During this 55 days where the aide was paused that potentially Zelensky would be able to demonstrate his bona fides and would subsequently be able to get the President to lift the aide?
[01:42:52.040 - 01:43:05.800]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[01:43:05.800 - 01:43:06.360]
Steve Castor
In fact you -- you traveled with Ambassador Bolton to the Ukraine writer around Labor Day weekend, correct?
[01:43:06.360 - 01:43:09.680]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[01:43:09.680 - 01:43:10.360]
Steve Castor
And you met with President Zelensky on I believe it was August 20 -- 29th?
[01:43:10.360 - 01:43:23.320]
Tim Morrison
Ambassador Bolton had a meeting with President Zelensky and I staffed that meeting.
[01:43:23.320 - 01:43:28.680]
Steve Castor
And that is right around the time when the [Inaudible] had met and they had started to push through their reforms?
[01:43:28.680 - 01:43:35.080]
Tim Morrison
As I recall the meeting -- the day of the meeting between Ambassador Bolton and President Zelensky was actually the first day of the new [Inaudible].
[01:43:35.080 - 01:43:41.480]
Steve Castor
And some of these reforms included naming a new prosecutor general?
[01:43:41.480 - 01:43:45.200]
Tim Morrison
A new prosecutor general, a brand-new cabinet, yes.
[01:43:45.200 - 01:43:49.680]
Steve Castor
And they pushed through some legislation that eliminated immunity for members?
[01:43:49.680 - 01:43:54.880]
Tim Morrison
Yes, eliminating parliamentary immunity.
[01:43:54.880 - 01:43:57.960]
Steve Castor
And I believe you provide some color into this experience at this meeting and you said that the Ukrainians have been up all night working on some of these legislative initiatives.
[01:43:57.960 - 01:44:06.520]
Tim Morrison
Yes, the -- the Ukrainians we met were by all appearances exhausted from the pace of activity.
[01:44:06.520 - 01:44:13.680]
Steve Castor
And was ambassador Bolton encouraged by the activity?
[01:44:13.680 - 01:44:17.040]
Tim Morrison
Yes, he was.
[01:44:17.040 - 01:44:18.640]
Steve Castor
And was the meeting altogether favorable?
[01:44:18.640 - 01:44:23.040]
Tim Morrison
Quite.
[01:44:23.040 - 01:44:23.400]
Steve Castor
And at that point in time after the meeting ambassador Bolton did he head off to Warsaw with the vice president or did he just -- I know you went to Warsaw.
[01:44:23.400 - 01:44:31.200]
Tim Morrison
Well, we -- we had a few stops between Ukraine and Poland but yes, ambassador Bolton proceeded to Warsaw where we were expecting to ensure everything was staged properly for the presidents arrival.
[01:44:31.200 - 01:44:46.080]
Steve Castor
And did you have an opportunity to brief the vice president?
[01:44:46.080 - 01:44:49.560]
Tim Morrison
I did not.
[01:44:49.560 - 01:44:50.280]
Steve Castor
Did ambassador Bolton?
[01:44:50.280 - 01:44:52.000]
Tim Morrison
He did.
[01:44:52.000 - 01:44:52.160]
Steve Castor
And what do you remember from what ambassador Bolton shared with the vice president about Zelensky meeting?
[01:44:52.160 - 01:44:59.640]
Tim Morrison
So I was not there. The issue I remember most starkly was ambassador Bolton was quite annoyed that Ambassador Sondland crashed the pre-briefing. But the ambassador had everything he needed to ensure that either the President or the vice president were well-prepared.
[01:44:59.640 - 01:45:16.640]
Steve Castor
But did you brief ambassador Bolton before he had an opportunity to meet with the vice president?
[01:45:16.640 - 01:45:25.000]
Tim Morrison
I -- I did any to. I was -- ambassador Bolton was there.
[01:45:25.000 - 01:45:28.760]
Steve Castor
But as far as you know ambassador Bolton communicated to the vice president that the goings-on in the Ukraine were positive?
[01:45:28.760 - 01:45:35.640]
Tim Morrison
That is my understanding.
[01:45:35.640 - 01:45:36.920]
Steve Castor
With President Zelensky? And at this time ambassador Bolton was advocating for the lifting of the aide?
[01:45:36.920 - 01:45:41.440]
Tim Morrison
He -- he had for some time, yes.
[01:45:41.440 - 01:45:45.120]
Steve Castor
And did you participate in the Warsaw meetings?
[01:45:45.120 - 01:45:46.560]
Tim Morrison
We -- we had a reduced schedule from what had been arranged for the President for the vice president but the vice president met with President Duda of Poland and he met with President Zelensky and I participated in both meetings.
[01:45:46.560 - 01:46:01.000]
Steve Castor
And what do you remember from the meeting with President Zelensky?
[01:46:01.000 - 01:46:09.360]
Tim Morrison
It seemed -- it seemed very positive.
[01:46:09.360 - 01:46:11.120]
Steve Castor
What was the message? I mean President Zelensky he raise the issue of the aide, correct?
[01:46:11.120 - 01:46:14.760]
Tim Morrison
Correct.
[01:46:14.760 - 01:46:15.040]
Steve Castor
And what -- how did the vice president respond?
[01:46:15.040 - 01:46:17.600]
Tim Morrison
He -- he presented his support for the aide, he represented the strong commitment of the United States to Ukraine and he explained that President Trump because this is after the Politico article had come out that made clear there was a hold. He explained that what we were doing was the United States government the -- the enter agency was examining what more Europe could do in the security space and taking a look at how Ukraine was reforming, what -- what has been a history of corruption.
[01:46:17.600 - 01:46:48.560]
Steve Castor
And was there any discussion during the meeting with President Zelensky on the part of the vice president about any of these investigations we have come to talk about?
[01:46:48.560 - 01:46:57.480]
Tim Morrison
No.
[01:46:57.480 - 01:46:57.760]
Steve Castor
Said Burisma wasn't raised?
[01:46:57.760 - 01:46:58.760]
Tim Morrison
No.
[01:46:58.760 - 01:46:59.240]
Steve Castor
2016 election wasn't raised?
[01:46:59.240 - 01:47:01.240]
Tim Morrison
No.
[01:47:01.240 - 01:47:01.640]
Steve Castor
And the vice president didn't mention any investigations at all did he?
[01:47:01.640 - 01:47:07.440]
Tim Morrison
No.
[01:47:07.440 - 01:47:07.920]
Steve Castor
You mentioned the August 28th Politico article. Was that the first time that you believed the Ukrainians may have had a real sense that the aid was on hold?
[01:47:07.920 - 01:47:15.240]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[01:47:15.240 - 01:47:16.160]
Steve Castor
So, from the 55 day period spanning July 18th through September 11th, it didn't really become public until August 28th?
[01:47:16.160 - 01:47:24.200]
Tim Morrison
That -- that's correct. Ambassador Taylor and I had a number of phone calls where we in fact talked about did the Ukrainians know yet, because we both felt very strongly it was important that we ensure that the president was able to make the decision to release the aid before the Ukrainians ever found out about it.
[01:47:24.200 - 01:47:47.360]
Steve Castor
Okay. And Ambassador Volker, is -- is that also your -- your recollection?
[01:47:47.360 - 01:47:53.000]
Kurt Volker
Yes it is.
[01:47:53.000 - 01:47:53.560]
Steve Castor
But it wasn't until the -- the Politico article that
[01:47:53.560 - 01:47:56.960]
Kurt Volker
-- That's correct. I received a text message from one of my Ukrainian counterparts on August 29th forwarding that article, and that's the first they raised it with me.
[01:47:56.960 - 01:48:06.880]
Steve Castor
And can you share a little bit with us about your communications during that time period about the -- holding the aid?
[01:48:06.880 - 01:48:11.640]
Kurt Volker
Yes. I didn't have any communications with the Ukrainians about the hold on aid until after they raised it with me for the same reason that Tim just gave, the hope that we could get it taken care of ourselves before he became something that they became aware of. Inside the U.S. government, I was aware that the hold was placed.
[01:48:11.640 - 01:48:28.800]

I was aware of that on July 18th. It was referenced at an interagency meeting, and I got a readout from that meeting from one of my assistants. I then immediately spoke with several people in the administration to object. I thought that this was a bad decision or a bad hold, maybe not a decision but, you know, a -- a process, and I wanted to make sure that all the arguments were marshaled to get it lifted.
[01:48:28.800 - 01:48:54.560]

And so, I spoke with the Pentagon, with Laura Cooper. I spoke with Assistant Secretary of POL-MIL Affairs at the State Department, who was going to represent the State Department at the next higher level meeting. I believe I spoke with officials in the European Bureau, with the National Security Council staff.
[01:48:54.560 - 01:49:14.760]

So, I was actively trying to convey that this needed to be lifted. And I wanted them to be able to use my name in doing so, because I felt that the best prospect for positioning ourselves for negotiations with Russia is the strongest defense capability for Ukraine.
[01:49:14.760 - 01:49:27.800]
Steve Castor
And during this time period, did -- did you come to believe that any of these investigations were -- were part of the -- the hold up in the aid?
[01:49:27.800 - 01:49:35.600]
Kurt Volker
No, I did not.
[01:49:35.600 - 01:49:36.760]
Steve Castor
Backtracking just a little bit, on July 3rd you met in Toronto with President Zelensky. And there has been some -- you know, Ambassador Taylor and -- and Mr. Kent provided some testimony that they had some apprehension that part of this irregular channel that Ambassador Taylor reference would -- would rear its head in -- in Toronto.
[01:49:36.760 - 01:49:53.760]

And I'm just wondering if you can tell us whether that in fact happened.
[01:49:53.760 - 01:49:59.440]
Kurt Volker
Yes, thank you. I can only tell you what -- what I know. There may have been other conversations or other things. But I know that we had a conversation, Bill Taylor and I believe Gordon Sondland and I, around the 28th of June that later connected to I believe a conversation with President Zelensky, although I may not have been part of the latter.
[01:49:59.440 - 01:50:23.840]

That being said, I was convinced after that conversation we had got nowhere. We had our White House briefing of President Trump on May 23rd. he signed a letter inviting President Zelensky to the White House on May 29th. And for several weeks, we were just temporizing with the Ukrainians saying, well, we're working on it. It's a scheduling issue.
[01:50:23.840 - 01:50:49.920]

You know, we'll get there. Don't worry. And I told Bill and Gordon that I was going to see President Zelensky in Toronto, and I feel an obligation to tell him the truth, that we have a problem here and we're not getting a date schedule. Here's what I think the problem is. It's the negative information flow from Mayor Giuliani, and that he would -- I -- also that I would advise him that he should call President Trump personally because he needed to renew that personal relationship and be able to convey to President Trump that he was serious about fighting corruption, investigating things that happened in the past, and so forth.
[01:50:49.920 - 01:51:30.560]

So, I -- I did all of that with President Zelensky in -- in a pull aside after our formal bilateral meeting.
[01:51:30.560 - 01:51:36.240]
Steve Castor
Okay. And during that meeting in Toronto or this series of meetings, there was no discussion of preconditions, investigations, of -- anything
[01:51:36.240 - 01:51:42.360]
Kurt Volker
-- No
[01:51:42.360 - 01:51:42.760]
Steve Castor
-- Of that sort.
[01:51:42.760 - 01:51:44.560]
Kurt Volker
No.
[01:51:44.560 - 01:51:45.520]
Steve Castor
And you were there with Mr. Kent?
[01:51:45.520 - 01:51:47.800]
Kurt Volker
Yes, I believe so.
[01:51:47.800 - 01:51:48.760]
Steve Castor
And did you ever have any discussions with him about preconditions or investigations?
[01:51:48.760 - 01:51:53.160]
Kurt Volker
Not at that time. I think later on these things came up about -- when we were talking about a statement, whether there were investigations. But I believe at this time in Toronto it was really more referring to investigations generically, that that is how you go about fighting corruption and that President Zelensky should reaffirm his commitment to President Trump in a direct phone call.
[01:51:53.160 - 01:52:17.120]
Steve Castor
Okay. And at any point in time did -- had -- had Mr. Kent raise any concerns to you about any of this?
[01:52:17.120 - 01:52:24.760]
Kurt Volker
Not at that time.
[01:52:24.760 - 01:52:25.440]
Steve Castor
The next event I want to cover is July 10th meeting in Ambassador Bolton's office. Talked a little bit about it this morning. I don't know if you caught the coverage, but there was testimony that at some point Ambassador Sondland mentioned investigations and reportedly the -- the meeting ended abruptly. What can you tell us about that in fact?
[01:52:25.440 - 01:52:44.160]
Kurt Volker
Thank you. And let me answer that question first. I'd like to come back to your prior question for a second too, if I may. But on the July 10th meeting, this was a meeting that we had arranged between Alex Danyliuk, who is the head of the National Security and Defense Counsel, and National Security Advisor Bolton.
[01:52:44.160 - 01:53:05.800]

Attending the meeting was also Secretary Perry, Ambassador Sondland, myself, and I believe Fiona Hill, and also Andriy Yermak. The purpose was really a counterpart visit. I thought that this would be the best opportunity -- it was the first high-level meeting that we were having in Washington with a senior U.S. official, Ambassador Bolton, after President Zelensky's inauguration.
[01:53:05.800 - 01:53:27.040]

I thought it would be a great opportunity for the Ukrainians to make their case that they are the new team in town, real deal about fighting corruption. I was rather disappointed with the meeting. As it transpired, it struck me as down in the weeds, talking about the reform of national security structures in Ukraine, legislation that they were working on, and not the big picture and not the bilateral relationship.
[01:53:27.040 - 01:53:49.760]

So, I was a bit disappointed by that. At -- at the end of the meeting, I do recall having seen some of the other testimony, I believe Ambassador Sondland did raise the point of investigations in a generic way. This was after the meeting was already wrapping up, and I think all of us thought it was an appropriate and the conversation did not pick up from there.
[01:53:49.760 - 01:54:12.000]

It was -- the meeting was over. We all went outside and we had a picture taken in -- in front of the -- the White House. And then all of us except Ambassador Bolton went down to the wardroom to talk through follow-up, about how do we follow up on this meeting to keep the momentum in the relationship. And I think we broke up into several small groups.
[01:54:12.000 - 01:54:33.720]

I remember having a conversation with Secretary Perry and one of his assistants about energy reform as part of that. I don't recall other conversations following up on investigations of Burisma.
[01:54:33.720 - 01:54:47.200]
Steve Castor
And to the best of your knowledge, there certainly was no precondition discussed, right?
[01:54:47.200 - 01:54:52.560]
Kurt Volker
No. No. Again, the -- the -- the issue of the security assistance was one where I thought that this was really related to a -- a general negative view about Ukraine. There was nothing specific ever communicated to me about it for the reasons why it was held. And we certainly didn't want to talk about it with the Ukrainians.
[01:54:52.560 - 01:55:17.200]

We wanted to fix it.
[01:55:17.200 - 01:55:18.960]
Steve Castor
Okay. And the -- a couple weeks later, the July 25th call happened. And you were headed to Ukraine during that time period?
[01:55:18.960 - 01:55:32.240]
Kurt Volker
Yes, I was actually already on my way to Ukraine, I -- I think two days prior to that.
[01:55:32.240 - 01:55:41.320]
Steve Castor
And you receive readouts both from the U.S. side and the Ukrainian side. Could you tell us about that?
[01:55:41.320 - 01:55:49.160]
Kurt Volker
Yes. So, I was not on the phone call. I had arrived in Ukraine and I have had that lunch with Mr. Yermak that we saw on the day of the phone call. I had been pushing for the phone call because I thought it was important to renew the personal connection between the two leaders and to congratulate President Zelensky on the parliamentary election.
[01:55:49.160 - 01:56:08.320]

The readout that I received from Mr. Yermak and then also from the U.S. side, although I'm not exactly sure who was from on the U.S. side, but there was a U.S. and a Ukrainian readout, were largely the same, that it was a good call. It was a congratulatory phone call for the presidents when in the parliamentary election.
[01:56:08.320 - 01:56:29.600]

President Zelensky did reiterate his commitment to reform and fighting corruption in Ukraine, and President Trump did reiterate his invitation to President Zelensky to come visit -- visit him in the White House. It's exactly what I thought the phone call would be, so I was not surprised at getting that as the readout.
[01:56:29.600 - 01:56:50.000]
Steve Castor
And did you ever have any discussions with Ambassador Taylor about this?
[01:56:50.000 - 01:56:54.240]
Kurt Volker
At that time we were -- we were together in Ukraine at that time. We went the very next day to visit the conflict zone, and I'm sure he heard the same readout that I did.
[01:56:54.240 - 01:57:05.160]
Steve Castor
And you had a meeting with President Zelensky on the 26th?
[01:57:05.160 - 01:57:11.080]
Kurt Volker
Yes, we had a meeting the day after the phone call on the 26th in the morning before heading out to the conflict zone.
[01:57:11.080 - 01:57:21.080]
Steve Castor
And were any of these concerning elements that some witnesses have raised about the call raised in the meeting with President Zelensky?
[01:57:21.080 - 01:57:31.040]
Kurt Volker
No, only -- the very bare-bones readout that I had received, that was also how was discussed in the meeting with President Zelensky.
[01:57:31.040 - 01:57:38.400]
Steve Castor
So, to the extent there's been assertions that President Zelensky was concerned about demands President Trump had made, I
[01:57:38.400 - 01:57:49.000]
Kurt Volker
-- I don't recall that.
[01:57:49.000 - 01:57:50.960]
Steve Castor
You -- you don't recall that?
[01:57:50.960 - 01:57:52.480]
Kurt Volker
I do not recall being
[01:57:52.480 - 01:57:53.240]
Steve Castor
-- Were
[01:57:53.240 - 01:57:53.480]
Kurt Volker
-- I don't recall -- well, let me turn that around and say he was very positive about the phone call.
[01:57:53.480 - 01:57:58.720]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[01:57:58.720 - 01:57:59.280]
Kurt Volker
I don't recall him saying anything about demands, but he was very upbeat about the
[01:57:59.280 - 01:58:05.000]
Steve Castor
-- Okay
[01:58:05.000 - 01:58:06.160]
Kurt Volker
-- Fact of the call.
[01:58:06.160 - 01:58:07.960]
Steve Castor
And there was no discussion on the part of President Zelensky on how to navigate the various
[01:58:07.960 - 01:58:12.880]
Kurt Volker
-- I don't recall that
[01:58:12.880 - 01:58:15.120]
Steve Castor
-- You know, concerns that -- that people have articulated about the call?
[01:58:15.120 - 01:58:20.720]
Kurt Volker
I -- I don't remember that.
[01:58:20.720 - 01:58:23.960]
Steve Castor
And Mr. Zeldin asked you in the deposition that in no way shape or form in either readouts from the United States or Ukraine did you receive any indication whatsoever for anything that resembled a quid pro quo. Is that correct?
[01:58:23.960 - 01:58:37.480]
Kurt Volker
That's correct.
[01:58:37.480 - 01:58:41.160]
Steve Castor
And the same would -- would go for this new allegation of bribery?
[01:58:41.160 - 01:58:45.520]
Kurt Volker
I've only seen an allegation of bribery in the last week.
[01:58:45.520 - 01:58:47.800]
Steve Castor
Okay. It's the same comments common set of facts is just instead of quid pro quo now it's bribery.
[01:58:47.800 - 01:58:56.120]
Kurt Volker
I was never involved in anything that I considered to be bribery at all.
[01:58:56.120 - 01:59:03.240]
Steve Castor
Okay, or extortion?
[01:59:03.240 - 01:59:06.200]
Kurt Volker
Or extortion.
[01:59:06.200 - 01:59:07.200]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[01:59:07.200 - 01:59:07.920]
Kurt Volker
Mr. Castor, may I address two specific points?
[01:59:07.920 - 01:59:11.200]

Of course.
[01:59:11.200 - 01:59:12.240]

One is I'm reminded that the meeting with Ambassador Bolton and Mr. Danyliuk took place on July 10th and I did not become aware of the hold on security assistance until July 18th. So that is another reason why that did not, come up.
[01:59:12.240 - 01:59:30.520]
Steve Castor
Okay. And at that point in time, you did note that the potential pause in the security assistance was that was brewing?
[01:59:30.520 - 01:59:36.560]
Kurt Volker
I did not. No, I heard about it for the first time on 18 July.
[01:59:36.560 - 01:59:39.720]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[01:59:39.720 - 01:59:40.120]
Kurt Volker
May I make a second observation as well?
[01:59:40.120 - 01:59:44.480]
Steve Castor
Absolutely.
[01:59:44.480 - 01:59:45.000]
Kurt Volker
I do remember, having seen some of the testimony of Mr. Kent, a conversation in which he had asked me about the conspiracy theories that were out there in Ukraine. I don't remember what the date of this conversation was. In my view was well, if there are things like that, then why not investigate them? The chain -- I don't believe the anything to them.
[01:59:45.000 - 02:00:07.280]

If there is, 2016 election interference is what I was thinking of, we would want to know about that. But I didn't really. There believe there was anything there to begin with.
[02:00:07.280 - 02:00:23.920]
Steve Castor
You testified in your deposition to the extent the Ukrainians were going to investigate other Ukrainians for wrongdoing, that was perfectly appropriate in your mind?
[02:00:23.920 - 02:00:32.480]
Kurt Volker
Correct. It is a -- that has been U.S. policy for years.
[02:00:32.480 - 02:00:35.000]
Steve Castor
So if -- if certain Ukrainians involved with the Burisma company -- if they
[02:00:35.000 - 02:00:41.040]
Kurt Volker
-- Well that I think is the only plausible thing to look at their. As I said, I don't find it plausible or credible that Vice President Biden would have been influenced in his duties. But whether individual Ukrainians in the society that we know Ukraine has been for decades were trying to act in a corrupt way or to buy influence, that's plausible.
[02:00:41.040 - 02:01:02.760]
Steve Castor
Right. Deputy Assistant Secretary Kent last Wednesday told us about, you know, there was an investigation into Burisma trying to recoup millions of taxpayer dollars and the Ukrainians were pursuing an investigation. There was a bribe paid. Were you tracking that?
[02:01:02.760 - 02:01:22.040]
Kurt Volker
I was aware of those kinds of things. I couldn't give you those kinds of details. I just know that there was at reputation around the company.
[02:01:22.040 - 02:01:31.600]
Steve Castor
Okay. And subsequent to the -- to those facts and the bride being paid, the Burisma company wanted to improve their image, added some folks to their boards, including the president of Poland, including Hunter Biden. Are you familiar with that?
[02:01:31.600 - 02:01:47.760]
Kurt Volker
That's what I understand.
[02:01:47.760 - 02:01:48.920]
Steve Castor
And to the extent that Ukrainians, the folks affiliated with melisma wanted to hire those people for their board for protection purposes so they could continue to engage in misdeeds, that was a fact worth investigating, you certainly would be supportive of Ukrainians trying to get to the bottom of that, correct?
[02:01:48.920 - 02:02:06.400]
Kurt Volker
Well, I can't speculate as to any of the specifics of what was motivating Burisma or not. Ukrainian government authorities investigating possible corruption by Ukrainian citizens is a perfectly appropriate thing for them to do.
[02:02:06.400 - 02:02:18.480]
Steve Castor
Mr. Morrison, I want to turn our attention back to the July 25 call. You were in the room. Did anything concern you on the call?
[02:02:18.480 - 02:02:26.600]
Tim Morrison
No.
[02:02:26.600 - 02:02:27.280]
Steve Castor
And after the call ended, you, like Colonel Vindman, one of your next steps was to engage the NSC lawyers and your reasons for doing that were slightly different than Colonel Vindman's and you articulated three -- three concerns. And do you want to share them with us or would you rather I do it?
[02:02:27.280 - 02:02:49.120]
Tim Morrison
So I think I arch articulated two concerns. If I'm remember forgetting one, please remind me.
[02:02:49.120 - 02:02:53.280]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[02:02:53.280 - 02:02:54.200]
Tim Morrison
But the two concerns I had were one, I did not see representatives of NSC legal on the call, and so I wanted to make sure that the legal advisor and his deputy were aware of the call and I was also concerned about taking steps to protect the Mem-Con limited disclosure for fear of the consequences of it leaking.
[02:02:54.200 - 02:03:13.480]
Steve Castor
And you were concerned about it leaking for because you are worried about how it would play out in Washington's polarized political environment, correct?
[02:03:13.480 - 02:03:18.880]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[02:03:18.880 - 02:03:19.280]
Steve Castor
And you were also worried how -- how that would lead to the bipartisan support here in Congress of towards Ukraine, right?
[02:03:19.280 - 02:03:26.880]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[02:03:26.880 - 02:03:27.360]
Steve Castor
And you were also concerned that it might affect the Ukrainians perception negatively.
[02:03:27.360 - 02:03:31.080]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[02:03:31.080 - 02:03:31.600]
Steve Castor
And in fact, all three of those things have -- have played out, haven't they?
[02:03:31.600 - 02:03:37.600]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[02:03:37.600 - 02:03:37.920]
Steve Castor
You -- you didn't ask the -- the lawyers to put it on the code word system, correct?
[02:03:37.920 - 02:03:42.560]
Tim Morrison
I want to be precise about the -- the lexicon here. I did not ask for it to be moved to a compartmented system.
[02:03:42.560 - 02:03:48.480]
Steve Castor
Okay. You just wanted the transcript to be controlled?
[02:03:48.480 - 02:03:52.280]
Tim Morrison
I wanted access to be restricted.
[02:03:52.280 - 02:03:53.760]
Steve Castor
Okay. And when you learned that the transcript had been stored on the compartmented server, you believed that was a mistake, correct?
[02:03:53.760 - 02:04:05.040]
Tim Morrison
Well, it was represented to me that it was a mistake. I -- I was trying to pull up that men con because we were in the process of pulling together Ambassador Bolton's materials and the presidents' materials for what was a planned bilat between POTUS and president Zelensky. And when I went to do that, I couldn't could not pull up the package in our system and I did not understand why.
[02:04:05.040 - 02:04:34.000]

I spoke with the NSC executive secretary staff, asked them why, and they did their research and they informed me it had been moved to the higher classification system at the direction of John Eisenberg, whom I then asked why. I mean that's -- that was the judgment he made, that's not necessarily mine to question, but I didn't understand it and he -- he essentially told me I gave no such direction.
[02:04:34.000 - 02:04:59.280]

He did his own inquiry and he represented back to me that it was his understanding was that it was kind of an administrative error that when he also gave direction to restrict access, the executive secretary staff understood that as an apprehension that there was something in the content of the Mem-Con that could not exist on that lower classification system.
[02:04:59.280 - 02:05:16.000]
Steve Castor
To the best of your knowledge, there's no malicious intent in moving the transcript to the compartmented server?
[02:05:16.000 - 02:05:20.520]
Tim Morrison
Correct.
[02:05:20.520 - 02:05:20.920]
Steve Castor
And to your knowledge, anybody on the NSC staff that needed access to the transcript for their official duties always was able to access it, correct, people that had a need to know and I need to access it?
[02:05:20.920 - 02:05:31.760]
Tim Morrison
Once it was moved to the compartmented system?
[02:05:31.760 - 02:05:34.120]
Steve Castor
Yeah.
[02:05:34.120 - 02:05:34.320]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[02:05:34.320 - 02:05:34.640]
Steve Castor
Okay. The member con of the July 25 call was in your experience prepared normally?
[02:05:34.640 - 02:05:37.880]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[02:05:37.880 - 02:05:38.080]
Steve Castor
That there isn't an exact transcription of what's said on the call, correct?
[02:05:38.080 - 02:05:41.880]
Tim Morrison
Correct.
[02:05:41.880 - 02:05:42.280]
Steve Castor
That there's notetakers and situation room and then they prepare a draft and it's circulated among relevant parties?
[02:05:42.280 - 02:05:49.800]
Tim Morrison
Essentially.
[02:05:49.800 - 02:05:50.840]
Steve Castor
And you had response belief or coordinating any edits?
[02:05:50.840 - 02:05:54.440]
Tim Morrison
Yes. We -- we look at the -- the, you know, shorthand, we'll call it a transcript, but that memorandum of conversation and we made sure that that transcription is as close to accurate as possible given our requirements under the Presidential Records Act.
[02:05:54.440 - 02:06:04.280]
Steve Castor
Okay. And Colonel Vindman testified that he thought it was very accurate. Did you as well?
[02:06:04.280 - 02:06:05.920]
Tim Morrison
I -- I viewed it as complete and accurate.
[02:06:05.920 - 02:06:08.200]
Steve Castor
Okay. Colonel the men did articulate that he -- he had a couple of edits he wanted charisma inserted I think it was on page 3 or four. In place of the company in one of the sections where President Zelensky was talking. Are you aware of that edit request?
[02:06:08.200 - 02:06:29.440]
Tim Morrison
I understand that he said in either this proceeding or the deposition that he wanted that request. Yes.
[02:06:29.440 - 02:06:36.560]
Steve Castor
Okay. At the time, did you understand that he had asked for that?
[02:06:36.560 - 02:06:42.320]
Tim Morrison
I don't recall that area it was my practice if in edit was -- if I've believed an edit accurately represented the call, I would accept it. If I didn't hear it in the call, if it didn't exist in my notes, I wouldn't have made the edit.
[02:06:42.320 - 02:06:59.280]
Steve Castor
Yeah, he just, on page 4, he wanted to swap out the word company for Burisma. And when that edit from Colonel Vindman was not installed, that he give you any negative feedback that it was crucial that that edit get in the document?
[02:06:59.280 - 02:07:16.440]
Tim Morrison
Not that I can recall.
[02:07:16.440 - 02:07:18.280]
Steve Castor
Okay. Did he ever raise any concerns to you about the accuracy of the transcript?
[02:07:18.280 - 02:07:23.720]
Tim Morrison
Not that I can recall.
[02:07:23.720 - 02:07:24.600]
Steve Castor
Did he ever raise any concerns to you generally about the call?
[02:07:24.600 - 02:07:28.000]
Tim Morrison
When we were discussing the -- the track changes version of the Mem-Con, I believe he -- he had some concerns about the call. I believe we both agreed we wanted that more full throated embrace of President Zelensky and his reform agenda and we didn't get it.
[02:07:28.000 - 02:07:42.800]
Steve Castor
Okay. You indicated in your deposition that when you took over the portfolio for Doctor Hill July 15, you were alerted to potential issues in Colonel Vindman's judgment.
[02:07:42.800 - 02:07:51.400]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[02:07:51.400 - 02:07:51.880]
Steve Castor
Did -- did she really anything specific to -- specifically to you, why she thought that?
[02:07:51.880 - 02:07:55.560]
Tim Morrison
Not -- not as such. It was more of an overarching statement from her and her deputy became my deputy that they had concerns about judgment.
[02:07:55.560 - 02:08:02.160]
Steve Castor
Okay. Did -- did any other NSC personnel raise concerns with you about Mr. Vindman?
[02:08:02.160 - 02:08:06.000]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[02:08:06.000 - 02:08:06.240]
Steve Castor
I'm sorry, Colonel Vindman. And what were some of those concerns that were brought to your attention?
[02:08:06.240 - 02:08:12.320]
Tim Morrison
They were
[02:08:12.320 - 02:08:13.200]
Unidentified
I'm sorry. We -- we are not -- I am going to instruct him not to
[02:08:13.200 - 02:08:24.080]
Tim Morrison
Top button.
[02:08:24.080 - 02:08:25.120]
Unidentified
I am going to instruct him not to answer because I think it is beyond the scope of what you are asking for. These -- these concerns Mr. Castor predated in the involvement with the Ukrainian sector assistance.
[02:08:25.120 - 02:08:36.040]
Steve Castor
Well, during the deposition I ask you Mr. Morrison and whether others raised the concern that Colonel Vindman may have leaked information.
[02:08:36.040 - 02:08:44.920]
Tim Morrison
You -- you did
[02:08:44.920 - 02:08:47.880]
Steve Castor
And your answer was?
[02:08:47.880 - 02:08:48.320]
Tim Morrison
Others had represented that, yes.
[02:08:48.320 - 02:08:50.720]
Steve Castor
Okay. And I ask you whether you were concerned Colonel Vindman did not keep you in the loop at all times with -- with his official duties.
[02:08:50.720 - 02:08:56.480]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[02:08:56.480 - 02:08:57.920]
Steve Castor
And in fact when he went to the National Security Council lawyers following the July 25 call he did not first come to you, is that correct?
[02:08:57.920 - 02:09:13.840]
Tim Morrison
Correct.
[02:09:13.840 - 02:09:14.480]
Steve Castor
And you were his supervisor in the chain of command, correct?
[02:09:14.480 - 02:09:17.680]
Tim Morrison
Correct.
[02:09:17.680 - 02:09:18.240]
Steve Castor
And in hindsight did you wish -- wish that he had come to you first before going to the lawyers?
[02:09:18.240 - 02:09:22.760]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[02:09:22.760 - 02:09:23.440]
Steve Castor
And why is that?
[02:09:23.440 - 02:09:24.720]
Tim Morrison
One, if -- if he had concerns about something about the content of a call that is something I would have expected to have been notified of. I -- I also think just as a matter of practice since we both went to the lawyers we didn't necessarily both need to and economy of effort may have prevailed.
[02:09:24.720 - 02:09:43.480]
Steve Castor
Okay. At any point subsequently did -- did he become frustrated that he felt cut out of some of the Ukraine portfolio?
[02:09:43.480 - 02:09:53.120]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[02:09:53.120 - 02:09:54.040]
Steve Castor
And what was the nature of his concerns?
[02:09:54.040 - 02:09:57.200]
Tim Morrison
Well, he -- I think the easiest way to say it is he was concerned with respect to for example the Ukraine trip that he was not -- he did not go. He asked me why it was my practice to have a number of the conversations with Ambassador Taylor one-on-one and there were certain other matters.
[02:09:57.200 - 02:10:13.840]
Steve Castor
Okay. And did you ever get the sense that you result his concerns or will did they linger?
[02:10:13.840 - 02:10:19.440]
Tim Morrison
I explained to him my thinking and that was that.
[02:10:19.440 - 02:10:23.120]
Steve Castor
Okay. Before my time expires Ambassador Volker I want to turn quickly to the what Ambassador Taylor describes as the irregular channel. He -- he was a participant with you and Ambassador Sondland hundreds of text messages, correct?
[02:10:23.120 - 02:10:43.600]
Kurt Volker
Correct.
[02:10:43.600 - 02:10:45.000]
Steve Castor
And so did -- did he ever raise concerns about what was -- what was going on during the time period of the early August time period?
[02:10:45.000 - 02:10:52.360]
Kurt Volker
Only as he saw or reflected in the text messages themselves where he said is this now a linkage or are we doing this? He had a concern about just in general you know Rudy Giuliani which [Inaudible] I think a lot of us had but the -- the issue is what do you do about it, about the role that he is playing and as you know we were in frequent contact, near daily contact throughout this entire..
[02:10:52.360 - 02:11:11.280]
Steve Castor
And so did -- did he ever engage you in a one-on-one telephone call to articulate his concerns?
[02:11:11.280 - 02:11:17.120]
Kurt Volker
Not -- we were on many one-on-one telephone calls, he did not raise those concerns that way, no. CASTOR Okay. And this -- I mean you -- you are an experienced diplomat and -- at one point in time Senate confirmed Ambassador Sondland is the ambassador to the European Union, Secretary Perry is a Secretary of energy, certainly not -- it doesn't sound like an irregular bunch.
[02:11:17.120 - 02:11:33.480]

Did he ever articulate to you that he thought the three of you working on Ukraine policy was a problem?
[02:11:33.480 - 02:11:39.960]

No, he did not.
[02:11:39.960 - 02:11:41.040]
Steve Castor
And were use of prize during his testimony when he came in for the deposition when he sort of established these two tracks that one was a regular channel that he was in charge of and the other was they
[02:11:41.040 - 02:11:55.560]
Kurt Volker
Yes.
[02:11:55.560 - 02:11:56.000]
Steve Castor
[Inaudible]?
[02:11:56.000 - 02:11:56.480]
Kurt Volker
Yes, I -- I -- I don't agree with his characterization of that because I had been in my role for a couple of years. I had been a lead on U.S. Ukraine negotiations and negotiating with Russia and the inter-agency work and the work with our allies and we had a Secretary of energy who was a cabin in official and I think having support from the various U.S. officials for our strengthening our engagement with Ukraine I viewed as a very positive thing and if the concern is not us so much then because we are all U.S. officials but Mayor Giuliani I don't view that as a channel at all because he is not a representative of the U.S. government, he is a private citizen.
[02:11:56.480 - 02:12:49.120]

I viewed him as perhaps a useful barometer in understanding what may be helpful communication from the Ukrainian government but not someone in a position to represent the U.S. government at all.
[02:12:49.120 - 02:12:59.880]
Steve Castor
Okay, thank you.
[02:12:59.880 - 02:13:01.200]
Adam B. Schiff
Okay. Why don't we take a five or 10 minute break? If I could ask the audience to allow the witnesses to leave the room first. We are in recess.
[02:13:01.200 - 02:13:10.720]
Note
[A recess is called]
[02:13:10.720 - 02:13:11.520]
Adam B. Schiff
The committee will come to order. We're now going to proceed to a 15 minute round by either chair of the majority or ranking member of minority. Mr. Goldman, you are recognized for 15 minutes.
[02:13:11.520 - 02:13:22.440]
Daniel Goldman
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ambassador Volker, I do want to just correct the record from the first round. You are right to point out -- you asked us a quote that I represented you made in the deposition was your words, and -- and I actually read the wrong part in the quote. What you actually said was it creates a problem, again, where all of the things that we're trying to do to advance the bilateral relationship, strengthen our support for Ukraine, strengthen the positioning against Russia is now getting sucked into a domestic political debate in the U.S., domestic political narrative that overshadows that.
[02:13:22.440 - 02:13:56.440]

So, I -- you were right to point that out, and I apologize for the -- the mistake. I want to go back to a couple things that you said during the minority's round. Can you repeat again the readout that you got of the July 25th call?
[02:13:56.440 - 02:14:12.480]
Kurt Volker
Yes. I received a readout from both a Ukrainian colleague, Andriy Yermak, as well as from a U.S. person. I don't now remember whether it was my staffer or someone from the embassy or where. And the readout what that it was a good phone call, that it was a congratulatory phone call for the president's win in the parliamentary election, that President Zelensky did reiterate his commitment to fighting corruption and advancing reform in Ukraine, and that President Trump renewed his invitation for President Zelensky to come to the White House.
[02:14:12.480 - 02:14:44.440]
Daniel Goldman
Okay. And I believe you said that that -- that readout was exactly as you expected the call to go, is that right?
[02:14:44.440 - 02:14:51.400]
Kurt Volker
Exactly. That's what we were trying to tee up.
[02:14:51.400 - 02:14:54.960]
Daniel Goldman
Okay. I just want to show you once again be July 25th text that you wrote to Andriy Yermak, which was the message that you are relating to him so that he could prepare President Zelensky. And you'll recall this, right, where you said that -- that this was the message. Good lunch, thanks. Heard from White House.
[02:14:54.960 - 02:15:15.720]

Assuming President Zelensky convinces Trump he will investigate, "get to the bottom of" what happened in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington. That's what -- that's what you expected from the call, right?
[02:15:15.720 - 02:15:53.840]
Kurt Volker
Yeah. I expected that President Zelensky would be convincing in his statements and comments with President Trump that he was exactly that, that he would investigate, get to the bottom of the things that it happened in 2016, and that if he was strong in conveying who he is as a person in doing that, that President Trump would be convinced and -- and renew the invitation to the White House.
[02:15:53.840 - 02:16:25.160]
Daniel Goldman
Right. But you don't mention corruption in this text, do you?
[02:16:25.160 - 02:16:29.360]
Kurt Volker
This is -- it's -- I paraphrased
[02:16:29.360 - 02:16:31.000]
Daniel Goldman
-- The word corruption is not in this text, right?
[02:16:31.000 - 02:16:33.960]
Kurt Volker
The word corruption is not there. Investigating things that have happened in the past that would be corrupt would be investigating corruption.
[02:16:33.960 - 02:16:41.760]
Daniel Goldman
You say a couple times in your opening statement and you just said it again, that is -- you know, investigating things that happened in the past. You are aware, of course, that most investigations relate to things that happened in the past, right?
[02:16:41.760 - 02:16:58.000]
Kurt Volker
Sure.
[02:16:58.000 - 02:16:58.520]
Daniel Goldman
Sorry?
[02:16:58.520 - 02:16:58.880]
Kurt Volker
Yes.
[02:16:58.880 - 02:16:59.200]
Daniel Goldman
Okay. So, that's -- that doesn't really move the needle, whether it's current or past, in terms of the subject of the
[02:16:59.200 - 02:17:06.600]
Kurt Volker
-- Well, yeah
[02:17:06.600 - 02:17:07.800]
Daniel Goldman
-- Investigation
[02:17:07.800 - 02:17:09.520]
Kurt Volker
-- Yeah, the
[02:17:09.520 - 02:17:10.400]
Daniel Goldman
-- Right
[02:17:10.400 - 02:17:10.920]
Kurt Volker
-- Subject of the investigation or things that happened in the past.
[02:17:10.920 - 02:17:15.080]
Daniel Goldman
You also talked a little bit about the meeting that you had on July 26th with President Zelensky and Ambassador Sondland in -- in Kiev, is that right?
[02:17:15.080 - 02:17:26.280]
Kurt Volker
On the 26th we had a
[02:17:26.280 - 02:17:28.440]
Daniel Goldman
-- And Ambassador Taylor
[02:17:28.440 - 02:17:29.800]
Kurt Volker
-- Meeting with President Zelensky, yes.
[02:17:29.800 - 02:17:31.400]
Daniel Goldman
Okay. And I believe you testified that the topic of investigations did not come up at all, is that right?
[02:17:31.400 - 02:17:39.480]
Kurt Volker
Yeah, I don't recall them coming up, just the general phone call.
[02:17:39.480 - 02:17:43.720]
Daniel Goldman
You -- you didn't take notes of that call -- of that meeting, right?
[02:17:43.720 - 02:17:47.920]
Kurt Volker
No, I did not.
[02:17:47.920 - 02:17:49.120]
Daniel Goldman
Right, because you had a
[02:17:49.120 - 02:17:51.080]
Kurt Volker
-- Note taker
[02:17:51.080 - 02:17:53.040]
Daniel Goldman
-- There were staffers there to do that.
[02:17:53.040 - 02:17:54.640]
Kurt Volker
Correct.
[02:17:54.640 - 02:17:56.040]
Daniel Goldman
And so, if there are two staffers who have -- who took notes of that meeting and testified that the subject of either sensitive topics or investigations came up, are we better off taking their word for it than yours?
[02:17:56.040 - 02:18:09.280]
Kurt Volker
I have no reason to doubt their notes if they were notes taken contemporaneously at the meeting.
[02:18:09.280 - 02:18:14.680]
Daniel Goldman
Okay. Another witness testified before us, Laura Cooper, about a meeting that she had with you on August 20th. Do you recall having that meeting with her because you didn't mention it in your -- your deposition?
[02:18:14.680 - 02:18:26.560]
Kurt Volker
Yes, I did.
[02:18:26.560 - 02:18:27.320]
Daniel Goldman
Okay.
[02:18:27.320 - 02:18:27.880]
Kurt Volker
I did mention that I had been making the rounds to weigh in on lifting the hold on security assistance, to do that with all of the interagency players.
[02:18:27.880 - 02:18:38.720]
Daniel Goldman
Um-hmm. And she recalled with some specificity that meeting, which I believe was also based on her notes, that you described the statement that you were trying to get President Zelensky to make two, and I'll quote what she said, "disavow interference in U.S. elections and commit to the prosecution of individuals involved in election interference." And if he were to agree to do that, she testified, then you thought that it might help to lift the hold on security assistance.
[02:18:38.720 - 02:19:03.600]

Is that your recollection of the conversation as well?
[02:19:03.600 - 02:19:05.760]
Kurt Volker
Not exactly.
[02:19:05.760 - 02:19:08.080]
Daniel Goldman
So, how does yours differ?
[02:19:08.080 - 02:19:09.440]
Kurt Volker
I recall talking about the statement that we had discussed earlier, the one that had been in the -- the subject of these exchanges between Mr. Yermak and myself, myself, Ambassador Sondland and Rudy Giuliani, and then back to Yermak. So I discussed that this is an effort we are doing, that this could be helpful in getting a reset of the thinking of the president, the negative view of Ukraine that he had.
[02:19:09.440 - 02:19:32.920]

And if we did that, I thought that would also be helpful in un -- unblocking whatever hold there was on security assistance, that if there's this negative presumption about Ukraine, getting the stuff on track would be helpful.
[02:19:32.920 - 02:19:43.680]
Daniel Goldman
All right. So, that's a different interpretation. But you're -- you don't doubt that what she testified is -- is inaccurate, do you?
[02:19:43.680 - 02:19:49.800]
Kurt Volker
I -- I believe she accurately reflected what she understood from the conversation.
[02:19:49.800 - 02:19:54.200]
Daniel Goldman
Okay. You testified a little bit about the June 28th conference call that you had with Ambassador Sondland, Ambassador Taylor, I'm not sure if Deputy Secretary Kent was on the line
[02:19:54.200 - 02:20:04.320]
Kurt Volker
-- I don't believe so
[02:20:04.320 - 02:20:05.200]
Daniel Goldman
-- And Secretary Perry before you looped in President Zelensky. Am -- am I right about the participants of that, or was Perry -- Secretary Perry not on it?
[02:20:05.200 - 02:20:16.760]
Kurt Volker
Yeah, I am pretty sure that Deputy Assistant Secretary Kent was not on it. I don't remember whether Secretary Perry was on it. And I don't remember whether I stayed on for President Zelensky joining the call or not.
[02:20:16.760 - 02:20:30.120]
Daniel Goldman
Were there
[02:20:30.120 - 02:20:30.680]
Kurt Volker
-- There were two separate calls over the
[02:20:30.680 - 02:20:32.440]
Daniel Goldman
-- Were there any staff members or note takers on the call?
[02:20:32.440 - 02:20:37.760]
Kurt Volker
I don't believe so.
[02:20:37.760 - 02:20:39.440]
Daniel Goldman
Why?
[02:20:39.440 - 02:20:39.880]
Kurt Volker
We were having a call among ourselves to talk about what were the messages we thought we needed to convey.
[02:20:39.880 - 02:20:43.960]
Daniel Goldman
And at that point, we've had other testimony from people who did take notes, that there was a discussion about the investigations or what -- what you needed to do -- what President Zelensky needed to do in order to get the White House meeting. Do you recall that?
[02:20:43.960 - 02:20:53.880]
Kurt Volker
I recall seeing that in Ambassador Taylor's testimony, and I believe there may have even been a text message to that effect. And again, it comes down to what are we talking about in terms of these investigations, because what I certainly understood is we're talking about Ukraine looking into and fighting corruption internally and being convincing about this, presenting the new president and the new team as a change in Ukraine.
[02:20:53.880 - 02:21:19.400]
Daniel Goldman
Well, you understood that the investigations were Burisma and the 2016 election, right?
[02:21:19.400 - 02:21:26.880]
Kurt Volker
Yes.
[02:21:26.880 - 02:21:27.160]
Daniel Goldman
Okay. And you interpreted those
[02:21:27.160 - 02:21:29.960]
Kurt Volker
-- Well
[02:21:29.960 - 02:21:30.600]
Daniel Goldman
-- To be -- you interpreted those to be okay because in theory they were looking into Ukrainians.
[02:21:30.600 - 02:21:35.080]
Kurt Volker
Correct.
[02:21:35.080 - 02:21:35.960]
Daniel Goldman
Okay. But we can agree, can we not, that the investigations, all the investigations that we're talking about here today, were Burisma and the 2016 election?
[02:21:35.960 - 02:21:44.440]
Kurt Volker
Correct.
[02:21:44.440 - 02:21:44.880]
Daniel Goldman
Okay. Now -- and what you then amended your testimony today to say is that in retrospect, if -- you did not realize that the purpose for Mr. Giuliani and President Trump to want the Burisma investigation was to -- for political benefits in -- in digging up dirt or -- or getting some information on Vice President Biden.
[02:21:44.880 - 02:21:59.200]

That's what you learned subsequently, right?
[02:21:59.200 - 02:22:02.640]
Kurt Volker
It's correct that I learned about the president's interest in investigating Vice President Biden from the phone call transcript, which came much, much later. From Giuliani, I didn't know that he was actively pursuing this. I did know that he raised this with me directly and I had pushed back on it.
[02:22:02.640 - 02:22:16.840]
Daniel Goldman
Well, you knew that Ambassador Sondland was pursuing this at the July 10th meeting when he raised these investigations himself.
[02:22:16.840 - 02:22:22.240]
Kurt Volker
Well, again, he didn't specify Biden. He didn't specify Burisma, as I recall, either. I understood it to be a generic comment and something, again, not appropriate for that meeting.
[02:22:22.240 - 02:22:31.400]
Daniel Goldman
Right. I -- I understand. But -- but Biden wasn't mentioned, but you do agree that when investigations are referenced in this context, it is Burisma and the 2016 election, no?
[02:22:31.400 - 02:22:41.000]
Kurt Volker
Yes, that's what I understand.
[02:22:41.000 - 02:22:42.400]
Daniel Goldman
Right. And on the July 10th call when Ambassador Sondland raised the investigations, he did that in response to a question from the Ukrainians about the White House meeting, isn't that right?
[02:22:42.400 - 02:22:52.560]
Kurt Volker
Can you repeat the question? I didn't catch that.
[02:22:52.560 - 02:22:54.440]
Daniel Goldman
When -- you said that Ambassador Sondland mentioned specific investigations at the July 10th meeting in Ambassador
[02:22:54.440 - 02:22:56.760]
Kurt Volker
-- Um-hmm
[02:22:56.760 - 02:22:57.280]
Daniel Goldman
-- Bolton's office, and you said that you thought that was inappropriate.
[02:22:57.280 - 02:23:00.800]
Kurt Volker
Yes.
[02:23:00.800 - 02:23:01.360]
Daniel Goldman
Didn't you make that comment in response to a question from the Ukrainian officials about when they could schedule the White House meeting?
[02:23:01.360 - 02:23:04.960]
Kurt Volker
That I'm not sure about. I remember the meeting essentially already being over, and then Ambassador Sondland bringing that up.
[02:23:04.960 - 02:23:11.640]
Daniel Goldman
And in the July 2nd or 3rd meeting in Toronto that you had with President Zelensky, you also mentioned investigations to him
[02:23:11.640 - 02:23:21.200]
Kurt Volker
-- Yes
[02:23:21.200 - 02:23:21.360]
Daniel Goldman
-- Right? And again, you were referring to the Burisma and the
[02:23:21.360 - 02:23:24.040]
Kurt Volker
-- I was thinking
[02:23:24.040 - 02:23:25.040]
Daniel Goldman
-- 2016
[02:23:25.040 - 02:23:26.480]
Kurt Volker
-- Of Burisma and 2016.
[02:23:26.480 - 02:23:28.400]
Daniel Goldman
Okay. And you understood that that's what the Ukrainians interpreted references to investigations to be, related to Burisma and the 2016 election?
[02:23:28.400 - 02:23:35.520]
Kurt Volker
I -- I don't know specifically at that time if we had talked to that specifically, Burisma, 2016, with President Zelensky. That was my assumption though, that they would have been thinking that too.
[02:23:35.520 - 02:23:47.000]
Daniel Goldman
Now Mr. Morrison when did you have that conversation with Fiona Hill about Burisma and the parallel track involving Ambassador -- parallel process rather involving Ambassador Sondland and Rudy Giuliani? Do you recall?
[02:23:47.000 - 02:23:57.400]
Tim Morrison
We had a number of handoff discussions between one July and 15 July.
[02:23:57.400 - 02:24:00.560]
Daniel Goldman
So in that period of time you were certainly aware of this effort to promote this Burisma investigation that Ambassador Sondland and Rudy Giuliani were going about or at least you had heard about it from Dr. Hill?
[02:24:00.560 - 02:24:10.960]
Tim Morrison
I -- I had heard about it from Doctor Hill.
[02:24:10.960 - 02:24:13.360]
Daniel Goldman
Okay. I want to pull up another excerpt from a recent Wall Street Journal article that quotes in email from July 13 that Ambassador Sondland sent to you and he wrote to you quote sole purpose is for Zelensky to give POTUS assurances of new sheriff in town, corruption -- corruption ending, unbundling moving forward and any hampered investigations will be allowed to move forward transparently and you responded tracking.
[02:24:13.360 - 02:24:36.240]

What did you understand Ambassador Sondland to Maine when he wrote to you any hampered investigations will be allowed to move forward transparently?
[02:24:36.240 - 02:24:47.440]
Tim Morrison
I -- I don't know that I have any understanding. These were emails -- July 13 emails. I wasn't even in the seat yet. But I knew that among the head of state meetings we were attempting to schedule was one between the President and President Zelensky.
[02:24:47.440 - 02:25:05.800]
Daniel Goldman
Right. But -- but it was before this that Doctor Hill had told you about Burisma and Ambassador Sondland in particular his desire for this parallel process to investigate Burisma, right?
[02:25:05.800 - 02:25:14.760]
Tim Morrison
Yes.
[02:25:14.760 - 02:25:15.120]
Daniel Goldman
So you had that association when you received his email asking you about investigations, correct?
[02:25:15.120 - 02:25:19.040]
Tim Morrison
Not necessarily.
[02:25:19.040 - 02:25:20.600]
Daniel Goldman
Low?
[02:25:20.600 - 02:25:21.320]
Tim Morrison
No.
[02:25:21.320 - 02:25:21.480]
Daniel Goldman
Why not?
[02:25:21.480 - 02:25:22.080]
Tim Morrison
Because Ambassador -- of among the discussions I had with Doctor Hill were about Ambassador Sondland I think she might have coined it the Gordon problem and I decided to keep track of what Ambassador Sondland was doing. I didn't necessarily always act on things Gordon suggested he believed were important.
[02:25:22.080 - 02:25:39.280]

So he wanted to get a meeting, I understood that the President wanted to do and had agreed to a meeting and so I was working -- I -- I was tracking that we needed to schedule a meeting.
[02:25:39.280 - 02:25:48.680]
Daniel Goldman
You were not endorsing the notion of President Zelensky sending a message about investigations? Is that your testimony?
[02:25:48.680 - 02:25:55.880]
Tim Morrison
That -- that is my testimony.
[02:25:55.880 - 02:25:57.720]
Daniel Goldman
Ambassador Volker I want to jump ahead. After the aid was released you went to the press conference, right, in -- in Ukraine?
[02:25:57.720 - 02:26:02.320]
Kurt Volker
[Inaudible]
[02:26:02.320 - 02:26:02.760]
Daniel Goldman
And are you aware that Ambassador Taylor who testified based on quite detailed notes indicated that earlier, a few days before that Ambassador Sondland had told him that President Trump is a businessman and so before he writes a check the lights to see people pay up, something to that effect. Are you -- you are aware of that?
[02:26:02.760 - 02:26:18.800]
Kurt Volker
I am familiar with that testimony.
[02:26:18.800 - 02:26:19.920]
Daniel Goldman
And you are also familiar that Ambassador Taylor said that you said something very similar to him when you were in Ukraine for the [Inaudible] conference. Do you recall saying that to Ambassador Taylor?
[02:26:19.920 - 02:26:27.400]
Kurt Volker
Yes, I do. I was repeating what Gordon Sondland had said to me to explain to Bill Taylor what that understanding was.
[02:26:27.400 - 02:26:35.800]
Daniel Goldman
And in what context did Ambassador Sondland say that to you?
[02:26:35.800 - 02:26:39.360]
Kurt Volker
I think we were talking about the release of the hold on security assistance and he was saying that the President has -- he sees he has already got a negative view of Ukraine, he sees a check on his desk that is going to the Ukrainians, not sure about them so he wants to hold onto it until he is assured.
[02:26:39.360 - 02:26:58.920]
Daniel Goldman
Right. And the pay up before he writes the check is to get the investigations that he wants, isn't that right?
[02:26:58.920 - 02:27:06.720]
Kurt Volker
That was not clear to me.
[02:27:06.720 - 02:27:08.360]
Daniel Goldman
What did you think it meant?
[02:27:08.360 - 02:27:09.880]
Kurt Volker
I didn't think that there was a pay of as you -- as we said, the language was similar, I had heard from Gordon that he sees this check, he is not sure he -- he wants to make sure that he's got a deal with the Ukrainians. I didn't know specifically other than this, the generic formulation.
[02:27:09.880 - 02:27:26.680]
Daniel Goldman
Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
[02:27:26.680 - 02:27:28.840]
Adam B. Schiff
15 minutes to Ranking Member Nunes.
[02:27:28.840 - 02:27:30.120]
Devin Nunes
Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Chair. Do you expect in the more of these magical 15 minute motions that you come up with in the back?
[02:27:30.120 - 02:27:35.960]

I don't know how magical they are, they are prescribed by House resolution 660 that we can have successive rounds of up to 45 minutes so this is part of the prescribed procedure under the house resolution.
[02:27:35.960 - 02:27:50.600]

Do you expect you are going to have more this evening
[02:27:50.600 - 02:27:55.560]
Adam B. Schiff
I do not -- I do not
[02:27:55.560 - 02:27:58.680]
Devin Nunes
-- or is this your last?
[02:27:58.680 - 02:28:00.600]
Adam B. Schiff
I do not expect will be necessary.
[02:28:00.600 - 02:28:02.520]
Devin Nunes
I think the gentleman. So for every one watching this is another example of how out of control this process has become where the Democrats just magically give themselves additional minutes which they are right, in the little special role that they wrote they can do but you would at least think that they would have the decency to just tell us that you are going to have 15 minutes more and I would say that you can go for hours, we can go five hours, we will give you all you want, you can keep digging if you want.
[02:28:02.520 - 02:28:34.000]

The deeper the whole you dig I think the more viewers will turn off because people just aren't buying the drug deal that you guys are trying to sell. I would add that since we are getting into prime time these are two witnesses that were your witnesses that you called in to depose. The -- we still ask for witnesses that you did not depose including the whistleblower who you and others claim not to know which we still need to get to the bottom of that because it is the most important material fact witness to how this whole mess began in the first place.
[02:28:34.000 - 02:29:13.280]

Secondly, we have asked for the DNC operatives that were working with Ukrainians to dig up dirt for what you call or what the left calls conspiracy theories which they are right, they are conspiracy theories entered that they have dug up to spend their own conspiracy there is to attack the drum campaign and the 2016 election.
[02:29:13.280 - 02:29:39.160]

So I have no more questions for these witnesses. I know our members do. Mr. Castor, you have a little bit of cleanup here.
[02:29:39.160 - 02:29:45.720]
Steve Castor
Thank you, Mr. Nunes. I -- I will try to be quick and field some time back so we don't have to use every last-minute. Ambassador Volker, are you aware of a statement just last week from foreign minister [Inaudible] about the -- he said that no one ever told the Ukrainians, certainly not him that there was any linkage between these security assistance funds and investigations?
[02:29:45.720 - 02:30:08.360]
Kurt Volker
I had saw that statement, yes.
[02:30:08.360 - 02:30:10.280]
Steve Castor
And do you know the foreign minister?
[02:30:10.280 - 02:30:11.960]
Kurt Volker
I do.
[02:30:11.960 - 02:30:12.560]
Steve Castor
And during times relevant did you ever have any discussions with him about the investigations and links to
[02:30:12.560 - 02:30:17.680]
Kurt Volker
Not about investigations with him. I believe I kept that discussion to being with Mr. Yermak and we did discuss with the foreign minister [Inaudible] and at the time his diplomatic advisor security assistance after it was raised after August 29 that I discuss that with him.
[02:30:17.680 - 02:30:39.120]
Steve Castor
You -- you -- the primary person you worked with was Mr. Yermak?
[02:30:39.120 - 02:30:43.160]
Kurt Volker
Yes.
[02:30:43.160 - 02:30:43.720]
Steve Castor
And Mr. Yermak also have some meetings with Ambassador Sondland. Did he ever give -- did Mr. Yermak ever give you any feedback from his interactions with Ambassador Sondland?
[02:30:43.720 - 02:30:54.960]
Kurt Volker
I can't say whether he did or didn't. We were in frequent contact and we were just talking about the issues as we went along.
[02:30:54.960 - 02:31:01.160]
Steve Castor
The episode at Warsaw where apparently Ambassador Sondland pulled Mr. Yermak aside did -- did he give you -- did Mr. Yermak give you any feedback on that meeting?
[02:31:01.160 - 02:31:08.960]
Kurt Volker
I did not get anything specific after that. This was around I believe September 1 or two and it was at that time that I had been I think texted by Mr. Yermak and was subsequently in touch with him and [Inaudible] where I told them both and also the defense minister I told them all don't worry, we know about this, we are trying to fix it and I think I left the conversation at that.
[02:31:08.960 - 02:31:38.080]
Steve Castor
And those Ukrainian officials to the best of your knowledge they trusted you?
[02:31:38.080 - 02:31:40.000]
Kurt Volker
Very much so. We had a very close relationship.
[02:31:40.000 - 02:31:43.400]
Steve Castor
And so when you made statements like that to them do you think they believed to?
[02:31:43.400 - 02:31:49.440]
Kurt Volker
I think they believe me. I think they would also have other conversations and they would hear things from other people but I also think they knew that I was sincere with them.
[02:31:49.440 - 02:31:59.520]
Steve Castor
And they also trusted Ambassador Taylor?
[02:31:59.520 - 02:32:01.240]
Kurt Volker
Yes.
[02:32:01.240 - 02:32:01.360]
Steve Castor
I would just like to demystify a little bit of the Mayor Giuliani role here. You -- you met with him I believe one time?
[02:32:01.360 - 02:32:07.280]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[02:32:07.280 - 02:32:08.200]
Steve Castor
And you had some -- you exchanged some text messages with him, correct?
[02:32:08.200 - 02:32:11.520]
Kurt Volker
Yes, between I guess it was 10 July and the around 13 August.
[02:32:11.520 - 02:32:16.320]
Steve Castor
And during your deposition we sort of did and accounting of your communications with Mr. Giuliani and did wasn't that there weren't that many, we sort of accounted for them all and then Ambassador Sondland when he came in he -- he didn't have you know he didn't have any one-on-one meetings with Mayor Giuliani to your knowledge?
[02:32:16.320 - 02:32:36.880]

Is that correct?
[02:32:36.880 - 02:32:37.080]
Kurt Volker
I don't believe he did but I don't know.
[02:32:37.080 - 02:32:40.640]
Steve Castor
And in fact I think Ambassador Sondland testified that there were a couple of conference calls that he may have been on with you.
[02:32:40.640 - 02:32:50.680]
Kurt Volker
That is true.
[02:32:50.680 - 02:32:52.880]
Steve Castor
Okay. The -- just getting back to the irregular channel that Ambassador Taylor coined in his deposition testimony did -- did you ever have an opportunity to sort of close the loop with him about any concerns whatsoever or was it all just the specific instances raised in the text?
[02:32:52.880 - 02:33:10.280]
Kurt Volker
It is only those specific instances. Do you think Ambassador Taylor in your communications with him believe that Mr. Giuliani was in far greater communication with yourself, Secretary Perry and Ambassador Sondland?
[02:33:10.280 - 02:33:23.040]

I don't know what he thought.
[02:33:23.040 - 02:33:24.400]
Steve Castor
Okay. That is all I have, Mr. Nunes, do you
[02:33:24.400 - 02:33:29.760]
Devin Nunes
I have nothing more. With the gentleman allow us to use our magic minutes to yield to one of our members who would like to go?
[02:33:29.760 - 02:33:34.160]
Adam B. Schiff
The house rules don't permit fact, Mr. Nunes.
[02:33:34.160 - 02:33:36.960]
Devin Nunes
I yield back.
[02:33:36.960 - 02:33:37.560]
Adam B. Schiff
We'll now go to five minute member questions. I recognize myself for five minutes. Ambassador Volker, I want to ask you about something in your opening statement with respect to the July 10 meeting. You testify "I participated in the July tent meeting between National Security Advisor Bolton and then Ukrainian Chairman of the National Security and Defense Counsel Olek Danyliuk.
[02:33:37.560 - 02:33:59.000]

As I remember, the meeting was essentially over when Ambassador Sondland made a generic comment about investigations. I think all of us thought it was inappropriate. Conversation did not continue in the meeting concluded." Ambassador Volker, we asked you about that meeting during your deposition and you told us nothing about this.
[02:33:59.000 - 02:34:25.240]

I believe we asked you about why the meeting came to an end and why you had earlier indicated I think to Ambassador Taylor that it did not go well and your answer was that Danyliuk was in the weeds on national security policy. Why didn't you tell us about this?
[02:34:25.240 - 02:34:43.280]
Kurt Volker
Because that's what I remembered from the meeting what I -- what I provided in my October 3 statement. As I said, I've learned other things, including seeing the statements from Alex Vindman and from Fiona Hill, and that reminded me that yes, at the very end of that meeting, as it was recounted in Colonel Vindman's statement, I did remember that.
[02:34:43.280 - 02:35:03.960]

That yes, that's right, Gordon did bring that up and that was it.
[02:35:03.960 - 02:35:14.080]
Adam B. Schiff
So at the time we deposed you, and I think we were there for six, seven, or eight hours and we were asking you specifically about what you knew about these investigations, you didn't remember that Gordon Sondland had brought this up in the July 10 meeting with Ukrainians and ambassador Bolton called an end to the meeting?
[02:35:14.080 - 02:35:33.680]

Ambassador Bolton described that meeting as some drug deal that Sondland and Mulvaney cooked up. You had no recollection of that?
[02:35:33.680 - 02:35:42.360]
Kurt Volker
Right. So on terms of Gordon bringing it up, no, I did not remember that at the time of my October 3 testimony. I read the account by Alex and that jogged my memory. I said yes, that's right. That did happen. I do not still to this point recall it being an abrupt end to the meeting. The meeting was essentially over and we got up, we went out to the little circle in front of the White House, we took a photograph.
[02:35:42.360 - 02:36:08.360]

It did not strike me as abrupt.
[02:36:08.360 - 02:36:10.600]
Adam B. Schiff
Now, Ambassador Volker, you said in your written testimony today I think all of us thought it was inappropriate. Now, if as you say, Ambassador Sondland only mention investigations in the Bolton meeting and you don't recall hearing him being more specific, although others have testified that he was in the wardroom, why did you think it was an appropriate?
[02:36:10.600 - 02:36:36.640]
Kurt Volker
Yeah, I thought it was, I'll put it this way, that something of an eye roll moment where you have a meeting, you're trying to advance the substance of the bilateral elation ship. We have the head of the national security and defense counsel. It was a double disappointing meeting because I don't think that the Ukrainians got as much out of that in terms of their presentation as they could have, and then this comes up at the very end of the meeting.
[02:36:36.640 - 02:37:04.360]

It's like this is -- this is not what we should be talking about.
[02:37:04.360 - 02:37:07.120]
Adam B. Schiff
But ambassador, you've said that you think it was appropriate to ask the Ukrainians to do investigations of 2016 and Burisma as long as Burisma didn't mean the Bidens, something you have now I think -- I understand you should have seen otherwise, but nonetheless, it if it was appropriate, why are you saying today that all of us thought it was inappropriate?
[02:37:07.120 - 02:37:31.040]
Kurt Volker
Yeah, because it was not the place or the time to bring up that. This was a meeting between national security advisor and that chairman of the national security and defense counsel. The first high level meeting we are having between Ukraine and the United States after President Zelensky's election.
[02:37:31.040 - 02:37:54.920]
Adam B. Schiff
Is part of the reason it was inappropriate also that it was brought up in the context of trying to get the White House meeting?
[02:37:54.920 - 02:38:02.280]
Kurt Volker
Possibly, although I don't recall that being -- I know this was the Council's question. I don't remember the exact context of when that came up. I viewed the meeting as essentially having ended.
[02:38:02.280 - 02:38:17.320]
Adam B. Schiff
I think you've said in your updated testimony that you do think it's inappropriate and objectionable to seek to get a foreign government to investigate a political rival. Am I right?
[02:38:17.320 - 02:38:34.560]
Kurt Volker
To investigate the Vice President of the United States or someone who is a U.S. official. I don't think we should be asking foreign governments to do that. I would also say that's true of a political rival.
[02:38:34.560 - 02:38:47.160]
Adam B. Schiff
And you recognized when you got the call record when you finally did see the call record that's what took place in that call, correct?
[02:38:47.160 - 02:38:57.120]
Kurt Volker
That's correct.
[02:38:57.120 - 02:38:59.120]
Adam B. Schiff
Mr. Morrison, Ambassador Volker thinks it's inappropriate to ask a foreign head of state to investigate the U.S. person, let alone a political rival, but you said you had no concern with that. Do you think that's appropriate?
[02:38:59.120 - 02:39:17.320]
Tim Morrison
As a hypothetical matter, I do not.
[02:39:17.320 - 02:39:20.400]
Adam B. Schiff
Well, I'm not talking about a hypothetical matter. Read the transcript. In that transcript, does the president not ask Zelensky to look into the Bidens?
[02:39:20.400 - 02:39:35.560]
Tim Morrison
Mr. Chairman, I can only tell you what I was thinking at the time. That is not what I understood the president to be doing.
[02:39:35.560 - 02:39:46.360]
Adam B. Schiff
But nonetheless, this was the first and only time where you wind from listening to a presidential call directly to the national security lawyer, is it not?
[02:39:46.360 - 02:39:55.200]
Tim Morrison
Yes, that's correct.
[02:39:55.200 - 02:39:58.440]
Adam B. Schiff
And I think you've said that your concern was not that it was unlawful but that it might leak, is that right?
[02:39:58.440 - 02:40:05.760]
Tim Morrison
That is correct.
[02:40:05.760 - 02:40:07.040]
Adam B. Schiff
Now the -- the problem with it leaking is that what would be leaking is a president asking a foreign head of state to investigate Mr. Biden, isn't that the problem?
[02:40:07.040 - 02:40:19.000]
Tim Morrison
Well, I believe I stated I had sort of three concerns about what the impact of the call leaking might be.
[02:40:19.000 - 02:40:29.720]
Adam B. Schiff
Well, if it was a perfect call, would you have had a concern of it leaking?
[02:40:29.720 - 02:40:33.640]
Tim Morrison
No. Well, no, I would still have a concern about it leaking.
[02:40:33.640 - 02:40:38.760]
Adam B. Schiff
Okay. And would you have thought it was appropriate if President Trump had asked Zelensky to investigate John Kasich or to investigate Nancy Pelosi or to investigate Ambassador Volker? That be appropriate?
[02:40:38.760 - 02:40:53.840]
Tim Morrison
In those hypothetical cases, no. Not appropriate.
[02:40:53.840 - 02:40:57.440]
Adam B. Schiff
But you're not sure about Joe Biden?
[02:40:57.440 - 02:41:00.360]
Tim Morrison
Sir, again, I can only speak what I understood at the time, and why I acted the way I did at the time.
[02:41:00.360 - 02:41:09.240]
Adam B. Schiff
Finally, my colleagues asked about well, doesn't aid get held up for all kinds of reasons? Ambassador Volker, have you ever seen military aid held up because a president wanted his rival investigated?
[02:41:09.240 - 02:41:25.240]
Kurt Volker
No, I have not seen that.
[02:41:25.240 - 02:41:27.720]
Adam B. Schiff
Have you ever seen that, Mr. Williams? Mr. Morrison, I'm sorry.
[02:41:27.720 - 02:41:30.040]
Tim Morrison
No, chairman.
[02:41:30.040 - 02:41:31.520]
Adam B. Schiff
I yield to the ranking member.
[02:41:31.520 - 02:41:33.280]
Devin Nunes
So you took two additional minutes. Are you giving our side seven minutes?
[02:41:33.280 - 02:41:35.800]
Adam B. Schiff
Of course.
[02:41:35.800 - 02:41:38.040]
Devin Nunes
I recognize Mr. Turner.
[02:41:38.040 - 02:41:42.920]
Michael R. Turner
Thank you. Ambassador Volker, Mr. Morrison, good to see you again. I appreciate your service to your country and your service and government. Our country is safer today because of the work of both of you men. I want you to know that during all the testimony that we had, no one has ever alleged that either of you have done anything appropriate or improper and everyone has spoken of both of you as having a high level of professionalism and a high degree of ethical standards.
[02:41:42.920 - 02:42:21.400]

Ambassador Volker, I appreciated in your opening statement your comments of your work to focus on Russia as an invasion of Ukraine and occupation and your work on legal defense of arms that would include the Javelins, would it not, Ambassador Volker?
[02:42:21.400 - 02:42:44.520]
Kurt Volker
Yes, that's right.
[02:42:44.520 - 02:42:48.720]
Michael R. Turner
And that made a big difference to the Ukraine, did it not?
[02:42:48.720 - 02:42:52.240]
Kurt Volker
Very big difference.
[02:42:52.240 - 02:42:52.800]
Michael R. Turner
Mr. Morrison, would you speak to -- tell us about your military service.
[02:42:52.800 - 02:42:59.760]
Tim Morrison
Mr. Turner, I'm a U.S. naval reserve officer. I -- I'm an intelligence officer.
[02:42:59.760 - 02:43:05.480]
Michael R. Turner
And where did you go to law school?
[02:43:05.480 - 02:43:07.720]
Tim Morrison
George Washington University.
[02:43:07.720 - 02:43:09.400]
Michael R. Turner
Now gentlemen, there's been a lot of talk about a lot of people, and were going to have to pick up the pace here because these are like short periods of time that we have now for this portions of questions. A lot of people talking about their perceptions, their beliefs, their feelings even, what they heard and their understandings and their thoughts.
[02:43:09.400 - 02:43:36.880]

Ambassador Taylor, Mr. Kent, Ambassador Yovanovitch, and Lieutenant Colonel Vindman all had conversations with each other and with other people and all had a bunch of hearsay. But I can assure you this boils down to just one thing. This is an impeachment inquiry concerning the president of the United States.
[02:43:36.880 - 02:44:00.600]

So the only thing that matters besides all these people talking to each other and all their feelings and all of their thoughts and understandings, it really only comes down to what did the president of the United States intend and what did he say, and what did the Ukrainians understand or hear? Ambassador Volker, you're one of the first people that we've had in these open public testimony that's had conversations with both.
[02:44:00.600 - 02:44:41.280]

So I get to ask you. You had a meeting with the president of the United States and you believed that the policy issues that he raised concerning Ukraine were valid, correct?
[02:44:41.280 - 02:44:57.840]
Kurt Volker
Yes.
[02:44:57.840 - 02:44:58.280]
Michael R. Turner
Did the president of the United States ever say to you that he was not going to allow aid for the United States to go to the Ukraine unless there were investigations into Burisma, the Bidens, or the 2016 elections?
[02:44:58.280 - 02:45:12.760]
Kurt Volker
No, he did not.
[02:45:12.760 - 02:45:16.080]
Michael R. Turner
Did the Ukrainians ever tell you that they understood that they would not get a meeting with the president of the United States, a phone call with the president of the United States, military aide, or foreign aid from the United States unless they undertook investigations of charisma, the Bidens, and the 2016 elections?
[02:45:16.080 - 02:45:38.640]
Kurt Volker
No, they did not. Turner
[02:45:38.640 - 02:45:40.240]
Michael R. Turner
You know, pretty much, Ambassador Volker, you just, like, took apart their entire case. I mean, if the president of the United States does not believe or intended and that Ukrainians don't understand it, and you're the only one who actually stands in between them. Now I ask you, Ambassador Volker, you know, the three amigos thing or whatever that they're trying to disparage you with, you're not part of an irregular channel, right question mark Ambassador Volker?
[02:45:40.240 - 02:46:11.240]

Aren't you the official channel?
[02:46:11.240 - 02:46:13.080]
Kurt Volker
That is correct.
[02:46:13.080 - 02:46:13.440]
Michael R. Turner
Explain that. Explain how you're the official channel and not an irregular channel.
[02:46:13.440 - 02:46:16.800]
Kurt Volker
So I was appointed by Secretary of State Secretary Tillerson in July 2017 to be that U.S. special representative for Ukraine negotiations. That's a role that's different from Assistant Secretary of State or at different from ambassador in Ukraine. That role is particularly focused on the diplomatic activities surrounding the efforts that reverse Russia's invasion and occupation of Ukraine.
[02:46:16.800 - 02:46:37.080]

It is Minsk agreement implementation, it is the Normandy process with France and Germany, it is support for NATO, it is support for sanctions from the European Union, it's the OSCE and the monitoring missions. It is the efforts of individual allies like Poland, like the UK, like Canada that are supporting Ukraine.
[02:46:37.080 - 02:46:52.160]

It is work at a senior level in the interagency with Secretary of Defense
[02:46:52.160 - 02:46:54.920]
Michael R. Turner
-- Great description. I'm going to cut you off there.
[02:46:54.920 - 02:46:56.280]

Ambassador Volker, you are also one of the few people who had actually spoken to Giuliani, the so-called irregular channel. Again, all these other people had feelings and understandings about what Giuliani was doing. Did Giuliani ever tell you that United States aid or a meeting with the president of the United States would not occur for the Ukrainians until they agreed to an investigation of Burisma, the Bidens, or the 2016 election?
[02:46:56.280 - 02:47:19.920]
Kurt Volker
Yeah, everything I heard from Giuliani I took to be his opinion.
[02:47:19.920 - 02:47:22.400]
Michael R. Turner
Excellent.
[02:47:22.400 - 02:47:23.000]
Kurt Volker
It was not guidance.
[02:47:23.000 - 02:47:23.840]
Michael R. Turner
So -- so, I would assume then that the Ukrainians never told you that -- that Giuliani had told them that in order to get a meeting with the president, a phone call with the president, military aid, or -- or foreign aid from the United States that they would have to do these investigations.
[02:47:23.840 - 02:47:39.200]
Kurt Volker
No.
[02:47:39.200 - 02:47:39.440]
Michael R. Turner
All right. Okay. Mr. Morrison, you testified that you spoke to Ambassador Sondland and he told you of a conversation that he had with the president of the United States. On the -- on page 128 of his testimony, he relates the content of a conversation that he had with the president, and he was asked about it. It's the only one he relates.
[02:47:39.440 - 02:47:56.240]

And he said in your -- and he said I did -- he was asked whether or not there was a quid pro quo. He said I didn't frame the question basically to the president that way as a link. I did not frame the question that way. I asked the open-ended question what do you want. This is Mr. Sondland in his testimony, asking this question to the president of the United States.
[02:47:56.240 - 02:48:15.720]

And this is what he reports, that the president of the United States, he said, I want nothing. I don't want to give them anything. I don't want anything from them. I want Zelensky to do the right thing. That's what he -- and he kept repeating no quid pro quo over and over again. Mr. Morrison, do you have any reason to believe that Mr. Sondland is not telling the truth as the content of his conversation with the president of the United States?
[02:48:15.720 - 02:48:42.520]
Tim Morrison
No, Congressman.
[02:48:42.520 - 02:48:43.800]
Michael R. Turner
Now, do either of you have any information or evidence that anyone who has testified before this committee either in the secret dungeon testimonies that have been released or in these open testimonies has perjured themselves or has lied to this committee?
[02:48:43.800 - 02:48:58.480]
Kurt Volker
I have no reason to think that.
[02:48:58.480 - 02:49:00.080]
Michael R. Turner
Mr. Morrison?
[02:49:00.080 - 02:49:00.800]
Tim Morrison
No, sir.
[02:49:00.800 - 02:49:01.640]
Michael R. Turner
Mr. Morrison, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman reported to you -- to you, is that correct?
[02:49:01.640 - 02:49:06.160]
Tim Morrison
He did, sir.
[02:49:06.160 - 02:49:07.080]
Michael R. Turner
Now, you -- you have a legal background. He said that he listened to the phone call, the phone call which you said you saw nothing that had occurred illegally, and he said that he believed the president of the United States demanded to President Zelensky that these investigations move forward. Do you believe -- because he only was telling us his opinion.
[02:49:07.080 - 02:49:24.040]

Do you believe in your opinion that the president of the United States demanded that President Zelensky undertake these investigations?
[02:49:24.040 - 02:49:28.880]