Donald Trump to release transcript of second call with Ukrainian president

President Donald Trump

Enlarge Image AFP via Getty Images

Accompanying the release of the transcripts, House Democrats released a statement saying that both Anderson and Croft voiced "concerns they had with efforts to press Ukraine into announcing specific investigations which would help President Trump politically".

The hearings will go a long way to helping the public understand the allegations that the president abused the power of his office for personal political gain by pressuring Ukrainian President Volodomir Zelensky to investigate former US vice-president Joe Biden and his son Hunter around the latter's business dealings in Ukraine.

Cooper's testimony was among several hundred pages of transcripts released Monday, along with those of State Department officials Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson.

Anderson worked for USA envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and served as a special adviser for Ukraine negotiations from August 2017 through July 12, leaving days before a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that helped trigger the inquiry.

As they prepare to hold the first open impeachment hearings this week, Democrats had hoped to peel off Republican support from a key bloc - retiring lawmakers who need not worry about internal blowback or primary challenges. Republicans, who then controlled the House, brought impeachment charges against Democratic President Bill Clinton in a scandal involving his sexual relationship with a White House intern.

"Now I'll give you a second transcript, because I actually had two calls with the President of Ukraine", Trump told reporters.

Cooper was the first Pentagon official to testify in the inquiry.

Critics denounced their actions, saying by taking phones into the secure room, they had compromised USA security. Cooper said she told the next meeting in late July that there were legal ways Trump could block the funding, but that Congress-which had allocated the $400 million specifically for Ukraine-would have to be notified.

Democrats in the US House of Representatives argue Mr Trump abused his authority in pressing the Ukrainian government to investigate Mr Biden and his son Hunter, who was on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, Burisma.




"My sense is that all of the senior leaders of the USA national security departments and agencies were all unified in their - in their view that this assistance was essential", said Cooper, an assistant defense secretary.

She said she theorized that by "painting sort of Ukraine as being against Trump" it could help the president "distract from a narrative" that Russian Federation had interfered in the 2016 USA election to help him.

The impeachment investigation began in September after a whistleblower within the US intelligence community brought a complaint against Trump over his July 25 call with Zelenskiy.

Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a Democrat, is unlikely to summon either to testify, and even some Republicans have opposed the push from Mr Trump and some of his supporters that the whistleblower be identified.

Trump has denied the allegations, namely the "quid pro quo" claim that he withheld military aid to Ukraine in exchange for prosecution.

He defended his call with Mr Zelenskiy as "perfect" and branded the probe a politically motivated hoax. But President Donald Trump's acting chief of staff thought otherwise.

Reports have said that Joe Biden in 2016 allegedly forced the firing of top Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who had been investigating Burisma, by threatening to withhold $1 billion in USA loan guarantees; Biden made a statement about the move during a videotaped speech on a panel previous year.

Republicans have so far shown little support for removing Trump from office, which would require two-thirds of senators present to vote to convict him.

Latest News