Live updates: Trump denies witness tampering; State official says president asked about ‘investigation’ into Bidens – The Washington Post, Google News

Trump’s tweet – in which he said everything “turned bad” in various places Yovanovitch was posted as a diplomat – came as she testified that she was the target of a “campaign of disinformation ”that involved Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani.

Yovanovitch also told the House Intelligence Committee that she felt threatened when she read how Trump talked about her to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on a July 25 call.

Later Friday, David Holmes, a career diplomat, told lawmakers that he overheard a phone call in Kyiv between Trump and Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, during which Trump pressed for updates on Zelensky’s willingness to“do the investigation”– testimony that could significantly advance the House’s impeachment inquiry.

Democrats are seeking to build a case that Trump sought to withhold military assistance and an Oval Office meeting until Zelensky announced investigations into former vice president Joe Biden and his son, as well as an unfounded theory that Ukrainians interfered in the 2016 presidential election to hurt Trump.

● Trumpattacks ambassadoreven as she describes feeling threatened by him.

Pelosi tweets support for Yovanovitch

House Speak er Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tweeted in solidarity with Yovanovitch, noting that the longtime diplomat had been “an anti-corruption crusader” – an apparent dig at Trump allies’ defense that he was trying to root out corruption in Ukraine by requesting

“Today, we hear from one of our most respected diplomats, who spent her career as an anti-corruption crusader,” Pelosi tweeted. “She was viciously smeared by Trump’s allies, removed from her post, then threatened by the President on his ‘perfect” call’. ”

(By) (Colby Itkowitz)

November 15, 2019 at 7: 30 AM EST

Yovanovitch scheduled in morning open hearing, Holmes in afternoon closed session

Yovanovitch is scheduled to appear at an open hearing of the House Intelli gence Committee beginning at 9 a.m.

She was recalled from her post in May after facing an onslaught of attacks from right-wing media. With encouragement from Giuliani – but with no evidence – conspiracy theorists painted her as an enemy of the president who used her power to covertly undermine him and assist Democrats.

In an Oct. 11 closed-door deposition, Yovanovitch said that she remained worried that she would be a target of retaliation by Trump, who referred to her in a July 25 phone call with Zelensky as “bad news” and someone who was “going to go through some things.”

House investigators also expect to hear in a closed-door session starting around 3 pm Friday from Holmes. He is an embassy staffer referred to Wednesday in testimony by William B. Taylor Jr., acting ambassador to Ukraine.

Holmes is one of two people believed to have overheard a July phone call in which Trump was said to have asked US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland about “the investigations” sought from Ukraine into Trump’s political rivals.

Trump has told reporters that he has no recollection of the call. *********************

(By) John Wagner and Elise Viebeck

Trump says Democrats should apologize for impeachment inquiry

Trump seized late Thursday night on comments by U krainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko to demand that Democrats apologize to the nation for the impeachment inquiry, which Trump claimed on Twitter “IS NOW DEAD!”

Prystaiko was quoted by the Interfax Ukraine news agency as saying his conversations with Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, did not include explicit mention linking U.S. military aid with possible investigations of the Bidens.

Prystaiko, however, commented only on his direct interactions with Sondland, and not other U.S.

“Democrats must apologize to USA,” Trump said in tweets sent shortly before midnight, adding: “THE FAKE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY IS NOW DEAD!”

His tweets followed a campaign rally in Louisiana at which he mocked two career diplomats who testified publicly Wednesday about their concerns regarding Trump’s actions toward Ukraine.

“How about when they asked these two Never Trumpers, ‘What exactly do you impeach him for?’ They went like, ‘What?’ ”Trump said.

Several times during Wednesday’s public hearing , one of the two, acting US ambassador to Ukraine William B. Taylor Jr., said he was there to present information he had and not to weigh in on whether to impeach Trump.

ByJohn Wagner and Colby Itkowitz

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