Bolton objected to Ukraine pressure campaign, called Giuliani "a hand grenade"

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Donald Trump's former Russian Federation adviser testified for more than nine hours on Monday behind closed doors, the latest witness summoned in the impeachment inquiry against the USA president over his request that Ukraine investigate a political rival.

Republican congressman Matt Gaetz, an outspoken defender of Trump, was asked to leave the closed session about an hour into Hill's testimony. A separate source said Hill also drew a link between Sondland and Trump in her testimony. She resigned from the White House National Security Council over the summer.

Purpura also reiterated the White House view that "there is no valid impeachment inquiry underway" in warning she could not discuss such issues even if lawmakers cited the investigation as grounds to ask about them.

Her attorneys also wrote about a discussion they'd had on the phone Friday with the White House Counsel's Office involving executive privilege.

Indeed, former White House aide Andrei Cherny, now the CEO of financial firm Aspiration, commented that Bolton's involvement painted him as the "Severus Snape" of the story-a reference to the Harry Potter series in which Snape finally emerges as a hero, having been previously painted as a villain by author J.K. Rowling.

Democrats expect her to share her concerns about Mr Trump's involvement in the Ukraine scandal, including his ouster of the U.S. ambassador to Kiev Marie Yovanovitch, who testified to Congress last week. There are five more scheduled this week, mostly with State Department officials, though it is unclear if they will all appear after Trump declared he wouldn't cooperate with the probe. It is unclear if they will appear.

Hill was subpoenaed to testify in the Democratic-led Ukraine investigation.

The State Department previously ordered officials not to do so, triggering congressional subpoenas to the witnesses. Hill complied with the subpoena and was answering questions from both Democrats and Republicans, the official said. That person wasn't authorized to discuss the invitations and requested anonymity.

Democrats expect her to share her concerns about Trump's involvement in the Ukraine scandal, including his ouster of the United States ambassador to Kiev Marie Yovanovitch, who testified to Congress last week.

Sondland is expected to be asked why he relayed from Trump to other diplomats that the president said no "quid pro quos" connecting the Biden investigation with the US aid.

Former special US envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker shared text messages with the panels earlier this month, showing how both career and political diplomats coordinated with Giuliani and a top aide to the Ukrainian president through the summer to secure a public commitment from Zelensky to investigate the 2016 elections and Burisma, as a precondition for Trump meeting his Ukrainian counterpart in person.

According to the Daily Caller News Foundation, Schiff has pulled back his preference for the whistleblower to testify after it was revealed on October 2 that the whistleblower had contact with a Schiff aide prior to filing the complaint on august 12.

In that call, of which the transcript was later released by the White House, Trump urges Zelensky to "look into" Biden's family's conduct and allegations of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.

Whistleblowers are protected by U.S. law, and revealing their identity is a crime.

"Given that we already have the call record, we don't need the whistleblower who wasn't on the call to tell us what took place during the call", Schiff said.

Schiff said it "may not be necessary" to reveal the whistleblower's identity as the House gathers evidence.

Schiff said the "primary interest right now is making sure that that person is protected".

In calling for a vote, the White House is trying to press the House Democrats who can be politically reluctant to put their names behind impeachment. She is the first individual who worked in the White House who is testifying in the impeachment inquiry. Democrats say Congress is well within its power as the legislative branch to conduct oversight of the president and it is Republicans, having grown tired of Trump's actions, who may be in the greater political bind over a vote.

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