An official on the White House's National Security Council (NSC) said he heard the USA ambassador to the European Union explicitly press Ukrainian officials to investigate Mr Joe Biden and his son, according to a transcript released last Friday by Democrats leading the impeachment probe of President Donald Trump.
For almost a year, Giuliani has pursued unsubstantiated allegations that Biden pushed to fire a Ukrainian prosecutor to stop him from investigating Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company on the board of which Biden's son, Hunter, served.
President Donald Trump arrives to discuss at a ceremony to existing the Presidential Citizens Medal posthumously to Rick Rescorla in the East Space of the White House, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, in Washington.
Kent told investigators that that was his understanding of what Trump wanted Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to say in order to unlock US military aid, as relayed to the official by others, including those in direct contact with the president. That claim is contradicted by the whistle-blower report and Sondland, who said in supplemental testimony this week the withholding of aid was directly tied to the president's pressure for a Biden investigation.
"Ambassador Bolton immediately stiffened and ended the meeting", she said. Both testified about their concerns as Trump pushed Ukraine for investigations of Democrats.
The president first communicated the idea to White House officials, who then alerted the Justice Department.
The three House committees are wrapping up the closed-door phase of their investigation before open hearings start next Wednesday with testimony from two diplomats who have been interviewed behind closed doors, William Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent.
Mr Trump said on Friday that he thought Mr Mulvaney would "do great" and "I'd love to have him go up", but he did not want to validate the investigation. A White House spokesman said earlier this week that Mulvaney did not intend to comply with the request to appear.
Vindman alerted superiors on two occasions, including after he listened to the July call in which Trump personally appealed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate political rival Joe Biden and the outlier theory of a Ukrainian role in the 2016 US presidential election.
Some Republicans have started defending President Donald Trump on the impeachment issue by gravitating towards the "bad but not impeachable" argument. She has said she was ousted from her post after she came under attack by Giuliani, whose associates "may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine".
"I mean, for the most part, I've never even heard of these people".
"It's insane to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign", Taylor wrote earlier this year in a text message released by House investigators.
Republicans have requested their own witnesses, including Biden's son and the whistleblower whose complaint triggered the impeachment inquiry into Trump.