However, a review of more than 2,600 pages of transcripts published this week by eight witnesses who appeared before the House following an impeachment investigation over the last six weeks shows how much of the controversy surrounding Trump in Ukraine had been launched in the US government for months. He sought to strengthen a key strategic alliance after Trump hired his personal lawyer to work outside of normal diplomatic channels in order to enhance his chances of re-election.
In addition, testimonies show a detached president of the vital role played by Ukraine in US policy against Russia – but also driven by its unrest towards Ukraine. And the testimony of at least one witness connects Trump to the decision to withhold nearly 400 million dollars of security assistance to Ukraine until this country announces that He would pursue investigations of his political rivals.
Trump pressure for Ukraine to investigate rivals goes beyond simple phone call
Officials who testified explained that pressure on Ukraine to investigate the president's political opponents was already ongoing well before the call and for weeks after the president urged Zelensky to investigate the Bidens.
But Sondland did not state that Trump had told him that, but only that he "presumed" that the help was related to the investigations. He claimed that he could not remember exactly how he had learned that the two were related.
The power of Trump's personal prosecutor
Giuliani tried to show that his only role in Ukraine was to defend his client – Trump – and repel the attacks against him.
But this is not what was said to senior US officials – nor how the Ukrainians considered it. Time and time again, Trump explained that in order to cope with the politics of Ukraine, she had to first take care of Giuliani, which hampered their efforts with their main ally, who fought against Russian aggression and desperately needed American help.
For Sondland, Trump was even more direct: "He does not stop saying," Talk to Rudy, talk to Rudy. "
Sondland then testified that Giuliani's requests continued to be "insidious" by May 23 at the latest, when he realized that there might be a connection between the visit to the White House and help in Ukraine, which I could not get. a clear answer as to why the help was blocked ".
Vindman testified that Giuliani's "alternative narrative" "undermines the US government's efforts to expand cooperation with Ukraine".
And he added that Ukrainians were confused by Giuliani's role and feared that "this could undermine consensus politics".
"It is only since this call that it has become its official role," added Vindman, citing the July appeal in which Trump had urged the Ukrainian president to collaborate with Zelensky.
Yovanovitch and others have described a series of "lies" pushed by Giuliani to tarnish his reputation and make it look unfair to the president. efforts.
"Has anyone in the State Department tried to stop these efforts?" Yovanovich was asked. She replied, "I do not think so, I do not think they think they can do it."
Pompeo "rolled his eyes" discussing Giuliani and said, "Yes, it's something we have to deal with," according to Sondland's testimony.
Career leaders: Trump-Giuliani's efforts a major violation of standards
He is hardly alone.
Kent was supposed to be responsible for Ukraine's policy at the State Department, but he was dismissed. And he was alarmed by what he saw.
"I wrote a note in the file saying that I feared that efforts would be made to prosecute for political reasons prejudicial to the rule of law, in Ukraine and the United States," he said. Kent.
Taylor termed this as "an irregular informal channel of US policy-making vis-à-vis Ukraine", referring to the efforts of Volker, Sondland, Giuliani and the Secretary at the time. Energy, Rick Perry.
"Although this irregular channel is well connected to Washington, it operates mainly outside official diplomatic channels," he said.
Trump's obsession for Ukraine
This long-standing mistrust of Ukraine fueled Trump's vision of the conspiracy theories promoted by Giuliani and the conservative media that year, prompting him to stop to deal with Ukraine and to ask officials to talk with him about Giuliani.
Trump's attitude towards Ukraine helped to reinforce Giuliani's influence on US policy in Ukraine, as Trump administration officials felt bound to convince Giuliani to convince the president.
"It started with a conversation with Rudy," said Sondland.
But years before Ukraine was propelled into the public sphere while a scandal threatened the president with disqualification, Trump's views on Ukraine raised concerns within the US. Trump administration.
Trump also seized the plot that Ukraine, not Russia, had been ingested in the 2016 election, on the basis of unproven assertion according to which the server of the National Democratic Committee was in Ukraine. Trump alluded to the conspiracy theory during his telephone conversation with Zelensky on July 25: "The server, they say that Ukraine has some," he said.
Hill explained how there had been an effort to convince Trump that it was a "conspiracy" conspiracy theory. "We spent a lot of time" with Tom Bossert, former Trump Homeland Security Advisor, former National Security Advisor, Mr. R. McMaster and others, Hill said, "trying to refute this one. first year of government ".
"Tom and others working on cybersecurity have exposed to the president the facts about the interference," she said. "I can not say more than that."
Transcripts undermine Trump defense by GOP
The story that Giuliani had put forward was essentially a "campaign of lies," Kurt said.
If Trump wants to continue to claim "no counterpart", Democrats seem to have the means to prove him wrong. Some congressional Republicans suggested recognizing a counterpart, but claiming that it was not an impenetrable offense.
. (TagsToTranslate) Politics (t) Trump Removal Survey: What 2 (t) 677 pages of testimonys reveal about the Trump scandal in Ukraine – CNNPolitics