Former NSC Official: ‘Not Concerned That Anything Illegal Was Discussed’ During Trump Ukraine Call

White House Russia expert Timothy Morrison arrives for a deposition for the House Impeachment inquiries at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, October 31, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Former senior White House official Tim Morrison has reportedly testified to congressional investigators on Thursday that he was not concerned any illegal activities occurred during President Donald Trump’s phone call with the leader of Ukraine.

“I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed,” Morrison, who resigned Wednesday as former National Security Council’s top adviser for Russian and European affairs, told lawmakers, according to The Federalist. The publication also reports Morrison conveyed to lawmakers that Ukrainian officials were unaware that the Trump administration had delayed U.S. military aid to the eastern European country until the end of August 2019 —  roughly one month after President Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“I have no reason to believe the Ukrainians had any knowledge of the [military funding] review until August 28, 2019,” the former Trump official reportedly stated.

“I am pleased our process gave the president the confidence he needed to approve the release of the security sector assistance,” he added. “I am proud of what I have been able, in some small way, to help the Trump administration accomplish.”

Morrison also testified that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor’s deposition possessed several inaccuracies, including the false claim that Morrison met with Ukraine’s National Security advisor at a hotel, reports The Federalist.

“My recollection is that Ambassador Sondland’s proposal to [Ukrainian National Security Advisor Andriy] Yermak was that it could be sufficient if the new Ukrainian prosecutor general — not President Zelensky — would commit to pursue the Burisma investigation,” Morrison reportedly said.

Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, described Morrison’s testimony as “devastating to the false Democrat narrative that anything illegal or improper happened on the July 25 Trump-Zelensky call.”

“It’s also devastating to the credibility of certain other witnesses who have asserted there was anything illegal or improper,” he added.

News of Morrison’s testimony comes after the House voted for a resolution that formally authorizes the impeachment investigation of President Trump.

The lower chamber voted 232-196 in favor of House Resolution 660. The vote split mostly down party lines, with four members abstaining. No Republican voted for the resolution and two Democrats — Reps. Collin Peterson (MN) and Jeff Van Drew (NJ) — voted against the resolution. One independent lawmaker, former Republican Justin Amash (MI), favored the bill.

Among other things, the measure directs “certain committees to continue their ongoing investigations as part of the existing House of Representatives inquiry into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to exercise its constitutional power to impeach Donald John Trump, president of the United States of America, and for other purposes.”

The resolution also enables Republicans to request witnesses and documents, authorize committees to release interview transcripts and outline public hearings. It also allows Trump and White House counsel to attend hearings, question witnesses and recommend additional testimony and evidence.

 

“The Greatest Witch Hunt In American History!” the president tweeted after the vote.

In a statement after the vote, the White House defended Trump and faulted Democrats for trying to “destroy” his presidency.

“Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats’ unhinged obsession with this illegitimate impeachment proceeding does not hurt President Trump; it hurts the American people,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said. “Instead of focusing on pressing issues that impact real families, like reducing gun violence or passing the USMCA, improving healthcare, lowering proscription drug costs, securing our southern border, and modernizing our aging infrastructure, the Democrats are choosing every day to waste time on a sham impeachment — a blatantly partisan attempt to destroy the president.”

The UPI contributed to this report. 

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