The House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday is holding its third public hearing as part of the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
Congressional investigators will hear testimony from Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council official, and Jennifer Williams, a Russia adviser for Vice President Mike Pence. Vindman delivered a closed-door deposition before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight committees on October 29, and Williams appeared before the panels on November 7.
Vindman is the first witness to testify that he heard President Trump’s July 25 telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which a partisan CIA analyst mischaracterized in a so-called “whistleblower” complaint that sparked the impeachment inquiry. Vindman’s testimony shows he was deeply frustrated by the Trump administration’s shift away from the “interagency consensus” on policy regarding Ukraine, his transcript shows. Tim Morrison, who formally served as Vindman’s superior at the NSC, said in his own closed-door deposition that he had doubts about the Lt. Col’s judgment. In his testimony, Vindman could not state whether he viewed President Trump’s conduct during his call with Zelensky as unlawful, but said he believed it was “wrong.”
Williams was one of the few White House staff members who heard the Trump-Zelensky call. She testified that President Trump asked Pence not to attend Zelensky’s May inauguration, but conceded she only possessed second-hand knowledge of the purported exchange. “My understanding from my colleague—and, again, I wasn’t there for the conversation—was that the President asked the Vice President not to attend,” she told lawmakers.
**Follow live updates on this event from Breitbart News. All times in eastern.**
1:58 P.M. —
1:57 P.M. — The White House issues a statement on today’s hearing:
1:40 P.M. — The hearing is now adjourned. Tim Morrison and Kurt Volker are scheduled to testify at 2:30 p.m.
1:39 P.M. — Schiff: “Ukraine is fighting our fight against the Russians, against their expansionism. That’s our fight too. That’s why we support Ukraine with the military aid that we have.”
1:39 P.M. —
1:37 P.M. — Schiff is delivering his closing statement:
1:32 P.M. — Nunes says in his closing statement: “Act one of today’s circus is over.”
1:30 P.M. —
1:27 P.M. — Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) claims Vindman appears to be attacked because he’s an immigrant and references remarks by Fox News hosts.
1:25 P.M. — Vindman on the relationship between Russia and Ukraine: “It’s stable, but it’s still a hot war”
1:23 P.M. — Vindman on why he reported the Trump-Zelensky call: “Frankly, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.” It “was my duty,” he continues. “This is America. This is the country I have served and defended,” he adds. “Here, right matters.” Small applause breaks out.
1:22 P.M. —
1:21 P.M. —
1:17 P.M. — Oh dear:
1:09 P.M. — Jordan: “Democrats don’t trust the American people” and have “been out to get” President Trump since he was elected. “It is sad, it is scary, it is wrong,” he adds of the impeachment probe.
1:08 P.M. — Meadows: “To say this impeachment case is collapsing is an understatement.”
1:01 P.M. — Jordan says Vindman did not follow the chain of command. “Representative Jordan, I did my job,” he replies.
12:59 P.M. — Ratcliffe says if Vindman and Williams can’t agree on whether President Trump made a demand, then it’s impossible for Congress to.
12:57 P.M. — Ratcliffe asks Williams whether she believes President Trump made a “demand” of Zelensky on the July 25 call. She refers back to the call transcript, which shows the president requesting a “favor.”
12:55 P.M. —
12:54 P.M. —
12:48 P.M. — Million-dollar question from Jordan:
12:47 P.M. —
12:43 P.M. — Williams says she place a transcript of the Trump-Zelensky telephone call in Vice President Pence’s intelligence briefing book.
12:4o P.M. — Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) re-ups her call for Hunter Biden testify as part of the impeachment probe.
12:38 P.M. — Vindman and Williams agree that Hunter Biden serving on Burisma’s board of directors has the potential for a conflict of interest.
12:36 P.M. —
12:32 P.M. — Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) explains why Rep. Chris Stewart’s (R-UT) exchange with Vindman is important:
12:31 P.M. —
12:30 P.M. — President Trump weighs in on Vindman’s testimony.
12:29 P.M. — Ukrainian President Zelensky says Ukrainians are “so tired” with impeachment questions, reports Politico. “We have our own country. We have our independence, we have our problems and questions. That’s it,” he adds.
12:27 P.M. —
12:22 P.M. — President Trump jokes about George Kent, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs who testified in last week’s impeachment hearing:
12:21 P.M. —
12:20 P.M. — Vindman says “certainty the president is well within his right” to ask for probes.
12:18 P.M. —
12:12 P.M. —
12:08 P.M. — Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH_ asks Vindman if he personally advised President Trump. Vindman says he only prepared briefing materials.
12:05 P.M. — Vindman on Giuliani’s activities regarding Ukraine:
12:01 P.M. — Important point by Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX):
11:56 A.M. — The celebrated Rev. Franklin Graham weighs in on today’s hearings:
11:55 A.M. —
11:54 A.M. —
11:52 A.M. —
11:47 A.M. —
11:45 A.M. — Jordan tells Schiff “no one believes you” about not knowing who the so-called “whistleblower” is.
11:44 A.M. — Vindman on whether he ever leaked: “I never did, never would, that is preposterous that I would do that.”
11:43 A.M. — Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) begins his questioning by raising Morrison’s testimony regarding his concerns about Vindman‘s judgment. Vindman replies by reading Fiona Hill’s praises of him in which she said he was ‘brilliant.”
11:39 A.M. —
11:38 A.M. —
11:36 A.M. — The hearing’s now resumed.
11:23 A.M. — The hearing is now on recess.
11:23 A.M. — The U.S. Army will not “confirm or deny” reports stating Vindman and his family are moving to a military base.
11:20 A.M. — Vindman confirms he’s never had contact with President Trump.
11:17 A.M. — Vindman seemingly mocks Giuliani: “I only know him as New York’s finest mayor.”
11:16 A.M. —
11:10 A.M. — Vindman says he turned down the role of Ukrainian defense minister three times and reported it to his chain of command. “I’m an American. The whole notion is rather comical that I was being asked to be Minister of Defense,” he says on why he turned down the offer.
11:08 A.M. —
11:01 A.M. —
10:57 A.M. — Vindman’s refusal to discuss the so-called “whistleblower” is getting a lot of attention:
10:56 A.M. — Vindman says Hunter Biden did not appear qualified to serve on Burisma’s board of directors.
10:55 A.M. — Vindman acknowledges he’s aware of President Trump’s skepticism about foreign aid.
10:53 A.M. — Castor asks whether President Trump has concerns about corruption in Ukraine. Vindman replies he does not recall, but there are general concerns in the U.S.
10:52 A.M. —
10:50 A.M. — Williams on the Trump-Zelensky call: “I did not discuss the call with anyone inside or outside the White House.”
10:48 A.M. —
10:46 A.M. —
10:44 A.M. — Vindman clarifies Nunes should address him as “lieutenant colonel.”
10:43 A.M. —
10:41 A.M. —
10:39 A.M. —
10:37 A.M. — Nunes posses the same questions about Hunter Biden and Burisma to Vindman, who gives similar answers to Williams.
10:36 A.M. —
10:31 A.M. —
10:28 A.M. — Williams: “President Zelensky asked Vice President Pence about the status of the security aid because he saw the Politico article that it was being withheld. Zelensky explained that it was the symbolic nature of the assistance.”
10:27 A.M. — Vindman: “My impression is that in order to get the White House meeting, President Zelensky would have to deliver the investigations.”
10:24 A.M. — Important points to remember:
10:22 A.M. — Vindman says President Trump did not mention “corruption” in both his calls with Zelensky.
10:20 A.M. — Vindman says the phrase “there are recordings” was left out from the Trump-Zelensky call transcript.
10:17 A.M. —
10:15 A.M. — Vindman says the Trump-Zelensky call transcript was segregated to a secure server to “preserve the integrity” of the documents.
10:10 A.M. —
Goldman: “You said it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the political benefits of [President Trump’s] demands explain?”
Vindman: “To investigate a political opponent was inappropriate and improper. I made that connection as soon as [President Trump] brought up the Biden investigation.”
10:09 A.M. —
Goldman: What languages do you speak?
Vindman: “I speak Russian, Ukrainian and a little bit of English.”
10:08 A.M. — Daniel Goldman, the House Democrats’ general counsel, asks Vindman and Williams if they are aware of evidence that former Vice President Joe Biden acted inappropriately with Ukraine. They both say no.
10:07 A.M. —
10:04 A.M. — Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) busts the New York Times for spreading fake news about Vindman’s actions:
10:03 A.M. — Vindman: “It is the consensus of the entire intelligence community that Russia interfered in the elections of 2016.”
10:02 A.M. —
9:57 A.M. — Vindman and Williams testify that Burisma, the Ukraine gas firm that employed Hunter Biden as a board member, was mentioned in the Trump-Zelensky call, but was not present in the rough transcript. Vindman says it was “not a significant omission.”
9:55 A.M. — Vindman on Trump asking Zelensky to probe allegations of corruption against the Bidens: “It was inappropriate. It was improper for the president to request, to demand an investigation into a political opponent, especially a foreign power where there is at best dubious belief that this would be a completely impartial investigation.”
9:54 A.M. — Schiff asks Vindman for his real-time reaction to the Trump-Zelensky call. “Without hesitation, I knew I had to report my concerns,” he says.
9:52 A.M. — Vindman testifies that he advised Zelensky to steer clear of U.S. politics, stating it is consistent with U.S. domestic policy.
9:51 A.M. —
9:50 A.M. — Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, weighs in on today’s hearings:
9:48 A.M. —
9:47 A.M. — Vindman: “Dad, my sitting here today, in the U.S. Capitol, talking to our elected officials is proof that you made the right decision 40 years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to the U.S. in search of a better life for our family.”
Dad, do not worry. I will be fine for telling the truth,” he adds.
9:44 A.M. — Vindman: “In Russia, my act of expressing my concerns to the chain of command in an official and private channel would have severe personal and professional repercussions and offering public testimony involving the President would surely cost me my life.”
9:43 A.M. — Vindman: “I want to take a moment to recognize the courage of my colleagues who have appeared & are scheduled to appear before this committee. I want to state that the vile character attacks on these distinguished & honorable public servants is reprehensible”
9:42 A.M. — Vindman: “I privately reported my concerns, in official channels, to the proper authorities in the chain of command. My intent was to raise these concerns because they had significant national security implications for our country.”
9:41 A.M. — Vindman: “It is improper for the President of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and political opponent. It was also clear that if Ukraine pursued an investigation. It would be interpreted as a partisan play.”
9:40 A.M. — Vindman: “The NSC and its inter-agency partners, including the State Department, grew increasingly concerned about the impact that such information was having on our country’s ability to achieve our national security objectives. “
9:39 A.M. — Vindman begins his opening statement: “At the NSC I am the principal advisor to the National Security Advisor and the President on Ukraine and the other countries in my portfolio. My core function is to coordinate policy with departments and agencies partners. “
9:37 A.M. — Williams: “Representatives of the State and Defense Departments advocated that the hold [on military aid for Ukraine] should be lifted. An OMB representative reported the White House chief of staff had directed the hold should remain in place.”
9:35 A.M. — Williams: “I found the July 25th phone call unusual because, in contrast to other presidential calls I had observed, it involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter.”
9:33 A.M. — Williams begins her opening statement: “As a career officer, I am committed to serving the American people and advancing American interests abroad, in support of the President’s foreign policy objectives.”
9:32 A.M. — Fresh off attacking Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), George Conway lashes out at Nunes over his opening statement:
9:31 A.M. — Nunes on the so-called ‘whistleblower”:
9:27 A.M. —
9:23 A.M. — Nunes defends former The Hill journalist John Solomon’s reporting on Ukraine: “Now that Solomon’s reporting is a problem for the Democrats, it’s a problem for the media as well.”
9:21 A.M. — Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) blasts the establishment media in his opening statement, calls them “puppets of the Democratic Party.”
9:18 A.M. — Schiff on Jennifer Williams: “We all saw the President’s tweet about you on Sunday afternoon and the insults he hurled at Ambassador Yovanovich last Friday. You are here today, and the American people are grateful.”
9:17 A.M. — Schiff: “Col. Vindman, we have seen far more scurrilous attacks on your character, and watched as certain personalities on Fox have questioned your loyalty. I note that you have shed blood for America, and we owe you an immense debt of gratitude.”
9:16 A.M. — MORNING CONSULT: “The Nov. 15-17 survey found that 48 percent of voters support the inquiry and 45 percent oppose it, a net drop of 5 percentage points since a Nov. 8-10 poll.”
9:15 A.M. — Schiff begins his opening statement:
9:02 A.M. — Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ): “Vindman’s problem is that he’s a deep stater.”
8:30 A.M. — Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Jeniffer Williams have arrived on Capitol Hill for their joint testimony.