National Security

House Democrats release final transcripts from impeachment depositions

House Democrats on Tuesday released the remaining witness transcripts from their impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

The three House committees that led the closed-door depositions released interviews with Philip Reeker, the acting assistant secretary of State in charge of European and Eurasian Affairs, and Mark Sandy, a senior Office of Management and Budget official. 

The document release comes as the House Intelligence Committee plans to work through the Thanksgiving holiday to compile a report for the House Judiciary Committee to use in determining whether to draft articles of impeachment against Trump over allegations that he pressed Ukraine’s president to interfere in the 2020 election by opening two investigations that would benefit Trump politically.

Democrats argued Tuesday that the testimonies of Reeker and Sandy support their claims that Trump surrounded himself with a team of political appointees to carry out their own U.S. policy toward Ukraine in which the president sought to use nearly $400 million in security aid and the possibility of a White House visit to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open investigations into interference in the 2016 election and former Vice President Joe Biden, one of Trump’s top 2020 rivals.

“The testimonies from Ambassador Reeker and Mr. Sandy continue to paint a portrait of hand-picked political appointees corrupting the official levers of U.S. government power, including by withholding taxpayer funded military assistance to Ukraine, to further the President’s own personal political agenda,” three Democratic House committee chairmen said in a statement Tuesday.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), and Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said Sandy implicated the president in withholding aid, pointing to comments acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney made to him.

“Mr. Sandy confirmed that he was told by the office of Mick Mulvaney, the Acting White House Chief of Staff, that the President himself had directed the hold on security assistance to Ukraine. However, he was provided no other reason or justification for the hold when he was directed to implement it,” the Democrats said, noting that he “raised concerns” that a delay of aid may violate the law. 

The president has denied withholding aid to pressure Ukraine, arguing that he was seeking to root out corruption in Ukraine with his investigation requests.

Tags Adam Schiff Carolyn Maloney closed-door testimony Donald Trump Eliot Engel Impeachment Joe Biden Mick Mulvaney transcripts
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