Bolton hints at more Trump-Ukraine meetings – report
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Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney approved a White House meeting for the Ukrainian president – if Ukraine announced investigations tied to Joe Biden, a political rival of Donald Trump, according to testimony unveiled on Friday by the congressional committees pursuing an impeachment inquiry.
Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, “blurted out” that Mulvaney had approved the meeting if the Ukrainians announced an investigation of Burisma, a gas company that formerly employed Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s son, said Fiona Hill, a national security council member who was deposed by the committees last month.
Hill’s account was corroborated by simultaneously released testimony by another firsthand witness to the conversation, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman.
While previously released testimony has indicated a central role for Mulvaney in brokering an agreement in which Ukraine would intervene in the 2020 US election by announcing the Burisma investigation, the testimony released Friday was the first to describe direct involvement in the plot by the acting chief of staff.
Hill described for investigators a 10 July meeting attended by herself, Sondland, nationals security adviser John Bolton, Ukrainian officials and others.
“Then Ambassador Sondland blurted out: ‘Well, we have an agreement with the chief of staff for a meeting if these investigations in the energy sector start.’ …And Ambassador Bolton immediately stiffened and ended the meeting.”
Vindman gave a similar account of the meeting.
“I heard him say that this had been coordinated with White House Chief of Staff Mr. Mick Mulvaney,” Vindman said.
Key highlights from Hill and Vindman’s transcripts
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