One of the false arguments that Trump’s defenders on the Ukraine whistleblower issue is that it’s all based on “hearsay” because the whistleblower did not actually hear the call himself. The House Intelligence Committee have now released the deposition transcripts of two White House aides who did listen to the call and they confirm the quid pro quo.
“The testimony released today shows that President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky immediately set off alarm bells throughout the White House. Both witnesses provided the Committees with first-hand accounts after personally listening to the call in the White House Situation Room,” the chairs said.“Mr. Morrison confirmed Ambassador Taylor’s testimony to the Committees that the Ukrainians were told that U.S. military assistance, not just the White House meeting, was conditioned on their public announcement of political investigations that the President wanted. Additionally, following the September 1 meeting between President Zelensky and Vice President Pence, Mr. Morrison confirmed that Ambassador Sondland informed one of President Zelensky’s top aides that American military aid was conditioned on the investigations. Mr. Morrison informed John Bolton of the meeting and was told by Mr. Bolton to go see the lawyers, which he did,” the chairs explained.
So much for the hearsay argument. Morrison did say that he didn’t think there was anything improper in the call, but he still recommended that access to the transcripts of the call be restricted to avoid the details from being leaked. If there was nothing improper about it, why would leaks be a problem? He clearly had to know that the content of the call was a serious problem.