Trump says he's not anxious as public impeachment hearings loom

Acting Ukraine Ambassador William Taylor leaves a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill after testifying as part of the House impeachment inquiry last month

In one, Trump's national security adviser John Bolton "immediately stiffened" as Ambassador Gordon Sondland "blurted out: Well, we have an agreement" with Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, "for a meeting if these investigations in the energy sector start" - a reference to the firm, Burisma, where Biden's son was on the board.

However, Williams suggested to lawmakers she believed it could be tied to what she heard on the call: Trump's request that Ukraine open investigations into the Bidens and the 2016 election, a third source familiar with the testimony told CNN.

Democrats are also expected to try to use the hearings to show that Trump obstructed justice - the basis of another possible article of impeachment - by detailing how he has blocked some witnesses from appearing and otherwise refused to cooperate with their probe.

Kent told investigators that that was his understanding of what Trump wanted Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to say in order to unlock USA military aid, as relayed to the official by others, including those in direct contact with the president.

"I think there's more evidence to the effect that the president shook down Ukraine, tried to cover it up, and threatened to and then withheld security assistance to Ukraine than there is evidence that the sun will come up in the East tomorrow", Heck said. On Thursday, an aide to vice president Mike Pence appeared under subpoena and was deposed for more than four hours.

Jennifer Williams, a career foreign service officer detailed to Mr Pence's office from the State Department, was one of several White House aides who were listening in on a July phone call between Mr Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which the USA leader asked for the investigations, according to an administration official.

Democrats allege that Trump-when he urged Zelensky to "look into" allegations about Ukrainian interference in 2016, as well as the dealings of former Vice President Joe Biden in the country-was offering a quid pro quo in exchange for withheld US military aid. A transcript of Taylor's closed-door deposition was released publicly Wednesday.

Republican Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina said Williams was asked about Pence's September visit to Warsaw, Poland, where he met Zelinskiy.

Ivanka Trump, the daughter and senior adviser to President Donald Trump, in Rabat, Morocco on November 8, 2019.

While her father remains fixated on unmasking the original whistleblower, Ivanka Trump downplayed the significance of the person's identity, saying it's "not particularly relevant" to the inquiry, since the anonymous person wasn't on the call.

"They shouldn't be having public hearings; this is a hoax", said Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing.

The White House instructed its officials not to comply with the investigation, which is looking at the ppresident's dealings with Ukraine.

Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will testify on Friday.

According to Hill, Bolton also said that no one should be meeting with Giuliani, who was a key promoter of theories about Ukraine and was pushing for investigations.

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