Ukraine, Rudy Giuliani, State Department discussed on The Lawfare Podcast
She served with Grayson dignity in the face of the smear campaign. Yes she did and that would happen to her was was wrong I believe she should have been able to stay post and continue to do the outstanding work and what happened to her was wrong. That's right Mr Jordan and chairman Mis- MIS- Cooper who who of why. Why did the Office of Management and budget Put a hold on the phones sir. The only information that I received was from from the Office of Management and budget that they were operating at the direction of the president and they reported that he had concerns about corruption. That is all I knew. I put that in your testimony swelled. Thank you Mr Chairman Undersecretary. Hail I WANNA go back back to your support in affirmation of Ambassador Ivanovich what I understand by way. Thank you for that you know our military leaves nobody on no soldier on the battlefield and I think those who are in leadership positions in the State Department in our intelligence community. Have that bond of loyalty to each other. And it's very reassuring that you represent that you I as I understand. It got information about her situation. In March by early March Secretary Pompeo had mentioned that sometime sometime in the fall and received a letter from a former member of Congress with complaints about the ambassador correct and that rhetoric that member Congress was congressman sessions. And did you see that. There was any basis to the claims of disloyalty. No I did not that the secretary of State all right and you visited Keiv and you discussed in fact extending ambassador. Uganda term until To remain in her post right there was a personal idea of mine. Yes I obviously. Basically a indication that you valued her continued service there and you also stated Ukrainian press that ambassador. Ivanovich represents the president of the United States here in Ukraine in America stands behind her statements. Obviously trying to give her some public support correct correct in yet weeks later. The president and Mr Giuliani unleashed would can only be characterized as an ugly smear campaign to him by a two to oust her What was your reaction to the the news articles in late March in which up Ukrainian prosecutor attack the ambassador? Well we were concerned. We put out a statement that Some of these allegations around outright fabrication as they related to the do not prosecute list and we began to discuss what we could do to deal with this matter right and then the the problems continued for embassador Yvonna Vich and as I understand it she emailed you on March twenty fourth and indicated that quote the Temple of Social Media and other criticisms were such that she felt she could no longer function unless there was a strong statement of Defence of her from the debate State Department Is that correct correct and this message. What in Secretary Pompeo was aware of her situation? Is that correct. Yes debriefed and the next day. And he's the ultimate authority who could issue that strong statement of support correct correct but he never ever did issue a statement statement right. We Didata Shoe statement at that time but in fact you inside you testified around the same time that the secretary secretary did not render assistance to long serving in highly respected ambassador. He made two phone calls out terrific. Giuliani is that right. That's correct that he has seen a record that he made those phone calls one on March twenty eight and again the next day on March twenty twenty nine father record of that right so we don't know what he said to Rudy Giuliani. We have pretty good idea what really rudy. Giuliani said to him Get rid of the Ivanovich. She was gone in the statement. Never came forward right correct and when she was recalled in wanted to find out what what happened Secretary Paige would not meet with her. I was out of the country at the time. I can't comment on that. All right. What and then Mr Bill? Who is next in line? Didn't meet with her. I don't know this came for you to give the news. It went to the deputy secretary I believe held a meeting. I was info foreign travel. At the time. Well be interesting if he could have Secretary Palm Peyot be here to tell us what is conversations sations were with Rudy Giuliani. The person who was a F- amending the discontent about an ambassador who is fighting corruption. Malania Malania Miss Cooper was able to Put all the security system funds into contract before the end of the fiscal year. Now Sir and how much was were they not able to obligate What was left on August? I believe the figure was thirty. Five million it's and we were able to actually obligate eight percents total and I think you mentioned that you're able because of legislation. Congress passed continuing resolution to do that the rent so the remainder we are in the hospice of obligation right now because of the The provisions in the continuing resolution right so buffer literally inactive Congress. You couldn't have spent all the money if we had not received the provisions in the continuing resolution We would've Obligated eight percent but not the full amount right which of course would be a violation of law into not spend money. Congress appropriated Sir. I am not a lawyer but that is my understanding shore ambassador. Hail Miss Cooper. Thank you both for being with us. Just a quick question before I get into some questions about out embassador sunland who we heard from. Today I want to ask both of you. If President Trump withheld critical military aid from from Ukraine because high ranking officials support at the president's political opponent. Would you consider sitter that an official acceptable appropriate action by the president of the United States ambassador. Hail it's not I would. I would advise scooper that does not sound appropriate ambassador hail. You testified that you were aware Erin. Basset of Saban was in involving himself in matters. That and I quote went beyond the normal wit grit of the Of An ambassador to the European Union unquote as you understood it who authorized ambassador someone to work on Ukraine. I had no first-hand knowledge of that I received a readout from a meeting that the President United States had with delegation on May twenty third in which the briefing I received anyway indicated that the president wanted the members of that delegation which included Ambassador Sunland and to carry forth the policies that were discussed in the course of that meeting so that incurred in an meeting in the Oval Office on May Twenty. Third is where you heard that information from the readout of readout from that. Yes you testified that and I quote it was clear that the members of that inaugural delegation were empowered by the president is what you testified you also said and I quote as a practical matter Volcker and ambassador son and presumably working with Taylor who would be the ones really doing the continual effort here. Did you understand that ambassador. SUNLEN had direct access us to the president. I in the few occasions in which I had conversations embassador sonnen often would let it know that he was wasn't direct contact with the president. That's all I knew. So you receive that information directly from Ambassador Sunland that he had direct contact with the president in previous occasions. Yes not not related to this particular matter. Seventy thing about embassador Solomon's role that struck you as problematic. Based on what I knew at the time am I was satisfied that this delegation was what the president wanted to have continued to pursue these policies. And I saw all that in Bastrop. Oakland who was a professional had been a foreign service officer. Ambassador of distinction and steeped in Ukrainian affairs was part of that group. So so I had no great concerns so what you knew at the time you were okay with his role but did your opinion change about his the appropriateness of his role. As I testified I was not aware of these various activities related to negotiations over investigations. Preconditions related to that. I just wasn't aware of it so I had no reason to be making any kind of judgement one way. Or the other. And you review the text messages between ambassadors. Sean Lennon Volker. I've seen some of them were reported in the media. Were you surprised by anything. In those messages that you heard report it or personally witnessed or observed. I was surprised by what I saw. In those reports in the media. I want to ensure understand your testimony ambassador. Hail you you believed ambassador. Solomon was empowered by the president. According to what you found out from the May twenty third meeting to work on Ukraine policy and you said Ed quote none of that really struck you as problematic because of the time differences. There what you knew is that correct based on what I knew. Yes okay you are the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. You testified that and that capacity you are responsible for the management of the United States bilateral relations with and I quote every country in the world that we recognized for the management of our policies towards it's those countries as well as our relationship or policies as they relate to multi lateral organisations that include US policy and relations with Ukraine rang. It does but when we have a special envoy who reports directly to the secretary related to a country or issue that special envoy. We'll take the day to day responsibilities Cranston abilities about US policy relations with the European Union. Yes I am but you were not aware fully of ambassador. Facet of Solomon's activities on behalf of president trump. That's correct Krishnamurthy. Good evening thank you so much for being here. Undersecretary Hail You and your colleagues testified that you've gathered official records at the State Department with the understanding that they would be provided to Congress. Right I was not involved in the decision making. I have no responsibilities related to gathering documents. It's I understood that it was underway and I certainly received the documents that I described earlier. I see in terms of the materials is that were collected. Do they include electronic files and e-mails for instance. I can only speak to the documents that were made available to me. And it did include females and Paper documents and paper documents would tape recordings potentially be Among the files that are gathered. I really couldn't Speculate on that. But you can't rule out that possibility I don't I don't know tape recordings but I so I can't really comment on that and are you familiar with From whom the documents have been collected like the individual custodians. I don't know that Sir You're aware that despite a duly authorized congressional subpoenas been served on the State Department we have yet to receive even a single document correct. I understand that. Yes Miss Cooper in the interagency process Did anyone and in any committee potentially bring up the lack of allied funding as a reason for why there should a hold on military assistance to Ukraine. I can only speak to the three Meanings that I attended the PCC see see DSP and then P. C.. And I have no recollection of the issue of allied burden-sharing. Coming up at that point I did provide information in my deposition about a what I thought was a completely separate query that I received in mid June From the Secretary of Defense this is front office and one of the questions there Just asked a question about the degree to which allies contributing to Ukraine security assistance. Just to be very clear. Okay but after the hold was put in place on July eighteenth. You haven't heard any concerns about a lack of allied funding As a reason for why the whole should be in place in those meetings that I attended. I did not hear that or call hearing that as a reason. The only reason that I third was the president's views on corruption no further information. Got It. Same question do you Undersecretary Hill. Could you repeat the question so I assume you didn't hear about the lack of allied funding as a as a reason for the old budding being put in place after July eighteen. No I never heard a reason for the hold a AH I. I assume neither of you heard any reason whatsoever for why the whole was in place except for the fact that Oh mb put it in place at the direction of the President Right. That's that's correct and I assume you know one of my colleagues brought up the idea that the whole was put in place to assess whether or not presence Alinsky was login. Jin I assume that was not a a reason that was offered either. No Sir. I never heard that as a reason I heard. No reason. Undersecretary Undersecretary Hill. What is the importance of a world leader having a meeting at the White House? Well really case by case but Particularly for a new leader. It's an extremely important opportunity to demonstrate to strengthen our relationship for building that relationship at a personal level leadership level to demonstrate common goals. How about in the case of presents Alinsky How important was it for him to have this meeting at the White House was president trump? Well I never talked to present Zelinski about that myself. I met him before he became president. I met with President Porsche. SHANECO two leading candidates but As a expert on these matters is it fair to say that A new world leaders such as presence Alinsky having a meeting at the White House with President trump is extremely important for his image that he projects especially toward folks like Russia well in Oval Office meetings incredibly valuable for any foreign leader..