Listen: House releases transcripts from key witnesses in Trump impeachment inquiry
"We are now starting to see the actual testimony from the depositions in the impeachment inquiry so far the transcripts and they are as damning as expected for the president and and his allies now Republicans wine for weeks and weeks of the fact that depositions were being held behind closed doors despite the fact that many of them were actually attending those very same hearing the president tried to get out ahead of the release of the word for word transcripts today by saying they would be faked and Republicans should release their own indicating indicating that he was clearly not happy with what was about to come out well today we got the first two transcripts from forward top State Department official Michael Mckinley and crucially former US ambassador bastard Ukraine Marie Ivanovich we already know a lot about what McKinley testified about including that he said he resigned his post in part because of quote the failure of the State Department urban to offer support to foreign service employees caught up impeachment inquiry McKinley who was senior advisor Secretary State Mike Pompeo also testified again under growth in this deposition that he told not pompeii about his concerns multiple times before he resigned which makes what pump said last month so much more interesting listen listen to the way the pompeo gives himself absolutely no wiggle room on this question Mike McKinley third me well for a year and a half I chose him my head people tell me he was a great foreign service officer in fact he served America wonderfully for thirty seven years he had in fact had the office that was just just behind mine had a door that he could walk in any time and say whatever he wanted you know from the time that embassador yvonna bitch departed Ukraine until the time that he came to tell me that he was departing harding I never heard him say a single thing about his concerns with respect to the decision you never ask not once not once George did ambassador McKinley say something it to me during that entire time period that's interesting so maybe set it outside that time period or maybe McKinley is lying or maybe pompeo's lying the story though that has has told these depositions of of someone who was in the way of the corrupt quid pro quo abuse of office the President Rudy Giuliani were running to try and squeeze Ukraine to manufacture a dirt the president's political rival particularly in that of the ousted US ambassador Devante vish Ukraine whose career was a casualty of that scheme she testified that she learned from and Ukrainian officials that Rudy Giuliani plan to target her Ivanovich was asked what she thought President trump meant when he said on the phone call with Ukrainian president that she was quote going wing to go through some things Ivanovich said I didn't know what it meant I was very concerned I still am. She testified that a concern senior Ukrainian official told Oldie quote told me I really needed to watch my back former ambassador also told Congress the same Ukrainian official wonder about quote to individuals from Florida Mr Parnasse and Mr Freeman who were working with Mayor Giuliani they were interested in having a different ambassador to the post because they wanted to have business dealings in Ukraine or additional additional business dealings I didn't understand that because nobody the embassy had ever met these two individuals now the president gets to appoint ambassadors and he gets to recall them but in the case of Ambassador Basser Uganda Bitch let's remember her position and removal are also at the center of a criminal case that's currently being brought by the US attorney in the Southern District of New York doc against two men who are associates the president's personal were John Juliani reportedly paid Guiliani at least half a million dollars who hung out Yankee Games among other places with with Rudy who got prime seats at a twenty thousand trump rally and who represented themselves to Congress in an official letter as members of the president's legal team and and let's remember that part of the charges against these two men love Parnasse and eager fruman is that they were giving donations to a member of Congress as part of this sprawling effort to get rid of ambassador of rich so that they could corruptly install from the associates to promote their business interests in Ukraine Ivanovich was standing being in the way of making Ukraine more corrupt on behalf of president trump and Rudy Giuliani and I should tell you we just learned tonight that one of these guys parnasse seems to be ready to cooperate with congressional investigators Reuters reports Parnasse is prepared to comply with requests for records and testimony from congressional impeachment investigators PARNASSUS lawyer has confirmed that that me see news joining me now from Warren What we learned today so he told me legal reporter for Buzzfeed News and Tasha Berkshire National Security correspondent political NS NBC contributor. Natasha let me start with you on the Parnasse news his old lawyer had been the president's old lawyer John Dowd who'd written a letter being like he's part of the team and he's not going to show up and do anything he's now jumped don't John Doubt and now he's GonNa cooperate is that what's happening. Yeah Chris I mean it certainly seems seems like Parnasse is angry he's angry that the president has said that he doesn't know who he is he feels like the president has completely mischaracterized their relationship and you have to be inclined to believe a bit because there are so many photos of them together over the last two or so years a political events at gallows at fundraisers Parnis and firmin were everywhere and they surrounded the president at many pivotal moments so what we're seeing now is they've opened the door to cooperation with the congressional committees that doesn't necessarily Sara Lee mean of course that it's going to happen because a lot of the documents at the Congressional committees want are in the hands of the FBI which of course rated partisan ferments belongings as part of their indictment it also is remains to be seen whether or not their lawyers are even going to his learned this case has even going to let him testify because he's in the middle of a criminal probe but this does indicate at least a shift for now in how he perceives the president and trump really hasn't learned this lesson that you know when these people are are under scrutiny and he continues to criticize them his former allies and says I don't know them well they usually have receipts Zoe what did we learn today in the Ivanovich Ivanovic testimony in terms of the nexus between this sort of strange plot that was hatched by nuts room in for variety of reasons perhaps APPs personal business reasons as well as Ingraham themselves the president and the president and Rudy Giuliani's attempt to squeeze Ukraine government for for dirt on their political what we saw was perspective from yet another witness in the impeachment inquiry sort of explaining how they learned that there was this other her channel between the White House and Ukraine that was unofficial not sanctioned involved a cohort of non-government officials in this case Rudy Rudy Giuliani left parnasse eager freeman who for months had been traveling around trying to set up connections and Ukraine in an effort to dig up dirt on Joe Biden trying to discredit the Mueller investigation but all while making entrees into very official circles in Ukraine to the dismay dismay of the career civil servants who you know whose job it was to establish those formal channels between the administration and these foreign government entities and what we heard what we saw in the transcript was the former ambassador Marie Ivanovich saying you know learning about this back channel and being perplexed and concerned -cerned by it but not really seeing away out and being told that if she wanted to keep her job she needed to ingratiate herself with the president and not make waves about this both the one in one point she testified she was told to tweet US support for the president. I mean what what's fascinating here and attach you had these sort of comparative means of of of conducting yourself Marie Ivanovich the lifelong foreign service officer who's there who's trying to like steer American policy and then the Parnassus Fruman and Giuliani's of the world old who are wheeling and dealing and taking meetings and doing God knows what God knows who's behest and those are the people president is listening to and who had the imprimature of the entire hire American state behind them exactly Chris and Marie Ivanovich testified that this wasn't something that the State Department could just ignore they felt really hamstrung owned by the fact that this dual foreign policy track was taking place and at one point she said the Ukrainians didn't know who to talk to didn't know whether we represented US policy whether they should be listening to Giuliani and Parnasse Freeman and the rug really felt like it was being pulled out from beneath us we have to remember also that this is a very sensitive moment what what has been a very sensitive moment in Ukraine for the last five years since the Russians invaded eastern Ukraine and at this moment there trying to negotiate peace in the east with the russian-backed separatists separatist so for the aid to be withheld at this sensitive time was extremely troubling to the Crohn's and on top of that they didn't even know who the interlocutors were are there was supposed to be communicating with fast forward to mushy Ivanovich getting removed recalled from Ukraine someone that they really trusted now they have no choice really okay but to try to negotiate with the president and the best way that they can which is Zilenski you saw on that phone call kind of saying to the President Yes we'll investigate ah yes we'll do what you want essentially to try to appease him because again Ukraine faces an existential threat to its east and they are trying to navigate that right now the best way they can we're also getting a lot more back story on the origins of this I think deranged saying conspiracy theories about Ukrainian involvement in the two thousand sixteen election the idea that actually the DNC hack was a Ukrainian op that they conspired to frame Russia for it doesn't actually make sense when you sort of square it up but this this article near that Manafort was actually spreading that back in twenty sixteen it's been germinating and sold to the president time and time again what do we know about uh-huh so over the weekend buzz feed at CNN received a new cash of documents from the Justice Department then it was as hundreds of pages of records of notes that were taken during the investigation and in one seer set of notes from Rick Gates who had been the deputy campaign manager Paul Manafort's right hand man Rick Gates told investigators that basically as soon as news broke in two thousand sixteen the DNC had been hacked that wikileaks had these messages and they were going to release them. Paul Manafort was immediately saying it wasn't Russia it was Ukraine and Michael Flynn who was at the time a senior advisor to the campaign later became trump's short-lived first national security adviser also was immediately saying adamantly it wasn't Russia it wasn't Russia look at Ukraine so we had at the time three years ago to senior officials in the trump campaign trying to you direct the narrative away from Russia towards Ukraine it raises all sorts of questions of who they were talking to us who's ear they had and it's the theory that it has really persisted notwithstanding the findings of the US intelligence community that it was Russia that orchestrated the hack of the DNC that was"