According to transcripts released Friday, National Security Adviser John Bolton stopped a meeting between Ukraine officials and the White House in July after an envoy for President Donald Trump listed demands for specific investigations in exchange for granting a meeting at the Oval Office for newly elected Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Both former National Security Council aide Fiona Hill and Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council staffer, testified to House committee members that Bolton cut the meeting short, after the envoy, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, started to present the White House's demands, reports Bloomberg.
Bolton was a central figure in many of the events described by Vindman and Hill. He left the White House just two months later in September, after several policy disputes with Trump.
His attorney said in a letter filed on Friday that he'd been involved in "many relevant meetings and conversations” about Ukraine that had not yet been discussed publicly but did not elaborate on what Bolton has.
Vindman testified he thought that it was inappropriate to ask a foreign power to investigate a U.S. citizen, and told Sondland. He also said he and Hill raised their concerns about the conversation to the chief counsel of the National Security Council’s chief legal counsel.
Hill also testified she was at the July 10 meeting, and that after Sondland said there was an arrangement with acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney for a meeting if the investigations into Ukraine's energy sector, connected with Hunter Biden, occurred, Bolton "immediately stiffened and ended the meeting.”
Vindman also testified that the official White House conversation of the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelenskiy had some serious omissions, including the use of the word "Burisma," the firm connected with Hunter Biden.
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