Fearing damage to the US President, a top US official restricted access to the summary of Donald Trump’s Ukraine call that triggered an impeachment probe. White House Ukraine expert Timothy Morrison told House investigators he knew immediately how sensitive the call was when he heard Trump press Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former US vice president Joe Biden. Leaving the National Security Council the day before testifying, Morrison said, “I recommended... that we restrict access to the package.”
Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry over claims that Trump pressured Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in a July 25 phone call to look into what the US leader said were corrupt business deals involving Biden.
Morrison broke with other witnesses who have spoken out against the call, telling House investigators he heard nothing wrong.
“In your view there was nothing improper that occurred during the call?” the Republican’s lead counsel asked Morrison.
“Correct,” he replied.
On Friday, Donald Trump dubbed the impeachment proceedings against him as a "double standard never seen" in US history. This came after US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch deposed before the Congressional panel on the second day of impeachment hearings. “A double standard like never seen before in the history of our Country,” Trump tweeted as Yovanovitch was grilled on president's interaction with Ukrainians.
Asserting that he has done no wrong, Trump released transcripts of his first phone to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy after his electoral victory.
Yovanovitch said she came to know how the president had denounced her in his July phone call with Zelenskyy. I would say when you go into a meeting with somebody and they ask, are you going to be leaving, that is concerning. So that probably -- I don't know exactly when that started happening -- but (it was) in that timeframe, the former US envoy to Ukraine said.
During the hearing, she said Trump's tweet about her diplomatic performance is very intimidating.
I can't speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is to be intimidating, she said when she was shown the presidential tweet.