The House impeachment inquiry on Monday released a transcript of the testimony of Catherine Croft, special adviser for Ukraine negotiations and a former aide to then-U.S. special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker.
Croft testified that she was “trepidatious” about the politicization of Ukraine policy, and concerned that “the Trump administration would choose to change its policy to suit domestic politics.”
Prior to working with Volker, Croft worked on the National Security Council for a year starting in mid-2017. There, she said, she received multiple calls from former Rep. Bob Livingston (R-LA), now a lobbyist who was pressing the administration to fire then-Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Livingston described the ambassador as an Obama holdover and “associated with George Soros,” Croft testified. Yovanovitch was ultimately recalled in May 2019 due to a smear campaign led by Rudy Giuliani, who used similar attacks.
Croft also testified regarding White House holds on Ukraine military assistance. She said she was “very surprised” when two Ukrainian embassy officials contacted her about the military aid to Ukraine that the White House held up. “They found out very early or much earlier than I expected them to” about the hold, Croft said, though she didn’t remember the exact date she met with the diplomats.
Croft identified another, earlier hold that originated in the White House budget office in late 2017 or early 2018, on a delivery of Javelin missiles to Ukraine. Budget director (and now-White House chief of staff) Mick Mulvaney raised concerns about “the Russian reaction” to the provision. The objection itself was unusual, Croft testified, given the office’s focus on budget matters. The hold lasted a week or two, Croft said. Eventually, she and a colleague briefed Mulvaney on the decision to deliver the Javelins, and the hold was lifted “within a day or two.”
Read Croft’s testimony here, or below: