The House impeachment inquiry on Monday released a transcript of the testimony of Christopher Anderson, a special adviser for Ukraine negotiations and former aide to then-U.S. special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker. Catherine Croft, whose testimony transcript was also released Monday, replaced Anderson in that role this summer.
Anderson testified that Gordon Sondland, the EU ambassador who played a key role in the White House’s pressure campaign on Ukraine, had an impressive amount of access to the President. After a delegation attended Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s inauguration in May, Anderson recalled, Sondland arranged for a meeting to brief President Trump within three days — indicating to Anderson that Sondland was taken “more seriously than the State Department bureaucracy.”
The next month, in a meeting between attended by Volker and then-National Security Adviser John Bolton, Anderson recalled Bolton saying that the President’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, another central player in the pressure campaign, was a “key voice” in Ukraine policy who would be an “obstacle to increased White House engagement” with the country.
A few days later, Anderson accompanied Volker to a meeting that included Sondland and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Acting Ukraine Ambassador Bill Taylor joined on the phone from Ukraine. Later that day, Anderson recalled, Taylor warned him “not to push for individual investigations in Ukraine,” as the President himself later did on the phone with Zelensky. Anderson separately described pushing for individual investigations as “contrary” to the U.S. anti-corruption stance in Ukraine.
Anderson also included specific details about the President. Trump “put an embargo on any statements” after Russia fired upon and seized Ukrainian ships in the Sea of Azov in November 2018, he recalled. A few weeks later, after the United States called off a “freedom-of-navigation” operation in the Black Sea that was detailed in a CNN report, Bolton told Anderson that Trump called him “to complain about that news report.” A similar operation was later carried out in February.
Read Anderson’s testimony here, or below:
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