Trump suggests he may give written testimony in House probe


Diplomat David Holmes will testify on Thursday, the House Intelligence Committee said.

The federal appeals court is reviewing a lower-court ruling that mandates disclosure of the grand-jury information, with the Justice Department insisting that the material should be off-limits, The Washington Post reported.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., suggested on Monday that the House impeachment inquiry could last until the end of the year, which would push the start of the Senate process up against the Democratic presidential primary season.

"President Trump should testify", Representative Don Beyer said in a tweet.

The comments come as the House Intelligence Committee prepares for a second week of public hearings as part of its inquiry, including with the man who is arguably the most important witness.

The week's most anticipated witness may be Ambassador Gordon Sondland, set to appear Wednesday. The president's unwillingness to allow testimony from the senior aides who repeatedly discussed Ukraine with him obstructs the impeachment investigation and makes the whole country wonder what exactly he's got to hide. He relayed details from an explosive July 10 meeting at the White House, saying the ambassador pushed visiting Ukraine officials for the investigations Trump wanted. He should come to the committee and testify under oath.

Holmes said he could overhear the call and believes two others at the table could as well, according to prepared testimony he delivered behind closed doors in Congress on Friday. That would lead to a trial in the Senate on whether to convict Trump and remove him from office.

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In the latest development, state department official David Holmes told investigators in closed door testimony on Saturday that he had overheard a U.S. diplomat telling Mr Trump that Ukraine would carry out investigations the president had asked for.

Johnson says he was concerned at the time and spoke with Trump a few days later to "try to persuade him to authorize me to tell Zelensky that the hole would be lifted on military aid".

The White House has released a rough transcript of the July 25 call, as well as another call in April in which Mr Trump congratulated Mr Zelenskiy on his election.

Trump has said he barely knew Sondland.

The wealthy hotelier, who donated $1 million to Trump's inauguration, is the only person interviewed to date who had direct conversations with the president about the Ukraine situation.

The deposition of Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council official, who served as the top Russian Federation and Europe adviser in the Trump White House, was also recently made public.

The House, where Democrats hold a majority, is expected to impeach Mr Trump, although Republicans will likely vote solidly against.