House releases new impeachment inquiry transcript

  • In this Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 photo, Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima, center, looks at results with supporters at an election night watch party at Las Trancas restaurant in Las Cruces, N.M. Miyagishima, the son an internee at a World War II-era Japanese American internment camp, won is fourth term mayor of Las Cruces. He is now one of the longest-serving Asian Americans as head of a municipality in U.S. history. (Nathan J. Fish/The Las Cruces Sun News via AP)
  • Mayor-elect Regina Romero leads the crowd of well-wishers in a "Is se puede" chant following the announcement of her win during an election night party at Hotel Congress, Tucson, Ariz., Nov. 5, 2019. Romero, the daughter of farmworkers, is the city’s first Latina mayor in the city’s history. (Kelly Presnell/Arizona Daily Star via AP)
  • Mayor-elect Regina Romero, left, and council member-elect Lane Santa Cruz embrace during an election night party at Hotel Congress, Tucson, Ariz., Nov. 5, 2019. Romero, the daughter of farmworkers, is the city’s first Latina mayor in the city’s history. (Kelly Presnell/Arizona Daily Star via AP)

WASHINGTON — House impeachment investigators released a new transcript Thursday in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

The testimony is from George Kent, a career official at the State Department. He testified that he was told to “lay low” on Ukraine policy as the Trump administration and the president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani were interacting with Ukraine outside of regular foreign policy channels.

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House investigators are pushing out key transcripts from hours of closed-door interviews in the impeachment inquiry as they prepare for public sessions with witnesses next week.

Kent also raised concerns about the Trump administration’s recall of its Ukraine ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch. Kent, Yovanovitch and diplomat William Taylor are expected to appear in the public sessions.

First to testify next Wednesday will be Taylor, the top diplomat in Ukraine, who has relayed in private his understanding that there was a blatant quid pro quo with Trump holding up military aid to a U.S. ally facing threats from its giant neighbor Russia.

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That aid, at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, is alleged to have been held hostage until Ukraine agreed to investigate political foe Joe Biden and the idea, out of the mainstream of U.S. intelligence findings, that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.

Associated Press writers Colleen Long, Ben Fox, Laurie Kellman, Michael Balsamo, Matthew Lee and Matthew Daly contributed to this report.

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