House Democrats on Monday released the first set of transcripts from their closed-door depositions as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
The interview transcripts with former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and top State Department official Michael McKinley offer the first look at what witnesses told investigators about Trump’s contacts with Ukraine.
The release marks a new phase for the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into whether the president pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open investigations into his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
“As we move towards this new public phase of the impeachment inquiry, the American public will begin to see for themselves the evidence that the committees have collected. With each new interview, we learn more about the President’s attempt to manipulate the levers of power to his personal political benefit,” the chairs of the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees wrote in a joint statement.
The statement also says thee depositions show how Trump sought to create “an irregular back channel,” by asking Zelensky to investigate interference in the 2016 election as well as former Vice President Joe Biden, one of his top 2020 political opponents.