NPR Staff

The House Intelligence Committee has released the transcript of the closed-door deposition at the impeachment inquiry into President Trump by a foreign service officer detailed to work in the office of Vice President Pence.

Jennifer Williams was assigned to Pence's team in the spring to work on European and Russian issues. She was the first person from his office to testify in the inquiry into whether Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine while seeking a political favor. Trump denies he made such an offer.

The White House released Friday the rough transcript of the April 21 call between President Trump and Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the then-newly elected Ukrainian leader.

The 16-minute call was conducted from Air Force One and came three months before the July 25 conversation between the two men that prompted the impeachment inquiry into Trump.

In the April 21 call, Trump congratulates Zelenskiy, a political outsider, for the campaign he ran and invites him to the White House at an unspecified date.

Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who was recalled in the spring amid what she previously described as a "concerted campaign" against her, told lawmakers Friday she did not understand Rudy Giuliani's "motives for attacking me."

Yovanovitch's remarks were part of an opening statement to the House Intelligence Committee in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer, has been named by other witnesses in the inquiry as pressing for Yovanovitch's removal.

A senior State Department official testifying before the open-hearing phase of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump said Rudy Giuliani's "effort to gin up politically motivated investigations were ... infecting U.S. engagement with Ukraine."

Updated at 1:06 p.m. ET

William Taylor, acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, is presenting fresh information in the first public hearing of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, telling lawmakers that Trump had asked Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, about "the investigations" during a phone conversation that was witnessed by an aide to Taylor.

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