Former White House official: Quid pro quo came directly from Trump

Recently released transcripts from the House committees investigating President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine further bolster the case that Trump had directly ordered a “quid pro quo.”

White House officials have told the House in closed-door meetings that President Trump ordered the alleged “quid pro quo” making military aid to Ukraine contingent upon the Ukrainian government opening an investigation of former Vice-President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. These statements appear in meetings transcripts that House investigators released on Saturday.

The testifying officials included Timothy Morrison, deputy assistant to Trump; and Jennifer Williams, a top aid to Vice-President Mike Pence. Morrison and Williams had both listened in on Trump’s July 25 phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and expressed concerns about it afterward.

This was the phone call in which Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate the Bidens and explore purported Ukrainian involvement in interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. Williams, testifying earlier this month, said that Trump’s requests of Zelensky were “unusual and inappropriate.”

Morrison, testifying last month, said that Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, had told Ukrainian officials that a meeting they were seeking with Trump, as well as U.S. military aid, were both contingent on Ukraine publicly announcing investigations of the Bidens. Morrison further testified that Sondland had been “directly discussing” these matters with Trump.

“The testimony released today shows that President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky immediately set off alarm bells throughout the White House. Both witnesses provided the Committees with first-hand accounts after personally listening to the call in the White House Situation Room,” the chairs of the House intelligence, oversight and foreign affairs committees said in a statement on Saturday.