House impeachment investigators release transcripts of first two deposition testimonies

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The committees behind the House’s impeachment inquiry released on Monday the first two transcripts from their closed-door depositions, making public transcripts from their interviews with former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and Michael McKinley, a former State Department adviser.

After conducting closed-door depositions for several weeks, these transcripts are the first that Democrats have released from the interviews as they move toward the next phase of the inquiry. Democrats plan to hold open hearings with some key witnesses as early as later this month, which would give them a platform to publicly make the case against Trump before voting on articles of impeachment.

Yovanovitch, whose ouster earlier this year has emerged as a key flashpoint in the impeachment inquiry, testified in private before House investigators on October 11. A career foreign service officer, Yovanovitch said she was removed from her diplomatic post because of pressure from President Donald Trump and his allies, including his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

Despite platitudes from colleagues, who describe Yovanovitch as a devoted public servant, Giuliani spread allegations that she was an anti-Trump partisan who should be removed. She testified that she was informed that Trump personally requested that she be recalled back to the US, CNN previously reported.

McKinley, a senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who resigned amid the Ukraine controversy, testified behind closed doors on October 16. He raised concerns about Yovanovitch’s removal, which was pushed by Giuliani and has become a central part of the inquiry.

By Jeremy Herb, Marshall Cohen, and Manu Raju, CNN

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