US official in Kiev added to Thursday’s public impeachment hearing

By Jeremy Herb, CNN

Updated 5:02 PM ET, Mon November 18, 2019

(CNN) A US official in Kiev who overheard a phone conversation between the US ambassador to the European Union and President Donald Trump will testify publicly as part of the House impeachment inquiry.

The House Intelligence Committee will have David Holmes, the counselor for political affairs at the US Embassy in Ukraine, testifying alongside former White House official Fiona Hill on Thursday, according to a Democratic aide. The addition of Holmes means nine individuals will testify publicly as witnesses in the House impeachment probe this week.

Holmes said in closed-door testimony last week that US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland had told Trump that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “loves your ass” and that Ukraine was going to move forward with the investigation Trump had asked Zelensky for a day earlier.

Holmes’ statement confirmed the testimony from Bill Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, who revealed the July 26 phone call with lawmakers at his own public testimony last Wednesday, saying Holmes had informed Taylor about it after Taylor first appeared on Capitol Hill behind closed doors last month. Holmes’ testimony places Trump closer to the push for Ukraine to open an investigation into his political rival and raises additional questions about the testimony of Sondland, who is scheduled to testify publicly Wednesday.


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