tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN October 30, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
e public impeachment proceeding will work two witnesses are adding to the impeachment story based upon what they're learning from their opening statements what we're learning. the same job as special adviser to ukraine negotiations, anderson just arrived moments ago on capitol hill, he said then national security adviser john bolton "cautioned that mr. giuliani -- the president's personal attorney -- was a key voice with the president on ukraine which could an an obstacle to engagement with ukraine" and croft said millions of aid being withheld from ukraine said the budget office "reported that the white house chief of staff mick mulvaney placed an informal hold on security assistance to ukraine, the only reason given was that the order came at the direction of the president." so we start on capitol hill with manu rauch nhu and manu, what is going on based on the
depositions? >> reporter: and catherine croft is done testifying. she talked about the decision to withhold that military aid approved by congress that ukraine desperately sought that came just as the president was pushing for those investigations into were his political rivals. she did say that there was an informal hold that was placed on the release of that aid by mick mulvaney, acting white house chief of staff, and she said it came at the direction of the president. now, she also indicated, we are told, that rudy giuliani, she tried to stay away from the role that rudy giuliani played in moving outside of normal diplomatic channels and said that she wanted to stay away from "that mess" referring to the push by giuliani to invest gays the bidens as well as the 2016 elections, but coming out of this closed-door deposition, some democrats said there needs to be more explanation about key players' roles including mick mulvaney's.
>> mr. mulvaney's role gets deeper as we get into this. and it is puzzling that somebody from omb, the office of management and budget, would suddenly play a foreign policy role in making a decision about suspending aid to an allied country that is fighting active russian aggression on its territory. >> reporter: crist far anderson career service officer is behind closed doors right now and according to his opening statement he is saying john bolton, then national security advisers also had concerns with the role rudy giuliani played. there's still a question, brooke, whether john bolton himself comes and testifies. discussion an bringing him in. the house foreign affairs committee involved in the impeachment proceedings i asked about subpoenaing him. if he prefers subpoena? he said it's something they would consider but have not
issued a subpoena yet but are getting to the end of these closed-door depositions, waiting for public hearings to take place and hearing the key witness could come forward, bill taylor, former top, current top diplomat in ukraine for the united states who has testified behind closed doors, he's willing to testify publicly, we're told. >> right. willing to testify publicly. certain other repeat testimonies could happen again as they open the doors. manu, thank you very much for the headlines as far as depositions go today. amid the impeachment developments, a key state department official was in the hot seat on the senate side today. deply secretary of state john sullivan is the president's nominee for ambassador to russia. he was also the person who had to tell former ambassador to ukraine marie yovanovitch that she was being fired. and in his senate confirmation hearing today he was asked about what he knew about rudy giuliani's involvement in that decision. >> you were aware that there were individuals and forces outside of the state department
seeking to smear ambassador yovanovitch. is that correct? >> i was. >> and seeking to remove her. >> i was. >> and did you know mr. giuliani was one of those people? >> i believed he was, yes. >> cnn national security reporter kylie atwood is with me. so why, kylie, did sullivan believe giuliani was the one behind the ambassador's firing? >> i want to take a step back and look at sullivan and the fact you said, brooke, he was the one who had to meet with ambassador yovanovitch when she was recalled abruptly from her post as the u.s. ambassador to ukraine and we've heard now from ambassador yovanovitch who told lawmakers that sullivan told her she had done nothing wrong and this wasn't like other situations where ambassadors were recalled for wrongdoing. this was a situation where president trump had lost confidence in her. probably a very tough situation for sullivan to be put in. he is, at the time, deputy
secretary of state. it wasn't even pompeo who had that discussion with yovanovitch, but soon thereafter she was pulled from the post. and there were discussions that giuliani had been smearing yovanovitch publicly. but the other fact to consider here is that the state department did receive a whole packet of disinformation about ambassador yovanovitch. that packet came from giuliani, went to the white house, and then landed on the desk of secretary of state mike pompeo, and that is one of the things that is thought of as a potential trigger for why yovanovitch left, though we don't necessarily know that that's the case. sullivan was asked specifically about that packet of information and if he knew it came from giuliani. take a listen. >> you were given a packet of disinformation attempting to smear ambassador yovanovitch. did you know it was mr. giuliani who created that package? >> i don't know that.
to this day i don't know that. >> you didn't ask where did it come from? >> i did, but, yes, i did ask, but i don't know. >> and no one told you where it came from? >> no. >> it happened by immaculate conception? >> hence my referral of the package. >> menendez also asked sullivan if he was implying that everything that giuliani was doing was kosher and sullivan replied saying, he didn't know exactly what giuliani was up to. there, a senior state department official no aware of the contours of what rudy giuliani was doing on behalf of president trump. >> hmm. kylie, thank you. the public hearings in this impeachment inquiry could begin before thanksgiving. one of the first witnesses could be ambassador bill taylor pap source tells cnn he is willing to testify publicly, a career diplomat and he believed the white house tied releasing military aid to ukraine with
ukraine holding investigations that could help trump politically. and joining me now, serving as senior adviser to the national security adviser under president obama, here we are all are in washington. let me begin with bill taylor, because as i mentioned, he took these meticulous notes. had proverbial receipts. remind everyone when he testifies publicly why it would be so damaging? >> bill taylor, the perfect leadoff witness. putting together a trial you want tore first witness to be someone who is a. credible. he has an incredible resume and backed up by the text. withholding aid in exchange for political favors? paraphrasing, and his testimony goes to the heart of the case democrats want to make. the real diplomats were pushed aside in favor of the shadow group with rudy and sondland.
this is going to happen. we could see bill taylor in public on camera waith fithin a weeks. >> he believes in this. there's a reason the information is classified and not typically put in front of the public. the whole world will know more about the dysfunction of their own government as well as potentially the inner most workings's the national security council, the white house, the state department and other key officials. we don't have that same benefit with respect to other foreign governments and so that gives them a leg up in many ways. >> what about, manu mentioned john bolton? former national security adviser and congress is maybe considering a subpoena? right? he's a key witness in all this too. the news out today is that he saw giuliani i think the word was as an obstacle to the u.s.
imp pro improving relations with ukraine. you're nodding. obstacle. >> sure. >> and we know deputy defied subpoena to testify. back over to you. how significant could his testimony be assuming he doesn't cite executive privilege? >> more than a feeling. he referred staff to nfc lawyers who report to him by the way. appears john bolton was offloading concerns rather than deal with him which is his taxpayer funded duty. bolton did not just cover ukraine. his mandate, the world. he would know if the president asked other countries to investigate other rivals and also had a bird's-eye view of the full range of resources, carrots and sticks, that the president or mick mulvaney or other koss have used to try to blackmail or intimidate other countries. the scope of questions i think asked to john bolton will be really important to keep an eye on. >> i don't know when this whole idea getting a subpoena became optional. right? it's a like, will he or won't
he? will he feel like it? that's what make it is a subpoena. you have to comply. maybe be able to negotiate it. one way or another bolteden needs to come forward and i wish more of these, dedicated career public officials would follow the example we've seen from vindman yesterday from bill taylor from dr. fiona hill and ambassador yovanovitch. all people who defied the white house's stonewall, came forward and presumably told the truth, testified, did their jobs. >> talk about the colonel on the hill a total ten hours testifying yesterday. there he was in full army dress and told the committees he tried to make changes to that july 25th phone call transcript, tried unsuccessfully. the changes weren't made contributeding the white house saying the ellipses in the transcript did not represent missing words or phrases. his testimony doesn't change the substance of the call, but how much does this really matter? >> by the way, i never saw ellipses when i saw readouts. use inaudible or document a
sneeze for accuracy. >> wow. >> there are multiple layers of eyes and ears on these calls to ensure they're accurate. vindman would have seen the draft readout from the situation room, made changes, gone to his boss, senior director for accuracy and likely then to the national security adviser's office to review changes, and to document the readout for the record. at this point what we don't know is who decided no the to accept the changes, brooke. there is a reason why the readouts are supposed to be accurate. a counterintelligence issue here. mom ever is on the other end of the call knows exactly what happened, they know what the president said verbatim. you never want a foreign government to know more than your own especially if it has to do with something potentially illegal or embarrassing. that becomes a manipulation point. >> sounds like what was excluded according to vindman, a reference to biden, a tape of biden and burisma, but wouldn't have drastically altered the substance of the call. so why does it mooter?
>> i agree. left 0u69, those thing was minor. the question is, why were they left out or change jtd if they were because somebody was trying to protect the president or tidy up the record a little bit you have a problem here. what lauers caw consciousness of guilt. doing it for a reason. third graders understand it. try togs hide something it's because you know you have something to hide. i foundesting the president is doing strategic sleight of hand with this call saying that transcript you've seen is exactly -- >> perfect and exact. >> that transcript, no. it is not good for him. that transcript is incredibly damning. even if it was word-for-word, that is exhibit one in the impeachment case against donald trump. don't let him flip it around. >> thanks. we'll do it again. still ahead here on cnn a look at the impeachment calendar, how it could be on its way on course for another government shutdown just in time for the thanksgiving holiday, plus stunning pictures out of california. fueling raging wildfires.
we take you live to simi valley, to the reagan president's library as the flames are dangerously close. later, we'll walk 2020 and why the four front-runners on the democratic side are all white. despite having the most diverse field of presidential candidate ever. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. we'll be back in a moment. that's a zzzquil pure zzzs sleep. our liquid has a unique botanical blend, while an optimal melatonin level means no next-day grogginess. zzzquil pure zzzs. naturally superior sleep.
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we are back. live in washington, d.c. today. house judiciary chairman jerry nadler says democrats will take all the time they need. the longer the timeline is drawn out the closer and closer to a critical date on the capitol hill calendar. november 21st. funding deadline to keep the government open for business and that has top democrat in the senate sounding the alarm. >> i'm increasingly worried that president trump may want to shut down the government again because of impeachment. an impeachment inquiry. he likes to create diversions. i hope and pray he won't want to cause another government shutdown to be a diversion away from impeachment. worrisome to me.
>> they want to avoid the government shutdown. thinking impeachment versus this and do they think they have leverage? >> reporter: a few staffers focusing on this. a lot of people say impeachment is not on their mind really can't escape it because it's 24/7, watching current and former officials ste s testify capitol hill. the president will welcome a shutdown for a distraction. it's not going to stop impeachment if there is a shutdown and they are still moving forward with impeachment. these members of congress still are paid. they're worried about the narrative that could emerge facing a government shutdown and trying to move forward with impeachment. how does it affect the process and how does the white house respond? so far up on capitol hill they are trying to actively avoid the shutdown. of course, a stay tuned situation. >> november 21st. right? deadline. >> right. other breaking news regarding 2020. senator kamala harris slashing
sister and spe staff in rey lialignment of her campaign. what's happening? >> all-in on iowa. saying it quite some. i but gotten real in the last few days. announcing a major change in staffing and how they're structured. essentially pulling back from other early states like new hampshire and nevada, even california, her home state, to redeploy in iowa where they're saying they want a top three finish for kamala harris. she has really struggled to gain traction, but this is a clear sign they're having money issues. they're trying to do everything that they can so that she can start doing well in iowa. if she didn't, it could pose a challenge for her campaign. back when they announced this all-in strategy they thought he had enough money to do it. they didn't think they would need to redeploy staff. that has clearly changed. one other thing that the campaign manager said in addition to the fact he's going to be taking a pay cut as well
as other top consultants, he said they want to do a major a spending bye on-air in iowa in the final weeks before the iowa caucuses and trying to hold on enough money to do that. clearly, a challenging situation for senator kamala harris who at one point was near the very top of this race and is struggling to hang on. >> iowa or bust. sounds like that. ladies good to see you both. thank you. to california we go. live at one of the at least ten wildfires raging in california. this one threatening price lles pieces of american history at the reagan president's library. and ahead, a tense exchange on capitol hill. the president's immigration chief defends himself against accusations he is a white supremacist. we'll be right back. here you go... well, it does need to be a vehicle. but - i need this out of my house.
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fire, named after easy street in the area. it aruerupted before dawn and quickly spread. overwhelmed, firefighters struggle against the hurricane force winds making their jobs even more difficult and forecaster sas the fire danger will last across the state until at least sunday night. cnn's bill weir is watching the flames hover around the reagan library and there in simi valley. hats off to the calfire for their bravery. tell me what's happening where you are. >> reporter: actually, to give you perspective, brooke, the reagan library is on the other side of that ridge line. the fire basically came through that bowl beneath our last live position, jumped that hilltop and scorched this entire hillside. they're trying to keep it from jumping over madero lane. on the border of simi valley and thousand oaks. an interesting substory going on, you see all the firefighters
in orange? those are california inmates. this state using prisoners to fight fires since world war ii and depending on their training, they earn between $2 and $5 a day if they're actually putting out active flames they get a $1 a day bonus which is one reason this program is highly controversial these days. the aclu and other social justice folks say it's akin to slave labor, but they volunteer for these positions. certain convictions would not apply. arsonists, sexual criminals, convicted sexual criminals wouldn't qualify for this program but those who do, well, they get outside and they get a little better accommodations and sometimes a shorter sentence. so interesting. taking off my goggles and mask depending how the wind is shifting that and changes literally every 20 seconds. you can see now, work our way
down this way. how they try to set up these perimeters to at least stop and contain it, because right around this corner right on the other side of this ridge line are really nice subdivisions. they've all been evacuated. but last report i heard was that, as you say, i think 1,200, 1,300, 0% containment. it's inpossible in these winds and the way the embers are cast, who knows how long something from over there starts over there and then the whole line has to move. but it's such an eerie scene here. welcome to thousand oaks. such a grim, a grim day for so many folks who have been living on edge when fire season started, but that seems to be year-round these days, brooke. so we're going to follow this fire line down into the valley, and see what kind of proof of life we can find. we know there's a lot of ranches and farms in this area. so the fairgrounds, taking
horses and other livestock, it's full, already this morning. so this is all very fluid as my scarf blows away. >> fluid indeed. incredible how you walked just a couple feet, bill, and it clears up and five more feet and you can see the smoke. i can't even imagined smell, pervasive throughout southern and northern california. bill weir, a feeling you'll get deeper into it. bill weir and crew thank you very much for that. back here in washington, president trump's acting immigration chief cuccinelli says he is not a white supremacist. the grilling got quite heated among controversial immigration rules, plus what caused one of the president's judicial nominees to cry this morning at his confirmation hearing?
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one of president trump's judicial nominees ended up in tears today at his confirmation hearing. just last night the american bar association issued a scathing letter rating him as not qualified saying had conducted 60 interviews and concluded mr. van dyke is arrogant, lazy and an idealogue and claimed his peers raced concerns whether he could be fair to the lgbtq
community and he said the accusation was deeply hurtful. >> i did not say that. i -- apologize. >> that's all right. >> sorry. no, i did not say that. i do not believe that. it is a fundamental belief of mine that all people are created in the image of god. they should all be treated with dignity and respect senator. >> can you commit today to this committee that you will treat, if confirmed that you would treat every living person who
way before you with respect and dignity? >> i would not allow myself to be nominated to this position if i did not think i could do that. >> on montana and nevada and assistant attorney general at the doj. another exchange on capitol hill today i want to show you. this is outside of the realm of impeachment. congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz accused someone of being a white supremacist and benefits for caucasian, and english speaking immigrants. >> -- attempts to distinguish between documented and undocumented immigration. you and mr. trump don't want anyone who looks or talks differently than awe kacaucasiao the country. >> that is not correct. >> i want to finish. >> the witness will get a chance
to respond. >> thank you very much. you want to block all immigration and make life harder for immigrants and demonstrated you were pursue a heinous white separatist ideology at all costs even making critically ill children collateral damage in the process and goes to a comprehensive pattern of harm at uscised upper your leadershiped. and a charge denying legal status to immigrants who use social services. mr. cuccinelli, has uscis done analysis of children stopped chrisiccal services of fear of losing legal status? answer that question, please. >> after declaring that i am not a white supremacist as alluded. nor the president. >> okay. facts matter. >> yes, they do. >> right. why i'm stating them here today. please, answer the question. >> certainly -- >> please answer the question. how many children --
>> certainly cloaked in legislative privilege means you can get away with not telling the truth. >> how much children? please, stop wasting my time. >> wowza. quite a back and forth. 30,000 feet, can we just, what led to that? what was this hearing about? >> reporter: actually supposed to be a hearing of us cis allowing immigrants with serious medical conditions to remain here in country. rolled it back and then reinstated it. that's what the hearing was about. debbie wasserman schultz changed the subject and came out swinging. a question about the public charge rule, something announced in august and it would make it easier for the agency to reject visa and green card applications for any immigrants who accepted pub luck assistance. things like food stamps, housing of vouchers, also medicaid. that's what she was asking about, calling some of the policies white supremacist policies, but, brooke, it's possible as well that wasserman
schultz might have come out swinging against cuccinelli because we've learned he's at the top of a list to potentially if possible be successor for the current mcaleenan. scheduled to leave that post tomorrow. he said it's possible that that depab ch departure date could be delayed but the white house would like cuccinelli in that post. he's a hard-line immigration activist, policymaker, just like the trump administration. but we've learned that the white house has been advised that cuccinelli actually wouldn't be eligible for this acting dhs secretary post, because it doesn't fall in line with the federal vacancies act and we've found out the white house found a loophole allowing him to be named something else first and then slide into this role. so that potentially is why democrats particularly the congresswoman there might be taking particular aim at cuccinelli. of course, cuccinelli is this
hard-line immigration policy person that falls in line with the president, of course, and we've seen the administration make it harder for asylum claims. in fact, just yesterday we saw something that really falls in line with the trump administration wanting to limit the refugees who come here to this country. we've learned that we're on track this october, this month, not to admit any refugees and the state department hasn't admitted any in the month of october and of course president trump has wanted to limit the refugees here to about 18,000 in the fiscal year. really, ken cuccinelli falls in line with everything the administration wants to do and why they're potentially pushing him and of course here we saw the democrat, debbie wasserman schultz really pushing back. >> sure. perhaps why the target on his back may be in her perspective is much larger. see how it plays out for him. thank you very much. back to our other breaking story up on capitol hill. new witnesses testifying today that former national security
adviser john bolton warned the trump white house about rudy giuliani's involvement with ukraine. would bolton ever testify? my next guest says you shouldn't expect bolton to be an impeachment hero. you brought me home, that day. i've been plotting to destroy you. sizing you up... calculating your every move. you think this is love? this is a billion years of tiger dna just ready to pounce. and if you have the wrong home insurance coverage, you could be coughing up the cash for this. so get allstate and be better protected from mayhem, like me-ow. so gpanera's new warm grainer full of flavor, color,. full of- woo! full of good. so you can be too. try our new warm grain bowls today. panera. food as it should be.
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he left the white house after months of reported tension with president trump but if he returns to testify in his impeachment inquiry do not expect john bolton to spill the beans on his former boss. the defining of my next guest who recently wrote a pete for politico totaled "don't bet on john bolton to be an impeachment hero" author also of "white house warriors." so, john gantz, good to have you on. thank you for coming on. >> thanks for having me on. >> let me read what you wrote. "the power of the modern presidency is bolton's career legacy. when trump and his defenders question the legitimacy of today's inquiry they're not just speaking bolton's language they're using his talking points." tell me what you mean. >> well, john bolton sort of came up in washington at a time
where the presidency was really at its lowest point. right? arrived in washington after watergate. a nixon white house intern and he actually thought congress really overreacted to watergate and spent much of his career sort of much of the 1980s defending the president and the white house from investigations into foreign policy. he fought against iran/contra. actually fought against congress' invest sgigs a drug deal. as the impeachment fight shapes into a battle between congress and the white house over the ability to hold the president accountable for foreign policy it's hard to imagine john bolton coming out and sort of counteracting everything he's done over his entire career to sort of get revenge or perhaps undermine president trump. >> we know that bolton's attorneys are in negotiations for a deposition in this impeachment inquiry and you think he should testify but also say trump critics shouldn't get hopes up about what he'll say. i want to play something that he told fox news just last year.
>> the president's entitled to do what he wants to do. that's what the constitution says. the executive power resides in the president. >> so, john what is bolton likely to say? even if he believes the president is constitutionally authorized to do what he wants he was raising red flags about the pressure placed on ukraine? >> absolutely. i think some of what we're seeing reported in some of what we're hearing from the testimony of some of the people that worked for john bolton suggested bolton was concerned and started to sort of establish a paper trail with the lawyers both at the white house and at the state department. i think that quote gets to the point of why we should expect john bolton to only testify sort of rather unwillingly, and then when he does, relatively i think not expansive. so we see so far in the quotes that he has blamed ambassador to the eu sondland. blamed mick mulvaney chief of staff and -- >> talking about the drug deal quote? >> exactly. all of these quotes are about other people than the president.
so i think that's because right there is the tension between john bolton's long held principle that the president has the authority to do whatand his looked like a potentially illegal operation. that was being run out of the white house. so that is the tension you see. my hunch is when he will do what he needs to do and say what he has to say but won't go beyond that or undermine the presidency itself. >> this is the quote in case people don't remember. not only did he call rudy giuliani a hand grenade he called out sondland and mulvaney saying he was not part of whatever drug deal and sondland and mulvaney are cooking up. to your point, he doesn't name check the president, do you think that is foreshadowing if and when he testifies or is subpoenaed, doesn't excite executive privilege, that is more or less what he'll say? that it wasn't the president?
>> so far that is what we have to go on. but you have to go on what he's done over the entire career which is to stand up and say the president deserves to do what he thinks is right and so what this is running into is sort of the long-held tensions that he's had and i think his career and his time in the trump white house where he had his long-held positions on iran and north korea were in tension at times with donald trump. john bolton has a long time to go along and get along. he a hard time doing that in the trump white house and in the resistance in washington in the impeachment inquiry. so it will be narrow and lawyerly and stay within his own parameters of the letter of the law. >> i have a feeling you and i will do this dance again if and when the former national security secretary is up on capitol hill. thank you john gantz. coming up, the most diverse democratic field in history. but the top four presidential candidates, according to polls, are still white.
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speaking of john bolton, as we were just discussing, here is the news now from capitol hill. we have learned that house impeachment investigators have invited the former national security adviser to appear next week on november 7th, according to a source familiar with the conversations. a house intelligence spokesperson declined to comment.
heading into 2020, the democrats have the most diverse group of presidential candidates ever. two black senators, a latino former cabinet secretary and asian-american businessman and the first american soman. and joining bernie sanders, joe biden, and elizabeth warren. they have the most racially diverse and the top tier is all white and earnest hearneden is a political analysis and i read this morning and i thought why. >> that is a question on a lot of democrats' minds. as we lay out a combination of race and money and politics working in one. the first reason is that black and lott voters which is a most part of the lectorat are not supporting those that look like
them. biden has a stronglehold on the black vote which has changed the dynamic of the race and cory booker and kamala harris were banking on that support particularly in south carolina to fuel their viability but that hasn't happened yet. and overlapping factors, money is flowing to candidates like pete buttigieg and grassroots donors are going to elizabeth warren and bernie sanders. you also have the question of electability. so many democrats are fearful about losing to president trump and thinking about the white working class voters and when we talk to julian castro and cory booker they think that is hurting the nonwhite candidates because some of the democratic voters themselves think that nominating them would be a quote/unquote risk for that electorate. >> that is what people wondered about then senator barack obama but then we saw what he did in iowa and the story changed. speaking of the former president, there is a incredible quote in here.
this is theodore johnson who you spoke to. said this -- the road is easier because of obama but their ability to secure the nomination is harder because they're not obama. talk to me more about that and you alluded to part of this as fundraising. is that part of the issue? >> yeah, it looms over particularly the black senators you mentioned. senator cory booker and kamala harris have this implicit measuring stick against the campaigns of the historic first black president who was a unique political talent that they are held to against a standard that could come down pretty hard on them. there is donors, voters who are always implicitly measuring them against former president obama and that can sometimes be particularly difficult. senator cory booker has said that donors or voters will say is america ready for another black man to be president. he had a quote in the piece
today i'm sure something not asked of the white candidates is america ready for another white candidate. >> stan herndon, thank you for writing about it. thanks for being with me. i'm brooke baldwin. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. welcome to the lead, i'm jake tapper. and we begin with breaking news. two sources present at the tuesday deposition of white house national security counsel staffer lieutenant colonel vindman tell me that he told congressional investigators that he became convinced that president trump personally was ordering the with holding of $400 million in aid for ukraine as a way of forcing ukrainian president zelensky to publicly announce an investigation into the bidens. he said the existence of a quid pro quo had been clear to him by july 10th when the ambassador to the