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impeachment inquiry

National Security Council official's testimony seems to contradict Rick Perry's Ukraine denial

In his testimony before House impeachment investigators on Tuesday, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman appeared to contradict a statement Energy Secretary Rick Perry made regarding Ukraine, Politico reports.

Vindman is the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, and he listened to President Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In his opening statement, Vindman said he attended a July 10 meeting at the White House during which U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland requested Ukrainian officials launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Vindman said he let Sondland know this was "inappropriate," as the "request to investigate Biden and his son had nothing to do with national security, and that such investigations were not something the [National Security Council] was going to get involved in or push."

Earlier this month, Perry told the Christian Broadcasting Network that he never heard anyone mention Ukraine investigating the Bidens. "Not once, as God is my witness, not once was a Biden name — not the former vice president, not his son — ever mentioned," he said. Fiona Hill, Trump's former adviser on Russia, testified earlier this month that Perry was in the meeting with Vindman and Sondland, and he left as she arrived, Politico reports. This testimony puts Perry in the room when Sondland's Ukraine request was mentioned.

An Energy Department spokesperson contacted by Politico would not comment on the July 10 meeting, only saying Perry stands by his statement. Perry, who is resigning effective Dec. 1, has received congressional subpoenas requesting information on meetings and phone calls he had with Ukrainian officials, but said he will not comply.