Speed Reads

impeachment inquiry

George Kent says Rudy Giuliani attacked him by name, lied about Ukraine ambassador

George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary at the State Department, revealed during his closed-door testimony before House impeachment investigators last month that there was a lot of lying going when it came to Ukraine.

The House released a transcript of Kent's deposition on Thursday. He testified that President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was behind a smear campaign against Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. Giuliani wanted Yovanovitch out, and his "assertions and allegations" against her "were without basis, untrue, period." Giuliani went on to attack Kent by name, and Kent said he was told to "keep my head down."

Kent also said that Fiona Hill, Trump's former top adviser on Russia, revealed she was concerned about U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland's ability to tell the truth about what he talked about with the president. "I think she may have been as direct as saying that Gordon Sondland lies about conversations that occur in the Oval Office," he said.

After the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump asked Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, Kent received a brief readout of the call from Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council's expert on Ukraine. "It was different than any readout call that I had received," Kent testified. Vindman "felt — I could hear it in his voice and his hesitancy that he felt uncomfortable. He actually said that he could not share the majority of what was discussed because of the very sensitive nature of what was discussed."