We read all 2,677 pages of impeachment inquiry testimony released to date. Here's what's clear.
2019-11-12 00:05

(CNN)To President Donald Trump, the whole flap with Ukraine is over a "perfect" phone call.

就唐纳德•特朗普(Donald Trump)来看,美乌之间的紧张关系不过是一次“完美”的通话。

"It's based on a single phone call of congratulations to the President of Ukraine, which they fraudulently mischaracterized to sound absolutely horrible," Trump said a few weeks ago of his July 25 call with the Ukrainian President cited by a whistleblower complaint.


But a review of more than 2,600 pages of transcripts released this week from eight witnesses who have testified in the House impeachment inquiry over the past six weeks shows how controversy over Trump's Ukraine policy had been brewing inside the US government for months. It roiled efforts to bolster a key strategic alliance after Trump enlisted his own personal attorney to work outside normal diplomatic channels in an apparent effort to bolster his reelection chances.


The testimony details how top US officials were alarmed that Trump had outsourced Ukraine policy to his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who had pushed top Ukraine officials to publicly announce an investigation into the Bidens and to pursue a conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 elections to help Democrats. Giuliani's efforts, with support from the President, led to the ouster of America's top diplomat in Ukraine, who stood in his way, while enlisting emissaries who have since been indicted.

美国高级官员发表了一份证词,详细描述了特朗普将对乌政策交由其私人律师鲁迪·朱利安尼(Rudy Giuliani)处理的令人震惊的做法。朱利安尼曾敦促乌克兰高级官员调查拜登夫妇与乌克兰的关系,并追查乌克兰干预2016年美国大选以帮助民主党的阴谋论。在朱利安尼的努力和特朗普的支持下,美国驻乌克兰最高外交官因此下台,原因是他妨碍了朱利安尼的工作,而且还招募间谍为其谋事,之后这些间谍也被告上法庭。

Moreover, the testimony shows a President detached from the integral role Ukraine plays in US policy against Russia -- but also animated in his agitation toward Ukraine. And the testimony of at least one witness links Trump to the decision to withhold nearly $400 million in security aid for Ukraine until that country announced it would pursue the investigations into his political rivals.


Yet, there still remains one unanswered question: Why was the aid delayed by the White House? While there's ample circumstantial evidence pointing the finger at the President's desire to push Ukraine to publicly announce a probe of his political rivals first, the White House has blocked key figures -- like acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney -- from testifying, and they could shed more light on the decision to withhold the aid.


"It actually came as a direction from the Chief of Staff's office," said Fiona Hill, who was a top Russia adviser at the White House.

美国白宫前俄罗斯高级顾问菲奥娜·希尔(Fiona Hill)说,“这实际上是办公厅主任的指示。”

Trump's push for Ukraine to investigate his rivals went beyond a phone call


Trump has continued to rail on Twitter and in public on his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, calling it a "perfect" call. But the Democrats' case now goes far beyond that conversation.

特朗普之后又继续在推特和公共场合与乌克兰总统弗拉基米尔·泽伦斯基(Volodymyr Zelensky)进行通话,他坚称这是一次“完美的”通话。但是在民主党人看来现在的情况已经远远超出了对话范畴。

The officials who have testified explained how the push for Ukraine to investigate the President's political opponents was already underway well before the call occurred and for weeks after the President urged Zelensky to investigate the Bidens.


Hill, who was the former top White House Russia adviser, and the National Security Council's Ukraine expert, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, testified that the Ukrainians were told on July 10 that the White House meeting with Trump they were seeking was conditioned on opening investigations into the President's rivals.

美国白宫前俄罗斯事务顾问的希尔和国家安全委员会(National Security Council)乌克兰问题专家文德曼中校(Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman)作证称,7月10日,乌克兰人被告知,他们寻求与特朗普在白宫会面的条件是对其竞争对手展开调查。

The message to the Ukrainians was delivered by US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, the officials testified, who said he was directed to do so by Mulvaney. White House officials raised serious objections to Sondland, calling into question Sondland's own sworn testimony that then-national security adviser John Bolton "never" shared "any misgivings" with him.

这些官员作证称,美国驻欧盟大使戈登•桑德兰(Gordon Sondland)向乌克兰人传达了这一信息。白宫官员对该行为提出了强烈的反对意见,同时对桑德兰的宣誓证词发出质疑,因为他称当时的国家安全顾问约翰·博尔顿与他对于所谓“泄密”一事“从未”抱有“任何疑虑”。

Text messages turned over to House impeachment investigators show how the conversation with the Ukrainians about publicly announcing an investigation continued for several weeks after the July 25 call. The texts show then-US special envoy Kurt Volker and Sondland encouraging Ukraine to include Burisma -- a Ukrainian natural gas company where Hunter Biden sat on the board of directors -- and the 2016 election in the public statement at the request of Giuliani, though the matter was eventually dropped.

根据众议院弹劾调查人员收到的讯息,在7月25日的电话会议之后,他们与乌克兰人就公开宣布展开调查展开了持续数周的对话。文件显示,当时的美国特使库尔特•沃尔克(Kurt Volker)和桑德兰(Sondland)鼓励乌克兰将布里兹马(亨特•拜登曾担任董事的一家乌克兰天然气公司)以及2016年大选列入应朱利安尼(Giuliani)要求发表的公开声明之中,尽管此事最终被搁置了。

But on September 1, after Ukraine had learned that the US had frozen $400 million in security aid, Sondland told lawmakers -- in a revision to his original testimony this week -- that he told Ukrainian officials the aid wouldn't be released without the investigations.


Bill Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, testified Sondland said Trump told him "everything" -- meaning the aid money and a meeting -- was conditioned on Ukraine publicly announcing an investigation.

美国驻乌克兰最高外交官比尔•泰勒(Bill Taylor)在听证会上表示,桑德兰表示,特朗普告诉他的“一切”决定——即援助资金和电话会议——都是以乌克兰公开宣布展开调查为条件的。

But Sondland did not testify that Trump told him that, only that he "presumed" the aid was linked to the investigations. He contended that he couldn't recall precisely how he learned the two were linked.


The power of Trump's personal attorney


Giuliani has tried to make the case that his only role in Ukraine was defending his client -- Trump -- and fending off attacks against him.


But that's not what senior US officials were told -- or how the Ukrainians viewed him. Time and again, Trump made clear that to deal with Ukraine policy, they'd have to deal with Giuliani first, something that hamstrung their efforts with their key ally, which is battling Russian aggression and desperately needed US help.


It also caused serious concerns among top diplomats as Giuliani was pushing for Ukraine to announce investigations that could help the President politically. And after Giuliani successfully helped to drive out US Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch from the post, multiple efforts to push Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to offer a statement of support on her behalf went unanswered.

这也引起了高级外交官们的深刻担忧,因为朱利安尼正在敦促乌克兰宣布实行调查,而这有可能在政治层面对特朗普有利。在朱利安尼成功迫使美国驻乌克兰大使玛丽·约瓦诺维奇(Marie Yovanovitch)下台后,她多次试图发动国务卿迈克·蓬佩奥(Mike Pompeo)代表其发表声明以表支持,但最终并未得到蓬佩奥的回应。

In a conversation between senior State official George Kent, who was in charge of Ukraine policy, and Volker, Kent says Volker made clear to him that they would deal directly with Giuliani "because it was clear that the former mayor had influence on the President in terms of the way the president thought of Ukraine."


To Sondland, Trump was even more blunt: "He just keep saying: 'Talk to Rudy, talk to Rudy.'"


Sondland then testified that Giuliani's demands continued to get more "insidious" from May 23 until later when he "became aware that there might be a link between the White House visit and aid to the Ukraine that was being held up when I couldn't get a straight answer as to why the aid was being held up."


Vindman testified that the "alternative narrative" pushed by Giuliani "undermined U.S. government efforts to expand cooperation with Ukraine."


And he added that the Ukrainians were confused by Giuliani's role and concerned that "it could be undermining the consensus policy."


"It wasn't until that call that it became, that he was pulled into kind of an official role," Vindman added, referring to the July call where Trump urged the Ukrainian President to work with Giuliani.


Yovanovitch and others described a series of "lies" pushed by Giuliani to smear her reputation and make her appear disloyal to the President, but they also contended there was little that senior State Department officials -- like Pompeo -- were willing to do about his efforts.


"Did anyone at the State Department try to stop those efforts?" Yovanovitch was asked. She responded: "I don't think so, I don't (think) they felt they could."


Pompeo "rolled his eyes" when discussing Giuliani and said: "Yes, it's something we have to deal with," according to Sondland's testimony.


Career officials: Trump-Giuliani efforts a major breach of norms


Michael McKinley, a former senior adviser to Pompeo who has worked for 37 years in the Foreign Service, made clear to House investigators that State Department officials were being used "in a way that certainly didn't fit into any past example we can think of," referring to the efforts to target a political rival through investigations by a foreign country.


He's hardly alone.


Kent was supposed to be in charge of Ukraine policy at the State Department, but he was sidelined. And he was alarmed at what he saw.


"I wrote a note to the file saying that I had concerns that there was an effort to initiate politically motivated prosecutions that were injurious to the rule of law, both in Ukraine and the U.S," Kent testified.


Taylor called it an "irregular, informal channel of U.S. policy making with respect to Ukraine," referring to the efforts led by Volker, Sondland, Giuliani and Energy Secretary Rick Perry.


"Although this irregular channel was well connected in Washington, it operated mostly outside of official diplomatic channels," he said.


Trump's obsession with Ukraine


The President's suspicion of Ukraine dates back to the 2016 election, due to baseless conspiracy theories that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the US election.


That long-held distrust of Ukraine fueled Trump's view of the conspiracy theories promoted by Giuliani and in conservative media that year, which prompted him to brush off dealing with Ukraine and telling officials to speak with Giuliani about Ukraine.


"They are all corrupt, they are all terrible people," Volker recalled Trump saying at a May 23 meeting where they encouraged Trump to set up an Oval Office meeting with Zelensky. "I don't want to spend any time with that."


Trump's attitude toward Ukraine contributed to Giuliani's ability to have influence over US policy in Ukraine, because Trump administration officials believed they needed to convince Giuliani to sway the President.


"It started as talk to Rudy," Sondland testified.


But years before Ukraine was thrust into the public sphere as a scandal threatening the President with impeachment, Trump's views on Ukraine prompted concern inside the Trump administration.


Trump also seized on the conspiracy that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election, based on the unproven claim that the Democratic National Committee server was in Ukraine. Trump alluded to the conspiracy theory on the July 25 call with Zelensky: "The server, they say Ukraine has it," he said.

单凭乌克兰拥有民主党全国委员会(Democratic National Committee)服务器这一未经证实的说法,特朗普就坚称乌克兰(而非俄罗斯)盘算着干预2016年大选的阴谋。特朗普在7月25日与泽伦斯基的通话中提到了该阴谋论:泽伦斯基说,“服务器,他们说乌克兰拥有它。”

Hill explained how there was an effort to convince Trump it was a "debunked" conspiracy theory. "We spent a lot of time" with Tom Bossert, Trump's former homeland security adviser, former national security adviser H.R. McMaster and others, Hill said, "trying to refute this one in the first year of the administration."

希尔解释说,有人试图让川普相信这是一个“被揭穿的”阴谋论。希尔说,“我们花了很多时间”与特朗普的前国土安全顾问、前国家安全顾问H.R.麦克马斯特(H.R. McMaster)等人共同“试图在本届政府的第一年驳斥这一说法。”

"Tom and others who were working on cybersecurity laid out to the President the facts about the interference," she said. "I can't say any more than that."


Transcripts undercut GOP defense of Trump


The release of the transcripts has severely complicated Republicans' defense of Trump. That's because in the private depositions, one witness after another knocked down some of the core arguments that Trump and his allies have been making.


The witnesses have panned Trump's core allegations that Biden corruptly pressured Ukrainian officials to protect his son Hunter, who was on the board of Burisma, and that the US ambassador to Ukraine was part of the so-called "deep state" against Trump. Some of those allegations originated from former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, who was described by Volker as "not credible" and by Kent as someone who was out for "revenge."

证人们提出了不同意见,一方面是关于特朗普揭露拜登向乌克兰官员施加腐败压力,以保护他的儿子,在Burisma公司担任董事的亨特的核心指控,另一方面是特朗普将美国驻乌克兰大使纳入其所谓“深度国家”概念的做法。其他一些指控则是针对乌克兰前总检察长尤里·卢岑科(Yuriy Lutsenko)的,沃尔克称卢岑科“不可信”,而肯特则称卢岑科是被“复仇”所吞噬。

The narrative Giuliani had been pushing was essentially a sweeping "campaign of lies," Kurt also said.


So far, the inquiry has uncovered multiple clear examples of the Trump-Ukraine quid pro quo, where a White House invitation and military aid were withheld while Trump's handpicked diplomats pressured Ukraine to announce investigations into his political rivals. It was established in Sondland's testimony and text messages from Volker — who both pressed Ukrainian officials to announce the investigations. Other key players, including Taylor, the top Russia and Europe adviser on the National Security Council Tim Morrison and Vindman, also testified that they understood there was a quid pro quo after listening to Trump's call with Zelensky or discussing the matter with Sondland.

到目前为止,经过调查已经发现足以证明特朗普与乌克兰达成交换条件的众多案例,其中包括白宫对乌克兰发出会晤邀请和不予批准其军事援助,此外特朗普精心挑选了部分外交官向乌克兰施压,要求乌克兰宣布对其政治对手展开调查。桑德兰的证词和沃尔克提供的短信都证实了这一点。这两人都曾敦促乌克兰官员宣布展开调查。包括泰勒、俄罗斯和欧洲国家安全委员会高级顾问蒂姆·莫里森(Tim Morrison)和温德曼(Vindman)在内的其他关键人物也作证称,他们在听过特朗普与泽伦斯基的电话会谈或知晓其曾与桑德兰讨论此事后,发现所谓的交换条件是明显存在的。

If Trump wants to continue claiming "no quid pro quo," Democrats appear to have the goods to prove him wrong. Some congressional Republicans have suggested acknowledging a quid pro quo, but staking out the position that it did not rise to the level of an impeachable offense.


Democrats also picked up a rebuttal to Trump's argument that he was only pressing Ukraine to investigate the Bidens because he was sincerely concerned about cleaning up corruption in Ukraine. Kent testified that asking Ukraine to investigate the Bidens "in and of itself is not anti-corruption."


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