Per Axios, the House Intelligence Committee on Saturday released the transcripts of the closed-door testimony of Tim Morrison, the National Security Council’s Russia and Europe director, and Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence.
However, according to a report from Breitbart News, the transcript is distorted and omits key sections.
Per Breitbart, Morrison testified “I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed” on the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, to which he himself listened. That statement does not appear anywhere in the Democrats’ “key excerpts” document. He also testified that he “did not have a view” on whether President Trump’s comments to Zelensky on the phone call were “improper.”
Morrison also testified that he was afraid that the conversation would leak — not because he thought the president had done anything wrong, as Democrats’ “key excerpts” document implies, but because he knew about what would happen, given “Washington’s polarized environment.” The Democrats’ summary of the document omits this telling exchange between Morrison and chairman Adam Schiff — no doubt, because it damages their case:
The House Intelligence Committee on Saturday released the transcripts of the closed-door testimony of Tim Morrison, the National Security Council's Russia and Europe director, and Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence.https://t.co/4FPd5T8Ai7
— Axios (@axios) November 16, 2019
Breitbart reports Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released the long-awaited transcript from senior National Security Council official Tim Morrison on Saturday, and immediately distorted it for the benefit of the anti-Trump media.
It was a typical example of how Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and his staff have tried to skew the fact-finding process in an effort to inflate public support for impeachment, believing few will read the lengthy transcripts for themselves.
First, the committee withheld the transcript since October 31, only releasing it after the first public hearings began last week. Morrison’s testimony was rumored to be very good for President Donald Trump’s defense — Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) had described Democrats in the room during the closed-door hearing as “sucking lemons” — and Republicans would have made good use of it, had they had the transcript available. But it was not provided.
In the interim, Democrats had sole possession of the document. Schiff does not allow copies of the transcripts to be released to Republicans, either in paper or electronic form. If they want to read transcripts, they must do so one by one, in the presence of a Democrat committee staffer. Not only is that rule humiliating, but it also allows Democrats to control the flow of information and to prepare their public arguments with no fear of timely Republican rebuttal.
In the Morrison case, Democrats released “key excerpts” that highlighted the few facts in his testimony that, they believe, help push the case for impeachment. Chief among these is that Morrison confirmed that he heard U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland claim that he told a Ukrainian official, in a private “sidebar” meeting, that aid would be released if the Ukrainian prosecutor general would publicly announce an investigation into Burisma.
But that is just hearsay evidence, as is Morisson’s confirmation of Charge d’affairs William Taylor’s testimony (repeated in public last week) that Sondland, after speaking to President Trump, “there was no quid pro quo, but President Zelensky must announce the opening of the investigations and he should want to do it.”
Read more here.