WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senior Democratic and Republican lawmakers presented dueling narratives on Wednesday as a U.S. congressional impeachment inquiry that threatens Donald Trump's tumultuous presidency entered a crucial new phase with the first televised public hearing.
The drama unfolded in a hearing of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee in which two career U.S. diplomats - William Taylor and George Kent - voiced alarm over the Republican president and those around him pressuring Ukraine to conduct investigations that would benefit Trump politically.
Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testified before Congress on Friday that he believed there was "no ambiguity" to what President Trump was asking for on his July 25th call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Vindman, an active-duty Army officer currently working on the National Security Council, told lawmakers that, in the call between President Trump and Zelensky, it was "explicit" what Trump was asking for, according to a transcript of his testimony released on Friday
"I mean, there was no ambiguity, I guess, in my mind. He was calling for something, calling for an investigation that didn't exist into the Bidens and Burisma," Vindman said. "My visceral reaction to what was being called for suggested that it was explicit. There was no ambiguity."