House Intelligence Committee Democrats—led by Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) published on Saturday a transcript of high-ranking National Security Council (NSC) official Tim Morrison, but it was an ‘adapted version,’ according to several conservatives on social networks.
Thus the anti-Trump media—which represent the majority of MSM, such as CNN—used this summary and highlighted the allegedly damaging sections of Morrison’s testimony.
What the Democrats did not keep in mind is that several people could take care of reading the long complete transcripts—over 200 pages—themselves.
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) November 17, 2019
Morrison—an expert in Europe and Russi—was one of the people who listened to the telephone conversation of July 25, 2019, between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, which is fundamental to the Ukraine Case.
Morrison testified in the closed-door impeachment investigation against President Trump on Oct. 31.
The committee has retained the transcript since Oct. 31 and only published it after the first public hearings began last week.
According to official transcripts of his testimony, before the impeachment investigation, Morrison stated, “I want to be clear, I didn’t worry about discussing anything illegal,” in the phone call between President Trump and Zelenskiy, according to Bloomberg.
Morrison also testified that Ukrainian officials did not know that Trump’s government had delayed certain military funds until late August 2019, more than a month after President Trump-Zelenskiy’s call.
It is because of this call that the Democrats are pursuing the impeachment of President Trump, alleging that the president subordinated international aid to Ukraine in exchange for a “personal favor” by asking the Ukrainian president investigate Joe Biden and his son, who was hired by a Ukrainian energy company with no knowledge in the sector.
Morrison’s testimony was very good for President Donald Trump’s defense, according to the Republicans. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and others would have made good use of it if they had had the transcript available, but it was not provided on time, according to Breitbart.
The Democrats had exclusive possession of the document, as Schiff does not allow copies of the transcripts to be sent to Republicans, either on paper or electronically.
To control the flow of information, Democrats established the rule that if Republicans wanted to read the transcripts, they had to do it one by one, in the presence of a Democratic committee member.
In Morrison’s case, Democrats published “key excerpts” that highlighted the few facts in his testimony that they believe help drive the impeachment case.
The main one is that Morrison confirmed that he heard U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland say that he told a Ukrainian official, in a private “side” meeting, that aid would be released if the Ukrainian prosecutor general publicly announced an investigation into Burisma Holdings, the company where Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President Biden, worked.
However, these reports minimize or omit the most important parts of Morrison’s testimony for Trump’s defense. Breitbart summarized some important points:
- Morrison stated, “I wasn’t worried about discussing anything illegal,” in the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, which he heard. That statement does not appear anywhere in the Democrats’ “key excerpts” document. He also stated that he “did not have an opinion” on whether President Trump’s comments to Zelenskiy on the phone call were “inappropriate.”
- Morrison said that he feared the conversation would leak, not because he thought the president had done something wrong, as implied by the Democrats’ “key excerpts” document, but because he knew what would happen, given Washington’s “polarized environment.”
- Morrison testified that another foreign aid offered by the United States at the time was under review, not just to Ukraine. And he confirmed previous testimony that the aid withheld did not include essential Javelin anti-tank missiles, which were sent to Ukraine through a separate procurement process.
- Morrison added he was not concerned that President Trump would ask President Zelenskiy, during the July 25 phone call, to meet with his attorney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
- Morrison kept NSC lawyers informed of what was going on, not because he was concerned that President Trump had done something wrong, but because he wanted to “protect the president” from what Sondland was doing.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 19, Morrison will testify at the Capitol hearing. All spectators will be able to hear the testimony the witness will give under oath and draw their own conclusions.