October 29, 2019
Tim Morrison, a top expert on Russia and Europe who serves on the National Security Council—and who has been identified as a witness to one of the most explosive pieces of evidence unearthed by House impeachment investigators—plans to testify, even if the White House attempts to block him, Politico reports.
“If subpoenaed, Mr. Morrison plans to appear for his deposition,” his attorney, Barbara Van Gelder, said.
He joined the NSC in July of 2018 following former Nation Security Adviser John Bolton’s appointment. His testimony is expected to be so significant because Morris is said to have listened to the July 25 call between Trump and the Ukrainian leader, CNN reported earlier this month.
Indeed, Morrison is one of the few witnesses who was on the phone to hear everything that was said between the two leaders during their full half-hour phone call. A transcript of the call was released by the White House but was not a full verbatim.
Already, several high-profile witnesses have defied White House, State Department, and Pentagon orders not to cooperate with the impeachment probe. In each case, lawmakers have issued a subpoena, which the officials have relied on to justify testifying over the administration’s objections.
Morrison was also a crucial figure identified Tuesday by Trump’s ambassador to Ukraine, William Taylor, as a witness to Trump’s effort to withhold military aid from Ukraine in order to bend President Volodymyr Zelensky to his will.
According to the Politico report, Taylor testified that on September 1, Morrison told him about a conversation he witnessed between Trump’s E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland and a senior Ukrainian government official. In that conversation, Taylor said Morrison told him, Sondland informed the official that hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military aid to Ukraine were dependent on the opening of political investigations.
Taylor also said Morrison spoke to him on Sept. 7 about another conversation with Sondland. In that conversation, per Taylor’s recounting, Sondland revealed he had spoken directly with Trump about Ukraine and that Trump insisted that Zelensky should publicly declare the political investigations himself, rather than leaving it to subordinates. According to Taylor, Morrison said he then relayed details of the call to then-national security adviser John Bolton as well as NSC lawyers.
Van Gelder declined to comment on a CNN report that indicated Morrison would corroborate the key details of Taylor’s testimony. “We will not be commenting on what he will say to the committees,” she said.
Research contact: @politico