Other witnesses have contradicted the ambassador’s testimony, but proving in court that he deliberately lied to Congress could be difficult.
Testimony from a senior White House official on Tuesday appeared to contradict Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s ardent denials that he ever heard former Vice President Joe Biden or his son Hunter discussed in relation to U.S. requests that Ukraine investigate corruption.
In his opening statement, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council official overseeing Ukraine policy, told House impeachment investigators that he objected to EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s comments in a July 10 White House briefing — attended by Perry — requesting that Ukrainian officials investigate the 2016 U.S. election, the Bidens and the Ukrainian energy company Burisma that had employed Hunter Biden.
“I stated to Amb. Sondland that his statements were inappropriate, that the request to investigate Biden and his son had nothing to do with national security, and that such investigations were not something the [National Security Council] was going to get involved in or push,” Vindman’s statement said.
Vindman said in his remarks that after he raised his objections, Fiona Hill, who was a Trump adviser on Russia at the time, entered the room and told Sondland his statements were inappropriate.
According to NBC News, Hill told House investigators that she entered the room as Perry was leaving. That account was confirmed to POLITICO.
That timeline would put Perry in the meeting when Vindman raised his objections about Sondland’s request that Ukrainian officials investigate the Bidens — which Perry has repeatedly denied.
“Not once, as God is my witness, not once was a Biden name — not the former vice president, not his son — ever mentioned,” Perry told the CBN News on Oct. 7. He repeated those denials in a Fox News radio interview last week.
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