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Diplomat Taylor expected to testify 1st in public hearings

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Published: November 7, 2019, 9:55am
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President Donald Trump listens to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speak during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House where Trump spoke about his judicial appointments, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
President Donald Trump listens to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speak during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House where Trump spoke about his judicial appointments, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) Photo Gallery

WASHINGTON (AP) — House impeachment investigators released a new transcript Thursday in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

The testimony is from George Kent, a career official at the State Department. He testified that he was told to “lay low” on Ukraine policy as the Trump administration and the president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani were interacting with Ukraine outside of regular foreign policy channels.

House investigators are pushing out key transcripts from hours of closed-door interviews in the impeachment inquiry as they prepare for public sessions with witnesses next week.

Kent also raised concerns about the Trump administration’s recall of its Ukraine ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch. Kent, Yovanovitch and diplomat William Taylor are expected to appear in the public sessions.

First to testify next Wednesday will be Taylor, the top diplomat in Ukraine, who has relayed in private his understanding that there was a blatant quid pro quo with Trump holding up military aid to a U.S. ally facing threats from its giant neighbor Russia.

That aid, at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, is alleged to have been held hostage until Ukraine agreed to investigate political foe Joe Biden and the idea, out of the mainstream of U.S. intelligence findings, that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.

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Associated Press writers Colleen Long, Ben Fox, Laurie Kellman, Michael Balsamo, Matthew Lee and Matthew Daly contributed to this report.

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