Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, and David Hale, undersecretary of state for political affairs, testified before the House Intelligence Committee at just before 6 p.m. ET Wednesday. Their appearance followed testimony from U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who appeared before the committee for a hearing that began more than eight hours earlier.
Trump impeachment highlights:
Members to start questioning after a brief break
The second staff round of staff questions has concluded. Schiff just announced a brief break — 30 minutes — from the Sondland hearing. When the committee returns, the five-minute member round will begin.
Katyal: Sondland further confirmed there was a quid pro quo
Now it's Dems who've left the hearing room
Several Republicans have now returned to the hearing room, but many Democrats have left. Just Schiff, Speier, Demings and Krishnamoorthi, plus Goldman, are here now. (Members are permitted to come and go from hearings as they wish.)
Wallace: Sondland has the body language of a liberated man with nothing to lose
White House: Trump, on Sondland call, ‘wanted nothing’ from Ukraine
“Ambassador Sondland’s testimony made clear that in one of the few brief phone calls he had with President Trump, the president clearly stated that he ‘wanted nothing’ from Ukraine and repeated ‘no quid pro quo' over and over again," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Wednesday in response to the ambassador's testimony.
"In fact, no quid pro quo ever occurred. The U.S. aid to Ukraine flowed, no investigation was launched, and President Trump has met and spoken with President Zelenskiy. Democrats keep chasing ghosts.”
Nunes says Democrats have ‘Watergate fantasies’
Nunes suggested during his second round of questioning that Democrats are trying to make the impeachment inquiry into Trump as significant as Watergate.
Democrats have “Watergate fantasies,” he said.
“I guess they fantasize this at night,” he added.
In fact, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said last week that Trump’s actions in Ukraine makes what happened during Watergate “look small.”
Sondland being careful to not get 'knocked with perjury'
Giuliani accuses Sondland of 'speculating'
Giuliani later deleted this tweet, which others had captured.
Most Republicans have left the room
As we work our way through this second round of staff questions, almost all the Republicans have left the hearing room.
Still present: Castor, Jordan, Ratcliffe and Stefanik.
Everyone else has left.
Sondland's 6 most important lines during impeachment testimony
1. "I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a 'quid pro quo'? With regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes."
2. "We followed the president's orders.”
3. "Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret" — on how Pence, Pompeo, Bolton and others were aware of his efforts in Ukraine.