TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club(YJC)_George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, told congressional investigators that he was largely sidelined on Ukraine policy by Trump’s inner circle and was also subject to attacks by Giuliani, according to a transcript of his testimony released on Thursday.
The Democratic-led inquiry in the US House of Representatives is focused on a July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Joe Biden, a former vice president and now a leading Democratic rival in the 2020 US presidential election.
The impeachment inquiry has focused on Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who has been mentioned frequently in testimony by US diplomats who have accused him of running a shadow US policy toward Ukraine to pressure it to carry out a corruption investigation into Biden and his son, who worked for a Ukrainian gas company.
Kent mentioned Giuliani 73 times in his testimony to lawmakers delivered behind closed doors on October 15 but only released on Thursday.
Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine, was abruptly removed from her post in May. Kent said Giuliani conducted a smear campaign against the envoy.
“His assertions and allegations against former Ambassador Yovanovitch were without basis, untrue, period,” Kent testified.
“Mr. Giuliani, at that point, had been carrying on a campaign for several months full of lies and incorrect information about Ambassador Yovanovitch, so this was a continuation of his campaign of lies,” Kent said.
Democrats have been releasing transcripts of the closed-door interviews as they prepare for public hearings in Congress next week. Kent is among the three US diplomats who will serve as star witnesses.
Kent also said he had warned Biden’s office about Hunter Biden being on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukraine energy firm, after learning of his role in February 2015. The vice president’s son was paid $50,000 per month to serve on the board.
Trump has claimed without evidence that Biden as vice president pushed Ukraine’s president at the time, Petro Poroshenko, to fire the nation’s chief prosecutor Viktor Shokin, because he was investigating Burisma.