White House officials testified. TRANSCRIPT: 11/19/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests: Michelle Goldberg, Walter Dellinger, Ian Bassin, Eric Swalwell,Hakeem Jeffries

(IMPEACHMENT HEARING)

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA):  I ask the audience to please allow the witnesses to leave the room before they exit. 

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  A rousing and impassioned closing by the Chair Adam Schiff of the House intelligence committee. Schiff is someone who is as you`ve seen throughout these proceedings usually quite controlled, does not often raise his voice, is usually quite measured, has dispatched his duties with a kind of understatement generally.  Interesting to see his summation there after what has been by far the longest day of testimony. 

Today, was day three in only the fourth impeachment inquiry hearings in the history of this country.  It was the third day of testimony, it was also the longest day, it had the most witnesses. 

There was a morning session and an afternoon session.  The afternoon session just wrapping up, got started around 3:00, going about five-and-a- half hours.  And that featured two of the witnesses that you see there exiting the room right now who were Republican witnesses. 

You`ll recall that the minority was able to petition for the witnesses.  Two of the witnesses they asked to come before the committee was today`s witnesses, the former special envoy to Ukraine, a man by the name of Kurt Volker, and an official at the NSC who had Ukraine and Russia in his portfolio, a man by the name of Tim Morrison.  He was only in that position for about four months.  In fact, he left it the day that he testified in his first deposition.

Those two witnesses were seen by Republicans as the most amenable and friendly to their vision of what happened today.  And there were moments, in fact, when they agreed with the Republican questioners. 

But by and large, what emerged today both in the afternoon session which just concluded and the morning session with two individuals who are were on that infamous phone call was yet more damning evidence of the president`s plot to extort Ukraine, to provide a thing of personal value, that is investigation into his political rivals, in exchange for, as Adam Schiff put it, an official act.

The official act being the release of $400 million in U.S. aid that had been passed on a bipartisan basis.

The morning session, as I just mentioned, began with Jennifer Williams, who`s a staffer actually currently in the vice president`s office.  She`s from the State Department and a foreign service official detailed with the vice president.  She was on the call.  She briefed Vice President Pence in briefing materials after that call.

And perhaps most notable, and someone we`ll be talking about a bit I believe today and for a while after that, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, an individual who emigrated to the U.S. as a refugee from the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine, one of the many Jewish refugees who left the former Soviet Union, came here with his identical brother, the two of them now working side by side in the NSC, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, a decorated war hero, receiving a purple heart after a deployment in Iraq, the top expert on the NSC Ukraine, and also a kind of conscience of the day, I think it`s fair to say, the person who was most disturbed by the contents of the phone call, the person who immediately went to raise those concern with the National Security Council lawyer, the person who was the most urgent about the moral transgression that he saw, a person who came under considerable attack and  insinuation from members of the Republican committee -- Republican members of the committee who came under attack as you heard the last congressman note, Congressman Christian Morty, from the White House itself while he work ins the White House itself, while he works in the White House through an official White House account on the day he testified.  A truly bizarre set of circumstances.

It should be noted after these 11 hours, many of the witnesses we`ve seen so far are employees of the president, had been appointed, in the case of Kurt Volker, by the president, work for the president, work in the White House.  Much of the defense of this White House seems to be that everyone in the White House is untrustworthy and terrible.

I want to bring in now for a little bit of recap of what we learned today, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of New York.  He`s a chair of the House Democratic Caucus, a member of the judiciary committee, which of course will ultimately oversee and draft possible articles of impeachment should it come to that against President Trump.

From your perch watching this, the third day, the longest day of testimony in the inquiry, what were your take-aways?

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES, (D) NEW YORK:  Good evening, Chris.  Great to be on.  The evidence of wrongdoing by Donald Trump continues to hide in plain sight.  And the essential concern remains the same.  On that July 25 phone call, Donald Trump pressured a foreign government to target Joe Biden, an American citizen, for political gain and thereby solicit foreign interference in the 2020  election while at the same time they were withholding $391 million in aid that had been allocated to Ukraine in a bipartisan way without justification. 

And not a single witness, including those that the Republicans suggested come before the intel committee, has been able to dispute those central allegations.  And so this is textbook abuse of power.  The witnesses continue to confirm that the national security interests of the United States of America have been undermined.  And we`re going to continue to present the truth to the American people and see where that leads.

HAYES:  What do you say to those members, the Republican members of the committee who say it is the president`s job, duty and sole right to determine what the national security interests are of the United States.  All these bureaucrats you keep throwing us, all these functionaries and staffers and officials that you keep clogging up the hearings with, it doesn`t matter what they think, it only matters what Donald Trump thinks?

JEFFRIES:  Well, what matters is the fact that congress, on a bipartisan basis, the House and the Senate, Democrats and Republicans, progressives and conservatives, allocated that $391 million to the Ukraine in military and economic assistance because Ukraine is a friend and Russia is foe.  Ukraine is democracy, Russia is a dictatorship.  And the United States is probably the only thing standing between Vladimir Putin and Russia completely overrunning Ukraine as part of his fantasy to reconstruct the glory days of the Soviet Union.

That would undermine the national security interests of the American people.  That is exactly why congress acted in a bipartisan way.  And what Donald Trump did is he elevated his own personal political interests and subordinated the national security interests of the American people.  He effectively turned the Oval Office into the Trump campaign 2020 re-election headquarters.  That`s an abuse of power.

HAYES:  Do you -- are you confident that this process will end up in your committee, ultimately?  Devin Nunes sort of taking a shot, I think, of the chair of the Judiciary committee, Jerry Nadler, implying this was taken out of his hands for some kind of purpose of gamesmanship.  Where do you see this headed?

JEFFRIES:  First of all, does Devin Nunes have any credibility anywhere reasonably in the United States of America after continuing to embarrass himself over the last two years?  He`s somebody who clearly believes that the House is not a separate and coequal branch of government, that he works for Donald Trump, and he`s acting like a wholly owned subsidiary of the Trump administration, so he has no credibility as it relates to this situation.

Now, we`re going to continue to follow the facts, apply the law, be guided by the constitution, present the truth to the American people as Speaker Pelosi has continued to urge us.  We`re going to proceed in a serious and solemn fashion.  We`ll see what happens at the conclusion of the intel committee`s public investigation and presentation of information.  And if they make a recommendation to the judiciary committee, we`ll take that recommendation and do what`s necessary at that point, but that hasn`t been determined.

HAYES:  All right, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, thank you very much.

I want to bring in now one of the members of the House Intelligence Committee who just finished questioning one of the witnesses today, Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell of California.  I want to start -- I go through some of the witnesses. 

I want to start with Kurt Volker, a man who essentially had to amend some of his prior testimony.  I think the first witness called for deposition in closed door testimony, had to amend that testimony because there were some inconsistencies between his recollections and what one of the witnesses said.  Did you find him credible and forthcoming today?

REP. ERIC SWALWELL, (D) CALIFORNIA:  Yes, I did, Chris.  You know, I still believe that it`s hard to believe that he didn`t entirely appreciate what was going on here.  But even if he was I guess at worst, or at best naive, he still corroborated what everyone else said, which was this shakedown scheme was being run, that Bidens essentially meant Burisma.

And Chris, it`s often in investigations that witnesses for a variety of reasons are not entirely forthcoming the first time they`re asked to give a version of events, but they evolve.  And we have a witness tomorrow who is in a very similar position.

But I think the best we can do is just point out how Volker`s testimony is corroborated by so  many others that it is believable that Burisma meant Biden.  And whenever he came to understand that, that`s what evidence in this case shows.

HAYES:  In the morning session, numerous colleagues of yours sought to undermine the credibility of Lieutenant Colonel Vindman.  The president today made a kind of crack about him wearing his uniform, which was then echoed by a colleague of yours, Congressman Stewart who said it.  He said it in a complementary fashion, but it was hard to interpret it that way.

There was an insinuation that the real loyalties of Lieutenant colonel Vindman were actually with Ukraine, that he was fundamentally disloyal, perhaps even a fifth column inside the White House.  Were you surprised by that insinuation, those lines of questions from your colleagues?

SWALWELL:  I was not surprised based on the way I`ve seen other witnesses treated by my  colleagues.  I continue to be disappointed, especially by the ones in the military on the other side, whose service we all should honor, but they did not respectfully honor Lieutenant Colonel Vindman`s service.

But all of that aside, Chris, because that is only intended to distract from the powerful evidence that Lieutenant Colonel Vindman provided.  And thank god that he spoke up at the time that he did.  You know, he`s not a Johnny come lately on this.  On July 10, when he was disturbed by what Ambassador Sondland did, he reported.  On July 25, when he heard the president shakedown the president of Ukraine, he reported it.  When he was being recruited by the Ukrainians in the way that  they were, he reported it. 

He is someone, you know, regardless of party or who it affects, he stands up and does the right thing, and that came out today.

HAYES:  Final question here, Mr. Morrison, Chair Schiff just mentioned this in his closing and it struck me as well that perhaps the clearest most succinct articulation of an attempt to extort, a conditionality, a quid pro quo, solicited a bribe, whatever you want to call it, came in testimony from Mr. Morrison today, that Gordon Sondland told him frankly that he had told a Zelensky advisor, look, you only get the aid if you announce the investigations.  What did you think of that testimony by Mr. Morrison?

SWALWELL:  It was powerful.  And it aligns with everything we know in this case.

And Chris, the president can tell Ambassador Sondland over and over it`s not a quid pro quo, it`s not a quid pro quo, you know, and you can say it`s not a duck,it`s not a duck, it`s not a duck, but if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, Chris, it`s a duck.  It`s an extortion scheme.  It`s bribery.  And there`s nothing that`s going to change that regardless of any legal interpretation that the Republicans want these witnesses to make.  And that`s what`s so surprising here is that they keep asking  witnesses to make legal judgments, when it`s so clear from the evidence that everyone was uncomfortable with what the president wanted them to do and would not carry it out on his behalf.

HAYES:  All right, Congressman Eric Swalwell, of course a member of the House Intelligence Committee, host of today`s hearings.  Thank you very much.

SWALWELL:  My pleasure.  Thanks, Chris.

HAYES:  It was, as I said, a long day of testimony today.  I want to take a minute and walk through some of the highlights, or some of the most important moments.  It was a full day of testimony that was split into two parts.  So, in the morning we heard from two witnesses who were actually on the July 25th call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky.  Now, that would be Jennifer Williams, who is a career foreign service officer, currently detailed to office of the vice president, and the man I just mentioned, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman who is the director for European affairs at the National Security Counsel.

Both of these individuals are career professionals who currently work for the Trump administration.  You would call them Trump White House officials if you were quoting them anonymously, OK, and that`s despite what the White House wants to say about them being deep state traitors.  And they testified that not only was President Trump`s phone call with the Ukrainian president not a, quote, perfect call, it was alarming and possibly illegal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED  MALE:  Now, Ms. Williams, prior to the July 25 call, approximately how many calls between the president of the United States and foreign leaders had you listened to?

JENNIFER WILLIAMS, OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT:  I would say roughly a dozen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Had you ever heard a call like this?

WILLIAMS:  As I testified before, I believe what I found unusual or different about this call was the president`s reference to specific investigations, and that struck me as different as other calls I`d listen to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You testified you thought it was political in nature.  Why did you think that?

WILLIAMS:  I thought that the references to specific individuals and investigations such as former Vice President Biden and his son struck me as political in nature given that the former vice  president is political opponent of the president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You, too, were on the White House call, am I right?  You heard it with your own ears?

LT. COL. ALEXANDER VINDMAN, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL:  Correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Not secondhand, not from somebody else, not hearsay, right?

VINDMAN:  Correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You heard the president`s voice on the call.

VINDMAN:  I did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And you heard him raise that subject again that Ambassador Sondland had raised before about investigating the Bidens, right?

VINDMAN:  I did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And I want to ask you when you heard him say that, what was  the first thought that went through your mind?

VINDMAN:  Frankly, I couldn`t believe what I was hearing.  It was probably an element of shock that maybe in certain regards my worst fear of how our Ukraine policy could play out was playing out, how this was likely to have significant implications for U.S. national security.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  That was the morning.  And then this afternoon the hearing that just ended.  We heard from two witnesses again requested by Republicans, that would be Tim Morrison, former White House aid with the National Security Council, a long time, to be clear, Hill staffer for multiple Republican lawmakers.  He`s part of the sort of professional class of Republican aids and staffers.  That`s his career.  And Ambassador Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, a career diplomat who served under both Republican and Democratic presidents, got this job named by President Trump.  And what we got from Volker were attempts to explain away some glaring inconsistencies in his previous testimony.

He said that maybe he didn`t quite realize he was in the middle of a corrupt attempt at extortion, but had he known he was, well then he definitely would have said something about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KURT VOLKER, FORMER. U.S. SPECIAL ENVOY TO UKRAINE:  In hindsight, I now understand that others saw the idea of investigating possible corruption involving Ukrainian company Burisma as equivalent to investigating  former president --  Vice President Biden.  I saw them as very different.  The former being appropriate and unremarkable, the latter being unacceptable.  In retrospect, I should have seen that connection differently.  And had I done so, I would have raised my own objections.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  The other Republican witness, Tim Morrison, was very straightforward, careful in his testimony, but unmistakably, time and again, Morrison testified that when he learned more about the extortion scheme, he always went right to the lawyers.

Here`s what happened after EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland told Morrison that he had told the Ukrainians the military aid was just flat out dependent on an announcement of investigations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Did you tell Ambassador Bolton about this conversation as well?

TIM MORRISON, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBER:  I reached out to him as well and requested his availability for a secure phone call.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And what his response when you explained to him what Ambassador  Sondland had said.

MORRISON:  Tell the lawyers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Did you go tell the lawyers?

MORRISON:  When I returned to the states, yes.

UNIDENTIFIE MALE:  Now a few day later on September 7, you spoke again to Ambassador Sondland who told you that he had just gotten off the phone with President Trump, isn`t that right?

MORRISON:  That sounds correct, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Did you tell Ambassador Bolton about this conversation as well?

MORRISON:  I did.  I did, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And what did he say to you?

MORRISON:  He said to tell the lawyers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  Just to be clear that is lifelong Republican staffer called as essentially a defense witness for the Republican Party and the president saying multiple times that he went and told the  lawyers what was happening, because of alarm about the situation.  That was the defense witness  today.

Joining me now, Michelle Goldberg, op-ed columnist for The New York Times, also an MSNBC contributor, Ian Bassin, a former associate White House counsel to President Barack Obama.  He`s also the co-founder and executive director of the non-profit organization Protect Democracy; and Walter Dellinger, a former acting solicitor general and a professor of law at Duke  University.

Michelle, what struck you today watching this?

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, THE NEW YORK TIMES:  Well, it struck me, I think they were very -- I think Volker got off very easy, right.  I mean, Volker basically I think clearly if not outright committed perjury in his deposition, clearly dissembled and they sort of let him get away with suddenly remembering a bunch of things that he had previously forgotten, and also they let him get away with essentially this kind of thing that I don`t think anybody can plausibly believe, that this sophisticated foreign policy professional had no idea -- the sophisticated foreign policy professional who`s actually crafting language for the Ukrainian president to release about these investigations, but he has no idea what these investigations are really about?  He has no idea why Donald Trump is incredibly interested in an investigation into this one particular Ukrainian energy company?

I mean, I don`t think anybody can possibly believe that, although maybe Devin Nunes would pretend to.  And I think that they could have really torn him apart, and instead of they kind of pretended to believe him and went easy on him, because despite as you said being basically a witness of defense he did end up confirming substantial parts of the Democrats` case.

HAYES:  You know, Walter, as someone who has worked in government and both sort of studied constitutional structures of government, I`m curious what you made of today in which you had this bizarre situation.  This has been the case even before today, but really in relief today, you have folks that one works in the vice president`s office, a detailee (ph) from the State Department, another who is on the National Security Council, works for the president, then you have a special envoy who was appointed by the president and someone else an NSC official all testifying and the White House sort of saying these people are all untrustworthy and you shouldn`t listen to them.  And in the case of Vindman, being attacked by a White House account hours after he testified.

WALTER DELLINGER, DUKE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW:  What do I make of that?  Oh, it`s an extraordinary situation, Chris.  My main take away today was a bit of concern that the Democrats by focusing -- being drawn into the a discussion of bribery, which I think there was a case to be made it certainly was, and extortion and solicitation of a bribe, don`t lose sight of the Mueller report, don`t lose sight of the fact that the most profound part of this is an attempt on the part of the president to corruptly determine the next presidential election. 

And we start out in 2016, it was not a Russian hoax.  It was a massive -- every agency agreed it was massive and systematic Russian interference in the campaign.  The president, then, excuses Russia and therefore invites their further participation.  And what 2016 is about, this reference to investigating 2016, it is try to hold the Russians harmless by blaming the Ukrainians for what happened.  And that is telling Vladimir Putin we`ve really got your back.  We`re not only going to sanction you, we`re even going to point the finger at somebody else.  That`s why that ask was so important.

So you have I think impeachable offenses that are so much worse than any violation of the  federal criminal code, an attempt to misuse the power of the presidency in order to corrupt a forthcoming Democratic election.

HAYES:  Ian, you were -- you served in the White House counsel` office under President Barack Obama.  The lawyers that John Bolton was instructing his deputies to go to were folks that were in that office, they were sort of, the lawyers kind of tasked to the NSC, but they`re White House counsel officials.

As a former White House lawyer, what are you thinking as you`re hearing the real-time recollection of the folks around this call and others who are raising these legal alarms?

IAN BASSIN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL:  You know, Chris, people used to come to me all the time in the White House counsel`s office to make me aware of things or raise concerns to me.  I can`t recall a single time that someone came to me about something, because they had zero  concerns that there was anything wrong with it at all.  There`d be no point in coming.

So when I listened to, especially Rep Demings at the end questioning Tim Morrison, I mean, his testimony just didn`t make sense.

But there`s one other thing that really struck me about today, and it`s not even about the facts  about bribery which are incredibly compelling, it was I think one of the most moving parts of the day, which was when Lieutenant Colonel Vindman in his opening statement addressed his father.  And he said, dad, 40 years ago you made the right decision in moving us from the Soviet Union to the United States.  And don`t you worry about me, because I can tell the truth today and I`ll be OK.

And tonight The Washington Post is reporting that the army is prepared to move Lieutenant Colonel Vindman and his family to an army base if necessary to protect him, because the president and his supporters are attacking him.  And I want to speak to every Republican member of congress, because I know a lot of those Republicans are wondering what to do.  Is that really the country you  want to live in?  Is that really fidelity to your oath to allow that to happen?  And at what point do you come out and say that`s not OK.  Lieutenant Vindman -- Lieutenant Colonel Vindman is patriot and we should defend him?

HAYES:  I want to play the clip that you just mentioned.  This is Lieutenant Colonel Vindman who came to this country as an infant, essentially, a toddler brought by his parents making that statement.  Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VINDMAN:  Dad, I`m sitting here today in the U.S. Capitol talking to our elected professionals, talking to our elected professionals, is proof you made the right decision 40 years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to the United States of America in search of a better life for our family.

Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  You know, Michelle, I see you`re tearing up right now.  But what I find moving about that is that it`s refocusing on -- and to Walter`s point, how existential the stakes are here.  We either have a country in which if the president wants you to do something corrupt you do it, and that`s the way it works.  And the nation itself and its functionings of the state revolve around a kind of cult of personality of the winds of the strongman on top.  There are many countries that function like currently in the world.  Or we have a country where the rule of law is meaningful, where independent civil servants make moral and legal judgments about appropriate or not, in which coequal branches of government can offer checks, and that`s really what the essential question before everyone right now is about.

GOLDMAN:  So, I think I was on your show the day after the election.  And I was profoundly alarmed and depressed.  And I think even then I didn`t think that within three years the United States would fall so far towards being a sort of authoritarian state like Turkey, like Russia, where the leader does what he wants, you know, the party closes ranks around him, and his word is law and everybody else basically submits and risks their safety if they defy him.

And so I think what we`ve seen again and again, you know, not just with Colonel Vindman, with Masha Yovanovitch, we`ve seen these people, these kind of emissaries from the America that we remember from just three years ago, you know, these people who are completely suffused with these extremely earnest patriotic values, you know, the sort of values that the Republican Party used to valorize. 

And they`re basically coming before us all as a test.  Do you want to be that kind of country, or do you want to be a country where the president says do me a favor though and everything falls in line?

HAYES:  You know, Walter, your point about the gravity of the president inviting foreign interference, soliciting foreign interference, in an American election, to corrupt fundamentally the next election, part of what I think you see in the testimony you saw today in the surprise and shock of people around the call, you see it today even if you sort of charitably credit Mr. Volker -- Ambassador Volker and Morrison -- in some ways people failing to grasp what`s happening in front of them because it is so outside the bounds of acceptable that they actually can`t understand what they are seeing happen because they are so not expecting a U.S. president to do what he is very plainly doing.

DELLINGER:  Chris, I think we`re witnessing -- I hate to use this phrase of a constitutional  crisis, it`s overused, but I think we`re seeing a slow motion constitutional crisis.  When you could have a mob behind the president, when he`s calling out the whistle-blower and you see the anger in the faces behind him, intimidating witnesses, a refusal to comply with requests by the congress for, you know, important documents and materials, by asserting that they have made a unilateral decision in the executive branch that the congressional inquiry is illegitimate.  That`s the end of congressional oversight as we know it if that is allowed to stand.

HAYES:  You know, Republican members of the intelligence committee focused a lot of their questioning  today on some particular obsessions of the White House, like the identity of the whistle-blower, who they clearly want to out despite whistle-blower protections, to Walter`s point there.  They also try to insinuate that Lieutenant Colonel Vindman`s loyalty is somehow split.  And it was a line of questioning that Democratic Congressman Jim Himes then called out, clarifying for the record, in incredibly strong terms exactly what was going on.  Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JIM HIMES, (D) CONNECTICUT:  Colonel Vindman, multiple right wing conspiracy theorists, including Rudy Giuliani, have accused you of harboring loyalty towards Ukraine.  They make these accusations based only on the fact that your family, like many American families, immigrated to the United States.  They`ve accused you of espionage and dual loyalties.

We`ve seen that in this room this morning.  The three minutes that were spent asking you about the offer made to make you the minister of defense, that may have come cloaked in a Brooks Brothers suit and in parliamentary language, but that was designed exclusively to give the right wing media an opening to question your loyalties.  And I want people to understand what that was all about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  You know, Ian, you just spoke about this a moment ago.  I did find that line of  questioning was pursued by Mr. Caster, who is the counsel for the minority in this hearing, pretty  unsettling.  But it speaks to the fact that they have chosen the route of essentially attempting to discredit these witnesses even though in a weird way the actual facts of the matter aren`t really in dispute.  I mean, what`s in dispute is the gravity of them or the interpretation of the seriousness of the president.  But it`s really not in dispute, as far as I can tell, the main pillars of fact here.

BASSIN:  No, and we`re in the fact sort of phase of this impeachment inquiry, and the real question, really the only question left on the table here for the American people viewing this at home is when the president asked Ukraine to announce an investigation into his political rivals, was he doing that to advance the interests of the United States, or was he doing that to advance his own personal interests?  And, you know, you and have have discussed in the show imagine he had asked Vladamir Zelensky -- excuse me, President Zelensky, for a million dollars?  Would he deposit that in the U.S. Treasury or in his personal bank account, because if he would deposit in the Treasury then all the Republican defenders would say he`s just initiating American foreign policy of a point.

The problem is, all the evidence suggests it was heading for his personal bank account.  You had Rudy Giuliani, his lawyer, tweet out this was all in the personal defense of my client.  You know, George Kent testified, look, this was all about digging up political dirt.  You had Volker today say, you know what, I now see this about an investigation into the Bidens.

And here is probably one of the most damning things is, the U.S. gave military aid to Ukraine in 2017 and 2018 under the Trump administration and Trump never asked about corruption then.  He only did it in 2019 after Biden had declared his candidacy.

HAYES:  In fact, one of the most amazing bits of testimony today is Lieutenant Colonel Vindman saying he prepared the talking points for the first call with Zelensky.  Now, we are supposed to believe, according to the Nunes -- and the president is obsessed with corruption in Ukraine as a general principled matter -- he was giving talking points to raise that in the first call and somehow just never did.  That obsession sort of skipped his mind when it wasn`t specifically about a political benefit to him.

Michelle Goldberg, Ian Bassin, Walter Dellinger, thank you all very much.

That is ALL IN for this evening on a marathon day of testimony.  And "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now.

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