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Showing Revision 4 created 01/18/2020 by Claude Almansi.

  1. Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member,
    thank you for the opportunity to address
  2. the House Permanent Select
    Committee on Intelligence
  3. with respect to the activities
    relating to Ukraine
  4. and my role in the events
    under investigation.
  5. I have dedicated
    my entire professional life
  6. to the United States of America.
  7. For more than two decades,
  8. it has been my honor to serve
    as an officer in the United States Army.
  9. As an infantry officer,
  10. I served multiple overseas tours,
    including South Korea and Germany,
  11. and I was deployed to Iraq
    for combat operations.
  12. Since 2008, I have been
    a Foreign Area Officer
  13. specializing in European and Eurasian
    politico-military affairs.
  14. I served in the United States embassies
    in Kiev, Ukraine and Moscow, Russia.
  15. In Washington, D.C.,
  16. I was a politico-military affairs officer
    for Russia
  17. for the Chairman
    of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  18. where I drafted the Armed Forces’
    global campaign plan
  19. to counter Russian aggression
    and Russian malign influence.
  20. In July 2018, I was asked to serve
  21. at the White House’s
    National Security Council.
  22. At the NSC I am the principal advisor
    to the National Security Advisor
  23. on Ukraine and other countries
    in my portfolio.
  24. My role at the NSC is to develop,
    coordinate, and implement
  25. plans and policies to manage
  26. the full range of diplomatic,
    informational, military,
  27. and economic national security issues
    for the countries in my portfolio.
  28. My core function is to coordinate policy
    with departments and agencies..
  29. The Committee has heard
    from many of my colleagues
  30. about the strategic importance of Ukraine
    as a bulwark against Russian aggression.
  31. It is important to note
    that our country’s policy
  32. of supporting Ukrainian sovereignty
    and territorial integrity,
  33. promoting Ukrainian prosperity,
  34. and strengthening
    a free and democratic Ukraine,
  35. as a counter to Russian aggression,
  36. has been a consistent, bi-partisan
    foreign policy objective and strategy
  37. across various administrations,
    both Democrat and Republican,
  38. and that President Zelenskyy’s election,
    in April 2019,
  39. created an unprecedented opportunity
    to realize our strategic objectives.
  40. In the Spring of 2019,
    I became aware of two disruptive actors–-
  41. primarily Ukraine’s
    then-Prosecutor Yuri Lutsenko
  42. and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani,
    President’s personal attorney—
  43. promoting false narratives
    that undermined
  44. the United States’ Ukraine policy.
  45. The NSC and its inter-agency partners,
    including the State Department,
  46. grew increasingly concerned
    about the impact
  47. that such information was having
    on our country’s ability to achieve
  48. our national security objectives.
  49. On April 21, 2019, Volodymyr Zelenskyy
    was elected President of Ukraine
  50. in a landslide victory on a unity, reform,
    and anti-corruption platform.
  51. President Trump called President Zelenskyy
    on April 21, 2019,
  52. to congratulate him for his victory.
  53. I was the staff officer
    who produced the call materials
  54. and was one of the staff officers
    who listened to the call.
  55. The call was positive
  56. and President Trump expressed his desire
    to work with President Zelenskyy
  57. and extended an invitation
    to visit the White House.
  58. In May, I attended the inauguration
    of President Zelenskyy
  59. as part of the Presidential delegation
    led by Secretary Perry.
  60. Following the visit,
  61. the members of the delegation
    provided President Trump a debriefing
  62. offering a positive assessment
    of President Zelenskyy and his team.
  63. After this debriefing,
  64. President Trump signed
    a congratulatory letter
  65. to President Zelenskyy
  66. and extended another invitation
    to visit the White House.
  67. On July 10, 2019, Oleksandr Danylyuk,
    then Ukraine’s National Security Advisor,
  68. visited Washington, D.C. for a meeting
    with National Security Advisor Bolton.
  69. Ambassadors Volker and Sondland
    and Secretary Rick Perry
  70. also attended the meeting.
  71. I attended with Dr. Hill.
  72. We fully anticipated the Ukrainians
    would raise the issue of a meeting
  73. between the presidents.
  74. Ambassador Bolton cut the meeting short
    when Ambassador Sondland started to speak
  75. about the requirement that Ukraine
    deliver specific investigations
  76. in order to secure
    the meeting with President Trump.
  77. Following this meeting,
    there was a short debriefing
  78. during which Amb. Sondland emphasized
    the importance of Ukraine delivering
  79. the investigations into the 2016 election,
    the Bidens, and Burisma.
  80. I stated to Ambassador Sondland
    that this was inappropriate
  81. and had nothing to do
    with national security.
  82. Dr. Hill also asserted
    his comments were improper.
  83. Following the meeting Dr. Hill and I
    had agreed to report the incident
  84. to the NSC’s lead counsel,
    Mr. John Eisenberg.
  85. On July 21, 2019,
    President Zelenskyy
  86. won a parliamentary election
    in another landslide victory.
  87. The NSC proposed that President Trump
    call President Zelenskyy
  88. to congratulate him.
  89. On July 25, 2019, the call occurred.
  90. I listened in on the call
    in the Situation Room
  91. with White House colleagues.
  92. I was concerned by the call,
    what I heard was inappropriate,
  93. and I reported my concerns
    to Mr. Eisenberg.
  94. It is improper for the President
    of the United States
  95. to demand a foreign government
  96. investigate a U.S. citizen
    and a political opponent.
  97. It was also clear that
    if Ukraine pursued an investigation
  98. into the 2016 election,
    the Bidens, and Burisma,
  99. it would be interpreted
    as a partisan play.
  100. This would undoubtedly result
    in Ukraine losing bipartisan support,
  101. undermining U.S. national security,
  102. and advancing Russia’s
    strategic objectives in the region.
  103. I want to emphasize to the Committee
    that when I reported my concerns
  104. -- on July 10,
    relating to Ambassador Sondland,
  105. and on July 25,
    relating to the President --
  106. I did so out of a sense of duty.
  107. I privately reported my concerns,
    in official channels,
  108. to the proper authorities
    in the chain of command.
  109. My intent was to raise these concerns
  110. because they had significant
    national security implications
  111. for our country.
  112. I never thought I would be sitting here
  113. testifying in front of this committee
    and the American public, about my actions.
  114. When I reported my concerns,
  115. my only thought was to act properly
    and to carry out my duty.
  116. Following each of my reports
    to Mr. Eisenberg,
  117. I immediately returned to work
    to advance
  118. the President’s and our country’s
    foreign policy objectives.
  119. I focused on what I have done
    throughout my military career,
  120. promoting America’s
    national security interests.
  121. I want to take a moment
    to recognize the courage of my colleagues
  122. who have appeared
    and are scheduled to appear
  123. before this Committee.
  124. I want to state that
    the character attacks
  125. on these distinguished
    and honorable public servants
  126. is reprehensible.
  127. It is natural to disagree
    and engage in spirited debate,
  128. this has been the custom of our country
    since the time of our Founding Fathers,
  129. but we are better
    than personal attacks.
  130. The uniform I wear today
    is that of the United States Army.
  131. The members of our all-volunteer force
    are made up of a patchwork
  132. of people from all ethnicities, regions,
    and socio-economic backgrounds
  133. who come together under a common oath
    to protect and defend
  134. the Constitution
    of the United States of America.
  135. We do not serve
    any political party,
  136. we serve the nation.
  137. I am humbled to come before you today
    as one of many who serve
  138. in the most distinguished
    and able military in the world.
  139. The Army is the only profession
    I have ever known.
  140. As a young man I decided
    that I wanted to spend my life
  141. serving this nation
    that gave my family refuge
  142. from authoritarian oppression,
  143. For the last twenty years
    it has been an honor
  144. to represent and protect
    this great country.
  145. Next month will mark 40 years since
    my family arrived
  146. in the United States as refugees.
  147. When my father was 47 years old
  148. he left behind his entire life
    and the only home he had ever known
  149. to start over in the United States
  150. so his three sons could have
    better, safer lives.
  151. His courageous decision inspired
    a deep sense of gratitude
  152. in my brothers and myself
  153. and instilled in us
    a sense of duty and service.
  154. All three of us have served
    or are currently serving in the military.
  155. My little brother stood behind me
    here today.
  156. Our collective military service
    is a special part
  157. of our family’s story
    in America.
  158. I also recognize that my simple act
    of appearing here today,
  159. just like the courage of my colleagues
  160. who have also truthfully testified
    before this Committee,
  161. would not be tolerated
    in many places around the world.
  162. In Russia, my act of expressing
    concerns to the chain of command
  163. in an official and private channel
  164. would have severe personal
    and professional repercussions
  165. and offering public testimony
    involving the President
  166. would surely cost me my life.
  167. I am grateful for my father’s
    brave act of hope 40 years ago
  168. and for the privilege of being
    an American citizen and public servant,
  169. where I can live free of fear
    for mine and my family’s safety.
  170. Dad, I'm sitting here today,
    in the US Capitol
  171. talking to our elected officials
    is proof
  172. that you made the right decision
    forty years ago
  173. to leave the Soviet Union
  174. and come here
    to United State of America
  175. in search of a better life
    for our family.
  176. Do not worry,
    I will be fine for telling the truth.
  177. Thank you again for your consideration,
  178. I'll be happy
    to answer your questions.