Trump tried hard to win Ukraine Biden probes, officials say

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump tells a reporter to be quiet as he speaks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md. and then on to Georgia to meet with supporters. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) – If Ukraine’s new leader wanted an Oval Office welcome from Donald Trump – and he did – he would have to open a public probe into the president’s Democratic foe Joe Biden and his son. That is what two key White House officials told impeachment investigators.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an Army officer assigned to the National Security Council, testified that Gordon Sondland, a Trump donor serving as ambassador to the European Union, told the visiting officials that if they hoped to win that coveted face-to-face meeting, “the Ukrainians would have to deliver an investigation into the Bidens.”

According to transcripts released Friday in the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, Vindman and Fiona Hill, a former White House Russia adviser, gave House investigators detailed updates of scenes central to the probe.

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