Home / World / READ: Tim Morrison's Opening Address to Investigators

READ: Tim Morrison's Opening Address to Investigators



CNN has received the text from Morrison's opening statement, which you can read below.

Before the Standing Selection Committee for Intelligence, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on Supervision and Reform

31. October 2019

Chairman Schiff and the members of the committees, I am standing today under a subpoena to answer your questions in my time as Senior Director for European Affairs in the White House and National Security Council ("NSC"). I will give you the most complete information that I can get in line with my obligations to the President and the protection of classified information. I do not know who the whistleblower is, nor do I intend to speculate who he might be.

Before joining the NSC in 201

8, I was a Republican employee for 17 years, holding various functions in both houses of Congress. My last position was Policy Director for the then majority of the House Armed Services Committee.

I. The Role of the National Security Council

From July 9, 2018 to July 15, 2019, I served as Special Assistant to the President of National Security and Chief Director of the NPC on weapons of mass destruction and biological defense. In that role, I was limited in Ukraine, with a focus on foreign military equipment sales and arms control. On July 15, 2019, I became Deputy Assistant to the President of National Security. In this role, I act as lead coordinator for national security issues involving Europe and Russia.

It is important to begin with the role of the NSC. Since its founding by Congress in 1947, the NPC has adequately evolved in shape and size to meet the needs of the President and National Security Advisor he serves at the time. However, the mission and the core function have remained essentially the same: to coordinate departments and agencies of the executive to ensure that the president has the policy options needed to achieve his goals and to ensure that his decisions are implemented. The NSC staff does not do politics. NSC staff are most effective when we are neutral arbitrators, helping the executive agencies to develop options for the president and implement his instructions.

In my current position, I understood that it was our primary political goal in Ukraine to take advantage of the unique opportunity that resulted from the election of President Zelensky and the clear majority he gained in the Ukrainian Rada had revealed, for a real reform of the fight against corruption. The government's policy was that the United States best expressed its support for President Zelensky's reform efforts by ensuring that the United States' long-standing bipartisan commitment to strengthening Ukrainian security was maintained. It is easy to forget here in Washington, but impossible In Kiev, Ukraine is still being attacked by Russia, a nuclear-armed state. We also tend to forget that in 1994 the United States helped persuade Ukraine to give up Soviet nuclear weapons. Support for the United States security sector (from the Ministries of Defense and State) is therefore essential to Ukraine. It is also important to have a strong and positive relationship with Ukraine at the highest level of our respective governments.

In my role as Executive Director for European Affairs, I have directly addressed the former Deputy National Security Advisor, Dr. Charles Kupperman, and the former national security adviser reports to Security Advisor, Ambassador John Bolton. I informed them comprehensively about things that I believed deserve their awareness, or when I felt I needed a direction. During the period relevant to this investigation, I never informed the President or Vice-President about issues related to Ukrainian security. It was my job to coordinate with the Head of Mission of the US Embassy in Ukraine, William Taylor, Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, Kurt Volker, and other stakeholders in the Ministries of Defense and the state of Ukrainian affairs.

My primary responsibility was to ensure that federal agencies have coherent messaging and policies on national security issues related to European and Russian affairs. As Dr. Fiona Hill and I prepared for their succession, among other things, we discussed Ukraine. In this discussion, she informed me of her concerns about two Ukraine trials that took place: the normal Interagency process under the leadership of the NSC with the typical involvement of the Department and the Agency, and a separate process, mainly involving the US Ambassador the European Union. Dr. Hill told me that Ambassador Sondland and President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani were trying to convince President Zelensky to resume the Ukrainian investigation into Burisma. At the time I did not know what Burisma was or what the investigation involved. After the meeting with dr. Hill, I googled Burisma and learned that it was a Ukrainian energy company and that Hunter Biden was on the board. Nor did I understand why Ambassador Sondland would be involved in Ukraine's policy, often without the participation of our duly appointed Head of Mission, Ambassador Bill Taylor.

My most frequent conversations were with Ambassador Taylor because he was the US chief of The Mission in Ukraine and I was his main contact for information related to White House deliberations, including support to the security sector and potential meetings of heads of state , This is a normal part of the coordination process.

II. Reviewing Open Source Documents in Preparation for Statement

In preparation for today's appearance, I reviewed the statement that Ambassador Taylor made on October 22, 2019 for this investigation Has. I can affirm that the content of his statement is related to conversations that he and I have made is true. My memories, however, differ in two details. I have a somewhat different recollection of my conversation with Ambassador Sondland on 1 September 2019. On page 10 of Ambassador Taylor's statement, he reported on a conversation that I conveyed to him on Ambassador Sondland's conversation with Ukrainian Presidential Adviser Yermak. Ambassador Taylor wrote, "Ambassador Sondland told Mr Yermak that the money for the security assistance would not come before President Zelensky committed himself to continue the Burisma inquiry." I recall that Ambassador Sondland's proposal to Mr Yermak was that it could be enough if the new Ukrainian Attorney General – not President Zelensky – would commit himself to continuing the Burisma inquiry. I also want to make it clear that I did not meet with the Ukrainian National Security Advisor in his hotel room, as Ambassador Taylor stated on page 11 of his statement. Instead, an NSC employee and I met with Mr. Danyliuk at the hotel's business center.

I've also reviewed the Memorandum of Conversation ("MemCont") of the July 25 phone call the White House had posted The call as it came out of the situation room To the best of my knowledge, MemCon accurately reflects the content of the call and completely resisted. I also recall that during the call, I did not see anyone from the NSC Legal Advisor's office in the room. After the call, I asked the NSC Legal Adviser and his deputy to verify this: I had three concerns over a possible leak in the MemCon First, how it would affect Washington 's polarized environment and, secondly, how a leak would affect the bipartisan support our Ukrainian partners are currently experiencing in Congress, and, thirdly, how this affects the perception of Ukrainian relations between the two US and Ukraine. III. The White House continues to support the security sector

I was unaware that the White House is holding back Congressional support for the security sector until my supervisor, Dr. Ing. Charles Kupperman, told me shortly after I succeeded Dr. Hill had started. I was aware that the President thought Ukraine had a corruption problem, as did many others familiar with Ukraine. I was also aware that the President felt that Europe was not providing enough help to Ukraine. I was Kupperman instructed me to coordinate with the stakeholders of the interacting organizations to put together a political process to demonstrate that the interacting organization supports the support of the security sector for Ukraine. I was confident that our national security officers – the foreign and defense ministers, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the head of the National Security Council – could convince President Trump of the release of the help because President Zelensky and the reformist Rada were really in their anti -Corruption Agenda invests.

Ambassador Taylor and I feared that the longer the money was withheld, the more questions the Zelensky government would ask after US involvement in Ukraine. Our initial hope was that the money would be released before the hold became public, as we did not want the newly constituted Ukrainian government to question US support.

I have no reason to believe that the Ukrainians had knowledge of the review by 28 August 2019. Ambassador Taylor and I had no reason to believe that the release of support for the security sector from a public statement on Resumption of the Burisma inquiry could be contingent until my conversation with Ambassador Sondland on September 1, 2019. Even then, I hoped that Ambassador Sondland's strategy was entirely his own and would not be considered by the leaders of the Administration and Congress who recognized Ukraine's strategic importance to our national security.

I am pleased that our process has given the President confidence He had to approve the release of support for the security sector. I am sorry that Ukraine has ever heard of the review and that this impeachment investigation has involved Ukraine in the US political process.

IV. Conclusion

After 19 years of government service, I have decided to leave the NSC. I have not formally resigned at the present time because I do not want anyone to suspect the link between my present testimony and my impending departure. I intend to complete my transition from the NPC after completing my statement.

During my time in the civil service, I have worked with some of the brightest and most devoted people in this country. To serve in the White House during this time of unprecedented global change was a unique opportunity. I'm proud of what I owe in a way to the Trump administration.

Thank you for your attention.


Source link