Tim Morrison, a former top National Security Council official, appeared in front of the House Intelligence Committee on the third day of public impeachment hearings.
Mr. Morrison said, “The United States aids Ukraine and her people so they can fight Russia over there and we don’t have to fight Russia here.”
The following is Mr. Morrison’s opening statement, as prepared for delivery and released by the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.
Chairman Schiff, Ranking Member Nunes and Members of the Committee, I appear before you today under subpoena to answer your questions about my time as senior director for European Affairs at the White House and the National Security Council (“N.S.C.”), as related to Ukraine and U.S. security sector assistance to that country. I will provide you the most complete and accurate information I can, consistent with my obligations to protect classified and privileged information. Whether the conduct that is the subject of this inquiry merits impeachment is a question for the U.S. House of Representatives; I appear here today only to provide factual information based upon my knowledge and recollections of events.
I will not waste time restating the details of my opening statement from my deposition on Oct. 31, 2019, which has recently been made public. However, I will highlight the following key points:
First, as previously stated, I do not know who the whistle-blower is, nor do I intend to speculate as to who the individual may be.
Second, I have great respect for my former colleagues from the N.S.C. and the rest of the interagency. I am not here today to question their character or integrity. My recollections and judgments are my own. Some of my colleagues’ recollections of conversations and interactions may differ from mine, but I do not view those differences as the result of an untoward purpose.
Third, I continue to believe Ukraine is on the front lines of a strategic competition between the West and Vladimir Putin’s revanchist Russia. Russia is a failing power, but it is still a dangerous one. The United States aids Ukraine and her people so they can fight Russia over there and we don’t have to fight Russia here. Support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty has been a bipartisan objective since Russia’s military invasion in 2014. It must continue to be. As I stated during my deposition, I feared at the time of the call on July 25 how its disclosure would play in Washington’s political climate. My fears have been realized.
I understand the gravity of these proceedings, but I beg you to not lose sight of the military conflict underway in Eastern Ukraine today, the ongoing illegal occupation of Crimea and the importance of reform of Ukraine’s politics and economy. Every day that the focus of discussion involving Ukraine is centered on these proceedings instead of those matters is a day when we are not focused on the interests of Ukraine, the United States and Western-style Liberalism share.
Finally, I concluded my active service at the National Security Council the day after I last appeared before you. I left the N.S.C. completely of my own volition. I felt no pressure to resign nor have I feared any retaliation for my testimony. I made this career choice some time before I decided to testify on Oct. 31.
I am prepared to answer your questions to the best of my ability and recollection.
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