The list of witnesses complying with congressional subpoenas and thereby defying the White House directive not to cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry seems to grow longer by the day. Senior officials from the State Department, the Pentagon and the National Security Council have all given depositions, telling remarkably similar stories about how the Trump administration’s Ukraine policy shifted from what was best for the United States to what was best for Donald Trump and his bid for reelection.
For most of these witnesses, the saga begins with the effort to push out or sideline U.S. government officials actually charged with carrying out U.S. policy objectives in Ukraine, which focus primarily on promoting democracy and the rule of law, fighting corruption, and protecting Ukraine from Russia. The order this spring to remove Marie Yovanovitch as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine was a key step, and it appears to have been ordered by Trump himself. Yovanovitch and others were marginalized to make room for Rudy Giuliani, the president’s private lawyer, who was pushing to get Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to commit to investigating conspiracy theories surrounding the 2016 U.S. election and Joe Biden. This pressure campaign included the promise of a White House meeting if Zelenskyy acquiesced. But, as the summer wore on, it became increasingly clear to those working on Ukraine issues in the U.S. government that Trump was also tying much-needed security assistance with a pledge from Zelenskyy that he’d launch these investigations.
That is the story that has emerged from depositions behind closed doors on Capitol Hill over the last few weeks. It is about to burst into full view when the House Intelligence Committee convenes its first public hearings in the impeachment inquiry next week.
Below is a list of the witnesses who have either testified or have been requested to testify by the congressional committees leading the investigation. Each profile contains relevant background but focuses mostly on what we know so far about their testimony, through transcripts, their opening statements and media reports. The list includes the whistleblower, without whom we might not have learned about any of this.
Note: This document will be updated with primary source material as it is released. Also check out Just Security’s Public Document Clearinghouse: Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry.
The whistleblower is an Intelligence Community official who followed government protocol and filed a formal complaint with the Intelligence Community Inspector General on Aug. 12, reporting an “urgent concern” he had about wrongdoing inside the Trump administration. The whistleblower said he was motivated to act because he had received information from “multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”
At the heart of the whistleblower’s complaint, which the White House first tried to keep from Congress and the public, was a July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s new president. The whistleblower acknowledged that he was not on the call, but that multiple officials with direct knowledge came to him because they were disturbed to hear Trump use the call to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden and his son, as well as look into conspiracy theories, some of which have long been debunked, about Russian interference in the 2016 election. This exchange “deeply disturbed” the White House officials who discussed it with the whistleblower. Also alarming were the steps taken to “lock down” any records of the call, including placing the transcript of it on a separate computer system reserved for the most sensitive information.
The whistleblower also described a series of events and meetings that happened before and after the call that were cause for concern. These events revealed that Giuliani appeared to be running a shadow Ukraine policy aimed at getting Marie Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, removed for her post, so that he could continue to push his and Trump’s agenda, which was to secure Ukraine’s cooperation in investigating the Bidens and the 2016 election.
While the whistleblower had been told that a meeting between Trump and Zelenskyy was being conditioned on whether Ukraine would “play ball” on the investigations, he did not know whether there was a quid pro quo between the security assistance and the Biden investigation. In his complaint, he states that he’s not sure whether the decision to suspend all security assistance for Ukraine was connected to the overall pressure campaign, but includes it in case it is. Trump himself ordered the aid to be suspended with no policy rationale given, the whistleblower said.
More than a month later, on Sept. 25, the White House released a summary of the July 25 phone call that essentially was a rough transcript. It closely matched the whistleblower’s description.
Kurt Volker was the State Department’s special representative for Ukraine negotiations, until he abruptly resigned in late September. Named by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, he worked on a voluntary basis to help Ukraine reach a peace agreement to end the war with Russia in eastern Ukraine. A Republican with a long career in American diplomacy, Volker is held in high regard by many foreign policy professionals. But he has emerged from this story as a too-willing participant in Giuliani’s effort to pressure Ukraine into investigating Trump’s political rivals.
His motivation for taking part in this scheme isn’t clear, but from his testimony and from the accounts of others, he appears to have been concerned about U.S. support for Ukraine and thought that if he could help corral Trump’s whims and misinformed views, he could somehow keep the train on the track: maintaining strong U.S.-Ukraine relations and keeping the security assistance flowing.
“In carrying out this role, I at some stage found myself faced with a choice: to be aware of a problem and to ignore it, or rather to accept that it was my responsibility to try to fix it,” Volker said in his opening statement.
In May, Volker tried to convince Giuliani not to listen to the conspiratorial accusations being made by Yuriy Lutsenko, the former prosecutor-general of Ukraine, about the 2016 U.S. election. Volker also tried to persuade the White House to host a meeting with the new Ukrainian president. And, when the security assistance to Ukraine was suspended at Trump’s direction, Volker pushed to have it restored.
But, at some point, Volker seems to have crossed a line, and rather than guiding U.S.-Ukraine policy in the right direction, he helped facilitate a corrupt foreign policy aimed at helping Trump personally and politically while undermining U.S. national security priorities. Text messages he voluntarily shared with Congress show that he was intricately involved in the plan to persuade the Ukrainian president to commit publicly to carrying out investigations helpful to Trump.
Volker told House investigators that “at no time was I aware of or took part in an effort to urge Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden,” but his own text messages discuss crafting a statement that would mention investigations of Burisima, the Ukrainian gas company where Hunter Biden was once on the board. Volker also testified that he was not aware of any connection between the security assistance and the types of investigations that Giuliani was pushing for in Ukraine.
The revelations surrounding the Ukraine story forced Volker to leave government and resign as executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership based in Washington, D.C. He remains senior international adviser at the BGR Group lobbying and public relations firm in Washington, according to the company’s website.
Marie Yovanovitch was the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine until she was abruptly recalled from her post in May after a yearlong campaign by Giuliani and others to get her removed. A career diplomat, Yovanovitch testified for more than nine hours on Oct. 11, becoming emotional at times as she described feeling hung out to dry by State Department leadership after giving 33 years of her life as a Foreign Service officer under six different administrations. After she was told at 1 a.m. one night in April to return to the United States “on the next plane,” she tried to find out why her assignment had ended so suddenly. She said she was told, the “president had lost confidence in me and no longer wished me to serve as his ambassador.” She testified that Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan told her “that I had done nothing wrong and that this was not like other situations where he had recalled ambassadors for cause.”
She was aware that Giuliani and others in Ukraine, including Ukraine’s former Chief Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko, were spreading false statements and rumors about her in an effort to get her removed. Giuliani’s associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman also were working to get her removed as ambassador because they viewed her as an impediment to personal financial dealings they had in the country. Even Donald Trump Jr. tweeted in March that she should be removed. Her understanding was that these people opposed her efforts to help Ukrainians fight corruption and that she was standing in the way of Trump’s politically motivated investigations.
Gordon Sondland is the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, appointed to the position by President Trump. A businessman and longtime GOP donor, he initially supported Jeb Bush in the 2016 Republican primaries, but got behind Trump when he secured the party’s nomination and donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee.
Sondland was part of what Bill Taylor, who replaced Yovanovitch on a temporary basis as the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, described as an “informal, irregular channel of U.S. policy-making,” which also included Volker, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Giuliani. He famously texted Taylor to “call me,” after Taylor put his concerns about a quid pro quo between the Ukraine security assistance and the Biden investigation in writing. After receiving Taylor’s text, Sondland consulted with the president who insisted there was no quid pro quo, a message Sondland then texted Taylor.
Like Volker, Sondland framed his involvement in Giuliani’s efforts as a way to both appease Trump and try to keep U.S.-Ukraine policy from going wildly off track.
“We could abandon the goal of a White House meeting for President Zelensky, which we all believed was crucial to strengthening U.S.-Ukrainian ties and furthering long-held U.S. foreign policy goals in the region; or we could do as President Trump directed and talk to Mr. Giuliani to address the President’s concerns,” he said in his opening statement. “I did not understand until much later, that Mr. Giuliani’s agenda might have also included an effort to prompt the Ukrainians to investigate Vice President Biden or his son or to involve Ukrainians, directly or indirectly, in the President’s 2020 reelection campaign.”
More than two weeks after he testified, Sondland revised his testimony, admitting that he did, in fact, tell Ukrainian officials that U.S. military aid would only be resumed if Ukraine made a public pledge that they would carry out the investigations Trump wanted.
Bill Taylor was brought in by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to serve as the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine after Yovanovitch was ousted. His career serving the U.S. goes back 50 years, including six years as an infantry officer during which he deployed to Vietnam, and several years as a diplomat and ambassador, representing the U.S. in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Ukraine.
He testified that soon after he arrived in Kyiv in June, he discovered there were two U.S. policy channels in place: one regular, which he oversaw, and a separate, irregular, informal channel that was undermining the U.S. relationship with Ukraine. In Taylor’s view, this separate channel included Sondland, Volker, Perry and Giuliani. He also testified that it became clear to him over the summer that vital security assistance Ukraine needed to defend against armed attack from Russia was being withheld for domestic political reasons tied to Trump’s reelection.
Taylor said he watched as the government officials who were supposed to be involved in Ukraine policy were getting left out of important calls and meetings. This paved the way for the discussion of “investigations” to take place without career staffers being able to listen or take notes, much less have input. Taylor learned on a July 18 conference call that there was a hold on security assistance to Ukraine, but he says he did not learn why. This news shocked him. Taylor testified that across government, everyone agreed the aid should be restored and that providing it to Ukraine was in the national security interests of the United States.
In September, Taylor learned that Sondland had communicated what amounted to a quid pro quo to the Ukrainians: security assistance for investigations into the Bidens and the 2016 election. When he learned this, he texted Sondland, “we now saying that security assistance and [a] WH meeting are conditioned on investigations?” To which Sondland replied: call me.
Michael McKinley was a top adviser to Secretary of State Pompeo until he resigned on Sept. 30, citing the State Department’s failure to support “Foreign Service employees caught up in the Impeachment Inquiry on Ukraine.” He had been hired by Pompeo to help rebuild the Foreign Service and restore morale after it had been hollowed out under the leadership of Rex Tillerson. In his job, he served as the liaison between the Foreign Service and the “seventh floor” of the State Department, where top officials, including the secretary, have their offices. But, in the end, McKinley, a career Foreign Service officer, resigned due to what he viewed as “the utilization of our ambassadors overseas to advance domestic political objectives.”
“The disparagement of a career diplomat doing her job was unacceptable to me,” McKinley said about Trump’s comments about Yovanovitch to Zelenskyy. After reading the White House record of the July 25 call, McKinley had reached out to Yovanovitch to see how she was doing. He then urged State Department leaders to put out a statement of support for her, but his recommendation was declined. With State Department leadership not willing to publicly support Yovanovitch, McKinley felt he had to resign. He did so five days after the White House released its record of the Trump-Zelenskyy call on Sept. 25. He was also “appalled” that the government wasn’t helping State Department officials pay for private counsel, which was needed to handle the impeachment inquiry.
Philip Reeker is the acting assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and was Yovanovitch’s boss. Before taking on that role full time, Reeker served as a special adviser to the then-head of European Command, Gen. Mike Scaparrotti. Yovanovitch testified that she spoke with Reeker about what was unfolding with Giuliani’s involvement in Ukraine policy starting in late March and that he offered her his “total support.” She had hoped that Secretary of State Pompeo would issue a public statement backing her, reiterating that, as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, she represented the U.S. government. This was especially true after the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted that she should be removed. Yovanovitch testified that Reeker was relaying her wishes to Pompeo but that apparently the secretary was wary of putting out any kind of statement of support for her because President Trump might undermine it with a tweet.
After Yovanovitch was first recalled to Washington in April before her final departure in May, Reeker was the first State Department official with whom she met. He told her that Trump had had concerns about her since the summer of 2018. Later, in September, Reeker was supportive of McKinley’s proposal that a public statement be made backing Yovanovitch.
George Kent is the deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. He had been deputy chief of mission in Ukraine under Ambassador Yovanovitch and communicated with her regularly. According to a New York Times report, Kent testified that, following a May 23 meeting organized by acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, he was cut out of all decisions regarding Ukraine. Instead, Volker, Sondland, and Perry took over.
McKinley testified that he resigned partly due to how Kent was treated. On Oct. 3, Kent chaired a bureau meeting on how to collect the data requested by Congress for the impeachment inquiry. He was unhappy with the tenor of the meeting, which included the participation of a State Department lawyer. Kent later wrote a memorandum to the file summarizing his experiences that day and sent it to McKinley, who shared it electronically with State Department Legal Adviser Marik String, as well as the undersecretary for political affairs and the deputy secretary of State. According to McKinley’s testimony, Kent “mentioned that he thought that the lawyer was trying to shut him up.”
Catherine Croft is a career Foreign Service officer who oversaw Ukraine issues for the National Security Council starting in July 2017 until July 2018. She testified that during her time on the NSC, she received multiple calls from a lobbyist and former Republican congressman named Robert Livingston, who told her that Ambassador Yovanovitch should be fired. He characterized Ambassador Yovanovitch as an “‘Obama holdover’ and associated with George Soros.” She told her boss at the time, Fiona Hill, and Kent, who was in Ukraine. “It was not clear to me at the time — or now — at whose direction or at whose expense Mr. Livingston was seeking the removal of Ambassador Yovanovitch,” she told the closed impeachment inquiry, according to the New York Times.
In May 2019, she was asked to become Volker’s adviser in Ukraine. She said she was aware Volker was in touch with Giuliani but that those conversations were separate from her work and she never had any contact with Giuliani. She participated on a July 18 phone call during which an OMB official said the order to suspend the security assistance to Ukraine came directly from President Trump.
Christopher Anderson is a Foreign Service officer and worked as Volker’s adviser before Croft. He served in the Kyiv embassy from 2014 to 2017, working closely with Ambassador Yovanovitch while she was there. In August 2017, Volker asked him to serve as special adviser for Ukraine negotiations, a position he held until July 12, 2019.
At a June 13 meeting that Anderson attended, Bolton cautioned that Giuliani was a key voice with Trump on Ukraine, “which could be an obstacle to increased White House engagement.”
David Hale is the undersecretary of state for political affairs and the third-ranking official at the State Department. His testimony was expected to shed more light on why senior State Department officials didn’t step up to defend Yovanovitch when she was under attack.
Holmes is the counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine and works directly with Taylor. It’s believed Holmes is the unnamed staffer who told Taylor that he overheard Trump on a July 26 phone call asking Sondland about the “investigations.” Taylor revealed this exchange during his public testimony on Nov. 13. Taylor said that after the call, the staffer asked Sondland what Trump thought about Ukraine, and Sondland responded that the president “cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for” than he does about Ukraine. Holmes testified in closed session on Friday, Nov. 15.
State Department Officials Who Have Yet to Testify:
Ulrich Brechbuhl is the counselor of the State Department, appointed to the position by Secretary of State Pompeo with whom Brechbuhl graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1986. The role of the counselor at the State Department is similar to that of a senior adviser to the secretary.
Brechbuhl was the one handling the Yovanovitch situation, but refused to meet with the ambassador when she was recalled to Washington, according to her testimony. Multiple officials have placed him in relevant meetings and phone calls during which Ukraine policy, including Trump’s wish for “investigations,” was discussed. Kent testified that he understood Brechbuhl was on the line for Trump’s July 25 call with Zelenskyy.
Suriya Jayanti is a Foreign Service officer at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv who focuses on the country’s energy sector. She received information from Dale W. Perry (no relation to Energy Secretary Rick Perry) that he was concerned about a suspicious effort involving Giuliani associates Fruman and Parnas to replace the CEO of Ukrainian gas company Naftogaz, according to the Associated Press. She also overheard a July 26 phone call between Sondland and Trump, during which they discussed “investigations,” the Associated Press reported. A different U.S. embassy staffer in Kyiv, David Holmes, also overheard this call and shared what he knew about it with Taylor.
National Security Council (NSC)
Fiona Hill is the former senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council. She joined the NSC in 2017 and stepped down in July. Her testimony reportedly provided details about an explosive exchange between John Bolton and Sondland at a July 10 meeting. The testimony of Bill Taylor corroborated much of her story. Bolton was appalled by Sondland’s discussion of pressing Ukraine to investigate Democrats, including Biden. Bolton told Hill to contact John Eisenberg, a deputy White House counsel and the chief legal adviser for the NSC, saying “I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up.” Hill testified that she confronted Sondland, who told her that he was in charge of Ukraine policy. When she asked “according to whom?” Sondland answered: the president.
Hill also testified that Kash Patel, a former staffer of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and current NSC official, had become involved in Ukraine policy even though it did not fall within his portfolio. She was alarmed to hear that the president considered him his “Ukraine director,” even though that job belonged to Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, and that Patel had been passing information about Ukraine to Trump.
Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman is an active-duty Army officer and the NSC’s top Ukraine expert. He is a combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient who joined the White House in July 2018 as a detailee from the office of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was part of the U.S. presidential delegation to Zelenskyy’s inauguration in Ukraine in May, but upon returning to Washington, was told not to attend a debriefing of that trip with the president, because Trump had the wrong impression that Patel was actually the NSC’s Ukraine expert. Vindman testified that around that time he became aware of “outside influencers promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency.”
Vindman was one of a handful of senior officials on the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelenskyy. He told House investigators that he was concerned by what he heard. He thought Trump’s request that Zelenskyy pursue an investigation into Biden would hurt Ukraine and hurt U.S. national security interests. He reported the incident to Eisenberg, the NSC’s lead counsel.
Tim Morrison replaced Fiona Hill on the National Security Council. Morrison first told Taylor about the July 25 call, saying it “could have been better,” and that Trump had told Zelenskyy to meet with Giuliani and Attorney General Bill Barr. Taylor testified that during an Aug. 22 phone call, Morrison told him that “the President doesn’t want to provide any assistance at all.” Taylor also testified that Morrison told him that at a September 1 event in Warsaw, Sondland told Andrey Yermak, an aide to the Ukrainian president, that security assistance money would not come until Zelenskyy committed to pursue the Burisma investigation. Opening Statement (November 19, 2019)
NSC Officials Who Have Yet to Testify:
Charles Kupperman is the former deputy national security adviser under Bolton. He has filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to rule on whether he should testify. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone ordered Kupperman not to comply with the congressional subpoena. Like Bolton, Kupperman is viewed as a key witness because he was likely in the room with Trump for discussions of Ukraine.
John Bolton was Trump’s national security adviser until Bolton left his position in early September (Bolton says he resigned; Trump says he fired him). Multiple witnesses have testified that Bolton became extremely irritated when Sondland linked “investigations” with Ukraine getting a White House meeting during a July 10 NSC meeting. Bolton was so upset by the suggestion that he shut down the meeting, telling Hill and Vindman that they should “brief the lawyers,” and that he wanted nothing to do with this “drug deal.” Bolton reportedly opposed the idea of a Trump-Zelenskyy phone call in July, thinking it would be a disaster.
He was scheduled to testify on Nov. 7, but did not appear. Reporting from the Washington Post indicates that Bolton is willing to testify if a federal court confirms he must comply with a congressional subpoena.
John Eisenberg is the top lawyer for the National Security Council. Both Hill and Vindman testified that they discussed their growing concerns with him. After the July 25 phone call, Vindman went to Eisenberg, who conferred with his deputy, Michael Ellis. Eisenberg and Ellis decided to move the transcript of the call to a secure computer system normally reserved for highly classified information. Vindman reportedly told investigators that he did not view this action as evidence of a coverup but was disturbed when Eisenberg told him a few days later not to tell anyone about the call. Eisenberg did not show up for his scheduled deposition.
Michael Ellis is deputy counsel for the NSC and conferred with Eisenberg on some of the decisions being made surrounding the July 25 phone call, as well as other concerns being raised by NSC staffers about what was going on with Ukraine policy. He did not show up for his scheduled deposition.
Wells Griffith is the senior director for international energy and environment atthe NSC. He has a long background in Republican politics. In 2013, he ran for a seat in Congress representing Alabama, but lost during the Republican primary. In her testimony, Hill placed him at the July 10 meeting with Ukrainian officials that Bolton cut short after Sondland suggested a White House meeting would be forthcoming if Ukraine launched the requested “investigations.” Griffith did not show up for his scheduled deposition.
The Defense Department
Laura Cooper is the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, and throughout the summer and into the fall, she pushed the Pentagon’s position in interagency meetings: that the security assistance to Ukraine needed to be released and withholding it was not in the national security interests of the United States. The Pentagon also warned the White House that if the security assistance was not released by Aug. 6, the Defense Department would not be able to spend it all by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, putting it at risk of violating the Impoundment Control Act.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
Mark Sandy is the associate director for national security programs at OMB. His closed session deposition took place on Saturday, Nov. 16.
OMB Officials Who Have Yet to Testify:
Mick Mulvaney is the director of the Office of Management and Budget and the acting White House Chief of Staff. He reportedly received Trump’s order to suspend the almost $400 million in security assistance to Ukraine and communicated it to the staff at OMB. In an October press conference, he acknowledged that the White House used the nearly $400 million in security assistance to pressure Ukraine to investigate the 2016 presidential election. Soon after this stunning admission, Mulvaney went into damage-control mode and tried to walk back his comments. Mulvaney is not expected to appear for his scheduled deposition.
Russell Vought serves as the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget. According to multiple witnesses, the president’s order to suspend the security assistance to Ukraine was communicated to other departments by OMB officials. Therefore, OMB officials could have knowledge about the reasons Mulvaney and Trump articulated about why the money was being held. They would also be able to testify about any misgivings they had about the legality of the hold or communications within OMB about the suspension of aid. He did not appear for his scheduled deposition.
Michael Duffey is the associate director for National Security Programs at the Office of Management and Budget. He did not appear for his scheduled deposition.
Brian McCormack is the associate director for natural resources, energy & science at the Office of Management and Budget. But until September, he was Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s longtime chief of staff. Before joining the Trump administration, McCormack was a lobbyist for the electric utility industry, working as vice president of political and external affairs at the Edison Electric Institute. He did not appear for his scheduled deposition.
Department of Energy
Has Yet to Testify:
Rick Perry is secretary of energy in the Trump administration. He led the U.S. presidential delegation to the inauguration of President Zelenskyy in May. Taylor placed him in the “irregular” policy channel, along with Sondland, Volker and Giuliani. He did not appear for his scheduled deposition. President Trump told a group of Republican lawmakers in October that Perry had asked him to make the July call to Zelenskyy to discuss “something about an LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant,” according to a source who spoke to the Associated Press.
Vice President Mike Pence’s Office
Jennifer Wiliams is the vice president’s special adviser for Europe and Russia. She might be able to shed light on what Pence knew and when, including how he was prepared for his September visit to Warsaw, where he spoke with Zelenskyy. Her deposition took place on Nov. 7.
Has Yet to Testify:
Robert Blair is assistant to the president and senior adviser to acting White House Chief of Staff Mulvaney. He was scheduled to testify before House investigators but did not show up. He previously worked as associate director for national security programs at OMB, but followed Mulvaney to the White House in January when Mulvaney became acting chief of staff. Blair was on the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelenskyy.