US State department official reveals Rudy Giuliani's 'campaign of lies'

Washington [US], Nov 8 (ANI): The US House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released the closed-door testimony of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent during which he lambasted US President Donald Trump lawyer's Rudy Giuliani.

The official told lawmakers that Rudy Giuliani's attacks on the then-US ambassador to Ukraine were part of a "campaign of lies.", CNN reported.

Kent testified in a closed-door hearing before the Intelligence Committee on October 15 and is due to testify again at a public hearing on November 13.

Kent, who oversees US policy on Ukraine, told lawmakers in his deposition last month that he did not the speak to anyone at State to express his concerns about Giuliani because he had previously been told to "keep my head down" following Giuliani attacking him by name.

"I did not, in part because after Giuliani attacked me, as well as (then-US ambassador to Ukraine Marie) Yovanovitch and the entire embassy, in his late May interview, I was told to keep my head down and lower my profile in Ukraine," Kent testified in October according to a transcript of that interview released Thursday.

Kent said then-US Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker had told him in July that he was engaging with Giuliani because of Giuliani's "influence on the President in terms of the way the President thought of Ukraine."

"And I think by that moment in time, that was self-evident to anyone who was working on the issues, and therefore, it made sense to try to engage the mayor," Kent said of Volker.

On October 31, the US House of Representatives had passed a resolution to formally proceed with the Democrat-led impeachment enquiry against Trump. The resolution sets the stage for the next phase of investigation into a whistleblower's complaint which alleges that the US President attempted to pressure Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 presidential elections by investigating the family of his potential political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, CNN reported.

The resolution establishes procedures for public hearings, authorise the release of witness deposition transcripts and outline the process for transferring evidence to the House Judiciary Committee, which would be tasked with drafting and approving articles of impeachment, according to the US-based newspaper.

In September, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had announced that the House would launch a formal impeachment inquiry into the allegations that the President abused his power by pushing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to "look into" Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Trump has denied any wrongdoing, insisting that no pressure was put on Zelensky.

In a testimony on Tuesday, the United States ambassador to the European Union Gordon D Sondland had revealed that he told a top Ukrainian official that no military aid will be provided unless it publicly committed to investigations President Donald Trump wanted.

Sondland, a critical witness in the impeachment inquiry, in four new pages of sworn testimony released on Tuesday confirmed his involvement in laying out a quid pro quo to Ukraine which he previously had not acknowledged.(ANI)