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Trump tried hard to win Ukraine Biden probes, officials say

Demonstrators march on Pennsylvania Avenue protesting President Donald Trump, in Washington, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON — 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.

Lisa Mascaro, Mary Clare Jalonick And Zeke J. Miller, The Associated Press