Jennifer Williams Bio – Jennifer Williams Wiki
Jennifer Williams is an American United States Department of State official who has served as a special advisor to U.S. vice president Mike Pence on European and Russian affairs. She previously testified under subpoena in closed-door hearings before the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees in November 2019. She is a graduate and earned a bachelor’s degree in international security studies from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in public policy from Princeton University. She was born and raised in Houston, Texas.
She began her government career in the United States Department of Homeland Security in 2005 shortly after graduating from Georgetown. She served as a political appointee of Secretary Michael Chertoff, who was the second United States Secretary of Homeland Security, serving under President George W. Bush. She then joined the State Department in 2006 where she has served for more than thirteen years.
She was initially focused on Middle East policy and served overseas in Beirut, Lebanon, and Kingston, Jamaica. She managed the U.S. government’s humanitarian assistance program for Syrian refugees from 2011 to 2014 and then served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. Later she then served in London as the U.S. Ambassador’s Press Officer for three years.
She has served as Pence’s aide on European and Russian affairs since April 2019. She accompanied Pence when he traveled to Poland in September 2019 with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky regarding the approximately $400 million in military aid put on hold by the White House.
She became the first witness from Pence’s staff to give testimony in the impeachment inquiry against the U.S. President Donald Trump. She was expected to answer inquiries regarding Pence’s communications with Rudy Giuliani and Ukrainian leaders. Williams was one of a few officials on Trump’s July 25, 2019 call with Ukraine President Zelensky in which Trump asked the Ukrainian leader to open an investigation into one of Trump’s domestic political opponents.
Jennifer Williams Age
She was born and brought up in Houston, Texas in the U.S. However details of her exact age and date of birth are unknown to the public domain.
Jennifer Williams Parents
Jennifer Williams’ parents are Brad Williams and Denise Lane Willams.
Jennifer Williams Family
Jennifer has a younger sister, Kelsey Beasley, who’s married to husband Brad Beasley, and they have on son together, Parker James.
Jennifer Williams Husband
She is not married.
Jennifer Williams Children
She does not have children.
Jennifer Williams Mike Pence’s Aide
Jennifer Williams has served as a special advisor to U.S. vice president Mike Pence on European and Russian affairs since March 2019.
Jennifer Williams Opening Statement
Thank you, Chairman Schiff, Ranking Member Nunes, and other Members of the Committee for the opportunity to provide this statement. I appear today pursuant to a subpoena and am prepared to answer your questions to the best of my abilities.
I have had the privilege of serving as a Foreign Service Officer for nearly fourteen years, working for three different presidential administrations—two Republican and one Democratic. I joined the State Department in 2006 after serving in the Department of Homeland Security under Secretary Michael Chertoff. It was with great pride and conviction that I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, administered by a personal hero of mine, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. As a career officer, I am committed to serving the American people and advancing American interests abroad, in support of the President’s foreign policy objectives. I have been inspired and encouraged in that journey by the thousands of other dedicated public servants whom I am proud to call colleagues across the Foreign Service, civil service, military, and federal law enforcement agencies.
I have served overseas tours in Kingston, Jamaica; Beirut, Lebanon; and London, United Kingdom. I have worked to implement humanitarian assistance programs to millions of victims of the Syria conflict, and served as an advisor on Middle East issues to the Deputy Secretary of State. And this spring, it was the greatest honor of my career to be asked to serve as a Special Advisor to the Vice President for Europe and Russia. Over the past eight months, I have been privileged to work with the dedicated and capable men and women in the Office of the Vice President to advance the Administration’s agenda. I have also worked closely with talented and committed colleagues at the National Security Council (“NSC”), State Department, Department of Defense, and other agencies to advance and promote U.S. foreign policy objectives. In this capacity, I have advised and prepared the Vice President for engagements related to Ukraine.
As you are aware, on November 7th, I appeared before the Committee for a closed-door deposition pursuant to a subpoena. I would like to take this opportunity to briefly summarize my recollection of some of the events I expect the Committee may ask me about.
President Zelensky’s Inauguration
On April 21st, Volodymyr Zelensky won the Ukrainian presidential election. On April 23rd, the Vice President called to congratulate President-elect Zelensky. During the call, which I participated in, the Vice President accepted an invitation to attend President-elect Zelensky’s upcoming inauguration, provided that the scheduling worked out. The Vice President had only a narrow window of availability at the end of May, and the Ukrainian parliament would not meet to set a date for the inauguration until after May 14th. As a result, we did not expect to know whether the Vice President could attend until May 14th at the earliest, and we made only preliminary trip preparations in early May. On May 13th, an assistant to the Vice President’s Chief of Staff called and informed me that President Trump had decided that the Vice President would not attend the inauguration in Ukraine. She did not provide any further explanation. I relayed that instruction to others involved in planning the potential trip. I also informed the NSC that the Vice President would not be attending, so that it could identify a head of delegation to represent the United States at President-elect Zelensky’s inauguration.
Hold on Ukraine Security Assistance
On July 3rd, I learned that the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) had placed a hold on a tranche of security assistance designated for Ukraine. According to the information I received, OMB was reviewing whether the funding was aligned with the Administration’s priorities.
I subsequently attended meetings of the Policy Coordination Committee where the hold on Ukrainian security assistance was discussed. During those meetings, representatives of the State and Defense Departments advocated that the hold should be lifted, and OMB representatives reported that the White House Chief of Staff had directed that the hold should remain in place.
On September 11th, I learned that the hold on security assistance for Ukraine had been released. I have never learned what prompted that decision.
July 25th Call Between President Trump and President Zelensky
On July 25th, along with several of my colleagues, I listened to a call between President Trump and President Zelensky—the content of which has since been publicly reported. Prior to July 25th, I had participated in roughly a dozen other presidential phone calls. During my closed-door deposition, Members of the Committee asked about my personal views and whether I had any concerns about the July 25th call. As I testified then, I found the July 25th phone call unusual because, in contrast to other presidential calls I had observed, it involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter.
After the July 25th call, I provided an update in the Vice President’s daily briefing book indicating that President Trump had a call that day with President Zelensky. A hard copy of the memorandum transcribing the call was also included in the book. I do not know whether the Vice President reviewed my update or the transcript. I did not discuss the July 25th call with the Vice President or any of my colleagues in the Office of the Vice President or the NSC.
September 1 Meeting Between the Vice President and President Zelensky
On August 29th, I learned that the Vice President would be traveling to Poland to meet with President Zelensky on September 1st. At the September 1st meeting, which I attended, President Zelensky asked the Vice President about news articles reporting a hold on U.S. security assistance for Ukraine. The Vice President responded that Ukraine had the United States’ unwavering support and promised to relay their conversation to President Trump that night. During the September 1st meeting, neither the Vice President nor President Zelensky mentioned the specific investigations discussed during the July 25th call.
Thank you again for the opportunity to provide this statement. I would be happy to answer any questions.
Jennifer Williams Testimony
On Saturday, November 16, 2019, House lawmakers released a transcript of Williams’ testimony on Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which is at the heart of impeachment proceedings. A rough transcript of the call shows Trump sought Zelensky’s help with a corruption probe of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, based on unsubstantiated allegations. Earlier in the month of November, Williams told Intelligence Committee members that the conversation on which she listened in, “struck me as unusual and inappropriate.” She described the discussion as “more political in nature” than Trump’s communications with other foreign leaders, noting that he was concerned with his “personal political agenda.”
The particular call which occurred while American military aid was being withheld from Ukraine, has raised questions over whether Trump was attempting to broker a quid pro quo while soliciting interference in the 2020 election to handicap his Democratic rival. Trump has already bashed other impeachment witnesses, including former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch who hadn’t even left Friday’s hearing before he assailed her decadeslong career online.
In a tweet, Trump claimed that “everywhere” she “went turned bad.” Yovanovitch, responding in real-time, called the rebuke “intimidating.”
Speaking to reporters, Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) characterized Trump’s remarks as “witness intimidation.”
Jennifer Williams and Donald Trump
President Donald Trump once again attacked William who is cooperating with the House impeachment inquiry. On Sunday, November 17, 2019, Trump set his sights on Jennifer Williams, labeling one of Vice President Mike Pence’s top national security aides as a “Never Trumper” after she characterized his July call with Ukraine as “unusual and inappropriate.” She is set to appear before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, November 19, 2019, but her earlier, closed-door testimony was released over the weekend. Trump tweeted Sunday that Williams (“whoever that is,” he said) should read the transcripts of both his calls with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, referring to the now-infamous July 25 call as well as the April 21 call. The White House released a summary of the April 21 call on Friday. “Then she should meet with the other Never Trumpers, who I don’t know & mostly never even heard of, & work out a better presidential attack!” Trump added.
During her testimony, she said that Trump’s “unusual and inappropriate” push to get Ukraine to open up an investigation into a political rival “shed some light on possible other motivations” for the president’s order to withhold military aid. “I found the specific references to be — to be more specific to the president in nature, to his personal political agenda, as opposed to a broader foreign policy objective of the United States,” Williams said.
The president’s line of attack against Williams is hardly original. Trump also labeled William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and State Department official George Kent as “Never Trumpers” after they testified in the impeachment inquiry. That was also a label that Trump lobbed on Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council.
On Sunday, Trump leveled that attack on a career foreign service officer, providing no proof that she ever opposed the president. Pence’s office declined to defend Williams, with the vice president’s press secretary only saying that “Jennifer is a State Department employee.” Even if technically correct that seems to ignore the fact that Williams is “detailed to the Vice President’s office,” CNN’s Jeremy Diamond explained in a tweet. “She is the Vice President’s special adviser on Europe & Russia.” Trump’s latest attack against a witness in the impeachment inquiry came days after he was harshly criticized for lashing out against Marie Yovanovitch, the ousted U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, while she was in the middle of public testimony before Congress. When asked about the tweet, Yovanovitch said it was “intimidating.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Trump’s tweet “totally wrong and inappropriate and typical of the president.”
Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever that is, to read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls, & see the just released ststement from Ukraine. Then she should meet with the other Never Trumpers, who I don’t know & mostly never even heard of, & work out a better presidential attack!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2019