Transcripts of testimonies from Department of Defense official Laura Cooper and State Department officials Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson continued to punch holes in the defense of President Donald Trump, who made claims about being the most transparent president in history.

Though the witnesses were not very high profile, their testimonies continued to pile up evidence and the Republicans, who had so far had relied on a narrative of an absence of quid pro quo, were left looking for a better strategy to counter the impeachment inquiry which goes public Wednesday.

Meanwhile, President Trump tweeted that he will release a tantalizing transcript of the phone call which he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky sometime this week.

International Business Times brings the key developments Monday around the Congressional impeachment inquiry against President Trump.

Ukraine officials raised concerns about hold on aid early on

According to the testimony of State Department official Catherine Croft, multiple Ukraine officials had raised concerns early on about the aid put on hold.

“Two individuals from the Ukrainian Embassy approached me quietly and in confidence to ask me about an [Office of Management and Budget] hold on Ukraine security assistance,” Croft said. “I remember telling them that I was confident that any issues in process would get resolved. And I knew from my understanding of having worked with these individuals for a long time that they had no interest in this information getting out into the public.”

Croft was surprised that the word had reached officials before the news became public. The Ukraine officials also added that they did not want the news about their concerns to come out as it would have been viewed as an expression of declining U.S. support in Ukraine.

“As long as they thought that in the end the hold would be lifted, they had no reason for this to want to come out," Craft said, according to the transcript.

Every agency other than OMB thought Ukraine should get the aid

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper said in her testimony that individuals at the Department of Defense and other agencies except the Office of Management and Budget believed that Ukraine should get their promised aid as they were showing good progress in controlling corruption in the country.

“(I)n interagency discussions, DOD participants affirmed that we believed sufficient progress had been made,” Cooper said. “It was unanimous with the exception of the statements by OMB representatives, and those statements were relaying higher level guidance.”

Cooper added that the Department of Defense personnel in Kiev, who were acutely aware of the discussions about the aid being held, expressed serious concerns to her in person.

Trump tweets that he will release transcript of first call with Ukraine President

President Trump tweeted Monday night that he will release the tantalizing transcripts of his first call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky this week. He said that it was more important and "tantalizing" than the second call that he had with Zelensky.

He then went on to criticize the impeachement process and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, saying that Schiff gave the Republicans “no witness, no lawyer and no due process.”

Trump also accused Schiff of fabricating the transcripts of testimonies just like he had fabricated the testimony of the call between Trump and Zelensky.

Mulvaney to file his own lawsuit over subpoena to testify

After his earlier attempt to join an existing lawsuit filed by a former Trump administration official Charles Kupperman was denied, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Monday night that he will be file his own lawsuit challenging the congressional subpoena.

According to Kupperman’s lawyer, by publicly stating that there was a quid pro quo, Mulvaney may have waived any claim he had to immunity from the subpoena.

The testimonies of Catherine Croft and Fiona Hill, which were released earlier, backed up the claim that Mulvaney was involved in the Ukraine policy.

House Republicans gearing up for showdown with Democrats

As the impeachment probe moves toward its most visible phase, House Republicans are gearing up for a showdown with Democrats and planning an appropriate strategy to counter them.

According to reports, House Minority Leader McCarthy (R-Calif.) temporarily assigned Rep. Jordan (R-Ohio), one of the fiercest Trump defenders, to the House Intelligence Committee. They have also lined up a list of witnesses. On Saturday, the Republicans also sought testimonies from the whistleblower and former Vice-President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden, as they tried to paint the impeachment inquiry as politically motivated.

“Leader [Kevin] McCarthy, ranking member [Devin] Nunes and Jim Jordan are taking preparation efforts to heightened levels with a work-around-the-clock mentality,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), one of Trump’s closest allies on Capitol Hill, told POLITICO. “Depositions are being reviewed to show the inconsistencies from facts that we know exist.

Trump impeachment inquiry is like “microwaved leftovers” from Russia investigation

On Monday night, Jesse Watters claimed on “The Five” that the Democrats are not treating the impeachment process in a fair manner. According to him, the impeachment inquiry seems more like leftovers from the Russia investigation.

"This whole scandal feels microwaved to me," he said. “It feels like Russia was hot and this just feels like a bunch of leftovers."

Watters also doubted whether Adam Schiff would consider a serious witness list that was put forth by the Republicans to the House Intelligence Committee. He added that Hunter Biden was key to the impeachment efforts on both sides of the argument.

"I love how Hunter Biden is 'irrelevant.' Hunter Biden is at the center of this whole Venn diagram -- You take Hunter Biden out of here, there is no story," he said. “So, of course they'll rig it and they won't let him testify."

Bolton has knowledge about many things related to House Impeachment inquiry

Former national security adviser John Bolton has knowledge about many relevant meetings and conversations related to the impeachment inquiry, his attorney Charles Cooper said in a letter to House General Counsel Douglas Letter on Friday.

Bolton “was personally involved in many of the events, meetings, and conversations about which you have already received testimony, as well as many relevant meetings and conversations that have not yet been discussed in the testimonies thus far,” Cooper wrote in his letter.

Cooper is also the attorney of Bolton’s former deputy Charles Kupperman.

US Representative Matt Gaetz led two dozen fellow Republicans into a secure meeting area where the latest witness in the Donald Trump impeachment investigation was to be deposed by lawmakers, a move that violated US House rules
US Representative Matt Gaetz led two dozen fellow Republicans into a secure meeting area where the latest witness in the Donald Trump impeachment investigation was to be deposed by lawmakers, a move that violated US House rules GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / ALEX WONG