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Opening Statement for Fourth Day of Public Hearings from Cooper Whistleblower Complaint on Ukraine (Kelly Smith, comp.) 1 (11/20/2019)

handle is hein.presidents/usgvtwht0179 and id is 1 raw text is: 



       OPENING STATEMENT OF DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY
                     OF DEFENSE LAURA K. COOPER


 Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member, Members of this Committee,


       I appear today to provide facts and answer questions based on my
 experience as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and
 Eurasia. I would first like to describe my background as well as my role and
 vantage point relevant to your inquiry.


      I bring to my daily work and to this proceeding my sense of duty to U.S.
 national security -- not to any political party. I have proudly served two
 Democratic and two Republican presidents. I entered government service through
 the Presidential Management Internship competition, joining the State Department
 in 1999 to work on counterterrorism in Europe and the former Soviet Union.
 Inspired by working with the U.S. military on a Department of Defense rotational
 assignment, I decided to accept a civil service position in the Policy organization
 of the Office of the Secretary of Defense in January 2001, where I have remained
 for the past 18 years.


      My strong sense of pride in serving my country and dedication to my
Pentagon colleagues were cemented in the moments after I felt the Pentagon shake
beneath me on September 11, 2001. My office was scheduled to move into the
section of the Pentagon that was destroyed in the attack, but a construction delay
meant we were still at our old desks in the adjacent section on that devastating day.
After we had wiped the black dust from our desks and tried to get back to work, I
found meaning by volunteering to work on Afghanistan policy and would give my

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