Text messages exchanged between US diplomats and an adviser to the Ukrainian government reveal a new edge of the pressures that President Donald Trump exerted on his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, to open in that country an investigation against his potential rival in the 2020 elections, Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden.
The documents contributed to the congressmen by Volker himself, who resigned last week from his position as special envoy to Ukraine, show how also a possible Ukrainian investigation into the 2016 elections in the United States was linked to a desired meeting between Zelensky and Trump in the White House.
See here the complete document with the text messages:RELATED
In one of those messages, Volker writes to Andrey Yermak, Zelensky's advisor, promising the new Ukrainian leader a trip to Washington in exchange for the investigation.
"Heard of the White House – assuming that President Z convinces Trump that he will investigate / 'get to the bottom of what happened' in 2016, we will set the date for the visit to Washington. Good luck!" Volker wrote in a message dated July 25.
Days before the two presidents spoke, Volker wrote in a text message to Gordon Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, that it was very important that "Zelensky said he would help the investigation."
On August 13, Volker sent Sondland the following draft of a statement: "We intend to initiate and complete a transparent and impartial investigation of all available facts and episodes, including those involving Burisma and the 2016 elections in States United, which in turn will prevent this problem from recurring in the future. "
Sondland quickly replied: "Perfect," adding that they should send it to the Ukrainian president's advisor.
Hunter Biden served on the board of directors of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company, while his father spearheaded the diplomatic dealings of President Barack Obama's government with Kiev. The prosecutor's office in that country had initiated an investigation against the company, but so far there is no evidence that Biden had been subject to it.
Four days after that message, Sondland sent another to Volker asking if they still wanted the Ukrainian president to "give us an unequivocal draft", specifying that he should mention the issue of Burisma and Trump's belief that Ukraine had interfered in the elections 2016 Americans for the benefit of rival Hillary Clinton.
Volker replied: "That is the clear message so far," according to the document obtained by the Times.
In the interpellation before the congressmen, Volker told investigators that the specific references to Burisma and the 2016 elections came from Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, a person familiar with his testimony told The New York Times.
At the end of the appearance of the former special envoy, the presidents of the three commissions of the House of Representatives involved in the investigation indicated in a joint communication that "participating in these amazing abuses in broad daylight does not absolve President Trump of his misdeeds, nor of his serious offenses against the Constitution. "
"This is not normal or acceptable. It is unethical, unpatriotic and incorrect. American presidents should never pressure foreign powers to investigate their internal political rivals," the representatives added.
Instead, Republican lawmakers who participated in the interview with Volker downplayed their testimonies.
“Nothing he has said agrees with anything in the political judgment discourse of the Democrats. Not a single thing, ”said Rep. Jim Jordan quoted by the AP.
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