Giuliani Rejected Ukraine Offer To Publicly Say They’d Tackle Corruption Generally, Wanted ‘Burisma’ Inserted Into Statement — Report
Kurt Volker, the former envoy to Ukraine, gave a deposition to House investigators on Thursday as part of Democratic lawmakers’ impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
There were many explosive revelations as a result of Volker’s public testimony, including, as previously noted by HillReporter.com, a series of text messages that seemed to imply a meeting between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky could only occur after a promise from the latter to investigate Burisma holdings, of which Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, was a principal member of.
The allegation lends credence to the belief that Trump also withheld military aid to Ukraine in order to push the country to investigate the Bidens, a move that could benefit Trump politically if the former vice president becomes the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in 2020.
Reporting from the New York Times on Friday details aspects of Volker’s testimony behind closed doors.
According to the Times, Volker said that Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani was directly involved with representatives from Ukraine in their attempts to placate the Trump administration’s demands, including drafting a message from that nation that they would address corruption. Giuliani, according to Volker, instead demanded that Ukraine’s statement include specific references to “Burisma” and “2016.”
While he didn’t push for a direct reference to the Bidens, many will likely interpret the attempts as a means to hurt Biden politically. Indeed, Trump, in a memorandum that recorded a phone conversation he had with Zelensky, made direct reference to the former vice president and his son.
Volker added that he ended up editing the originaly statement to include the parts that Giuliani wanted inserted, and sent it to representatives from Ukraine to examine. They expressed skepticism at adding those parts, which Volker said he sympathized with.
“I agreed, and further said that I believe it is essential that Ukraine do nothing that could be seen as interfering in 2020 elections,” Volker said in his deposition. “It is bad enough that accusations have been made about 2016 — it is essential that Ukraine not be involved in anything relating to 2020. He agreed and the idea of putting out a statement was shelved.”