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APsplainin | Diplomat testifies to Ukraine turmoil within administratio
Kurt Volker, a central figure in the House's impeachment inquiry, appeared for nearly 10 hours behind closed doors. He told lawmakers he was never pressured by Trump or others around the administration to have Ukraine conduct the investigation of the Democratic rival, and in fact said he had warned Ukrainians to steer clear of American politics.

Yet Volker also recalled being told that plans for a meeting between Trump and the new Ukrainian president elected in the spring were being put on ice, according to one person familiar with the private meeting who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss it.
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Volker denied any personal involvement in Trump's push on Biden, yet reports late Thursday indicated he had knowledge of a draft statement, intended for new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, that would have committed Ukraine to conduct the investigations Trump was seeking.
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Volker told investigators Thursday that he warned Giuliani not to rely on information coming from Ukraine's former top prosecutor, Yuri Lutsenko.
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Volker told the House investigators it was unusual for the U.S. to withhold the aid, but he* said he was given no explanation for it, the person said.


The rest is reportage on background.
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* "'It wasn't explained to me' why the money didn't come through earlier, Zelenskiy said.""

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Oct 4th, 2019 at 04:33:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Full Statement from U.S. Ukraine Envoy Ambassador Kurt Volker on October 3, 2019
First, my efforts were entirely focused on advancing U.S. foreign policy goals with respect to Ukraine. In this, we were quite successful. U.S. policy toward Ukraine for the past two years has been strong, consistent, and has enjoyed support across the Administration, bipartisan support in Congress, and support among our Allies and Ukraine.
[..]
Second, in May of this year, I became concerned that a negative narrative about Ukraine, fueled by assertions made by Ukraine's departing Prosecutor General, was reaching the President of the United States, and impeding our ability to support the new Ukrainian government as robustly as I believed we should. After sharing my concerns with the Ukrainian leadership, an advisor to President Zelenskyy asked me to connect him to the President's personal lawyer, Mayor Rudy Giuliani. I did so. I did so solely because I understood that the new Ukrainian leadership wanted to convince those, like Mayor Giuliani, who believed such a negative narrative about Ukraine, that times have changed and that, under President Zelenskyy, Ukraine is worthy of U.S. support. Third, at no time was I aware of or took part in an effort to urge Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden. As you will see from the extensive text messages I am providing, which convey a sense of real-time dialogue with several different actors, Vice President Biden was never a topic of discussion. Moreover, as I was aware of public accusations about the Vice President, several times I cautioned the Ukrainians to distinguish between highlighting their own efforts to fight corruption domestically, including investigating Ukrainian individuals (something we support as a matter of U.S. policy), and doing anything that could be seen as impacting U.S. elections (which is in neither the United States' nor Ukraine's own interests). To the best of my knowledge, no such actions by Ukraine were ever taken, at least in part, I believe, because of the advice I gave them. Notably, I did not listen in on the July 25, 2019 phone call between President Trump and President Zelenskyy, and received only superficial readouts about that conversation afterwards. In addition, I was not aware that Vice President Biden's name was mentioned, or a request was made to investigate him, until the transcript of this call was released on September 25, 2019.
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Third, at no time was I aware of or took part in an effort to urge Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden. As you will see from the extensive text messages I am providing, which convey a sense of real-time dialogue with several different actors, Vice President Biden was never a topic of discussion.
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Fourth, while executing my duties, I kept my colleagues at the State Department and National Security Council informed, and also briefed Congress, about my actions. This included inperson meetings with senior U.S. officials at State, Defense, and the NSC, as well as staff briefings on Capitol Hill, and public testimony in the Senate on June 18, 2019. I have an extensive record of public commentary about our Ukraine policy.
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Fifth and finally, I strongly supported the provision of U.S. security assistance, including lethal defensive weapons, to Ukraine throughout my tenure. I became aware of a hold on Congressional Notifications about proceeding with that assistance on July 18, 2019, and immediately tried to weigh in to reverse that position.
bought? stayed bought?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Oct 4th, 2019 at 06:14:18 PM EST
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