Former U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, according to transcripts released Tuesday, pushed back on the claim that President Trump sought to withhold a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky until Kiev committed to investigate allegations concerning the 2016 election — while also denying that Trump was seeking “dirt” on former Vice President Joe Biden.
The deposition transcripts, though, also reflect officials’ concerns about the involvement of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani in seeking politically related investigations out of Ukraine. Further, they offer varying accounts of whether a quid pro quo of some kind — involving either a meeting or the release of U.S. military aid — may have been presented.
One of the most significant revelations from Tuesday’s release is that E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland revised his prior testimony to say that he told a top Ukrainian official that U.S. aid would likely not resume until the country issues a corruption statement — a revelation that was quickly hailed by Democrats of proof of the quid pro quo they have been alleging took place.
Other sections presented a muddier picture. In the transcript of his closed-door deposition last month with lawmakers conducting the impeachment probe, Volker was asked if Trump withheld or delayed a meeting with Zelensky absent a pledge to probe concerns Ukraine had interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. – READ MORE