Oct 4, 2019

Volker told House committees he was unaware of push for Ukraine Biden probe

Former Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker told the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees on Thursday that he was unaware of any Trump administration push to have Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, according to his opening remarks as obtained by BuzzFeed News.

The big picture: The committees also released explosive texts provided by Volker last night, which included messages featuring Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giulani, and Andrey Yermak, a top aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Volker's 5 big points:

  1. "[M]y efforts were entirely focused on advancing U.S. foreign policy goals with respect to Ukraine."
  2. "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."
  3. "[A]t no time was I aware of or took part in an effort to urge Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden."
  4. "[W]hile executing my duties, I kept my colleagues at the State Department and National Security Council informed, and also briefed Congress, about my actions."
  5. "I strongly supported the provision of U.S. security assistance, including lethal defensive weapons, to Ukraine throughout my tenure."

Read his opening remarks in full:

Go deeper: House committees release texts from former Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker

Go deeper