Feb 12, 2020 - World

Senators to meet with Zelensky weeks after impeachment acquittal


Photo: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images.

A bipartisan group of senators that includes Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) announced in a statement Wednesday that they will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev on Friday.

Why it matters: The meeting will come less than two weeks after President Trump was acquitted of impeachment charges that alleged he withheld military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure Zelensky into investigating his political rivals.

  • The senators say they are meeting with Zelensky to emphasize that "the U.S.-Ukraine relationship is as important now as ever."
  • "The future of Ukraine matters to the United States and we must make sure Ukraine knows that we view them as a strategic ally," the group added.

Driving the news: The meeting also comes days after Attorney General Bill Barr said that the Justice Department had set up an "intake process" for Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani to feed information he had gathered about the Bidens in Ukraine. Giuliani's efforts in Ukraine, which came under scrutiny during impeachment, are reportedly still ongoing.

  • Murphy told Politico in an interview that he plans to discuss Giuliani with Zelensky: “I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn't raise the danger of Giuliani’s continued overtures in Ukraine," he said. "So I'm sure that we will talk about the need to keep U.S.-Ukraine policy separated in the 2020 election.

Go deeper: Zelensky says Trump should not have blocked aid: "We're at war"

Go deeper