Nov 8, 2019

NYT: Ukraine planned to announce investigations into Russia probe, Bidens

Volodymyr Zelensky at an October press conference in Kiev. Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Ukrainian president's staff planned for him to announce investigations into the Bidens and the origins of the Russia probe in a Sept. 13 interview with CNN host Fareed Zakaria, the New York Times reports.

Driving the news: The Trump administration gave Ukraine military aid it had previously withheld two days before the scheduled interview, per the Times. Two U.S. senators reportedly told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in September that only President Trump "could unlock" the $400 million in military aid and "time was running out."

  • Zelensky’s staff "quickly canceled the interview" after receiving military aid from the U.S., the Times reports.

Why it matters: Zelensky was poised to capitulate to what House impeachment committee members and several witnesses have accused Trump of doing — withholding military aid to Ukraine to pressure its government into announcing investigations into the Bidens and the origins of the Russia probe.

Go deeper: Official testifies Trump wanted Ukraine's Zelensky to mention "Clinton"

Go deeper

Fareed Zakaria explains backstory of Zelensky plan to announce probes on CNN

CNN host Fareed Zakaria responded Sunday to a report from the New York Times that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was set to announce investigations into the 2016 election and the Bidens on his CNN show, prior to the Trump-Ukraine scandal and subsequent impeachment inquiry bursting into public view.

Go deeperArrowNov 17, 2019

Former deputy foreign minister says Ukraine knew of aid freeze in July

Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Minister Olena Zerkal on Nov. 12. Photo: Danil Shamkin/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Ukraine's former deputy foreign minister Olena Zerkal told the New York Times in an interview that Ukraine's government was aware of the Trump administration's decision to freeze military aid in July.

Why it matters: Zerkal’s account is the first acknowledgment from a Ukrainian official that the government knew Trump was withholding security assistance as early as July, supporting a similar revelation from Pentagon official Laura Cooper's public testimony last month.

Go deeperArrowDec 3, 2019

Read Adam Schiff's opening statement in the Vindman-Williams impeachment hearing

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) set the stage with his opening statement in the House impeachment inquiry's public hearing featuring Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council's top Ukraine expert, and Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Pence.

The big picture: Schiff focused on Vindman's and Williams' firsthand knowledge of many of the events at the heart of the impeachment inquiry — specifically the fact that they both listened in on the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019