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Messages Detail How U.S. Officials Pressured Ukraine on Trump’s Behalf

HeadlineOct 04, 2019

On Capitol Hill, President Trump’s former special envoy for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, gave a nine-hour deposition to House impeachment investigators behind closed doors Thursday. After his deposition, lawmakers released damning text messages shared between Volker and other State Department officials making clear that the U.S. would only improve relations with Ukraine if President Volodymyr Zelensky cooperated with Trump’s demand that he investigate the Bidens. In one message to an aide of President Zelensky sent just hours before the now-infamous phone call with Trump, Volker dangles the prospect of a meeting with Trump, writing, “Heard from White House — assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate/ 'get to the bottom of what happened' in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington.” In another text message, Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, expresses concern that the White House has frozen military aid to Ukraine, writing, “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”

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