The congressional testimony of Ambassador Kurt Volker on Thursday directly contradicted the impeachment narrative promulgated by the deep state whistleblower, congressional Democrats and their media allies.
The former top American envoy to Ukraine testified that he was never aware of and never took part in any effort to push the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden or his son Hunter. Rather, he tried to convince the president that accusations that the former vice president acted inappropriately did not seem credible to him.
He also stressed that the interactions between Giuliani and Ukrainian officials were encouraged to help convince the president to trust the incoming Ukrainian government after reports of rampant corruption surrounding the 2016 election.
Volker’s full remarks can be read here.
“As you will see from the extensive text messages I am providing, which convey a sense of real-time dialogue with several different actors, Vice President Biden was never a topic of discussion” during negotiations with Ukraine, Volker testified.
Cherry-picked and out of context snippets of those texts were released by the office of Rep. Adam Schiff, (D-CA) late Thursday evening, putting the communications in a distinctly negative and conspiratorial light.
“[A]t no time was I aware of or took part in an effort to urge Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden,” Volker told lawmakers.
He added that an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had asked to be connected with Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney.
“[I]n May of this year, 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,” Volker said. “After sharing my concerns with the Ukrainian leadership, an advisor to President Zelensky asked me to connect him to the President’s personal lawyer, Mayor Rudy Giuliani.”
“I did so solely because I understood that the new Ukrainian leadership wanted to convince those, like Mayor Giuliani, who believed such a negative narrative about Ukraine, that times have changed and that, under President Zelensky, Ukraine is worthy of U.S. support,” Volker said. “I also made clear to the Ukrainians, on a number of occasions, that Mayor Giuliani is a private citizen and the President’s personal lawyer, and that he does not represent the United States government.”
Volker denied that he ever urged the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on the Biden family.
“As you will see from the extensive text messages I am providing, which convey a sense of real-time dialogue with several different actors, Vice President Biden was never a topic of discussion,” he said.
Volker testified that the issue of U.S. military assistance to Ukrainian officials did not come up until late August, when news reports indicated that funding had been put on hold, undercutting Democrat claims that the funding was part of a quid pro quo designed to force the Ukrainians to investigate Joe Biden in order for receive the military aid.
“I became aware of a hold on Congressional Notifications about proceeding with that assistance on July 18, 2019, and immediately tried to weigh in to reverse that position,” Volker testified. “I was confident that this position would indeed be reversed in the end, because the provision of such assistance was uniformly supported at State, Defense, NSC, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the expert community in Washington.”
“As I was confident the position would not stand, I did not discuss the hold with my Ukrainian counterparts until the matter became public in late August,” he said.
Volker explained in his remarks that it was clear that Trump had “a deeply rooted negative view” of the Ukrainian government given its efforts meddle in the 2016 election to damage Trump’s presidential campaign. The interactions between Giuliani and Ukrainian officials, he said, were sought in an effort to persuade Trump that Zelensky’s government could be a trusted U.S. partner.
“It was clear to me that we had a growing problem in the negative narrative about Ukraine, built on these earlier accusations by Mr. Lutsenko, that was impeding the development of our bilateral relationship and the strengthening of our support for Ukraine,” Volker said. “I therefore faced a choice: do nothing, and allow this situation to fester; or try to fix it. I tried to fix it,” he testified.
Volker said Giuliani eventually came to believe on his own accord that the Ukrainian prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, was not credible.
“To my surprise, Mr. Giuliani had already come to the conclusion on his own that Mr. Lutsenko was not credible and acting in a self-serving capacity,” Volker said. “He mentioned both the accusations about Vice President Biden and about interference in the 2016 election, and stressed that all he wanted to see was for Ukraine to investigate what happened in the past and apply its own laws.”
Although Volker stressed that he did not believe any of the accusations of corruption against Biden, he did say that allegations of Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections were “plausible.”
Volker also strongly contradicted Democratic accusations that Trump’s diplomatic team had actively demanded that Ukraine interfere in the 2020 U.S. presidential campaign on Trump’s behalf.
“The point about Ukraine avoiding anything that could play into U.S. elections in 2020 is a message that I know our Chargé in Ukraine, Amb. Bill Taylor, reinforced in other meetings,” Volker explained.
He went on to note that he didn’t even know the Biden family had been referenced at all in Trump’s July 25 phone call with Zelensky, contradicting a key whistleblower assertion.
“I was not on the July 25 phone call,” Volker said. “I received a general readout via our Chargé and my own State Department staffer, as well as from Mr. Yermak.”
“All said it was a good, congratulatory call, that they discussed the importance of fighting corruption and promoting reform in Ukraine, and that President Trump reiterated his invitation to President Zelensky to visit the White House,” he testified. “I was not made aware of any reference to Vice President Biden or his son, which I only learned about when the transcript of the call was released on September 25, 2019.”
One of the key charges from the CIA “whistleblower” was that on July 26, Volker had tried to “help” Zelenskyy “navigate” Trump’s “demands” to investigate Biden’s alleged corruption.
But, Volker wasn’t on the Jul 25 call, received only “superficial” readouts of it, didn’t know that Biden’s name was even mentioned, and wasn’t aware that any request was made to investigate Biden either pic.twitter.com/JVnL38gfcT
— Undercover Huber (@JohnWHuber) October 4, 2019
—WB says that Volker met with Zelenskyy the day after the Trump call to help him “navigate” the “demands” Trump made about Biden
—But Volker didn’t know any demands had been made, or that Biden was mentioned, and he didn’t talk about any withholding of aid either
— Undercover Huber (@JohnWHuber) October 4, 2019
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) called Volker a “great witness” who put “a dagger straight through the heart of Schiff’s fairy tale impeachment story.”