News

White House

Volker Testifies He Was Unaware of ‘Any Linkage’ Between Delayed Military Aid to Ukraine and Biden Investigation

Former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker testifies before a House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill, November 19, 1019. (Loren Elliott/Reuters)

Former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker testified to Congress on Tuesday that he was unaware of “any linkage” between the Trump administration’s hold on U.S. military aid to Ukraine and an investigation into former vice president Joe Biden.

“No one had ever said that to me — and I never conveyed such a linkage to the Ukrainians,” Volker told the House Intelligence Committee.

Volker emphasized that he was “not in the loop” as far as the administration’s alleged efforts to convince Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to publicly announce investigation into the Bidens as a condition for military assistance, saying that “at no time” did he know that the administration wanted to investigate Biden.

“I did not know about the strong concerns expressed by then-national security adviser John Bolton to members of his NSC staff regarding the discussion of investigations,” Volker said in his opening statement.

Volker also dismissed as a “conspiracy theory” Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s suggestion that Biden leveraged his position as vice president to benefit from his son’s lucrative position at a Ukrainian gas company.

“At the one in-person meeting I had with Mayor Giuliani on July 19, Mayor Giuliani raised, and I rejected, the conspiracy theory that Vice President Biden would have been influenced in his duties as vice president by money paid to his son,” Volker said in his opening statement.

“As I testified previously, I have known Vice President Biden for 24 years. He is an honorable man and I hold him in the highest regard,” Volker added. “It’s just not credible to me that a vice president of the United States is going to do anything other than act as how he sees best for the national interest.”

Volker originally flatly denied in closed-door testimony last month that the topic of investigations did not come up in a July 10 White House meeting with Ukrainian officials. However, he amended his public testimony to state that he now remembers U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland making “a generic comment about investigations,” that “all of us thought was inappropriate.”

Volker’s testimony comes on the second day of a week packed with impeachment hearings, which will include testimony from Sondland himself on Thursday.

Most Popular

White House

The Damning Inspector General’s Report

It is hard to believe that the run-up to the presidential-election year has plumbed such a depth of farcical degradation. It must be that Trump’s influence has contributed to unserious responses, but he can’t be blamed for the unutterable nonsense of his opponents and the straight men of the political class ... Read More
White House

The Damning Inspector General’s Report

It is hard to believe that the run-up to the presidential-election year has plumbed such a depth of farcical degradation. It must be that Trump’s influence has contributed to unserious responses, but he can’t be blamed for the unutterable nonsense of his opponents and the straight men of the political class ... Read More
Elections

Diversity Panic Hits the Democratic Field

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. An Asian guy, two black guys, three white women (one of whom spent much of her life claiming to be Native American), a Pacific Islander woman, a gay guy, a Hispanic guy, two elderly Caucasian Jews (one a billionaire, the other a socialist), a self-styled Irishman, and a ... Read More
Elections

Diversity Panic Hits the Democratic Field

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. An Asian guy, two black guys, three white women (one of whom spent much of her life claiming to be Native American), a Pacific Islander woman, a gay guy, a Hispanic guy, two elderly Caucasian Jews (one a billionaire, the other a socialist), a self-styled Irishman, and a ... Read More
World

Present at the Demolition

Economists at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund must feel pretty lucky these days. They work for just about the only institutions set up in the aftermath of World War II that aren't in the middle of an identity crisis. From Turtle Bay to Brussels, from Washington to Vienna, the decay of the economic ... Read More
World

Present at the Demolition

Economists at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund must feel pretty lucky these days. They work for just about the only institutions set up in the aftermath of World War II that aren't in the middle of an identity crisis. From Turtle Bay to Brussels, from Washington to Vienna, the decay of the economic ... Read More
World

Well . . . .

So much for my prophecies of doom. Britain's Conservatives won, and they won with a very healthy parliamentary majority, breaking through Labour’s “red wall” across the industrial (and post-industrial) Midlands and the North. The BBC: Leave-voting former mining towns like Workington, which was seen as ... Read More
World

Well . . . .

So much for my prophecies of doom. Britain's Conservatives won, and they won with a very healthy parliamentary majority, breaking through Labour’s “red wall” across the industrial (and post-industrial) Midlands and the North. The BBC: Leave-voting former mining towns like Workington, which was seen as ... Read More
White House

The Costs of Trivializing Impeachment

Resorting to a vague “abuse of power” theory, the House Judiciary Committee Friday morning referred two articles of impeachment to the full House on the inevitable party-line vote. The full House will impeach the president next week, perhaps Wednesday, also on the inevitable party-line vote. The scarlet ... Read More
White House

The Costs of Trivializing Impeachment

Resorting to a vague “abuse of power” theory, the House Judiciary Committee Friday morning referred two articles of impeachment to the full House on the inevitable party-line vote. The full House will impeach the president next week, perhaps Wednesday, also on the inevitable party-line vote. The scarlet ... Read More
World

The U.K. Elections Were the Real Second Referendum

In the end, it wasn’t close at all. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party met a fate to which it has been accustomed for most of the last half-century. Once again, the British roundly rejected socialism. Boris Johnson and his conservatives will form the next British government. This was no slight rejection. Labour ... Read More
World

The U.K. Elections Were the Real Second Referendum

In the end, it wasn’t close at all. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party met a fate to which it has been accustomed for most of the last half-century. Once again, the British roundly rejected socialism. Boris Johnson and his conservatives will form the next British government. This was no slight rejection. Labour ... Read More