White House

Volker to Testify He Was Unaware of Effort to Investigate Bidens, Withhold Military Aid

Kurt Volker, President Trump’s former envoy to Ukraine, arrives at the U.S. Capitol, October 3, 2019. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Kurt Volker, the former special envoy to Ukraine, will testify Tuesday that he was unaware of any direct link between military aid to Ukraine and investigations into Burisma and Hunter Biden, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

Volker will add that he was unaware that U.S. ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland told the Ukrainians that aid was conditioned on the investigations, and that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky was being pressed to appear on CNN and announce that he would open the investigations.

During his closed-door deposition last month, Volker testified that he warned President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani that information regarding corruption allegations against Joe and Hunter Biden wasn’t credible, and that he advised Ukrainian officials to steer clear of U.S. politics to avoid the impression they were interfering in U.S. elections.

Volker told House lawmakers in October that he was not aware of any Ukrainian investigations into Hunter Biden, and plans to counter other testimony that he was intimately involved in discussions around Biden’s time at Burisma. He is expected to tell lawmakers that he never made an explicit connection between Biden and an investigation into Burisma since he was familiar with the energy company through his work in Ukraine rather than within the context of domestic politics.

The former Ukraine special envoy also will testify that he does not remember the July 10 White House meeting in the same manner of others, who have previously testified that former national security adviser John Bolton ended the meeting abruptly after objecting to what he referred to as the “drug deal” involving the withholding of military aid in exchange for politically beneficial Ukrainian investigations.

The day after Volker’s October testimony, House Democrats released texts between Volker, Sondland, and Bill Taylor, which show discussions over investigations in the buildup to a potential Trump-Zelensky meeting at the White House.

The morning of the July 25 call, Volker texted Andriy Yermak, a top Ukrainian aide, saying “Heard from the 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.”

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