'I think it's crazy': Takeaways of diplomats' text messages

Saturday, 05 Oct, 2019

Sondland, a hotel developer who was named ambassador after donating $1 million to Trump's inauguration festivities, then suggested they quit conversing by text messages.

Trump had asked President Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a July 25 phone call to investigate Biden and his son Hunter, who earned money from energy company Burisma. As Peter Schweizer, senior contributor at Breitbart News, detailed in his book Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Household and Buddy, Hunter Biden secured the narrate, which paid as mighty as $83,000 monthly, around the similar time his father used to be tapped to steer the Obama administration's coverage in Ukraine. And they're going to court if necessary.

Sondland responded, "Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions". The one seems clearly tied to the other.

The source explained the context of the statement about the investigation after the discussion was included in the text messages provided to Congress ahead of Volker's testimony.

Last night House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, in partnership with the other Democrats on the Committee, selectively leaked a number of text messages in order to push an opposite and false narrative.

The investigators pointed to Pence's knowledge of Trump's calls to Zelensky and his own meeting on September 1 with the Ukraine leader, as well as discussions he may have made with Trump and USA diplomats about Ukraine and obtaining political dirt on Biden.

House investigators released a cache of text messages provided by Kurt Volker, the former special US envoy to Ukraine who has stepped down.

From Ukraine's end, former prime minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov also called on the Ukrainian government to probe the activities of USA presidential candidate Joe Biden's son to determine whether he broke Ukrainian law.

Privately, Mr. Trump briefly joined a conference call of House Republicans, defending his interactions with Ukraine and rallying his party to fight for him.

As a Democratic front-runner, Biden could be Trump's opponent in the 2020 presidential election. In the call, Mr. Trump flatly rejected the notion that he directed aides to make military aid to Ukraine contingent on a new investigation by Kyiv, Mr. Johnson said.

Equally important, the texts that Volker shared with the committee (leaked to ABC News) indicate the president wasn't using military aid to blackmail Ukraine's leaders.

"Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigations?" he wrote.

Much of the communication involves Kurt Volker, who resigned last week as special envoy to Ukraine, and Gordon Sondland, the USA ambassador to the European Union.

Volker testified to the House committees Thursday that he had urged the Ukrainians not to interfere in United States politics, and that the Ukrainians were concerned about the meeting being put on hold, according to two sources familiar with the testimony.

Sondland then suggests to the group take the conversations offline, typing, "I suggest we stop the back and forth by text".

The texts indicate Trump and his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, wanted Volcker and European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland to convince Ukraine to gin up evidence Biden wanted Ukraine to fire its general prosecutor to protect Biden's son, and to tie the 2016 hacking into the Democratic National Committee's emails to Ukraine rather than Russian Federation. He said that Giuliani had urged the Ukrainians to draft a statement about investigating corruption, and that the Ukrainians were already planning to do so. Sondland finally opted for an emphatically formal tone and reverted to the official line, which allegedly happened after a complaint over the July phone call had been leaked by a Central Intelligence Agency whistleblower, as was reported by the New York Times.

"The key word [in this audit] is neither Biden nor Burisma", Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka, whom Zelenskiy appointed in late August, told reporters.