• Monday, Aug 03, 2020
  • Last Update : 03:43 pm

Top Trump ally admits tying Ukraine aid to Biden investigation

  • Published at 08:47 pm November 6th, 2019
Int'l--Top-Trump-ally-admits-tying-Ukraine-aid-to-Biden-investigation
Activists hold a banner asking for the impeachment of US President Donald Trump on November 5, 2019 in front of the White House in Washington, DC AFP

The White House, in a statement, said their testimony offered no new evidence for 'this illegitimate impeachment sham'

A top ally of President Donald Trump admitted he told a Ukraine official that US military aid was contingent on Kiev investigating Trump's Democratic rival Joe Biden, testimony released on Tuesday showed.

In some of the most damning evidence yet to the House impeachment inquiry of Trump, Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, said he told a senior Ukraine official that military aid would likely not be released until Kiev made clear it would investigate Biden and his son's ties to Ukraine energy firm Burisma.

Sondland, in amended testimony that reversed his earlier denial, admitted he laid out the allegedly illegal quid pro quo in a September 1 discussion with Andriy Yermak, a top advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Sondland said it was the culmination of months of pressure placed on Kiev, primarily via Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, to open "anti-corruption" investigations into the Bidens and into Trump's unfounded belief that Ukraine assisted the Democrats in the 2016 election.

Sondland told Yermak "that resumption of US aid would not likely occur until Ukraine provided the anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for weeks," he told investigators.

Democrats build impeachment case

Sondland's testimony, and that of Kurt Volker, the former US Special Representative to Ukraine, appeared to strengthen Democrats' charges that Trump abused his office by seeking foreign help for his 2020 election campaign and should be impeached and removed from office.

The testimony, taken in private last month, was released as the House prepares for the second phase of the impeachment inquiry, open hearings that could within several weeks lead to articles of impeachment being passed by the House.

The White House, in a statement, said their testimony offered no new evidence for "this illegitimate impeachment sham."

The White House continued to block senior officials from testifying, and was expected to do the same in response to a Democrats' Tuesday request to Trump's chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and be interviewed by investigators.

Other witnesses have said that Mulvaney was responsible for freezing the Ukraine aid in mid-July, and that he told others it was done at Trump's command.

"No amount of salacious media-biased headlines, which are clearly designed to influence the narrative, change the fact that the president has done nothing wrong," said White House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham in a statement.

Yet, according to the transcripts, both Sondland and Volker described Trump as being transfixed by the wholly unsubstantiated idea, popular in Republican circles, that Ukraine assisted Democrats in their efforts to defeat Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

They also describe Giuliani as being Trump's point man for pushing Zelensky's government into finding dirt on Biden and the Democrats.

"He just kept saying: talk to Rudy, talk to Rudy," Sondland said of a May meeting with Trump on Ukraine.

51
50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail