This may duplicate some of what has already been posted, but I believe there is some crucial new information here as well.
Text messages released on Thursday between US diplomats and a senior Ukrainian aide show how a potential Ukrainian investigation into the 2016 election was linked to a desired meeting between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and US President Donald Trump.
The text messages, which were released by the House Intelligence Committee, also show how Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was closely connected with US policy on Ukraine and was involved in setting up the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky in which Trump urged an investigation into Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
They show how cognizant the Ukrainians were about the importance of the election investigation to Trump and Giuliani’s role.
On the morning of the call, in an exchange with a key adviser to the Ukrainian President, then-US Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker made clear that it was important to the White House that Zelensky convince Trump that an investigation into the 2016 election would happen.
"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," Volker said via text to the Ukrainian adviser on the morning of July 25.
It was a message that seemed to register with the Ukrainian administration. A source familiar with the matter tells CNN that the Ukrainian government wrote a statement for public release committing to pursue investigations of corruption.
The New York Times was first to report on the existence of the statement, saying instead that it had been drafted this summer by Volker and US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. But the source told CNN that Ukrainians’ purpose in drafting the statement was to try to reinforce with Giuliani, who the Ukrainians knew had influence with Trump, that there was a new team in Ukraine with Zelensky that was committed to cleaning up corruption in Ukraine.
According to the Times, the statement would have committed Ukraine to investigate an energy company that employed former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. The statement also would have called on the country to investigate what Trump has perceived as Ukrainian interference in the 2016 US election to benefit Hillary Clinton, the paper reported.
The statement was shared with Volker and Sondland, who then shared it with Giuliani, according to the source. It was Giuliani who said to Volker that it did not go far enough and suggested inserting references to pursuing probes of Burisma and the 2016 election. Burisma is the Ukrainian company that hired Hunter Biden to be on its board.
Volker and Sondland then exchanged text messages about the draft, which Volker said he would share with an adviser to Zelensky. The Ukrainians told Volker they were not comfortable with the suggested statement, and the matter was ultimately dropped while a meeting between Zelensky and Trump continued to be pursued, the source said.
The source explained the context of the statement about the investigation after the discussion was included in text messages provided to Congress ahead of Volker’s closed-door testimony on Thursday. …