On Thursday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko spoke out on matters relating to the ongoing impeachment inquiry, revealing that United States Ambassador Gordon Sondland did not link military aid with with the agreement that Ukraine would open investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
“Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigations,” Prystaiko said. “You should ask him.”
“I have never seen a direct relationship between investigations and security assistance,” Prystaiko added. “Yes, the investigations were mentioned, you know, in the conversation of the presidents. But there was no clear connection between these events.”
The official impeachment hearings kicked off on Wednesday with the House Intelligence Committee. Republican Rep. Jim Jordan brought light to this issue when questioning Adam Schiff’s ‘star witness’ Ambassador William Taylor about the linkage of military aid and a Biden investigation.
“In those 55 days that aid is delayed, you met with President Zelensky three times,” Jordan said. “The first one was on July 26, the day after the famous call now between President Trump and President Zelensky.”
“President Zelensky meets with you, Ambassador Volker, and Ambassador Sondland, and again, according to your deposition and your testimony, there was no linkage of security assistance dollars to investigating Burisma or the Bidens.”
“Second meeting was August 27, President Zelensky meets with you, Ambassador Bolton and others, and again there’s no linkage of security assistance dollars to an investigation of the Bidens,” Jordan added. “And then of course, the third meeting was September 5, President Zelensky meets with you and Senators Johnston and Murphy, and once again there was no linkage of security assistance dollars to investigating Burisma or the Bidens.”
“Three meetings with the president of Ukraine and no linkage,” Jordan said. “That’s accurate?”
“Mr. Jordan, it’s certainly accurate on the first two meetings, because to my knowledge the Ukrainians were not aware of the hold on assistance until the 29th of August,” Taylor replied. “The third meeting that you mentioned, with Senator Murphy and Senator Johnston, there was discussion of security assistance but … but, uh, there was not a discussion of linkage.”
Jordan continued to shred Taylor, stating, “President Zelensky had to commit to an investigation of the Bidens before the aid got released and the aid got released and he didn’t commit to an investigation.”
“I was not wrong about what I told you because that is what I heard,” Taylor replied. “That’s all I’ve said, I’ve told you what I heard.”
“And that’s the point,” Jordan shot back. “What you heard did not happen. It didn’t happen. You had three meetings with the guy, he could have told you, he didn’t announce that he was going to do an investigation before the aid happened.”
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