President Donald Trump speaks to the press prior to departing the White Dwelling in Washington, DC on November eight, 2019.
Nicholas Kamm | AFP | Getty Illustrations or photos
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Friday mentioned he would be ready to give Dwelling impeachment investigators the transcript of a connect with he experienced with Ukrainian President Volodimyr Zelensky in April of this yr.
Talking to reporters on the South Garden of the White Dwelling, Trump all over again defended his controversial July 25 connect with with Zelensky, prior to including: “I have a next connect with, which no one knew about, and I guess they want that connect with to be generated as properly. So I experienced a next connect with, which basically I believe came prior to that connect with. If they want it, I’ll give it to them. I have not observed it recently. I have an understanding of they’d like it. I have no challenge giving it to them.”
The connect with Trump was referring to transpired on April 21 of this yr, soon right after Zelensky gained a landslide victory in Ukraine’s presidential election. At the time, there was no official White Dwelling readout of the connect with, but Trump’s then-envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, posted a tweet about the connect with.
Volker is a single of a few administration officers, alongside with Gordon Sondland, Trump’s ambassador to the European Union and Vitality Secretary Rick Perry, who the president directed to have out back-channel negotiations with the Ukrainian governing administration.
In accordance to both equally Volker’s and Sondland’s October testimonies, the president instructed them to do the job closely with his personalized lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
Volker mentioned he was inspired to take part in the shadow foreign coverage by a want to boost U.S.-Ukraine relations, which he thought would only materialize if he could encourage Trump that the new Ukrainian chief was ready to assistance the president.
Setting up in May perhaps of this yr, Volker labored closely with Giuliani, and was instrumental in placing up Trump’s July 25 connect with with Zelensky, in which Trump asked the Ukrainian president for “a favor.”
The Dwelling investigation was sparked by a whistleblower grievance next that July connect with.
The probe focuses on no matter whether Trump abused the electric power of his office environment in his try to strain Ukraine to look into a political rival, and if so, no matter whether people actions fulfill the normal for “high crimes and misdemeanors” deserving of impeachment and, probably, removal from office environment.