Thursday, 17 October, 2019

China likely to pass on Trump ask to probe Bidens

U.S. special representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker left and Marie Yovanovitch are U.S. special representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker left and Marie Yovanovitch are
Travis Berry | 05 October, 2019, 00:44

Ryaboshapka and Zelenskiy's remarks came a day after House investigators released a cache of text messages provided by Kurt Volker, the former special US envoy to Ukraine who stepped down amid the Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

Pence aides said the Bidens were also not discussed during Pence's two phone calls with Zelenskiy _ one on April 23 and one on September 18 _ nor had Biden come up in Pence's other conversations with world leaders.

If Giuliani took the Ukrainians' message on board in Spain, he also may have had one for his counterpart - one about the alleged "corruption" involving the Biden family and a now-debunked claim about pressure by the then-vice president in service of protecting his son Hunter, who was being paid by a Ukrainian company.

Trump has said he raised Biden as an example of corruption in Ukraine in a summertime phone call with Zelenskiy that now at the center of the impeachment probe. In one, Bill Taylor, a senior USA diplomat in Kiev, drew a direct line between Zelenskiy's White House meeting request and a almost $400 million military aide package that Trump himself froze.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and described his phone call with Zelensky as "perfect".

Some Democrats have said Trump's comments to Zelensky show an impeachable abuse of power and grounds for an impeachment query, even if Trump didn't explicitly link the Biden investigation to military aid.

"Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigations?" Secretary of State Mike Pompeo supported the move, an administration official said.

Wilson stars as Seahawks down Rams 30-29 in National Football League thriller
Wilson took a knee and the Seahawks escaped to move to 4-1 on the year and are starting to emerge as a clear favorite in the NFC. Wilson, however, remained composed despite a late slip up under the two-minute mark that could have ended the game.

The president, his top aides and surrogates have denied there was any quid pro quo on a July 25 telephone call between Trump and Zelenskiy during which the latter brings up his desire to buy more USA anti-tank weapons and Trump immediately asks him to "do us a favor though" and brings up a probe of the Bidens. Released on October 1, the book climbed to no. 2 on Amazon's Best Sellers list by the second day, and nary a day has gone by since its release that Clinton hasn't been making headlines for one provocative thing or another that she's said in relation to her marriage, her 2016 presidential run, or that "corrupt human tornado" in office. But always in the form of corruption.

Yet Volker also recalled being told that plans for a meeting between Trump and the new Ukrainian president elected in the spring were being put on ice, according to one person familiar with the private meeting who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss it.

"The alleged involvement of some Ukrainian politicians" in US elections appears to be a reference to a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russian Federation, meddled in the 2016 presidential election. "The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo's of any kind", he told Taylor.

"I don't care about politics, I don't care about anything!"

Sondland early on had texted that he wanted to get the conversation started with Ukraine "irrespective of the pretext" because he was "worried about the alternative".

The three chairman - Adam Schiff, who leads House Intelligence; Eliot Engel, who leads House Foreign Affairs and Elijah Cummings, who leads House Oversight - said they had far more material and hoped to make more of it public.

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