Trump Envoys Pushed Ukraine to Commit to Investigations – The New York Times

“He was supposed to do something, or say something, to assure everybody — meaning our people — that he was going to take serious action about corruption,” said Mr. Giuliani. “I know that the investigations — which would be the collusion, the Burisma investigation — would be included in it, but it would have been part of an overall statement about dealing with corruption in an aggressive way.”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment. Aides to Mr. Zelensky did not immediately respond to requests for comment sent in the overnight in Ukraine.

Despite Mr. Trump’s accusations of corruption on the part of the Bidens, no evidence has surfaced that the former vice president knowingly took any steps to help his son or his son’s Ukrainian employer.

Mr. Trump’s regular suggestions that Ukraine, rather than Russia, was responsible for the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee have been thoroughly debunked. While some Ukrainian officials expressed support for Mrs. Clinton in 2016, claims by Mr. Trump and his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, that documents released in Ukraine that year implicating Mr. Manafort in financial fraud were falsified or doctored have similarly proven to be baseless.

But Mr. Trump’s continued efforts to press Ukraine to investigate those matters has drawn in a growing number of his aides, including Mr. Volker, who stepped down last week at the State Department’s special envoy for Ukraine, and Mr. Sondland, who has taken an increasingly prominent role in dealing with Kiev.

Mr. Sondland, 62, made a fortune in luxury hotels, and has been a prominent Republican donor and fund-raiser for years.

He backed out of his role as a host of a fund-raiser for Mr. Trump in 2016 citing Mr. Trump’s disparaging comments toward immigrants and the family of a slain Muslim American soldier.


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