U.S. diplomat to the Ukraine Kurt Volker’s testimony did not go the way Dems wanted it to. Not at all.
Volker was called as Adam Schiff’s first witness to the potential “impeachable offense” Trump committed on the phone call with Ukrainian President Zelenksy (yes, they’re calling witnesses despite President Trump – without blinking an eye – releasing the full, unredacted transcript of the call), as Dems seemed to hope Volker would testify against the president.
But, instead, Volker vouched for Trump, claiming that foreign leaders “were not pressured” by Trump or anyone in his administration to pursue an investigation against Joe Biden.
“At no time was I aware of or took part in an effort to urge Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden. As you will see from the extensive text messages I am providing, which convey a sense of real-time dialogue with several different actors, Vice President Biden was never a topic of discussion.”
Democrats have refused to release the full Volker testimony, though his opening statement is available to read online here.
Many Republican leaders and lawmakers are pointing out that Volker's testimony was a total dud for Democrats, did not support the impeachment inquiry, and if anything, only drove in Trump's innocence!
Here's what Rep. Jim Jordan had to say about Volker's testimony:
The Washington Examiner has more details on the Volker testimony:
There was no “quid pro quo” requested of Ukraine related to security aid, former U.S. Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker told lawmakers in a closed-door session.
Sources familiar with Volker’s testimony Thursday said the former diplomat rejected repeated assertions by House Democrats that Trump dangled security aid in exchange for cooperation from Ukraine in investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
“He testified that the Ukrainians were not pressured, they never raised the issue of a quid pro quo with Volker, and they did not view the president’s call or subsequent interactions to be inappropriate,” the source told the Washington Examiner.
Volker spent eight hours talking privately to lawmakers and staff from three committees conducting an impeachment inquiry centered on Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Democrats accuse the president of offering a quid pro quo of security aid if Zelensky would look into charges that Joe Biden pressured the country to fire a prosecutor targeting a Ukrainian gas company paying Hunter Biden $50,000 per month.
Volker appears to have rejected claims by Democrats that Trump had escalated pressure on the country to act against the Bidens by temporarily withholding the security aid. That includes House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat.
“Volker repeatedly refuted Chairman’s Schiff’s claim that Ukraine felt pressured to investigate Biden,” the source said.
Democratic lawmakers who sat in on the deposition reported Volker provided evidence proving the opposite: that Trump indeed asked for a quid pro quo in exchange for security aid.
Hours of testimony Thursday by former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker did not advance the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, Republican congressmen told reporters.
Volker, the first impeachment inquiry witness, testified behind closed doors. He resigned from his unpaid U.S. Department of State post last Friday without providing an explanation. Volker stepped down amid the impeachment inquiry launched by House Democrats.
In a statement issued while Volker testified, Congressman Mike Turner (R-OH), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, declared:
It is deeply unfortunate and regrettable that Schiff’s show trial investigation has clearly affected Volker’s ability to advance U.S. interests with Ukraine. It is my strong belief that Volker would not have been involved in nor permitted anything inappropriate, let alone illegal, in his service to our country.
Today he continued his legacy of integrity under questioning from Schiff’s staff. I do not believe that Volker’s testimony advanced Schiff’s impeachment agenda.
Sean Hannity also commented:
Fox News’ Gregg Jarrett and former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy weighed-in Friday on newly released details of US diplomat Kurt Volker’s testimony regarding Ukraine; saying foreign leaders “were not pressured” by the Trump administration to pursue corruption allegations against Joe Biden.
“Allow me to begin by stressing that you and the American people can be reassured and proud that the Department of State and the Department of Defense, and the professionals working there—civil and foreign service and military—have conducted themselves with the highest degree of professionalism, integrity, and dedication to the national interest. That is a testament to the strength of our people, our institutions, and our country,” Volker told Congressional leaders on Capitol Hill.
“At no time was I aware of or took part in an effort to urge Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden. As you will see from the extensive text messages I am providing, which convey a sense of real-time dialogue with several different actors, Vice President Biden was never a topic of discussion,” he added.
Now, it appears that Nancy Pelosi seems to be trying to backtrack off impeachment!
While trying (and failing) to defend Schiff's dramatization of the Trump-Ukraine call that was completely fabricated, Pelosi has admitted that the House may not ever even hold an impeachment vote if it turns out there's no evidence after all.
As The Free Beacon explained:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) downplayed the possibility of an impeachment vote in a Thursday interview.
House Democrats launched a formal impeachment inquiry in September following a whistleblower allegation against President Trump. ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos asked Pelosi if Congress had reached a "point of no return," and if an impeachment vote is "inevitable."
"I don't think so," Pelosi responded. "No, we just go forward and follow the facts. There are some people who say ‘why are you calling for an inquiry? You should just call to impeach.' I don't think that would be fair and it isn't worthy of the Constitution."
Pelosi also defended her colleague Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) for reading out a parody transcript of President Donald Trump's July phone conversation with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky during a hearing. Stephanopoulos asked Pelosi if it was right for Schiff to do a dramatic rendition of the phone call.