Trump's Ukraine envoy 'warned Giuliani that Biden corruption claims were not credible'

Meeting on Capitol Hill was behind closed doors

Andrew Buncombe
Seattle
Thursday 03 October 2019 17:04
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Rudy Giuliani says he is willing to testify over Trump impeachment claims

A top US diplomat reportedly told Donald Trump’s personal lawyer that claims about Joe Biden having acted corruptly in Ukraine “were not credible”.

Kurt Volker, the former special envoy to Ukraine who is named in the whistleblower complaint as having been told to “contain the damage” caused by Rudy Giuliani’s outreach to Ukraine’s president, told members of Congress he had warned the one-time New York mayor he was receiving incorrect information about Mr Biden.

The Washington Post reported that Mr Volker, who last month quit his post as special envoy after being named in the compliant that accused Mr Trump of seeking Ukraine’s help in the 2020 election, told a closed door hearing on Capitol Hill that Mr Giuliani should not trust stories told to him by that country’s former top prosecutor.

Mr Giuliani, who on Monday was issued a subpoena by Democrats seeking information about his outreach to Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky, and other officials from the country, has admitted acting on behalf of the president in pushing for a probe into the force vice president and his son, Hunter.

The Post said that at the heart of the issue has been Mr Giuliani’s claim that while he was vice president, Mr Biden pushed for the firing of Ukraine’s former prosector general, Viktor Shokin, as part of a corrupt plot to halt investigations into a Ukrainian natural gas company that employed Hunter Biden.

Mr Biden has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, and independent experts have pointed out the vice president’s efforts were part of a broader international effort that included the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. A number of senior officials there had little time for Mr Shokin.

Mr’s Volker’s comments appear to be at odds with comments made earlier in the day by Republican members of the House who attended Thursday’s closed-door session.

Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio, told CNN “not one thing” the ex-diplomat said “aligns with the “Democratic impeachment narrative”.

Rudy Giuliani contradicts himself after claiming he would not cooperate with impeachment investigation

Mr Volker spent the morning testifying behind closed-doors before members from multiple House committees. Mr Jordan said House intelligence chairman Adam Schiff limited members from asking questions.

“We have never seen a chairman suggest that members aren’t allowed to ask questions. So, if this is how Mr Schiff is going to conduct these kinds of interviews.....that’s a concern as well,” he said.

Mr Jordan said Mr Volker had been “very impressive”, but would not elaborate on the specifics.

On Twitter, Mr Giuliani launched another attack on Democrats.

“Democrats now own Biden corruption,” he said

“His family has been selling Biden’s offices for 5 decades. From sleazy little crooks to doing business with Ukrainian organized crime, Whitey Bulger’s nephew, Chinese government, a Madoff type and lots more. All covered up by Corrupt Media.”

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