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Ukraine Clearinghouse 10-03-19. Chairmen Letter on State Dept Texts

Congress of the United States
Washington, DC 20515

October 3, 2019

Members of the Intelligence, Oversight and Reform, and Foreign Affairs Committees Washington, DC. 20515

Dear Colleagues:

We are writing to convey our grave concerns with the unprecedented actions of President Donald Trump and his Administration with respect to the House of Representatives” impeachment inquiry.

The President and his aides are engaging in a campaign of misinformation and misdirection in an attempt to normalize the act of soliciting foreign powers to interfere in our elections.

We have all now seen the summary of the call in which President Trump repeatedly urged the Ukrainian President to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Bideni immediately after the Ukrainian President mentioned critical U.S. military assistance to counter Russian aggression.

The President claims he did nothing wrong. Even more astonishing, he is now openly and publicly asking another foreign power—China—to launch its own sham investigation against the Bidens to further his own political aims.

Over the past week, new reports have revealed that other Trump Administration officials also may have been involved in the illicit effort to get Ukrainian help for the President’s campaign.

For example, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has now admitted that he was on the call when President Trump explicitly pressed the Ukrainian President to investigate the Bidens— but failed to report this to the FBI or other law enforcement authorities. You will recall, FBI Director Christopher Wray urged individuals to report efforts to seek or receive help from a foreign power that may intervene in a U.S. presidential election.

This obligation is not diminished when the instigator of that foreign intervention is the President of the United States; it is all the more crucial to the security of our elections. Instead, when asked by the media about his own knowledge or participation in the call, Secretary Pompeo dissembled.

Likewise, we are investigating reports that Vice President Mike Pence may have been made aware of the contents of the call, and his absence from the Ukrainian President’s inauguration may have been related to efforts to put additional pressure on Ukraine to deliver on the President’s demands.

This week, current and former State Department officials have begun cooperating With the impeachment inquiry by producing documents and scheduling interviews and depositions. Based on the first production of materials, it has become immediately apparent why Secretary Pompeo tried to block these officials from providing information.

The Committees have now obtained text messages from Ambassador Kurt Volker, the former Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, communicating with other officials, including William B. “Bill” Taylor, the Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Andrey Yermak, Aide to Ukrainian President Zelensky, the President’s agent Rudy Giuliani, and others.

These text messages reflect serious concerns raised by a State Department official about the detrimental effects of withholding critical military assistance from Ukraine, and the importance of setting up a meeting between President Trump and the Ukrainian President without further delay. He also directly expressed concerns that this critical military assistance and the meeting between the two presidents were being withheld in order to place additional pressure on Ukraine to deliver 011 the President’s demand for Ukraine to launch politically motivated investigations.

Earlier today, selected portions of these texts were leaked to the press out of context. In order to help correct the public record, we are now providing an attachment with more complete excerpts from the exchanges. The additional excerpts we are providing are still only a subset of the full body of the materials, which we hope to make public after a review for personally identifiable information.

Our investigation will continue in the coming days. But we hope every Member of the House will join us in condemning in the strongest terms the President’s now open defiance of our core values as American citizens to guard against foreign interference in our democratic process.


A signature: Elijah E. Cummings.
Eloit L. Engel
House Committee on Foreign Affairs

A signature: Adam Schiff.
Adam B. Schiff
House of Permanent Select Committee
On Intelligence

A signature: Elijah E. Cummings.
Elijah E. Cummings
House Committee on Oversight and Reform



7/19/19, 4:48 PM

Mr Mayor — really enjoyed breakfast this morning. As discussed, connecting you here with Andrey Yermak, who is very close to President Zelensky. I suggest we schedule a call together on Monday — maybe 10am or 11am Washington time? Kurt

[7/19/19, 4:49:42 PM] Kurt Volker: Can we three do a call tomorrow - say noon WASHINGTON?

[7/19/19, 6:50:29 PM] Gordon Sondland: Looks lie Potus call tomorrow, I spike directly to Zelensky and gave him a full briefing, He’s got it,

[7/19/19, 6:52:57 PM] Gordon Sondland: Sure!

[7/19/19: 7:01:22 PM] Kurt Volker: Good. Had breakfast with Rudy this morning - teeing up call w Yermak Monday, Must have helped, Most impt is for Zelensky to say that he will help investigation - and address any specific personnel issues - if there are any

[7/21/19, 1:45:54 AM] Bill Taylor: Gordon, one thing Kurt and I talked about yesterday was Sasha Danyliuk’s point that President Zelenskyy is sensitive about Ukraine being taken seriously, not merely as an instrument in Washington domestic, reelection politics.

[7/21/19, 4:45:44 AM] Gordon Sondland: Absolutely, but we need to get the conversation started and the relationship built, irrespective of the pretext. I am worried about the alternative.

[7/22/19 4:27:55 PM] Kurt Volker: Orchestrated a great phone call w Rudy and Yermak. They are going to get together when Rudy goes to Madrid in a couple of weeks.

[7/22/19 4:28:08 PM] Kurt Volker: In the meantime, Rudy is now advocating for phone call

[7/22/19 4:28:26 PM] Kurt Volker: I have call into Fiona’s replacement and will call Bolton if needed.

[7/22/19, 4:28:48 PM] Kurt Volker: But I can tell Bolton and you can tell Mick that Rudy agrees on a call if that helps [7/22/19, 4:30:10 PM] Gordon Sondland: I talked to Tim Morrison. (Fiona’s replacement). He is pushing but feel free as well.

[7/25/19, 8:36:45 AM] Kurt Volker: Good Lunch – thanks. Heard from White House – assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate /”get to the bottom of what happened” in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington. Good luck! See you tomorrow - kurt

[7/25/19, 10:15:06 AM] Andrey Yermak: Phone call went well. President Trump Proposed to choose any convenient dates. President Zelenskiy chose 20.21,22 September for White House visit. Thank you again for your help! Please remind Mr. Mayor to share the Madrid’s dates

[7/25/19, 10:16:42 AM] Kurt Volker: Great - thanks and will do!

[8/9/19, 5:35:53 PM] Gordon Sondland: Morrison ready to get dates as soon as Yermak confirms.

[8/9/19, 5:46:21 PM] Kurt Volker: Excellent!! How did you sway him? :)

[8/9/19, 5:47:34 PM] Gordon Sondland: Not sure i did. I think potus really wants the deliverable [8/9/19, 5:48:00 PM] Kurt Volker: But does he know that?

[8/9/19, 5:48:09 PM] Gordon Sondland: Yep

[8/9/19, 5:48:37 PM] Gordon Sondland: Clearly lots of convos going on

[8/9/19, 5:48:38 PM] Kurt Volker: Ok - then that’s good it’s coming from two separate sources

[8/9/19, 5:51:18 PM] Gordon Sondland: To avoid misundestandings, might be helpful to ask Andrey fora draft statememt (embargoed) so that we can see exactly what they propose to cover Even though Ze does a live presser they can still summarize in a brief statement. Thoughts?

[8/9/19, 5:51:42 PM] Kurt Volker: Agree! 3/9/19, 1127 AM

Hi Mr Mayor! Had a good chat with Yermak last night. He was pleased with your phone call. Mentioned Z making a statement. Can we all get on the phone to make sure I advise Z correctly as to what he should be saying? Want to make sure we get this done right. Thanks!

Good idea Kurt. I am on Pacific time.

Yes can you call now going to Fundraiser at 12:30

[8/10/19, 4:56:15 PM] Andrey Yermak: Hi Kurt. Please let me know when you can talk. I think it’s possible to make this declaration and mention all these things. Which we discussed yesterday. But it will be logic to do after we receive a confirmation of date. We inform about date of visit and about our expectations and our guarantees for future visit. Let discuss it

[8/10/19, 5:01:32 PM] Kurt Volker: Ok! It’s late for you - why don’t we talk in my morning, your afternoon tomorrow? Say 10am/5pm?

[8/10/19, 5:02:18 PM] Kurt Volker: I agree with your approach. Let’s iron out statement and use that to get date and then PreZ can go forward with it?

[8/10/19, 5:26:17 PM] Andrey Yermak: Ok

[8/10/19, 5:38:43 PM] Kurt Volker: Great. Gordon is available to join as well

[8/10/19, 5:41:45 PH] Andrey Yermak: Excellent

[8/10/19, 5:42:10 PH] Andrey Yermak: Once we have a date, will call for a press briefing, announcing upcoming visit and outlining vision for the reboot of US-UKRAINE relationship, including among other things Burisma and election meddling in investigations

[8/10/19, 5:42:30 PM] Kurt Volker: Sounds great!

[8/13/19, 10:26:44 AM] Kurt Volker: Special attention should be paid to the problem of interference in the political processes of the United States, especially with the alleged involvement of some Ukrainian politicians. I want to declare that this is unacceptable. We intend to initiate and complete a transparent and unbiased investigation of all available facts and episodes, including those involving Burisma and the 2016 U.S, elections, which in turn will prevent the recurrence of this problem in the future.

[8/13/19, 10:27:20 AM] Gordon Sondland: Perfect Lets send to Andrey after our call

[8/17/19, 3:06:19 PM] Gordon Sondland: Do we still want Ze to give us an unequivocal draft with 2016 and Boresma?

[8/17/19, 4:34:21 PM] Kurt Volker: That’s the dear message so far ...

[8/17/19, 4:34:39 PM] Kurt Volker: I’m hoping we can put something out there that causes him to respond with that

[8/17/19, 4:41:09 PM] Gordon Sondland: Unless you think otherwise I will return Andreys call tomorrow and suggest they send us a clean draft.