President Donald Trump, late on Thursday night, Nov. 14, said, “The fake impeachment inquiry is now dead” after top Ukrainian official denied the link between military aid and the Bidens investigations, which is at the heart of the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry against the president.
“Democrats must apologize to USA: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said, “United States Ambassador Gordon Sondland did NOT link financial military assistance to a request for Ukraine to open up an investigation into former V.P. Joe Biden & his son, Hunter Biden,” President Trump wrote in a Tweet.
“”Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigation.”” he added. “THE FAKE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY IS NOW DEAD!”
….Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigation.” THE FAKE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY IS NOW DEAD!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2019
In the now-infamous July phone call, President Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into a Crowdstrike server that was allegedly being held in Ukraine and also look into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son’s business dealings in Ukraine after it emerged that Joe Biden had pressured Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor who was investigating a Ukrainian natural gas company where Hunter Biden held a lucrative role on the board.
The president’s request came after millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen. Democrats have claimed the call was part of an attempted quid pro quo in exchange for withheld aid and a White House meeting between two Presidents Trump and Zelenskiy who, however has said he felt no improper pressure during the call and was not aware of the hold on the aid.
“There was no blackmail,” Zelenskiy told reporters last month in Kyiv. “It wasn’t a subject of our talk.”
Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, during his closed-door testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, told the congressional prosecutors that he had said to a top Ukrainian official that U.S. aid would likely not resume until the country issues a corruption statement, which was immediately hailed by Democrats as a proof of the quid pro quo.
Prystaiko’s comments came a day after the House held its first public impeachment hearings on Wednesday, staying in stark contrast with Sondland’s account.
“I have never seen a direct link between investigations and security assistance. Yes, investigations were mentioned, you know, in a presidential conversation. But there was no clear connection between these events,” Prystaiko told reporters Thursday in Kyiv, according to Interfax-Ukraine.
“Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and did not tell me exactly, about the relation between the [military] assistance and the investigations. You should ask him. I do not recall any conversation with me as with foreign minister. It was not we, the Ukrainian officials [who were told this],” he said, adding that he has not had contact with Sondland as an official.
Another “star witness” of Democrats William Taylor, the acting ambassador to Ukraine also testified before Congress based on what he had heard from Sondland.