Text messages released last night illustrate Trump administration deal-making with Ukraine: Want an audience with the president? You must investigate the Bidens.

At least one career diplomat seems to have built a record of incriminating information on the subject.  The guns are smoking.


House committees released the material after Trump apologists such as Rep. Jim Jordan attempted to claim there was nothing of substance in closed-door testimony of envoy Kurt Volker. Riiiiiight. From the Washington Post account:

“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,” Volker texted Zelensky’s aide, Andrey Yermak, on July 25, hours before Trump and the Ukrainian president spoke via phone.

Yet two weeks after that call, the president still had not agreed to meet with Zelensky — and administration officials sought to convince the Ukrainians that Trump would need a public pledge before agreeing to the meeting, according to the text messages.

“I think potus really wants the deliverable,” U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland texted to Volker on Aug. 9, noting that Zelensky might give a news conference announcing his intent to investigate. “To avoid misunderstandings, might be helpful to ask Andrey for a draft statement (embargoed) so that we can see exactly what they propose to cover.”


By the next day, the Ukrainians had agreed to announce their plans to carry out Trump’s investigations alongside the date for a meeting between the two heads of state, the messages indicate.

Good summary here.


It includes this choice exchange between career diplomat Bill Taylor and Sondland, a major Trump financial backer:

“Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigations?” Taylor asked.


“Call me,” Sondland replied. And their conversation on that central point was not recorded.

Perfectly normal — IF you live in the amoral world of self-centered corruption in which Donald Trump lives and in which you must demonstrate loyalty to his cause.


PS: A new prosecutor in Ukraine says he now WILL review the Biden matter, so far found meritless but a fixation of Trump’s because of a wholly unsupported theory that it was Ukraine that meddled in 2016 elections in support of Hillary Clinton, not Russia meddling in support of Trump, as all credible intelligence sources have concluded and as Robert Mueller concluded.

Coincidentally, Ukraine got clearance this week for purchase of U.S. anti-tank missiles it had been seeking.