U.S. envoy: Trump tied Ukraine aid to Biden, DNC investigations

Axios | 10/23/2019 | Alayna Treene,
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The big picture: Taylor, a career diplomat who has served in multiple administrations, expressed concerns that there were two channels of U.S. policymaking toward Ukraine — one official channel and one "irregular, informal" channel operated by Rudy Giuliani, special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Sondland.

Taylor told lawmakers in a lengthy statement that by early September, he was informed by Sondland that both security assistance and a White House visit for Zelensky were conditioned on a public statement by the Ukrainian president ordering the investigations into Burisma — on whose board Joe Biden's son served — and allegations of interference in the 2016 election.

Key - Excerpts

Key excerpts:

"I sensed something odd when Ambassador Sondland told me on June 28 that he did not wish to include most of the regular interagency participants in a call planned with President Zelenskyy later that day. … Ambassador Sondland said that he wanted to make sure no one was transcribing or monitoring as they added President Zelenskyy to the call."

NSC - Secure - Video-conference - Call - July

"In a regular NSC secure video-conference call on July 18, I heard a staff person from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) say that there was a hold on security assistance to Ukraine but could not say why. "

"Toward the end of an otherwise normal meeting, a voice on the call — the person was off-screen — said that she was from OMB and that her boss had instructed her not to approve any additional spending of security assistance for Ukraine until further notice....
(Excerpt) Read more at: Axios
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