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The Latest: Texts show reactions to Trump demands on Ukraine

by Ace Damon
The Latest: Texts show reactions to Trump demands on Ukraine

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The latest news about former Ukrainian envoy Kurt Volker (all local times):

11:20 pm

Three House committees released dozens of texts among US diplomats in Ukraine, discussing how to deal with a response to President Donald Trump's demands that the country begin an investigation into Joe Biden's family.

The launch follows an almost 10-hour interview with former Ukrainian envoy Kurt Volker. Volker sent the text messages to the committees.

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In the texts, Volker and two other diplomats discuss how to navigate Trump's requests to investigate his political rival.

In an exchange, Volker and Ambassador Gordon Sondland discussed a draft declaration in which the Ukrainian government would announce an investigation into the 2016 US presidential election and a company whose advice Biden's son served.

Trump's pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is the subject of the Democrats' impeachment investigation.

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4:25 pm

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Former US Special Envoy to Ukraine witnessed Thursday of State Department turmoil over President Donald Trump's effort to investigate Joe Biden and his family, placing Rudy Giuliani at the center of the effort.

Kurt Volker, a central figure in the House impeachment inquiry, appeared for almost 10 hours behind closed doors. He told lawmakers that he was never pressured by Trump or other members of the government to get Ukraine to conduct the investigation of his Democratic rival and, in fact, said he had warned Ukrainians to move away from US policy.

However, Volker also remembered being informed that plans for a meeting between Trump and the new Ukrainian president-elect in the spring were being frozen, according to a person familiar with the private meeting who, like others, spoke under anonymity condition to discuss this.

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