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Three Chairs Provide Update on Investigative Work, Volker Testimony & Text Messages

Washington, October 3, 2019

Washington—Today, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs received testimony from Ambassador Kurt Volker, former State Department Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, as part of the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry. Following the interview with Ambassador Volker, Committee Chairs Adam B. Schiff, Elijah E. Cummings, and Eliot L. Engel updated members of their respective Committees on the inquiry.

In a letter to their colleagues, the Chairmen wrote, “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.”

Regarding the President’s continued efforts to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election, the Chairmen wrote, “This is not normal or acceptable. It is unethical, unpatriotic, and wrong. American Presidents should never press foreign powers to target their domestic political rivals.  Engaging in these stunning abuses in broad daylight does not absolve President Trump of his wrongdoings—or his grave offenses against the Constitution.”

The Chairmen also provided members excerpts of text messages relevant to the matter that Ambassador Volker provided to the Committees.

The letter continued, “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 on 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 materials, which we hope to make public after a review for personally identifiable information.”

The letter and attached documents can be viewed here.