Impeachment Update: Volker Testimony; Diplomatic Texts on Ukraine Released | WYPR

Impeachment Update: Volker Testimony; Diplomatic Texts on Ukraine Released

Oct 4, 2019

Kurt Volker, a former State Dept. special envoy to Ukraine, leaves a closed-door deposition with House investigators on Capitol Hill Thursday, as House Democrats pursue the impeachment of President Trump.
Credit AP Photo by Jose Luis Magana

Midday host Tom Hall began the Friday Midday on Music show with this update on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump:

"A brief word on the latest revelations in the impeachment inquiry.  Last night, the House Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Intelligence  Committees released text messages between diplomats related to President Trump’s posture towards Ukraine.  The exchanges between Special Envoy Kurt Volker and several others were released after Volker testified for nearly 10 hours behind closed doors yesterday.  The messages, from late July, August and September, indicate that President Trump was unwilling to meet with President Zelensky of Ukraine unless Zelensky agreed, in writing, to investigate Hunter Biden’s involvement with a Ukrainian oil company.  Democrats point to this as an illegal effort to leverage the office of the President for personal gain.  So far, Republican reaction is that the text messages exonerate the President...

Before leaving the White House for a trip to Florida ysterday, the President urged China to investigate the Bidens as well. 

And this reminder: last June, Ellen Weintraub, the Chair of the Federal Election Commission issued a statement that said in part, “It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a US election.”   (Weintraub Tweeted her statement yesterday with the comment: "I would not have thought that I needed to say this." -ed.)

Today, Congress hears from Michael Atkinson, the Intelligence Community Inspector General.  

And one last item: the Whistleblower’s complaint about the President and Ukraine isn’t the only such complaint in play in the nation’s capital.  The Washington Post is reporting that an official with the IRS has expressed concerns about a political appointee at the Treasury Department attempting to interfere with the annual audit of the president and the vice president’s tax returns. 

And oh, BTW, the unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest level in 50 years.