Kurt Volker, former special envoy to Ukraine, plans to deemphasize his role in the Ukraine pressure campaign by claiming ignorance of it, and to insist that he didn’t realize hypothetical investigations into Burisma were actually investigations into the Bidens.
Volker is one of the so-called “three amigos,” along with Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Other witnesses have testified that the group, led by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, comprised the backbone of the backchannel running U.S.-Ukraine policy.
According to the New York Times, Volker will toss Sondland directly under the bus, saying that he was ignorant that Sondland linked the withheld military aid and bogus investigations in conversations with the Ukrainians.
He also plans to say that he was unaware of the scheme to get Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce the launching of the investigations on CNN.
Volker is faced with the task of massaging his testimony into a shape more similar to that of other witnesses — especially his description of a July 10 White House meeting. Other witnesses say that former NSA John Bolton grew incensed when Sondland brought up the investigations in front of the Ukrainians, and abruptly ended the meeting. Unswayed, Sondland took the Ukrainians into another room to discuss the investigations further.
Volker, who left out some of those details in his account, plans to say that he may have been with the third amigo, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and missed some of the exchanges.
He will also walk an extremely difficult tightrope in his hard-to-believe insistence that he didn’t know about the interest in manufacturing investigations into the Bidens, despite the fact that others have placed him in conversations about Burisma, the company on whose board Hunter Biden sat.
Per the Times, he intends to tell the committee that while seemingly everyone else knew that investigating any corruption at Burisma was shorthand for concocting a sham investigation to taint Joe Biden via Hunter Biden, he, again, was ignorant.