Ukraine's foreign minister said U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland never linked the release of security aid to Ukraine to the country's willingness to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, according to Reuters.
Much of the evidence presented by Democrats and their chosen witnesses point toward an alleged abuse of power or "quid pro quo" by President Donald Trump rests on allegations that Sondland, who had direct contact with Trump, delivered the message to Ukraine that aid was contingent upon a Biden investigation.
If Ukraine foreign minister Vadym Prystaiko is correct, the Democrats' case has been significantly undermined.
"Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigations. You should ask him," Prystaiko said.
Prystaiko's denial of pressure or a quid pro quo involving the security aid supports previous assertions by Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky that he felt no pressure from Trump to investigate the Bidens. In fact, at the time of the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky, Ukraine was not aware that aid was being withheld.
"I think you read everything. I think you read text," Zelensky said at a September press conference. "I'm sorry, but I don't want to be involved to democratic, open elections of U.S.A. No, you heard that we had good phone call. It was normal, we spoke about many things. I think, and you read it, that nobody pushed me."
Ukraine ambassador William Taylor testified Wednesday that a member of his staff overheard President Trump asking Sondland about "investigations" during a phone call on July 26. Taylor also said a staffer asked Sondland what Trump thought about Ukraine, and Sondland allegedly replied that Trump cared more about the Bidens.