Biden: Trump was involved in cover-up on Ukraine

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White House hopeful Joe Biden in an interview released Friday accused President Trump of engaging in a cover-up regarding his July conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he asked him to investigate the former vice president on unfounded corruption charges.

“Yes,” Biden told PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff when asked if he thought Trump was involved in a cover-up of the dealings with Ukraine.

The question comes amid House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into the president, which is centered on a whistleblower’s complaint alleging that Trump sought foreign help in the 2020 election.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, reportedly testified to congressional investigators this week that the White House’s rough transcript of the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky did not include key words and phrases. 

{mosads}Vindman reportedly said that among the omissions were Trump’s assertions that there were recordings of Biden discussing Ukrainian corruption and a reference by Zelensky to Burisma Holdings, the energy company on whose board Biden’s son sat. 

“I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine,” Vindman said in his testimony. “I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained.” 

Democrats and officials have suggested that the president may have tied $400 million in military aid to Kiev to its compliance with Trump’s requests for an investigation into Biden.  

Trump has maintained there was no quid pro quo with Ukraine, but William Taylor, who serves as the U.S. chargé d’affaires in Kiev, testified last week that the aid was directly linked to a commitment from Zelensky to publicly announce investigations into Biden and 2016 election meddling.

“The idea that someone would invite a foreign power into our election and in the process withhold, apparently, the allegation of someone within the administration who heard the conversations, withhold vital aid, military aid voted for by the Congress while Ukrainians are dying … in order to take on Russians, who are there still killing them, killing these people, is just one of the things that no president that I’m aware of has ever thought of doing,” Biden said, referring to an ongoing conflict between Russian and Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine.

Tags Burisma Holdings Donald Trump Joe Biden Ukraine

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