Kurt Volker has become one of the most often mentioned names during 2019 Impeachment Hearings and preceding closed door depositions. His role in possible misdeeds come from not only the central whistleblower’s statement but the testimony of others. The former diplomatic official was appointed as special representative for Ukranian negotiations by then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Volker would step down in 2019 amid allegations of his involvement as well as allegations against others in the Republican led administration.
He Was Appointed by a Former Secretary of State
At the time of his appointment, Tillerson released a statement full of praise for Volker and his past work with other Republican administrations. “Kurt’s wealth of experience makes him uniquely qualified to move this conflict in the direction of peace,” then Secretary of State Tillerson said at the time of Volker’s appointment. He went further to speak on the goals that Volker was tasked with in his role. “The United States remains fully committed to the objectives of the Minsk agreements, and I have complete confidence in Kurt to continue our efforts to achieve peace in Ukraine.”
When Volker received the nod to join the Trump administration in their Ukranian negotiations it marked the third Republican presidency that he served under. Before the Trump administration, he would serve under both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush in various appointments. He got his start as a CIA analyst in the late 1980s. That work would quickly transition to other positions of importance, most notably as Ambassador to NATO. He would also enter into private service, working with the McCain Institute. The late politician had a close relationship with the Special Envoy that dates back to Volker’s time working on McCain’s staff. At the time of his appointment, McCain remained positive about the decision to include Volker as a negotiator. “He brings the right experience and judgment needed to represent the United States as we continue in our efforts to stop Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine. I am confident he will serve our nation with distinction and work tirelessly to achieve peace and stability for the people of Ukraine,”the Arizona Senator told The Arizona Republic when the appointment was announced.
The Whistleblower Complaint Named His Actions Among Other Possible Issues
The whistleblower complaint that is seen as a major tipping point in the Impeachment process names Volker among those with questionable actions. In the complaint, the anonymous source points to the action of Volker meeting with Ukraine’s President Zelensky the day after Trump’s call. During testimony to Congress, the Special Envoy was forced to defend selected text messages that went against his first statements on the subject. “Heard from the White House — assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate/’get to the bottom of what happened’ in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington,”Volker wrote in one text that was revealed. In his defense, Volker stated that he was unsure of Biden mentions. He also added that he was made aware through transcripts that Trump has mentioned Biden and/or his son.
The issue of Quid Pro Quo also found its way into closed door testimony. “You asked what conversations did I have about that quid pro quo, et cetera. None, because I didn’t know that there was a quid pro quo,” he said. Rudy Giuliani presented an added complication in how Volker handled the Ukranian negatiations. According to a CNN source, “he(Volker) was trying to get the Biden-Giuliani issue off the table, given that it was a political effort and not one that he was meant to support in his State Department role.” Giuliani presented a different perspective by claiming that Volker was involved in setting up certain meetings. He produced text messages that he claimed came from the Special Envoy in his statements to the press.