President Trump’s top two envoys to Ukraine drafted a statement for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in August that would have committed the country to investigating Trump's political rivals, The New York Times reports. In the weeks after Trump's July 25 phone call with Zelensky, Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and then-State Department envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker reportedly drafted the statement—which was intended to commit Ukraine to investigating corruption allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, along with supposed election interference by Ukraine in 2016 meant to benefit Hillary Clinton.
The Times reports the idea behind the statement was to make the Ukrainians follow through on their private promises. It was also reportedly an effort to placate Trump and Giuliani. Volker and Sondland reportedly believed Giuliani was “poisoning” the president's mind on Ukraine, and they thought the country coming out with a public statement would encourage Trump to support the new Ukrainian government. It's unclear if a statement was ever delivered to Zelensky, but no such statement was ever released publicly under his name. This comes after Volker met with members of Congress in an hours-long deposition Thursday, where he reportedly told lawmakers that he had warned Giuliani about receiving misinformation on Biden and his son from Ukrainian political figures.