President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign tweeted a letter between the president and Ukrainian President Zelensky, saying that a visit was offered to the White House without any strings attached.
House Democrats have alleged that Trump pressured Zelensky into investigating a political rival in exchange for military aid and a trip to the White House.
However, the letter, dated May 29, suggests that there were no conditions attached to a White House visit.
“I wish to offer my congratulations on your historic election victory,” Trump told Zelensky in the signed letter.
“As you prepare to address the many challenges facing Ukraine, please know that the American people are with you and are committed to helping Ukraine,” Trump wrote in the letter.
We already know Ukraine felt no pressure to act in any manner for lethal aid to flow.
We also know that President Trump twice offered a White House visit – without conditions – in phone calls with President Zelensky.
And this letter again offered a visit without conditions. pic.twitter.com/XpRF5BwKHb
— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) November 20, 2019
“To show that commitment, I would like to invite you to meet with me at the White House in Washington, D.C., as soon as we can find a mutually convenient time,” the letter said.
The letter was tweeted by Tim Murtaugh, a Trump campaign spokesman, on Wednesday morning as U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testified in the House impeachment inquiry.
“We already know Ukraine felt no pressure to act in any manner for lethal aid to flow,” he wrote on Twitter. “We also know that President Trump twice offered a White House visit—without conditions—in phone calls with President Zelensky. And this letter again offered a visit without conditions.”
Ukrainian officials, including Zelensky and the foreign minister, have said that they felt no pressure from the United States to carry out investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden, who was the Obama administration’s point person in Ukraine for several years, or his son, Hunter, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy firm that has long been accused of corruption.
Sondland, during the hearing, said he never talked to President Trump about “preconditions” for the Ukraine aid to be sent. However, he said Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani made “demands” that were allegedly from Trump. “When the President says, ‘talk to my personal attorney’ and then Mr. Guiliani, as his personal attorney, makes certain requests or demands, we assume it’s coming from the President,” Sondland said.
Some of Sondland’s testimony has been disputed by other witnesses and Ukrainian officials, and Vice President Mike Pence’s office on Wednesday morning joined the chorus.
“The Vice President never had a conversation with Gordon Sondland about investigating the Bidens, Burisma, or the conditional release of financial aid to Ukraine based upon potential investigations,” a Pence spokesman said in a statement.
The statement added: “Ambassador Gordon Sondland was never alone with Vice President Pence on the September 1 trip to Poland. This alleged discussion recalled by Ambassador Sondland never happened. Multiple witnesses have testified under oath that Vice President Pence never raised Hunter Biden, former Vice President Joe Biden, Crowdstrike, Burisma, or investigations in any conversation with Ukrainians or President Zelensky before, during, or after the September 1 meeting in Poland.”