The public release of transcripts of State department officials involved in the Trump/Giuliani Ukraine scandal shows came within one CNN interview of total success in destroying Joe Biden's campaign, as the whistleblower story breaking in September spooked CNN's Fareed Zakaria from giving Ukranian President Volodomyr Zelensky the interview necessary to announce the fabricated investigation into Burisma Holdings and Hunter Biden.
It was early September, and Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, faced an agonizing choice: whether to capitulate to President Trump’s demands to publicly announce investigations against his political enemies or to refuse, and lose desperately needed military aid.
Only Mr. Trump could unlock the aid, he had been told by two United States senators, and time was running out. If the money, nearly $400 million, were not unblocked by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, it could be lost in its entirety.
In a flurry of WhatsApp messages and meetings in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, over several days, senior aides debated the point. Avoiding partisan politics in the United States had always been the first rule of Ukrainian foreign policy, but the military aid was vital to the war against Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, a conflict that has cost 13,000 lives since it began in 2014.
By then, however, Mr. Zelensky’s staffers were already conceding to what seemed to be the inevitable, and making plans for a public announcement about the investigations. It was a fateful decision for a fledgling president elected on an anticorruption platform that included putting an end to politically motivated investigations.
Elements of this internal Ukrainian debate have appeared in the Ukrainian news media and seeped into congressional testimony in the United States, as part of an impeachment inquiry undertaken after accusations surfaced of Mr. Trump’s demands.
But interviews in Kiev with government officials, lawmakers and others close to the Zelensky government have revealed new details of how high-level Ukrainian officials ultimately decided to acquiesce to President Trump’s request — and, by a stroke of luck, never had to follow through.
It wasn't luck, it was the whistleblower's story blowing up.
Finally bending to the White House request, Mr. Zelensky’s staff planned for him to make an announcement in an interview on Sept. 13 with Fareed Zakaria, the host of a weekly news show on CNN.
Though plans were in motion to give the White House the public statement it had sought, events in Washington saved the Ukrainian government from any final decision and eliminated the need to make the statement.
Word of the freeze in military aid had leaked out, and Congress was in an uproar. Two days before the scheduled interview, the Trump administration released the assistance and Mr. Zelensky’s office quickly canceled the interview.
Since then, Trump administration officials including the White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, have tried to argue that the security assistance could not have been conditioned on the public statement, because the aid was released without it.
The NY Times first broke the story on August 21, but Adam Schiff's tangle with the Trump White House over the whistleblower complaint, specifically with Acting DNI Joseph Maguire,happened on September 13th.
The day before the interview.
And that was the difference.