Decoding the explosive Ukraine text messages

The texts offer further evidence that the White House wanted to make the U.S. relationship with Zelensky conditional on Ukraine investigating his political rival—the subject of House Democrats’ deepening impeachment inquiry, and the biggest threat to Trump’s presidency so far. On Friday, Trump denied any quid pro quo, but the texts suggest otherwise.

Below, we annotated the behind-the-scenes negotiations led by Trump’s top Ukraine diplomats that have now become the latest exhibit in the House’s investigation:

4:48 PM July 19
Mr Mayor — really enjoyed breakfast this morning. As discussed, connecting you here with Andrey Yermak, who is very close to President Zelensky. I suggest we schedule a call together on Monday — maybe 10am or 11am Washington time? Kurt