Volker: Hold Up Of Assistance Had Happened In The Past

CASTOR: Ambassador Volker, you testified during your deposition that aid, in fact, does get held up from time to time for a whole assortment of reasons. Is that your understanding?

AMB. VOLKER: That is true.

CASTOR: Sometimes the hold ups are rooted in something at OMB, sometimes it’s at the Defense Department, sometimes it’s at the State Department and sometimes it’s on the Hill, correct?

VOLKER: That is correct.

CASTOR: And so when the aid was held up for 55 days for Ukraine, that didn’t in and of itself strike you as uncommon.

VOLKER: No, it’s something that had happened in my career in the past. I’ve seen holdups of assistance. I just assumed it was part of the decision making progress, someone had an objection and we had to overcome it.

CASTOR: In fact, there were concerns that perhaps President Zelensky wasn’t going to be the reformer that he campaigned on?

VOLKER: That was a supposition that I made because of the meeting with the President on May 23rd. I thought that could be what’s behind it.

CASTOR: And in fact the aid was lifted shortly after he was able to convene a Parliament?

VOLKER: I believe he — let me get the date straight. I believe he was able to convene on the Parliament around the 1st of September, and I believe the aid was released on the 11th of September.

CASTOR: When he was able to convene a parliament he was able to push through a number of anti-corruption initiatives.

VOLKERThat began with the Parliament seated on that day, it was a 24 hour session, but then it continued for some time.

CASTOR: And that was an encouraging sign?

VOLKER: It started off in a very encouraging way, yes.