On Thursday, The New York Times reported that in addition to President Donald Trump pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky by phone call to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, a pair of Trump administration officials drafted a statement for him to read publicly that would have pledged him to do so.
"The statement would have committed Ukraine to investigating the energy company Burisma, which had employed Hunter Biden, the younger son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.," reported Times journalists Ken Vogel and Michael Schmidt. "And it would have called for the Ukrainian government to look into what Mr. Trump and his allies believe was interference by Ukrainians in the 2016 election in the United States to benefit Hillary Clinton."
The administration reportedly did not trust a private agreement from Ukrainian officials, given a perceived track record of the country not following through on diplomatic promises, and wanted something on the record.
It is unclear whether this statement was ever actually delivered to Zelensky. But it is likely to become a key point of House Democrats' impeachment investigation.
Watch Schmidt explain his scoop on MSNBC's "Hardball":