A source familiar with the matter tells CNN that the Ukrainian government wrote the initial statement for public release committing to pursue investigations of corruption.
The New York Times was first to report on the existence of the statement, saying it was drafted by US special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker and US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.
But the source said Ukrainians’ purpose for drafting the statement was to try to reinforce with Rudy Giuliani, who the Ukrainians knew had influence with President Trump, that there was a new team in Ukraine with President Zelensky that was committed to cleaning up corruption in Ukraine.
The statement was shared with Volker and Sondland, who then shared it with Giuliani, according to the source. It was Giuliani who suggested to Volker that it did not go far enough and suggested inserting references to pursuing probes of Burisma and the 2016 election.
Burisma is the Ukrainian company that hired Joe Biden’s son Hunter for its board.
Volker and Sondland then exchanged text messages about the draft, which Volker said he would share with an adviser to Zelensky. The Ukrainians told Volker they were not comfortable with the suggested statement, and the matter was ultimately dropped while a meeting between Zelensky and Trump continued to be pursued, the source said.
The source explained the context of the statement about the investigation after the discussion was included in text messages that were provided to Congress ahead of Volker’s closed-door testimony on Thursday.
Asked earlier today about the draft statement, Giuliani told CNN’s Michael Warren via text that he "Never saw it or even draft of it."