Here’s Your Quid Pro Quo

I will write more tomorrow, but by all accounts Trump’s defense has been, um, challenged.

As in blown out of the water.

William B. Taylor Jr., the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and a long-respected career diplomat, confirmed that the aid for Ukraine appropriated by Congress had indeed been frozen by Trump, with the intention to extort campaign help from Ukrainian President Zelensky.

The top American diplomat in Ukraine on Tuesday gave impeachment investigators a vivid and impassioned account of how multiple senior administration officials told him that President Trump blocked security aid to Ukraine and refused to meet the country’s leader until he agreed to publicly pledge to investigate Mr. Trump’s political rivals.

In testimony to impeachment investigators delivered in defiance of State Department orders, the diplomat, William B. Taylor Jr., sketched out in remarkable detail a quid pro quo pressure campaign on Ukraine that Mr. Trump and his allies have long denied. He said the president sought to condition the entire United States relationship with Ukraine — including a $391 million aid package whose delay put Ukrainian lives in danger — on a promise that the country would publicly investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his family, along with other Democrats, in an effort to incriminate his adversaries.

His account implicated Mr. Trump personally in the effort, citing multiple sources inside the government. Those include a budget official who said during a secure National Security Council conference call in July that she had been instructed not to approve the security assistance for Ukraine, and that, Mr. Taylor said, “the directive had come from the president.”

See Taylor’s opening statement here.

The Republicans will double down on complaining about the process, I’m sure.

12 thoughts on “Here’s Your Quid Pro Quo

    • Apparently you suffer from poor reading comprehension skills. My earlier post, from May, sounded an alarm that the Trump campaign was attempting to turn Hunter Biden’s job in Ukraine into a scandal. It also pointed out that it looked like an attempt to collude with a foreign country to impact an election. I did not accuse Joe Biden of doing anything wrong, and pointed out that what we knew at the time from news stories told us there was good reason to push out the Ukrainian prosecutor that didn’t involve Hunter Biden.

      However, I’m not letting Hunter Biden entirely off the hook. I do think there’s an ongoing problem not just with Hunter Biden but with the relatives of high government officials, plus retired government officials, who are making big, easy bucks by affiliating themselves with corrupt foreign governments and businesses. (See, for example, the Trump offspring.) Hunter Biden didn’t do anything illegal by taking the job, but IMO the State Department needs to clamp down on this stuff in the future. Once we get rid of Trump.

  1. Later on July 20, I had a phone conversation with Ambassador Sondland while he was
    on a train from Paris to London, Ambassador Sondland told me that he had
    recommended to President Zelenskyy that he use the phrase, “I will leave no stone
    unturned” with regard to “investigations” when President Zelenskyy spoke with
    President Trump.

    Code talking 101.. If it wasn't so sad it would be comical. I can still see Zelenskyy in the meeting with Trump in front of the cameras saying..No pressure, no pressure. And all the time knowing he'd been squeezed like a lemon.

    • Not only that, the conspiracy theory held that it was the Ukrainians helping Clinton, and not Russian interference on behalf of Trump, that was the interference in the 2016 election, and the server supposedly hidden somewhere in Ukraine was proof of it.  Essentially, Trump wanted Zelenskyy to be the fall guy for him and Putin, and throw their own nation under the bus in order to secure the aid they needed to keep the Russians attacking Ukraine at bay.  Zelenskyy’s “no pressure, no pressure” deer in the headlights response was indicative of the ask from Trump.

  2. Yikes!  Now there's a profile in courage. 

    I hope the Useless Don is beginning to see what real character looks like.  It's hardly ever on TV.

  3. When you get into intent, one feature stands out and I think will be repeated in other testimony. Trump wanted a PUBLIC statement from Ukraine in exchange for releasing 391 million in aid. Why public? The only reason the announcement of these investigations had to be public is to help Trump's campaign. BOTH investigations were essential to 1) Tear down Joe with accusations of bribery from an outside source and 2) create and legitimize a theory that it wasn't Russia who hacked the DNC. It was Ukraine. (this would have paved the way for an excuse to pardon Manifort. Pressure there?)

    The Mueller report confirms the findings of US intel – it was a Russian operation but much of Trump's illegal obstruction in the Mueller report seemed designed to protect Putin. This extortion of Ukraine was a stunt to create an excuse and legitimize a pillar of Trump's campaign. "The Russian's didn't get me elected." If "PUBLIc" is a proven feature of the demand, that proves it was for Trump's campaign. And nobody reads anything this long, but I had to say it.

  4. Until Trump is caught doing a 9th month abortion on a white Evangelical teen, he will not be abandoned by those who support him, and even then, he will lose only some of them. Democrats must win by voting. PERIOD. 

  5. One amusing outcome of Taylor's testimony is Republicans giving up squawking "no quid pro quo" like a flock of demented parrots. Now they're sticking out their collective lower lip to accuse everyone else of "dividing the country" and being "haters". Maybe they have a point. Most would like to divide the country from Trump because they hate what he's doing to it.

    In related news Senator Blanche DuBois is really pushing his credibility defending Big Daddy and just sounding bitchy. "This is a lynching in every sense" is not a bit genteel.

  6. The ultimate irony here is the sheer idiocy of Trump setting himself up for impeachment by attempting to smear a democratic primary candidate who might not even be the democratic nominee.

    And this anonymous coward* who prides him/herself on keeping the country safe from Trump's worst impulses by undermining him from the inside, quietly of course, is no match for Trump's own stupidity.  Trump is very good at cutting himself off at the knees. Thank God he's as dumb as he is.

    *Coward, yes because if that person truly cared about the country more than their own fortunes they would speak out publicly and resign for effect.  BTW, I heard this morning the proceeds from the book will be donated to that other group that is doing so much good — the white house press corps.  A clue maybe to who is behind the book.

  7. Until yesterday, I had thought the truth had become obsolete.  Unfortunately, there are not very many Americans who value the truth at all anymore.  These poor people will forever remain in a land of make believe.  And, whether they know it or not, they will be destroyed by their inability to separate the truth from all the lies that are everywhere now.

  8. Quid pro quo is one thing, but with tRUMP, it's more like quid D'OH schmoe!

    Btw – the conservatives favorite non-tRUMP, Matt Gaetz,  collected about two dozen other  GOP House "jeanyousis's – like Louie Gohmert and Steve Scalise – decided to 'storm the House's Bastille,' and broke-up the CLOSED hearing where Laura Cooper, Asst. Defense Sec., was going to testify.

    The question about the GOP now is, are they Anarchists, Nihilists, or both?  I vote both.  They are angry, stupid, ignorant, bigoted, white Anarcho/Nihilists.


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