Bill Taylor, a top diplomat in Ukraine came to Capitol Hill today and leveled some bombshell testimony. Taylor testified that when it came to Ukrainian aid, “everything” was contingent on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to publicly state he would investigate Burisma and the 2016 election in order to provide the Ukrainians with a meeting and security assistance. Precisely the quid pro quo arrangement that many have been describing.
“In fact, Ambassador Sondland said ‘everything’ was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance,” Taylor testified.
Taylor also testified that Sondland’s words came directly from Donald Trump himself.
Sondland later tried to walk back those words to Taylor. Sondland also, according to Taylor’s testimony, confessed to telling the Ukrainians that a White House meeting “was dependent on a public announcement of the investigations.” The EU Ambassador called it a “mistake.”
House Democrats have already called for Sondland to come back to testify again, as these new revelations might contradict his earlier testimony. Some are even saying that it is becoming apparent that Sondland may have outright perjured himself
Some are already saying this is the impeachable “smoking gun” many Trump opponents have waited for.
Taylor also testified that he was “very distressed” about what Trump and his allies like Sondland and Rudy Giuliani were doing in Ukraine on Trump’s orders.
NBC reports that Democrats described Taylor’s testimony as crucial, saying that he not only filled in many of the holes created by previous testimony and depositions but also drew a “direct line” between the president’s demand for an investigation by the Ukrainians into his political rivals and U.S. military aid.
“I do not know how you would listen to today’s testimony by the ambassador, Ambassador Taylor, and draw any other conclusion, except that the president abused his power and withheld foreign aid,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. “It’s a direct line.”
Rep. Steven Lynch, D-Mass., said “without question” it was the most powerful testimony heard to date, because Taylor has “first-hand knowledge” of all the relevant conversations.
After leaving the closed-door session a few hours in, Rep. Andy Levin, D-Mich., said that it was his “most disturbing day in the Congress so far.”
“Very troubling,” Levin added, without elaborating further.
“Today’s testimony was explosive,” Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., said
Wasserman Schultz also described the testimony as “one of the most” disturbing days she’s had in Congress.
Republicans said little or played down Taylor’s testimony. “Nothing new here,” Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina said.
Is this quid pro quo? Well, some might say that if it walks like a duck, etc …