Trump Admin Is Too Inept To Pull Off Quid Pro Quo

Thursday, 07 Nov, 2019

Adam Schiff, who is leading the impeachment investigation, said the committee will hear from top Ukraine diplomat William Taylor and career department official George Kent next Wednesday and from former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch next Friday.

A day after saying he wouldn't bother reading transcripts released by House Democrats in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, Sen. Some witnesses, including Taylor, have challenged that assertion.

"Ambassador Taylor makes clear why this military aid and continued bipartisan support for Ukraine are so critically important - and why these efforts to undermine USA foreign policy for domestic political reasons were so damaging", the statement said.

"I said that resumption of USA aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks", Sondland recalled.

"And so he ended the meeting".

Mr. Sondland had testified on October 19 that he did not believe there was a quid pro quo for the aid to Ukraine.

In the transcripts and accompanying cache of text messages, USA diplomats are shown trying to navigate the demands of Mr Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who they soon learn is running a back-channel USA foreign policy on Ukraine.

Media captionWhat does it take to impeach a president?

"Your failure or refusal to appear at the deposition, including at the direction or behest of the president, shall constitute further evidence of obstruction of the House's impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against you and the President".

It came up in Taylor's testimony, when investigators pressed him on what he meant by military aid being conditioned on the "investigation [into the Bidens' activities in Ukraine]". "And it would have been natural for me to have voiced what I had presumed to Ambassador Taylor, Senator Johnson, the Ukrainians, and Mr. Morrison".

"So if they don't do this, they are not going to get that was your understanding?" "It was incoherent. It depends on who you talk to; they seem to be incapable of forming a quid pro quo".

Televised public hearings featuring US officials testifying in Congress about alleged wrongdoing by Trump could crowd out other issues like the economy and immigration as voters turn their minds to the November 2020 election.

And it ended up that we had this temporary hold on military aid.

The "unanimous opinion of every level of interagency discussion", Taylor said, was that the aid should be resumed "without delay".

Taylor said he became "increasingly concerned" about the diverging objectives of the regular channel, which had "strong bipartisan support", and the informal channel guided by Giuliani, which also included former Ukraine special envoy Kurt Volker, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. "There should have been, but there wasn't".

Mr Taylor spoke of an "irregular, informal channel of U.S. policy-making" that had "fundamentally undermined" relations with Ukraine. "And the answer was, don't worry about it", Taylor said. The security aid was approved by Congress to help Ukraine curb Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian corruption, that's what everyone wanted investigated, until Giuliani stepped in.

I know, some Trump haters insist that the reconstructed notes of Trump's July 25 call with new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is proof enough.