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  • Writer's picturejohn kepler

Top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine contradicts Trump’s claim of no quid pro quo


The top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine told House impeachment investigators Tuesday that President Trump directly linked an order to withhold much-needed American security aid to Ukraine to his demand that the country’s government publicly announce investigations into his political rivals — explicitly contradicting Trump’s denial of a quid pro quo.

William B. Taylor’s deposition, recounted from copious notes and presented in exacting detail, provided Democrats with devastating corroboration of what has already been described by previous witnesses: the hijacking of U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine by a “highly irregular” second channel, led by Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, and others.

Democrats described the testimony as conclusive evidence for the impeachment case they are investigating and indicated that Taylor would be a prime witness when they begin laying out the case to the public in hearings later this fall.

“It was the most thorough account we had so far of the events we’ve been investigating,” said Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.). “It resolved any remaining doubts I have had.”

The White House did not seek to rebut any of Taylor’s specific statements, but denounced his account as “triple hearsay.”

“President Trump has done nothing wrong — this is a coordinated smear campaign from far-left lawmakers and radical unelected bureaucrats waging war on the Constitution. There was no quid pro quo,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.

In his 15-page opening statement — first obtained by the Washington Post and confirmed by the Los Angeles Times — Taylor said that he learned on July 18 during a secure video conference with National Security Council officials that the White House had ordered about $400 million in congressionally approved aid to Ukraine be held up.



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