Uh, what’s wacky about this is that nobody else is committing (at this moment) in detail this specific what his testimony was today, likely because it’s embargoed. So I’m not going to vouch for it’s entire accuracy, but since not much of it is new in the sense of stuff we didn’t already know I’ll recommend it as a well organized recap of what happened when.
William Taylor testifies about deep-seated push for Ukraine quid pro quo
By ANDREW DESIDERIO and KYLE CHENEY, Politico
10/22/2019 10:03 AM EDT
Updated: 10/22/2019 01:37 PM EDT
Weeks before Taylor testified, it emerged that he had deep concerns that Trump was possibly withholding military aid to the eastern European nation to pressure Ukrainian leaders to launch the investigations — one of which centers on an unsubstantiated claim about the origins of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
Taylor, who replaced U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch after her unceremonious ouster by Trump in May, raised alarms with colleagues on Sept. 1 in a text message exchange released earlier this month by the three committees spearheading the inquiry.
“Are we now saying that security assistance and [White House] meeting are conditioned on investigations?” he wondered, referring to a potential meeting between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Eight days later, Taylor’s concerns grew more urgent. In texts with two other diplomats, Taylor said it was “crazy” that military aid to Kiev was being blocked in order to force “help with a political campaign.” Nearly $400 million in military assistance to Ukraine was put on hold in late July by the White House but was released in September two weeks after POLITICO revealedbegun to slip.
Taylor had left government service for a senior position at the U.S. Institute of Peace but returned to the diplomatic corps in June after Yovanovitch’s ouster. She testified to lawmakers earlier this month that her removal was the result of a smear campaign engineered by Trump allies who portrayed her as disloyal for rebuffing Giuliani’s mission in Ukraine.
Taylor’s two correspondents in the text exchanges — former ambassador Kurt Volker and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union — have already testified to impeachment investigators. They painted a portrait of a foreign policy that had been outsourced by Trump to his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Both described deep discomfort with the arrangement and worried that Giuliani’s freelancing — especially in a country fending off Russian aggression and battling systemic internal corruption — could undermine America’s years-long diplomatic efforts.
Taylor voiced those concerns in a July text exchange days before Trump called Zelensky, who was elected in the spring on a platform of fighting corruption.
“Gordon, one thing Kurt and I talked about yesterday was Sasha Danyliuk’s point that President Zelenskyy is sensitive about Ukraine being taken seriously, not merely as an instrument in Washington domestic, reelection politics,” he said. Danyliuk is likely a reference to Oleksandr Danyliuk, Ukraine’s former finance minister.
Sondland replied, “Absolutely, but we need to get the conversation started and the relationship built, irrespective of the pretext. I am worried about the alternative.”
After Trump canceled a late August trip to Poland, where he was to meet Zelensky, the ambassadors again fretted about building a relationship between Trump and Zelensky. Volker said he hoped Vice President Mike Pence would attend in Trump’s place and set up a White House visit for Zelensky. He also said he hoped Energy Secretary Rick Perry would join.
But Taylor, on Sept. 1, worried that the White House visit itself would be conditioned on Trump’s demand for Ukraine to investigate Biden as well as an unfounded conspiracy theory that Ukraine — not Russia — interfered in the 2016 election.
As Taylor’s concerns about a quid pro quo grew more explicit, Sondland sought to put him at ease.
“Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind,” Sondland texted on Sept. 9, urging his colleagues to stop the text message exchanges.
Last week, Sondland told House investigators that he sent this message after speaking directly to Trump and that he could not speak to whether it was true.
So there you have. Pretty cut and dried. Unidicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio solicited a Campaign contribution from a Foreign Government. That is illegal because it breaks Campaign Finance Law. It’s also Unconstitutional because it violates the Emoluments Clause. Unidicted Co-Conspirator withheld the property of the Government who’s favor he was soliciting. This is highly Illegal, it’s called Extortion. He did so with money duly authorized by the Congress, both Houses, in a lawfull appropriation authorized by his signature scrawl. This is Contempt of Congress. This is failure to uphold your Oath of Office to ensure the laws of the United States are faithfully executed.
Now- that’s enough really, but like everything else in this organization it’s corrupt to the bone and it’s hard to pull on a single thread without the whole damn thing starting to unravel. The main point is these are all incontrovertable facts, uncontested by Unindicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio because he did them on the Public Record, often on Video Tape.