Today's impeachment inquiry deposition from Acting US Ambassador to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, is the most devastating yet to the Trump regime, and essentially confirms everything we've been discussing here at ZVTS for the last four weeks.
The senior U.S. diplomat in Ukraine said Tuesday he was told release of military aid was contingent on public declarations from Ukraine that it would investigate the Bidens and the 2016 election, contradicting President Trump’s denial that he used the money as leverage for political gain.
Acting ambassador William B. Taylor Jr. testified behind closed doors in the House impeachment probe of Trump that he stands by his characterization that it was “crazy” to make the assistance contingent on investigations he found troubling.
Upon arriving in Kyiv last spring he became alarmed by secondary diplomatic channels involving U.S. officials that he called “weird,” Taylor said, according to a copy of his lengthy opening statement obtained by The Washington Post.
Taylor walked lawmakers through a series of conversations he had with other U.S. diplomats who were trying to obtain what one called the “deliverable” of Ukrainian help investigating Trump’s political rivals.
Taylor said he spoke to Ambassador Gordon Sondland, the U.S. envoy to the European Union.
“During that phone call, Amb. Sondland told me that President Trump had told him that he wants President [Volodymyr] Zelensky to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election,” Taylor said in the statement.
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter had been a board member of Burisma, a large Ukrainian gas company. Joe Biden is a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.
“Amb. Sondland also told me that he now recognized that he had made a mistake by earlier telling the Ukrainian officials to whom he spoke that a White House meeting with President Zelensky was dependent on a public announcement of investigations — in fact, Amb. Sondland said, ‘everything’ was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance,’” Taylor told House investigators.
“He said that President Trump wanted President Zelensky ‘in a public box’ by making a public statement about ordering such investigations.’
Taylor was called to testify before committees considering whether to impeach Trump because he had raised alarms about Trump administration interactions with Zelensky.
“It was just the most damning testimony I’ve heard,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said in an interview partway into Taylor’s testimony.
Donald Trump wanted Ukrainian President Zelensky to publicly announce an investigation into Joe Biden's son in order to get military aid approved by Congress.
Straight up quid pro quo. Straight up mobster shakedown. Straight up impeachable. Giuliani is the side show, the undercard. This is the acting ambassador to Ukraine saying the quid pro quo was real and demanded by Donald Trump himself.
The NY Times lays it out in six key statements:
1. Taylor described an explicit quid pro quo.
2. The White House had two channels on Ukraine policy: official and unofficial. The unofficial one included Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer.
3. Taylor was told Ukraine had to ‘pay up’ before the president would ‘sign a check.’
4. Taylor said Ukrainians would die at the hands of Russian led-forces as a result of the delay in American military aid.
5. Bolton fought the effort to hijack the policy toward Ukraine and Pompeo did not respond directly to complaints, Taylor said.
6. Demands were made for secrecy and career officials, including Taylor, were left in the dark about key events.
Gordon Sondland? He's getting the Manafort special after this. I hope he enjoys a box. This is an outright engineered conspiracy from step one. The goal was to get Zelensky to announce Biden was being investigated in order to help Trump win, and it was 100% pay-for-play with the billions in military aid.
And yes, I'm predicting it now after this.
Donald Trump is going to be impeached.