The liberal media is convinced that there is now a smoking gun in the Democratic Party’s partisan impeachment inquiry following Tuesday’s closed-door testimony by Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor.
The diplomat told Congress that U.S. military aid to Ukraine was made contingent on Ukraine agreeing to investigate election interference and a Ukrainian company linked to former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, The Hill reported, after Taylor’s opening statement was leaked.
“[T]he push to make President Zelensky publicly commit to investigations of Burisma and alleged interference in the 2016 election showed how the official foreign policy of the United States was undercut by the regular efforts led by Mr. Giuliani,” Taylor told House Democrats investigating Trump.
The “explosive” testimony — Taylor cited detailed notes from calls and conversations he had on the matter — is being held up as proof of the quid pro quo needed to justify impeachment.
Yet, while nearly $400 million in military aid was said to be contingent on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announcing the investigations, the money still flowed without this occurring.
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham dismissed the House impeachment inquiry as “nonsense,” describing it as a “coordinated smear campaign.”
“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,” the release said. “Today was just more triple hearsay and selective leaks from the Democrats’ politically-motivated, closed door, secretive hearings.”
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) October 22, 2019
The Trump campaign echoed that sentiment.
“The Bill Taylor statement was predictably & selectively leaked by Democrats from their secret impeachment bunker. It underscores the illegitimacy of their whole process, all done behind closed doors. This is double and triple hearsay. Once again, there was no quid pro quo,” tweeted Tim Murtaugh. director of communications for the Trump 2020 campaign.
The Bill Taylor statement was predictably & selectively leaked by Democrats from their secret impeachment bunker.
It underscores the illegitimacy of their whole process, all done behind closed doors.
This is double and triple hearsay.
Once again, there was no quid pro quo.
— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) October 22, 2019
Taylor testified that U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland told him in a call that “everything,” including military aid, depended on Zelensky publicly stating that the investigations would happen, according to The Hill.
“During our call on September 8, Ambassador Sondland tried to explain to me that President Trump is a businessman. When a businessman is about to sign a check to someone who owes him something, he said, the businessman asks that person to pay up before signing the check,” he said.
“Ambassador 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, Ambassador Sondland said ‘everything’ was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance,” Taylor added.
In a Sept.9 text exchange with Sondland, Taylor expressed his concerns only to be informed that he was “incorrect” in his take on the president’s intentions.
“As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” Taylor wrote.
“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. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign. I suggest we stop the back and forth by text,” Sondland replied.
Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino shared this exchange to remind the left.
“Democrats have a tough time with facts. They’re immune,” he added as a caption.
Democrats have a tough time with facts. They’re immune. pic.twitter.com/MIiXw4lAN2
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) October 22, 2019
Democratic lawmakers are ready to declare Trump guilty based on the testimony of a man and his interpretation of events.
Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., a member of the House Oversight Committee, called Taylor’s testimony “the most powerful we’ve heard.”
“This testimony is a sea change. I think it could accelerate matters,” said Lynch. “This will, I think, answer more questions than it raises.”
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., was reading from the same script.
“It was just the most damning testimony I’ve heard,” Wasserman Schultz told the Washington Post.
“He drew a very direct line in a series of events he described as being President Trump’s decision to withhold funds and refuse a meeting with Zelensky unless there was a public pronouncement by him of investigations of Burisma,” she added.
Meanwhile, Republicans are not as convinced.
“I’ve been in there for 10 hours. I can assure you there was no quid pro quo,” said Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who sits on the House Oversight Committee.
Rep. Mark Meadows exits Bill Taylor testimony: "I've been in there for 10 hours. I can assure you there was no quid pro quo." pic.twitter.com/M1g62vje4r
— The Hill (@thehill) October 23, 2019
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