Dems’ star witness shatters ‘quid pro quo’ claim – WND

Dems' star witness shatters 'quid pro quo' claim – WND.

While some repeat talking points about Ambassador Taylor’s guesses and assumptions, read this simple section from John Ratcliffe. It destroys the quid pro quo narrative.

Ukraine wasn’t aware of a military hold during the 7/25 Trump-Zelensky call. You can’t have a quid pro quo. pic.twitter.com/vOOcOnMRHL

— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) November 6, 2019

A transcript released Wednesday shows House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff’s star impeachment witness, Bill Taylor, destroyed the Democrats’ claim that President Trump engaged in a quid pro quo with Ukraine’s president to damage a political rival, House Republicans contend.

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Taylor, the Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, was asked by Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, about the delayed military aid at the center of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

The anonymous whistleblower whose complaint prompted the inquiry claimed that in a July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump used the threat of withholding military aid to pressure Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden’s profiting from a Ukrainian company while his father, Joe Biden, was Obama’s point man for Ukraine policy.

But Taylor confirmed to Ratcliffe that Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials were unaware of any delay in aid.

“It sounds like from your statement today, that you were aware of the [military] hold and troubled by it but that President Zelensky was not aware of it at that point in time,” Ratcliffe said.

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“That is correct,” Taylor replied.

“So, if nobody in the Ukrainian Government is aware of a military hold at the time of the Trump-Zelensky call,” the congressman continued, “then as a matter of law and as a matter of fact, there can be no quid pro quo, based on military aid. I just want to be real clear that, again, as of July 25th, you have no knowledge of a quid pro quo involving military aid.

“And to your knowledge, nobody in the Ukrainian government was aware of the hold?”

“That is correct,” Taylor said.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a member of the House Intelligence Committee, spotlighted the testimony in a tweet Wednesday

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“While some repeat talking points about Ambassador Taylor’s guesses and assumptions, read this simple section from John Ratcliffe. It destroys the quid pro quo narrative,” he wrote.

“Ukraine wasn’t aware of a military hold during the 7/25 Trump-Zelensky call. You can’t have a quid pro quo.”

‘Anything that resembles a quid pro quo?’

On Tuesday, House Democrats released transcripts of the testimonies of former ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and former Ukraine special envoy Kurt Volker, contending they bolster the case for impeachment.

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But Meadows noted in a tweet Tuesday that Democrats and the media were focusing on Sondland’s updated testimony in which he said he told Andriy Yermak, an aide to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, that the military aid may not be released without an anti-corruption statement by Zelensky.

Sondland testified: “I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak, where I said that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.”

Meadows argued that even if one thinks Sondland’s statement to Yermak was “nefarious,” it was based on Sondland’s assumption. The ambassador admitted previously in his updated testimony that he didn’t know — and still doesn’t know — why aid was delayed.

Sondland said he “presumed” it was because of corruption.

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Meadows insisted the Volker and Sondland transcripts show President Trump “wanted to clean up corruption in Ukraine, and ensure taxpayer funded aid wasn’t going to corrupt causes.”

“Only D.C. Democrats could spin protecting taxpayer money into an impeachable offense,” he wrote. “Blatant partisanship.”

Noting Volker testified before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight committees in October, Meadows said his testimony “once again proves there was no quid pro quo in Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.”

Meadows asked Volker: “And in no way, shape, or form in either the readouts from the United States or Ukraine did you receive any indication whatsoever for anything that resembles a quid pro quo?”

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Volker replied: “Correct.”

Volker, who resigned in late September, also was asked: “Did President Trump ever withhold a meeting with President Zelensky or delay a meeting with President Zelensky until the Ukrainians committed to investigate the allegations that you described concerning the 2016 election?”

Volker: “The answer to the question is no … we did have difficulty scheduling a meeting, but there was no linkage like that.”

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