Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Quid pro quo update

Judd Legum provides a brief on impeachment testimony, particularly testimony about the quid pro quo.

On Tuesday, William Taylor, the top diplomat in Ukraine, delivered bombshell testimony at the House of Representatives. Taylor testified that Trump conditioned hundreds of millions in military aid to Ukraine on a public commitment from Ukraine to investigate his political rivals — Joe Biden and the Democratic Party.

“[EU] Ambassador [Gordan] 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,” Taylor said. That’s the definition of a quid pro quo.

Taylor’s detailed testimony wasn’t necessary to justify impeachment. The fact that Trump asked Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Bidens — which was established by the call summary released by the White House — was more than enough.

But dozens of Republicans in Congress defended Trump by publicly declaring that there was “no quid pro quo.” The implication, of course, was that if Trump engaged in a quid pro quo, it would be a serious offense. Now, these Republicans have some explaining to do. If you are interested in the receipts, I’ve collected many of the statements from Republican members of Congress about “quid pro quo” here

Legum includes statements by 20 Republican Reps, by Scriber’s count, including our own Andy Biggs and Debbie Lesko. Way to go Arizona!

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