U.S. envoy: Trump tied Ukraine aid to Biden, DNC investigations

Bill Taylor arrives for his testimony on Tuesday. Photo; Alex Wong/Getty Images

Why it matters: Taylor’s explosive testimony, which relies largely on his conversations with U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, draws a direct line from congressionally approved military aid to Ukrainian interference in domestic U.S. politics — the quid pro quo that Trump and his allies have long denied.

The big picture: Taylor, a career diplomat who has served in multiple administrations, expressed concerns that there were two channels of U.S. policymaking toward Ukraine — one official channel and one “irregular, informal” channel operated by Rudy Giuliani, special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Sondland.

“[A]s as the Committees are now aware, I said on September 9 in a message to Ambassador Gordon Sondland that withholding security assistance in exchange for help with a domestic political campaign in the United States would be ‘crazy.’ I believed that then, and I still believe that.”

“I sensed something odd when Ambassador Sondland told me on June 28 that he did not wish to include most of the regular interagency participants in a call planned with President Zelensky later that day. … Ambassador Sondland said he wanted to make sure no one was transcribing or monitoring as they added President Zelensky to the call.”

“My understanding was that the Secretaries of Defense and State, the CIA Director, and the National Security Advisor sought a joint meeting with the President to convince him to release the hold, but such a meeting was hard to schedule and the hold lasted well into September.”

Article URL : https://www.axios.com/bill-taylor-testimony-ukraine-aid-quid-pro-quo-53fc5a4f-7c58-486b-b370-b771260a18ce.html

%d bloggers like this: