Ambassador Bill Taylor laid out point by point the quid pro quo that Trump demanded Ukraine investigate the Bidens in exchange for military aid.
Q: And when you say that this was the first time I heard that the security assistance—not just the White House meeting—was conditioned on the investigation, when you talk about conditioned, did you mean that if they didn’t do this, the investigations, they weren’t going to get that, the meeting and the military assistance?
A: That was my clear understanding, security assistance money would not come until the President [of Ukraine] committed to pursue the investigation
.Q: So if they don’t do this, they are not going to get that was your understanding?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Are you aware that quid pro quo literally means this for that?
A: I am.
There has now been publicly released testimony from multiple independent witnesses that Donald Trump directed the Ukraine shakedown through a shadow foreign policy apparatus led by Rudy Giuliani. The Ukrainians were told that military aid was conditioned on “working with” Giuliani. In this case, working with Giuliani meant investigating Joe Biden.
House Republicans like Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) have come up with a defense for Trump of lying about what is in the impeachment investigation transcripts, but the witnesses are painting a clear and consistent picture of a president who violated the law by withholding congressionally appropriated aid to a foreign country unless they investigated his political rival.
Each transcript of witness testimony is more damning than the last and paints a picture of a lawless president who is going to be impeached.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.