Taylor Testifies: Trump Asked Sondland About The ‘Investigations’

In top Ukraine diplomat Bill Taylor’s opening statement Wednesday, he said that his staff was present when Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland called President Donald Trump about meetings in Kyiv. Taylor said that the President asked him about the “investigations,” clearly referring to the bogus investigation into the Bidens he hoped Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky would help launch.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://talkingpointsmemo.com/?p=1261796

I do hope future American diplomats sent to Ukraine will take into consideration this puke Zelensky’s willingness to hurt America. The man is a coward and a shill. All he had to do was say Fuck You Trump I’ll work out a deal with the EU and tell the world what you asked me to do. Instead he licked balls.

I’m sure this has been covered, but obviously, regarding the claim from republicans that the aid be withheld until Ukraine did more work on corruption, someone in the administration should be able to point to a concrete piece of evidence of what Ukraine did in the days before the money was released.

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What world are you living in? That’s one of the stupidest comments I’ve read in quite a while.

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This testimony is riveting.

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What do you mean? I haven’t read the statement, but from everything I’ve heard, Zelensky did not do what DT and his band of flying monkeys wanted even though he was under incredible pressure to get the military aid.

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Ari Melber, Chief Legal Correspondent on MSNBC, last night repeated his argument that Bribery (Trump demanding a bribe - the bogus investigation of the Bidens by the Ukraine government in order to receive military aid) should be make a core article of impeachment. He wrote about this in a WaPo op-ed on Oct 19 (see below), pointing out that Bribery is one of only two specific charges (the other is Treason - it would seem to me that this qualifies too) mentioned as impeachable offenses:

From Section 4, Article 2:

“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”

Ari Melber

He was almost begging Congressional Democrats to listen to him, as he pointed out that both the Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton impeachments got bogged down in arguments about what constitutes “High Crimes and Misdemeanors”. No ambiguity if you can make a solid, unambiguous case for bribery(which Melber argues is obvious) or Treason.

Democratic Congresspeople - are you listening???

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Wow…that’s fucking damning. The staffer who witnessed it first hand needs to testify.

And Sondland needs to choose whether he wants to go to prison or not.

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We (America) have been the major ally of Ukraine for 28 years since their independence. Russia five years ago stole and annexed the Crimea peninsula and now today they’re trying to steal the eastern part of the country. trump’s personal needs have put Ukraine’s survival at risk. Just thought you might want to remember this.

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I think you’re vastly oversimplifying and downplaying the totally desperate situation Ukraine is in with respect to Russia. Trump had Zelensky’s balls and Ukraine’s future on the chopping block.

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From what I heard of Ambassador’s Taylor’s opening statement it looks like trump is in deeeep doo doo.

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I sure hope so. I’m assuming TPM isn’t doing rapid blow-by-blow in real time because it’s just all so engrossing and so much to take in. Meanwhile, I’m trying to focus on getting some work done while starved to distraction for news about what’s happening haha

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I wonder when (or if) we’ll get to see the real transcript of the 25 July call. Trump keeps saying “Read the transcript!” - clearly referring to the rough version released publicly.

But there’s the full transcript that’s on the fancy codeword-protected server.

Presumably Shiff will be seeking that one?

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haha…“but it doesn’t say extortion!!!1!!1!11one!!!eleventy!!!”

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I wonder if before long we’ll hear from Taylor’s assistant who over heard trump on the phone call with Sondlund.

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Sondland made that choice a few days ago when he “adjusted” his testimony by saying he now had had his memory jogged. He wants out of jail but I believe his goose is in the frying pan.

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Yeah, and I still remember seeing a story or two suggesting his wife was beyond infuriated and wanted him to end this shit posthaste. Prison AND divorce? He might as well brew his own Novichok cocktail at that point.

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It seems to me that it was more extortion than it was bribery, but I have no problem with people arguing over which of those two criminal acts it was.

ETA: I see from this how it could be considered straight up bribery, although I still think withholding the money constituted a threat because it interfered with Ukraine’s ability to defend itself from Russia.
https://criminal.laws.com/bribery/bribery-versus-extortion

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I have an advantage. Being retired I can have the TV on as “background noise” while I am Not working.
Heh…not working is a misnomer. I seem to do more now than when I was working.

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Good to know I have something to look forward to lol