Transcript of Bill Taylor's testimony underscores extreme lengths Trump went to in urging Ukraine to investigate Bidens
- House investigators released the transcript of the testimony of the acting US ambassador to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, on Wednesday.
- Taylor, a Vietnam War veteran and career diplomat with a distinguished record of service, provided one of the most damning testimonies against President Donald Trump.
- The top US diplomat to Ukraine testified that it was made clear to him there was an explicit quid pro quo involving roughly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine and a request from Trump for certain investigations.
- "That was my clear understanding, security assistance money would not come until the President [of Ukraine] committed to pursue the investigation," Taylor said.
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The transcript of the testimony of the top US diplomat to Ukraine, Ambassador Bill Taylor, was released by House investigators leading the impeachment inquiry on Tuesday.
Upon the release of the document, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff tweeted: "Ambassador Taylor's testimony reveals how, through a shadow foreign policy channel, Trump withheld military assistance and a White House meeting from Ukraine until Ukrainian officials agreed to announce investigations to help Trump politically."Taylor, a Vietnam War veteran and career diplomat with a distinguished record of service, provided one of the most damning testimonies against President Donald Trump yet.
His testimony corroborated many of the claims in the whistleblower complaint from a US intelligence official that sparked the impeachment inquiry, and also described an explicit quid pro quo involving roughly $400 million of US military aid to Ukraine.
Taylor testified that Trump wanted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to publicly announce the opening of an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, as well as an inquiry into a conspiracy theory linked to the 2016 election. He said it was made clear to him that Trump made the release of the military aid contingent on such a public declaration from Zelensky.
"That was my clear understanding, security assistance money would not come until the President [of Ukraine] committed to pursue the investigation," Taylor said.
Trump had put the congressionally-approved military aid on hold several days before a July 25 phone call with Zelensky, in which he urged his Ukrainian counterpart to open investigations into the Bidens as well as conspiratorial allegations Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.
Taylor's testimony also undercut earlier testimony from Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, and inspired him to offer revised testimony that corroborated the existence of a quid pro quo involving the military aid. The transcript of Sondland's testimony was released on Tuesday.Taylor is set to testify in the first open or public hearing of the impeachment inquiry next Wednesday.
This article will continue to be updated.