As the scandal surrounding President Donald Trump’s attempt to recruit Ukraine to dig up dirt on the Bidens continues to grow, new texts between top U.S. diplomats have been revealed that show just how far the scandal got before it became public. In the texts, which were provided this Thursday to Congress by now former Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine expressed direct concern about what he saw as a push to “withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.” There’s not really any ambiguity there, and this isn’t just some low level staffer — this person (a man named Bill Taylor) has been the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine for months.
At issue is the fact that as Trump pushed for the dirt, he also abruptly overruled throngs of lower level staff and paused already approved security aid for Ukraine that was meant to help bolster their defenses against Russia, whose aggression Trump seems relentlessly ready and willing to turn a blind eye to.
In a chat that apparently included Volker and major Trump donor turned U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordan Sondland, Taylor says:
‘I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.’
As if he’s specifically trying to hit some kind of high point for a potential future defense because in reality, he knows what the president has done, Sondland replies:
‘Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo’s of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign.’
After the above, Sondland “suggests” that the group only continue the conversation face-to-face or otherwise offline. Seemingly trying to keep records of your conversation from potential future scrutiny isn’t exactly something that someone does who really knows that there’s nothing to hide.
Saying “no quid pro quo” is not a magic spell. Republicans have done the same over and over since details of Trump’s behavior towards Ukraine have come to light, but we can all see the call record chronicling Trump repeatedly pressing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to pursue baseless allegations of corruption against the Bidens. The point isn’t semantics — the point is the actions that Trump has taken and continue to take. Ignoring evidence doesn’t make reality go away!
Just this Thursday at the White House, Trump proudly proclaimed that he wanted Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, and now he even added he wanted China to do the same because the family earned some money there. The train of madness just doesn’t stop.
The scandal has sparked an impeachment inquiry into the president that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) formalized just recently. An array of House committees are collecting evidence that they’ll then submit for the consideration of actual articles of impeachment by the Judiciary Committee, which that panel will have to approve before submission for a vote by the full House.
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