The nationally-televised impeachment inquiry hearings into Donald Trump’s suspicious activity with Ukraine have begun. On day one, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine testified. He indicated that U.S. Ambassador to the European Union and million-dollar donor to the president’s inauguration Gordon Sondand had astounding news about these activities.
Taylor testified that one of his staff overheard a Trump and Sonderland phone call:
‘NEW: The top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, William Taylor, says that a member of his staff heard President Trump on a phone call asking Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, about “the investigations.
More: https://t.co/W0BhNWQRk3 #ImpeachmentPBS pic.twitter.com/tJGJWtFfRC’
NEW: The top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, William Taylor, says that a member of his staff heard President Trump on a phone call asking Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, about “the investigations.”
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) November 13, 2019
Taylor testified that Sondland relayed that POTUS cared more about arranging an investigation into former vice president Joe Biden’s family than about America’s relationship with and responsibilities to the new Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
In this phone call, Trump wanted Zelensky to announce on live television that he had begun an investigation into Biden’s family and Secretary Hillary Clinton. Taylor said in his opening remarks:
‘Ambassador Sondland called President Trump and told him of his meetings in Kyiv. The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone, asking Ambassador Sondland about ‘the investigations.’
The ambassador continued:
‘Ambassador Sondland told President Trump that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward. Following the call with President Trump, the member of my staff asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which [Trump attorney Rudy] Giuliani was pressing for.’
Then, Taylor noted that Sondland commented after a meeting with a top Zelensky aide Andriy Yermak in Ukraine. When Taylor testified behind closed doors for the impeachment inquiry last month and that he was including it for “completeness.”
‘I reported this information through counsel to the State Department’s Legal Adviser, as well as to counsel for both the Majority and the Minority on the Committee. It is my understanding that the Committee is following up on this matter.’
The ambassador emphasized that he was not favoring either the Republicans of the Democrats during this hearing. He was simply relaying the facts as he saw them:
‘I want to emphasize at the outset that while I am aware that the committee has requested my test as part of impeachment proceedings, I am not here to take one side or the other.’
Taylor has been a dedicated State Department official for decades under both Republican and Democratic administrations. This political servant decided to come out of retirement when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s requested he head America’s embassy in Ukraine.
Twitter world exploded. Check out some of our favorites below:
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.