Acting Ukraine Ambassador: Trump Pressured Ukraine Into Investigating Biden In Exchange For Aid

President Zelensky of Ukraine and Donald Trump (image: public domain)

Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, William B. Taylor Jr., told impeachment investigators behind closed doors on Tuesday that Donald Trump withheld vital military aid for Ukraine and refused a White House meeting with Ukraine’s leader until he agreed to make a public pronouncement pledging to investigate Mr. Trump’s political opponents.

From the New York Times:

In testimony that Democrats in attendance called the most damaging account yet for the president, Mr. Taylor provided an “excruciatingly detailed” opening statement that described in blunt and unsparing terms the quid-pro-quo pressure campaign that Mr. Trump and his allies have long denied.

When he objected to that effort, Mr. Taylor said in his opening statement obtained by The New York Times, Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union and a Trump campaign donor, sought to explain Mr. Trump’s actions by noting that he was a businessman.

Mr. Taylor recounted Mr. Sondland saying that “when a businessman is about to sign a check to someone who owes him something, he said, the businessman asks that person to pay up before signing the check.”

Taylor testified today that Trump had made his position clear: Ukrainian President Zelensky would not be invited to the White House or secure much-needed security aid unless the Ukrainian leader made a public announcement that his country would launch the investigations sought by Trump.

Before Trump supporters begin their expected attacks, it’s worth noting that Taylor is a West Point graduate who served in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne.

In Case You’re Wondering How Sessions Testimony Is Going

This clip pretty much sums up Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee thus far…

I saved the best for last.

Sen. Kamala Harris of California, after watching Sessions refuse to answer questions without any legal basis to refuse, asked him to explain:. I’ll note that Sen. Jon McCain interrupts Sen. Harris during the clip. The only senator interrupted by another senator was the one woman of color on the committee. #ShePersisted

Mike Flynn Requests Immunity In Exchange For Testimony Regarding Trump’s Alleged Russian Connections

Whoa.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Mike Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, has told the Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional officials investigating the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia that he is willing to be interviewed in exchange for a grant of immunity from prosecution, according to officials with knowledge of the matter.

As an adviser to Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign, and later one of Mr. Trump’s top aides in the White House, Mr. Flynn was privy to some of the most sensitive foreign-policy deliberations of the new administration and was directly involved in discussions about the possible lifting of sanctions on Russia imposed by the Obama administration.

You might recall that back in September, Flynn told NBC (referring to Hillary Clinton), “When you are given immunity, that means you have probably committed a crime.” See below at the :52 mark.

The great irony here is that Flynn led chants of “Lock her up!” at last summer’s Republican National Convention, and now he’s asking for immunity to stay out of jail himself.

See the statement below from Flynn’s counsel asserting that Flynn “wants to tell” his side of the story.