Axios has the full opening statement from Ambassador Taylor, and it is a knock-out punch to the Russian Usurper, Mick Mulvaney, Mike Pompeo, and others.
They summarize it thusly:
Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, told House investigators on Tuesday that President Trump conditioned the release of military aid on the Ukrainian president’s willingness to promise to investigate natural gas company Burisma and interference in the 2016 election, according to a copy of Taylor’s opening statement obtained by Axios.
Why it matters: Taylor’s explosive testimony, which relies largely on his conversations with U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, draws a direct line from congressionally approved military aid to Ukrainian interference in domestic U.S. politics — the quid pro quo that Trump and his allies have long denied.
The big picture: Taylor, a career diplomat who has served in multiple administrations, expressed concerns that there were two channels of U.S. policymaking toward Ukraine — one official channel and one “irregular, informal” channel operated by Rudy Giuliani, special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Sondland.
- Taylor told lawmakers in a lengthy statement that by early September, he was informed by Sondland that both security assistance and a White House visit for Zelensky were conditioned on a public statement by the Ukrainian president ordering the investigations into Burisma — on whose board Joe Biden’s son served — and allegations of interference in the 2016 election.
Much, much more at the link.