A new testimony of the US ambassador Bill Taylor in the impeachment inquiry against the US President Donald Trump provided first-hand evidence of the US officials negotiating a quid pro quo with the Ukraine President wherein, the US agreed to provide military aid to Ukraine if they call for an investigation against political rival Joe Biden
Bill Taylor’s full testimony was published by the House of Intelligence which encompasses fellow witnesses and is 15 pages long. The testimony reflects on a conversation between Donald Trump and Gordon Sondland, who is the US ambassador to the European Union. According to the testimony, Taylor said that two US department officials said that Donald Trump would not sign a check of $400m to provide military aid to Ukraine until Zelensky called for an investigation against Joe Biden and the 2016 election interference.
Adam Schiff, who is the chairman of the House Intelligence shared the testimony on November 6 on Twitter.
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.— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) November 6, 2019
In the testimony, he said that initially, “Rudy Giuliani, Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and Ambassador Kurt Volker operated 'an irregular, informal channel of U.S. policymaking with respect to Ukraine'.”
Taylor further said that “During a meeting on May 23, 2019, President Trump made clear to those in the “irregular channel” that, in order for President Zelensky to get an Oval Office meeting, “they needed to work with Rudy Giuliani”
Taylor added new information to the previous reports according to which Ambassador Sondland, Secretary Perry, and Ambassador Volker were deployed to assist the Ukraine President regarding Ukraine police make. Later in July, according to the testimony In July, Ambassador Volker advised President Zelensky and his Chief of Staff “how President Zelensky could prepare for the phone call with President Trump” and “suggested to President Zelensky that President Trump would like to hear about the investigations. Later, on July 10, a meeting was held, which ended abruptly as the issue of an investigation triggered Ambassador Bolton’s antenna, political antenna, and he said,
‘We don’t do politics here and ended the meeting. Taylor revealed that on July 18, all the officials sat in astonishment when during a normal meeting “a voice on the call, the person who was off-screen, said that she was from OMB and her boss had instructed her not to approve any additional spending of security assistance for Ukraine until further notice.”
Taylor realised that “irregular policy channel was running contrary to the goals of longstanding U.S. policy”. He said that one of the key pillars of the Ukraine policy-making was being threatened.
On page 38 of the testimony, Taylor says that,
“According to National Security Council Senior Director Tim Morrison’s readout to Ambassador Taylor, President Trump insisted on a September 7th call with Ambassador Sondland that the President of Ukraine “go to a microphone and say he is opening investigations of Biden and 2016 election interference”
Bill Taylor’s testimony was a clear indication that if Ukraine did not pursue the investigation, they will not get the military assistance and support from the United States.