Quid Pro Quo on Ukraine Aid: Washington Post

President Trump is described as “the boss,” who issued orders and demands, at times vague and other times specific, with little interest in details or how his cowed staff carried out the orders. That was according to congressional testimony by US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland for the presidential impeachment inquiry. Official US policy supports Ukraine in its war with Russia. Trump resented Ukraine because one official had penned a critical opinion essay about the presidential candidate in 2016. At times, Trump expressed vague concerns about corruption. Ukraine elected a new president who campaigned on reform, but Trump delayed meeting him and put a block on military aid that would have expired at the end of September. In August a whistleblower pointed to a disturbing pattern, one confirmed by Sondland: Trump excluded Ukraine experts, and directed Sondland and others to work with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to encourage Ukraine’s president to announce an investigation into a family member of 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Sondland testified the policy was not an “irregular channel” but the official policy. Ukraine officials privately complained to career diplomats about being pressured to launch an investigation that could influence the 2020 US election. Trump supporters insist he is innocent because he released the military aid. But that may have happened only because a whistleblower’s report landed in the White House. The Trump administration refuses to release documents that would prove otherwise. – YaleGlobal

Quid Pro Quo on Ukraine Aid: Washington Post

Sondland acknowledges a “quid pro quo,” with Trump expecting Ukraine's leader to announce investigations to influence 2020 US presidential race
Aaron C. Davis
Wednesday, November 20, 2019

“We followed the president’s orders.”  – Ambassador Gordon Sondland Read the article from the Washington Post about testimony from US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.

Some excerpts follow:

 “I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a ‘quid pro quo?’ With regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes.”

“We [Sondland and senior administration officials] followed the president’s orders.”

“Everyone was in the loop.” Sondland referred to the president, the vice president, the secretary of state, the president’s chief of staff and others.

“The president directed us to work with Mr. Giuliani [on Burisma] and the leadership of the state department staff were knowledgable as were the NSC…” 

“We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani.”

“I think there is a big difference between political influence and investigating a rival because politics relates to everything in foreign policy.”

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