Top Administration Official Provides ‘Devastating’ Evidence Trump Engaged In Financial Extortion

President Donald Trump has repeatedly said that his phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was a “perfect” call and denied that he ever engaged in a quid pro quo in which he held up military aid to Ukraine until they agreed to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. In other words, Trump used financial extortion to get dirt on one of his democratic opponents.

On Tuesday, Trump even insisted that the entire impeachment inquiry is a “lynching,” completely misunderstanding the full import and horror of that word:

But earlier today, the House impeachment committee heard testimony from the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, and what he had to say could well prove to be the evidence that sinks Trump and leads to his eventual removal from office.

According to Politico, what Taylor told the impeachment committee was incredibly damaging to the president:

“Taylor prompted sighs and gasps when he read a lengthy 15-page opening statement, two of the sources said. Another person in the room said Taylor’s statement described ‘how pervasive the efforts were’ among Trump’s allies to convince Ukrainian officials to launch an investigation targeting former Vice President Joe Biden and another probe centering on a debunked conspiracy theory regarding the 2016 election.

“Taylor also described the extent to which military assistance to Ukraine and a potential White House meeting with Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart were tied to those investigations, the source added.”

Confirmation of that report was provided by the Washington Post:

“The senior U.S. diplomat in Ukraine said Tuesday he was told release of military aid was contingent on public declarations from Ukraine that it would investigate the Bidens and the 2016 election, contradicting President Trump’s denial that he used the money as leverage for political gain.

Acting ambassador William B. Taylor Jr. testified behind closed doors in the House impeachment probe of Trump that he stands by his characterization that it was “crazy” to make the assistance contingent on investigations he found troubling.”

Reaction from members of the impeachment committee was immediate:

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) remarked:

“He gave a very detailed opening statement that was very devastating to Donald Trump.”

And Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) commented:

“It was just the most damning testimony I’ve heard.

“He drew a very specific direct line from President Trump to the withholding of foreign aid and the refusal of a meeting directly related to both insisting on Zelensky publicly say that he’ll have an investigation, that they will investigate.”

Quid, pro, and quo. This proves not only that Trump is lying, but also that he has committed impeachable acts and must be removed from office.

There can no longer be any doubt that Donald Trump has committed high crimes and misdemeanors. The impeachment process has begun and must be seen through to its conclusion. If Republican senators refuse to convict Trump when the impeachment is before them, then they too must be booted from their positions. Only then can this country hope to return to some sense of normalcy.

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