The public impeachment inquiry hearings led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) began on Wednesday — but they didn’t go exactly as planned. In fact, the day’s two key witnesses offered up conflicting accounts during their sworn testimony that at times appeared to undermine the entire premise of the Democrats’ effort to impeach President Donald Trump.
One prime example of such was when Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor admitted that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told him that his July 25 phone call with Trump — which is at the heart of the impeachment push — had been “fine” and that he was “happy” with it, Breitbart reported.
Zelensky “happy with” Trump call
Taylor, who was seated beside State Department official George Kent, was fielding questions from Republican counsel Steve Castor when he was asked about a meeting he had with Zelensky just one day after the now-controversial phone call — a call that neither Taylor nor Kent had been a part of.
“You were with President Zelensky the very next day?” Castor asked.
“We were. We had a meeting with him the very next day,” Taylor replied. That prompted Castor to ask: “And did President Zelensky raise any concerns about his views of the call?”
After a moment of hesitation, Taylor responded: “He said — so, right, so — so I, Ambassador [Kurt] Volker, Ambassador [Gordon] Sondland, were in his office, and we asked him, I think, how the call [went]. He said, ‘The call was fine. I was happy with the call.'”
The underlying premise of the Democrats’ impeachment push is that President Trump allegedly used that July 25 phone call with President Zelensky to coerce and pressure him into opening politically advantageous investigations into 2016 election interference and Joe and Hunter Biden’s corrupt dealings in the country.
As a supposed “quid pro quo” for the favor of those investigations, Trump would deliver military aid to Ukraine and invite Zelensky to the White House for a visit.
Yet, Taylor just testified that Zelensky didn’t say anything to him the day after the call about any of that.
Furthermore, according to the New York Post, the Ukrainian president has gone on record numerous times to make clear that he felt no pressure or coercion and that there was no “quid pro quo” linking those investigations to military aid and a White House visit, as Democrats have asserted.
Indeed, Taylor has also testified that Ukraine was never even aware of a delay in military aid or a linkage to the requested investigations until roughly a month after the call, and he also testified that other officials had assured him that there was no linkage or “quid pro quo” between any of those separate things, according to Fox News.
Schiff and his fellow Democrats thought Taylor would help support their accusations of wrongdoing against President Trump, but in actuality, all he did was pull the rug out from underneath their arguments, leaving them with nothing.