The most explosive revelation came from Taylor, who told lawmakers that one of his aides overheard Gordon Sondland — the U.S. ambassador to the European Union and a top Trump campaign donor — on the phone with the president, during which the aide could hear Trump ask about “the investigations.” Taylor said Sondland told the president that the Ukrainians were “ready to move forward.”The aide told Taylor that Sondland subsequently relayed “that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which [Rudy] Giuliani was pressing for.” Taylor said he was “not aware of this information” when he testified at a private deposition on Oct. 22, and only learned of it last week.
George Kent’s major point that deserves more attention: Trump and Giuliani’s Ukraine policy contradicted all the U.S. has tried to do since 1991–ask Ukrainian leaders to observe the rule of law and not go after their political rivals.— Nicholas Burns (@RNicholasBurns) November 13, 2019
Andy doesn’t argue (and most other like-minded commentators don’t argue) that the president is therefore acting properly if, in consultation with outside advisers, he decides to set a policy of cajoling a foreign government to kneecap one of his political opponents. A government official who gets evidence that leads him to think that’s what the president is doing might reasonably think it worth calling attention to it. And one sign that something is afoot might be that the president is running one policy through his bureaucrats while seeming to run another through outside advisers....That question involves a policy dispute, but is better understood as a dispute about the character of our system of government and the appropriate uses of presidential power—in other words, the sorts of questions Congress can legitimately consider when weighing an impeachment of the president.