1. Former US Ambassador William Taylor walking into hearing
Washington, DC - 22 October 2019
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Rep. Eric Swalwell, (D) California:
"Just finished a long hearing with Ambassador Taylor, the lead diplomat in Ukraine, and want to thank him. He spent several hours talking to the committee."
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Rep. Eric Swalwell, (D) California:
"I can comment on The Washington Post story. I've read the CNN and Washington Post opening statement that has been printed. And what I will just say is what has been printed, that describes more evidence of a direct connection between President Trump's wishes that Ukraine investigate the 2016 election, essentially exonerating the Russians, and his potential 2020 opponent, Vice President Biden and his family in exchange for President Zelensky in Ukraine to get a White House meeting and security assistance."
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Rep. Eric Swalwell, (D) California:
"Also from that statement in The Post, it's clearly illustrated that this is not just rogue Rudy Giuliani self dealing in Ukraine. He's an agent of the president. The president is his client. Anything Rudy Giuliani does is on behalf of the president. So Rudy is President Trump. President Trump is Rudy. But you also see this second sharp, straight line between Ambassador Sondland and President Trump. So you have President Trump giving directives to Rudy Giuliani and also Ambassador Sondland, from what was printed."
A top U.S. diplomat testified Tuesday that President Donald Trump was holding back military aid for Ukraine unless the country agreed to investigate Democrats and a company linked to Joe Biden's family, providing lawmakers with a detailed new account of the quid pro quo central to the impeachment probe.
In a lengthy opening statement to House investigators obtained by The Associated Press, William Taylor described Trump's demand that "everything" President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wanted, including vital aid to counter Russia, hinged on making a public vow that Ukraine would investigate Democrats going back to the 2016 U.S. election as well as a company linked to the family of Trump's potential 2020 Democratic rival.
Taylor testified that what he discovered in Kyiv was the Trump administration's "irregular" back channel to foreign policy led by the president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and "ultimately alarming circumstances" that threatened to erode the United States' relationship with a budding Eastern European ally facing Russian aggression.
In a date-by-date account, detailed across several pages, the seasoned diplomat who came out of retirement to take over as charge d'affaires at the embassy in Ukraine details his mounting concern as he realized Trump was trying to put the newly elected president of the young democracy "in a public box."