Taylor kept proof in the form of a paper trail

Heather Cox Richardson underlines some things, starting with Bill Taylor’s public statement to the impeachment inquiry:

He confirmed that while the official American policy was to encourage democracy in Ukraine to help it fight off Russia, the Trump administration had a shadow foreign policy team, headed by Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Guiliani, and including special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, the Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Trump did not want “to provide any assistance at all” to Ukraine in its struggle against Russia. The president personally withheld money that Congress had appropriated for that struggle until Ukraine leaders promised to state publicly that they were opening an investigation into the company for which Joe Biden’s son Hunter worked.

This information devastates Trump’s position that there was “no quid pro quo,” (although, again, asking was itself a crime)… and Taylor kept proof in the form of a paper trail. This. Is. Huge. White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham tried to push back by calling leaks from Taylor’s testimony “triple hearsay” and said “this is a coordinated smear campaign from far-left lawmakers and radical unelected bureaucrats waging war on the Constitution,” but Taylor’s statement was explosive even without hearing what he said behind closed doors.

Note, though, what Taylor said Trump wanted in exchange for the release of military aid. He didn’t demand actual dirt on Hunter Biden (again, there is no evidence that Biden did anything illegal), but rather he wanted a public declaration that Ukraine was investigating the company for which Biden worked. The information that Ukraine was investigating the company, dumped into the media, would swamp Joe Biden’s presidential candidacy.

This is important. Trump understood that the idea that Ukraine was investigating corruption was the story, not that actual corruption existed. This is precisely what happened in 2016 with the story of Clinton’s emails, which continually dominated the 2016 election coverage, and which we now know was a complete non-story. Trump wanted to skew the public narrative before the 2020 election, and he pressured a foreign government to help him do that.

His primitive little ferret brain is good at some things, and this is one of them – knowing what kind of rotting meat draws media coverage.

And on the same day, Mitch McConnell again killed a Senate effort to guard our elections.

The other big news today was that the Senate once again refused to pass measures to secure the 2020 elections. One bill they rejected was co-sponsored by Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC), and required on-line platforms to make “all reasonable efforts” to ensure foreign entities do not buy political advertising. It also would make buyers of the ads public. The other bill they rejected provided $1 billion to secure the 2020 election and require paper ballots for backup in case electronic voting machines produced unexpected results.

We must have rigged elections! It’s imperative! It’s the American way!

H/t What a Maroon

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