Taylor: ‘I Sat in Astonishment… The Directive Had Come From the President’

Taylor just debunked Republicans’ ridiculous claim that Trump didn’t have anything to do with the campaign to pressure Ukraine — in fact, he directed it.

TAYLOR: “I heard a staff person from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) say that there was a hold on security assistance to Ukraine but could not say why. […] I and others sat in astonishment—the Ukrainians were fighting the Russians and counted on not only the training and weapons, but also the assurance of U.S. support.

“All that the OMB staff person said was that the directive had come from the President to the Chief of Staff to OMB.”

Taylor previously testified that Trump himself directed the withholding of the aid.

Bill Taylor’s testimony: “The directive had come from the president.”

Others corroborated Taylor’s  testimony. Sondland admitting telling Ukraine why the aid was withheld, and Vindman testified that Trump “reinforced” that the investigation was a prerequisite for a meeting.

Sondland: “After that large meeting, I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak, where I said that resumption of the U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anticorruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.”

Vindman: “It became completely apparent what the deliverable would be in order to get a White House meeting. That deliverable was reinforced by the President. There was no, oh, it’s okay — you know, I guess in my mind, there was no it’s okay, if you don’t want to do the investigation we can still do a White House meeting. The demand was, in order to get the White House meeting, they had to deliver an investigation.”