Democrats emerged disturbed by former Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor’s testimony Tuesday afternoon, saying the diplomat has given a comprehensive timeline of the events entangled in the Ukraine incident.
“It’s like if you had a big 1,000 piece puzzle on the table and these subsequent depositions have really started to fill in pieces where at the beginning it’s not clear how everything is connected,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Florida Democrat, told reporters. “This filled in a lot of pieces of the puzzle.”
Ms. Wasserman-Schultz, who was in the room for Mr. Taylor’s opening remarks, and several other Democratic members said that disposition has been one of the most disturbing days in office for them.
Rep. Harley Rouda, California Democrat, said Mr. Taylor’s opening statement drew “a lot of sighs and gasps” from the room.
“Frankly, I’m sad to see such a culture that enables corrupt behavior and too many people defending it,” Rep. Dean Phillips, Minnesota Democrat, said.
Mr. Taylor, who appeared before lawmakers under a subpoena, became one of the most anticipated witnesses after text messages released by House Democrats after their meeting with former Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker showed him to be concerned about quid pro quo.
In the messages, Mr. Taylor openly objected to the administration’s approach in Ukraine and told Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland it was “crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”
Mr. Sondland, who testified before lawmakers last week, denied in texts that there was no quid pro quo relating to the nearly $400 million in delayed military aid to Ukraine.
“I walk away with the impression Mr. Sondland is going to have some explaining to do,” Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Illinois Democrat, said.
Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, one of the president’s top defenders on Capitol Hill and in the impeachment fight, did not say if there was any information in Mr. Taylor’s testimony that could exonerate the president, but he did believe it would legitimize the issues involving Ukraine.
“There’s information that came out, particularly in this second hour, that underscores the concerns that the president had about Ukraine in general,” he said.
While at least one Democrat felt that Mr. Taylor’s testimony could be game changing for the impeachment inquiry, others were a bit more cautious in saying it could speed anything along.
“None of us want to get ahead of ourselves. There’s a lot more to learn,” Ms. Wasserman-Schultz said.
The White House also remained defiant and maintained the president did nothing wrong.
“This is a coordinated smear campaign from far-left lawmakers and radical unelected bureaucrats waging war on the Constitution. There was no quid pro quo. Today was just more triple hearsay and selective leaks from the Democrats’ politically-motivated, closed door, secretive hearings,” press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.
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