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We want to spend a little bit more time with Ambassador Bill Taylor's explosive opening statement to Congress, because there's a thing we've noticed and others have noticed that may not have gotten enough attention. It's something about the "deliverable" referred to both in Taylor's testimony and in those State Department text messages, which goes a long way to explaining just how much Donald Trump's extortion of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was NOT about fighting "corruption," but was squarely about helping Donald Trump politically, especially in his re-election campaign.

As we read in the State Department texts, on August 9, EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland and special envoy Kurt Volker texted about getting Trump to agree to a White House visit for Zelenskiy. Hearing that it's maybe about to happen, Volker excitedly says "Excellent!!" and asks Sondland, "How did you sway him?" with a smiley face emoji. Sondland responds, "Not sure I did," and says he thinks "potus really wants the deliverable." The "deliverable" was a statement of some sort from Zelenskiy saying he will do favors for Trump, specifically that he will investigate the Bidens and the conspiracy theories about the 2016 election and Ukraine that fester inside the president's meaty butt cavern. (WHERE'S THE DNC SERVER?? IS IT BURIED IN THE BACKYARD IN UKRAINE????)

What followed in the coming weeks was much negotiation involving the Ukrainian government and Rudy Giuliani and the other idiots on what Zelenskiy would say, whether the White House visit would be put on the calendar before the statement, and so on, with particular focus on making sure Zelenskiy says he will investigate everything, including "Burisma and the 2016 U.S. elections." (Burisma, again, is the company that put Hunter Biden on its board.)

On September 8, Bill Taylor texted Kurt Volker to say his "nightmare" scenario is that Zelenskiy makes the statement and STILL doesn't get the military aid for Ukraine, which would basically be Trump selling Ukraine out to Russia, leaving them unprotected, and still getting his political assistance. We now know from Taylor's testimony that at this point, he's figured out that Trump is holding up not just a White House visit in exchange for the bullshit investigation statement, but also the military aid.

But in that text, Taylor refers to "statement" as "interview," something we found curious at the time, but not curious enough to ask a priest or a rabbi about it:

Turns out we should have been a little more curious!


Flipping over to the statement Taylor gave the Congress yesterday, we learn that indeed at that point in the negotiations, it wasn't a "statement" they wanted Zelenskiy to deliver during some Ukrainian press conference nobody in America would watch.

It was specifically a CNN interview, and discussion of it coincided with Taylor talking about his "nightmare" scenario.

The following day, on September 8, Ambassador Sondland and I spoke on the phone. He said he had talked to President Trump as I had suggested a week earlier, but that President Trump was adamant that President Zelenskiy, himself, had to "clear things up and do it in public." President Trump said it was not a "quid pro quo." Ambassador Sondland said that he had talked to President Zelenskiy and [Zelenskiy advisor Andrey] Yermak and told them that, although this was not a quid pro quo, if President Zelenskiy did not "clear things up" in public, we would be at a "stalemate." I understood a "stalemate" to mean that Ukraine would not receive the much-needed military assistance. Ambassador Sondland said that this conversation concluded with President Zelenskiy agreeing to make a public statement in an interview with CNN.

And just after that, Taylor texted Sondland to say his nightmare is they give THE INTERVIEW -- the CNN interview! -- and Trump still doesn't cough up the military aid money.

Remember that according to Taylor's statement, Trump didn't want to give Ukraine the money at all. He hates Ukraine and was convinced Ukraine was pickin' on him like a common Deep State, but he loves Russia and Vladimir Putin and wants to do anything to make life easier for Putin, and if pulling American military assistance from Ukraine and letting Russia steal more of Ukraine's territory hits Putin's G-spot, well glove up Donald Trump's finger, he's goin' in!

But if Zelenskiy wanted that money, just like Trump said in the treason call on July 25, he needed Zelenskiy to do him a "favor though," and he needed him to do it "in public" and on CNN where Americans would see it, where it would immediately become part of the American political conversation that our ally Ukraine had just announced VERY IMPORTANT investigations into Joe Biden and Hunter Biden and the conspiracy theories about the 2016 election that fester inside Trump's butt cavern.

What credibility that would have given Dear Leader!

Oh, but don't call it a quid pro quo, though. Trump thinks that as long as you say "NO QUID PRO QUO! NO QUID PRO QUO! YOU ARE THE QUID PRO QUO!" that means the quid pro quo doesn't exist. (And of course set aside for the moment the fact that the presence or non-presence of a quid pro quo is technically a side issue to the fact that Trump is OPENLY ASKING FOREIGN COUNTRIES TO MEDDLE IN THE 2020 ELECTION TO HELP HIM, WHICH IS THE CENTRAL CRIME HERE.)

We're not sure Trump even cared if Ukraine did the investigations. He just needed Zelenskiy to say they were doing the investigations, preferably to Anderson Cooper or Erin Burnett or maybe mean fake news Jake Tapper or something. Sondland had told Taylor previously that Trump wanted Zelenskiy "in a public box" on this, or up against a wall, or backed into a corner, or whatever mob term you might find appropriate to describe such a situation.

Taylor at this point had figured out what was going on. Going back to his statement, Sondland told Taylor in a phone conversation on September 8 that Trump is just a businessman, and "[w]hen a businessman is about to sign a check to someone who owes him something, he said, the businessman asks that person to pay up before signing the check." This is because Donald Trump is abjectly stupid and thinks Ukraine owes him something, and in his rat syphilis brain, the check he was signing was the military assistance, and the "pay up" was the CNN interview.

Once again, quid pro qu-OOOOOOOOOLY shit! And also extortion and a handful of other crimes.

On September 11, Taylor learned the Ukrainian military aid money had been released. (Shit was hitting the fan in Congress and whistleblowers were about to blow and Trump assholes were getting caught, etc.) Taylor clearly had an "oh shit" moment and realized that Ukraine had said yes to doing a CNN interview for the purposes of tickling Donald Trump's electoral butthairs, and still might do it even though the aid had been released:

After I learned that the security assistance was released on September 11, I personally conveyed the news to President Zelenskyy and Foreign Minister [Vadym] Prystaiko. And I again reminded Mr. Yermak of the high strategic value of bipartisan support for Ukraine and the importance of not getting involved in other countries' elections. [Zelenskiy had expressed concerns on July 21, before the treason call with Trump, about not wanting to do that. -- Ed.] My fear at the time was that since Ambassador Sondland had told me President Zelenskyy already agreed to do a CNN interview, President Zelenskyy would make a statement regarding "investigations" that would have played into domestic U.S. politics. I sought to confirm through [Ukrainian national security advisor Oleksandr] Danyliuk that Prseident Zelenskyy was not planning to give such an interview to the media. While Mr. Danyliuk initially confirmed that on September 12, I noticed during a meeting on the morning of September 13 at President Zelenskyy's office that Mr. Yermak looked uncomfortable in response to the question. Again, I asked Mr. Danyliuk to confirm that there would be no CNN interview, which he did.

WOMP WOMP, Donald Trump did not get his "deliverable," and now he is getting impeached.

Life comes atcha fast, President Dipshit!

We wanted to write this all out for you, though, just to show you how fucking craven this scheme really was. Like we said, we don't even know if Trump really cared if Ukraine actually did investigations. It's not like they were going to find anything, after all, as all Trump's hallucinatory bath salts beliefs about Ukraine have been thoroughly debunked.

But oh man Trump wanted Volodymyr Zelenskiy to say they were investigating Trump's political rivals. On CNN.

And if Zelenskiy wouldn't do that? Bomb the shit out of them, Vladimir, it's not like Donald Trump gives a shit.

[Taylor Statement]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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