Taylor also witnessed the events concerning the temporary suspension of US military aid in Ukraine, the July 25 telephone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the eventual release of such military aid in anticipation of a face-to-face meeting between the two leaders.
Taylor also reduced a key statement made by the US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who last week testified in Congress that Trump had not ordered him to tell the Zelensky government that a Ukrainian inquiry into Trump's political opponents, including former vice president Joe Biden, was a prerequisite for meeting with Trump.
Here is a breakdown of 5 of the most important lines of the Taylor declaration.
Giuliani's irregular canal
Taylor: "… was an irregular and informal channel for the elaboration of US policies towards the Ukraine, which included the then special envoy Kurt Volker, Ambassador Sondland, the secretary of the United States. 39; Rick Perry energy and, as I learned later, Mr. Giuliani. "
Context: Taylor presented, naming the names, the players involved with Giuliani in the rogue lawyer Trump to convince the President to push the Ukraine to continue investigating his political opponents.
Giuliani's role in defining American policy towards Ukraine, as part of this informal channel, was mentioned in the whistleblower's complaint. The whistleblower described other US officials "deeply concerned about what they considered the evasion of Giuliani in national security decision-making processes to involve Ukrainian officials and broadcast messages back and forth between Kiev and the President."
& # 39; Leave nothing untried & # 39;
Taylor: "Ambassador Sondland told me that he recommended President Zelenskyy to use the phrase" I will leave no stone unturned "regarding the" investigation "when President Zelesnkyy spoke with President Trump."
Context: This is the first case in which Taylor witnessed a member of the irregular channel in Ukraine pushing Ukrainians to help Trump pursue his internal political agenda. The "investigations" were understood by Taylor and others who testified before Congress as a chase in two Trump opponents: Biden and his connection with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma; and the alleged collusion of Ukrainians and Democrats during the 2016 elections.
This conversation between Sondland and Taylor took place on July 20, five days before the July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky in which the American president mentioned both cases and encouraged Zelensky to talk to Giuliani and Attorney General Bill Barr. That phone call caused the whistleblower's complaint.
Accusation of a quid pro quo
Taylor: "… Ambassador Sondland told me that President Trump had told him that he wanted President Zelenskyy to publicly declare that the Ukraine will investigate Burisma and the alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 US elections."
Context: The ongoing tightening on military aid to Ukraine had tormented Taylor for weeks since no one in the administration offered a clear explanation of why he had not sent the money. Taylor testified that on September 1, he learned from National Security Council collaborator Tim Morrison that Sondland had spoken to a high-level consultant Zelensky, Andriy Yermak, in Warsaw, where Zelensky and vice president Mike Pence were meeting. Morrison told Taylor that Sondland had informed Yermak that the funding would not come until Zelensky "committed himself to carrying out the Burisma investigation".
Taylor described being "alarmed" at first hearing the link between military aid and Biden investigations. The same day he wrote to Sondland to express his concern about this definition of a quid pro quo, prompting Sondland to ask Taylor to call him. Taylor said the call was when Sondland told him that Trump had requested the quid pro quo.
Those text messages were released as part of Volker's testimony to Congress earlier this month. In his testimony, Sondland claimed that the suspension of aid in this way – to influence the US elections – would be wrong. "I have not participated and never participated in these commitments," Sondland testified. But on Tuesday, Taylor testified that Sondland had taken part in exactly this.
Promise to investigate Biden
Taylor: "… President Trump insisted that President Zelennskyy went to the microphone and said he is opening the investigation into Biden and the 2016 electoral interference, and that President Zelenskyy should want to do it alone. "
Context: This is another proof of Taylor that Trump intended to withhold military aid unless Zelensky had complied with Trump's request to act in a way that would benefit him politically. The Sept. 7 conversation between Sondland and Trump that Taylor is telling here comes over a week after the money grab was made public in a Politico report on August 29 and after a meeting that Taylor had with Zelensky where the Ukrainian president asked for answers on the problem.
Taylor went on to tell a conversation he had with Sondland on September 8th in which Sondland described Trump as "adamant" that Zelensky "clarifies things" about carrying out these investigations or risks a "stalemate". Taylor claims to have perceived the stalemate in the sense that the Ukraine would not have received the help.
Undercutting of foreign policy
Taylor: "… the urge to convince President Zelenskyy to engage publicly in the investigation of Burisma and alleged interference in the 2016 elections showed that the official foreign policy of the United States has been reduced by the irregular efforts led by Mr. Giuliani".
Context: This statement by Taylor encapsulates his perception of the gap between the official foreign policy arm of the US government and Giuliani's efforts, and how this gap was perceived by the Ukraine.
In order for a quid pro quo threat to be effective, the Ukrainians would have had to discard what Taylor describes as a bipartisan effort on his part and that of other US officials to reassure Zelensky that US policy on Ukraine has remained unchanged. For Taylor, Giuliani's counter-narrative has undermined the authority of officials like him, seeming to condition that policy of cooperation with Trump's internal political concerns.
This is at the heart of the concern that the Democrats in the House have, and explains why Taylor wrote his infamous text to Sondland on September 9, "I think it's insane to hold back security assistance for a political campaign aid" .