- Taylor's testimony came as part of Congress' ongoing impeachment inquiry looking at whether President Donald Trump dangled a nearly $400 million military-aid package to Ukraine while pressuring the government to investigate his political rival and help discredit the Russia probe.
- Taylor has firsthand knowledge of the lengths to which two other diplomats Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker went in order to carry out Trump's and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani's shadow foreign policy campaign on Ukraine.
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Bill Taylor, the US's acting ambassador to Ukraine, gave "damning" testimony Tuesday about what lawmakers said were President Donald Trump's efforts to withhold military aid to Ukraine in exchange for politically motivated investigations, the Washington Post reported .
Taylor has firsthand knowledge about efforts by two other diplomats Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker to help Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani push the Ukrainian government to launch politically motivated investigations that would benefit Trump at the same time the US was withholding military aid to Ukraine.
A career foreign-service officer, Taylor raised concerns multiple times in text messages with Volker and Sondland, at one point writing that it was "crazy" for the US to withhold security assistance to Ukraine in exchange for information that would personally benefit Trump's 2020 campaign. Overall, Trump officials have given mixed explanations about whether the aid was contingent on Ukraine's cooperation with Trump's political requests.
Politico reported on Tuesday that Taylor's 15-page opening statement prompted "sighs and gasps" from people in the room as he read aloud from it. Another person in the room described Taylor's statement to Politico as showcasing "how pervasive the efforts were" among Trump's allies to push Ukrainian government officials to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, and help discredit the FBI's Russia investigation.
Taylor is perhaps the most significant witness to testify so far, in addition to Marie Yovanovitch, the US's former ambassador to Ukraine who was ousted based on what she described as "unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives."
Taylor, who was previously in retirement, came back to the State Department after being asked to serve as Yovanovitch's temporary replacement until the president taps a permanent successor.
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