AUTHOR’S NOTE #1: A charge(e) d’affaires is a person who heads a diplomatic embassy in the absence of an ambassador, or in vacancy of an ambassadorship. The masculine singular form is charge d’affaires, the feminine singular form is chargee d’affaires, and the plural form is charges d’affaires.
AUTHOR’S NOTE #2: The author of this blog post is supporting Elizabeth Warren’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, but has no official role in the Warren campaign or any other active presidential campaign.
William Brockenbrough “Bill” Taylor Jr., the U.S. charge d’affaires to Ukraine, testified to Congress earlier today that he had been told that President Donald Trump would withold military aid to Ukraine until the Ukraininan government publicly launched criminal investigations, including one into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, that could aid Trump’s re-election campaign:
The Top US diplomat in Ukraine Bill Taylor testified Tuesday that he had been told President Donald Trump would withhold military aid to the country until it publicly declared investigations that could help his reelection chances would be launched — including into former Vice President Joe Biden, according to a copy of Taylor’s opening statement obtained by CNN.
“During that phone call, Ambassador Sondland told me that President Trump had told him that he wants President Zelensky to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 US election,” according to the testimony.
Sondland told Taylor he’d also made a mistake earlier by telling the Ukrainian officials that a White House meeting with Zelensky “was dependent on a public announcement of the investigations,” Taylor said.
“In fact, Ambassador Sondland said, ‘everything’ was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance,” Taylor testified.Source
Ambassador Sondland refers to Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union. President Zelensky refers to Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine.
Let me be absolutely clear about Taylor’s testimony. Taylor testified under oath to Congress that the sitting President of the United States engaged in an absolutely flagrant abuse of power. For the President to withhold aid to a foreign country in an effort to coerce a foreign government into investigating political opponents here at home is shockingly corrupt and a disgusting misuse of the U.S. foreign policy powers. These corrupt actions by Trump undermine America’s reputation at home and abroad.
As I’ve stated before, Donald Trump should be impeached and removed from the office of the Presidency. The work of the Congressional impeachment inquiry is very important to building the case for Trump’s removal from office via an impeachment trial.