How did American diplomats, and Zelensky himself, contemporaneously understand Trump’s “Ask”?
In the texts of U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker to European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland, Ukrainian administration staff, and former Ukraine ambassador Bill Taylor at the time:
“Most impt. is for Zelensky to say he will help investigation.”
“Heard from White House — assuming president Z convinces trump he will investigate/ ‘get to the bottom of what happened’ in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington.”
“I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”
July 21 has my favorite text:
Bill Taylor: Gordon, one thing Kurt and I talked about yesterday … was [the] point that president Zelensky is sensitive to Ukraine being taken seriously, not merely as an instrument in Washington domestic/re-election politics.”
Proof of an impeachable crime does not get clearer than that.
Donald Trump brings our country into well-deserved contempt.