(CNN)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 would be launched that could help his reelection chances — including into former Vice President Joe Biden, according to a copy of Taylor’s opening statement obtained by CNN. Taylor said he was told that “everything” Ukraine wanted — from a one-on-one meeting between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to hundreds of millions in security aid — was dependent on publicly announcing an investigation that included Burisma, the company that hired Biden’s son Hunter, and Ukraine’s alleged involvement in the 2016 election. Taylor’s explosive testimony is likely to add fuel to Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into Trump and Ukraine, with Democratic lawmakers leaving the closed door session before three House committees declaring Taylor’s testimony was damning for the President. The testimony also undercuts White House assertions that there was no “quid pro quo” tying security assistance with the opening of an investigation, as Taylor says he was told repeatedly that the two were linked. The opening statement from Taylor — 15 pages long — adds a detailed and meticulous accounting of… Read full this story
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