Two Republican lawmakers who were privy to the testimony of U.S. diplomat William Taylor told Fox News this week that the mainstream media’s coverage of the deposition has been highly misleading. While Democrats and their parrots in the media have insisted that Taylor’s testimony was “damning” for President Trump’s assertion that he did not pressure Ukraine into coughing up dirt on Joe Biden, Reps. Devin Nunes and John Ratcliffe say that nothing could be further from the truth.
“The truth is, in two minutes, John Ratcliffe destroyed this witness,” Nunes told Sean Hannity on Wednesday. “There is no quid pro quo.”
Nunes’s characterization was echoed by Ratcliffe himself, who said in an earlier interview with Fox News that Taylor’s supposedly-damning testimony was so much hearsay.
“I found [Taylor] to be very forthright. He had very strong opinions about Donald Trump’s approach to foreign policy,” Ratcliffe said. “But again, the mainstream media reporting that he provided evidence of a quid pro quo involving military aid is false. I questioned him directly on that. And under Adam Schiff’s rules I can’t tell you what he said, but I can tell you what he didn’t say. And neither he or any other witness has provided testimony that the Ukrainians were aware that military aid was being withheld. You can’t have a quid pro quo with no quo.”
Since Tuesday’s deposition, House Democrats have characterized Taylor’s testimony as “disturbing” – a “sea change” in the impeachment inquiry that “could accelerate matters” considerably.
But even in the limited public reports of Taylor’s testimony, these descriptions don’t seem to quite match up to what was actually said in the closed-door deposition. According to these reports, Taylor eagerly threw EU envoy Gordon Sondland under the bus and insisted that there were others in the administration who declared that Trump wanted to withhold the Ukraine aid, contingent on President Zelensky’s announcement of an investigation into the Bidens. What he does NOT say is that he had any personal directive – or any knowledge of a directive – from Trump himself to carry out this scheme.
“Still no evidence of quid pro quo,” tweeted Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC). “Much of the statement and hearsay allegations didn’t hold up against any real scrutiny. The FULL transcript should be released immediately.”
By now, it’s obvious that Democrats plan to hold all of their hearings in secret, cherry-pick some “damning” quotes out of their proper context, leak those quotes to the media, and slowly turn the public into supporters of their impeachment plan. This may be a clever political plot, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the House majority’s role as a check on the Executive Branch. Democrats are playing a dangerous game with the Constitution, and it is likely to backfire on them spectacularly.
We can’t wait till it does.