Just 2 months ago, I didn’t know who Bill Taylor was. Now I know that he’s another career diplomat who doesn’t like it that President Trump is implementing the foreign policy that the American people elected him to implement. Tuesday, Taylor testified that “President Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate both election interference and a company linked to former Vice President Joe Biden’s son — and was willing to hold up military aid and a White House meeting to get a public announcement from the country that the probes were underway.”

Even if that’s true, that’s still a nothingburger. Unfortunately for Taylor, there was a man of integrity in the room during Taylor’s testimony. That man’s name is John Ratcliffe. Ratcliffe is a former US attorney who now represents TX-04. Tonight, Ratcliffe appeared on The Story to be interviewed by Martha McCallum. After Ratcliffe said that he couldn’t repeat what he said in the secret room, Ratcliffe figured out a legal way to say what happened during his cross-examination of Taylor. Here’s the video of that interview:

Predictably, Democrats described today’s testimony as “the most damning they’ve heard.” Ratcliffe had a different perspective. First, though, is part of what Taylor testified to:

“I was alarmed by what Mr. Morrison told me about the Sondland-Yermak conversation. This was the first time I had heard that the security assistance, not just the White House meeting, was conditioned on the investigations.”

In this instance, Taylor’s testimony was third-hand information at best. Third-hand testimony heard behind closed doors and which doesn’t come with a transcript of Congressman Ratcliffe’s cross-examination is virtually worthless.

Congressman Ratcliffe noted that “At the end of the day, this was about quid pro quo and whether the Ukrainians were aware that military aid was being withheld and on that most important issue, neither this witness nor any other witness has provided any evidence that there was a quid pro quo, any evidence that the Ukrainians were aware that any military aid was being withheld on July 25th. Unless and until they can bring in a witness who is willing to say that there was knowledge by someone who speaks Ukrainian to that fact, a legal quid pro quo is impossible.”

Ratcliffe also noted that “[Schiff] keeps trotting in career ambassadors who are alarmed at Donald Trump’s unconventional approach to foreign policy. Who’s surprised at that? And again, today, I found Ambassador Taylor to be very forthright. He had very strong opinions about Donald Trump’s approach to foreign policy, but again, the MSM keeps reporting that he provided evidence of a quid pro quo involving military aid is false. I questioned him 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 he nor any other witness has provided testimony that the Ukrainians were aware that military aid was being withheld. You have a quid pro quo without the quo.”

Ratcliffe’s final major contribution of the interview came when he said this:

Martha, if this was a court case, the lawyers for the defense would be moving for a directed verdict. They’d be saying ‘this case isn’t allowed to go to a jury because the prosecution is missing an essential element of their case.’ There is no quid pro quo until someone from the Ukraine says ‘We knew that military aid was being withheld during that July 25th call and that testimony hasn’t come and it isn’t going to come.”

This impeachment case is collapsing, albeit behind closed doors. It isn’t just that the case is weak. It’s that the Senate is about to vote on Lindsey Graham’s resolution that essentially says that the House process has been a travesty:

Sen. Graham is right in pushing that the impeachment trial be dismissed without a trial if the Democrats’ Impeachment Chairman, aka Adam Schiff, isn’t willing to afford to President Trump the same rights that were granted to President Nixon and President Clinton. The House Democrats’ impeachment process is a travesty. It shouldn’t be treated like it was an honest investigation based on constitutional rights.

3 Responses to “Bill Taylor vs. John Ratcliffe”

  • eric z says:

    What about the Biden dimension? Has any Republican Senate committee asked to see Hunter’s passport, whether he’s ever set foot in Ukraine, and if so, when? Does he even know the Ukrainian words for “gas” and “energy,” or if he can say, “I should be on your corporate board,” in Ukrainian? Are you guys ever going to drop that shoe?

  • Gary Gross says:

    Eric, I get your point. I suspect that that’s something that they’ll get to during the campaign if Biden lasts that long. At this point, I suspect that Republicans are focused most on highlighting the unconstitutional nature of Schiff’s inquisition. This afternoon, I read of a Dem spinmeister who insisted that Democrats, at this stage, were “mirroring” a grand jury. I don’t doubt that but that’s a legitimate constitutional crisis for Democrats because the only people that are allowed to impanel a grand jury are part of the executive branch. They’re known as the DOJ.

    Nobody in the legislative branch has the constitutional authority to impanel the grand jury. It’s a separation of powers issue. Congress can’t impanel a grand jury any more than the various executive branch agencies are permitted to write their budgets that the president signs. If the Constitution doesn’t give that authority to a branch of government, then that branch should obey the Constitution.

  • Chad Q says:

    Funny Eric should bring up Hunter Biden ever being in the Ukraine because that’s what was brought up on talk radio today.

    The progressives have nothing just like with the Mueller fiasco.

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