The summary released this morning of Donald Trump’s phone call with the president of Ukraine was bad enough for him. Right after the president of Ukraine asked about buying weapons from the U.S., Trump directly asked him to promote a phony 2020 election scandal about Joe Biden. Placed within the context of the fact that Trump had cut off a quarter billion dollars in aid to Ukraine the week before, this was indirectly but unmistakably a quid pro quo. But now Ukraine is going further.
When Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy sat next to Donald Trump during a televised event in New York today, Zelenskiy wasn’t exactly in a position to accuse Trump of anything. But this evening, ABC News reported that Zelenskiy adviser Serhiy Leshchenko is saying that it was clear to everyone in the Ukrainian leadership that Trump wasn’t even willing to pick up the phone and talk to Zelenskiy unless Ukraine was willing to go along with the fake Biden scandal.
This counts for a lot. It means Ukraine is confirming that it understood that Donald Trump was 100% presenting this as a quid pro quo, and that it would not receive any U.S. aid – or even be allowed to bargain for any aid – unless it was willing to help Trump alter the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Notably, Serhiy Leshchenko is offering to testify before Congress about the Trump-Ukraine scandal. After this latest revelation, don’t be surprised if House Democrats take him up on it, and have him testify as part of their impeachment hearings.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report