Next Wednesday, Taylor will be among the first witnesses to testify in open hearings, the investigating committees announced.
Democrats’ highlights of Taylor’s testimony | Full transcript
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There was no escaping Rudy.
Taylor described how, over the course of months, he grew increasingly aware of and uncomfortable with the existence of what he described as an irregular channel of people engaged in Ukraine policy.
And Rudy Giuliani, the presidents personal lawyer, was smack dab in the middle of it.
Not only did Trump relay to top administration officials that they needed to work with Rudy Giuliani, but Ukrainian officials would at times share the results of what theyd heard about Giulianis role, too.
In one case, top Ukrainian officials told Taylor that theyd learned, through another Ukrainian official who was in touch with Giuliani, that the former New York City mayor said Trump was unlikely to hold a phone call with the new president in Kyiv, Volodymyr Zelensky.
Over time, Taylor said, he came to believe that the irregular channels interests were diverging from those of the regular, official diplomatic channel. He acknowledges that, at first, he saw the situation naively.
I was still of the view that I was onI was part of a team that might have several parts but we were moving in the same direction, Taylor told lawmakers.
Taylor was serious about quitting.
Taylor comes across as incensed at the policy implications of Trumps political demands, not least of which is the potential humiliation of Ukraine.
He was livid that Moscow would end up benefiting, and indicated that he was serious when he wrote in a now-famous text that he would quit his position if it came to that.
The Russians are paying attention. The Russians are paying attention to how much support the Americans are going to provide the Ukrainians. The Russians are leaning on Ukraine, he told lawmakers.
He added later: And they, the Russians want to know how much support the Ukrainians are going to get in general, but also what kind of support from the Americans. So the Russians are loving, would love, the humiliation of Zelensky at the hand of the Americans, and would give the Russians a freer hand, and I would quit.
Taylor does not speak Latin.
In what comes across as one of the funnier moments of the deposition, Taylor concedes that he cant go into the fine points of what constitutes a quid pro quo under the law because hes not a lawyer.
I am definitely not in the position, he says, adding, I dont speak Latin.
Later, though, when hes asked Are you aware that quid pro quo literally means this for that? he says, I am.
Taylor kept receipts.
One reason Taylors testimony was considered so groundbreaking was that it was so detailed, with specific dates and basics on individual conversations.
Thats largely because he, like other veteran diplomats, is accustomed to documenting everything. In his case, that includes keeping lots of notebooks.
I keep a little notebook where I take notes on conversations, in particular when Im not in the office, Taylor told lawmakers. So, in meetings with Ukrainian officials or when Im out and I get a phone call and I can I keep notes.
He added that he also kept handwritten notes that I take on a small, little spiral notebook in my office of phone calls that take place in my office.
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