President Trump has said from the very beginning that there was no quid pro quo. And so far that appears to be so.
Despite media headlines to the contrary, Ambassador Sondland admitted that a quid pro quo was based entirely on his interpretation of what the President wanted. It was never stated.
But yesterday’s testimony was even more illuminating. It’s a well-known fact that there are preconditions for nearly every meeting at the White House. It’s a huge honor to get to be there and have the President’s attention, be photographed with him, and things such as that.
Under question by Adam Schiff, Sondland interjected – perhaps unhelpfully from the standpoint of Schiff – that every meeting at the White House has conditions. “To be candid, Congressman, every meeting at the White House has conditions placed on it. I have never worked on a meeting at the White House that doesn’t have a host of conditions placed on it,” Sondland said.
In other words, there’s always a quid pro quo to some extent. And U.S. foreign aid isn’t “free” either.
The idea that you’re going to criminalize basic foreign policy is insane. Trump wanted a foreign leader to launch an investigation into corruption in his country if U.S. tax dollars were going to continue to flow. That’s a basic expectation. Who could disagree? And if it catches a Biden, that’s on the Bidens for acting wrongly – not on Trump.
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