The main finding of the public hearing in the impeachment of Donald Trump
A key aspect emerged from the two public testimonies before the House of Representatives during the first day of Donald Trump's public impeachment and could be very serious for the president.
On Wednesday, the entire country was able to hear firsthand the testimony of Ambassador William Taylor, the U.S. chargé d’affaires in Kyiv, and the Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, George Kent, on the Ukraine issue involving President Donald Trump.
Both trajectory officials - that is, not appointed by the government but in office for years - made public their deposition on the events they witnessed during their administration in Ukraine and that appear to indicate an abuse of power by the president.
In a journey of more than six hours of questions and answers, the two officials explained in great detail what they had heard, seen and witnessed in the two diplomatic channels established by the Trump administration in Ukraine.
A regular channel where relations between the two countries seemed to take place naturally as in past administrations, and a channel that Taylor described as "irregular.”
In the latter, the insistence of the U.S. president and his allies for exchanging military aid urgent for the Ukrainian fight against the invasion of Russia in Crimea in exchange for investigations and statements that would help in Trump's re-election campaign became increasingly evident.
Since the controversial call between President Donald Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, there have been two basic postures in the government: the call was a routine communication between two presidents and there was no quid pro quo - meaning, the supposition of waiting to get something from Zelensky in exchange for military aid.
But as the evidence has come to light - and with it, several other characters - both Trump and his allies have tried to move radically away from the people named in the testimonies before the House Committees.
Among them Gordon Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union.
Sondland is at the heart of the matter, being identified by more than one person as one of the architects of the attempt to get Zelensky to make a public statement about an investigation against Joe Biden in Ukraine.
President Trump said last week he barely knew the "gentleman."
But Ambassador Taylor had another account of things: a member of his team accompanied Sondland after the call between both presidents to eat at a restaurant in Kyiv and he could hear a call on a personal phone between Sondland and Trump.
"The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone asking Ambassador Sondland about ‘the investigations,’" Taylor told lawmakers during his opening statement. "Ambassador Sondland told President Trump that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward," he continued.
“Following the call with President Trump, the member of my staff asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for.”
If this were confirmed with the public testimony of Taylor’s staff member, there would be first-hand evidence about the president's direct involvement in abuse of power, as well as his knowledge of cause and intention in the matter.
According to the Washington Post analysis, this new information "undermines the idea that Trump was truly concerned about corruption in Ukraine and wasn’t just out for his own personal gain, which has been a chief defense for the Trump team."