Ranking Member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, asks questions to Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, during a hearing of the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
But the bigger story is how Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) smoothly picked apart the House Democrats’ quid pro quo allegations in an exchange that lasted less than two minutes with Taylor, who is the acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.
Referencing Taylor’s deposition, Jordan confirmed that Taylor met with Zelensky three times after the July call the Ukrainian president had with President Trump, including the day after. Jordan then proceeded to also confirm that there was no funding “linkage” during any of those meetings to investigating Joe and Hunter Biden and the Burisma issue:
[At the first meeting] “President Zelensky meets with you, Ambassador Volker, and Ambassador Sondland, and again, according to your deposition and your testimony, there was no linkage of security assistance dollars to investigating Burisma or the Bidens.”
“Second meeting was August 27, President Zelensky meets with you, Ambassador Bolton and others, and again there’s no linkage of security assistance dollars to an investigation of the Bidens,” Jordan continued. “And then of course, the third meeting was September 5, President Zelensky meets with you and Senators Johnston and Murphy, and once again there was no linkage of security assistance dollars to investigating Burisma or the Bidens.”
“Three meetings with the president of Ukraine and no linkage,” Jordan added. “That’s accurate?”
“Mr. Jordan, it’s certainly accurate on the first two meetings, because to my knowledge the Ukrainians were not aware of the hold on assistance until the 29th of August,” Taylor responded [noting the information was in a Politico article in late August]. “The third meeting that you mentioned, with Senator Murphy and Senator Johnston, there was discussion of security assistance but … but, uh, there was not a discussion of linkage.”
Taylor has said previously that he has a close professional working relationship with the Ukrainian leadership. So if there was any “linkage”, surely they’d have brought the issue up to the Ambassador, right?
Watch the full clip below:
— ForAmerica 🇺🇸 (@ForAmerica) November 13, 2019
There was also this assessment from Jordan of Taylor’s so-called clear understanding of “linkage”:
Jordan, who was only recently added to the House Intelligence Committee that is holding the hearing, pointed to an addendum to Sondland’s closed-door testimony, in which he discussed how Taylor recalled that he mentioned a linkage between the investigation and the release of aid to Ukraine.
“Ambassador Taylor recalls that Mr. Morrison told Ambassador Taylor that I told Mr. Morrison that I had conveyed this message to Mr. Yermak on September 1, 2019, in connection with Vice President Pence’s visit to Warsaw and a meeting with President Zelensky,” Jordan read out loud from Sondland’s statement.
“We got six people having four conversations in one sentence, and you just told me this is where you got your clear understanding,” Jordan said. “And you’re their star witness.”
Rep. Jordan might only be a recent addition to the House Intelligence Committee, but after seeing how he handled Ambassador Taylor (who, by the way, has no firsthand knowledge of the call), it’s easy to understand why Republicans put him there.
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 16+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –