Explosive Testimony By Acting US Ukraine Ambassador Draws “Gasps” From Lawmakers: “Incredibly Damning”

CNBC reports:

A top diplomat testified Tuesday in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump after House Democrats issued a subpoena to him following State Department attempts to block his appearance, an official working on the probe told NBC News.

Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor appeared Tuesday morning on Capitol Hill for a scheduled deposition in the House impeachment investigation.

His text messages with other administration officials — shared with lawmakers by former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker as part of the inquiry — have helped fuel suspicions that the Trump administration was trying to arrange a politically motivated quid pro quo with Ukraine.

The New York Times reports:

William B. Taylor Jr., the top diplomat in Ukraine, gave “damning” testimony Tuesday about President Trump and the effort to pressure Ukraine’s government for political gain, according to a Democratic lawmaker and another person familiar with the opening statement Mr. Taylor delivered behind closed doors in the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

“What he said was incredibly damning to the president of the United States,” Representative Ted Lieu, Democrat of California, said after emerging after hours of questioning Tuesday morning. He declined to elaborate further, citing House rules against releasing such testimony.

Mr. Taylor became one of star witnesses in the Democratic impeachment probe after a colleague, Kurt D. Volker, the special envoy to Ukraine, revealed a series of text messages from September in which Mr. Taylor wrote that he thought it was “crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”