Clutching the thinnest of reeds, President Trump has been shouting “no quid pro quo!” as if the absence of a this-for-that trade of military aid in exchange for a Ukrainian investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden would somehow render his behavior appropriate.

As though, without an explicit exchange, it would be just fine for the U.S. president to pressure a foreign leader to commit to initiating a trumped-up investigation of a political foe for maximum advantage in the next election.

But guess what: A new tale by a Trump loyalist — not someone (yikes!) born in Ukraine, not a faceless whistleblower, not a Never Trumper, not a Democratic-leaning member of the feared Deep State — demolishes any remaining doubt that the administration did, in fact, tell Ukraine that $400 million in congressionally mandated assistance would be withheld unless and until President Volodymyr Zelenskiy publicly committed to investigating the Bidens and Burisma, the company Hunter worked for.

Gordon Sondland, the Republican megadonor who became Trump’s ambassador to the EU, amended his prior testimony — clearly fearing perjury in the wake of far more believable witness accounts — to admit that he now believes the gun, which we can all see smoking, is in fact smoking.

“I said that resumption of the U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anticorruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.” Most importantly, according to Sondland, Rudy Giuliani, on behalf of his client, the president, “wanted a public statement from President Zelenskiy committing Ukraine to look into anti-corruption issues ... Mr. Giuliani specifically mentioned the 2016 election, including the DNC server, and Burisma as two anticorruption investigatory topics of importance for the president.”

Period, end of sentence, end of ridiculous cover story.

New York Daily News

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