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#169402 - 10/28/19 08:53 PM About Quid Pro Quo
Enright Offline
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Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 3564
Loc: CA
In the midst of the impeachment inquiry into the conduct of President Trump, Bill Taylor acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday to the following:

"'Ambassador Sondland said that he had talked to President Zelensky and Mr. Yermak and told them that, although this was not a quid pro quo, if President Zelensky did not “clear things up” in public, we could be at a “stalemate.” I understood “stalemate” to mean that Ukraine would not receive the much-needed military assistance,’ Taylor testified."

As a semantician, it seems to me that what "stalemate" meant in that context does not depend on what Ambassador Taylor thought it meant, but what Ambassador Sondland meant by it, since he prefaced his remarks by saying that there is no quid pro quo, which may have meant "you don't have to do this to get anything." There is also the issue of what the Ukrainians thought “stalemate” meant, and whether anyone said, “If we don’t do this, we won’t get the military aid.” Since the Ukrainians never announced an investigation (which is what is asserted that Trump wanted, an announcement of an investigation), and the military aid was subsequently released, it seems to me that the claim of a quid pro quo in this case is best described as a “semantical inference” of some people, rather than a factual description of what happened.
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#169403 - 10/28/19 10:32 PM Re: About Quid Pro Quo [Re: Enright]
Enright Offline
Super User


Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 3564
Loc: CA
 Originally Posted By: Enright
In the midst of the impeachment inquiry into the conduct of President Trump, Bill Taylor acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday to the following:

"'Ambassador Sondland said that he had talked to President Zelensky and Mr. Yermak and told them that, although this was not a quid pro quo, if President Zelensky did not “clear things up” in public, we could be at a “stalemate.” I understood “stalemate” to mean that Ukraine would not receive the much-needed military assistance,’ Taylor testified."

As a semantician, it seems to me that what "stalemate" meant in that context does not depend on what Ambassador Taylor thought it meant, but what Ambassador Sondland meant by it, since he prefaced his remarks by saying that there is no quid pro quo, which may have meant "you don't have to do this to get anything." There is also the issue of what the Ukrainians thought “stalemate” meant, and whether anyone said, “If we don’t do this, we won’t get the military aid.” Since the Ukrainians never announced an investigation (which is what is asserted that Trump wanted, an announcement of an investigation), and the military aid was subsequently released, it seems to me that the claim of a quid pro quo in this case is best described as a “semantical inference” of some people, rather than a factual description of what happened.


Rather than deleting what I wrote above, which seems OK with what I knew earlier, I've decided just to leave it as is; but it now appears that Ambassador Sondland is indeed going along with the quid pro quo characterization, although he says he thought it was conditional on a White House meeting, not on the military aid. It is not clear to me if he is taking this tack more on advice of counsel, as the less risky path for him legally (should he be accused of lying to Congress or covering up or something), or if he has simply worked this whole thing out some more.


Edited by Enright (10/28/19 11:16 PM)
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