The recently released transcript for former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch reveals that the purported “quid pro quo” in the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky does not exist.
Democrats claimed that in Trump’s phone call with Zelensky, he had clearly delivered a quid pro quo — Javelin anti-tank missiles for Ukraine in exchange for investigating how the Russia collusion narrative began and dirt on Joe Biden.
The July 25 phone call exchange between Trump and Zelensky follows:
Zelensky: … We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps, specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.
Trump: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike … I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation .. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.
A former Hillary Clinton adviser and now director of “ImpeachmentHQ.com” asserted that the transcript “very clearly lays out a quid pro quo: Javelin anti-tank missiles for a ‘favor though,’ investigating the Bidens.”
So the GOP anti-impeachment strategy is apparently to keep saying to read the transcript hoping that folks don't actually read the transcript.
The transcript very clearly lays out a quid pro quo: Javelin anti-tank missiles for a "favor though", investigating the Bidens. https://t.co/id9K2PDH8v
— Zac Petkanas (@Zac_Petkanas) October 29, 2019
The Trump administration had frozen some $400 million in military assistance in July, but Yovanovitch’s testimony revealed that Javelins were not part of the assistance being held — thus it would not have constituted part of the “quid pro quo” as Democrats have asserted.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) pressed Yovanovitch on whether the Javelins were ever being held from Ukraine.
“Ambassador, there’s been, and Chairman Schiff kind of alluded to this, and when we start talking about Javelins and foreign aid, for the record, I want to make sure that we’re clear. The foreign aid that was has been reported as being held up, it doesn’t relate to Javelins, does it?” he asked Yovanovitch.
“No. At least I’m not aware that it does,” said Yovanovitch.
Meadows continued, “Because foreign military sales, or FMS, as you would call it, is really a totally separate track, is it not? Foreign military sales (FMS) get approved, but they’re actually a purchase that happens with, in this case, it would have been Ukraine. Is that correct?”
Yovanovitch responded, “So, yes. President Zelensky was talking about a purchase. But separately, as I understand it, and, again, this is from news accounts, the security assistance that was being held up was security assistance, it wasn’t the FMS.”
Meadows replied, “But it was actually aid that had been appropriated and it had nothing to do with Javelins. Would you agree with that?”
Yovanovitch replied, “That’s my understanding.”
Meadows then drove the point home that Javelins had nothing to do with security assistance, which had been temporarily frozen.
“And when the aid ultimately came through, it didn’t impact the purchase of those Javelins even when the aid ultimately was approved. Would you agree?” he asked.
“Not to my not to my knowledge,” she responded.
Later in the deposition, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) asked Yovanovitch if she was aware of any U.S. policy linking security aid to investigating the Bidens.
Yovanovitch also said she was not aware of any official policy. “There’ s no official policy,” she said.
When asked whether there was an “unofficial policy,” she first said reading the text messages from the colleague who replaced her in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, made her wonder if there was an unofficial policy, but she then walked her comments back.
“I think that I probably should decline to answer that question, because I was not in the policy world at that point,” she said.
Follow Breitbart News’s @Kristina_Wong.