Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) desperately tried to portray President Donald Trump’s purported actions as criminal, asking the witnesses if “attempted murder” and “attempted robbery” are crimes in hopes of drawing a parallel to what Democrats claim are Trump’s wrongdoings, which include “attempted extortion and bribery.”
Castro dismissed the fact that U.S. aid went through during his line of questioning and asked witnesses if the White House only released the hold “because they knew a whistleblower had basically turned this in.”
“I don’t know sir,” said Ambassador Bill Taylor.
“Do you think that’s possible?” Castro asked.
“I’m not in a position to judge,” Taylor said.
Castro continued, dismissing the fact that the aid went through without any sort of promise of an investigation into the Bidens, directly quashing the Democrats’ claims of quid pro quo.
“So we have a president who, the other side has claimed or has defended the president saying the aid went through. That there was never any investigation. But the president attempted to get those things done, and it looks like there was an initial agreement by the president of Ukraine to actually do those things,” he said, despite the fact that Taylor told Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) earlier in the hearing that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky never mentioned any linkage or pressure during their meetings.
“You had three meetings again with Zelensky, and it didn’t come up,” Jordan said earlier in the hearing.
“And two of those they never heard of about it as far as I know — there was no reason for it to come up,” Taylor told Jordan.
In an attempt to get his argument across, Castro asked the ambassadors about other “attempted” crimes, such as “attempted murder” and “attempted robbery.”
“So ambassadors, is attempted murder a crime?” he asked, repeating his question. “Is attempted murder a crime?”
“Attempted murder is a crime,” Taylor said.
“Is attempted robbery a crime?” he asked.
“Neither of us is a lawyer,” Taylor began before Castro interrupted.
“I think anyone in this room could answer that question,” he said.
“I’ll go out on a limb and say yes it is,” Taylor said.
“Is attempted extortion and bribery a crime?” Castro asked, trying to draw a parallel.
“I don’t know sir,” Taylor said.