A top State Department aide questioned the legality of a U.S. president asking for an investigation into a political rival in his hours-long, closed-door deposition before congressional impeachment investigators.
“Politically related prosecutions are not the way of promoting the rule of law. They undermine the rule of law,” said George Kent, deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.
…The policy, as Kent described it, pitted the traditional bipartisan foreign policy consensus over U.S. relations with Ukraine, a fledgling post-Soviet state that needs Western support, against a parallel policy being advocated by Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer.
…Mulvaney dismissed the concerns of many of those testifying in the impeachment inquiry as “career bureaucrats” who “don’t like President Trump’s politics.”
There’s no evidence for that, however. Taylor, …for example, was hand-picked by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after Marie Yovanovitch was recalled from the post. Taylor served as Ukraine ambassador previously under Republican President George W. Bush.
…Taylor testified that he saw conflicting U.S. policies toward Ukraine being enacted at the same time. The “regular channel,” as he called it, was trying to support Ukraine in its fight with Russia by promising military funding.
But the “irregular channel,” led by Giuliani, was threatening to withhold funding and a meeting with Trump unless investigations into conspiracy theories that could help the president’s reelection in 2020 were carried out.
…”One might say national interest versus partisan interest,” Kent said.
There has been zero evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.
…Williams, a career foreign service officer assigned to Pence, was on the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that helped spark the impeachment inquiry.
Trump, on that call, asked Zelenskiy to “do us a favor” and investigate the two conspiracy theories.