Trump impeachment: Bill Taylor opening statement in Full – BBC News

Top diplomat Bill Taylor says: “I am not here to take one side or the other or to advocate for any particular outcome of these proceedings.”

Taylor has served under Republican and Democratic administrations. He is a Vietnam veteran.

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Bill Taylor lays out his main points, getting into the history of US-Ukraine relations.

“Ukraine is a strategic partner of the United States… Ukraine is on the front line in the conflict with a newly aggressive Russia.”

Taylor adds that “it is clearly in our national interest to deter further Russian aggression”.

“And finally, as the committee is aware, I wrote that withholding security assistance in exchange for help with a domestic political campaign in the United States would be crazy. I believed that then and I believe it now.”

Taylor says that by mid-July it was clear to him that the meeting President Zelensky wanted with President Trump “was conditioned on the investigations of [Ukrainian gas company] Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 US elections”.

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