Envoy tosses a live grenade at Oval Office

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

William Taylor said he would not offer an opinion on what he delivered today to the U.S. House Intelligence Committee.

He didn’t need to offer that qualifier. What he delivered was the rhetorical equivalent of a live hand grenade straight into the Oval Office.

The longtime diplomat, a career public servant, today revealed that Donald Trump was more interested in finding dirt on Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, than he was in rooting out corruption in Ukraine.

Yep, Taylor told the panel that there was a quid pro quo, that the president of the United States wanted the goods on the Bidens exclusively to help his upcoming campaign for re-election, which he well could wage against Joe Biden, the former vice president of the United States.

So … what now?

We’re going to hear from some more witnesses on Friday. Then some more next week. Maybe even more than that.

I listened to a lot of what Taylor and longtime State Department aide George Kent told the Intelligence panel.

I collected a couple of takeaways from this remarkable day of testimony … under oath.

  • One is that nothing that Taylor and Kent said is likely to shake any of Trump’s Republican allies out of their fealty to the president. The GOP members of the Intel committee today didn’t defend Trump’s character. They didn’t say that Donald Trump would never do what has been alleged. Instead, they homed in on Democrats’ motives and on the Bidens’ activities in Ukraine. They defended Trump by attacking his critics.
  • The second takeaway was that Taylor and Kent are as polished, sophisticated and dedicated to the nation as had been advertised. They were unflappable in the face of the aggression exerted by GOP questioners.

The hearings will continue. There well might be more rhetorical grenades tossed into the White House. Will there be any signal that GOP devotion to Trump will falter? I am not holding my breath.

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