Response to Republican Talking Points for Ukraine

The Republican party has distributed talking points to its members.

Republicans say The July 25 call summary – the best evidence of the conversation – shows no conditionality or evidence of pressure.

The transcript provided by the White House shows that Trump asked Zelensky to "do us a favor though". The transcript verified the accusation made by the whistle blower. It was so bad that it triggered the impeachment inquiry. And there is compelling testimony from multiple witnesses that there was a quid pro quo. [transcript on Fox]

Republicans say Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and President Trump have both said there was no pressure on the call.

At the UN, Zelensky said he did not want to interfere in democratic elections. Trump has a reputation for saying things that are not true.

Republicans say The Ukrainian government was not aware of a hold on U.S. security assistance at the time of the July 25 call.

Zelensky would, at least, have known that the promised funds had not been delivered. And Sondland and others from Trump's team had been meeting with Zelensky since he was inaugurated. So it is reasonable to assume he was aware of the situation.

Republicans say Trump met with Zelenskiy and U.S. security assistance flowed to Ukraine in September 2019 – both of which occurred without Ukraine investigating Trump’s political rivals.

The State Department released some of the funds after it was found that Trump did not have standing to block the funds. The remaining were released by Trump after the whistleblower reported the bribery scheme. Trump tried very hard to commit this crime but was prevented by honest people in government. This still constitutes an abuse of power and is an impeachable offense.

Other Talking Points

Trump says it is impossible to overhear a mobile phone conversation. So it would have been impossible to overhear Sondland talking to Trump about Ukraine on July 25.

This is incorrect. It is possible, depending on the phone and the volume setting, to hear both sides of a mobile phone conversation.

Republicans say Trump was just interested in fighting corruption.

Trump has shown no interest in fighting corruption since he was elected. He embraces corrupt foreign leaders and tries to prevent the investigation of corruption commited by the Russians or by members of his team. Also Trump only asked Zelensky to announce an investigation into Biden, not to actually investigate him. That would cast a shadow of uncertainty over Biden without the risk of him being exhonerated.