Yes, Of Course There Was a Quid Pro Quo

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Was there a quid pro quo in President Trump’s phone call with the president of Ukraine? That is, did he ask for an investigation of a political opponent in return for providing military aid that Congress had already approved?

There is, of course, not an explicit request. There never is. But it’s pretty obvious anyway to anyone who’s not desperately trying to pretend things away. Here is conservative David French:

I haven’t been a litigator since 2015. I haven’t conducted a proper cross-examination since 2014. But if I couldn’t walk a witness, judge, and jury through the transcript of Donald Trump’s call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and demonstrate that a quid pro quo was more likely than not, then I should just hang up my suit and retire in disgrace.

Here’s an attorney friend of mine via email:

In the legal world, where there is well-established case law on what constitutes a QPQ, particularly in criminal matters, the Ukrainegate transcript would appear to fall into the garden-variety lay-up category.

Of course there was a quid pro quo. We aren’t children here.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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