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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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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