6 Key Revelations of Taylor’s Opening Statement to Impeachment Investigators
WASHINGTON — William B. Taylor Jr., the top American diplomat in Kiev, provided the most explicit account to date of President Trump’s insistence that Ukraine publicly announce an investigation of Mr. Trump’s political rivals in exchange for an Oval Office meeting and military assistance to fight Russian-led forces.
华盛顿——美国驻基辅最高外交官小威廉·B·泰勒(William B. Taylor Jr.)提供了目前为止最明确的说明，表明特朗普总统坚持让乌克兰公开宣布对特朗普的政治对手展开调查，以换取在椭圆形办公室的一次会晤，并为打击俄罗斯领导的军队提供军事支援。
Mr. Taylor said he and other top officials were alarmed by a shadow foreign policy that put Ukrainian lives at risk for Mr. Trump’s political gain. The following are key parts of his opening statement.
曾任乔治·W·布什(George W. Bush)总统驻乌克兰大使的泰勒表示，他和其他高级官员对一项为了特朗普的政治利益而将乌克兰人的生命置于危险境地的影子外交政策感到震惊。以下是他开案陈述的关键部分。
1. Taylor described an explicit quid pro quo.
Mr. Taylor said he was told by Gordon Sondland, the American ambassador to the European Union, that military aid for Ukraine and an Oval Office meeting between President Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine were contingent on the Ukrainians announcing that they were investigating a company, Burisma, that had hired Hunter Biden, the son of Joseph R. Biden Jr. Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, helped convey the demands, he said.
泰勒称，他从美国驻欧盟大使戈登·桑德兰(Gordon Sondland)口中得知，对乌克兰的军事援助以及特朗普总统与乌克兰总统弗拉基米尔·泽伦斯基(Vladimir Zelensky)在椭圆形办公室里举行会谈的先决条件，是乌克兰宣布乌克兰官方正在调查布里斯玛(Burisma)公司，该公司雇佣了小约瑟夫·R·拜登(Joseph R. Biden Jr.)的儿子亨特·拜登(Hunter Biden)。
“By mid-July it was becoming clear to me that the meeting President Zelensky wanted was conditioned on the investigations of Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. It was also clear that this condition was driven by the irregular policy channel I had come to understand was guided by Mr. Giuliani.”
Later in his statement he said,
“Ambassador Sondland also told me that he now recognized that he had made a mistake by earlier telling the Ukrainian officials to whom he spoke that a White House meeting with President Zelensky was dependent on a public announcement of investigations — in fact, Ambassador Sondland said, “everything” was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance. He said that President Trump wanted President Zelensky “in a public box” by making a public statement about ordering such investigations.”
2. The White House had two channels on Ukraine policy: official and unofficial. Giuliani helped steer the unofficial policy.
2. 白宫在乌克兰政策上有两个渠道：官方和非官方。非官方渠道包括特朗普的私人律师鲁道夫·W·朱利安尼(Rudolph W. Giuliani)。
“I found a confusing and unusual arrangement for making U.S. policy toward Ukraine. There appeared to be two channels of U.S. policy-making and implementation, one regular and one highly irregular. As the Chief of Mission, I had authority over the regular, formal diplomatic processes, including the bulk of the U.S. effort to support Ukraine against the Russian invasion and to help it defeat corruption. This regular channel of U.S. policy-making has consistently had strong, bipartisan support both in Congress and in all administrations since Ukraine’s independence from Russia in 1991.
At the same time, however, there was an irregular, informal channel of U.S. policy-making with respect to Ukraine, one which included then-Special Envoy Kurt Volker, Ambassador Sondland, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and as I subsequently learned, Mr. Giuliani.”
但与此同时，还有一个非正规、非正式的政策制定渠道，该渠道包括时任特使库尔特·沃尔克(Kurt Volker)、桑德兰大使、能源部长里克·佩里(Rick Perry)以及我后来了解到的朱利安尼。”
Later he said,
“When I first arrived in Kyiv, in June and July, the actions of both the regular and the irregular channels of foreign policy served the same goal-a strong U.S.-Ukraine partnership — but it became clear to me by August that the channels had diverged in their objectives. As this occurred, I became increasingly concerned.”
3. Taylor was told Ukraine had to ‘pay up’ before the president would ‘sign a check.’
“Before these text messages, during our call on September 8, Ambassador Sondland tried to explain to me that President Trump is a businessman. When a businessman is about to sign a check to someone who owes him something, he said, the businessman asks that person to pay up before signing the check. Ambassador Volker used the same terms several days later while we were together at the Yalta European Strategy Conference. I argued to both that the explanation made no sense: the Ukrainians did not ‘owe’ President Trump anything, and holding up security assistance for domestic political gain was ‘crazy,’ as I had said in my text message to Ambassadors Sondland and Volker on September 9.”
“在这些短信前，在我们9月8日的通话中，桑德兰大使试图向我解释，特朗普总统是个生意人。他说生意人即将给亏欠他的人签发支票时，会要求此人在签发之前付清款项。几天后，我们一同参加雅尔塔欧洲战略会议(Yalta European Strategy Conference)时，沃尔克特使用了同样的词。我向两人争辩说，这种解释毫无道理：乌克兰人不‘欠’特朗普总统什么，为了国内政治利益而拖延安全援助‘很荒唐’，我在9月9日给桑德兰和沃尔克两位大使的短信中如是写道。”
4. Taylor said Ukrainians would die at the hands of Russian led-forces as a result of the delay in American military aid.
“Ambassador Volker and I traveled to the front line in northern Donbas to receive a briefing from the commander of the forces on the line of contact. Arriving for the briefing in the military headquarters, the commander thanked us for security assistance, but I was aware that this assistance was on hold, which made me uncomfortable.
Ambassador Volker and I could see the armed and hostile Russian-led forces on the other side of the damaged bridge across the line of contact. Over 13,000 Ukrainians had been killed in the war, one or two a week. More Ukrainians would undoubtedly die without the U.S. assistance.”
5. Bolton fought the effort to hijack the policy toward Ukraine and Pompeo did not respond directly to complaints, Taylor said.
Two National Security Council staffers, Fiona Hill and Alexander Vindman, told Mr. Taylor that John R. Bolton, then national security adviser and their boss, was very disturbed by the demands that Ukraine launch criminal inquiries.
国家安全委员会(National Security Council)的两名工作人员菲奥娜·希尔(Fiona Hill)和亚历山大· 文德曼(Alexander Vindman)告诉泰勒，当时的国家安全顾问、他们的上级约翰·R·博尔顿(John R. Bolton)对于要求乌克兰展开刑事调查一事感到非常不安。
“In the same July 19 phone call, they gave me an account of the July 10 meeting with the Ukrainian officials at the White House. Specifically, they told me that Ambassador Sondland had connected ‘investigations’ with an Oval Office meeting for President Zelensky, which so irritated Ambassador Bolton that he abruptly ended the meeting, telling Dr. Hill and Mr. Vindman that they should have nothing to do with domestic politics. He also directed Dr. Hill to ‘brief the lawyers.’Dr. Hill said that Ambassador Bolton referred to this as a ‘drug deal’ after the July 10 meeting. Ambassador Bolton opposed a call between President Zelensky and President Trump out of concern that it ‘would be a disaster.’
Needless to say, the Ukrainians in the meetings were confused. Ambassador Bolton, in the regular Ukraine policy decision-making channel, wanted to talk about security, energy, and reform; Ambassador Sondland, a participant in the irregular channel, wanted to talk about the connection between a White House meeting and Ukrainian investigations.”
Mr. Taylor complained to Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, that it was “folly” to withhold military aid.
“Near the end of Ambassador Bolton’s visit, I asked to meet him privately, during which I expressed to him my serious concern about the withholding of military assistance to Ukraine while the Ukrainians were defending their country from Russian aggression. Ambassador Bolton recommended that I send a first-person cable to Secretary Pompeo directly, relaying my concerns. I wrote and transmitted such a cable on August 29, describing the ‘folly’ I saw in withholding military aid to Ukraine at a time when hostilities were still active in the east and when Russia was watching closely to gauge the level of American support for the Ukrainian government. I told the secretary that I could not and would not defend such a policy. Although I received no specific response, I heard that soon thereafter, the Secretary carried the cable with him to a meeting at the White House focused on security assistance for Ukraine.”
6. Demands were made for secrecy and career officials, including Taylor, were left in the dark about key events.
“I sensed something odd when Ambassador Sondland told me on June 28 that he did not wish to include most of the regular interagency participants in a call planned with President Zelensky later that day. Ambassador Sondland, Ambassador Volker, Secretary [Rick] Perry, and I were on this call, dialing in from different locations. However, Ambassador Sondland said that he wanted to make sure no one was transcribing or monitoring as they added President Zelensky to the call.”
Later he said,
“On July 25, President Trump and President Zelensky had the long-awaited phone conversation. Strangely, even though I was Chief of Mission and was scheduled to meet with President Zelensky along with Ambassador Volker the following day, I received no readout of the call from the White House. The Ukrainian government issued a short, cryptic summary.”