FACT-CHECK: Jim Jordan Claims Four Things About Impeachment Never Change…But They Are All False

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Graphic from Impeachment HQ.

Just now, Rep. Jim Jordan went on a pathetic tirade attempting to defend Donald Trump against the exceptionally clear evidence that Trump committed impeachable offenses.

But the facts show that Jordan is absolutely, without question, very wrong:

JORDAN’S SPIN: “There was ‘no quid pro quo’ on the transcript.”

THE FACTS:Trump asked Ukraine for “a favor though” to investigate the Bidens while they knew the aid was being held.

Two key witnesses also specifically said there was a quid pro quo:

  • During a press conference, Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney admitted that Ukraine aid had been contingent on Ukraine launching political investigations. When asked by a reporter if there was a “quid pro quo,” Mulvaney said, “We do that all the time […] I have news for everybody: Get over it. There’s going to be political influence on foreign policy. That is going to happen. Elections have consequences, and foreign policy is going to change…”
  • EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland said “the answer is yes”: there is a “quid pro quo.” He testified that “everyone was in the loop” and was working at the “express direction of the President.”

JORDAN’S SPIN: “The two guys on the call, President Trump and President Zelensky, both said no pressure, no pushing, no quid pro quo.”

THE FACTS: While President Zelensky may have been putting on a brave face for the cameras, evidence shows that the Ukrainians knew aid was being withheld and were in an absolute panic. Zelensky recently told Time Magazine, “If you’re our strategic partner, then you can’t go blocking anything for us.”

Evidence shows that Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials were well aware of the quid pro quo:

  • On May 7, 2019, Zelensky met with his advisors to discuss how to navigate the pressure from Trump and Rudy Giuliani to investigate the Bidens.
  • WhatsApp messages show that Ukrainian officials were so concerned about the military aid being withheld that they nearly caved to Trump’s demand right before Congress became aware of the whistleblower complaint.
  • Independent reporting shows that Ukraine nearly caved to Trump’s demand for a public statement on investigations.
  • Additional reporting shows that Zelensky’s staff favored agreeing to Trump’s demands. The New York Times reported that “high-level Ukrainian officials ultimately decided to acquiesce to President Trump’s request—and, by a stroke of luck, never had to follow through.”
  • Before the whistleblower complaint was announced, Zelensky had even planned a CNN interview on September 13, where he was set to make the public statement announcing investigations into Trump’s political opponents. The New York Times reported that, “finally bending to the White House request, Mr. Zelensky’s staff planned for him to make an announcement in an interview on Sept. 13 with Fareed Zakaria, the host of a weekly news show on CNN.”

JORDAN’S SPIN: “Ukrainians didn’t know that the aid was held up at the time of the phone call.”

THE FACTS: The Ukrainians absolutely knew that military aid was being withheld. During her testimony, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper testified that Ukrainian officials were aware of the hold on July 25—the very same day as the Trump-Zelensky call.

JORDAN’S SPIN: “Ukrainians never started, never promised to start, and never announced an investigation in the time that the aid was paused.”

THE FACTS: Again, this is absolutely false. Zelensky met with his advisors to figure out how to navigate Trump’s pressure campaign. Reporting from The New York Times shows that Ukrainian officials were even set to announce investigations into the Bidens during a planned CNN interview on September 13.

Originally posted on Impeachment HQ. Re-posted with permission.

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Impeachment HQ is a new rapid response project that serves as a resource to talkers, reporters, and activists on the impeachment proceedings.

The new project is a joint effort from Defend the Republic, a messaging and strategic communications project focused on holding the Trump Administration accountable, and Stand Up America, one of the country’s largest grassroots advocacy organizations and a key group driving grassroots action on impeachment.

The project is led by Zac Petkanas, who was previously the Director of Rapid Response for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, Communications Director to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senior Adviser to the Democratic National Committee.

The project is also supported by communicators, campaigners, and researchers from both Defend the Republic and Stand Up America—including Ryan Thomas, the Press Secretary for Stand Up America, who leads the communications team.

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