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toobin's take

CNN's Jeffrey Toobin says Ukraine transcript shows 'very strong evidence' of a quid pro quo

Does the memorandum of President Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky suggest a quid pro quo? CNN's Jeffrey Toobin thinks so.

Toobin weighed in after the White House released the rough transcript of Trump's phone call with Zelensky, in which he pushes for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. Trump has already been arguing it shows no quid pro quo took place, while some journalists have noted a quid pro quo is not explicit in the transcript.

But Toobin, CNN's legal analyst, thinks it's pretty clear, arguing Wednesday, "there is very strong evidence that there was a quid pro quo here." Toobin, in particular, points to a part of the conversation in which Zelensky brings up military aid, which Toobin notes "prompts the president to say" that he wants a favor.

When Trump first mentions wanting a favor, he's initially talking about wanting Ukraine to look into the Democratic National Committee email hack. He then brings up his requested investigation into Biden.

"He raises that at the precise moment after Zelensky raises the issue of we need money for our defense," Toobin said later on CNN. "Money, favor. Quid pro quo."

Toobin also argued that even if there wasn't a quid pro quo, it almost doesn't matter, as Trump asking for dirt on his political opponent would still be "wildly inappropriate and potentially impeachable." Brendan Morrow