Speed Reads

Trump impeachment hearings

Trump's 'no quid pro quo' defense takes yet another hit

Thursday's impeachment witnesses have so far only added to the quid pro quo case against President Trump.

Former National Security Council adviser on Russia Fiona Hill and diplomat in Ukraine David Holmes testified in a public impeachment hearing Thursday. And just like their foreign service colleagues before them, they provided further evidence that Trump set out conditionals for Ukraine to receive aid and a White House meeting, spelling out the quid pro quo he has so far denied.

In his testimony, Holmes described a call he overheard between U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland and Trump, in which he heard Trump's "loud and recognizable" voice ask Sondland if Ukraine would start an unnamed investigation. He later said he thought Ukraine, upon realizing its aid from the U.S. hadn't arrived yet, would've "drawn that conclusion" that the aid was conditioned upon starting the investigation.

Hill provided more than just assumptions, testifying that Sondland told her that a White House meeting for Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky was dependent on him launching the investigations — and specifically saying Sondland was referring to the Bidens. Kathryn Krawczyk