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Impeachment witness debunks Nunes' conspiracy theories about Ukraine on live TV

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) seemed flustered when U.S. diplomat Bill Taylor debunked his conspiracy theories on Ukraine.

By Emily Singer - November 13, 2019
Devin Nunes and Bill Taylor

Republicans got their turn on Wednesday to question two key witnesses in the impeachment probe against Donald Trump.

It didn’t go well.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, used his time for questioning to try and get Bill Taylor, the top American diplomat in Ukraine, to say that the Ukrainians were unfairly hostile toward Trump and that Trump had reason to be distrustful of the country.

Taylor didn’t bite.

“I looked into the circumstances for several of the things you just mentioned,” Taylor said, referring to the conspiracy theories that Ukraine worked against Trump in the 2016 election. “In 2016, candidate Trump had made a statement saying that it was possible that he would allow Crimea to go back to Russia. He expressed the sentiment or the opinion that it was possible that Crimea wanted to go back to Russia. What I can tell you, Mr. Nunes, is that that sentiment is amazingly inflammatory to all Ukrainians.”

Nunes looked flustered when Taylor didn’t go along with his line of questioning but pressed on.

It wasn’t just Nunes whose questioning fell flat.

Steve Castor, the GOP’s counsel on the House Intelligence Committee, asked Taylor about the “black ledger” that Ukraine released that showed the corruption former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort engaged in and ultimately went to jail for.

Castor said that Manafort resigned from the Trump campaign after that ledger was published.

“Certainly that gives rise to some concern that there were some elements of the Ukrainian establishment that were out to get the president, and that’s a very reasonable belief of his, correct?” Castor asked Taylor.

Taylor replied that he didn’t know.

It’s unclear why Castor thought it was somehow exculpatory for Trump to be angry that Ukrainians exposed the illegal dealings of his campaign chair.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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