According to Politico, President Donald Trump on Wednesday lashed out at William Taylor, the top American diplomat in Ukraine who offered impeachment investigators damaging details about Trump’s foreign dealings, dismissing him as a “Never Trumper.” Politico went on to state that,
Taylor on Tuesday directly tied Trump for the first time to a quid pro quo with Ukraine and provided House Democrats with a roadmap of other potential witnesses who could further substantiate allegations Trump withheld foreign aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals. In a series of tweets Wednesday, Trump sought to distance himself from Taylor and cast doubt on the diplomat and the political motivations of his lawyer, John Bellinger.
Then an article in The Guardian questioned if “loyalists [will] turn against Trump after… Taylor’s game-changing testimony”. Susan Davis conveyed a report in NPR which suggested that Republicans largely stand behind trump following Taylor’s testimony.
Davis said that, After William Taylor testified the president leveraged military assistance and a White House meeting in return for political investigations in Ukraine, Republicans largely stuck behind the president.
However, despite their support, Politico reported that Senate Republicans are largely dodging questions about the substance of William Taylor’s testimony, which rocked the GOP argument that President Donald Trump did not engage in a quid pro quo with the Ukrainian government.
According to the article in Politico by Burgess Everett,
While GOP senators aren’t defending the president’s alleged behavior, many are throwing out a litany of complaints about House Democrats’ procedural handling of the impeachment inquiry and demanding to see more documents and the full transcript of the deposition.
“The way the House is handling it now is like a rolling oppo dump. Every day they take in this testimony and they leak out the pieces that they want,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who has reviewed Taylor’s testimony and said he had no reason to doubt the words of the U.S. envoy to Ukraine. “It is a bad process, not just for the president. It’s a bad process for the country.”
Such sentiment may be a sign that the Senate Republicans who will determine whether Trump is removed from office in any impeachment trial aren’t ready to break with him just yet. But it also suggests that Republicans are more comfortable fighting on process grounds rather than substance, given they don’t know what revelations might emerge next.