Diplomat William Taylor's Tuesday testimony to House impeachment investigators drew "sighs and gasps"—and a "pfft!" from President Trump, who dismissively tweeted on Wednesday morning, "Neither he (Taylor) or any other witness has provided testimony that the Ukrainians were aware that military aid was being withheld." Not so, reports the New York Times, which claims sources and documents indicate "high-level Ukrainian officials" knew the aid was on ice by the first week of August. That runs counter to a major line of defense presented by Trump and his supporters: That there was no quid pro quo because the Ukrainians were unaware the nearly $400 million military aid package had been frozen until weeks later, in late August.
Nothing the Times heard or reviewed showed an explicit link between the freeze and Ukraine investigating US matters, but the same Ukrainian presidential aide was referenced in regards to both the investigations President Trump was seeking and the aid hold-up, "signaling a possible link between the matters," per the paper. It further observes that the new timeline shows "the Ukrainian government was aware of the freeze during most of the period in August when Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, and two American diplomats were pressing President Volodymyr Zelensky ... to make a public commitment to the investigations being sought by Mr. Trump." (Read the full Times article.)