Yes, Of Course There Was a Quid Pro Quo

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Was there a quid pro quo in President Trump’s phone call with the president of Ukraine? That is, did he ask for an investigation of a political opponent in return for providing military aid that Congress had already approved?

There is, of course, not an explicit request. There never is. But it’s pretty obvious anyway to anyone who’s not desperately trying to pretend things away. Here is conservative David French:

I haven’t been a litigator since 2015. I haven’t conducted a proper cross-examination since 2014. But if I couldn’t walk a witness, judge, and jury through the transcript of Donald Trump’s call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and demonstrate that a quid pro quo was more likely than not, then I should just hang up my suit and retire in disgrace.

Here’s an attorney friend of mine via email:

In the legal world, where there is well-established case law on what constitutes a QPQ, particularly in criminal matters, the Ukrainegate transcript would appear to fall into the garden-variety lay-up category.

Of course there was a quid pro quo. We aren’t children here.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate