So this comes directly from the transcript released today which you can read for youself at this link.
The following can be found on page 8 and 9 of the transcript:
Taylor: I was hopeful that, at the bilateral meeting or shortly thereafter, the White House would lift the hold, but this was not to be. Indeed, I received a readout of the Pence-Zelensky meeting over the phone for [sic] Mr. Morrison, during which he told me President Zelensky had opened the meeting by asking the Vice President about security cooperation.
(This undermines the Republican’s argument that the Ukranians did not know that the assistance was being withheld because here they are asking VP Pence what seemed to be the holdup.)
Taylor: During this same phone call I had with Mr. Morrison, he went on to describe a conversation Ambassador Sondland had with Mr. Yermak at Warsaw.
Ambassador Sondland told Mr. Yermak that the security assistance money would not come until President Zelensky committed to pursue the Burisma investigation.
I was alarmed by what Mr. Morrison told me about the Sondland–Yermak conversation. This was the first time I had heard that security assistance, not just the White House meeting, was conditioned on the investigations.
(And here is where the Ukrainians are being told that receiving the assistance was conditional on their willingness to announce the investigation into Burisma and Joe Biden’s son. That is quid pro quo.)
Schiff: You go on, at the end of that paragraph, top of page 11: “This was the first time I had heard that the security assistance—not just the White House meeting—was conditioned on the investigations.” So both of these things you now had learned were conditioned on these two political investigations, right?
Taylor: That’s correct, sir.
Schiff: That is, but for the Ukrainians’ willingness to do these two investigations, they were not only not going to get the White House meeting, they were also not going to get the military assistance.
Taylor: That is what Mr. Sondland told Mr. Yermak.
There is a break in the transcript here but it picks up again with Taylor’s fairly frustrated response to learning about all of this:
Taylor: Very concerned, on that same day, I sent Ambassador Sondland a text message asking if we are now saying that security assistance and a White House meeting are conditioned on investigations. Ambassador Sondland responded asking me to call him, which I did. During that phone call, Ambassador Sondland told me that President Trump had told him that he wants President Zelensky to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
Ambassador Sondland also told me that he now recognized that he had made a mistake by earlier telling Ukrainian officials to whom he spoke that a White House meeting with President Zelensky was dependent on a public announcement of investigations. In fact, Ambassador Sondland said everything was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance. He said that President Trump wanted President Zelensky in a box by making public statement [sic] about ordering such investigations. In that same September 1st call, I told Ambassador Sondland that President Trump should have more respect for another head of state and that what he described was not in the interest of either President Trump or President Zelensky. At that point, I asked Ambassador Sondland to push back on President Trump’s demand. Ambassador Sondland pledged to try.
Now if that was not clear enough for you here is Adam Schiff helping Bill Taylor drive the stake right through the heart of Trump’s argument against impeachment:
Schiff: And when you say that, this was the first time I heard that the security assistance—not just the White House meeting—was conditioned on the investigation, when you talk about conditioned, did you mean that if they didn’t do this, the investigations, they weren’t going to get that, the meeting and the military assistance?
Taylor: That was my clear understanding, security assistance money would not come until the President [of Ukraine] committed to pursue the investigation.
Schiff: So if they don’t do this, they are not going to get that was your understanding?
Taylor: Yes, sir.
Schiff: Are you aware that quid pro quo literally means this for that?
Taylor: I am.
And there you have it.
The Republicans have now switched to making the argument that even if it was quid pro quo that does not rise to the level of an impeachable offense.
Somehow I do not think that the majority of the American people are going to see it that way.