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William James
William James

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"Like the alleged Ukraine quid pro quo that sparked Trump’s impeachment last year, the details can appear confusing–but ultimately, Velásquez says, the exchange was simple: Trump withdrew U.S. support for an international anti-corruption force that was investigating Morales and his family. Morales offered Guatemala’s material support for policies at the heart of Trump’s re-election bid.

Velásquez’s anti-corruption force “was a bargaining chip,” a senior policy adviser in the State Department told Reveal. He said he had no direct evidence of a quid pro quo. But the commission “was clearly something Morales wanted to get rid of, and we were happy to oblige by not backing it, supporting it when it needed us most.”


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