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The Trump impeachment is all about an allegation of quid pro quo. But what does that mean?

Quid pro quo. It’s hard to say and can require some nuance to prove, but it’s the phrase at the center of a contentious impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Did he withhold military aid to Ukraine by pressuring the country to investigate his political rivals? Trump and his staunch supporters say no. The Democrats say yes. Either way, the idea of quid pro quo stands firmly at the base of the investigation.

So, what is it? To the dictionary, we go.


Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the Latin phrase as simply, “something given or received for something else.” Often, quid pro quos can be seen in cases of bribery and extortion.

Why the Democrats think Trump is guilty of it

The entire controversy over a quid pro quo started with the July 25 phone call between Trump and the newly-elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In that call, Trump asked Zelensky to open an investigation into Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, and his business dealings with the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma.

Alexander Gruysson