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'No quid pro quo': How US legalised corruption long before Trump

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"No quid pro quo" is a magic phrase. A lot like "no collusion".

It is also the tip of an iceberg. An extremely dangerous one: the legalisation of corruption.

The phrase popped up after William Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, wrote to Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the EU, "I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign."

Sondland responded: "The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo's of any kind." He then went on to suggest they stop "the back and forth by text," adding that if Taylor still had concerns, he could "talk" to others.

"Quid pro quo" is very simple. It translates - and actually means - "this for that". It might appear that Sondland is denying that such a deal is taking place. That's not what he's saying. Not at all.

He's saying that Trump is saying "no quid pro quo's," therefore, William, you better not say there is one or you better stop describing stuff that sounds exactly like "quid pro quo's" and if it bothers you so much that you cannot stop, do not do it in writing, there are a couple of people you can call about it.

The reason that particular phrase is so important is that the Supreme Court has made it so.

John Roberts became chief justice in 2005. Since then, the Supreme Court has been on a campaign to legalise, normalise and, ultimately, enshrine political corruption. That sounds like it must be an exaggeration. It is not.

The common understanding of corruption is that if Public Office Holder gets........

© Al Jazeera