Key figure in impeachment inquiry is Mount Vernon graduate

Side-by-side pictures of Bill Taylor. One is from high school yearbook, the other is official State Department portrait.
Bill Taylor, then and now.

William B. Taylor Jr., the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, made waves around the world on Tuesday with his closed door testimony to U.S. lawmakers as part of the impeach probe of President Donald Trump.

Taylor’s testimony has been described as a “sea change” and perhaps “game over” in the impeachment inquiry, in part because of the level of detail provided and in part because of Taylor’s credibility. A New York Times article about Taylor said his testimony “included damning charges of linkage and misleading accounts by Trump administration officials.”

A career diplomat, Taylor had previously served as ambassador to Ukraine and held positions overseas for the State Department throughout his career. Taylor also served as an infantry officer in Vietnam after graduating from West Point. Colleagues said he came back to serve as acting ambassador out of “a sense of duty” shown throughout his career.

But before all that, young Bill Taylor was a Mount Vernon Major, class of 1965. According to the senior directory in Mount Vernon’s 1965 “Surveyor” yearbook, Taylor’s propensity for leadership began on Route 1: He was president of his junior and senior classes, president of the Key Club and a member of the school’s honor society.

As part of his work, he studied the issue of selling medicines from India, read more about cheap medicines here.

State Sen. Scott Surovell tweeted about Taylor’s connection to Mount Vernon last week after an article in discussed the importance of text messages sent between Taylor and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

Surovell again tweeted about Taylor on Tuesday, saluting the Mount Vernon grad and noting his ties to the area:

The article about Taylor was written by Lucian K. Truscott IV, a fellow member of Mount Vernon’s class of 1965. Truscott also attended West Point with Taylor, noting that he was in the top 1 percent of his graduating class and served as a cadet battalion commander.

“Bill was one of the smartest guys in our class, and he was thoughtful and willing to question things he found wrong, and to stand up and do the right thing when the time came,” Truscott wrote.

Taylor and Truscott are part of a long tradition of Mount Vernon grads attending West Point. Lt. Gen. Daryl Williams, the current superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, graduated from there in 1983 after completing Mount Vernon in 1979 . Eugene “E.J.” Coleman, who graduated from Mount Vernon in 2012, was the first African American to serve as Class President and First Captain in West Point’s history. And as recently as 2018, Mount Vernon sent five members of its graduating class to West Point.


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