Conservative Newspaper Editor Tells Fox News Host There Was No 'Quid Pro Quo' Before Admitting He Doesn't Know What Phrase Means

Charles Hurt, the opinion editor for conservative outlet The Washington Times, went on Fox & Friends Wednesday morning and repeated the "There was no quid pro quo" mantra of President Donald Trump's supporters thus far in the impeachment inquiry. However, right after saying there is "no quid pro quo," Hurt admitted, "I don't know even know what that means, really."

Washington Times editor Charles Hurt: "There was no quid, and there was no quo ... if there's no quid or pro you can't keep saying 'quid pro quo,' even though I don't even know what that means, really. I don't know what language 'quid pro quo' is."

— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) November 13, 2019

Ahead of the start of public impeachment hearings Wednesday, Hurt spoke to Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy to defend Trump. Hurt stated that the language that Democrats are using to describe Trump's actions is born out of the president's innocence. He said, "When you hear Adam Schiff and Democrats use all these squirrelly words like 'quid pro quo,' 'bribery,' all these things, it's all because they can't specify exactly where Donald Trump broke any law or did anything particularly wrong."

Hurt then quickly demonstrated the gap in his understanding of the phrase, which has been in the news for the past month. "There was no quid, and there was no quo," he told Doocy. "When there's no quid or pro, you can't keep saying 'quid pro quo,' even though I don't even know what that means, really." Before Doocy cut him off, the editor also noted, "I don't know what language 'quid pro quo' is."

Trump Charles Hurt
As the impeachment hearing draws closer, the argument about whether there was a quid pro quo for Trump's dealings with Ukraine has been re-ignited. Steven Ferdman/Getty

Doocy jumped in to inform Hurt that the phrase is Latin. "It's Latin to everybody," he added, implying that the phrase is incomprehensible.

"Quid pro quo" is a legal term that translates roughly "tit for tat," or "something for something. The legality of quid pro quo agreements varies by the circumstances such arrangements. If the president is found by Congress to have withheld federal aid to Ukraine on the condition that the country publicly announce an investigation into his political opponent, as House Democrats have alleged, such an action would represent an abuse of executive power and an impeachable offense.

As Wednesday's impeachment draws closer, the quid pro quo conversation has centered on a July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which the president told his Ukrainian counterpart "I would like you to do us a favor," and went on to encourage the newly elected official to investigate Democratic front-runner former Vice President Joe Biden. Closed-door testimony from various representatives who listened in on the phone call and who were familiar with U.S. policy in Ukraine has supported the whistleblower complaint of inappropriate dealings by the president.

The nature of the deal has stirred many commentators to weigh in on the cases for and against Trump. A Fox News judicial analyst stated that Trump's deal with the Ukrainian president was "clearly impeachable" Tuesday night.

The impeachment hearing will begin at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday morning.