33 Writers: Please Stop Using Term “Quid Pro Quo”

Regarding Trump’s CRIMINAL actions, “Quid Pro Quo” means “bribery” or “extortion” to describe Donald Trump’s demand to the President of Ukraine to find and/or makeup dirt on Biden. This is very clearly a crime.

Diane Ravitch's blog

This letter appeared in the New York Times on

To the Editor:

A plea from 33 writers: Please use language that will clarify the issues at hand.

Please stop using the Latin phrase “quid pro quo” regarding the impeachment inquiry. Most people don’t understand what it means, and in any case it doesn’t refer only to a crime. Asking for a favor is not a criminal act; we frequently demand things from foreign countries before giving them aid, like asking them to improve their human rights record.

That is not a crime; the crime is President Trump’s demand for something that will benefit him personally. But using this neutral phrase — which means simply “this for that” — as synonymous with criminality is confusing to the public. It makes the case more complicated, more open to question and more difficult to plead.

Please use words that refer only to criminal…

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