Quid pro quo (QPQ) is a Latin phrase absorbed into English; it is a noun meaning a favor is granted or expected in return for something. In Chinese it is translated as “交換條件“ which means “give or take something for take or give another thing as a condition”. As described in dictionary, in Latin, QPG implies that something has been substituted (this instead of that). The English usage of QPQ in early sixteen century had the same meaning as in Latin, meaning substitute, a common usage in medicine, substituting one medication for another. Wikipedia cited an usage of QPQ in the history book, “the Reign of King Charles” (1654) as something done for personal gain or with the expectation of reciprocity (God and believers do not enter into a contract without QPQ, meaning believers must forsake the devil and all his works).
QPQ would go on to be used in English in legal and diplomatic contexts, as an exchange of equally valued goods or services where value can be something immoral or illegal or obtained such way, for example, as done in extortion or bribery. But QPQ can be done legally or out of necessity, many examples can be found in legislative process in the U.S. Congress where the sponsors of one bill are making a QPQ deal with another bill’s sponsors so that they will vote for each other’s bill to get them all passed in Congress. Another example also quite prevalent happens in government’s budget appropriation negotiation; sometimes one or two expense items are added in the budget provided another one or two budgets are also added so that they all get approved. QPQ deals have been done in diplomacy too numerous times to be countable. The most infamous one, perhaps, is the surrender of Japan at the end of WW II with the condition that the Japanese Emperor would not be tried for war crime. So QPQ is a negotiation tool often used in power negotiation regardless whether the goal is a just one or not.
American presidents have done their share of QPQ; of course, whether they are done morally or not, are subject to interpretation. We can simply cite a few examples here to show that QPQ is a necessary tool presidents must learn and know how to use to gain political advantage. Cheryl Chumley has published an article in the Washington Times, 9/25/2019. citing a few examples: 1. An article in Green Biz in March of 2011, “Barack Obama, Clean Tech and the Political Quid Pro Quo.”, 2. “Barack Obama’s Ambassador Legacy: Plum Postings for Big Donors,” headlined in Public Integrity, January, 2017, and 3. The Wall Street Journal in August of 2016, “President Barack Obama defended his decision to authorize a $400 million cash payment to Iran that coincided with the country’s release of American prisoners in January.” All the above looked like and smelt like QPQ, didn’t they?
As Mentioned above, the ending of WW II contained an act of QPQ involving the fate of the Japanese Emperor. We could simply visit the history of FDR’s relations with Churchill, Charles DeGaulle of France, Josef Stalin of the Soviet Union and Chiang Kai-shek of China to find more QPQs being used during the war to achieve many objectives at the expense of one or the other nation or at the expense of the career of an individual American. It is interesting to find a quote attributed to President Ted Roosevelt, on being American: "Much has been given us, and much will rightfully be expected from us. (QPQ?) We have duties to others and duties to ourselves; and we can shirk neither. We have become a great nation, forced by the fact of its greatness into relations with the other nations of the earth, and we must behave as be seen as a people with such responsibilities." We can conclude from the above that being able to use QPQ effectively is a responsibility of the American President; being able to understand QPQ is a responsibility of the American people.
Come to the question whether President Trump had made a QPQ with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky as his phone call transcript had revealed, the answer is probably yes. As whether President Trump had made that QPQ for A personal gain as charged by the House Intelligence committee, the answer is probably no, at least there is no legal evidence. Politicians try to gain political advantages using QPQ are acceptable if there is no violation of the law exhibiting measurable damage. Investigating a possible corruption case of any American involving a foreign country, Hunter Biden in the specific case, is within the responsibility and legal bounds of the Presidency. Whether Hunter’s father, Joe Biden, is a Presidential candidate running against Trump or not is totally irrelevant. One may raise the moral issue of the timing of the QPQ, but aren’t there many sex scandals, whistle blowers and extortion activities surfacing during the campaign process of American elections? The voters are used to that and they have developed a bias wanting to know the truth and less so on how the truth was revealed.
Unfortunately, the so-called Trump’s QPQ with Ukraine President has become a bi-partisan fight, obviously with Democrats trying to destroy Trump’s chance of being re-elected. On this election issue, I believe, the American voters will judge on Trump’s performance on managing the economy. Is the nation better off today than 3-4 years ago? Can he make a good trade deal with China (with or without using QPQ) leading to four more years of healthy economic growth? I believe the American voters want to know the truth about whether Joe Biden, the father, knew his son Hunter’s activities in Ukraine working for a corrupt energy corporation there more than the truth about how Trump has made a QPQ with Zelensky to investigate the corruption case. After all, the Democratic Senators had openly in a letter threatened Ukraine with withholding financial aid to urge Ukraine to investigate corruption cases revealed in Mueller’s (The U.S. FBI ) investigation.
So in a fair minded analysis, we must say that using QPQ is not an impeachable crime, unless a quantifiable personal gain or a national loss can be proven!