WASHINGTON – While both the president’s defenders and critics have settled on the phrase “quid pro quo” to describe ’s dealings with Ukraine, some former federal prosecutors have an even simpler description for it: extortion.

Federal law makes it a crime for an official to demand or threaten another party to obtain something of value — a definition that appears to cover Trump’s decision to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to the country unless its leader agreed to launch investigations advantageous to Trump’s reelection efforts.

The relevant law is known as the Hobbs Act, said Danya Perry, a former prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York City. Its definition of “” includes obtaining property

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