In his impeachment testimony on Wednesday morning, U.S. Ambassador Gordon Sondland implicated the President and nearly all of his inner circle. “Everyone was in the loop,” Sondland repeatedly expressed.
Ambassador Sondland, who donated a million dollars to Trump’s inauguration campaign, was appointed by the President as the Ambassador to the European Union. He testified at the impeachment hearing where he indicated that there was, in fact, a quid pro quo and everyone was aware of it.
I think Sondland made America great again.
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) November 20, 2019
After a bombshell opening statement by Sondland, Chairman Schiff starts the questioning:
Schiff: In your deposition, you testified that you found yourself on a continuum that became more insidious over time. Can you describe what you mean by this continuum of insidiousness?
Sondland: Mr. Chairman, When we left the Oval Office, I believe on May 23rd, the request was very generic for an investigation of corruption, in a very vanilla sense. And dealing with some of the oligarch problems in Ukraine which were long-standing problems. And then as time went on, more specific items got added to the menu including the Burisma and 2016 election meddling specifically, the DNC server specifically. And over this continuum, it became more and more difficult to secure the White House meeting because more and more conditions were being placed on the White House meeting.
Schiff: And of course on July 25th, although you were not privy to the call, another condition was added. That being the investigation of the Bidens.
Sondland: I was not privy to the call, and I did not know that the condition of investigating the Bidens was a condition.
Schiff: You saw that in the call record, right?
Sondland: It was not in any record I received.
Schiff: But when you did see…
Sondland: Yes. I saw that in September. Correct.
Schiff: So on this continuum, the beginning of the continuum beings on May 23rd when the President instructs you to talk to Rudy?
Schiff: And you understood that as a direction by the President that you needed to satisfy the concerns that Rudy Giuliani would express to you about what the President wanted in Ukraine?
Sondland: Not to me—to the entire group Volker, Perry, and myself. Correct.
Schiff: Now, in your opening statement you confirmed that there was a quid pro quo between the White House meeting and the investigations into Burisma and the 2016 election that Giuliani was publicly promoting. Is that right?
Schiff: In fact, you say that other senior officials in the State Department and the Chiefs of Staff office including Mick Mulvaney, Secretary Pompeo were aware of this quid pro quo that in order to get the White House meeting there were going to have to be these investigations that the President wanted.
Trump is probably rethinking this Tweet right about now…
I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify, but unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where Republican’s rights have been taken away, and true facts are not allowed out for the public….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2019