BOMBSHELL: Sondland Testifies There Was a Quid Pro Quo, Everyone Was in the Loop
EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified on Wednesday that there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine involving an investigation of the Bidens, in a stunning repudiation of President Donald Trump’s defenses against impeachment.
Per the just released transcript of his opening statement:
I know that members of this Committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a “quid pro quo?” As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes.
Sondland said he “never received a clear answer” on why military aid to Ukraine was suspended, and that he was concerned it was part of a pressure campaign to have Ukraine announce a Biden investigation. The ambassador made clear that a meeting between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky was predicated on investigations.
Sondland also testified that “everyone was in the loop” on the pressure.
Here’s that part of his testimony.
Within my State Department emails, there is a July 19 email that I sent to Secretary Pompeo, Secretary Perry, Brian McCormack (Perry’s Chief of Staff), Ms. Kenna, Acting Chief of Staff and OMB Director Mick Mulvaney (White House), and Mr. Mulvaney’s Senior Advisor Robert Blair. A lot of senior officials. Here is my exact quote from that email:
“I Talked to Zelensky just now… He is prepared to receive Potus’ call. Will assure him that he intends to run a fully transparent investigation and will ‘turn over every stone’. He would greatly appreciate a call prior to Sunday so that he can put out some media about a ‘friendly and productive call’ (no details) prior to Ukraine election on Sunday.” Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney responded: “I asked NSC to set it up for tomorrow.”
Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret. Everyone was informed via email on July 19, days before the Presidential call. As I communicated to the team, I told President Zelensky in advance that assurances to “run a fully transparent investigation” and “turn over every stone” were necessary in his call with President Trump.
Repeatedly in his opening statement, Sondland testified that he was taking orders from Trump.
“Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker and I worked with Mr. Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the President of the United States,” he said. “We did not want
to work with Mr. Giuliani.”
“As a presidential appointee, I followed the directions of the President,” he said. “We worked with Mr. Giuliani because the President directed us to do so. We had no desire to set any conditions on the Ukranians. Indeed, my personal view — which I shared repeatedly with others — was that the White House meeting and security assistance should have proceeded without pre-conditions of any kind.”
Watch above, via CNN.
This post has been updated with new information.
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