Today it was reported that EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s amnesia regarding Ukraine had vanished after Sondland gave an initial defense of the President. Now, after multiple other witnesses have given contradictory testimony to his, he too suddenly remembers that he did indeed deliver a “quid pro quo” message to Ukraine at the behest of President Donald J. Trump.
As Politico and many other outlets are reporting:
Gordon Sondland, a key witness in the impeachment inquiry, revealed that he told a top Ukrainian official that hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to the beleaguered U.S. ally would “likely” be held up unless the country’s government announced investigations into President Donald Trump’s political rivals — a major reversal from his previous closed-door testimony.
The acknowledgment of a potential quid pro quo is an explosive shift that threatens to upend claims by the president’s allies that military aid was not used as a bludgeon to advance his domestic political interests.
In his revised testimony, released Tuesday by House impeachment investigators, Sondland said that during a Sept. 1 meeting in Warsaw, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky raised his concerns directly to Vice President Mike Pence about the suspension of military aid.
Sondland, Trump’s ambassador to the European Union, added that he later told Andriy Yermak, a top Ukrainian national security adviser, that the aid would be contingent on Trump’s desired investigations.
“After that large meeting, I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak, where I said that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks,” Sondland wrote in his addendum, which was released on Tuesday alongside a nearly 400-page transcript of his testimony.
This will probably come as quite a shock to Trump allies, and Trump himself, all of whom have been relying, at least in part, to the reports of Sondland’s original testimony, which seemed to back the President up.
Now, that is all vanished. Tweets like this one now have been shown to have not aged well …
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2019
All this might bring Vice President back into the mystery as Sondland’s testimony says that he informed Vice President Mike Pence of the deal at hand. The administration has up until now tried to leave Pence on the sidelines as far away from the scandal as possible. That might not be possible now.
One other interesting note … It seems that some Americans, up until now, do not understand what a “quid pro quo” is, and/or that the words “quid pro quo” are not used during one. The term ‘quid pro quo” is merely a latin legal term, not what people say in real life.
To give an analogy: I can describe a sandwich many different ways besides calling it a sandwich. I can call it two pieces of bread with meat and cheese inside it. I can call it a hand held pairing of bread, meat and cheese configured so it is easy to eat. I can change the bread and substitute any other kind of bread. I can use different meats, cheeses, or other ingredients like veggies or PB&J. I can have an Italian hoagie or have chicken on a bun at Chik-Fil-A. Those descriptions, plus any others one can come up with all describe a sandwich. It is all the same thing.
Quid pro quo = sandwich … capisce?