Gordon Sondland testified in the House of Representatives today as part of their impeachment inquiry. From his opening statement, it became obvious that Sondland was about to reverse course on several levels, “updating” his previous closed-door testimony from last month. Since his testimony, several fact-witnesses have contradicted his testimony. Now, claiming his “memory has been refreshed” by other witness testimony and other evidence that have come to light, Sondland says that there was a “quid pro quo.” Furthermore, he claims everything he did was at the direction of the White House and State Department.
Basically, to summarize his opening statement, now he is saying that he was “just following orders.”
MSNBC legal analyst and host Ari Melber summed everything up pretty well:
Holy cow Gordon Sondland going full John Dean in opening statement:
Confirms his view the WH plot was “quid pro quo” bribery
Shows Pompeo in the loop with new evidence
Implicates Trump, testifies this was on his orders
Adds new emails and evidence
— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) November 20, 2019
Sondland brought emails and other communications to back his claims up. He also stated that the administration was blocking his access to other documents, none of which are classified. In addition to that, they are denying him access to his team to put together his testimony.
Sondland spoke to the committee in his opening statement in what might be the most damning testimony yet:
“Was there a quid pro quo? … with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, The answer is yes. Mr. Giuliani conveyed to Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker and others that President Trump wanted a public statement from President Zelensky committing to an investigation of Burisma and the 2016 election.” (page 14 of opening statement)
Sondland went on to share a series of messages to back up his claims.
Below are the messages he shared with the committee along with his commentary around the messages when offering them in his statement:
With these revelations from Sondland, virtually all of the GOP’s defenses of Trump have gone up in smoke. We now know for a fact that there was a quid pro quo and that there was a plot to withhold Ukraine’s aid until Zelensky did Trump’s bidding.
Trump and his allies have repeatedly denied there was any quid pro quo.
See Gordon Sondland acknowledging the truth below:
Featured image via screen capture from youtube.com