Explosive Testimony: Ambassador Who Spoke To Trump Confirms Quid Pro Quo
He is the first witness to directly implicate Pres. Trump in bribery.
Gordon D. Sondland testified this morning on the fourth day of public impeachment hearings. Deputy assistant defense secretary Laura K. Cooper and David Hale, the undersecretary of state for political affairs, also testified.
As a Trump megadonor who the president named Ambassador to the European Union, Sondland had multiple direct conversations with Trump about pressuring Ukraine to investigate political rivals in exchange for personal political favors. He also had multiple conversations with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani about pressuring Ukraine for the investigations in exchange for a White House visit for new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky—and confirmed so in his opening statement.
Sondland was very much involved in the correspondence between Trump and President Zelensky and his ability to directly link Trump to a quid pro quo makes him a crucial witness. It was also revealed this morning that he kept Secretary of State Mike Pompeo updated about the plan to pressure Ukraine into helping the president. In today's testimony, he implicated not only Trump and Sec. Pompeo in the correspondence, but multiple top administration officials in the plot to pressure Ukraine to dig up political dirt on Trump's political rivals.
Sondland also confirmed a quid pro quo during his testimony before the House this morning—and implicated Pres. Trump and Rudy Giuliani in the process.
He also described a conversation where he reportedly said Trump "doesn't give a sh*t about Ukraine," he only cares about "stuff that benefits himself."
As for the afternoon witnesses, Laura Cooper is a Pentagon official involved in overseeing U.S. military assistance to Ukraine. She claims that the Defense Department wasn’t aware of the proposed dealings between Trump and Zelensky, but she did express alarm about the military funds that were halted and held against the Ukrainian president. David Hale was also made aware of the suspended aid.
Despite Sondland's implications, Trump claims to be exonerated by his damning testimony. "'Not only did we win today, it's over," he said.