By Robert A. Vella

Contrary to speculation that Gordon Sondland would refuse to answer questions in today’s impeachment hearing on Fifth Amendment grounds in order to avoid charges of lying to Congress (which Roger Stone was recently convicted for), the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union instead testified candidly about his active role in the Ukraine scandal.  He unequivocally implicated President Trump, Trump’s “personal lawyer” Rudy Giuliani, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and others (including Vice President Mike Pence) in a quid pro quo scheme to coerce the Ukrainian government.  Sondland admitted that a high profile meeting at the White House and nearly $400 million in U.S. military aid to Ukraine, both of which were desperately wanted by newly elected president Volodymyr Zelensky, were conditioned on Zelensky’s public intent to “investigate” Joe Biden and Ukraine’s fictional interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Sondland’s stunning testimony is sending shock waves through Washington D.C. and is forcing Republicans to find yet another rationale to defend the President.  As the weight of witness testimony closes in on Trump, more of his officials and operatives will be thrown under the bus in an attempt to save himself, and Giuliani probably tops that list because it was he who was carrying out Trump’s orders to pressure Ukraine.

Sondland said that what Trump wanted from Zelensky was no secret, that it was understood by all, and that he kept everyone advised about what was happening including the State Department and National Security Council.  This revelation puts additional scrutiny on the veracity of testimony given yesterday afternoon by two Republican-called witnesses, former Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and former NSC staffer Tim Morrison, who both wouldn’t acknowledge the quid pro quo even though they both expressed or reported concerns about the political nature of Trump’s interactions with Zelensky.  Sondland also said that former National Security Advisor John Bolton was intricately involved (a revelation which might further compel him to testify before the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry), and that the White House is withholding documents which would refresh his memory and clarify his testimony.

Today’s testimony:

READ: Gordon Sondland’s opening remarks at impeachment hearing

Yesterday’s testimony:

A very bad impeachment hearings day for Donald Trump

Aides bring impeachment inquiry directly into the White House

This post may be updated later today with new developments and other news stories if warranted.

18 thoughts on “Sondland implicates Trump, Giuliani, Pompeo, and others in quid pro quo scheme to coerce Ukraine

    • Sadly, wealthy executives will never run out of terrified, obedient believers of the true faith to prostitute themselves for the possibility of wealth and power for themselves. It’s built into our system, especially here in the U.S.

      We could investigate and imprison republican operatives for decades and not finish the job unless we radically change the system built of the corporate executives, by the corporate executives and for the corporate executives.

      The truth can be very ugly.

      Liked by 6 people

      • Definitely.

        Of course, even losing their comfortable seats on the proverbial gravy train won’t be enough of a punishment for these criminals. They’ll each be able to get high-salaried positions with one of the many corporations they actually worked for while in government.

        What we can hope for is that this horrible era in U.S. history will teach a valuable lesson to the millions of our fellow citizens who desperately need to hear truth.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I would love to see every republican running next year to lose. I’m not thrilled with the other major party, particularly the corporate democrats, but I don’t see them as being as cancerous to potential democracy as the party built solely to deregulate and keep control in the hands of the few. There are still some decent people among the democrats.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I agree. At least with the Dems, as you stated, there are enough of them at are at least trying to do some good that pushing them more and more to the left is something I believe is possible. The GOP are completely lost in a haze of money colored swastikas.

          Liked by 2 people

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