On Wednesday, all eyes were on Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who was testifying in the public impeachment hearings into the call between U.S. President Donald Trump and the President of Ukraine regarding military aid. The troubling topic at hand is the alleged withholding of said aid unless the Ukrainians launched an investigation into former Vice President and current Trump political rival Joe Biden, and Biden’s son Hunter. Sondland told the House of Representatives committees:
“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?’ With regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes.”
Sondland was just getting started when he made that damning statement under oath, though. He went on to say that he and other officials in the Trump Administration “followed the president’s orders” when it came to dictating the terms under which Trump’s attorney, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, said the military aid was to be released to the Ukraine. Giuliani’s involvement makes things look even worse for Trump, because, as VozWire reported previously, an impeachment witness in the form of former State Department official David Holmes already testified that Rudy Giuliani was advising the Vice President, and was not just President Trump’s personal lawyer as was previously claimed.
Sondland is not just any witness, either. He is President Trump’s Ambassador to the European Union, an he donated a million dollars to the president’s inaugural committee. He was deep in Trump’s pocket and is a lifelong Republican. But, of course, when it comes down to it, patriotism and truth are not partisan, and Sondland told the truth to the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on Wednesday. This, of course, made Trump do his usual dance of distancing himself from someone he appointed, and who was confirmed by the GOP-controlled Senate. He told a gaggle of reporters in front of the White House, “this is not a man I know well.” He then went on to emphasize that Sondland had testified that he, Trump, had insisted there was no quid pro quo. Trump then went on to say:
“That means it’s all over then.”
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. It is in no way “all over.” Sondland just said, point blank, that yes, with regards to the White House visit, there was a quid pro quo. Sondland said that what he, Rudy Giuliani, and others participated in with regards to the Ukraine situation was “at the express direction of the president of the United States.” So, in other words, Trump ordered them to hold vital aid over Ukraine’s head in order to carry out an investigation of his potential 2020 rival. If that is not an explicitly impeachable offense, then nothing is.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, had it right with his opening statement of Wednesday’s proceedings when he said:
“The knowledge of this scheme was far and wide.”
He is correct. Trump has been committing impeachable offenses in plain sight, and now the bill is finally coming due. It’s about time.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons
Leave a Reply