Today’s bombshell had a considerable blast radius. Sondland affirms, “yes” there was a “quid pro quo.” After a first deposition, a revised addendum, and today another lengthy statement, we now know there are receipts, and if Trump were not a PABOTUS*, he’d be indicted. Lacking that, the articles of impeachment get more substance.
“Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret” – Sondland. https://t.co/yPphlTSbgc
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) November 20, 2019
We now see more Amigo triads: from Perry/Volker/Sondland to Bolton/Pompeo/Mulvaney, intersected by Rudy, directed by Trump, because Article III of the Nixon impeachment is about obstruction of justice.
And that means Democrats are going to have to rethink what comes next.In his bombshell testimony, Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, implicated numerous members of Trump’s Cabinet in this unfolding story to a far greater degree than before.In just a few hours, Sondland unleashed a fusillade of revelations that suddenly bring us face to face with much bigger questions about the roles played by acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Pence.As a bonus, Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani is now far more deeply implicated as well.
Crucial point from Sondland: "I'm not sure how you can call it an 'irregular channel' when you're talking about the President, the Secretary of State, the national security advisory, the Secretary of Energy…" #ImpeachmentHearing
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) November 20, 2019
BOOM. That was a big step foward. Sondland confirmed that the only logical conclusion he could conceivably reach was that the military aid was part of the extortion plot.
And Sondland confirmed that Pence didn't object to this notion, either. https://t.co/OdQetmgQPC
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) November 20, 2019
Darn those “code reds”.
Trump is now yelling on TV:
"Sondland said that I told him 'I want nothing.'"
That still doesn't change what Trump directly told Zelinsky he wanted in exchange for arms on his own (edited) transcript:
Trump: “I would like you to do us a favor though.”
— Jed Shugerman (@jedshug) November 20, 2019
SONDLAND: It became very clear to all three of us that if we wanted to move the relationship forward, President Trump was not really interested in engaging. He wanted Rudy to handle it … Secretary Perry took the lead and made the initial contact with Rudy.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 20, 2019
THREAD. I’ve read the Sondland Testimony, and boy is it devastating to Trump. Remember, this is the one guy Trump pointed to to exonerate him. Excerpts and quick analysis below.
— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) November 20, 2019
On this whole question of Sondland saying he was unaware that Burisma had to do w Biden, how does he explain the text exchange w/Amb. Taylor on Sept 9,where Taylor said "As I said on the phone, I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign" https://t.co/vfehGrgiUr
— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) November 20, 2019
Sondland is destroying virtually every Trump defense: Trump didn’t care about Ukraine; there was a quid pro quo; Trump & Rudy demanded the announcement of investigations; everyone was in the loop; Ukraine knew about the linkage; all was directed by Trump
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) November 20, 2019
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 saying he didn't know about Biden-Burisma connection. So he just thought President Trump was interested in an old, closed, corruption case into a private gas company in Ukraine? And cared so much, that it became a main focus of Ukraine policy?
— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) November 20, 2019
Darn those codes, red or otherwise.
.@RepSpeier reminds Congress of a key quote from Michael Cohen's testimony: "He doesn’t give you questions, he doesn’t give you orders, he speaks in a code. And I understand the code, because I’ve been around him for a decade." pic.twitter.com/ze4B6vmAuf
— The Moscow Project (@moscow_project) November 20, 2019
I just want to salute the Sondland lawyers who came up with “Did I contradict my earlier testimony? Well I might not have if the WH and DoS hadn’t blocked access to my notes,” that is a next-level flip
— Adam Weinstein (@AdamWeinstein) November 20, 2019
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) November 20, 2019
Schiff: But he had to get those 2 investigations if that official act was going to take place, correct?
Sondland: He had to announce the investigations. He didn't actually have to do them as I understood it.
And that's the ballgame– proof that this was NEVER about corruption. pic.twitter.com/jtid2abqvp
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) November 20, 2019
Sondland confirms that the Ukraine scheme was a quid pro quo: the conditioning of official acts, a WH meeting and military aid, for something of great value to the president.
It goes right to the heart of the issue of bribery, and other potential high crimes and misdemeanors. pic.twitter.com/FGOiviza85
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) November 20, 2019
Trump donor Gordon Sondland has established that the bribery scheme of the Ukranian leader came straight from @realDonaldTrump.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) November 20, 2019
It's unclear why this impeachment inquiry needs to continue
Trump is guilty of multiple impeachable offenses
The evidence does not come from the deep state
It comes from a call summary released by the White House and a guy who donated $1M to Trump's inauguration
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) November 20, 2019
Unless Sondland takes the Fifth this morning, Pompeo and Trump are likely to look back on November 20, 2019 as the beginning of the endhttps://t.co/8nLpe4wPkc
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) November 20, 2019
That didn’t hurt a bit. pic.twitter.com/e8zSJaFyo5
— Indivisible Philadelphia (@IndivisiblePHL) November 20, 2019