Gordon Sondland, the mercurial hotelier turned EU Ambassador who first stated he would not testify in the impeachment inquiry, then changed course to say he would, will testify this week that drumpf told him to text acting Ukrainian Ambassador William B. Taylor that there was no quid pro quo in his dealings with Ukrainian President Zelensky after Taylor texted Sondland that there sure looked like there was one and that would be “crazy.”
“The U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, intends to tell Congress this week that the content of a text message he wrote denying a quid pro quo with Ukraine was relayed to him directly by President Trump in a phone call, according to a person familiar with his testimony.
Sondland plans to tell lawmakers he has no knowledge of whether the president was telling him the truth at that moment. “It’s only true that the president said it, not that it was the truth,” said the person familiar with Sondland’s planned testimony, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic matters.
The Sept. 9 exchange between Sondland and the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine has become central to the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into whether the president abused his office in pressuring Ukraine to open an investigation into his political rival Joe Biden and his son, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company. The White House and its defenders have held up Sondland’s text, which included “no quid pro quo’s of any kind,” as proof that none was ever considered.
Sondland will hold out the possibility that Trump wasn’t truthful in his denial of a quid pro quo as well as an alternative scenario in which the president’s interest in the scheme soured at a time when his administration faced mounting scrutiny over why it was withholding about $400 million in security assistance to Ukraine and delaying a leader-level visit with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“Whether he’s deciding it’s getting too hot to handle and he backs off whatever his position really was a month earlier, I don’t know,” the person said of Sondland’s understanding.”
“It’s only true that the president said it, not that it was the truth,”
Hopefully that will be the epithet for this mal-administration..