This Wednesday morning, House impeachment investigators kickstarted yet another public hearing. This time, they hosted Trump donor turned E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who played a key role in the “quid pro quo” (or “this for that”) plot that the Trump team carried out targeting Ukraine. Early Wednesday, CNN’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta pointed out a number of key details of Sondland’s perspective that had already come out and upended the White House’s main defenses. In short, the president and his most ardent defenders insist there was no quid pro quo in the first place, but Sondland bluntly says that there was and it was no secret — and that “everyone was in the loop.”
As Acosta put it, shortly before the testimony began:
‘Trump has said repeatedly there was no quid pro quo. Sondland will testify there was and Trump wanted it… WH explanations come tumbling down. Trump donor and EU Amb Sondland fingers the president of the United States in Ukraine scheme: “we followed the president’s orders.’
It’s true — Sondland insisted that Trump’s personal interest was in getting Ukraine to investigate the Bidens in exchange for military aid and a summit in D.C. Sondland even confirmed the existence of the July phone conversation between him and the president the day after Trump spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. According to previous testimony, Trump asked Sondland if Ukraine would be pursuing “the investigations,” and Sondland replied that Zelensky was definitely beholden to Trump at that point.
The scheme reportedly got so far that Zelensky was prepared to announce a Biden investigation in a bid to get the aid that had been held up for months. That aid was only released after a whistleblower complaint revealing the quid pro quo plot emerged. Republicans would like us to believe that the sudden aid release after months of delays was just a coincidence. Although more and more witness testimony keeps piling up implicating the president and his closest allies in a quid pro quo plot to abuse the power of the presidency, there’s been no indication Republicans are interested in breaking with the president.
Check out Twitter’s response to Acosta…