Sondland is trying to hedge on whether or not Trump was threatening Ukraine with a criminal quid pro quo, but he will confirm that Trump was withholding military aid to Ukraine to pressure them to investigate Biden.
“The statement that Rudy was demanding was a quid pro quo for a White House visit, there was no doubt about that. But it was about corruption, which from their perspective wasn’t particularly problematic, it’s an issue the U.S. had been dealing with there for years.”
By Sept. 9, Sondland, however, had grown increasingly concerned, as military funding for Ukraine now appeared tied to the statement as well. The person said Sondland was never briefed about Biden being part of the issue and was not aware of it until the transcript of the phone call was released. “If he had known earlier, he never would have touched this.”
The Trump defense is that there was no quid pro quo, the call was perfect, and that he did not withhold military aid to pressure Ukraine into investigating Biden. Sondland is going to testify that there was a quid pro quo, but not a criminal one, and that he was concerned that Trump was withholding military aid to pressure Ukraine.
Sondland’s testimony will blow a giant hole in Trump’s impeachment defense.
Trump tried to make no quid pro quo the new no collusion, but the people around him aren’t playing along.
There was a quid pro quo. Sondland is going to testify to it, as Trump is steamrolling toward being impeached.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association