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Sondland’s ‘clueless’ denials of a quid pro quo look worse than ever after today’s testimony: CNN’s Toobin

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On Tuesday’s edition of CNN’s “The Situation Room,” chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin told host Wolf Blitzer that President Donald Trump’s Ukraine envoy Bill Taylor more or less wrecked any credibility that EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland had in his denials of a Ukraine quid pro quo.

“Let me read a portion of his opening statement,” said Blitzer. “He writes this: Ambassador Sondland told me that President Trump told him he wants President Zelensky to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma, the gas and oil company that Hunter Biden was on the board of, and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. Then he said this, I’m quoting: Ambassador Sondland said everything was dependent on such an announcement including security assistance. He said that President Trump wanted Zelensky in a public box by making a public statement by ordering such investigations. That’s clearly a quid pro quo.”

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“It’s the definition of a quid pro quo,” said Toobin. “Security assistance only comes if you give us, give the United States, give the president, investigations of Burisma. It’s so vivid and direct and Sondland, again we haven’t seen his full testimony, just his opening statement, seemed remarkably clueless about what was going on. Didn’t even seem to know what Rudy Giuliani was doing in Ukraine even though it was in The New York Times what Rudy Giuliani was doing in Ukraine.”

“So if there is a contest between Taylor and Sondland, as there appears to be, the political appointee hotel owner from Portland, Oregon, seems to be in a lot worse position than the 50-year honored civil servant and former military officer,” added Toobin.

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