European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s impeachment inquiry testimony has been released to the public and it contains more damaging revelations about the actions of President Donald Trump and his administration.
Below we’ll highlight the five most important pieces of information contained in Sondland’s explosive testimony.
1.) Sondland admits there was a quid-pro-quo arrangement. In an update to his prior testimony, Sondland told House investigators that there were conditions placed on military aid that was being held up until Ukraine agreed to launch an investigation of Burisma, the company that previously employed the son of former Vice President Joe Biden.
“I said that resumption of the U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anticorruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks,” said Sondland, who also testified that “anticorruption statement” would relate to investigations into Burisma and the Crowd Strike server conspiracy theory.
2.) Sondland says he “assumed” that Rudy Giuliani’s demands were illegal. When asked by investigators to comment on his growing realization that Rudy Giuliani was trying to strong arm Ukraine into launching its investigations to benefit Trump’s 2020 campaign, Sondland replied that “it would be improper to do that.”
He was then asked if he thought it would be illegal as well.
“I’m not a lawyer but I assume so,” he replied.
3.) Sondland said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was aware of Giuliani’s “shadow” Ukraine campaign. The EU ambassador said he brought up the president’s desire that he “work with” Giuliani’s efforts with regard to Ukraine to Pompeo.
While the secretary of state “rolled his eyes” about Giuliani’s activities, he grudgingly acknowledged that it was something they “have to deal with.”
4.) Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) wasted time during hearings by asking Sondland about Fox News conspiracy theories. While questioning Sondland, Nunes spent much of his time asking questions about the funding of the Steele dossier and its purported role in launching special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Sondland repeatedly told Nunes that he had nothing beyond general knowledge about the Steele dossier — but that didn’t stop Nunes from asking him about it again and again.
5.) Trump was “obsessed” with Ukraine’s supposed role in the 2016 presidential election. Sondland testified that the president seemed to genuinely believe the conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that hacked into the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential election, and that they tried to pin the blame on Russia in order to harm Trump’s presidency.
“I think he said: ‘They tried to bring me down,'” Sondland said. “He kept saying that over and over.”