The hashtag #PresidentPelosi was trending Wednesday as Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified to the House Intelligence Committee in the impeachment hearings on President Donald Trump’s Ukrainian schemes for assistance in the 2020 election and implicated Vice President Mike Pence in the effort.
If Trump and Pence are both removed from office over their involvement in the plot, the next in line for the presidency is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
“I’m fine with Pelosi serving as interim president until we hold an election,” tweeted activist Bree Newsom. “Both Trump and Pence are implicated in this conspiracy to extort Ukraine.”
In his testimony Wednesday, as Common Dreams reported, Sondland said that administration officials like Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were “in the loop” on Trump’s plan to pressure Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to publicly announce an investigation into Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President and 2020 Democratic primary presidential candidate Joe Biden.
“It was no secret,” said Sondland. “Everyone was informed via email on July 19, days before the Presidential call.”
Sondland makes clear that Pompeo and Pence are neck deep in this Ukraine mess too pic.twitter.com/V74O6xTJYU
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 20, 2019
The ambassador’s statements set off a firestorm on social media, with a number of observers commenting that the implication of the vice president could mean that both Pence and Trump could be removed from office over the scandal.
“It’s over. Gordon Sondland’s devastating testimony must end the Trump presidency,” author Anand Giridharadas said on Twitter. “But that’s not all. It is now plausible that Vice President Pence should face an impeachment inquiry as well. And Mike Pompeo.”
Journalist Kellie Meyer took the testimony to its logical conclusion.
“Sondland implicated both Trump and Pence in his testimony,” said Meyer. “House Speaker is next in line for the presidency.’
And now #PresidentPelosi is now trending. Sondland implicated both Trump and Pence in his testimony. House Speaker is next in line for the presidency.
— Kellie Meyer (@KellieMeyerNews) November 20, 2019
Sondland on Wednesday also accused the White House and State Department of holding back unclassified documents related to the investigation that would have allowed the ambassador to reconstruct his timeline of involvement in the Ukraine discussions.
“My lawyers and I have made multiple requests to the State Department and the White House for these materials,” said Sondland. “Yet, these materials were not provided to me. They have also refused to share these materials with this Committee. These documents are not classified and, in fairness, should have been made available.”
That revelation spurred progressive radio host Dean Obeidallah to use another hashtag.
“This is the very definition of #ObstructionOfJustice,” Obeidallah tweeted.