European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland’s testimony before the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry on Wednesday generated several startling revelations, including confirmation of an explicit quid-pro-quo deal involving investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden.
CNN’s Jake Tapper described Sondland’s testimony as “a monumental and historic moment on what may turn out to be the worst day with the most damning evidence for President Trump in the impeachment inquiry.”
He then laid out all the ways that Sondland has been very bad news for the president.
“Sondland directly implicated the president in directing the operation to pressure Ukraine,” Tapper explained. “Sondland is testifying that there very clearly was a quid pro quo — this was for a White House visit for the Ukrainians in exchange for an announcement about an investigation into the company Burisma and the Bidens. Now, Sondland later said it became clear to him that the quid pro quo also, he presumed, was tied to the holdup of hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid that Ukraine desperately needed.”
Even more stunning, argued Tapper, was that Sondland implicated so many administration officials.
“Sondland named names today on everyone, in his view, who was involved with knowledge of a pressure campaign of a quid pro quo, of the meeting in exchange for the announced investigations,” he said. “Starting with President Trump as well as Vice President Pence, he says, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and Mick Mulvaney. Sondland said multiple times, quote, ‘Everyone was in the loop.'”
Watch the video below.
Trump’s Senate trial will be ‘riddled by hypocrisy’ with Ken Starr defending him: CNN legal analyst
President Donald Trump's decision to tap former Whitewater special prosecutor Ken Starr for his impeachment defense team drew a sharp rebuke from former federal prosecutor Elie Honig on Friday.
"Whatever they do will be riddled by hypocrisy," Honig said of Trump's impeachment defense team during an appearance on CNN. "Ken Starr, the guy who spent years trying to throw a president out of office for lying about sex in a civil deposition, is now defending a president who has been impeached for trying to shake down a foreign country to interfere with an election. I don't know how you square that."
Rick Santorum flattened by CNN’s Berman after calling Parnas bombshell revelations ‘extraneous’ to impeachment
Rick Santorum and CNN's John Berman got into a frantic back-and-forth on Friday morning after the former Republican senator attempted to dismiss the revelations by former Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas as something that should not be submitted as evidence in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump.
Discussing the Senate trial expected to start next week, Santorum said the only testimony and witnesses that should be allowed are ones that came up in the earlier House hearings.
"The House's responsibility to bring to us a case," Santorum stated. "They're the one who is said these are offenses that are worthy of the president being removed from office; here is the record, here are the charges. The Senate didn't impeach, the House did, so we are going to look at the record the House presented us. We're going to look at the witnesses and say are there are questions that we have for the people that brought this case forward and relied on these witnesses and look at their testimony."
Here’s why some Americans don’t appreciate ‘extraordinary’ accusations from Lev Parnas
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin broke down a key reason why indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas hasn't quite gotten across the severity of his accusations against President Donald Trump to the American people.
"Jeff, what do you think of Parnas as a witness?" asked Cooper.
"He has a distinctive style. He's very deadpan, very low-key," said Toobin. "You somehow don't realize how extraordinary story he is telling. The proprietor of a company called Fraud Guarantee, and he is going to the leadership of the government of Ukraine and saying, unless you announce an investigation of the Biden family, you are not getting the money that Congress has authorized. you are not getting the visit from the president and you are not getting an Oval Office visit. And it's true. None of it happened."