Nail In The Coffin: Sondland Testifies And Throws Trump (and Pence and Pompeo) Under The Bus

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Ukraine, Trump & Administration, Trump ImpeachmentLeave a Comment



Nunes’ opening statement seemed like he was not aware of Sondland’s opening statement to come. At one point in his statement, Nunes warned Sondland that he was about to be “smeared,” apparently referring to Democrats. After Sondland’s opening statement, many suggested that Nunes’ prediction was misdirected.

“Yeah, the reaction I’m getting from everybody on the Hill right now, replied Playboy Washington correspondent Alex Thomas, “is ‘Nunes read the wrong opening statement.’”

And now we’re on break.

We’re back. Nunes is taking the position that Trump was acting on the belief that Ukraine was “out to get him”

Deep State. Never Trumpers. Conspiracy theories. Whistleblower. This is all the Republicans have in response to Sondland’s devastating testimony. This is a terrible day for them and Trump. His defense now rests on wild debunked conspiracy theories.

Sondland notes that Trump had laid the Burisma quid pro quo much earlier than the July 25 call, debunking Nunes’ line, but Nunes takes that as an invitation to go after Hunter Biden.

GOP counsel Castor now questioning.

Sondland closes hole he left open for GOP. How did you know if POTUS never told you about aid? Answer: Because he told me talk to Giuliani and Giuliani made Trump’s interests clear.


Rudy weighs in, in real time:

(The phone call was on July 25)

Wait, wut???

Chutzpah is Devin Nunes complaining that he can’t interview witnesses, after the White House refused access to all of these witnesses. It is also Steve Castor arguing that Sondland’s recollection is unreliable because he lacks access to documents the administration has withheld.

Castor helpfully brought up that other companies, like Ukranian company Naftogaz, came up in discussions about corruption. Sondland ageed. Yet the Ukranians were asked to only investigate one company, Burisma, in exchange for White House meeting. Why? To smear Biden.

More real-time input fro Rudy:

Goldman (Dem counsel) is carefully laying out that other witnesses (Taylor and Morrison) make it clear the quid pro quo came directly from Trump, not Rudy.

Perry follows Pence in denial:

And we’re on break again.

It seems to me that the GOP who are running defense for Trump have only one defense: that there was no connection between the investigation of Burisma and the investigation of Bidens. Certainly, that is the position of Volker and Sondland. But Trump made the connection himself, not only in the July 25 phone call, but in numerous tweets. Maybe Volker and Sondland never made the Burisma-Biden connection, but Trump sure did.

Jeffry Toobin: “This is the most consequential day of Donald Trump’s presidency… the president of the United States orchestrated it…I don’t think after this testimony there can be any doubt that this exchange took place: campaign dirt for…a meeting with the president.”

On break again.

Rudy again:

You should come before the committee and explain it all, Rudy!

But Rudy’s tweet is an example of how they are turning on each other.

Rudy wants you to know that the activities paid for by a mobbed up oligarch that he’s been engaged in with his indicted business partners Parnas and Fruman don’t amount to business in Ukraine.

And we’re back:

We are in 5 minute BS rounds now.

Trump just now:

It’s the “me” after U.S. President that makes this gold.

But wanting nothing? Pretty clear from the July 25 phone call that you wanted them to investigate Biden.

Trump: “I want nothing!”
Also Trump: “I would like you to do us a favor though…”

Gym Jordan yelling now.

The Jordan line here is now familiar: because the plot was discovered and called off it doesn’t count.

People committing crimes rarely bust themselves by announcing them, aka confessing, in real time.

Hmmm. Pompeo is denying something Sondland never said.

Schiff closes: The answer to the question, who was refusing the meeting with Zelensky … who was the one standing in the way of that meeting? Who was the one refusing to take that meeting? There’s only one answer to that question: And it’s Donald J. Trump. 45th president of the U.S.

Schiff ends by building on his closing remarks from last night: “Getting caught is no defense. Not to a violation of the Constitution. Or to a violation of his oath of office. And it certainly doesn’t give us a reason to ignore our own oath of office. We are adjourned.”

Schiff gets applause