U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who had previously denied allegations of a quid pro quo between the Trump administration and Ukraine, did a full reversal by suddenly remembering a conversation from early September and “updating” his original statement to impeachment investigators.
Holy crap. Ambassador Sondland — who was, until now, the strongest witness in defense of Trump — has “revised” his testimony and now admits that he delivered quid pro quo message on military aid directly to Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/ZRDAyfyrVR— Caroline Orr (@RVAwonk) November 5, 2019
“I now recall speaking individually with Mr. (Andriy) Yermak, where I said resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks,” said Sondland. Multiple outlets, journalists, and experts are reporting on this statement as an admission of the precise quid pro quo situation that the impeachment proceedings are centered on.
Last month, Sondland testified that he didn’t know why Trump officials withheld military aid to Ukraine. What a lucky coincidence that he happened to remember!
The revised testimony also appears to implicate Vice President Mike Pence in this scandal, with Sondland saying the September 1 meeting was between Pence and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Breaking @mike_pence news:— Jed Shugerman (@jedshug) November 5, 2019
Sondland has significantly revised testimony.
1) Admitted explicit quid pro quo
2) Also seems to have implicated @VP Pence in felony conspiracy, in context of a Sept 1 meeting between Pence and Zelensky in Warsaw.@nytimes:https://t.co/GTH6OGfmLR pic.twitter.com/LLuvbldmwO
This revision on Tuesday adds to a growing pile of evidence and testimony on Trump’s attempts to bribe the Ukraine government to dig up dirt on key political rival Joe Biden. On the same day, transcripts of interactions between the two countries revealed that former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker texted a Ukraine official a script that the Trump administration wanted them to use when announcing their investigation into the Bidens.
WOW: Kurt Volker TEXTED to a top Ukrainian official the script they wanted Zelensky to read to announce the Burisma (i.e. Biden)/2016 election investigaitons.
The text: pic.twitter.com/GpQPSiBrDw
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) November 5, 2019
Meanwhile, Trump and his closest allies keep focusing on the whistleblower despite the fact that at this point, we’ve moved from whistles to alarms.
Volker is currently saying that he wasn’t aware of any quid pro quo situation, but we’ll see how long that lasts.