Sondland And The Quid Pro Quo That Wasn’t

Sondland And The Quid Pro Quo That Wasn’t

Sondland And The Quid Pro Quo That Wasn’t

Ambassador Gordon Sondland stated that there was quid pro quo during his impeachment hearing testimony. Yet, when asked directly if quid pro quo actually happened, Sondland can’t remember anything.

Sondland had already testified on October 17, 2019 that he couldn’t recall if aid was tied to Ukraine agreeing to investigate Burisma and the Bidens.

“Sondland was questioned at one point that day by Rep. Michael McCaul (Tex.), the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. McCaul asked Sondland whether he had any conversation with Zelensky about withholding U.S. aid in connection with the investigations sought by Trump.

“I don’t recall any conversation about this,” Sondland replied.

Another investigator later asked, “So, you’ve never made a statement relating the aid to conditions that the Ukraine ought to comply with?”

Again, Sondland testified, “I don’t remember that, no.”

After his denials were contradicted in testimony later provided by William B. Taylor Jr., the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, the top Russia and Europe adviser on the National Security Council, Sondland filed a supplemental statement early this month, stating the testimony of Taylor and Morrison had “refreshed my recollection about conversations involving the suspension of U.S. aid.””

At that time, details and memory recall were lacking. Fast forward to this morning. During the Q&A portion I watched, I counted numerous times where Sondland’s responses included 

  • “I believe”
  • “I presume”
  • “my personal belief”
  • “I came to believe”
  • “It could’ve been”
  • “I think I spoke up at some point”

This from a guy who admitted that he doesn’t take notes during meetings or critical phone calls. This hedging comes from a guy who admitted that, once other people refreshed his memory, he changed his testimony. We are supposed to believe him?

This same guy made it clear that everyone was in the loop regarding Ukraine. However, what he was inferring is that everyone was in the loop about it all. Sondland named names, including Vice President Pence. It seems that Pence and Sondland had a private conversation about quid pro quo something or another during the trip to Ukraine on September 1.

The Vice President is having none of it. 

““The Vice President never had a conversation with Gordon Sondland about investigating the Bidens, Burisma, or the conditional release of financial aid to Ukraine based upon potential investigations.

“Ambassador Gordon Sondland was never alone with Vice President Pence on the September 1 trip to Poland. This alleged discussion recalled by Ambassador Sondland never happened.”

Ouch. That spikes the narrative a bit now doesn’t it? This exchange with Jim Jordan is painful to watch.

Jordan is correct. What quid pro quo was there? Sondland couldn’t answer definitively to anything. Instead Sondland testified that Trump bluntly told him that he didn’t want quid pro quo, he just wanted Zelensky to do the right thing.

Sondland’s testimony was indeed painful. For the Democrats. Heck, it was painful for me to watch a supposedly smart man implode like this. At least he didn’t go full Frank Burns like Alex Vindman did. Urkel on the other hand… 

President Trump responded thusly.

The Democrat media complex are taking that to mean that Trump was admitting to quid pro quo and hoping no one notices that Trump was directly quoting Sondland’s testimony. In fact, during the hearing, Sondland repeated the above at least three times.

Here’s one.

This one, during an exchange with Rep. Mike Turner, is another.

Sondland’s opening statement was a twenty three page doozy. However, when it came right down to it, he couldn’t state with any certainty if quid pro quo of any kind actually happened!

It’s going to be fun watching Adam Schiff and Company try to spin this nothing burger into a something burger.

Welcome Instapundit Readers!

Feature Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey via Flickr, cropped and modified

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  • rbj1 says:

    What’s less than a nothing burger? A nothing vegan burger?

  • Kevin says:

    I’m going to just “cut and paste” some comments directly from Fox News …

    “This, on its face, is very damaging to some of the arguments the GOP has been making,” Fox News host Bret Baier confirmed after the opening round of Democrats’ questioning. “I think it’s going to be fascinating to see, in cross-examination, how they go.”

    Fox News’ Chris Wallace also didn’t have a positive spin for the network’s viewers. Sondland “took out the bus and ran it over President Trump, Vice President Pence, Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, Rudy Giuliani, Mick Mulvaney,” Wallace said. “He implicates all of them.”

    Sondland had repeatedly stressed that everybody in the administration was “in the loop” about efforts to push Ukraine into announcing an investigation into the Bidens.”

    Have you heard that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be resigning? The reports are being denied by the State Department but, under the Trump administration, we have seen countless times when they deny the report and then a short time later it comes true.

    It’s not a good time in the White House …Just like a reality show, the players in the game routinely become paranoid and start eating one another. It’s only a matter of time.

    • George Turner says:

      Well that just establishes how nuts the press is. In fact, they’re the only people too dumb to figure out who the whistleblower is, since everybody else on the Internet knows. ^_^

      Trial lawyers are well aware that some people are unreliable witnesses because they can’t tell the same story the same way twice. The more you question them, the more versions they come up with. It’s not lying, it’s that their brain recalls information as a sort of free-form, on-the-fly story or tale, as if they never completely grew out of early childhood. Sondland would seem to be one of those people.

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